April Ipsy Reveal

Like last month, I received a wide variety of products in my April Ipsy bag – some makeup, some skincare, and one tool. Here’s a breakdown of the items I like, don’t like and what I’ve yet to try and why.

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LXMI Crème Du Nil: I’m convinced this is the stuff Cleopatra used for anti-aging. It’s magic in a bottle. This crème moisturizer is a pore refining product that improves the look of skin across the board. It helps even out skin tone, improves brightness, and so much more. Because this product is a rich and thick formula, a little bit goes a long way. I’ve incorporated this product into my nighttime beauty routine and have noticed improvements overnight. Once my sample is out, I’m definitely buying more. While the price point is more on the expensive side for the full-sized version, this product is worth it and the work LXMI does is amazing – check them out to learn more.

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel: This is the one product I haven’t tried. Since it’s an aloe soothing gel, I wanted to save it for when it’s a little bit warmer out and when I’m getting more sun. I’m sure this will be refreshing after a long day of sitting poolside.

Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Glow: This sample is absolutely tiny. While this product can be used as both a highlighter and an eyeshadow, I’ve been using it strictly as a highlighter. It’s a light champagne color perfect for highlighting the brow bone and Cupid ’s bow.

PS Cosmeceutical Infused Nail Lacquer in Southern Sand: I was really excited for this nail polish. It’s a really great peachy-nude color and it’s made with grapefruit seed extract, which sounds like a good thing. I wore this for about a week on my natural nails. The color came off almost white against my olive skin tone. It was a little bit difficult or chunky to apply. It began chipping after a few days. It’s definitely not my favorite product – it’s just okay. It was a great color for Easter.

Tony Moly Liptone: I really liked this, but I only used it a few times and here’s why – so the packaging is kind of like a lipstick tube and the product wouldn’t twist back down. I would only twist it up enough to use it, but when my boyfriend tested it out he twisted it up way too much and it got stuck to the top and basically broke off. This was great while I had it, but it’s not something I would go out and buy myself. I’ll stick with Chapstick.

Glamour Dolls angled brush: I always love getting brushes in my Ipsy bag because quality brushes can be expensive and Ipsy send really fun ones. This brush has a whole Lisa Frank theme that only 90s kids will remember… haha but seriously it’s a really cute, soft brush that I’ll proudly display on my vanity.

Overall, there were some hits and some misses, but I’m always happy to try the products in my Ipsy bag. What did you guys get this month? What was your favorite product? Are there any you’d like me to go into more depth about?

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The Only Brush Cleaner You Need is Right in Your Kitchen

We are dedicated to the ceremonious washing of our face twice a day, yet we continue to use dirty makeup brushes on the reg. I know I’m guilty of going a couple weeks without washing my brushes due to pure laziness, but when you think about it, there’s so much old makeup, oil, and bacteria trapped in those brushes that can lead to acne and wrinkles. Washing makeup brushes not only prolongs the life of our brushes, but also improves the health of our skin.

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One thing that has held me back from washing my brushes is not having the brush shampoo, and let’s face it, brush shampoo can get expensive especially when it comes to how often we should be using it. There are plenty of brush shampoo recipes out there, some calling for products that don’t disinfect – I’m looking at you baby shampoo – this one however, uses common kitchen products and leaves your brushes clean and soft.

What You’ll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Plate
  • Rolled up towel

After you’ve raided your kitchen for these products, you’ll begin by pouring some dish soap onto your plate. Make sure you’re using a dinner plate because the products will seep through a paper plate. The dish soap is used to disinfect and clean your brushes.

Next you’ll add some extra virgin olive oil to the plate. You should use about two parts dish soap to one part olive oil. The olive oil is used to condition the bristles after being stripped of oil and disinfected.

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Once you’ve put together your cleanser, swirl your first brush in the cleanser (note: some makeup will begin to come off into your mixture), then move your brush back and forth in your hand to release the makeup from the brush and give it a thorough cleaning. Repeat these steps for the rest of your brushes.

When all your brushes have been swirled and cleaned with your homemade shampoo, you’ll need to rinse them off. Using warm water, cup your hand and move the brush in a circular motion to rinse it off. Be careful not to get the metal part of your brush damp because that will loosen the bristles and ultimately ruin your brushes.

Lastly, you’ll need to dry your brushes. A lot of brush cleaning tutorials will go through the steps of hanging your brushes upside with a brush guard to keep the bristles in shape – I don’t do that. I’ve tried this method and found it took a lot of time and half my brushes would fall off. I typically roll up one end of a towel so the handle of the brush can rest there, while being slanted down on the other part of the towel to dry. I don’t use brush guards either, I just reshape my brush and let it dry that way.

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This super easy brush cleaner will make both your brushes and your skin much happier! For more information about brush cleaning, see my previous post Makeup Brush Cleaning 101.

Pretty in Pink: March Ipsy

It’s about that time of the month again… It’s time to reveal my Ipsy bag! This month’s bag had major French vibes. Everything’s pink and tres jolie! I’m definitely here for this theme – I took four years of French and I love all things dusty rose and baby pink – this bag was made for me.

The bag itself is a faux suede type of baby pink fabric with a mesh side to it, which seems to give it a little edge. The zipper is rose gold toned, which is super cute. I’m currently looking to use this bag in my every day purse. I’m so in love with it, but I don’t necessarily want to carry makeup in it because I don’t want it to get super dirty.

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I received a wide range of products this month, which was nice. In previous months I’ve received all makeup, which I haven’t tried, or all skin care, which is kind of boring. I was excited to have a chance to try a few different things.

For skin care, I received Milk to Foam Coconut Milk Cleanser and Cake Desserted Island Body Mousse. I haven’t yet tried the cleanser, but I’m sure it’s great and I can’t wait to try it. I have tried the body mousse because I actually almost bought a set of these on sale a few months back, but I was hesitant because I can be really sensitive to fragrances and lotions. I love this product by Cake. It’s really light and airy, but pretty moisturizing. It’s not very greasy and smells sweet, but isn’t overpowering or sickening. I’m throwing this little guy into my purse to use on my hands at work.

For makeup, I received a sample of the Tarteist Lip Paint and Eyeko Fat Brow Liquid Liner. I was excited to try the lip paint and I really love the formula, but the color just isn’t very wearable for me – at least not for this time of year. The color is deep burgundy red brown, which is honestly great for fall. The formula is outstanding. It’s super easy to apply and once it dries, you can’t even feel it on your lips. It’s like a second skin. It’s such a luxurious liquid lip stick. Honestly once you put it on, it does not budge. I’ll probably go out and buy a neutral color so I can get more wear out of it. The brow liner was not my jam at all. I have black hair and really dark brows and this liner was a light color, so I didn’t even really try it out before I gave it to someone else who would get more use out of it. I’m sure this product is great for some people, but it’s like a marker for your brows to shade them in, but it just wasn’t for me.

The last thing I got was a blending brush! I’m always excited to get new makeup brushes through Ipsy because honestly, they can be so expensive. This brush is super cute, super soft, and it’s the perfect size to travel with. I’ll definitely get a lot of use out of this.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my Ipsy bag this month. Even though some of the products didn’t quite work for me, I’m happy I’m being exposed to new brands and new types of products that I can share with my friends and family.

Beauty Favorites: New & Old

I clearly never got around to putting together a list of yearly favorites at the beginning of 2017, so I’ve decided to share with you some of my current favorites and daily go-to items. While I like to try new beauty products, my daily routine doesn’t stray too far away from my favorites. Like a great pair of jeans, these are just a few of the products that have won over my heart and make me feel confident and sexy on a daily basis.

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I love my travel sized Aveda Hand Relief creme. Winter in Chicago means dry, chapped skin which is obviously no fun, so I like to use this hand lotion. The size is perfect to tote around in my bag on a daily basis and the formula is super moisturizing without feeling greasy. While this little bottle runs about $10, a little bit goes a long way – I’ve been using this same bottle since the beginning of December. My nose is also extremely sensitive to scents – I can’t use or be near Jergens lotion at all – this one has a really natural, floral scent. I’ll definitely buy another one of these once this bottle is empty.

OPI is definitely one of my go-to nail polish brands when I have the money to spend on it, but there are certain colors I can’t live without, like Cajun Shrimp. I’ve tried to find dupes in Essie or random inexpensive brands, but no one does this spicy coral better than OPI. This color is my signature shade and something I always come back to.

YSL’s Black Opium is one of my all-time favorite fragrances. I would go as far to say it’s my new signature scent. This perfume is so intoxicating and sexy, I was hooked the first time I checked it out at my local Sephora. It’s a scent that’s exciting, soft, and sensual. I have the one ounce bottle that I keep at home and the travel spray that I carry with me. While it’s on the pricier side, it’s definitely worth it.

I was pretty late to jump on the Anastasia Beverly Hills band wagon, but my life has changed since purchasing the Brow Wiz. Honestly, I was super hesitant to spend around $20 on an eyebrow pencil since I’ve had trouble getting my desired brow look with pencils in the past. I kept visiting Sephora to try it out and look at the different shades, until I finally pulled the trigger. I honestly don’t know how I lived without this product. The pencil tip is so precise and gives such a natural look. This brow product has made its way into my daily makeup routine.

Lastly, the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette has become my favorite eyeshadow palette. I find cool tones look best on me and the shades available in this palette are perfect for an everyday eye look. Like other Urban Decay products, the colors are very pigmented and easy to blend. This palette is the perfect size to tote around if I’m changing my look later in the day for a cool, smokier date night look.

Again, these are just a few of my favorite beauty items that I’m finding I can’t live without. Using these products makes confident, sexy, and put together. While most of these are on the pricier side, the quality makes them hard to pass up. What are some of your beauty staples?