Category Archives: Maybelline

March 2016 Monthly Favorites

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March 2016 Favorites

March 2016 Favorites

It’s the first day of April, so that means that it’s time for a Favorites post.  Today I have my March favorites and Fails.  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.  March was pretty low key for me, makeup-wise, so you will probably recognize most of these products.  Let’s get onto what I’ve been loving.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

I’ve been wanting a natural-skin look lately, so I am still loving the Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation.  It just works really well for me.  It has a lovely satin finish, and I can get away with only one layer for nice, natural coverage.  It evens out my redness, but I can still see my freckles ever so slightly peeking through.  I love it.  It’s not for everybody.  If you have normal skin or are only a little dry, you will probably love this foundation. People with very dry skin (thankfully I’ve managed to exit that category) or oily skin will have problems with this formula.  The color selection is also pretty tricky because many of the shades lean either strongly yellow or strongly pink.  But, if you can find a shade match and you are neither too oily nor too dry, this foundation is great.

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Banana

I’ve been totally digging the Ben Nye Banana Powder this month.  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, but I have been enjoying it a lot.  It gives me a great finished look.

Inglot Palette

Inglot Palette

I’ve been reaching for my Inglot palette a lot this past month.  I was really tempted to get the TooFaced Peanut Butter and Jelly Palette.  Those warm orangey browns really called to me, but I didn’t want to buy it because I thought that there were only a limited number of looks that I could get out of that palette.  Then I remembered that I had similar shades in my Inglot palette and could accomplish roughly the same looks.  Once I started using the palette again, I couldn’t put it down.  For those who haven’t tried them, Inglot shadows are fantastic.  They are extremely pigmented and easy to apply.  This is a Freedom System palette, meaning that I bought the empty palette and then filled it with any shadows I wanted.  The shadows are huge, come in hundreds of shades in a variety of finishes, and are $7 each.  I chose greens, oranges, pinks and gold with a few neutrals to anchor the palette.  There are so many different looks that I can get out of these shadows from extremely bold and colorful, to a neutral day look.  I definitely don’t feel like I need the TooFaced Peanut Butter and Jelly anymore.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice

My go-to blush product all month has been the Makeup Revolution Ultra Professional Blush Palette in Sugar and Spice.  Specifically, I’ve been reaching for the first two shades in the palette.  I have a full review and swatches of all 8 shades in this palette, so be sure to check that out for more details.  The blushes are pigmented, smooth, and last well on my skin.  For $10, you get six blush shades in varying finishes and two shimmer highlight shades. It’s a great palette and I can’t get enough of it.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Jasmine

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Jasmine

I don’t actually have my last favorite to show you, so I am including the product picture.  I got a sample of Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia Jasmine from Sephora, and I love it.  I’ve mentioned many times that the original Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia is one of my favorite fragrances.  I had to try this version.  I am not great at describing scents, so here is the description from Sephora: “The warmth and serenity of Acqua di Gioia takes on a new lushness with Acqua di Gioia Jasmine. This floral, fruity new interpretation blends key notes of jasmine with green apple, orange flower, and sweet base notes for a greener, crisper interpretation.”  It is just as fresh and clean a scent as the original, but the fruit and florals evoke a completely different experience.  I really love it.

That does it for my favorites, now onto my 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.

CoTZ Face Natural SPF 40

CoTZ Face Natural SPF 40

My first fail was a sample of the CoTZ Face Natural SPF 40 that I got from Ipsy.  I ran out of SPF and was going to be out in the sun, so I threw this item in my makeup bag.  Though it did offer me some sun protection, I felt that it dried out my skin.  I did not like the way that it felt, and I thought that my foundation looked odd layered over it.  This would probably be a great product for someone with oily skin, but it was not a good fit for me.

Smashbox Full Exposure Waterproof Mascara

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

My final Fail for March was the Smashbox Full Exposure  Mascara.  I am not sure if this is the waterproof version or not.  It’s in a silver tube, but it doesn’t say waterproof on the product.  I can’t for the life of me remember where I got this mascara (I didn’t go out and buy it), so I can’t check.  Either way, I am not impressed.  First of all, the brush is gigantic.  It is so big that I keep poking myself in the eye.  Second, the formula just doesn’t do anything for me.  My lashes are short and pretty wimpy, so I look for length and volume in a mascara.  Smashbox Full Exposure didn’t help me in either department.  It coated my lashes, but they didn’t look fuller or longer.  It really didn’t work for me at all.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for March 2016.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  I will be trying some new products in April that I recently hauled during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, so stay tuned to see if any of those pop up in my next Favorites and Fails post.  What were some of your favorites for March?  Let me know in the comments below.

Monthly Favorites and Fails for January/February 2016

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Jan/Feb Favorites

Jan/Feb Favorites

I blinked and we are already ten days into March.  Where is the time going?  It is definitely time for a Favorites post.  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. I mentioned at the end of January that I was going to combine January and February’s Favorites into one post.  It’s been a weird couple of months for me.  I’ve been really busy and distracted.  I’ve also been injured, so I haven’t been inclined to go out as often as I otherwise would have.  All of this is reflected in my Favorites and Fails because you will be seeing fewer makeup products and more body products in this post.  So let’s get into the products that I have been loving for the last two months.

It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Primer and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness

It Cosmetics No. 50 Serum Primer and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness

Let’s start with this combination from It Cosmetics.  It is the No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer and the Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream.  This was my go-to primer/foundation combo throughout January.  My skin was having trouble while I was testing out the L’Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Skincare line, and these products helped me out so much.  I’ve talked abut Bye Bye Redness here on the blog before.  It blends easily and has great coverage, even for rosacea flare-ups. It has an ultra matte finish though, so that’s where the Serum primer comes in. No. 50 is extremely hydrating without being greasy.  It packs in a lot of moisture, but you can still apply foundation over it with no problem.  The formula is silky smooth and feels great.  If you are interested in the primer, Ulta has No. 50 featured during the 21 Days of Beauty of 4/2 for 50% off.  It is definitely worth checking out.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

While I did enjoy my combination from It Cosmetics in January, as soon as I found the Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation, I ran with it and never looked back.  Seriously, this foundation is the bomb.  It has a lovely satin finish.  I can get away with only one layer for nice, natural coverage.  It evens out my redness, but I can still see my freckles ever so slightly peeking through.  I love it.  Even my husband commented that it looked nice.  If you have normal skin or are only a little dry, you will probably love this foundation. People with very dry skin (thankfully I’ve managed to exit that category) or oily skin will have problems with this formula.  The color selection is also pretty tricky because many of the shades lean either strongly yellow or strongly pink.  But, if you can find a shade match and you are neither too oily nor too dry, this foundation is great.

e.l.f. Illuminating Palette

e.l.f. Illuminating Palette

I have really been enjoying my e.l.f. Illuminating Palette.  I did a review of the Illuminating Palette back in early January, so be sure to check that out for all of the details and some swatches.  The powders are finely milled and blend easily.  I really love the more subtle shimmer shades, as you can probably tell by how dirty the lower half of the palette looks in that photo.  They are both fantastic highlighting shades for my skin tone.  I am not a fan of the light pink shade in the upper right square, but the other three shades are great, and I am so glad that I got this palette.

Soap & Glory Hand Food

Soap & Glory Hand Food

Moving to body products, I’ve been loving Soap & Glory Hand Food.  This is such a nice hand lotion. I picked up a Holiday set that contained three different scents of Hand Food, and this is the original.  The original Hand Food has a delightful scent of fresh roses and tea with lemon.  What’s great about it is that Hand Food gives me the moisture that I need without feeling greasy.  The lotion dries down pretty quickly.  I hate lotions that linger after I rub them in and make me want to avoid touching anything for a few minutes.  No one’s got time for that.  Hand Food smells amazing and it feels great in the skin. If you haven’t tried it, I strongly recommend it.

Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash in Hibiscus & Fig

Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash in Hibiscus & Fig

My final favorite for today is the Ahava Mineral Botanic Velvet Cream Wash in Hibiscus & Fig.  I can’t even describe how luxurious this body wash is.  I picked up the Ahava Starter Kit from Ulta to try out some products from the brand.  This 3 oz sample was included in the kit.  “Velvet Cream Wash” is the perfect name for this formula.  It is silky soft, velvety, creamy, and all things luxurious.  It feels so moisturizing, but it doesn’t leave any sort of film on your skin.  I don’t know how they do it.  The scent is the perfect blend of fruit and floral to smell sweet, without being cloying and sophisticated without feeling old or dated.  I love this scent so much.  The full size 17 oz bottle is $24, so it isn’t something that I would buy all the time.  I do think that it is wort the occasional splurge, though, because it is fabulous.

That does it for my favorites, now onto my 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.

Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream

Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream

Another product in that Ahava Starter Kit was the Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream.  You know how when I was talking about Soap & Glory Hand Food, I said that I hate lotions that linger after I rub them in and make me want to avoid touching anything for a few minutes?  The Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream is a big offender in that area.  The formula is so greasy, and what’s worse is that it isn’t even that mpoisturizing.  I end up wanting to apply more lotion to my hands within the hour.  It also has a funky small that is both herbal and powdery at the same time.  This sample is only about two-thirds of an ounce, but I don’t think that I’m going to be able to finish it.  I really hate the way it makes my skin feel.

ImPress Press-on Manicure

ImPress Press-on Manicure

The last product that I have to talk about is the ImPress Press-on Manicure.  Okay, before you judge me, I have a Youtuber that I have watched for years who uses these press-on nails all the time.  Her nail always look beautiful and these designs are gorgeous.  I don’t necessarily think that these nails are a bad product.  I think that my particular nails are too small for them and that’s why they didn’t work for me.  I have pretty small hands, and very narrow nail beds.  I had a really hard time trying to find nails in the Impress Kit that fit me.  In general, they all ended up being too big, so they felt really uncomfortable and in some cases mildly painful once they were on.  The adhesive seemed pretty good, but I could not handle keeping them on my fingers.  I think that if you have larger nail beds than I do, these may work well for you, but I couldn’t make them work for me.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for January and February.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were some of your favorite items for the month?  Let me know in the comments below.

Some Interesting New Drugstore Items for 2016

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New for 2016

New for 2016

It’s a new year, and that means that there are a ton of new products out for our enjoyment.  There are so many new collections out right now that it is tough to keep track of all of them.  I decided that it might be fun to show you some of the new items from the drugstore that caught my interest.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of what is new in the drugstore, but rather the items that look interesting to me.  A couple of the items have been out for a few weeks now, but most of them are just now hitting the shelves.  I am going to try to include pricing, but please remember that prices vary by location.

Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon

Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon

I am probably the most excited to try the new Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayons.  What?  Yes, the super popular Maybelline Color Tattoos are now available in crayon form instead of the pots.  I don’t know how the formula has changed to accommodate the new style of Color Tattoos, but I really hope that they are as good as the pots were.  I also hope that they expand the shade range soon because these shades are great for fitting basic needs but not terribly unique.  These retail at Ulta for $6.99.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation

Another Maybelline item that caught my eye is the new Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation.  Hydrating and matte don’t usually go together, so right away I am intrigued.  Maybelline claims that it is a refreshing gel-whipped foundation that leaves complexion perfected and smooth with a velvety, soft-matte finish while skin stays hydrated for 12 hours.  I have tried whipped mousse foundation, but no gel-based foundations, so I am sold.  I have to know what this formula is like.  The Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft-Matte Hydrating Foundation retails for $10.99 at Ulta.

 Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser


Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser

You can’t watch Youtube these days without Micellar water making an appearance in some way, and I am interested in the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser.  This has been out in some areas for a little bit and has gotten some great reviews.  Here is the blurb: “This All-in-1 cleanser is surprisingly powerful yet gentle to skin. It effectively removes makeup, cleanses skin and refreshes. A multi-purpose cleanser that contains Micellar technology. Like a magnet, micelles capture and lift away dirt, oil and makeup without harsh rubbing, leaving skin perfectly clean, hydrated and refreshed without over-drying. Dermatologist tested for safety. Ophthalmologist tested. Non-comedogenic–won’t clog pores.”  Micellar water is intriguing to me, and I want to know more.  The Garnier version retails for $8.99 at Ulta.

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free All-in-1 ABC Cushion Foundation SPF 50

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free All-in-1 ABC Cushion Foundation SPF 50

Cushion foundations are hitting the market hard right now, and I am most interested in the Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free All-in-1 ABC Cushion Foundation SPF 50.  Physicians Formula claims that it is a creamy mineral fluid foundation that promises to correct visible imperfections, blur lines, and leave skin with an airbrushed finish as well as protect it with an SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen.  I have never used a cushion foundation, and although I know that Korean brands have been producing them for years, they are relatively new to the US.  L’Oreal has also released a new cushion foundation, but this Physicians Formula is more appealing to me.  The one major drawback for me, though, is the price tag.  Both the Physicians Formula and the L’Oreal cushion foundations are between $16 and $18, depending on where you get them.  That is pretty steep for the drugstore.  Still, the product is intriguing.

Nyx Cosmetics Whipped Lip and Cheek Soufflé

Nyx Cosmetics Whipped Lip and Cheek Soufflé

Next I have a slew of lip products to show you, the first of which is the NYX Cosmetics Whipped Lip and Cheek Soufflé.  This is a 2-in-1 whipped mousse for you cheeks and lips that leaves a matte finish.  It has a doe-foot applicator with a pointed tip for precise lip application.  You can also dab a little of the mousse on your finger to apply a wash of color to your cheek.  I like 2-in-1 products, and I am interested to see what NYX has come up with.  If there is a brand that I trust with stellar cheek and lip products, it is NYX.  The Whipped Lip and Cheek Soufflés retail for $5.99 at Ulta.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color

I am also interested in the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colors.  These are a lightweight gel matte formula, which is different.  The Ultra HD Matte Lip Colors have been out for about a month now, and the reviews have been mixed.  The main complaint that I have seen is that they don’t actually dry down to a fully matte finish.  I can see why that is a big problem for a product with the word “matte” in the name, but it’s not an issue for me.  I have not jumped on the matte lip cream bandwagon because my lips are too dry to follow that particular trend.  I think that they are lovely, but they just make my lips looks pickled.  So a demi-matte, comfortable formula like this is way more my speed that a true matte.  These are $8.99 at Ulta.

L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss

L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss

Along the same lines is the new L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss.  Like the Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Colors this is a demi-matte lip product that keeps a certain level of hydration to keep lips from drying out.  I am not sure which lip product I am more interested in between the Revlon and the L’Oreal.  They seem pretty similar by the description.  If any of you have tried either of these two products, I’d love to hear your thoughts.  The L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss retails at Ulta for $9.99.

CoverGirl Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Lip Balm

CoverGirl Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Lip Balm

The final item that I have to talk about to today is the CoverGirl Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Lip Balm.  Here is the blurb: “CoverGirl’s Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Lip Balm is a vitamin infused, moisturizing lip treatment that nourishes, protects and smooths lips. Grapeseed oil, avocado butter and vitamins C and E lock in moisture, keeping lips soft and smooth.”  I believe that these tinted balms are being set up as possible dupes for the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments.  I find that extremely hard to believe  because I love the Fresh Sugar Lippies and I have never had much luck with CoverGirl lip products.  But, I am all about tinted lip balms, so I certainly want to try them.  :)  The CoverGirl Colorlicious Oh Sugar! Lip Balms retail for $8.99 at Ulta, which is a little steep for tinted lip balm from the drugstore.  Hopefully the formula makes up for the price tag.

Those are all the new products from the drugstore that have caught my eye recently.  More products are spilling in for 2016, so I am sure there are plenty of new arrivals that I may have missed.  Have you tried any of the new products that I listed here?  I’d love to get your thoughts.  Are there any products that I didn’t mention that you think I need to check out?  Let me know in the comments below.  What products are you most interested in trying for 2016?

Monthly Favorites (and Fails) for November and December 2015

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Monthly Favorites

Monthly Favorites

It’s time for my last Monthly Favorites (and Fails) post of 2015.  You may have noticed that I didn’t do a Favorites post last month.  I just didn’t have enough products to make up a post, so instead of forcing it, I figured that I would combine November and December.  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. So these are the products that I have been loving for the last two months.

Michael Todd True Organics Hydration Boost

Michael Todd True Organics Hydration Boost

My number one, can’t get enough of it, holy grail favorite for the month is definitely the Michael Todd True Organics Hydration Boost.  I had been using the Hydration Boost, but had run out in October.  I really noticed the difference in my skin without it, even though I was using the same moisturizer.  I placed a Michael Todd order on Black Friday, and I am thrilled to have the Hydration Boost back.  My skin feels so much more hydrated and healthy with it.  Especially now that winter cold has set in and is trying to dry me out, the Hydration Boost is vital in my skin care regimen.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

My next skincare type favorite is one that I only had a sample of, so this product photo is from Sephora.  This is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.  This stuff is amazing!  I have chronically dry lips, and this lip treatment makes a huge difference.  I am going to say right off the bat that this formula is not going to be for everyone.  It is thick and waxy when you apply it, and I definitely had my doubts at first.  Once it warms up on the lips, however, it melts into the skin and provides so much healing moisture that I am a little blown away.  This isn’t a lip balm that you throw in your pocket.  It is definitely an overnight lip treatment mask.  The main ingredients are lanolin, agave nectar, and jojoba oil.  A little does a long way, and even though the tube is only half an ounce, I am sure that it would last for several months of daily use.  It is $26 on Sephora’s website, which is pretty hefty, but it just might be worth the splurge because it is wonderful.

MUA Professional Eyeshadow Palettes

MUA Professional Eyeshadow Palettes

Next up are the MUA Professional Eyeshadow Palettes.  If you haven’t seen my review and swatches of these palettes, be sure to check it out.  I have really been enjoying these MUA palettes.  The shades are lovely, and they have been so much fun to play with.  They are really nice for drugstore palettes.  MUA is only available at CVS here in the States.  There is a good chance that you can score these palettes on sale or with a coupon and I think that they are worth checking out.

LORAC Love, Lust & Lace Matte Eye Shadow Palette

LORAC Love, Lust & Lace Matte Eye Shadow Palette

Because the MUA palettes have no matte shades, I have been pairing them with the LORAC Love, Lust & Lace Matte Eye Shadow Palette.  This was one of the $12 Black Friday palettes that Lorac sells through Ulta every year.  I never got any of the Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes, but this one is the same idea.  There are five matte neutral shades, and this is a great palette to mix in with other palettes that may be missing these essential shades.  I know it is sold out on Ulta’s website, but may still be available at your local Ulta store.  If so, pick it up.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

I’ve been reaching for my Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose quite a bit.  I reviewed two of these Rose Powder Blushes from Milani over the summer, in case you missed it.  I love this shade.  It is a muted, nude rose shade in a similar color family to Tarte Exposed.  It is a very subtle color, but it looks gorgeous on the skin.  The look is minimal and natural, but beautiful.  And of course, I can’t mention this blush without talking about that beautiful embossed rose.  Even though I have used the blush a lot since I got it, the rose is still going strong.  It is a winner.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

You may remember the Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve that I was obsessed with last year.  Well I busted it out again, and reminded myself why I loved it so much.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  It is sort of a plum toned rose-gold shade with beautiful shimmer that doesn’t 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. You can see my review and swatches of both this blush and one of the bronzers here.

That does it for my favorites, now onto my 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.  And these next two products definitely did not work for me.

e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer

e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer

I reviewed the e.l.f. Daily Hydration Moisturizer, and I recommend that you read it because it isn’t necessarily a bad product.  It just didn’t work for me.  The packaging is frustrating, and there are definitely some issues in the formula, mostly that it does not contain SPF and it does have fragrance (though I did like the fresh scent).  I thought that the formula was nice and hydrating and it felt good on the skin.  The moisturizer broke me out, so ultimately I couldn’t use it, but I ended up giving it to a friend who liked it a lot.

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit

The biggest dud that I have tried in a while has to be the Ulta Artistry Eye Shadow Kit.  If you read my review, you know that these shadows were terrible.  There were a few decent shades, but overall the palettes lacked pigmentation and the formula varied wildly from shade to shade.  While some of the shimmer shades were nice, other shades were hard and chalky.  The blue toned palette was especially bad.  I did like the green toned palette, but not enough to make the kit worth it.  It was such a disappointment.

That’s it for my Favorites and Fails for November and December.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were some of your favorite items for the month?  Let me know in the comments below.  I am so excited by all of the new items that are releasing for Spring 2016.  I am trying to keep a tight reign on my spending because lord knows that I don’t need more makeup.  But there are some really interesting products popping up in the drugstore, plus all of the spring collections from prestige brands.  What new releases are you most excited for?  Have you gotten anything new for Spring 2016 that you want to tell me about?  Share with me in the comments.

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 for August 2015

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August Favorites

August Favorites

Hey everyone, I am back.  Last week kind of got away from me, so consequently I wasn’t able to post at all.  You know how it is sometimes.  Thanks for your patience.  But now I am here with my Monthly Favorites and Fails for August.  (How is it September already?  Good Lord, time is flying by!)  Late Summer is when I embrace my inner golden goddess and go for looks that lean heavily toward orange, gold, and bronze shades.  I am usually not a huge fan of highlighters, but this is the time of year when I give in to illumination and get all glowy.  So, let’s take a look at my August favorites.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

My first favorite is actually one that I don’t have to photograph.  This is the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation.  I got a couple of samples from Sephora and I have been using them up throughout the month.  I have heard a lot of good things about this foundation on Youtube, and I think it lives up to the hype.  I have really enjoyed the two samples that I received.  Born This Way has a lightweight, skin-like feel.  t feels like you aren’t wearing anything.  It builds to medium coverage, enough to hide my rosacea redness.  I am not one who usually buys higher end foundations because I think that there are several really good ones in the drugstore.  But, if you don’t mind shelling out the extra dollars, Born This Way is a very good option.

e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette

I have really been enjoying the e.l.f. Studio Contour Palette.  I have a full review coming for this product, so stay tuned for swatches and more details.  There is a good collection of shades in this palette that make it quite useful.  I like that the highlight shade is subtle and that there are both warm and cool shades.  When I purchased the palette online, I was initially concerned that the contour shade might be too dark, but it is much lighter than I thought that it would be, and a great shade for me.  I definitely think that the palette is worth picking up.

Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo in Tangerine Tease

Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo in Tangerine Tease

My absolute favorite product of the month has been my Sephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duo in Tangerine Tease.  OMG you guys, this is so gorgeous!  I picked up this blush for my birthday and have been loving it ever since.  I promised KK that I would review the two MicroSmooth Baked Blush Duos that I purchased, so a full review and swatches are on the way, but in the meantime I am just going to gush about how beautiful Tangerine Tease is.  It is just so glowy!  Tangerine Tease is this fiery orange unicorn kiss of illuminated loveliness.  (I know, I know- words, I haz them.)  But seriously, the first time I wore Tangerine Tease I could not stop looking at my face.  It is pure gorgeousness.  I will try to get the review up soon so that you can see swatches.

Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in Dancing Til Dusk

Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in Dancing Til Dusk

In my June favorites I mentioned the Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in A Midsummer’s Dream, and for August I have been reaching for Dancing Til Dusk.  These Sleek Eye & Cheek Palettes are really nice.  I have a haul post featuring swatches of the new Sleek Eye & Cheek Palettes.  Be sure to check it out to see how the shades swatch for the three Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette that I purchased.  Dancing Til Dusk has been exactly what I have been wanting to compliment my fiery Tangerine Tease cheeks.  It is a generally neutral palette, but that burnt coral blush makes a fantastic eye shadow shade up pump up an otherwise neutral eye look.  I think Sleek is under-appreciated here in the States.  Shipping is not that bad, and Sleek offers free shipping to the US (with a min. purchase) several times a year.  If you get a chance, you should definitely explore what Sleek has too offer.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

I am still loving Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara, and am on my second tube.  In a row.  That says a lot about how good it is.  Long fluttery lashes with no clumps is my preferred look, and Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara gives me what I need.  I have no issues with flaking or smudging.  Everyone has different needs and preferences with mascara, but I think it’s a great formula for me.  Maybelline has become my favorite drugstore brand for mascara, and Lash Sensational is a winner.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Honey

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Honey

And my final Favorite for August is Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Honey.  You all know by now how much I love Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments.  They are one of my favorite lip products on the market, and the only complaint I have for them is their ridiculous price.  This mini of Honey came in a holiday set.  It is a sheer warm nude, the perfect shade to accompany my golden/bronze looks throughout the month.  The formula is wonderfully moisturizing and truly lovely.  Be sure to keep an eye out for any value sets Fresh may be releasing for the upcoming Holiday season, because these Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments are totally worth it.

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.

Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector

Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector

The biggest disappointment of the month was the new Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector.  I wanted to like this product so much, but it was an utter fail for me.  The Putty Perfector is part of the new Fall 2015 collection from Stila, and it is a hybrid skin perfector that’s a traditional pressed powder and a cream foundation.  It’s a very unique product, which is why I had to try it.  Here is the blurb from Sephora: “Stila’s Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector offers the best of a traditional pressed powder and a cream foundation in one. This weightless, invisible formula features natural-looking coverage while it smoothes the look of skin, blurs imperfections, and can be worn alone, layered on top of foundation, or used for touch-ups on the go. Smudgeproof and waterproof, this foundation is long-lasting and ensures complexion perfection from morning to midnight.”  I had seen reviews that it could be used on all skin types, but that is false.  It clung to the dry patches on my skin, making them look flaky and gross.  I also think that I had a mild allergic reaction because both times that I used the Putty Perfector my skin got really itchy and I broke out.  I have seen some rave reviews on the Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector but for me, Stila failed with this one.  So sad.  I was really bummed by this one.

That is all for my August 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.  It still feels very much like Summer to me with our triple digit heat wave last week, but I am anxious to usher in the Fall.  Fall and Winter are my favorite seasons, and I can not wait for the temperature to ease up a little.  I will miss seeing the leaves change color this year, now that I am in So Cal where our trees are pretty steady.  Still, it is just around the corner and I am ready to welcome Fall in with open arms.  How about you?

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. :)