Tag Archives: Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

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.

14 Best of 2014

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Best of 2014

Best of 2014

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

Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer

Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer

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

The Body Shop Honemania

The Body Shop Honeymania

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

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer

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

Sigma E-36 Blending Brush

Sigma E36 Blending Brush

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

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation & Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation & Revlon Nearly Naked Powder

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

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

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

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

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

Lorac Pro Palette 2

Lorac Pro Palette 2

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

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow

bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow

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

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

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

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

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment

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

Nivea Kiss of... Lip Care

Nivea Kiss of… Lip Care

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

Born Pretty Store Water Decals

Born Pretty Store Water Decals

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

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia fragrance

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia fragrance

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

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

Monthly Favorites September 2014

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Monthly Favorites September 2014

Monthly Favorites September 2014

It is Monthly Favorites time again.  September has come and gone, so I have rounded up my favorites to share.  For those of you who are new to the blog, “Monthly Favorites” feature those products that particularly stood out to me and ones that I reached for over and over throughout the month.  I didn’t wear a ton of makeup through September because I was laid out for two weeks because of my back problems.  I still ended up gravitating to a few products pretty much every time I did wear makeup, though, so those are the items I have to show you.

Sleek Sunset palette

Sleek Sunset palette

First up, I have my Sleek Sunset palette. I did an Eye of the Day post a couple weeks ago using some of the blush colored shades in this palette.  I have been loving the shades in this palette for some warm, romantic looks to transition into Fall.  I do wish that there was a little bit more variation in the palette, because the shades can look very similar on the eye.  Overall, however, I love the colors, and really enjoy the Sunset palette, especially paired with less shimmery shades.  Which brings me to my next favorite.

Coastal Scents Go palette in Beijing

Coastal Scents Go palette in Beijing

I busted out the Coastal Scents Go palette in Beijing to pair with the Sleek Sunset palette, and to wear on it’s own.  The pinks and mauves in this palette have really been appealing to me lately.  I used to avoid a pink and purple color palette on my eyes, but over the last year or so I have been going in that direction more often and am loving it.  Coastal Scents shadows are pigmented and smooth.  I have a couple of the 88 shade palettes and they are great too.  I also love how affordable CS palettes are, and how often they offer bundles and sales.  I think that the Go plattes are a great bargain.

NYX CoQ10 Renew Skin Elixir

NYX CoQ10 Renew Skin Elixir

I have been testing the new NYX CoQ10 Renew Skin Elixir and will have a full review soon.  In the meantime, however, I am including it in my favorites because I love the formula.  NYX claims that the coenzyme Q10 boosts radiance and vibrancy.  I still need more time to test that theory, but I like the way it primes my skin and the look that it gives me.  It is lightweight and feels great, and I like the fresh scent that it has.  It’s a good option.

L’Oreal Color Caresse Shine Stain Lip Color in Everlasting Caramel

L’Oreal Color Caresse Shine Stain Lip Color in Everlasting Caramel

On my lips I have been reaching for L’Oreal Color Caresse Shine Stain Lip Color in Everlasting Caramel.  I’ve been using it as a base stain and then topping it with something more moisturizing because I find the Shine Stains a bit drying.  The staining effect works pretty well, though, and I love the color it gives me.  I like Everlasting Caramel as a base under tinted lip balms like my Maybelline Baby Lips or my next favorite.

Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Tint

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment

I can’t get enough of the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments  I’ve been reaching for Rose more often lately, but I like the whole line.  They are so incredibly hydrating!  They feel so good on the lips.  Rose has a very sheer rose hue, that gives my lips just a touch of life.  It works great over another color to add some moisture.  This is the mini version because the full size it a bit pricey for my taste.  I prefer to get my Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments in value packs.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve

Finally, my last favorite for September is the Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve.  If you were reading me earlier this Spring, then you may remember that I really loved the Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  Mauve has definitely become one of my favorite blushes in my collection.  Mauve is sort of a plum toned rose-gold shade.  It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great.  And a little goes a really long way, so I’ll have this blush for a long time.  Love it.

L-R Everlasting Caramel, Rose, Mauve

L-R Everlasting Caramel, Rose, Mauve

Though I didn’t swatch the eyeshadow palettes because that would have been too much, here are swatches of the other color cosmetics.  From left to right: L’Oreal Color Caresse Shine Stain Lip Color in Everlasting Caramel, Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, and Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve.  September was a tough month for me because of my back issues.  I’m all better now, thank you.  I am so extremely happy that Fall has arrived, though.  It’s still warmer than I’d like, but I know sweater weather is just around the corner.  The leaves are changing and starting to fall from the trees.  Halloween is fast approaching.  I have some ideas for Halloween tutorials, but let me know if you have any specific requests.  Do you know what you are going to be for Halloween yet?  Let me know in the comments below.  And tell me what were your favorites for September.

February 2014 Monthly Favorites

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February 2014 Favorites

February 2014 Favorites

It’s the last day of February, and you know what that means- it’s time for my Monthly Favorites.  For those of you who are 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.  To be honest, February was kind of a blur.  I feel like maybe I was on auto-pilot for some of the time because I am not getting as clear an impression of the month as a whole as I usually do.  I’ve been under a lot of stress and I’m having a hell of a time with my insomnia.  You know how it is sometimes, just going through the motions day after day.  Sleep deprivation had a lot to do with it.  Nonetheless, I do have some favorites that made an impression, so let’s get into it.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve

In case you couldn’t tell by the rave I gave it in my previous post, I really loved the Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve.  It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well.  Mauve has definitely become one of my favorite blushes in my collection.  I find that I am less of a fan of pink blushes.  I like less traditional shades like bright coral or plum.  Mauve fits right in with that.  It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great.  You should definitely check it out, especially because Maybelline is so often Buy one Get one 50% off at Ulta and certain drugstores.

Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon

Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon

Last month I showed you Nivea Kiss of Milk & Honey in my favorites.  This month I have the Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon.  I love this line of lip balms!  They are creamy without being waxy, and so moisturizing.  Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon has a subtle herbal scent that is simply lovely.  It’s a very unassuming scent, so it doesn’t get in the way.  Just like Kiss of Milk & Honey, Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon feels fantastic and leaves my lips hydrated and very happy.  The lightweight formula is comfortable and works so well at keeping my lips healthy.  Love it!

NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer

NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer

I discovered the NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer and have really been enjoying it.  My favorite primer is Smashbox Photo Finish, and this NYX primer is very similar, but only a fraction of the cost.  It’s very smooth and wears well.  I’m not going to go into too much detail right now because I plan on doing another Battle of the Drugstore Primers soon, but just know that NYX Studio Perfect Photo Loving Primer is fantastic, and well worth a try.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask

Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask has been a lifesaver this month.  According to paulaschoice.com: “This rich cream mask calms redness, stops flakes, and rekindles the glow.”  The combination of experimenting with skincare (more on that later) and the cold temperatures requiring us to let the heater run so much made my skin super dry and flaky.  No bueno.  The Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask is one of the strangest “masks” I’ve ever used.  It’s a thick cream like a heavy moisturizer that should be left on the skin for at last 20 minutes, or you can also use it as an actual moisturizer overnight.  It doesn’t feel sticky or greasy, absorbs easily into the skin, and works like a moisturizer, so that’s how I have been using it.  The difference in my skin is obvious.  Within two days, my skin looked noticeably healthier and felt much better.  If you have issues with dry skin, I definitely recommend the Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask.  The only down side is that you have to order online.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia

I have been loving my new Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia rollerball.  I wanted a perfume that was a little more sophisticated than the scents that I usually go toward (Juicy, Ed Hardy) but not too heavy.  What’s great about Acqua di Gioia is that it still smells fresh and clean, but with a grown up sophistication.  It is an aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes.  The scent reminds me of a villa in the Mediterranean, so beautiful.  I can see myself wearing this constantly during spring and summer.  Love it!

Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber

Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber

This month I pulled out my Bath and Body Works Sensual Amber Body Lotion and Shower Gel.  It’s is such a lovely and sexy fragrance.  Bath and Body Works describes Sensual Amber as: “The exotic scent of lotus petals enveloped by golden amber and blended with succulent plum and creamy sandalwood.”  This isn’t a year-round scent for me because it is a little more perfume-y than most B&BW scents, but I love it for late summer/early fall, and also late winter.  It’s a great scent for February, especially around Valentines Day.  Sensual Amber is a warm, seductive scent, but not so heavy that I feel weighed down by it.  I really like it.

Lorde Pure Heroine

Lorde Pure Heroine

My final favorite is a lifestyle favorite.  I’m a bit late to the party, but I’ve been obsessed with Lorde’s Pure Heroine album.  Beyond just “Royals” which is a great song, the album as a whole has a cool, indie-pop sound with witty, intelligent lyrics.  The extended version has six additional songs from The Love Club.  It’s a really good album and probably 90% of what I’ve been listening to this month.  It’s hard to believe that Ella Yelich-O’Connor  is so young and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

That’s it for my February favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  If you have used any of these products, I’d love to know your thoughts.   Leave me a comment below.  And let me know what your favorites were for February.  I am looking forward to March.  I think I am getting my sleep under control, so fingers crossed I will have better luck with it next month.  Things are slowly moving forward with our upcoming move and we still don’t have details like where and when.  The going theory is that we will be moving in late summer, like August or September.  Having a work-related move with the company relocating us is a lot different than our previous moves and a lot more stressful.  We should be getting more details soon, though, so I am hopeful and excited.  It seems that winter is pretty much over in these parts.  I will miss it when it’s gone.  I have really loved the cold temperatures and snowy weather.  Call me crazy, but winter is my favorite time of year, and I’ve enjoyed it.  I can see spring peaking around the corner, trying to take its place.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer

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Maybelline Master Hi Light Blush and Bronzer

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer

I finally have my review for the new Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer as promised.  The Master Hi-Light Blushes recently came out as part of Maybelline’s Spring 2014 collection along with the Master Glaze Blush Sticks.  Though the Blush sticks look pretty cool, I was immediately drawn to the Master Hi-Light Blushes because of the beautiful basket weave design and gorgeous color combinations.  I am a sucker for pretty products, and these are very, very pretty.

Maybelline Master Hi Light Blush and Bronzer

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer

The Master Hi-Light Blushes are described as: “Light diffusing Face Studio Master Hi-Light blush and bronzer formulas have an expert balance of shade and shimmer illuminator for natural glow. Skin goes soft lit with zero glitz.”  Make no mistake, these are shimmer products.  The name “Hi-Light” is a really good indicator of what you are going to get.  These are illuminating blush/highlighter combo products, which I actually really love.  I like shimmery blushes because it saves me from having to use separate highlighting products that are often way too shimmery for my taste (theBalm Mary Lumanizer, I’m talking to you).  There are four blushes and two bronzers as part of the permanent collection, though Maybelline did release a Limited Edition Master Hi-Light blush and (I think) bronzer in the new Dare to Go Nude Collection.  The LE shade is in Natural, I believe, and it’s a nude-ish champagne shade as to be expected.  I don’t have information for the LE bronzer.  The four permanent blush shades are Nude, Pink Rose, Coral, and Mauve.  The two bronzers are Light Bronze and Deep Bronze.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

I chose to get the blush in Mauve and the bronzer in Deep Bronze.  I loved the shades in both.  Mauve is a warm plum-toned mauve shade with a lot of champagne shimmer.  The blush is finely milled so that the shimmer isn’t over-powering and it blends really well, but not so finely milled that it doesn’t stick to the cheek.  Depending on the brush that you use, there may be a lot of fall-out.  I prefer a duo-fiber stipple brush (e.l.f.’s as a matter of fact) for almost all of my blushes, so I didn’t have much of a fall-out issue, but it really does depend on what you use.  When I swatched the blushes (below) I used the brush that comes in the bottom compartment (it’s the flip up type of packaging) and there was a ton of fall-out, so I definitely don’t recommend using that brush.

Maybelline Master Hi Light Bronzer in Deep Bronze

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Bronzer in Deep Bronze

Deep Bronze is a warm, golden bronze shade.  Again, the Master Hi-Light blushes and bronzers are quite shimmery, so I wouldn’t recommend Deep Bronze for contouring.  It’s a great bronzer shade, though, especially if you have medium or dark skin.  I can’t wait for summer when I have a little more color because this will be excellent on the cheek as a blush for that golden bronze look that is so popular during the summer months.  There is a lot of red in this shade, so it’s more suited for those with neutral or warm undertones in their skin.

Mauve on the left and Deep Bronze on the right

Mauve on the left and Deep Bronze on the right

Here is an extremely concentrated swatch of the two shades.  Obviously you wouldn’t wear them this heavy on the cheek.  But I wanted to show you what they look like when you swirl your finger across all the shades in each product.  Mauve is on the left, and you can really see the champagne and gold blending with the berry and plum shade to create this gorgeous deep rose gold color.  Deep Bronze on the right looks like a molten copper as the two gold shades mix with the brick and dark brown.  Very beautiful.  You can also see that the shimmer is very fine and not chunky glitter at all.

Maybelline Master Hi Light Blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve

Here is Mauve blended out on the back of my hand.  It is such a unique shade in my opinion.  This is two layers, so you can wear it more sheer if you have a lighter skin tone.  You can also build up the shade even more, but two thin layers are prefect for me.  It wears very well, and didn’t fade on me at all throughout the day.  It is a lightweight product and did not look powdery or patchy.  I was a little concerned that the color wouldn’t be even because of the basket weave, but it looked smooth and even with no single shade sticking out more than the others.

Maybelline Master Hi Light in Deep Bronze

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Bronzer in Deep Bronze

Here is Deep Bronze.  It applied just as well as Mauve, and is a beautiful warm tan.  The only caution I have for Deep Bronze is that it may pull orange on certain skin tones, so I’d avoid it if you have cooler undertones.  Otherwise, it will look lovely.  Again, this is two layers and the shade can be worn more sheer or built up for bolder color as desired.

Maybelline Master Hi Light Blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush in Mauve

Here is a pic of me wearing Mauve so you can see what it looks like on the skin.  I am realy impressed with the Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer based on these two shades.  The illuminating sheen that these products provide is simply beautiful, and the cute basket weave design looks pretty in your collection.  I definitely think that you should check them out for yourself.  As an added bonus, as you saw in this post, you can also use these products as eyeshadow palettes.  Both the blush and the bronzer have great shades that work well together on the eyes.  The shades in the Mauve blush are what is on my eyes in the picture above.  I can’t say enough good things about it.  Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer get two thumbs up in my book.

EOTD: Sweet Valentine’s Look

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Sweet Valentine's Look

Sweet Valentine’s Look

Friday is Valentine’s Day and my husband, who couldn’t wait, gave me an early Valentine’s present with the Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve.  I’ve had the blush and one of the bronzers for about a week now, and will be doing a full review later this week.  In the meantime, though, I wanted to post this Eye of the Day.  I loved the colors in Mauve, and thought that they would make really beautiful eyeshadows.  I had planned on doing a golden-pink Eye of the Day for a soft Valentine’s Day look anyway, and this fit really well for that.  I played around a little and took pictures to post.  The lighting is a little warmer than usual because it was starting to get dark outside and I had to use indoor lighting.  I hope you enjoy.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve

This is Mauve.  I’m a sucker for pretty things, and I could not resist.  I’m on a limited “no-buy” for the year because of our move, so I didn’t want to buy them for myself, but I kept talking about them.  The Hubs listened, and he got me Mauve and Deep Bronze.  They are so pretty!  I have been using Mauve everyday since I got it, but need to play with Deep Bronze a little more before the review.

Sweet Valentine's Look

Sweet Valentine’s Look

For the eye look, I applied the golden shade all over the lid, followed by the light champagne shade to the brow bone and the inner corner.  I used the cranberry shade in the crease, which was pretty warm, so I applied the dark mauve shade over it do deepen it up and give it some dimension.  This look is supposed o be sweet and light for those who don’t do smoky eyes and I think that it works really well for that.  This is totally appropriate for day to night if you are going out right after work for drinks with the girls or dinner with your sweetie.

Sweet Valentine's Look

Sweet Valentine’s Look

I lined my eyes with a combo of black and brown shadow just go give my eye some definition and darken my lash line.  You can definitely do more with liner, but again, I wanted to keep it sweet and simple.  I use Maybelline the Rocket mascara.

Sweet Valentine's Look

Sweet Valentine’s Look

I hope that you like the look.  I am planning to do a bolder, darker Valentine’s look later this week, but it depends on how the weather treats me.  I use natural light for my pictures, so if it’s dark outside, I have a hard time getting good shots.  We are having a winter storm for the next couple of days, so I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can get a look up.  I know the lighting in these shots was different than usual, but was it alright?  I’d really appreciate the feedback on that.  I don’t want to do a EOTD or a tutorial if you can’t really see it, so let me know in the comments below what you think.