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?

I’m back! Plus February Ipsy

The end of 2016 was a whirlwind. There was a lot going on in my life, both personally and professionally. I became an aunt to a beautiful baby girl in September, I was promoted in October, and of course my birthday and the holidays came around in November and December. So while I had enough material to get me to October, my blog was put on the back burner going into the holidays and into the New Year.

Since I just got my February Ipsy bag this past week, I thought it’d be perfect to share what I received and give my first impressions and reviews on the products.

If you haven’t yet signed up for Ipsy, it’s a wonderful, inexpensive beauty and makeup subscription. You simply fill out your profile with your skin type, hair color, makeup experience, and favorite brands and Ipsy will send you a personalized bag with different beauty and makeup to try – for just $10 a month! Sign up here!

Without further ado, here’s my February Ipsy bag!

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  1. The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream: It’s never too early to begin the anti-aging process. I’m always pretty hesitant about using new skin products because my skin is so sensitive, but since this contains all organic ingredients, it’s gentle and perfect for all skin types. I’ve been using this every night since I’ve gotten it. It’s moisturizing and brightening – I already see the improvements!
  2. SOO AE Sheet Mask Duo – Purifying Black Charcoal Mask & Nature Green Tea Collagen Mask: I haven’t used these yet, but I am very happy that I got them in my bag this month. Who doesn’t love masks and a weekend of self-care? I’ll definitely be using these soon.
  3. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish $12 Latte: I’ve been very much into neutral nail polishes lately, pinks, grays, and taupes. This will fit right in with my current color scheme. It actually kind of reminds me of the color You Don’t Know Jacques by OPI.
  4. NYX Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard: I love NYX! I was really excited to receive this lipstick. I have other Butter Lipsticks and the formula is amazing. It does actually feel like butter on your lips – it’s moisturizing, not drying, and so rich.
  5. BellaPierre Volumelash Waterproof Mascara: Mascara is mascara. I’m always happy to get more and try different brushes. The only thing I don’t particularly like about this is that it’s waterproof.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with my Ipsy bag this month. I’ll likely use, or at least try, all of the products. I think it’s a great value because you get a lot of full sized products, like the nail polish and mascara, which usually cost at least $5-$8 each, so the bag ultimately pays for itself. If you’d like more information about these products or would like an in-depth review, leave a comment below!

September Ipsy Bag Review

I just began hearing about Ipsy this past summer while watching some of my favorite beauty and fashion YouTubers. One YouTuber in particular raved about how she just began getting super into makeup and this was a great service to try different brands and products to see what works for you. With that being said, as a makeup junkie on a budget, I was definitely intrigued. After doing some research, I got the facts and signed up!

If you’re also new to Ipsy, it’s a monthly beauty subscription service, much like more popular and well-known Birch Box. While I don’t know the specifics about Birch Box, when you sign up for Ipsy, you take a short quiz to personalize your bag – choosing skin tone, eye and hair color, what types of brands you’re interested in, what types of products you’re interested in and more. Once your profile is complete, depending on if they have product available, you’ll be billed and sent a bag. You receive a makeup bag with a new design each month and each bag holds fives items, both sample sized and full sized, based on your preferences.

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I signed up about a week into September thinking I’d have to wait until October to get my first bag, but I was actually notified a few days later they still had some spots left for this month. I did end up getting my bag September 24th. I was pretty stoked when I got it and checked out all the products immediately. Here’s what I got in my first Ipsy bag with a quick review on each product:

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Befine Food Skin Care: Exfoliating Cleanser (1 oz Trial Size – $10.00)

I hadn’t heard of this brand before and was anxious to try it. If you’ve been following mIMG_0171.JPGy
blog for a little while, you’ll know that I was dealing with some skin issues about a year ago and have been recovering ever since. While I don’t really like trying new skin care products, I did try this one because it is all natural, allergen free and paraben free made for sensitive skin – so I figured it was safe. I used a relatively small amount of the brown sugar, sweet almond and oats mixture, which turned into a really nice and gentle lather. It has a really light, sweet, non-offensive scent. Once I rinsed it off, my skin felt soft, clean and renewed. I’m really glad I was able to try this product and I can’t wait to use it again.

Trestique Mini Highlight Stick (Received sample stick, 0.04 oz. Full size retails for $34.00)

I’ve only swatched this product on my hand because I rarely ever put on a full face of glam makeup. It’s a very beautiful champagne color that’s extremely easy to blend and feels light weight on the skin. I’ll definitely use this when I want a subtle highlight.

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Tarteist Lash Paint (Received sample, 0.10 oz. Full size retails for $23.00)

I was extremely excited to try this mascara. I’ve been wanting to try a few Tarte products, but have never wanted to spend the money. I found the wand for this mascara to be pretty stiff, but it has many little bristles that help separate and coat each individual lash. It definitely made my already black lashes, even darker and thicker. I’ll definitely be using this every day until it’s gone.

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Waxing Kara Sweet Lips Honey Lip Balm ($10.00)

This was another product I was extremely excited to try. You can never have too many lip balms! This was definitely a hit with me! It’s a simple, natural, non-greasy formula that’s extremely nourishing to the lips. I immediately threw this in my Speedy for everyday use.

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Be a Bombshell Cosmetics Va Voom Nail Polish ($6.00)

I was excited to get a nail polish, but not so excited about the color – at first. The color I got is a deep purple/blue. My mom was the guinea pig with this product, since I just applied OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques Friday night. The polish was super easy to apply and only took one coat for full coverage. Although the color is not something I would choose for myself, I would definitely try it for a few days. It’s very different, but it’s such a gorgeous, rich, jewel color.

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Overall, I was pretty pleased with my first Ipsy bag. For the three items I was able to find pricing information on, I found the bag clearly pays for itself. Each product is definitely something that would work for me and I’m really glad I got to check out brands I’ve never heard of. The bag is definitely worth the $10 a month so far. I’m pretty pumped to see what’s in my October bag!

Have you tried any of these products? Have you tried any similar subscriptions? What has your experience been like? What was in your September Ipsy bag?

Must Try Fall Makeup Trends of 2016

With the start of every season comes a new color palette, new vibes and new makeup trends. Whether you love the no-makeup makeup look or you experiment with any product you can get your hands on, push your limits with glitter and dark colors this fall!

Glitter

Glitter has made its way out of the craft bin and into our makeup collection in a major way. While neutrals are great and timeless, glitter eyes and lips are having their moment.

Using glitter or metallic eye shadows is a sure fire way to turn heads this fall. This type of look can deliver edgy of Old Hollywood glam vibes.

Although it may not seem very wearable or realistic, glitter lips have hit the mainstream, too! A glitter lip can completely transform your look – just be mindful of the glitter transfer when kissing!

Dark Lips

Deep, dark colored lips is by far one of the most classic fall makeup looks – and definitely one of my favorites! This type of look is typically associated with ’90s grunge, but paired with a classic flawless face, this definitely looks very feminine.

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Soft Smoky Eyes

Let’s face it, smoky eyes are great for all seasons. The soft smoky eye is subtle, sexy and easy to create. Simply blend your favorite brown eye shadow into your upper lash line and diffuse the color into your crease.

Fresh Skin

Healthy looking skin with natural highlights is back. This season you’ll see less super matte and overly contoured looks, but will see a lot of creamy, dewy looks.

Of course, there are plenty of other extreme makeup trends out there right now, like charcoal lids and clumpy lashes, but these are some of my favorites that I can actually see myself trying. I may not put glitter on my eyes or lips, but I would definitely use a more metallic or shimmery eye shadow on date night with my boyfriend.

What trends are you excited to try out this fall? What are some of your favorite fall looks?

Now Trending: Color Correcting

Color correcting has been talked about a lot lately, and with so many palettes coming out, it’s hard to know what to use and how to use it!

From my own experience, I was really surprised to hear about this, but it makes total sense that certain colors cancel out others. The first time I tried color correcting was on the dark circles under my eyes. I used a peach concealer before applying my foundation and it worked wonders. I haven’t tried any other correcting, mostly because I don’t know what colors, but I found this really great guide that breaks down the colors and how they conceal different imperfections:

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Read more about color correcting basics at Hairspray and High Heels!