Category Archives: Milani

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.

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Review: Milani Rose Powder Blushes Plus the 2015 LE Collection

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Milani Rose Powder Blushes

Milani Rose Powder Blushes

I featured one of these Milani Rose Powder Blushes in my June favorites, and a couple of you asked for reviews and swatches, so here you go.  There have been a couple Limited Edition collections of these blushes from Summer 2013 and Spring 2014.  Milani made three shades permanent for Spring 2015, cherry picking from the previous collections.  There is also a Summer 2015 Limited Edition collection of three new shades available right now, but I will get to that later.  Right now, let’s talk about the permanent line.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

The Milani Rose Powder Blushes are absolutely gorgeous.  The three-dimensional rose embossing is so lovely and it is etched pretty deeply, so you don’t destroy the rose by actually, you know, using the blush.  (Don’t you hate it when that happens?)  The blushes themselves have a silky formula that manages stay soft without tipping over into the powdery category.  I find them very easy to apply and blend out.  They have good lasting power on me, though admittedly I don’t have oily skin.  Bottom line, I think this is a great blush.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Coral Cove

The three shades in the permanent Milani Rose Powder Blush line are Tea Rose, Romantic Rose, and Coral Cove.  I have the last two shades.  Romantic Rose is a mauve-y nude shade.  This is a gorgeous neutral shade, great for lighter skin tones.  Coral Cove is a bright Coral that can be sheered our or built up for a bold look.  It will look beautiful on a wide variety of skin tones.  Here is a swatch of the two.

(L) Romantic Rose and (R) Coral Cove

They are beautiful.  All three shades in the permanent collection have a matte finish.  I think that they would suit a huge variety of people, and you definitely need to check them out.  So, moving on from the permanent line, let’s talk about the new limited edition collection that has been released for this summer.

2015 LE Milani Rose Powder Blushes

2015 LE Milani Rose Powder Blushes

The new Limited Edition Collection of Milani Rose Powder Blushes are currently available in drugstores.  The three new shades are American Beauty Rose, Awakening Rose, and Blossomtime Rose.  These three shades are similar to the current permanent line, but instead of a matte finish, they have a subtle shimmer.  Milani has been available in CVS, but unfortunately CVS is transitioning Milani displays to e.l.f. displays and won’t be carrying the brand anymore.  (It’s great to see e.l.f. in more stores, but I hate that it is at the expense of such a good brand that is already so hard to find.)  So be sure to check you local stores soon before Milani disappears.  I am really interested to see how the shimmer version of these blushes perform.  If they are as good as the matte version, then I definitely need to pick up a couple.  I recommend the Milani Rose Powder Blushes, and if you don’t already have any of them, then you should look into them.  The permanent Milani Rose Powder Blushes are available online at milanicosmetics.com and in certain CVS, Walgreens, and Fred Meyer stores.

She Sells Sea Shells

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Shells and Stars Mani

Shells and Stars Mani

Today I have a cute Sea Shell and Starfish manicure to show you, courtesy of the Born Pretty Store.  This is the perfect mani for summertime.  Born Pretty sent me these Nail Stickers to review, and I think that they are adorable.  The clam shell and starfish designs look great, and they are so easy to apply that you get a super cute look in seconds.  Let’s take a closer look.

Shells and Stars Mail Stickers

Shells and Stars Mail Stickers

Shells and Stars Nail Stickers

Shells and Stars Nail Stickers

This is the sheet of 3D nail stickers that I received from Born Pretty.  These 3D stickers come in three different designs: all roses, all shells, and then this shell and starfish design.  Each design also comes in either silver gold or black.  I really liked the combination of shells and stars and it immediately inspired me to do this sea shell look.  I chose to use Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Mint Crush for a background shade because it is a lovely light blue.  Since the designs are simple stickers, as opposed to water decals for example, this look couldn’t be easier.  Simply peel the designs off the sheet and stick them on your nail.  I sealed them with a top coat to keep them in place, and they wore well for days.  I love that the stickers come on a clear sheet so you cam play around with placement and see what it will look like before you pull the sticker off its backing.  Also, despite being called “3D” the stickers are pretty flat and flexible.  They don’t stick up and leave a film on the nail like many cheap stickers do.  I was actually really impressed with the final result.  They looked very similar to water decals because they lay so flat.  I think these Shells and Stars Nail Stickers are great quality and perfect or a beginner with little to no nail art skills.

Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Mint Crush

Milani

I quickly wanted to talk about the Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Mint Crush.  This polish came to me free with my most recent Milani purchase, and I am really glad that I didn’t pay for it.  The color is gorgeous, but the formula is terrible.  It applies both thick and streaky at the same time (what?).  It took three coats to get it to even out, and even so it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.  I don’t know if this particular shade is problematic, or if the entire Color Statement Nail Lacquer is the issue- this is the only shade I have tried.  In general, though, I’d say to avoid the Color Statement Nail Lacquers and go with a different drugstore option.

Shells and Stars Mani

Shells and Stars Mani

Anyway, back to these nail stickers.  I think that they are great.  The sheets are currently on sale for $1.47, and I think that they are well worth it.  I used a little less than half the stickers on the sheet by using multiple stickers on each of my 10 nails.  So the stickers will last you at least two full manicures, and three or four if you are more sparing with them.  I’d say that they are a win.  I have several reviews for products that I have received from the Born Pretty Store, and you can see the other BPS reviews I have done by clicking on the Born Pretty Store link in the “Categories” section on the right hand side of the blog.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the Born Pretty Store is located in China, so shipping will take a while.  It is normal for orders to take 2-4 weeks to ship to the US, and in my experience, I have gotten most of my orders within 2-3weeks.  You should definitely plan ahead if you are ordering something time sensitive (like for a vacation or holiday items) and order them early.  Orders ship within 24 hours.  Check out the BPS website bornprettstore.com, or their facebook page for more details.  For 10% off any regular priced items from the website, use coupon code BBBK31.

BPS10offcode

FTC Disclosure: The product reviewed in this post was provided to me for free by Born Pretty Store for consideration.  This does not guarantee a positive review, and my thoughts on these products are 100% honest.  No other type of compensation was accepted.  I do not get any kick backs or compensation from any orders placed.

4th of July Haul: Michael Todd True Organics and Milani

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shopping

Haul time

Hello everyone, it’s haul time.  You have seemed to really like past hauls, so I thought that you might want to see what I purchased over the weekend for the 4th of July sales that were going on.  There were several sales happening, but I was pretty selective in my shopping.  The main thing that I actually needed was skin care, and boy did I take care of that need.  😉  I have a massive haul from Michael Todd True Organics and a much smaller haul from Milani to show you.  So let’s get started.

Michael Todd True Organics

Michael Todd True Organics

I have been obsessively stalking the Michael Todd True Organics facebook page, waiting for a sale.  Finally, on the 4th there was a 30% off flash sale and I pounced on it.  My skin has been changing from dry to more normal and I have always had an issue with large pores and minor acne even when it was bone dry, so I wanted to branch out a little in my choices.  I decided that the best bang for my buck would be to purchase two skincare regimens, which are already discounted.  They were out of the regimen for regular dry skin, so I got the Dry Sensitive Skin Regimen (which I have gotten before and loved) and the Normal/Combination Regimen.

Dry Sensitive Skin Regimen

Dry Sensitive Skin Regimen

The Dry Sensitive Skin Regimen comprises the following:

  • HONEY AND OAT gentle deep pore cleanser completely removes dirt, oil, makeup and other impurities without stripping the skin’s natural moisture. Oat Extract deep cleans and Honey adds back moisture. Rinses thoroughly without residue leaving skin feeling clean, soft, smooth and refreshed. 210ml / 7 fl oz
  • CRANBERRY ANTIOX TONER combination hydrating antioxidant toner, Formulated for dryer and more mature skin types. Cleans and restores the skin’s proper pH without the drying effects of alcohol. Cranberry and Antioxidant Vitamins help fight bacteria and environmental damage. Skin looks fresher and healthier and feels cool and refreshed. Prepares skin for serums and moisturizers. 250 ml / 8.4 fl oz
  • TROPICAL FRUIT SCRUB combination hydrating exfoliant scrub. Naturally fruity refreshing skin treatment that uses the power of Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes as a mild non-irritating exfoliant to remove dead skin, impurities and toxins without irritation caused by scrubbing. 96% Organic. Certified Vegan. 100 ml / 3.4 fl oz
  • HYDRATION BOOST Blue Green Alage and Hyaluronic Facial Serum.
  • INTENSIVE Organic Cream Eye Treatment with Haloxyl and Eyeliss treats the delicate skin of the under eye areas and eye lids. Whether you are looking to remove fine lines and wrinkles, reduce dark circles, eliminate puffiness or regenerate skin cells to keep yourself looking your best for years to come, INTENSIVE does it all. 15 ml / .5 fl oz
  • CHARCOAL detoxifying facial mask. Detoxifying skin treatment that uses the extra absorbent power of mineral rich Charcoal as it exfoliates to draw out impurities and toxins and clear the skin of excess oil, dirt and other pollutants. 100 ml / 3.4 fl oz
Normal/Combination Skin Regimen

Normal/Combination Skin Regimen

And here is what comes in the Normal/Combination Skin Regimen:

  • CLEANSE AND TONE 3 in 1 Make-up Remover, Cleanser and Toner specifically designed for those who are looking to simplify their skincare routine.  Save time on your skincare routine by cleansing, removing make-up and toning, all in one simple step.   210 ml / 7 fl oz
  • ANTIOX SERUM Concentrated antioxidant facial serum blended with DMAE and potent “universal antioxidant” Alpha Lipoic Acid to nourish the skin, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, repair past skin damage and fight future damage. Includes extracts of oranges, lemons and cranberries and essential oils of sweet orange, lemon, lime, tangerine and bergamot to soothe, moisturize and nourish.Gives skin a vibrant, healthy looking glow. 30ml / 1 fl oz
  • LIPOSOME ANTIOX SERUM A soothing cream moisturizer made with organic ingredients and liposomes to transport antioxidants deep into the skin to restore and maintain healthy skin, counteract sun damage and fight premature skin aging and wrinkles. Hyaluronic Acid (humectant) attracts moisture to the skin restoring the skin’s optimal moisture balance. DMAE firms and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 70 ml/ 2.4 fl oz
  • PUMPKIN Formulated with vitamin rich pumpkin and a blend of gentle exfoliants, PUMPKIN MASK dissolves dead dulling skin cells as it infuses fresh new skin with protective antioxidants and strengthening vitamins. PUMPKIN MASK is a weekly facial rejuvenating treatment that will leave skin glowing. 100 ml / 3.4 fl oz
  • INTENSIVE Organic Cream Eye Treatment with Haloxyl and Eyeliss treats the delicate skin of the under eye areas and eye lids. Whether you are looking to remove fine lines and wrinkles, reduce dark circles, eliminate puffiness or regenerate skin cells to keep yourself looking your best for years to come, INTENSIVE does it all. 15 ml / .5 fl oz
  • TROPICAL FRUIT SCRUB combination hydrating exfoliant scrub. Naturally fruity refreshing skin treatment that uses the power of Papaya and Pineapple Enzymes as a mild non-irritating exfoliant to remove dead skin, impurities and toxins without irritation caused by scrubbing. 96% Organic. Certified Vegan. 100 ml / 3.4 fl oz

So, I know have an army of skincare with only the Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment and the Tropical Fruit Scrub repeated.  I am thrilled to have more of the eye treatment.  The more the better in that department.  I am less interested in the Tropical Fruit Scrub, and don’t really need two of those, but overall I think that getting both regimens was a good choice for my skin needs.  I know that this looks like a lot, and it is, but with the discounts they were down to basically $10 each, a real steal.

Milani haul

Milani haul

Since I went so big on my skincare purchase, I kept my makeup purchases small and only shopped the Milani sale that I told you about here on the blog.  I have been meaning to try out the Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows that came out last year, but hadn’t gotten around to them.  I also was quite interested in the Milani Power Lip Gloss Stains.  Here is what I purchased:

  • Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in Bella Champagne, Bella Purple, Bella Khaki, and Bella Emerald
  • Anti-Feathering Lip Liner
  • Power Lip Lasting Gloss Stains in Pink Lemonade and Creamy Cafe
  • Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Mint Crush- Milani threw in a free nail polish with my order, and I was able to pick the shade.

That is it for my haul.  I am very impressed with both companies for getting my order to me so quickly, especially since shipping was free for both.  I ordered on Saturday the 4th, and they were both at my door today, Wednesday the 8th.  Did you shop the 4th of July sales over the weekend?  If so, I’d love to know what you got in the comments below.

 

Milani 4th of July Sale

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Milani Cosmetics

Milani Cosmetics

So guess what popped up on Milani’s Facebook page.  “We’re starting the July 4th celebration early!  Through July 7th, save 30% off your ENTIRE purchase from www.milanicosmetics.com. Just use the code HAPPY4TH at checkout.”  I think Milani is a really great brand that is often overlooked, and I have loved all of the Milani products that I have gotten in the past.  This is a great time to pick up some of those Rose Powder Blushes that I mentioned in my Favorites post.  If you still haven’t tried the Milani Baked Blushes, stop what you are doing and go buy them right now.  I especially recommend Rose D’Oro and Luminoso.  I am definitely going to finally grab some Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadows that I have heard so much about, and possibly some lip products.  Milani always offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more, so have fun and happy shopping!

Monthly Favorites, June 2015

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June 2015 Favorites

June 2015 Favorites

It’s Monthly Favorites time!  I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy reading Favorites posts and watching Favorites videos on Youtube.  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 got some lifestyle favorites to include this month in addition to the usual beauty favorites, so let’s gt started.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

My first favorite was a bit of a surprise.  This is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in the shade Fair-Light Neutral.  The foundation came in a Tarte kit that I purchased in May.  I don’t usually use powder foundation.  I feel like I need more coverage than most powder foundations give because of my rosacea redness.  But, since I had it already, I figured that I’d give it a try.  I am so glad that I did.  The Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation lives up to its name.  It has great coverage, and I can actually wear it alone (over primer) and be totally comfortable with how well it conceals my redness.  It is very finely milled, and gives my skin a slightly soft focused look.  It doesn’t dry me out at all.  This is a pretty heavy swatch so that it could show up on camera.  Obviously you wouldn’t apply the powder this thickly, but you can see how opaque it is.  I am not a connoisseur of powder foundation, so I am going to share what Tarte has to say: “It’s like airbrushing without the air! Powered by Amazonian clay and infused with natural, light-reflecting gemstones, this unique waterproof foundation gives skin rich dimension while invigorating the complexion for a youthful-looking appearance. The full coverage, weightless powder formula is offered in a range of skin-matching shades and lasts for 12 hours. Using the unique, custom mesh delivery system, simply pick up and buff on just the right amount of moisture-rich powder for a flawless airbrushed effect while allowing skin to breathe.”  I still prefer liquid foundation as my go-to, but have been enjoying the Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation so much more than I thought that I would.  I really like it a lot, and if you are in the market for a powder foundation, you may want to give Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation a try.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light

Next up is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light.  I mentioned in my previous post that I had one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders.  If you missed it, here is the description of the powders: “Ambient Lighting Powder is a groundbreaking collection of finishing powders that capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on skin. Unlike traditional powders, which merely cloak imperfections, Ambient Lighting Powder utilizes photoluminescent technology to filter out harsh light and refine the appearance of the complexion. The powders deliver a multidimensional luminescence to every skintone, making it appear softer and lit from within. The finishing powders enhance skin in any type of light, including flash photography. With three universal shades available in the Ambient palette, you can create any desired effect.”  I have had this powder for a while now, but I use it very sparingly.  Even though I love how it looks, it is so expensive that I don’t want to use it up.  Lately, however, I decided that I was being a bit stupid taking this Fine China approach to it.  Why have it if I’m not going to use it, y’know?  So I have been using it a lot more, and am really enjoying it.  I have the shades Diffused Light, which is described as “A soft, warm, pale yellow powder that conceals redness and gives skin clarity—like a soft ray of morning light.”  The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are pricey, but they are beautiful.

ColourPop Supershock Blushes

ColourPop Supershock Blushes

Anyone who read my review of the ColourPop Supershock Blushes shouldn’t be surprised to find them here in my Favorites post.  They are pigmented.  They apply smoothly and evenly.  They are really beautiful, and they are reasonably priced.  You should definitely check out my review to see swatches of theses shades and to get more details about the formula.  All in all, though, ColourPop Supershock Blushes are the bomb.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose

When I wasn’t using ColourPop, I’ve been using the Milani Rose Powder Blush in Romantic Rose.  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 oh so lovely.  And of course, I can’t mention this blush without talking about that beautiful embossed rose.  It’s the kind of product that you want to keep out because it’s so pretty to look at.  Bottom line, you need this in your life.

*I have a question for you.  I finally bought two shades of this Milani Rose Powder Blush, and I am debating doing a full review.  I know that they have been out for a while now, but it took me until this past month to finally get them.  Let me know in the comments below if you want a review and swatches of the Milani Rose Powder Blushes or if you think I should skip them.

Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in A Midsummer's Dream

Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in A Midsummer’s Dream

My final beauty favorite this month is the Sleek Eye & Cheek Palette in A Midsummer’s Dream.  You may remember the haul I did featuring swatches of the new Sleek Eye & Cheek Palettes.  Be sure to check it out to see how the sades swatch and to see the other palettes.  I know that A Midsummer’s Dream looks like a good palette for late summer/early fall, but something about this palette has been so appealing to me lately.  I have really been loving playing the cool gray and the warm coral off each other.  That matte blush actually makes an excellent shadow.  I’ve gotten both subtle and pretty dramatic looks with this palette, and both approaches look great.  I definitely recommend it, especially for those in the UK who can get Sleek easier than we can here in the States.

Now, onto my non-beauty favorites.  I don’t do this every month, but sometimes there are things that I really want to share with you that aren’t beauty products.

Archer Farms Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookie Snack Bites

Archer Farms Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookie Snack Bites

So I was Target one day, and I came across these Archer Farms Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookie Snack Bites.  OMG you guys, these are so freaking good.  I am a peanut butter monster, and these Snack Bites are perfect.  They have peanut butter chips, chocolate pieces, peanut butter candies, and cookie pieces all rolled together in a delicious snack bite.  They are sweet and dense, so only a couple bites are necessary to satisfy.  If you like peanut butter treats, you have to try them.

My final Favorite for June is Ingrid Nilsen’s (missglamorazzi) coming out video.  I have been subscribed to Ingrid’s channel for several years now and watch off and on. With over three million subscribers, if you are a part of the Youtube beauty community at all, you have probably heard of her.  Ingrid came out earlier this month, and I think that this video is actually really important for several reasons, not the least of which is the huge platform that she has to say that it is perfectly fine and normal to be gay.  I am going to try to be brief as I explain why I think this video is so great.

  • Even within the LGBT+ community, there are stereotypes and boxes that people get forced into, and that is nothing to what stereotypes they face in our heteronormative society.  Ingrid is a cute, femme, girly kind of girl who loves makeup and fashion.  Just like NFL player Michael Sam who shattered the expected boxes of what a gay man (supposedly) looks like, Ingrid shows that a lesbian can come in every shape and size, even with curly hair and petite lace dresses.
  • In the video, Ingrid explained how hard it was for her to be honest about her sexuality because of her fears of not being accepted and loved by family and friends who were not okay with gays.  She talks earnestly about how miserable she was as she tried to deny her feelings and how she felt that she didn’t deserve love.  The target audience for her channel is on the younger side, so she has many viewers that are still trying to figure out who they are.  I think that it is so important for them to see someone who may have had the same struggles that they are dealing with so that they know that they are not alone.  Also, when Ingrid talks about learning to love herself and the warm reception she got from her true friends when she came out to them, I think it sends a clear message that it gets better.  You can clearly see how relieved she is and how happy she is to finally be living an authentic life.  Her video has been viewed over 9,000,000 times There are so many young people getting the message “I’ve been there. I know it hurts, but it gets better.”
  • Because Ingrid tried to force herself to be straight for a while, she has had boyfriends and relationships that were public on youtube.  I think it is great that she addresses this in her video.  Sometimes I think people are so quick to dismiss another person’s truth just because they have had a past.  Yes, she has dated men.  No, that doesn’t mean that this is a “gay phase” or that she doesn’t have a right to call herself a lesbian.  No one has the right to define someone else.  Going back to my first point, in this area as well, Ingrid is busting out of the boxes other people are trying to put her in.  I think that’s great.

That’s it for my June Favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What have you been loving in the last month?  Let me know in the comments below.

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.  🙂