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Meet the CoverGirl Peacock Flare Mascara

Hi everyone!

My recent blog post, Top Beauty Brands to be Thankful For, really allowed me to reflect on what brands and products I love most and why.  But it also made me intrigued to try out some new beauty goodies.

That’s why I was super excited to find this box of new CoverGirl products on my doorstep. I received these items complimentary from Influenster   for testing and sharing purposes.

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The first item is the Peacock Flare Mascara , which retails for $8.99. The packaging is super cute – something that I think many drugstore brand products lack. But more importantly, the mascara works well. Before applying, I did two things. I curled my lashes using the Tarte Picture-Perfect Eyelash Curler and then applied one coat of Subversion Lash Primer.

 

For the price, it isn’t a bad product. I like how it doesn’t clump even after applying multiple coats. It certainly helps your lashes to appear longer to an extent, but is nothing too extraordinary.

I was also sent CoverGirl’s Melting Pout Gel Liquid Lipstick in shade 105, Gel-Ful. The first thing that I noticed is the product design, packaging, the applicator, and even the name are quite similar to one of Too Faced Cosmetics products, their Melted Lipstick.

I have taken a photo of both products side by side to see the comparison.

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To be honest, it kind of turned me off from the product. Drug store brands always try to imitate higher-end ones with packaging design and formula – providing customers with a cheaper alternative but basically ripping off someone else’s ideas.

Anyway. I actually really love the color – it’s very pretty and works as a great every-day shade. However, as a gel lipstick, there is basically no staying power to this product. So, I’m not a huge fan of this formula. It slides, it sticks, and it just gets in the way. Matte lipstick for life.

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Although I had some mixed opinions, I am glad I tested out these products. I really haven’t used anything from CoverGirl recently, and I would definitely be willing to try more of their mascaras in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

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November Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal & Review : Lancôme, Tarte & MAC

Happy November!

I’ve decided that posting my Ipsy Reveal posts later towards the end of the month works better – it gives me more time to truly test each of the products.

That being said, I would like to emphasize that all opinions are my own, period. I will not recommend anything that I don’t love.

Let’s get started!

Bang Beauty Lip Gloss in Spice

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I have to be honest — I wasn’t super excited to get my hands on another lip gloss – when I think of lip gloss, I just think sticky mess.

This is a really good, universally flattering shade , but I’m not too keen on the formula – but I will use it every now and then to give my lips a break from my usual matte lipstick.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Feisty

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I was thrilled to receive yet another Tarte product in my Ipsy bag this month. I have a few of these blushes – and I just love each and every shade. This helps give your skin a natural-looking boost of color – its not too pink. I like that it can also be used as an eyeshadow.

Lancôme Hypnose Drama Instant Volume Mascara

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This month, I redeemed my Ipsy reward points for this mascara, but I wish I hadn’t. For a product that got a LOT of hype – and has the word ‘drama’ in its name – it’s just OK. It’s just your average mascara.

Skin Iceland Berry Lip Fix

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In this cold weather, you really can never have too many lip care products. This item isn’t your typical lip balm – I love how the formula is almost like a gloss without being sticky. It’s super hydrating and smells amazing – what’s not to love?!

Doucce Freematic Highlighter

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I am a fan of the Doucce brand – I discovered their MaxLash Volumizer Mascara through Ipsy and it has become one of my favorites.  This highlighter has a beautiful gold sheen, and adds a subtle but buildable glow to your complexion.

My only issue is with the packaging. Looks like the brand cheaped out by simply giving Ipsy members a pan in a cardboard envelope – no palette to hold it together. Of course, you could put it in a z-palette but you shouldn’t have to.

Brands like Tarte produce miniature versions of their products – for example the blush – while still putting it in a user-friendly, cute compact. I think other brands need to be more considerate of the customer needs.

MAC Prep +Prime Natural Radiance in Yellow

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Yaaas, MAC. I absolutely love how this feels on my skin and its easy, lightweight feel. It’s also super moisturizing ! I will definitely be purchasing a full-size of this product.

Overall, I am satisfied with this month’s Ipsy bag – I was able to discover some great new products, while learn more about other brands whose products I wasn’t too familiar with in the past.

 

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The Guide to Picture-Perfect Lashes

This blog post is one that I feel like is long overdue – because when it comes to makeup, eyelashes are one of my favorite things to enhance. Longer, fuller lashes really add a finishing touch to any day to night makeup look.

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Whether you are trying to find ways to naturally promote longer lash growth, picking out the right pair of falsies, or the most effective mascara – this is your go-to guide! Here are some easy-to-follow tips.

Prime Your Lashes

Just like your skin, your eyelashes also need some primer!

Before applying your mascara, it really does help to use a lash primer. A lash primer will instantly boost the impact of your mascara – and ensuring that your mascara doesn’t flake off throughout the day.

A primer also helps to condition your lashes and help them grow longer, healthier, and fuller over time! So you may not notice a difference with one application, but if you continue to apply lash primer every day, you will notice a visible difference!

My go-to lash primer is Subversion by Urban Decay.

Choose the right eyelash curler.

The next step before applying your mascara is to curl your eyelashes.

I was shocked to find that so many of my friends have never used an eyelash curler. It really does boost, plump, and add shape to your lashes – and choosing the right one seriously makes all the difference. The only eyelash curler I recommend is the Tarte Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler.

Get a mascara with all-natural ingredients.

My go-to mascara is the Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. It’s formulated without parabens and other chemicals that can irritate sensitive eyes. While boosting and adding volume to your lashes, it also helps condition them!

Last year, I learned the hard way that some mascaras just aren’t right for me. I really loved the popular Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara for its ability to add some serious volume to my lashes, but pieces of the mascara would flake off into my eyes – and made my eyes unbearably itchy and red.

Reading the ingredients of your products seriously makes all the difference. If you notice some sensitivity to your eyes, it may very well be caused by a makeup product you are using.

Wear false lashes for the ultimate boost.

False lashes are fun – and once you get the hang of it, they are super easy to apply!

Check out beauy brand Private Label Extensions blog post on How 3D Mink Eyelashes Changed My Life

Mink eyelashes look the most like natural hair – and the 3-D affect makes your lashes look AMAZING from every angle! This blog post will give you a better idea of just how easy these lashes are to apply – and why they may need to be a staple in your beauty bag!

3D Mink Eyelash

Credit: https://www.privatelabelextensions.com/3d-mink-eyelashes/

Private Label Extensions sells a wide variety of high-quality mink lashes. They look and feel luxurious. Unlike many other eyelashes, they fit the shape of my eyes perfectly – and you won’t need to worry about applying eyeliner to fill the gaps.

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In this photo, I am wearing the Eyelure London Lengthening N. 155 – another favorite of mine. I like how lightweight they feel! I apply my lashes using the Ardell Duo Lash glue.

While I don’t wear eyelashes every single day, I love wearing them to enhance my makeup look every now and then. I always take them off at the end of the day and take extra care in doing so and removing the rest of my makeup.

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DIY: Boost Your Lash Growth 

There are many natural ingredients that you can utilize to make your lashes grow faster. And many of these ingredients you can find at home.

Using the E.L.F. Eyelash and Brow Wand, I apply Vaseline petroleum jelly lightly to my lashes every night before bed. Target sells miniature versions of the full-size product that you can stick in your beauty bag!

Castor oil and coconut oil also are proven to boost your lash growth.  Just be super careful when applying these products to your eyelashes so that you don’t get any of the oils in your eyes – ouch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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October Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal : Tarte & other Treats

Hello everyone! It’s almost Halloween , so it’s the perfect time to get extra creative with your makeup. While most people obsess over what costume they are going to wear, us beauty junkies are busy trying to find the perfect look to create for this fun occasion.

This year, I plan on using some of my favorite Ipsy beauty finds to curate my Halloween makeup look Here’s a peek at what I received this month.

CuteBalms Macaroon Vanilla Lip Balm

This cute little lip balm is ultra nourishing and smells great. I can never have enough lip care products, especially lip balms.

Hey Honey Trick And Treat Active Propolis Cream Concealer

This concealer works overtime – not only covering blemishes and other imperfections but working to gradually improve the overall condition of your skin.

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It’s very light, and easy to blend. Coverage is minimal – so you would have to layer the product in order to completely cover problem areas. I applied this product under my eyes and it had a noticeably brightening affect.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

I always use liquid liners to create the perfect winged liner, so I was a little hesitant to use this one. Although it didn’t work as effortlessly at creating a precise clean line as my go-to liner ( NYX matte liquid liner) , this eyeliner isn’t terrible – it’s just harder to work with. It takes a little more time and patience – mainly because I am used to the ease of a liquid liner.

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This eyeliner did not smudge at all throughout the day. I will definitely be using this product more in the future – and I think it’d be a great product for creating a skull Halloween look like this one by Chrisspy.

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Bronzed Eye Shadow

This eyeshadow has the perfect amount of sparkle and it’s a great shade especially for the autumn season.

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It pairs well with matte shades – especially those found in the Too Faced Peanut Butter & Jelly Palette.

Tarte Lifted Sweatproof Mascara

As you probably know by now, Tarte is one of my favorite beauty brands. So, I was super excited to receive their new sweat proof mascara. I always buy black mascara by default, but this mascara is a dark brown and it still looks amazing – it doesn’t actually look brown once you apply it!

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I don’t typically wear makeup when I go to the gym,  so I haven’t exactly been able to test the ‘sweat-proof’ factor, but I did notice this mascara didn’t budge or crumble throughout the day!

Subscribe to Ipsy now to discover some amazing beauty products every month !

 

 

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Simple Steps for Achieving Everyday Glamour

Do you think that achieving that effortless, glowy, bombshell look is close to impossible? Think again.

There are so many products out there that can work in your favor. At the same time, the selection may be a little overwhelming. But who said it had to be difficult? I have created a guide that incorporates methods and products from my every-day beauty routine.

Prep your skin

Before applying any kind of makeup to your skin, you need to prepare your skin with the right primer. This will help ensure the most smooth application and long-lasting impact possible. I use both the Urban Decay Hydra-Charge Complexion Prep Spray and the E.L.F. Hydrating Face Primer   This helps to moisturize my dry, sensitive skin.

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Awaken your skin 

Brighten up dull skin by using a strobe cream such as Mac Cosmetics Strobe Cream in Pinklite.  I use this as a second step to my primer and find that it really helps give my skin a healthy glow. This product is so versatile that I also use it as a highlighter or mix it with my foundation.

Eliminate dark circles 

The Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Pink is a lifesaver . Before applying foundation, I swipe this product under each of my eyes and blend with a concealer brush.

Seek out a full-coverage foundation

For full coverage and even application, there is no product I could rave about more than The Tattoo Lock-It Foundation by Kat Von D. I have fair skin and I use the shade Light 45 Warm.

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Maximize the power of your foundation

For an all-over illuminating affect, I mix my foundation with two drops of PrettyPretty Pearl Illuminating Drops – I actually purchased this in the makeup section at Burlington Coat Factory and unfortunately have not been able to find this product online to provide a link.

If your skin is dry, I also recommend mixing your foundation with two drops of Tarte Maracuja Oil. This can also help make your foundation less thick. This is yet another product that is so versatile it can be used alone to moisturize your skin and even replenish dry, damaged hair.

Invest in some decent brushes – and a blending sponge!

You really cannot achieve a flawless look without the right tools – quality matters! All of my brushes are from Beau Gâchis Cosmetics.  Blend your foundation over your skin with the Beau Gâchis Cosmetics Pro Series Applicator Sponge.

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For a great set of facial brushes, I also recommend the Highlight & Contour Set.  

For 20% off your purchase, use my code LISA at checkout!

Get a contour palette that does it all.

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My favorite contour palette is The Luminizers Palette by theBalm Cosmetics – there’s a shade for bronzing, one for highlighting, and one for adding a subtle rosy color to your cheeks. What more can you ask for?

Find a subtle lipstick that works for you.

Everyone has different skin tones – so a lipstick that might look great on one person may not look the same on someone else!

That’s why you have to test out products before you buy. If the product is only sold online, do as much research as you can – look to YouTube and Instagram for product swatches and reviews.

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Right now, my favorite every-day color happens to be the Candy K lipkit by Kylie Cosmetics. It’s a good every-day shade, and for a matte lipstick, the formula is not excessively drying.

Note : In the featured photo of me, I am wearing Koko by Kylie Cosmetics in the shade Bunny.  

This is more of a mauve-toned matte lipstick.

Select eyeshadows that compliment your eyes, skintone, and personal style

There are so many eye shadow pigments and palettes to choose from.

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Some of my favorite eyeshadow palettes include:

BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Eyeshadow Palette (pictured on left) If you like shimmery shades, this palette is for you. The bronze and copper shades work well with every eye color.

The Tarteist Pro Eyeshadow Palette (middle) This palette is ideal for someone who likes to use mainly matte-finish eye shadows. The selection of neutral and purple tones works especially well for green and brown eyes.

Naked Heat Palette (right) This one consists of warm, deep-toned reds, oranges, and browns. The terracotta tones really compliment blue eyes, and the product is pigmented enough to work well with just about any skin tone.

Set your makeup!

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The last and the most crucial step in any makeup routine – set your makeup to ensure it stays put all day long. I have found that using a combination of these two products – the Mario Badescu Facial Spray and NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray – really enhances the wear of my makeup.

What are some of your favorite beauty tips?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Books to Fall Into : Are You Sleeping By Kathleen Barber

Lately, I’ve fallen into the habit of picking up books, putting them down, and then returning to them days later only to rediscover that the book isn’t as interesting as I’d hoped. The truth is, there is nothing better than having a good book to look forward to reading every day and distract you from your daily mundane activities

In exchange for nothing but an honest review, Gallery Books sent me an E-reader edition of Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber. From the very first page, I was hooked. Finally, I had stumbled across a book that I could hardly put down.

Image result for kathleen barberJosie Buhrman has a haunting past. One that she has kept well hidden for the past thirteen years. Ten years prior, her father was murdered by the neighbor next door.  Afterwards, her mother ran away to join a cult. Josie and her twin sister, Lanie, are then taken in by their Aunt Amelia.

Josie and Lanie were once the best of friends. But after their father’s’ death, they begin to separate from one another .  And when Lanie severely betrays her sister, Josie makes the decision to cut all ties with her. As soon as she graduates high school, she changes her last name, moves to New York, and meets her boyfriend, Caleb.

Throughout their relationship, Josie has fed Caleb nothing but lies about herself, her family, and her past. She tells herself that one day, she will reveal the truth to him. But this day comes sooner than expected when the murder of Josie’s father, Chuck Buhrman, becomes the subject of a mega-hit podcast series called Reconsidered.

In Reconsidered , investigative journalist Poppy Parnell re-opens the Chuck Buhrman case, one that was ‘solved’ years ago. Is the man who was convicted for the murder actually innocent? If so, then who is responsible for the death of Josie’s father?

Highlighting just how quickly rumors can circulate and information can spread through online news and social media, Kathleen Barber puts an interesting spin on your average psychological thriller – incorporating podcasts, news articles, and tweets about the murder. Her novel takes readers on a fast-paced ride – and one that will always keep you guessing.

I will always enjoy a good thriller, but this book has stood out to me in more ways than one.  More than an addicting mystery, the novel is also a family drama – as details from their family’s past resurface, Josie is forced to reunite with the sister that she left behind. It’s interesting to see how their relationship progresses through time and how their interactions feed the subplot of the novel. The author incorporates lots of flashbacks and strong characterization that make it possible to truly explore the minds of each character.

Barber has all the makings of a successful author. Are You Sleeping happens to be her debut novel – and I am utterly impressed and highly anticipating her next release. If you’re looking for a great book to read this season, I couldn’t recommend this one more. 

kathleen-barber-2117221097Kathleen Barber was raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated from the University of Illinois and Northwestern University School of Law, and previously practiced bankruptcy law at large firms in Chicago and New York. When she’s not writing, Kathleen enjoys traveling the world with her husband.  

For more information, please visit https://kathleenbarber.com/

 

 

 

 

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Fall Fashion Must-Haves and Where to Find Them

Fall is here!  Bring on the cool nights, crazy Halloween costumes and makeup, the apple picking, the spooky attractions, and of course – the  pumpkin everything!

Although you may be ready for fall, is your wardrobe prepared? Here are some staple pieces for the new season – and shopping destination suggestions that won’t break the bank!

Ankle Boots

The past few weeks, I’ve been sooo busy hunting for the perfect pair of riding boots with absolutely no luck. Then, I thought about what other shoes are ideal for transitioning into fall, and pretty much every season…

Booties. There are soo many available right now, in a variety of styles and colors – and this falls trendiest shades include muted grays, taupes and browns. Some have high heels, while others are made with a low heel for every-day wear.

Where can you get them? For under $40, there is a wide selection of name brand booties available at Off Broadway Shoes. A selection of Sam Edelman booties are available at T,J. Maxx and Marshall’s. For online shoppers, I recommend checking out Zulily or Zappos.

The ‘Cold Shoulder’ Sweater

The Cold Shoulder puts a little spin on your basic sweater – and makes all the difference. Pair a white cold shoulder sweater with a pair of dark jeans, brown booties, and a patterned scarf for a simple every-day look. I purchased this sweater from the Loft Outlet – and it’s quickly become one of my favorites!

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Or, amp up your style with this cold-shoulder sweater dress – this piece is so cute and pairs especially well with tall boots and tights!

Layered Necklaces

Minimalist jewlery is in – these pieces are simple and oh-so-chic. Layered necklaces are cute and easy to pair with just about any outfit you can imagine!

Shopping tips from a jewelry addict : The LC Lauren Conrad jewelry collection sold at Kohl’s is my go-to source for simple pieces. I also really like Stargaze jewelry, which sells really unique necklaces and chokers you can layer together yourself for a one-of a kind look!

The Perfect Utility Jacket

A jacket that isn’t too heavy is totally necessary for fall. That’s why military/utility jackets are perfect – and they come in a variety of colors this season including green, navy blue, tan, and maroon.

They pair well with just about any outfit. Wear a feminine lace-trimmed top underneath, light wash denim, and brown booties. On cooler days, pair with your favorite sweater or flannel, thick leggings, and tall boots. Top it off with a patterned scarf, and you’re good to go!

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The great thing about this jacket is that it can also be worn in the spring season – so it’s definitely worth the purchase!

Where to buy : For a wide selection, Macy’s. Gap and Old Navy are your best bets. Also take a look at Revolve, NastyGal, and Free People.

The Everyday Tote

You can’t go wrong with a bag that does it all – and has room for your every-day essentials whether you are going to class or work.

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Let’s shop : For high-quality designer bags that won’t break your budget, shop off-brand retailers such as Marshall’s and Nordstrom Rack. Outlet stores such as Michael Kors and Kate Spade are another great option. Online bargain shoppers will love the selection at BeyondtheRack , Gilt, and Tradesy.

What fashion statement do you hope to make this season?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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September Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal – Mac Cosmetics, Tarte, and more!

Happy Fall everyone!

With the arrival of fall, get ready to welcome some new and exciting beauty trends – and no, I am not talking about the ‘wavy brow’ trend. I’m talking about the really awesome shades of the fall eye shadow looks – burgundy, rose golds, and metallics. This season, long lashes are an absolute must, and bold lips and glowy skin are all the rage.

Luckily, with my beauty subscription to Ipsy , these trends are effortless to achieve. And it’s a great way for me to experiment with new products – I don’t want to get stuck in just one boring every-day makeup routine.

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I used my Mac Cosmetics Strobe Cream from my Ipsy bag to create a subtle glow that is noticeably visible in all lighting.

Makeup is fun – let’s keep it that way. As the heat of the summer cools down into cozy fall weather, you don’t have to put as much time and effort into constantly setting and re-applying your makeup. So, this season, I challenge each of you to spend a little of that extra time experimenting with new looks.

What is Ipsy?  Every month, I receive five sample and full-sized products from high-end, luxurious brands as well as independent emerging beauty brands!

This month, I received a product from one of my favorite beauty brands – MAC Cosmetics ! Keep reading for a full review of this product, as well as the other items I received. 🙂

Teez Cosmetics -Eve’s Ready to Wear Lipstick in Romantic Red

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This particular brand is sold by luxury fashion retailer Lord & Taylor, and this particular item retails for $22.

The lipstick I received is full-size, and comes in super cute packaging. I was a bit wary of the shade – it’s been a while since I rocked a bold red lip.

But a red lip will always be in style – its classic and elegant. This shade is stunning, and the formula is super hydrating. It’s a nice change from my usual matte lipstick!

Pixi by Petra – Fresh Face Blush in BeachRose 

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I’m picky about blushes – many just don’t appear natural and look too bright or pink for my moderately fair skin.

I love this shade ! BeachRose is a  really pretty nude peach shade that can almost work as a bronze for lighter skin tones. For darker skin tones, this is a very subtle blush.  I honestly have been using this every day since I got it.

Note: This is an Ipsy-exclusive product so you cannot purchase it by itself online except possibly through reseller sites.

MAC Strobe Cream in Pinklite

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I used this product to apply a soft, glowy highlight across my cheekbones. It looked so pretty – Pinklite looks even more amazing in the  sunlight!

I thought this product was just a highlighter, but upon doing some further research, I learned that its really so much more! It can be used as a primer to hydrate, moisturize and prep your skin for makeup application. It can be mixed with your foundation to create a natural glowing affect. And, it can be worn alone to awaken dull skin and create a natural glow.

I really just love the versatility of this product – and how how the product felt on my skin and how truly subtle it looked. I honestly cannot recommend this product more, and I will definitely be purchasing a full-sized version ASAP.

 

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

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This is one of the mascaras I always go back to – time and time again. And it’s as though Ipsy read my mind – I’m definitely due for a new tube of this mascara!

In combination with Tarte’s eyelash curler, this mascara is a show-stopper. Seriously, it adds the perfect amount of volume and length to my lashes. I curl my lashes, and then apply mascara, and repeat until I have achieved the desired affect.

Skin Food Black Sugar Mask

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I’m a huge fan of naturally made, dye free cleansers, masks, scrubs, and basically anything sold by LUSH Handmade Cosmetics. But I am always down to test out beauty brands that I’ve never before used – especially when they are made with some of the same, all-natural ingredients as the skincare items I love most.

This product has a simple, no-nonse packaging and delivers some serious skin results. The scrub left my skin feeling refreshed and smooth to the touch. Best of all, it smells amazing!

I really don’t have anything bad to say about my Ipsy bag this month – I am truly happy with each of the products I received. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next month!

To my fellow Ipsy subscribers, what kinds of goodies did you get this month? What are your favorites? Comment your thoughts – I would love to hear what you think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal

I can’t believe it’s already the end of August! I’m sad that the warm weather will be coming to an end soon, but I am looking forward to fall weather – and fall fashion, hair and makeup trends!

Anyway, here’s what I got this month in my Ipsy subscription.

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Aurora Pro Color Corrector in Pistachio

I never really understood the point of using green color correctors to eliminate redness – I am sure it may work for some people, but it typically doesn’t do too much for my skin. even though my skin is  prone to redness!

I noticed that this color corrector was very thin – and had very minimal coverage. Can’t say I would recommend this product – but if you are into color correcting, I would recommend the Naked Skin Correcting Fluid by Urban Decay  – I use the pink one to lighten dark spots, but they also have green, purple, and peach tones for all of your color correcting needs.

Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Arresting Mascara

I had high hopes for this mascara and was hoping it would add some serious volume to my lashes. However, it really doesn’t do much as far as adding volume or length – unless you feel like layering it on over and over again. So this mascara was just okay for me. It’s a mascara I will keep in my purse and use on the go. The full-size product retails for $25.00 so I wouldn’t purchase it. I’ll stick to my go-to, Doucce Maxlash Volumizer Mascara, $22 – this product I also discovered through Ipsy!

TheBalm Cosmetics Voyage Vol. 2 Eyeshadow in Kuwakaribisha

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I LOVE TheBalm Cosmetics and I am always happy to receive any of their products in my Ipsy bag! This product can be used as both an eyeshadow and highlighter – and it seriously looks bomb in any lighting.

This product alone is available exclusive to Ipsy! However, it is one of the many shades in the Balm Voyage Vol. 2 palette! If you are looking to buy a new full-sized highlighter, I would also recommend their Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter . 

Hikari Cosmetics Shimmer Bronzer in Flush

This product consists of a bronzer, two blushes, and a gold-shimmery bronzer/eyeshadow. All beautiful shades, but..

Super confused by the entire concept of this product. Each square of product is so small that you cannot possibly dip your bronzing brush into it. Which means you can either apply the product with your finger or an eye shadow brush – totally not ideal.

So I ended up using each shade as an eyeshadow. I really loved the two blush shades and feel as though they work better as eyeshadows – one is a pretty pale pink that looks great on the lid. All shades blend pretty easily.

The second time I went to use this product, I opened up my makeup bag to find that the all of the shadows had somehow broken. So while the product itself is decent, the packaging is extremely cheap.

Cliv Max Hyaluronic Mask

I usually stay far away from sheet masks – I just think the product doesn’t usually absorb into my skin. Also they are kind of creepy looking.

I received two of these sheet masks, which contain tea callus extract, rose water, and witch hazel. Rose water is an ingredient I seek out in any skincare product – it helps to eliminate redness and irritation and even helps heal acne scars.

I was pleasantly surprised at just how hydrated my skin felt after using this face mask. And once you have left the mask on for 15 minutes, there’s product left on your skin that you don’t need to wash off – you can actually rub into your skin for added moisture.

For the most part, I really enjoyed this month’s Ipsy bag – I can’t wait to see what I receive next month.

If you’re looking to subscribe to this fabulous beauty subscription service, click here.

(This link will access you immediate referral and will help ou avoid being put on the wait list !)

What are some of your favorite Ipsy beauty goodies?

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Brand Spotlight : Wet N’ Wild Cosmetics

All of the beauty influencers have been talking about the popular drugstore brand Wet N’ Wild. Jeffree Star – one of my absolute favorite makeup artists – is known for being brutally honest in all of his beauty reviews.  Jeffree raves about Wet N’ Wild cosmetics.  His recent video on their upcoming fall product line really inspired me and made me want to go out and purchase a few of their products.

I went to CVS and was pleased to find that they had a good selection of Wet N’ Wild products . I  purchased nine products and spent about $35. CVS had a buy one get one half off special, and Rite Aid now has a buy one get one free for all Wet N Wild Products.

I  honestly haven’t ever tried anything from Wet N’ Wild and always assumed their products couldn’t possibly be good since they were so cheap.  I am, however, glad I put these thoughts aside and took a chance purchasing their makeup! They are very affordable – and cruelty-free!

I put each of these items to the test and wore them on two separate occasions – one for an afternoon outside and another during a night out with friends.

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Here is a full listing of all the products I bought, their price, and my thoughts.

Photofocus Face Primer, $4.99

This primer is a great base for applying your foundation and it helped to even out the texture of my skin. The formula itself is very thin and feels like a lotion with an instant smoothing affect.

Au Naturel Eyeshadow Palette in Nude Awakening, $6.99

I was excited to use this palette because many have called it a “dupe” for the Naked 3 palette by Urban Decay – one of my favorite every-day eye shadow palettes.

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While the two palettes share some similar shades, the Nude Awakening palette has a matte shade of deep mauve that I was really drawn to. In total, there are 10 shades – 5 shimmers and 5 mattes.

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I dug right into the mauve shade and was surprised to find how pigmented it was , and how difficult it was to blend into my crease. I spent a lot of time blending these matte shades, which was frustrating. It didn’t help that the mauve shade was even darker than it appeared in the palette.

The shimmer shades in the palette were easier to use and blend with. I really liked the gold shades, and I did find that the shadows – in combination with the Urban Decay Potion Primer – were crease-free and long-lasting.

This product is definitely not a “dupe” for the Naked 3. Quality and ease of blending just do not compare.  😦

Photofocus Foundation in Buff Bisque, $5.99

I applied this foundation with my Beau Gachis Pro Series Applicator Sponge and I was shocked at just how well it performed on my skin. Although the formula is lightweight – and has minimal coverage with one application – it is extremely buildable. You can use 2-3 layers of this foundation without it appearing cakey.

I usually use foundations that have a matte finish as my skin tends to get oily in the summer. However, this foundation really worked for my skin – and stayed put throughout the day.

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If you have spent hours doing your makeup, and prepared for the perfect photo only to find that the flash has given your complexion a strange white overcast, then you too have fallen victim to photo flashback.

This foundation, however is formulated to look great in photographs and has been tested in seven different light conditions. I can honestly say that this foundation photographs extremely well – and even better than my favorite high-end foundations. LOVE this product!

Conceal Makeup Stick in Follow Your Bisque, $3.99

After applying the foundation, I used this conceal stick to contour on my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. I then blended it out with my beauty sponge and this was pretty easy – but my makeup looked pretty cakey and dry on my nose area so I had to reapply. I notice that this happens with a lot of concealers. The coverage is fair. Overall, I think this product is good for contouring purposes.

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Contour Makeup Stick in Where’s Walnut?, $3.99

Contour sticks are all the rave, so I was excited to try this one out. First thing I noticed after opening the package was the scent of the product – and it wasn’t pleasant.

Fortunately, once you have blended out the product on your skin, the smell doesn’t linger on your skin. It blends pretty easily with a makeup brush or sponge, and the shade worked well with my fair complexion.

And unlike KKW Beauty’s new line of contour sticks, there’s actually a decent amount of product – so you can make use of this contour stick as often as you like.

Illuminator Stick in When the Nude Strikes,$3.99

This pink, shimmery highlight is a cream to powder formula that can add an insane amount of glow to your cheekbones. It looks amazing from every angle.

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I did, however, try to highlight my nose with this product and it unfortunately made my makeup look cakey – I had to reapply my foundation.

Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink, $4.99

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This palette has three highlights – a pale yellow gold, a pink, and a copper gold. It also has a shade of blush. These shades can be used separately or mixed together. Unlike the illuminator stick, this one really works well on top of a foundation without looking cakey. It’s also easy to blend and can be used as an eye shadow too. Would definitley purchase again!

Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick in Rebel Rose,  $4.99

This is such a pretty matte lip – and for a drug store product, the quality really isn’t too bad. I noticed the wear of this lipstick wasn’t as long as my Kylie Cosmetics lip kits or the Kat Von D Everlasting lipsticks – but it lasted longer than ColourPop without getting super dry and flaky. Definitley worth the $5 if you are looking for a decent matte lipstick.

PhotoFocus Setting Spray Seal the Deal, $4.99

To set my makeup, I used this setting spray and I fell in love. Seriously, it really helps my makeup stay put throughout the day and it works better than almost all of the high-end setting sprays I have purchased in the past.

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Overall, I am pretty impressed with the wear and quality of these products.

This blog post is the first of my brand Spotlight series – I will be testing out new brands, do a full face using their products, and review each! What brand should I do next?

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July Ipsy Glam Bag Reveal

Every month, I look forward to receiving my monthly bag from Ipsy.  I’ve decided to start sharing my reviews on each of the bags I’ve received – and ways to incorporate each of these items into your every-day beauty routine! I also hope that these reviews can be helpful in deciding if this subscription service is right for you.

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Each Ipsy bag contains five full-sized and sample-sized products.

  1. WINKY LUX Double Matte Lip – Angel Food

This nude matte lip is hydrating and minimally drying.  The color is great and the lipstick lasts for a fair amount of time – I would say three hours maximum. It could definitely last longer, but I would definitely purchase a full-size version of this product because it is a good value for the price – it retails for $13.

2. Ciaté London Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Eyeliner

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This eyeliner pencil features a built-in angled brush for blending. Personally, I think eyeliner pencils are elementary and impractical for my specific beauty routine – I always use liquid liners for creating a perfect winged eye. I can, however, use this eyeliner on my upper waterline. The formula itself is creamy and bendable, so if you do use gel eyeliners you will probably like this product.

3.  OFRA Cosmetics – Gold Rush Eyeshadow

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I am always happy to receive any product from OFRA Cosmetics. The brand has highly pigmented shadows that are comparable to those sold by Morphe. This particular eye shadow is a shimmery gold – and I used it to create my eye shadow look in combination with deep red and purple shades including both Love Letter and Venetian Red from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette

4. Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Lip Conditioner

This lip balm is extremely moisturizing – and great for nourishing your lips after wearing matte lip stick all day. All of Jersey Shore Cosmetics’ products are all-natural and cruelty-free, so I will definitely be purchasing from them in the future.

5. Lychee + Gold Healthy Glow Rose-Gold Blush

I am pretty picky about blush – it’s hard to find one that actually looks natural! I found this blush added the perfect peachy glow to my complexion.

Overall, I really enjoyed my Ipsy bag. The main reason I’ve stuck with Ipsy is because it truly is the best way to discover new and emerging beauty brands that I otherwise would have no idea existed. Recently, the Ipsy website has become a great resource for beauty news and trends, which is a huge advantage to beauty junkies like me. If you’d like to join, please visit https://www.ipsy.com/new?cid=ppage_ref&sid=link&refer=1307p

 

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I used all of my products in the July Ipsy bag to create this look! I also used other products such as : The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer, Kat Von D Tattoo Lock-It foundation in Light 44, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil medium/deep matte bronzer, Brow Art23 Professional Eyebrow Powder in Dark Blonde, Doucce Maxlash Volumizer mascara, Kylie Cosmetics Lip Liner in Candy K, Colourpop Highlighter in Smoke N’ Whistles, Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette.

 

 

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Beau Gâchis Paris : Luxurious Beauty Tools that Won’t Break Your Budget

Beau Gâchis Cosmetics just might be my new favorite beauty obsession.

“Beau gâchis” is French and translates to Beautiful Mess”. Anyone who knows me knows that I love anything and everything French – and anything related to beauty. Sure enough, this brand delivers high-quality, professional makeup brushes, beauty sponges and other beauty tools and accessories have become an essential part of my every-day beauty routine.

These products are super affordable already, but with my coupon code LISA, you can save an additional 20% off of your purchase!

Of course, I would not recommend these products to my readers without testing these products and sharing my full, honest opinion first. Here are the various products i received, along with my review of each.

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  1. Limited Edition Highlight & Contour Set 

There is nothing cuter than this little clutch that opens up to reveal some of the softest, most high-precision brushes I have ever used. These include the Flat Contour brush, Contour brush, Tapered Highlighter brush, and a Fan Highlighter brush.

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Each is equally amazing,and I love using the flat contour brush to evenly contour my nose. If II had to pick a favorite out of all of these brushes, I would choose the fan brush – it s perfect for applying highlighter to your nose, cheekbones, and eyebrow bone area.

Keep in mind that each brush in this kit can be purchased individually if desired.

  1. 7 Piece Makeup Brush Set with Leather Storage Case

How you choose to store your makeup brushes matters. If you leave your brushes out in the open on your vanity or bathroom mirror,  they can collect dust, dirt, and other bacteria that will transfer to your skin – yuck!

This storage case is perfect for keeping your makeup brushes clean and dust-free at all times. This little set comes with two eye-shadow brushes – one for applying shadow and the other for blending. It also comes with an eyebrow brush, an eyebrow brush and comb, foundation brush, contour brush, and powder brush.

 

I found that the powder brush was great for applying my RCMA Makeup No Color Powder when setting my makeup. I also loved the eyebrow brush, which I used to fill in my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe.

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  1. 5 Piece Eye Essentials Brush Set

This set includes a cute cloth cosmetics bag with the brands logo on one side and the words “Beautiful Mess” on the other, as well as an eyeliner brush, eye shader brush, definer brush, tapered blending brush, and sponge shader brush. The sponge shader brush is essentially a tiny beauty blender – and I loved using it to blend not only my eyeshadow, but my under-eye concealer. For this look, I used Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid in Pink.

The eyeliner brush was perfect for adding eyeshadow to my lower lash line. I wet the brush just a tiny bit and applied my Mac Pigment in Blue-Brown.

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  1. PRO Series Applicator Sponge Duo

I am super picky about my blending sponges, which is why, for years, I swore I would never use anything other than the Original BeautyBlender that sells at Sephora for $20. because cheaper sponges just could not compare.

But I LOVE these sponges . One is a tear drop shape similar to the Original Beauty Blender and the other is a pear shape. Much to my surprise, however,  these sponges blend my makeup much more smoothly, thoroughly and efficiently than the Original BeautyBlender. They use less product and retain more water which helps you attain the most even coverage possible. These sponges are also incredibly easy to wash with just soap and water. For this look, I used the pear shaped beauty blender to apply my Lock-It Foundation in Light 44. 

  1. Concealer Brush

Like all of the other brushes I received, this one is soft and durable. You will not find any uneven bristles or fall-out. This brush is perfect for applying and blending makeup on small imperfections. I used my concealer brush to apply my Lock-It Concealer Cream in Cool.

The Final Verdict:

I spend a lot of time researching before purchasing my beauty tools and investing a lot of money into these products. I find that cheap makeup brushes aren’t very durable, feel rough against my skin, and do not distribute product evenly enough.

These brushes, however, are the best of both worlds. Each brush is high-quality, easy to use, and easy to wash. Best of all, they are extremely affordable.

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While i genuinely loved all of these products, my favorite has to be the Limited Edition Highlight and Contour Set. These brushes look and feel especially luxurious and high-end.

If you have thought about purchasing a new beauty sponge, I can honestly say that these ones are even better than the Original BeautyBlender – and much more affordable!

If you are in need of some new beauty tools – or just feel like treating yourself! – head on over to beaugachiscosmetics.com. You won’t regret it!

Use my code LISA for $$$ off your purchase – Shop now!

 

 

tap-on-hair

for all my natural hair queens

The Godly Chic Diaries

BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH