Tag Archives: monthly beauty favorites

Monthly Favorites for August 2014

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August favorites

August favorites

August is now over, so it’s Monthly Favorites time.  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.  Let me just get it out there right now: I am so thrilled that summer is almost over.  I know that some of you love summer, and I am sorry, but I can’t wait for Fall to settle in.  School is back in session, we are starting to see the new Fall collections, and summer is on the way out.  Happy day.  You will definitely be able to see my longing for Fall in my makeup favorites this month, especially when it comes to lip products.  After a couple months of bright corals, greens, and bronzes, darker shades are starting to creep in.  But enough of my yapping, let’s get started.

Lorac Pro Palette 2

Lorac Pro Palette 2

My number one favorite thing the entire month (from the middle of July, really) is the Lorac Pro Palette 2.  I love it!  I think it is even better than the first one.  I know that some of you are waiting for a review, and I will be getting to it soon.  Just know that it is really great, and completely worth it.  I am getting a ton of use out of it, and will continue to do so as we move into Fall.  I promise to get my review up soon so that you can see swatches and get more details, but seriously, this palette is so good.

Wet n Wild Blue Wants to be a Millionaire

Wet n Wild Blue Wants to be a Millionaire

I had forgotten how awesome Wet n Wild Blue Wants to be a Millionaire is.  As you can see, this bottle has been well-loved, but I hadn’t pulled it out in a really long time until this month.  It is very hard to capture on camera, but there are multicolored iridescent micro-glitters in the polish that make it sparkle like a treasure trove.  Wet n Wild’s Fast-Dry formula does indeed dry very quickly.  Blue Wants to be a Millionaire is on the sheer side, so two coats will still give you a visible nail line, but I kind of like that with this polish.  Three coats make it totally opaque.  For swatches, see this post.

theBalm Hot Mama Blush

theBalm Hot Mama Blush

I have been keeping it light and girly on my cheeks with theBalm Hot Mama Blush.  (It is still summer, after all.)  Hot Mama is a light peach shade with gold shimmer.  It is gorgeous, and flattering on so many different skin tones.  It’s in that NARS Orgasm family, but less pink and more peach.  The gold is definitely shimmer, not glitter, and leaves a healthy sheen, as opposed to a sparkle.  It is a beautiful blush.

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment

If you saw my birthday haul, you know that I got the Fresh Sugar Lip Service set including the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment.  I really like the Fresh Sugar line.  I find them so moisturizing and healing, and I love that subtle lemon scent.  The Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment is the clear one, so it is perfect as an overnight lip treatment.  My lips feel soft and supple from using this treatment.  It is more expensive than I like to spend on lip treatments, but it is wonderful.

NYX Lip Liner Pencils

NYX Lip Liner Pencils

For some reason I have been very interested in my lip liners lately, even though I’m not wearing a lot of lipstick.  I’ve been using the NYX Lip Liner Slim Pencils under glosses and balms to bump up the color.  The two that I have been reaching for the most are Ever and Auburn.  Ever is a mauve-toned, dark nude.  Auburn is a berry shade.  These are simple pencil liners, but they have a smooth formula that doesn’t tug and great pigmentation.

L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayons

L’Oreal Glossy Balm Crayons

My final favorite that I can’t seem to get enough of is the L’Oreal Glossy Balms.  I reviewed them here, in this post.  I truly love the L’Oreal Glossy Balm formula, so much so that they stand out over the 50 million other balm crayons out there.  I have been wearing all three, but Vintage Rose has been a particularly good choice to go over those liners that I mentioned.  They are not super glossy, but they are extremely moisturizing.  I don’t think that they are limited edition, so be sure to pick up a couple when you see them.

Those are my favorites for the month of August.  My lips are going darker and I’m using cooler tones on my eyes.  I have also opted for boots instead of sandals on more than one occasion.  You know where my heart lies.  I know that there are still a good, solid three weeks left to Summer, and I hope that you make the most of them if you are a Summer lover.  What were some of your August favorites?  Are you still in full sun goddess mode, or are you transitioning to Fall like I am?  Let me know in the comments below.  I have big things happening in my life, and big plans for the Fall and Winter seasons.  How about you?  Are you looking forward to Fall?

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July 2014 Favorites

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Monthly Favorites for July 2014

Monthly Favorites for July 2014

It’s the first day of August, so you know what that means.  It’s Monthly Favorites time!  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.  July was a lot of fun.  I celebrate my birthday all month long, and my niece came in from out of town, so I was pretty busy and there were several nice dinners out.  I did a lot of experimenting with makeup this month, so my favorites were a little harder to narrow down because there was so much variety.  These were the products that anchored my looks.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner

First, let’s start with skincare.  I ran out of my Michael Todd Cranberry Antioxidant Toner, so I went back to the Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner.  I remembered really liking it, so I wanted to give it another chance.  What I like about it is that it is really gentle, alcohol free, fragrance free, and lanolin free.  It’s a basic, gentle toner formulated for sensitive skin.  When push comes to shove, I do prefer the Michael Todd Cranberry Antioxidant Toner, but it is $18.  The Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Refreshing Toner is less than $5.00 at Target, and does it’s job very well.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia  and Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia and Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance

I have been really into perfumes lately, and have been trying to remember to apply a different scent every day.  The two scents that I am just loving are Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia  and Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance.  Oh my god, you guys, they smell so good!  I like rollerballs because I can have many fragrances without having to invest in an entire bottle.  Acqua di Gioia is probably my absolute favorite scent right now.  It is a fresh, clean, aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes.  It transports me to the Mediterranean, and I can’t get enough of it.  Also, I smelled the men’s version recently and it is just as divine.  I may have to pick it up for the Hubs.  Midnight Romance is a little heavier.  It is really a beautiful fragrance that is feminine, sexy, and sophisticated.  Feminine florals combine with a little bergamot and black vanilla and a slight touch of berry that keeps it from going too dark and heavy (without turning fruity).  I fully recommend both of these fragrances.  They are not similar, but they are equally fabulous.

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic

So, we need to talk about Coastal Scents Forever Blushes for a moment.  They are so good!  I have a full review coming for the seven shades that I purchased during the last half off sale, but I had to mention Poetic in my favorites post because I have been really loving it.  Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish.  It is gorgeous, and so great for this time of year.  I tend to stick to blushes with a brown-ish undertone in the summer, and Poetic is lovely.  The Forever Blush formula applies smoothly and they blushes are crazy pigmented.  I will definitely be reviewing them soon.

 

NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler

NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler

For lips, just like last month, I am still loving bright orange and coral.  I am also still loving the NYX Butter Gloss, this time in Peach Cobbler.  I have been really impressed with the Butter Gloss formula, and find them very comfortable to wear.  Peach Cobbler is a fiery red-orange shade that really pops.  It is a great summer shade.  I am not usually a gloss lover, but NYX really won me over with these Butter Glosses.

Nivea Kiss of Cherry Lip Balm

Nivea Kiss of Cherry Lip Balm

Next up is the Nivea Kiss of Cherry.  When I didn’t have bright lips on, I went very natural with this tinted lip balm.  It feels just like a regular Nivea lip balm, which are my favorites, but it has just the slightest light red tint to it.  The effect is just enough to brighten your face up a little, but it is extremely sheer.  The lightweight formula is so comfortable and works so well at keeping my lips healthy.  I do wish that the color was a little less subtle, but I am still enjoying it.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

Last but not least, is Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer.  Summer is the time when bronzing is at it’s peak for me.  Chocolate Soleil is a medium matte brown that looks great as a contour shade.  It isn’t too warm like some bronzers can be, and it doesn’t give you that odd orange cast.   And yes, it does smell very convincingly like chocolate.  Yum!  This is a deluxe sample size, but I can definitely see myself purchasing the full size when I am out.  If you have very fair skin, Milk Chocolate Soleil would be a better shade for you than the original.  Otherwise, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is a very good choice.

July 2014 Favorites swatches

July 2014 Favorites swatches

Here is a swatch of the color cosmetics items mentioned in this post.  Everything looks pretty spot on, except that the Nivea Kiss of Cherry Lip Balm is pulling very cool toned next to that fiery NYX Lip Butter.  (Natural lighting, what can you do, you know?)  It looks almost berry in this shot, but in real life it is more red.  It is definitely that sheer, though.  I hoped that you liked my favorites for July and saw something that sparked your interest.  What were your favorites this past month?  I am a little sad that July is over.  I had such a good Birthday month.  I am excited that we are progressing through summer rather quickly, though.  It is my least favorite time of year, but I love fall and winter.  August can not go by fast enough for me.  On the horizon are more giveaways as we celebrate three years of doing this blog.  My three-year Blogiversary is August 12, so keep an eye out for good stuff coming your way.

Monthly Favorites for May 2014

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May Favorites

May Favorites

May is almost over, which means that it is Monthly Favorites time!  For those of you who are new to the blog, Monthly Favorites are those products that I reached for over and over or particularly stood out to me throughout the month.  I’ve been wearing a lot of neutral makeup the last couple months, (you know I love my taupes) but in May I took advantage of the spring season and wore a lot of green, pinks and corals.  I have also been trying to get better at masking.  It’s hard for me to remember to do it regularly, but I am tying to mask once or twice a week.  But, I am getting ahead of myself, so let’s get into the products.

KMS California Hair Stay

KMS California Hair Stay Style Boost

Shockingly enough, I have a favorite for hair this month.  My hair is stick straight and uncooperative, so I was very impressed to discover KMS California Hair Stay Style Boost.  This product made a huge difference for me.  My hair usually is so straight that any curl or body I try to put in it starts falling out before I have even left the house, no matter what I use.  With KMS California Hair Stay Style Boost on the other hand, my style has a fighting chance and actually stays put for hours.  It has a very unique formula.  You spray it in your hand like a mousse, but it doesn’t have a mousse like formula.  It’s a lot lighter, and it crackles up and starts to shrink.

KMS California Hair Stay Style Boost

You can see the bubbles burst as the crackle gets going.  Very strange.  KMS California Hair Stay Style Boost doesn’t leave my hair sticky, crunchy, or heavy.  It has a pretty lightweight feel.  It makes my hair appear a little thicker than normal and makes a huge impact on staying power.  If you have straight hair that doesn’t want to do anything, then I definitely recommend that you check it out.

Olive Natural Beauty Olive Lip Balm

Olive Natural Beauty Olive Lip Balm

I received the Olive Natural Beauty Olive Lip Balm in Refreshing Rosemary in my May Ipsy bag, and I have really been enjoying it.  I like the formula a lot.  It’s moisturizing without getting too waxy or greasy.  I think that I may enjoy a different flavor better than the Rosemary, but I do still like it quite a lot.  I’m thinking of making a purchase with my Ipsy discount.  The only thing is that I have so many lip balms right now, I probably should wait.  Either way, I like the Olive Lip Balm by Olive Natural Beauty and recommend it.

Freeman Facial Masks

Freeman Facial Masks

Like I said before, I have been experimenting with a lot of masks, and many of them have been from the Freeman brand.  I’ve liked Freeman masks for a long time now, and I usually pick up the sample pouches that are good for one or two uses.  I’ve tried most of the Freeman line, so last month I finally purchased the full size of my favorites.  I’m not going to go into detail for each individual mask right now, but I can say that Freeman masks are great.  They are very affordable and feel wonderful on the skin.  They are a really good budget option.

Profusion Twinkle Twinkle Palette  in #03

Profusion Twinkle Twinkle Palette in #03

Speaking of budget options, my next favorite was only a dollar.  This is the Profusion Twinkle Twinkle Palette in #03 which I reviewed here.  I have always loved green eyeshadow and have a ton of them in my collection.  This Twinkle Twinkle Palette really performs well, despite being so inexpensive.  The silky shadows blend easily, without getting muddy.  And I love these colors.  I know that this particular palette is not available anymore, but the Twinkle Twinkle Palettes seem to come out every year around the Holidays, so be sure to keep an eye out or them.  Also, I think that you can find other Profusion brand palettes throughout the year, so if you see one at your local drugstore don’t be afraid to grab one to try out.  I have not used any other Profusion beauty products, but if the Twinkle Twinkle Palette is any indication, then they are worth a look.

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

It has been a long while since I last used Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara.  It has been a favorite of mine for years, but you know how it is, always needing to try the newest thing.  But, I wanted to go back and remind myself why I was such a fan, so I did.  According to Tarte: “This is what we call a push-up bra for your lashes a 4-in-1 (lengthening, curling, volumizing and conditioning) dermatologist tested mascara that gives dramatic, thick, sexy lashes and is clinically proven to increase lash volume by 424%”.  They aren’t kidding.  Lights, Camera, Lashes gives that false lashes appearance that we are all after.  It’s fantastic, especially if you can get your hands on it at a discount.  Ulta usually offers it in their 21 Days of Beauty deals, and Tarte often includes a deluxe sample in their value kits.  Pick it up, it’s awesome.

NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray

NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray

I have been enjoying the NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray.  I really like Urban Decay All Nighter, but I wanted to see if I could find a cheaper alternative that works just as well.  NYX Dewy Finish is a little different than UD All Nighter, but I still like it very much.  My main reason for using a setting spray is to get rid of that powdery look when I am finished with my makeup.  NYX Dewy Finish works beautifully for that purpose and I love the look it gives my skin.  It is $8 for 60ml which is about half the price of UD All Nighter, plus you can often find NYX for BOGO 50% off at Ulta.  NYX also has a Matte Finish version of the spray, but I haven’t tried it.  NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray is great, though.

That’s it for my May favorites.  I hope that you found something that interested you.  I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but summer has officially arrived here in NC no matter what the calendar says.  It has been hot and muggy the last couple weeks and it looks like it’s going to get hotter and muggier very soon.  Are you looking forward to summer?  It is my least favorite season, but I can’t really complain because we had such a wonderfully long winter.  I feel like it was hardly Spring before the hot weather hit.  It’s funny how quickly the first three months of the year went for me, but April and May have been dragging.  I have been a major stress case the last couple months, and am hoping that things will improve sooner rather than later.  I am interested to see what the next couple of months hold.

April Favorites 2014

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Monthly Favorites April 2014

Monthly Favorites April 2014

It’s Monthly Favorites time!  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.  I was still going pretty easy on the makeup throughout April, and I went for a lot of easy natural looks.  You will notice that there isn’t a whole lot of color in this month’s favorites.  Still, I have been very happy with these products.  Several of them are new, and there are a couple old favorites in there too.  So, let’s get started.

e.l.f. Cruisin' Chic and NYX Moonlit Skinny Dip

e.l.f. Cruisin Chic and NYX Moonlit Skinny Dip

My first favorite is actually two products together.  I’ve been pairing the e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic and the NYX Love in Rio Eyeshadow Palette in Moonlit Skinny Dip.  I did a review of the e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pots earlier this month.  You can see the full review and swatches here.  I’ve been obsessed with the e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pots.  The formula is so good and they are so affordable.  In essence, I loved them, and Cruisin Chic was my favorite of the bunch.  It is a gorgeous metallic taupe shade with a ton of dimension and life.  It looks beautiful all by itself, but I’ve been combining it with NYX Moonlit Skinny Dip to complete the look.

e.l.f. Cruisin' Chic and NYX Moonlit Skinny Dip

e.l.f. Cruisin Chic and NYX Moonlit Skinny Dip

I’ve been placing e.l.f. Cruisin Chic on the lid, then dipping my brush back and forth between the middle and darkest shades in the NYX Moonlit Skinny Dip trio for my crease color.  I highlight with the lightest shade in Moonlit Skinny Dip.  Combining the metallic taupe with the more subtle matte shades make this simple look so wearable for daytime.  It’s also a better option for those of you who don’t normally do metallic or shimmer.  The matte shades tone it down so you have that pop on the lids without the shimmers overpowering your look or accentuating flaws that you’d rather ignore.  I love the way the two products look together and have been wearing this combo constantly.

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation in (L) Porcelain and (R) Sand

e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation in (L) Porcelain and (R) Sand

Another e.l.f. product that I’ve been loving is an oldie but a goody.  I’ve been gravitating toward the e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation before the weather gets too warm.  I’ve featured this foundation in a couple favorites posts before.  I tend to forget about the e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation, but every time I use it, I am reminded of how much I like it.  It gives my skin a beautiful, smooth, semi-matte finish with pretty good coverage.  It doesn’t dry me out, and my skin looks great several hours into wear with no fading.  I love the packaging.  Check out that glass bottle!  It also has a pump dispenser.  E.l.f. really stepped it up with the packaging for the Flawless Finish Foundation.  It looks expensive, but it is still only $6.00, which is pricey for e.l.f., but lower than anything else you can find in the drugstore.  I recommend checking it out, especially if you have dry skin.  Though I should say that I wouldn’t choose e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation during the very warmest months of the year unless you are rarely outside.  The only issue I have with this foundation is the shade selection doesn’t match me perfectly, so I have to mix two shades.  In the summer, when I have some color, I can get away with just using Sand.  However, in the winter months when I’m at my palest, I need to mix Porcelain (which is too light) with Sand (which is too dark) to get a really good match.  For reference, I’m usually the second or third shade in a foundation line.  (I’m 820 in the CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation that everyone and their mother has used.)  E.l.f. foundations often run dark, so keep that in mind if you have very light skin.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

When I reviewed the Benefit Cosmetics skincare products earlier this month, I mentioned that when it came to moisturizers they either need to actually contain ingredients that work hard for me to fight the signs of aging and restore my skin, or they have to have such an awesome formula that they trick me into thinking that they do.  First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream fits that latter category.  There aren’t any super power ingredients that are supposed to work miracles on my skin, but I absolutely love the formula.  This is for people with dry skin for sure.  It would probably be way too emollient for oily or combo skin.  But if you have dry skin, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is amazing.  I can put this on at night and wake up with it still on and moisturizing my face almost as well as when freshly applied.  My husband wrinkles his nose at the concept (he hates lotions and moisturizers) but that is a huge selling point or me.  My skin is completely repaired from the long winter, it feels soft and supple.  It doesn’t feel dry anymore at all.  I love the formula, and despite not having any miracle worker ingredients, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream works really well for me.

Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance

Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance

I have been really into perfumes this month.  I’ve been trying to remember to apply a different scent every day.  I didn’t want to include my entire fragrance collection here in this favorites post, so I will show off my newest scent that I purchased this month.  Ralph Lauren Midnight Romance is dreamy and sophisticated, and a different choice for me.  I have been trying to grow my fragrance collection to include more sophisticated scents than my usual Juicy or Ed Hardy fragrances.  I started with Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia, which is so lovely, but still pretty light.  Midnight Romance is a bit heavier.  Feminine florals (peony, jasmine, and freesia) combine with sexier notes of bergamot and black vanilla.  There is a slight touch of berry that keeps it from going too dark and heavy, but it isn’t a fruity scent.  Midnight Romance is really a beautiful fragrance that is feminine sexy and sophisticated, and I’m so glad that I got it.  I love getting rollerballs or travel sizes of perfumes because they are so much more affordable so that I can get a variety.  I’m not the kind to stick to a signature scent so rollerballs are perfect or me.

That’s it for my April favorites.  I hope that you saw something that you liked.  What were your favorite products from the month of April?  Let me know in the comments below.

March Favorites, 2014

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March Favorites

March Favorites

It’s the last day of March, so you know what that means.  It’s Monthly Favorites time!  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.  March was weird, beauty-wise.  I was so sick with that stomach flu that lasted forever, so for two weeks I either didn’t leave the house or when I did, I didn’t wear makeup.  These favorites are pretty much from the first and last weeks of March because the middle was pretty sketchy.  I also have a non-beauty favorite to add at the end, because I have been absolutely obsessed!  So, let’ get into it.

BareMinerals Eyeshadow

BareMinerals Eyeshadow

I have really been enjoying my bareMineral eyeshadow.  The small duo came in my “All the Favs” set that I reviewed here.  It’s fabulous.  It’s a mini version (1 g) of the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in “Epiphany” featuring A-Ha and Foreshadow.  I can’t get enough of that gorgeous taupe shade (A-Ha) that looks so beautiful that I can wear it alone and it seems that I spent way longer on my eyes than I actually did.  “Epiphany” is swatched on the top.  The bottom shadows are the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Soundrack”.  This quad is so me.  I love greens and golds.  These shadows feel like butter and blend so easily and smoothly.  They have a truly wonderful formula and I really recommend trying bareMinerals shadow if you haven’t already.

WnW Drinking a Glass of Shine

WnW Drinking a Glass of Shine

I’ve been reaching for my Wet n Wild 8-pan palette in “Drinking a Glass of Shine” (also known as “I Heart Matte”) for my eyeliner a lot this month.  I just haven’t been into pencil liners during March, so instead, I’ve been mixing the matte black and brown in this palette to line my upper and lower lashes.  Shadow liner isn’t always successful on the lower lash line- it really depends on your skin and how watery your eyes are.  But it’s really great on the upper lash line for a very defined, yet pretty natural liner look.  These shadows are so pigmented that a little goes a long way, and I don’t have to pack them on to get major impact.

e.l.f. Studio Mini Eyelash Curler

e.l.f. Studio Mini Eyelash Curler

I am so glad that I recently got the e.l.f. Studio Mini Eyelash Curler because it’s exactly what I needed.  I’ve noticed in the last several months that my lashes are giving me issues.  I have very short, puny lashes that are increasingly curl resistant.  I used to be able to curl my lashes, but over the last six months or so, they just refuse to curl.  I also have smaller eyes, so I have a hard time maneuvering a regular eyelash curler.  I’ve been meaning to pick up a small curler for a while, but never got around to it.  I heard about the Shu Uemura one, but $25 seemed like a lot to spend on an eyelash curler.  Finally I placed an e.l.f. order for some of their new products (more on that later) and found the e.l.f. Studio Mini Eyelash Curler sort of by accident.  It’s about half (or maybe less) the size of a normal lash curler, so you curl your lashes in sections instead of all at once.  I can really get in there, no matter how short my lashes are, and hit the angles I need for maximum curl.  I love it.  There is a learning curve, and there was some pinching the first day or two, but once I got the hang of it, I have had no problems and am really happy with it.

e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush

e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush in Temptress

Even though Spring is here, it’s was still pretty cold during March, so I haven’t begun to use any self-tanner yet.  That means that I am still light enough to use the e.l.f. Studio Cream Blush in Temptress as a cream contour.  This is actually a really lovely shade for contour if you have fair or light skin.  Though it looks a little warm in the swatch picture, it is actually pretty neutral, so it works for cool-toned girls too.  It pairs really well with Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, which is cool-toned.  The blush has a smooshy, spongey texture, similar to the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blushes.  They are lightweight and have a cream to powder finish.  Though I probably won’t be able to wear it for too much longer, I have enjoyed the light contour that Temptress has provided.

*Okay, so here’s a weird thing.  I just checked eyeslipsface.com and don’t see the e.l.f. Studio Cream Blushes anywhere.  I swear they were still on the website last time I checked, but I haven’t looked specifically for them in a while.  Does anyone know if they’ve been discontinued?  I hate recommending a product that you can’t get, but it never occurred to me that the blushes wouldn’t be there.*

Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess

Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess

My final favorite is actually a person.  I am completely obsessed with Jenny Lawson.  First, I found her book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir).  I loved it!  My husband and I both read it, and we both really enjoyed it and laughed a lot.  Then, I went to her blog thebloggess.com and I was sold.  (don’t be folled by the picture, it is in no way a beauty blog.)  Jenny Lawson is like Laurie Notaro when she was still funny, only with way more dead animals. (Yes, that is a dead mouse dressed as Shakespeare.)

Lets Pretend this Never Happened

Lets Pretend This Never Happened

If you enjoy irreverent humor and can handle mental illness and taxidermy, Jenny Lawson is totally wicked.  I would definitely check out the blog and read the preview chapters before buying the book because her humor is not for everybody and certainly not for the faint of heart.  But, she had me hooked by page 11 and I gleefully recommend that those who are not easily offended give her a chance.

So, those are my favorites for March.  Again, it was an off month.  I know that everyone has been clamoring for Spring, but I am going to miss the cold weather.  I am thrilled that winter stuck around so long.  I’m going to miss the cold when I move back to California.  I know that it’s a pretty short drive to the mountains if I miss the snow, but it’s not the same as seeing snow in your own backyard.  However I am excited to move forward, and to see where the next few months take me.  I feel like there are a lot of things in my life that are up in the air and I’m in a state of limbo, which is really stressful for me.  But hopefully I can get some answers soon.

How about you?  How was your March?  What were some of your favorite products?  Let me know in the comments below.

November 2013 Favorites

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Nov2013favs

Monthly favorites November 2013

I’m so happy that it’s December!  This is my favorite time of year.  I want December to go by as slowly as possible so that I can really enjoy the Holiday season, but if the rest of this year has been any indication, time is going to fly by.  Before we know it, it will be 2014.  Crazy!  Anyway, on to my November favorites.  November was an odd month, makeup wise.  I was so sick at the beginning of the month that I didn’t do anything, not even basic skin care.  As a result, my skin rebelled and the second half of the month was spent trying to undo the damage.  Which leads in to my first two favorites.

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Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Mask

I have reviewed Michael Todd True Organics here on the blog before.  You can read my review of several of the products from the brand here.  After completely ignoring my skin for about a week and a half, I had some healing to do.  My skin got pretty dry and flaky while I was sick, so the first step to getting it back to normal was this Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich facial mask.  I ended up with two deluxe samples that were 1 oz each, so I’ve really been able to get a feel for the pumpkin mask and I really like it.  At first I was worried that the glycolic acid might be too much for me, but my skin reacted just fine and it didn’t tingle too much or sting like some with sensitive skin have said.  The mask really helped to get rid of all of the dry flaky patches and helped my skin look and feel a lot healthier.  And the best part is that the mask smells so amazing, just like pumpkin pie.

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Michael Todd True Organics Avocado and Mango mask

Also from Michael Todd True Organics is the Avocado and Mango Mask.  This mask did so much to rejuvenate my skin and bring the moisture back.  This is a hydrating mask, which isn’t always my favorite kind of mask because I don’t feel like it’s doing anything.  However, this month I really grew to appreciate just what a hydrating mask can do and now I am hooked.  The Avocado and Mango Mask feels and smells like fresh mango puree and makes me crave smoothies.  I love it.  I have been so impressed with all of the Michael Todd True Organics products that I have used (there have been a few more since my review) and am becoming a big fan of the brand.

Nov2013favsSleek

Sleek Blush by 3 in Sugar

I still haven’t gotten around to posting my review of the Skeek Makeup products that I purchased several months ago.  (I’m so back-logged.)  However, I mentioned my Sleek Blush by 3 palette in Lace in my August favorites, and now I have the Sleek Blush by 3 palette in Sugar for November.  I love pulling out my darker blushes this time of year.  Sugar includes the shades Turbinado, Muscovado, and Demerara.  They are gorgeous blushes, and so very pigmented.  I just have to touch the tip of my brush in for major impact.  They blend well and are long-lasting on my skin.  I love them.  For those of you with lighter skin who are afraid of red and berry blushes, you can wear these shades without looking like a clown.  I recommend a duo fiber stipple brush and a very light hand.  Swatches of all of my color cosmetics will be at the end.

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Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched

I am surprised by how much I like the Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched.  I received it in my November Ipsy bag, which you can view here.  Subtly Suntouched, as  the name would imply, is very subtle.  It is just barely dark enough to show up on my skin as a very light bronzer.  I haven’t really been in the mood to do a full contour and highlight this month, so I’ve been using this product to give my face a touch of warmth and it works beautifully.  I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this during the winter months.

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Tarte shadow quad

For my eyes, I’ve been loving this quad from the Tarte Gorgeous Getaways palette.  You can see my full review and swatches of the the Tarte Gorgeous Getaways palette here.  I love that warm tan shade as a transition color for a lot of different looks, and I am a sucker for any green shadow.  This quad is such a no-brainer for me and I love the way it looks.  The blush is gorgeous for a light, natural look.  Be sure to check out my review post to see swatches.

Nov2013favsLip

Jordana Twist & Shine in Terra Crave

I showed the Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Cranberry Crush multiple times, but I haven’t mentioned Terra Crave yet.  Terra Crave falls into that pinky-brown, dark nude family that I love so much.  For me, those type of shades are no-brainer, go-to shades that always work no matter what.  I like the Twist & Shines very much, and you can see my full review and swatches of the other two shades that I have here.

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Swatch of the color cosmetics

Here are the swatches of the color cosmetics mentioned.  The top three are the Sleek Blush by 3 palette in Sugar.  Obviously you wouldn’t wear the blush that bold, but I wanted you to see how pigmented the blushes are.  They can also be used as eyeshadow.  Underneath that is the Pixi bronzer.  Again, it’s very subtle, but looks beautiful and gives the skin a bit of warmth.  On the bottom is Terra Crave, which looks a little more pink here than in real life (on my lips it pulls more brown), but the swatch is pretty close.

Nov2013favsBBW

B&BW Creamy Nutmeg Wallflowers

I don’t have my last favorite to show you because I’m using them right now, but here is a pic from B&BW website.  I know that I’ve mentioned before how much I love Bath & Body Works Wallflowers for the home.  One of my favorite holiday scents is Creamy Nutmeg.  I am not a fan of typical holiday scents of cinnamon and pine.  Creamy Nutmeg is “A warm blend of fresh ground nutmeg, vanilla and pralines” that smells amazing.  The vanilla tones down the nutmeg so that it isn’t too spicy, but the scent isn’t sugary or too sweet.  It smells like Christmas in a way that is both sophisticated and homey at the same time.  Love it!  You must smell it while it’s still in the store.

That’s it for my November favorites.  I can’t wait for Christmas, but I also can’t believe that 2013 is almost over.  How did that happen?  I managed to score some pretty good sales online, so I was able to get most of my Christmas shopping done without having to face down the Black Friday crowds.  The problem with shopping early (for me) though, is that want to keep going.  I love shopping, and I keep finding things that I want to get for my family members even though I’ve already got their presents.  How about you?  Did you do any Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping?  Are you looking forward to Christmas?  Our tree went up over the weekend and we have gotten about 90% of our decorations done.  Do you decorate right after Thanksgiving, or do you wait a bit?  What are you looking forward to?  Let me know in the comments below.

Monthly Favorites for September 2013

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Sept2013Favs

Monthly Favorites for September 2013

Is the first week of October already almost over?  How did that happen?  September really flew by for me.  I have my September favorites to show you today, but before we get into them I have couple quick announcements about the schedule for October.  First of all, my anniversary is on Tuesday and The Husband took a couple days off of work for a four-day weekend.  I won’t be posting next week until Wednesday.  Also, the last week of October I will be in Walt Disney World, so there will probably be no posts for that week.  I am going to try to get a couple put together and post-date them for that week, but I’m not sure that I’ll have the time.  Maybe a guest post or two?  I’m not sure yet, but plan on that being a hiatus week.  Thanks for understanding.  Now on to my favorites.  For those of you who are new to this blog, “Monthly Favorites” are the items that really stood out to me that I reached for over and over again throughout the month.  I didn’t have a ton of favorites this month, but the ones that I do have I really, really like.

Sept2013MTcleanse

Michael Todd Honey and Oat Deep Pore Cleanser

The first two products I have as favorites are both from Michael Todd True Organics.  I reviewed the entire line of products in the Dry Skin Regimen here, so be sure to check that post out for a lot of information about the company and each product.  I am especially loving the Honey and Oat Gentle Deep Pore Cleanser.  First of all, it smells like honey suckle or maybe honey and orange blossoms.  It smells amazing.  It leaves my skin feeling so fresh and soft.  I feel like it really cleanses my skin without drying it out in any way.  I love it!

Sept2013MTeye

Intensive Eye Treatment

The other Michael Todd True Organics product that made it into my September favorites is the Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment.  Again, be sure to read the full review for more information.  I really love how silky smooth this eye cream is.  It feels so luxe, like I’m treating my skin to high-end spa treatment type stuff.  The best part?  It’s 90% Organic.

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Maybelline The Falsies Big Eyes mascara

Next up is the Maybelline Volume Express The Falsies Big Eyes mascara.  This is the one with the regular brush for your top lashes and the small brush for your bottom lashes.  I don’t usually use mascara on my bottom lashes because I find mascara wands unwieldy on the bottom lashes and I use eyeliner there, so it’s not necessary in my opinion.  But, I wanted to give it a try and maybe skip the bottom liner.  I really like the formula of The Falsies Big Eyes mascara.  It’s not too wet (I like a dryer mascara) and it gives nice length and volume to my sad wimpy lashes.  It doesn’t replace my CoverGirl Lash Blast, or Maybelline the Rocket as my favorite drugstore mascaras, but it’s a nice change and a good option.  I really liked the small brush for bottom lashes.  It was a lot easier to handle than a regular size mascara wand and a good option for when I wanted to do minimal eyeliner.

Sept2013Jordana

Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain in Cranberry Crush

I recently reviewed the Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Cranberry Crush, so you can check out that post for details and swatch photos on my lips.  In short, it’s a chubby lip pencil that goes on smoothly and feels great on the lips.  Cranberry Crush a lovely berry shade that looks beautiful both sheered out and built up for bold color.  I like this one a lot and will be going back for more shades, probably Terra Crave and Honey Love.

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Jordana 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencil in Continuous Almond

Also a new item from Jordana is the 12 HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencil in Continuous Almond.  This baby is awesome.  I thought about doing a full review, but since I only have one shade of the 12 HR Made to Last Eyeshadow Pencils and I knew it would be in my favorites, I opted not to.  So, I’ll say a little more than usual here.  If you have tried the Milani Shadow Eyez 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencils then you have an idea of how the Jordana pencils perform.  Milani and Jordana are sister companies, so there is some crossover.  The pencils are smooth and creamy, have great pigmentation, and last all day with no creasing or fading.  They are fabulous bases under powder shadow instead of a primer or can be worn alone.  They really great part is that they are as fabulous as the Milani version (which easily rivals Urban Decay), but for half the price.

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Jordana 12 HR Eyeshadow Pencil in Continuous Almond

Here is a closer look at Continuous Almond.  It’s the perfect nude base.  Milani Shadow Eyez are all shimmery or metallic except for a limited edition collection released this past spring of neutral shades.   Jordana’s Continuous Almond is pretty much a dead on dup for Milani LE Almond Cream.  So, if you missed out, definitely pick up Continuous Almond.  There are eight shades total in the collection, some shimmery and some matte finishes, and they retail for $3.50-$3.99.

That’s it for my September favorites.  Definitely check out my previous reviews for some of these products.  I am very happy that October is here.  As you can tell from the first paragraph of this post, I’ll be pretty busy with some great things to look forward to.  I’m going to try to do a couple Halloween tutorials if I can manage it.  Do you have any requests in that department?  If so, let me know in the comments below, and if you have any questions about the products featured here let me know as well.