Category Archives: Coastal Scents

October 2015 Monthly Favorites

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October Favorites

October Favorites

I am finally back from my vacation and somewhat settled in.  I came down with a pretty bad head cold the last day of my trip that has moved into my chest, so I took a couple extra days to rest up.  I’m feeling better now, though, so it is time to get back to blogging.  Today I have my Monthly Favorites post for October.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  This is the second month in a row that didn’t have any fails (go me), so I am going to get right into my favorites because there are a lot of them.

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder & Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation

Revlon Nearly Naked Powder & Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation

It’s been a year, but I am bringing back my favorite foundation/powder combo, the Revlon Nearly Naked Powder & Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation.  I was obsessed with both of these products toward the end of 2013 and all through 2014.  I used both products up completely (two of the foundation, actually) and decided to move on to other things over the last year.  With my Walt Disney World trip, however, I wanted to go back to this combo.  The Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous is really great and unique because it works equally well for those with oily or dry skin.  Very few products truly are for all skin types, but this foundation really is.  The foundation is mattifying, without drying out your skin or making it look dull or mask-like.  It has solid medium coverage, but is still lightweight and not cakey.  The best part is that it lasts all day long, even in the worst heat and humidity (hello Florida).  I definitely think that it is one of the best drugstore options for foundation and I really needed it during my Disney trip.  Revlon Nearly Naked is such a good pressed powder.  I love how lightweight it is, and the soft focus effect it gives to my skin is lovely.  It blurs the imperfections and makes me look younger.  Revlon Nearly Naked is (for me) the absolute best powder in the drugstore and I am so happy to have it again.  Florida was hot and sticky, and I felt like I was melting every single time I stepped out the door.  I got rained on and completely soaked on Splash Mountain, I was super sweaty the entire time, and I needed my makeup to survive extremely long days.  This combo lasted an impressively long time in a variety of challenging circumstances.  I have experimented with a lot of foundations and powders, and though I have liked some of them quite a bit, this combo is still what works best for me.

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

I’ve been meaning to mention this next product for a while because I have been using it off and on for the last several months. But October is when I really dug into my Ben Nye Banana Powder.  This is a cult favorite in the beauty community, and many of you have probably heard of it, if you don’t already own it yourself.  I really like the yellow tones in this powder to help combat my redness.  My skin tone is mostly neutral with some warm yellow undertones, so the banana powder works very well for me.  It is very finely milled and the powder gives me a smooth and brightened look that I enjoy.  Loose powder is not my favorite thing because it is such a mess, so this will never be my go-to setting powder, but I have been enjoying it.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette

My go-to blush product all month has been the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice.  There will be a full review for this product coming, so don’t worry.  In the meantime, I did swatch some of my favorite shades from the palette.  This was wonderful in Florida because I needed to be economical with my packing.  The palette is compact, but gave me the variety I wanted.  The blushes are pigmented, smooth, and last well on my skin.  For $10, you get six blush shades in varying finishes and two shimmer shades.  There is a similar palette in Hot Spice available, and I have enjoyed this one so much that I may have to pick up the other one too.  Seriously, get to Ulta and check this out.  I’ll try to get the review up soon.

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case

For eyes I have been loving my new Tarte Light Of The Party Collector’s Makeup Case.  I did a full swatch fest, so click over to this post to see everything included in the case and swatches of all the products.  I don’t know what it is about this palette, but I am so inspired by these shadows.  I have been especially loving the navy blue and chrome shadows in that last column for a look that I don’t normally go for.  The shadows are great, and I definitely recommend the case, especially if you are Sephora VIB or VIB Rouge and can take advantage of the sale going on now.

Physicians Forumula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara

Physicians Formula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara

I will admit that I bought the Physicians Formula Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara during Ulta’s 40% off sale because of the packaging.  Could this get any freaking cuter?  The red “lace” flocking and that shoe charm!  I mean, come on.  As it turns out, I really like the mascara.  I took a risk because I have not loved Physicians Formula mascaras in the past, but the Sexy Boost Cat Eyes Mascara gives me long flirty lashes.  It’s not the most volumizing, but it does give my wimpy lashes a nice boost and I am happy with it.

Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

Speaking of mascara, I have been enjoying the Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara.  I got this sample from Sephora at some point and finally pulled it out.  This was great in Florida.  It is really long-wearing and didn’t smudge on me, despite what I put it through.  Perhaps a little too long-wearing because it was a pain to remove at the end of the day, which is the only negative thing I have to say about it.  It gave me a ton of volume and I really like the formula.  I usually buy my mascaras at the drugstore, but if you go more on the higher end side for your lashes, the Makeup Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara is a good choice.

Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette

Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette

The final Favorite product that I have to mention is, in some ways, something that I use everyday.  This is a Coastal Scents 4 Piece Interchangeable Palette that I created a while ago when I needed a new brow shadow.  I like the Coastal Scents Hot Pot in Timeless Taupe for my brow shade.  You can plug any of their Hot Pots into this magnetic palette, so I chose two brow shades (because I wasn’t sure which one I needed) and two pretty shades.  It’s these two bottom shades that I really want to talk about.  I used the heck out of them while I was at Disney World.  They were so handy for a pretty, but also very easy eye look.  The shades are: Gypsy Green– An opaque wash of verdant beauty with a slight satiny finish and Cherry Moss A reddish-brown hue with green iridescent shimmer.  They were perfect when I got lazy with my makeup, and I wore both shades so many times in October that I can’t even count them.  Coastal Scents Hot Pots are really inexpensive, but I think the formula is great.  They are a good size too.  Coastal Scents is an old favorite of mine.  If you haven’t tried them, you definitely should.

That’s it for my October Favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were some of your favorite items for October?  Let me know in the comments below.  My vacation was wonderful.  I had a blast, and I am so glad that we got the chance to go.  That being said, I am happy to be home.  The Holiday Season has hit early this year, and I am all for it.  I love the Holidays, so I am so excited.  There are so many great collections out for the Holidays.  I am going to have to really work on practicing restraint because at this point I want All-The-Things.  What Holiday products are you planning to pick up?  Are you hitting up the Sephora VIB sale?  Let me know what is on your wish list in the comments.

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Halloween Tutorial: Sweet and Sassy Giraffe

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Sweet and Sassy Giraffe

Sweet and Sassy Giraffe

Halloween is almost upon us, but if you are like me you may still be unsure of your costume.  I was wandering the Halloween aisles at Target, and saw this adorable giraffe headband.  It was only $3, and I knew that I had to get it for a Sweet and Sassy Giraffe Halloween tutorial.  This makeup is not as hard as it looks, but it is really time consuming.  Make sure that you have at least an hour (if not more, depending on your skill level) to dedicate to the makeup look.  Once you have the makeup done, the rest of the costume can be as simple or as complicated as you desire, but we will discuss that later.  Also be sure to check out my previous Halloween tutorials to learn how to transform in to a Glamour Cat and a Totally Outrageous 80’s Jem-style Rocker.  Let’s get into the makeup.

Tools

Tools

Before we start, I want to stress that you do not have to use the exact products that I used.  There aren’t any unusual products here, so you should be able to use what you already have in your collection. Here is what you will need:

  • A good eye primer. I used a sample of Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer.  If you have NYX Jumbo Eye pencil in Milk or a similar white base, then you may want to use that all over the lid and around your eye area to save yourself a step later.  Unfortunately I misplaced my Milk, so I had to do without it.
  • Eyeshadow in matte dark brown, matte white, and matte black.  I used the Coastal Scents 88 Warm palette for almost the entire look, but any shadows will do.
  • Brown Eyeliner.  I chose the Rimmel Scandaleyes Khol Kajal Liner because I wanted that subtle sparkle.
  • Black Eyeliner.  I chose the e.l.f. Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen for my lid and the NYX Slide On Glide On Pencil liner for my lower lash line, but any black liner will work.
  • Gold Eyeliner.  This may be the only item that you don’t already have.  You can find gold liner pretty easily this time of year.  I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in El Dorado.
  • Optional False lashes.  I tried.  I really did.  I think this look would be great with false lashes because giraffes have long lashes, but I couldn’t make them work for me.  Falsies, you are my nemesis and I conceded my defeat.  Those ever elusive long fluttery lashes were not in the cards for me this time.  Perhaps you will have better luck.

Start with your normal primer and foundation routine.  If you want to, you can use a light bronzer to warm up the edges of your face.  Do not contour, but a little around the temples and jaw line is good.  Prime your entire eye area (and use your white base if you have it).  I also recommend filling in your brows at this point so that you have a good frame for the eye makeup.  I filled my brows in with the same mix of brown shades from the 88 Warm Palette that I used for the giraffe spots.

Giraffe Step 1

Giraffe Step 1

Step 1:  Lightly dust some dark brown shadow on the lid and low on the crease.  I used the same shade that I will be using for the giraffe spots.  Blend the edges with a tan or peach shade but be sure not to go too high.  This step is just to get some color on the lid, but it will be overshadowed by the rest of the look, so don’t worry too much about getting it perfect.

Giraffe Step 2

Giraffe Step 2

Step 2:  Using a small detailed brush and dark brown shadow, create small square-ish shapes.  Leave a small space between the brown spots, and vary the size and shape.  Giraffes have asymmetrical spots, so you are not looking for perfection.

Giraffe Step 3

Giraffe Step 3

Step 3: Continue the pattern all around your eye area including above the brow, under the eye, and toward the nose.  You want the spots on the inside of your face and on the eye to start small, gradually getting larger as you approach the outside of the face and the cheek.

Giraffe Step 4

Giraffe Step 4

Step 4: If you do not have NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk or another white base, take a matte white eyeshadow and fill in the area between the spots.  This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but it adds a lot to the overall look.  If you are pressed for time, you can skip it, but I think it is worth the effort.  I used the white in the Wet n Wild I (Heart) Matte palette.

Giraffe Step 4

Giraffe Step 5

Step 5: With the gold eyeliner, place a dot/dash in the center of each brown square.  Again, this step adds a ton of dimension to the look and makes a huge difference.  I warned you in the beginning that this look was time consuming, but you will love how the gold liner transforms everything and takes it to the next level.

Giraffe Step 6

Giraffe Step 6

Step 6: Line your eyes and add mascara.  I used the e.l.f. Essential Waterproof Eyeliner Pen for my upper lash line and the NYX Slide On Glide On Pencil liner for my lower lash line and waterline.  I also smudged some black eyeshadow on my lower lash line.  I flicked my liner out for a baby wing.  I don’t recommend a dramatic wing for this look, but if you are comfortable with false lashes, more power to you.

Giraffe Eyes

Giraffe Eyes

Congratulations, the eyes are done!  Make yourself some coffee or tea.  Have a cookie.

Giraffe Step 7

Giraffe Step 7

Step 7: On the forehead we are going for a subtle triangular shape.  Make the spots that are closest to the nose smaller, getting larger as you go up the forehead.  These spots should be less square shaped than the spots on the eye, but it is essentially the same thing.  Instead of adding gold to these spots, you want to take the brown liner and outline the shape of the spots.  I chose to do a partial outline on the inside spots and fully outlined the ones on the edge to make the transition more subtle.

Giraffe Step 8

Giraffe Step 8

Step 8: Starting on outer edge of the cheek, make medium sized spots with a flat shader brush, gradually getting larger as you move toward the jaw and neck.  You don’t want to bring them in too much because you want the center of the face and neck to be empty.  You can move toward the center over the collarbone and chest, but you never want the sides to meet.  The spots/squares on the neck and chest should be quite large.  Your spot pattern will depend on your outfit.  Make sure to carry the pattern over your shoulders and down your arms if they are exposed.  Just remember, larger spots on the chest and shoulders getting gradually smaller and more sparse down the arm toward the wrist.  Leave the inner arm bare, and you don’t have to do your hands.  If you are in a colder climate and will have your skin covered, you can stop at the neck and chest area.

Giraffe Step 9

Giraffe Step 9

Step 9: Outline your spot pattern with the brown liner.  By this point I was really pressed for time so I was not as careful as I should have been.  I’ll admit that I got a little sloppy with this step, but I was running so late.  It also may be hard to see the edges of all of your spots, so if you have a buddy willing to help you out with reaching all of the spots on your neck, it may help.  When you are done, lightly spray yourself with setting spray.

NYX Butter Gloss in Praline

NYX Butter Gloss in Praline

Step 10: Choose a lip color.  I opted for a medium nude gloss, though you can do any color that sings to you.  This is NYX Butter Gloss in Praline.

Sweet and Sassy Giraffe

Sweet and Sassy Giraffe

Makeup is done.  Yay!!!  Put on your super cute Giraffe ears and snap a selfie.  You earned it.

For the rest of the costume, if you have anything with a giraffe print on it then you are ahead of the class.  But really, a tan or brown shirt or tank top paired with a brown or black skirt or pants is all you need.  The makeup is elaborate and is the real star of the show, so the costume is less important. Personally, I had everything I needed to put this costume together already.  I only bought the ears, so my total giraffe look cost me $3.  Hopefully most of you will also already have most of these items and can replicate the look pretty easily.  I love the way it came out.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial.  I am very happy with it, and it really is easier than it looks.  It’s just time consuming.  I hope I explained myself thoroughly and that you find this tutorial easy to follow.  People will be pretty impressed with your mad skills if you show up with this makeup look.  I would love to know if you try this Sweet and Sassy Giraffe look for yourself, so be sure to let me know in the comments below.

Ipsy October 2015

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Ipsy October 2015

Ipsy October 2015

It’s Ipsy time!  I got my October Ipsy bag in the mail today.  For those who are new to the blog and don’t know, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service.  For $10 a month (plus tax in some states), you will receive a makeup bag containing 4-5 deluxe beauty samples.  You often receive full size products, and the overall value of each bag will vary from month to month, but it is always well over the $10 subscription fee.  October’s theme is “Alter Ego: Dare to be different. This October, transform into whoever you want to be.”  The bag itself is black patent leather (or possibly vinyl) on one side, and gold textured (faux) leather on the other.  It isn’t my personal style, but I can see some people really liking it.  Now, onto the products.

theBalm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer

theBalm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer

theBalm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer: “Meet Mary-Lou Manizer, a seemingly innocent honey-hued luminizer that catches everybody’s eye. This highlighter, shadow and shimmer diffuses light so your skin looks softer and younger while adding a subtle glow. A gorgeous highlighter, shadow and shimmer in a universally flattering shade. It is cruelty-free and contains no parabens or talc. Brow bones. Cheek bones. Corner of the inner eye. Cupids bow. Apply this highlight to these four areas and you’ll have a gorgeous glow.”  Full size is $24 for 8.5 g at thebalm.com.  Sample size is .57 g, worth $1.61.

AYRES Pampas Sunrise Hand Cream

AYRES Pampas Sunrise Hand Cream

AYRES  Pampas Sunrise Hand Cream: “This ultra-rich, luxurious hand cream is enriched with shea butter, plant emollients and herbal extracts that deeply moisturize dry skin. Formulated with fast absorbing lightweight oils, it penetrates quickly to leave behind smooth, non-greasy, supple skin with improved elasticity. Lemongrass, mandarin, bergamot, patchouli and spearmint will awaken your senses, while an exotic background of cedar wood releases a musky scent. Super moisturizing non-greasy ipsy-exclusive sample. Keep your hands moisturized while the seasons are changing – it’ll save you from cracked and dry skin.”  Full size is $12.50 for 1.4 oz at ayresbeauty.com.  Sample size is .7 oz, worth $6.25.

Nourish Organic Pure Hydrating Argan Face Serum

Nourish Organic Pure Hydrating Argan Face Serum

Nourish Organic Pure Hydrating Argan Face Serum:This highly concentrated face treatment is designed to deeply hydrate and reveal smoother, softer and more supple skin with improved tone. Moroccan argan oil, packed with restorative omega fatty acids, intensely hydrates and replenishes. Apricot kernel oil moisturizes and softens skin while helping retain clarity. Rosehip oil smoothes skin texture and helps even out tone. Fragrance-free, gluten-free, and vegan. Brightens and revitalizes complexion. Smoothes texture and helps even out tone.”  Full size is $23.99 for .7 oz at nourishorganic.com.  Sample size is .5 oz, worth $17.14.

Tarte deluxe LipSurgence skintuitive lip gloss in energy

Tarte deluxe LipSurgence skintuitive lip gloss in energy

Tarte deluxe LipSurgence skintuitive lip gloss in energy: “Infused with pH-adjusting skintuitive technology, this sophisticated glossy lip formula is infused with rich antioxidants to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while delivering intense hydration and your own custom, complexion-enhancing shade of pink. Flower extract drenches lips in moisture for heathy, hydrated lips. Jojoba seed oil is a natural soothing extract that leaves lips soft, supple and smooth. Vitamin E is a natural preservative that also acts as an emollient and antioxidant. Ipsters who sample the lip gloss will receive the shade Energy (custom pink). This skintuitive formula responds to your skin’s natural pH and energy, giving you a personalized tint that is truly your own unique shade.”  Full size is $19.00 for .27 fl oz at tartecosmetics.com.  Sample size is .05 fl oz, worth $3.52.

Coastal Scents Xpress Line Cosmetic Pencil

Coastal Scents Xpress Line Cosmetic Pencil

Coastal Scents Xpress Line Cosmetic Pencil: “Xpress Line pencils are for anywhere you want xtra color, xpressive highlights, and xact definition. Highly pigmented, long-lasting formula.”  This is full size, worth $2.95 at coastalscents.com.

Ipsy October 2015

Ipsy October 2015

The grand total of my October 2015 Ipsy bag is $31.47.  I have been really happy with my Ipsy bags the last couple of months, but October’s bag just doesn’t do it for me.  It’s not that the products are bad, per se, but I know what some other people got in their Ipsy bags and I would much rather have had those products instead.  The IT Cosmetics Hello Lashes mascara, Laura Geller Baked Blush, and Girlactik Beauty Precise Marker Liner are all products that I would have loved to get.  Instead, I got theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer for the third time (I gave the previous two away), a gimmicky lipgloss that doesn’t really do anything, and a simple wooden black eyeliner that I could have gotten the equivalent of at the drugstore.  Now to be fair, I am very happy about the Nourish Organic Pure Hydrating Argan Face Serum and the AYRES Pampas Sunrise Hand Cream, and the two of them make up for my $10 subscription fee.  I am just personally disappointed in the products that I received compared to what other products were out there.  Maybe it’s just a personal preference thing.  I know that Mary-Lou Manizer is very popular, and I’ve heard great things about tarte Lipsurgence lipgloss.  I just would have rather had the other things.  Oh well, maybe next month will be better.

If you still haven’t signed up for Ipsy, and would like to get your own Ipsy bag, go ahead and click on this referral link or click on the link under the “Check this out” heading on the right hand side of the page.  You can also click on the “Ipsy” tag under the category section to see my past Ipsy bags for a better idea of what you can expect.  If you are already a subscriber, what did you think of your October 2015 Ipsy bag?  Did we get the same things or did you get different items?  Were you happy, disappointed, or ambivalent?  Let me know in the comments below.

Monthly Favorites for September 2015

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Monthly Favorites September 2015

Monthly Favorites September 2015

It is time for my Monthly Favorites post for September.  I don’t know what it is, but I really love Favorites posts.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  I’ve been drawn to deep berry and gold shades all month long, and I’ve been trying to mix in some of my older products as well as trying new ones.  Lucky for me, September didn’t have any fails, so I am going to get right into my favorites.

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer

I’ve been trying a new primer in September, and my choice was the Too Faced Primed & Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer.  My favorite primer is still the Smashbox Photofinish, but I have been enjoying Primed & Poreless.  It makes my skin feel so smooth, and foundation lays very evenly over it.  It doesn’t fill in my pores as well as Smashbox Photofinish, but I like the way my makeup looks over Primed & Poreless.  It’s a good option.

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation

The foundation that I have been reaching for has been the new Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation.  I don’t think that the skin bettering ingredients are enough to really make a difference in skin quality, but I like the formula of the foundation and they way it makes my skin look.  It has a light-weight formula that blends easily over the skin.  It builds to medium coverage that looks natural and healthy.  I don’t think that it would do a great job controlling oil, but it feels great on normal-dry skin.  I wouldn’t count on it for real anti-aging or skin improvement, but it has SPF 15 and is a good drugstore foundation.  Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation comes in 12 shades.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

My go-to blush for September has been Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic.  Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish that looks good for any occasion.  I have raved about the Forever Blush formula before, so I won’t go into too much detail.  It applies smoothly, and the blushes have great pigmentation and staying power. You can read my full review to see swatches and get more details on the Forever Blushes.  Poetic is such a universally flattering shade, that I strongly recommend it.

Lorac Pro Palette 2

Lorac Pro Palette 2

I pulled out my Lorac Pro Pelette 2 during September and it was hard for me to want to use anything else.  For me, the Lorac Pro 2 has such a perfect mix of shades that I can easily come up with dozens of looks that are beautiful and distinct without having to think too much about it.  I love that, unlike the Naked palettes, there are plenty of matte shades as well as the shimmers for looks that have more complexity and that wear better on aging eyes.  The neutral everyday shades are appropriate for any situation, and the few colorful shades add some whimsy and set the Lorac Pro 2 apart from most other neutral palettes.  The mix of warm and cool tones makes the palette universally flattering and a good choice for anyone.  All the shades have great pigmentation and blend very well with each other without getting muddy.  I personally don’t need primer when I use LORAC shadows to get crease-free wear that lasts all day.  I can not recommend this palette enough, and it is one of my all-time favorite palettes. Feel free to read my full review of the Lorac Pro 2 for swatches.

Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar

Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar

When I wasn’t wearing Lorac Pro 2, I pulled out the Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar and used that middle shade, Muscovado, for a golden berry eye look.  You guys, this shade!  It is amazing on the eyes.  Don’t get me wrong, I like wearing the three blushes in the Sugar palette in the Fall.  They are beautiful, extremely pigmented and long-wearing.  But using Muscovado as an eyeshadow was a stroke of brilliance.  I can’t get enough of the gorgeous rich berry shade with that lovely golden sheen.  It makes me so happy.

L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayon in Petite Plum

L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayon in Petite Plum

My final favorite of September is the L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayon in Petite Plum.  The Glossy Balms are really comfortable on the lips.  They glide on as smooth as silk, and leave lips feeling hydrated.  They are definitely more moisturizing and have more slip than the Revlon Balm Stains.  They feel more like the Maybelline Color Whispers on the lips, but even more hydrating than those.  They really do feel like lip balm, so much so that I forget that I’m wearing lip color.  Petite Plum is a brown based plum shade with a lot of pigmentation.  It’s a great lip color for Fall.

That is all for my September Favorites.  I hope you saw something that you might want to check out for yourself.  There were several oldies but goodies mixed in with the new.  If you have used any of these products, I’d love to know what you thought of them in the comments below.  I am so excited that October is here.  I will be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary!  I have so many fun things planned and at the end of the month I will be at Walt Disney World for 10 days.  It is going to be a wonderful month and I can not wait for the adventure to begin.

Monthly Favorites and Fails, May 2015

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Monthly Favorites

Monthly Favorites

With June quickly approaching, I have my Monthly Favorites and Fails for May ready for you today.  For anyone new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that particularly stood out to me, and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  Fails are products that simply did not work out and I do not recommend, because it is just as important to know what products to avoid as it is to know which ones to get.  May was a much better month for me than April (otherwise known as that time I came down with the Plague).  Though was still dealing with sickness for the first week or so of May, I felt much better and much more myself during the rest of the month.  I also did some traveling in May, and my Favorites reflect the items that I took with me on that trip and just kept using.  So let’s get into it.

Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A. 3% Facial Cleanser

Beauty Without Cruelty A.H.A. 3% Facial Cleanser

I received this Beauty Without Cruelty AHA Facial Cleanser in my December Ipsy bag.  I didn’t use it right away because it claims to be designed for normal to oily skin and my skin is dry.  However, it was nice and compact, and I didn’t have any other cleansers that would fit in my travel bag, so I decided to bring it with me to North Carolina.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.  It cleansed my skin thoroughly without making it feel stripped or tight.  The formula will be problematic for some because of the inclusions of aroma-therapy essential oils.  They did not seem to bother my skin, and the scent is very subtle and not bothersome at all.  Beauty Without Cruelty AHA Facial Cleanser is not going to become one of my go-to products, but I am glad that I got the sample from Ipsy because I have really enjoyed it this month.

Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer

Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer

My next Favorite for May is the Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer.  I reviewed this concealer back in February and said that I really liked it.  I stand by that assessment.  Maybelline Master Conceal Camouflaging Concealer goes on so smoothly, doesn’t look cakey in the slightest, and I do not have issues with creasing or settling into fine lines around my eyes.  At the same time, it has really great staying power, especially if you set it with a light powder.  It is a great concealer, and you should definitely try it out.  I have it in the shade Light.

L'Oreal Pro Matte Powder

L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Powder

I ran out of my beloved Revlon Nearly Naked Powder (so sad) and have been using this L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Powder instead.  It is a completely different formula than Nearly Naked, but I have been enjoying it.  It is very finely milled, and looks good on the skin.  The Infallible Pro Matte Powder has some pretty decent coverage on its own.  Though it is a setting powder and not a powder foundation, it does have some of the same qualities that a powder foundation has.  If you have good skin, you can get away with just using Infallible Pro Matte Powder.  I am not that lucky.  I like the Infallible Pro Matte Powder a lot, but I do have to be careful to use a light hand because it goes from light and airy to overly powdery rather quickly.  I do think that it is a good option, and have been using it a lot all through May.

Wet n Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine

Wet n Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine

A product that I have been using so much that I couldn’t not include it is the Wet n Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine palette (also known as I (Heart) Matte palette).  I usually try not to include limited edition items in my favorites because I want to make sure you can get your hands on it if you see a product you like, so I apologize.  Because I was traveling I needed something compact that I could do some quick and easy looks with that could go with any outfit.  I have been loving applying the creamy browbone shade all over the eye first, and then using the peach shade liberally in the crease.  I then deepen the crease with the brown shade using a small pencil brush, and use the black shadow for liner.  I have probably worn that simple eye look 60% of the time this month.  It was so easy that I didn’t need to think about it, and it looks beautiful.  You do not need this palette to accomplish the look.  Any collection of similar matte shades (and there are many) will do the trick, but this is the product that I have been using and I love it.

Coastal Scents Go Palette in Beijing

Coastal Scents Go Palette in Beijing

When I wasn’t using the Wet n Wild palette, I went for the Coastal Scents Go Palette in Beijing.  The pinks and mauves in this palette were exactly what I wanted for some sweet and romantic pops of color.  I used to avoid pinks and purples but over the last few years I have seen the error of my ways and now I love them.  I know that I have talked about how great Coastal Scents is and how much I enjoy their shadows.  The Coastal Scents shadows are pigmented and smooth, and they are so affordable.  The Go palettes are a great bargain, especially because Coastal Scents often offers them in a bundle sale.

Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro

Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro

For blush this month, I pulled out an oldie but a goody, the Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro.  You’ve seen it before, you know what it is.  It has been too long since I used Rose D’Oro, and I almost forgot how much I truly love this blush.  Once I pulled it out again, however, I haven’t been able to put it down.  Just look at it!  It is a rosy peach shade with gold veining throughout.  The gorgous shimmer means that you can skip a separate highlighter.  It can be sheered out for a soft glowy flush, or layered for intense color.  It looks amazing on the cheeks.  Rose D’Oro is the perfect shade for spring and summer, and I am not putting it back in my drawer.  I am going to be wearing the heck out of it over the next few months.

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm in Fresh Plum

Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm in Fresh Plum

A new (to me) product that I’ve been enjoying this month has been the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm in Fresh Plum.  I have been going for a barely there lip all month, and when I am not wearing my Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments, I have been wearing this.  I have one word to describe the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm- comfortable.  You all know how obsessed I am with the Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey and Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon lip balms.  They are Holy Grail, can’t live without them status.  Well the Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm feels very similar.  It is so moisturizing and comfortable on the lips.  The color is very sheer, so it is perfect for days when you couldn’t be bothered to do a lip color, but you want something there.  It’s a great product to throw in your purse and go.

That does it for my favorites, now onto this month’s Fails.  Always keep in mind that my reviews are based on my specific experience with these products, and good or bad, you may have different results.  So, just because I give a product a bad review, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad product.  It just means that it did not work for me.

Eclos Skincare

Eclos Skincare

I tried this 6-Piece Anti-Aging Starter Kit from Eclos Skincare.  Eclos is a branch of Freeman Beauty.  I really love Freeman facial masks, so I decided to try their skincare line the last time I made a purchase from Freeman’s website.  You can also get this set from Ulta.  Eclos touts their Apple Stem Cell Technology as truly amazing stuff that is clinically proven to significantly reduce wrinkles and improve skin texture.  I call shenanigans.  The products were generic at best, and some were truly terrible.  Not only did these products do absolutely nothing for my skin, but the scent was unbearable to me.  These are not large sample sizes, but even so, I couldn’t finish several of them.  Even the clay mask, something that Freeman does very well, was just ho-hum for me.  The primer was so bad that I tossed it after one use.  I like Freeman Beauty a lot, and their masks are wonderful.  I really wanted to like the Eclos skincare line.  Ultimately though, I hated all of it and do not recommend that you try any Eclos products.

That is all for my May Favorites and Fails.  I hope you saw something that you might want to check out for yourself.  If you have used any of these products, I’d love to know what you thought of them in the comments below.  May was a good month for me.  I am finally feeling back to normal.  I have several projects on the horizon, and am nervous but excited.  I am not looking forward to the intense heat of a Southern California summer, but at least I won’t have to endure the humidity like I did in NC.  Are you looking forward to the summer?  Any big plans on the horizon?  Let me know.  🙂

Coastal Scents Revealed 3

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Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette

There is a new Revealed palette in town.  Coastal Scents is launching the new Revealed 3 Palette today at coastalscents.com.  Both the Original Revealed Palette and the Revealed 2 Palette are very popular, and have been hailed by beauty bloggers and Youtubers as less expensive dupes for the three Urban Decay Naked palettes.  This time around though, to my knowledge Coastal Scents isn’t trying to dupe anything with the Revealed 3 Palette.  It is designed to stand on its own.  Let’s take a closer look.

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette

According to Coastal Scents, “The Revealed 3 palette features twenty all-new elegant eye shadows, in a stunning variety of hues and textures. Discover infinite possibilities with a combination of looks, perfect for every eye color.”  The Revealed 3 is similar to the first two Revealed palettes in that it is housed in slim and sturdy cardboard packaging.  Coastal Scents still has yet to add a mirror to the Revealed line, but they have kept their price of $19.95 consistent with the other two Revealed Palettes.  This palette looks a little schizophrenic to me at first glance.  There are some warm bronzes and golds for classic neutral looks, but there are also quite a few pinks, purples, and burgundy shades for dramatic smoky eyes.  When you take a closer look and start to create combinations in your head, you realize that the Revealed 3 is actually a very versatile palette that can create a wide range of looks in those color families.  Unfortunately, there are only three mattes in the entire palette.  They are highlight and transitional shades, which will be quite useful, but it would have been nice if more than just the three out of twenty shades had been matte.  The rest of the shadows are a mix of glitter, shimmer, and satin finishes.

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette

So, what do you think of the Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette?  I don’t think it will have quite the universal appeal of the first Revealed palette that had so many dupes for UD Naked 1 and 2, but I think it is a decent palette on its own.  If you like pinks and purples, this is going to be a great option for you.  Otherwise, though, you may have more luck with one of the other Revealed palettes.  I also feel like the Revealed 3 is too similar to Revealed 2.  The shades are not the same, but they are similar enough to make me wonder if you need both.  I would have preferred to keep those smoky purples and add in some navys, more grays, and dark greens, for an all smoky palette that would have set Revealed 3 apart from the other two.  I have a feeling that the Revealed 3 is going to be a love it or hate it kind of product.  I think that if you respond to these particular shades then you will love the Revealed 3.  I just don’t think it was the same wide range of appeal as the previous 2 Revealed palettes did.  Here is a pic of all three Revealed palettes together.  What are your thoughts?  Let’s discuss in the comments below.

CS revealed 1,2, and 3

CS revealed 1,2, and 3

 

14 Best of 2014

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Best of 2014

Best of 2014

It is time for my wrap up of the products that I liked best in 2014.  These are products that didn’t necessarily come out in 2014, but that I loved and used in 2014.  It’s basically my most favorite of all my favorite products for the year.  If you have been paying attention over the last year, all of these products should be familiar to you.  I have mentioned all of them in at least one “Favorites” post, though I do try not to be too repetitive in those posts as much as possible.  These are definitely the products that I have been reaching for throughout the year, so let me get started.

Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer

Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer

First up, let’s talk skincare.  In 2014 I discovered Derma MD when they sent me several products for review.  The product that I have loved most from the brand is the Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer.  This is my third bottle, and I am sure that I will continue to use the Copper CoQ10 for a while.  It has helped reduce my redness so much, which is my number one skin concern.  I love the moisturizer because it is not greasy or oily in the slightest, but delivers a ton of hydration that lasts for hours.  It is extremely lightweight and absorbs into the skin so easily that you don’t even notice it.  I think that it would be appropriate for all skin types, oily or dry.  It is a great product, and I recommend it to anyone.  Derma MD is often featured on sites like Hautelook and Rue La La to cut the cost by a significant amount.  I also have a 50% off promo code at dermamdskincare.com for my readers.  Enter code beautybudget at check out to receive the discount.

The Body Shop Honemania

The Body Shop Honeymania

Moving away from the face to the body is the Honeymania scent from The Body Shop.  I love this scent so much.  I have body butter, lip butter, and shower gel in Honeymania.  It smells like honey and wild flowers, and is just a gorgeous fresh scent.  I actually prefer the formula of the body butter more from The Body Shop than from Bath & Body Works.  It is less greasy and absorbs into the skin better.  Honestly though, I almost don’t care what product it is as long as it is in the Honeymania scent.  😉

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

Moving on to tools, the Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer is a dead-on dupe for the Sigma F80, but for a fraction of the cost.  This is my favorite style of brush for blending in foundation.  I have a review for all of the details about how the brush performs.  The bristles are soft and densely packed, making it a fantastic foundation brush because it feels comfortable on the skin and blends everything out easily and evenly.  The handle is shorter than most, so the brush fits much easier into makeup bags than similar brushes.  I have washed it countless times, and have had no issues with shedding or bleeding.  The Bionic Flat Top Buffer is very well made and a high quality brush.  If you are considering getting the F80 you should consider this one first.

Sigma E-36 Blending Brush

Sigma E36 Blending Brush

One brush from Sigma that is 100% worth the hype and the money is the Sigma E36 Blending Brush.  This brush is essential for me.  I have hooded lids that aren’t too big, and this brush fits in the cease perfectly.  I can lay down dark crease shades without them getting out of control and taking over my look.  The E36 is very thin and has long, slightly firm bristles.  The small fluffy brush is just perfect for precision blending and I use it all the time.  It may be too small for those with really large eyes, but it’s so perfect for me.

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation & Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation & Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

When it comes to face makeup, my foundation and powder are repeat favorites that I had from last year.  I am combining them and only counting them as one because it is the pair of products used together that is my true favorite.  I am talking about the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation and the Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder, both of which have me scraping the bottom to get the last bit.  The Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous is really great and unique because it works equally well for those with oily or dry skin.  Very few products truly are for all skin types, but this foundation really is.  CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous is mattifying, without drying out your skin.  It has solid medium coverage, but is still lightweight and not cakey.  The best part is that it lasts all day long, even in the worst heat and humidity.  I definitely think that it is one of the best drugstore options for foundation.  Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder is such a good product that if you haven’t tried it yet, you absolutely must.  I love how light it is, and the soft focus effect it gives to my skin is lovely.  It blurs the imperfections and makes me look younger.  Revlon Nearly Naked is (for me) the absolute best powder in the drugstore and definitely one that I will repurchase.  It’s tough for me to use up products all the way because I have so much makeup to choose from.  It says a lot that both of these products are basically empty.  I highly recommend them both.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Hopefully you aren’t sick of me talking about the Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic, because it was definitely a major favorite for me this past year.  Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish that looks good for any occasion and on many different skin tones.  The Forever Blush formula is so great in general.  The blushes apply smoothly and evenly, and they have great pigmentation and staying power. You can read my full review to see swatches and get more details on the Forever Blushes.  Poetic is my favorite, though, because it is such a universally flattering shade.  I strongly recommend that you check it out.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

I haven’t mentioned the Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve since the Spring, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been using it.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  Mauve has definitely become one of my favorite blushes, especially when I want to skip highlighter and use a blush with some shimmer.  It is sort of a plum toned rose-gold shade that is different than any other shade I have in my collection.  The shimmer particles are finely milled and do not look chunky or glittery.  It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great.  A little goes a really long way, so I’ll have this blush for a long time.  I really love it.

Lorac Pro Palette 2

Lorac Pro Palette 2

There is no way that I can talk about my favorite products of 2014 without mentioning the Lorac Pro Palette 2.  It is probably my favorite palette of all of the palettes that I own, which says a lot because I have so many of them.  For me, the Lorac Pro 2 has such a perfect mix of shades that I can easily come up with dozens of looks that are beautiful and distinct without having to think too much about it.  I love that, unlike the Naked palettes, there are plenty of matte shades as well as the shimmers for looks that have more complexity and that wear better on aging eyes.  The neutral everyday shades are appropriate for any situation, and the few colorful shades add some whimsy and set the Lorac Pro 2 apart from most other neutral palettes.  The mix of warm and cool tones makes the palette universally flattering and a good choice for anyone.  All the shades have great pigmentation and blend very well with each other without getting muddy.  I personally don’t need primer when I use LORAC shadows to get crease-free wear that lasts all day.  I can not recommend this palette enough.  Feel free to read my full review of the Lorac Pro 2 with swatches for more information on the palette.

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow

In 2014 I discovered bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow and have been so impressed.  I don’t know why it took me so long to try bareMinerals, but I have really been enjoying the brand.  I first tried a mini bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in “The Epiphany” that I got in a kit over the Holidays last year.  I could not get enough of the creamy, silky formula.  I reach for that duo all the time.  Next, I purchased the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Soundrack” and that same buttery texture had me hooked.  The shadows feel so luxe and expensive on the skin- a real high quality experience.  My most recent bareMinerals purchase is the READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Happy Place” that was just delivered a week or so ago.  It is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to play some more with it.  BareMinerals READY Eyeshadows are a little pricey, but they are worth it in my opinion.

e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic

e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic

How many times have I talked about e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic this last year?  I have enjoyed the Smudge Pots in general, but Cruisin Chic is the number one “must-have” of the bunch.  The gel formula doesn’t crease, but also doesn’t dry out my lids.  It is lightweight and hardly noticeable.  It lasts all day long without fading.  And the best part is that the e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic is only $3 (e.l.f. recently raised their prices).  Be sure to check out my review of the Smudge Pots.  Cruisin Chic is gorgeous brown-based metallic taupe.  It is a great everyday option that looks so multidimensional that I can get away with wearing it all by itself, but it still looks like I put way more effort into the look.  It couldn’t be easier to apply with either a brush or your fingers.  I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t get it.  Trust me, you need this in your life.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Another products that should be no surprise to find in my Best of 2014 roundup are the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments.  Though I had tried them before this last year, I became obsessed with them in 2014.  I love the way that they make my lips feel.  The Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments are so hydrating and have a beautiful sheer wash of color that looks so natural and pretty.  My two favorite shades out of the line are Sugar Rose and Sugar Berry.  Sugar Rose is very sheer, but still gives my lips some life.  The look is almost like my lips have a fresh kiss blush that is quite attractive.  Sugar Berry is a plum-toned berry shade that has still has decent pigmentation, despite being a sheer balm.  It is what I wear when I want color on my lips, but still want my lips to look natural.  I have really fallen for the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment line.  They are definitely a splurge, but I really think that they are worth a go.

Nivea Kiss of... Lip Care

Nivea Kiss of… Lip Care

My other lip love of 2014 is much more affordable, but just as wonderful.  I am addicted to the Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey and Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon lip balms.  I am a lip balm junkie, and I continue to try new lip balms when I get them in Ipsy bags or something like that, but I keep coming back to Nivea.  These balms are so extremely hydrating.  I have really dry lips, and am constantly re-applying my lip products.  The Nivea balms last longer than most, and the formula is lightweight and silky without being greasy or waxy.  They have no noticeable taste, and the pleasant scent is extremely subtle and only lasts during application.  They are fantastic, and I can’t live without them.

Born Pretty Store Water Decals

Born Pretty Store Water Decals

One of my favorite new discoveries from 2014 are the Water Decals that I’ve been getting from the Born Pretty Store.  I had never heard of water decals before Born Pretty contacted me.  There was a steep learning curve for figuring out how to use water decals, and the first two attempts were somewhat painstaking.  By my third try, however, I had my technique down and they were easy as pie.  I absolutely love how professional water decals make my nails look.  I don’t go to the salon to get manicures, and I have extremely limited talent when it comes to nail art.  Let’s be honest, I can barely paint my nails without making a mess.  But the water decals make my clumsy efforts look expertly executed.  They are basically a temporary tattoo for nails, and (once you get the hang of it) really easy to use.  I have gotten all of my water decals from the Born Pretty Store, so you can either type “water decals” in the search box or just click the Born Pretty category on the right hand side of the page for a closer look at the manicures that I have come up with using water decals.  They are really fun and my new favorite way to do nail art.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia fragrance

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia fragrance

Finally, my favorite fragrance has been Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia.  Oh my god, you guys, it smells so good!   Acqua di Gioia is a fresh, clean aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes.  It instantly transports me to a villa in the Mediterranean, and I can’t get enough of it.  The image in my head when I smell Acqua di Gioia is of clean blue water and fluffy white towels.  The name means “water of joy” and I can’t think of a better and more accurate name for the scent.  My husband also loves it and always compliments me when I wear it.  In fact, he liked it so much he picked up the men’s version for himself.  You have to smell Acqua di Gioia, if you haven’t already.  It is truly lovely.

And that completes my Best of 2014 post.  These posts are hard to do because I have used so many great products over the year.  I do think that I was able to round up the best of the best, so to speak.  These are the products that have gotten the most love over the year and that I would recommend the most to you.  I hope that you saw something that you like.  Let me know what your favorite products have been throughout 2014.  Are there items that I really need to try?  Tell me about them in the comments below.