2015 Beauty Favorites

 

Foundation:

Too Face Born This Way –  If I had to pick just one non-airbrush foundation it would have to be this one.

 

Concealer:

MAC Pro Longwear –  I keep trying to find a replacement for this and it has just stayed my go to for years.

Applicator:

Beauty Blender – it just can’t be duplicated

Brushes:

Wayne Goss – these cruelty free, handmade brushes are amazing

Eye shadow:

Viseart – All of these are amazing,  I’m more than half way through collecting them all.

Eyeliner:

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – Black or Brown this brush tip is amazing and I love it so much.  (Physicians Formula has a great second place but if its a big event I’m going with Kat Von D’s)

 

Lash Treatment:

Careprost – does amazing thisng for my lashes.  Shipping is expensive so I buy a years supply at a time.

Lip Treatment:

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment – Slather this on at night before bed every day and you will see results in just a day or two.  So many brides ask me about dry lips and I always tell them this one is worth the price tag.

 

Lip Color:

Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour – It’s my power color: Rouge Louboutin 001M.  Yes it has a ridiculous price tag but its amazing, beautiful product, beautiful packaging, and always a conversation starter.

 

Skincare:

Retin A – My prescription from my dermatologist is a must have.  If you can’t get a prescription I would recommend Sunday Riley’s Luna Oil.

 

Shampoo:

Kerastase Reflection Bain Chroma Captive – This is recommend by my hairdresser, we started using this when I had violet hair as anything red tone likes to fade fast.  It’s amazing at keeping hair looking great no matter how many times or what color you are dying it.

Kerastase Reflection Bain Chroma Captive Shampoo, 34 Ounce

Conditioner:

Macadamia Oil Deep Repair Masque –  Amazing!!! I have tried this up against some much more expensive mask and it is my favorite.  Buy the big one, you won’t be sorry.

Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque - 8.5 oz

Leave-in:

MoroccanOil Treatment Original – I’ve used it for years, like seriously around 6 years, and I can’t live without it and nothing duplicates it.

Moroccanoil Treatment - Argan Oil

Heat Protectors:

John Friday Frizz Ease 3 Day –  Comes in straight and now in Curly.  Love them and they are amazing.  The straight one I have use for years and a plus is that it helps prevent those ponytail creases.

 

 

Ending 2015 I am still searching for the following Holy Grail products, if you have some suggestions let me know:

  • Under eye setting powder
  • Mascara
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Highlighter
  • Blush
  • Hairspray

 

 

 

 

Sonia Kashuk Eyeshadow

I purchased this Sonia Kashuk Eye shadow Quad in The Metallics 08 from Target, which is the only retailer you can purchase Sonia Kashuk.
http://scene7.targetimg1.com/is/image/Target/15547048?wid=410&hei=410

I VERY rarely return products, does that mean I always purchase products that are absolute winners….no.  Most of the time when I buy something that I do not end up keep I think well this product just isn’t right for me (color, skin type, etc.)  or I think that I have something equal or better that I don’t want to keep it to just for the sake of clutter.  Most of those items I keep in a bag until here are quite a few and then I sanitize them and let me friends pick away, most of them are not as makeup addicted as I so they love picking though my extras.  I feel that return these items is not really justified because they are not bad, and I know makeup is not something that anyone can resell, so it feels a little unfair to me (I know some won’t agree) to return something to a retailer just because it didn’t live up to my very high standards when there is not anything actually wrong with the product.

This eyeshadow quad however went back, I’m sorry Target but this was complete crap and since i couldn’t swatch it in the store I had no idea.  At $13.69  I was not willing to just throw my money away and I was not going to give this to any of my friends because it was completely useless.  I would enter swatch photos but it literally didn’t swatch,  just like like a very slight glimmer of some pathetic glitter which didn’t show up in photos.

I do not typically like to bash products but I hope this post saves one person from the hassle of purchasing and returning.

Bite Lip Wipes

I purchased these little babies fully expecting them to be a little gimmicky but thought it was worth a try.  After buying them I now think these are a must have for anyone the loves to wear bright, bold, or dark lipsticks!!!  I have already made a repurchase just to make sure I do not run out.

These can be purchased at Sephora for $12 and come with the little bag and mirror kit that I keep in my purse at all times now.

For awhile there was a separate box you could purchase for refills but I no longer find that available and wish they would bring it back.

These are amazing!!! You know when you wear a bold lipstick and it starts to give-way; you are typically left with the decision of trying to touch it up, which depending on the formula can make things worse, or try to wipe it off which typically can leave you in a bigger mess than you started with if any strays onto your face and then you are touching that up too….

Not with these babies, these have the amazing ability to wipe off that lipstick in a quick few swipes.  The wipe is small enough that you have full control and that you don’t feel wasteful because it is just the right size for wiping everything off.

I don’t fine that they leave any horrible taste or after film.  There is a slight something but nothing I can put my finger on and as soon as you put on fresh lipstick you are back to perfection.

You really need to go pick these up, they are a game changer and leave you less hesitant to wear that amazing lipstick you just couldn’t resist purchasing at the counter, so take it for a spin.

Laura Mercier Undereye Concealer

I wanted to so badly to have this be my all time favorite concealer that I bought it in two colors (winter & summer).

However, my under eye is just way to dry for this concealer.  More than any other I have tried this is a very dry (but liquid/cream) product, which does in theory keep it from creasing.  However my under eye area is already so dry that this just makes it look worse.

I can get this to work by putting facial oil under my eyes before bed, the an eye cream in the morning.  Then this will apply just fine.  But that’s a lot of work to make a product work on my face and keeps me from doing other skin care needs overnight.

I think this would be a great product for anyone with oily skin.  If you have normal to dry skin I would not spend the money on this one, and it’s not cheap.

YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

I received this YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils from YSL & Influenster for review.  At first I didn’t have high hopes because it seems so many companies are constantly releasing new mascaras promising you the world.  I have a fairly unique view on mascara, I don’t like to layer it on, I really just want it to make my lashes look better and not be incredibly noticeable that I have mascara on other than the fact that my lashes look dark and beautiful.

I do use careprost to keep my lashes long, my natural lashes are dark at the root and light at the tip, so mascara is always a good idea for me to show off the full length of my lashes. As you know from a previous post, I also perm my lashes to keep them curled at all times.  So what I need in a mascara is something that makes them black, adds a little to the length, separates and gives some volume without being clumpy, and I think this mascara does a very natural job of all of those.

Because I was sent this for review I really stared this mascara down for a few days of wearing it.  I really like the look it gives my lashes.  I did notice some very fine flaking towards he mid-late part of the day but it was because I was staring and looking for it, not something I just noticed in passing.  It’s not very humid here yet so I am yet to test this out in our Houston summer climate, but it did well in showers of not making me look like a complete racoon.

This mascara is a little on the expensive side, retailing for $32.  If you want one good mascara and you are willing to spend a little money I think this mascara is a good option. I have been happy and will probably be purchasing for my self when it runs out.

I did also get the new Benefit Roller lash around the same time as this was sent to me and I reached for this one more often.  This mascara left my lashes feeling softer and I found the Roller Lash to be clumpier/thicker.

Wantable

I decided to cancel my Beauty Box 5 subscription because I was just not loving what was coming so I got a little subscription happy and it addition to my Le Tote (read all about that here)  I decided to splurge on a Wantable Makeup Subscription.
Wantable has 3 different types of subscriptions services: Makeup, Jewelry, & Intimates.  All three are the same cost, $36 a month.
I of course got Makeup, and this was my first box I received July 2014.
I love that my name is one the little sticker inside the box, don’t know what that gave me such a thrill.  But I was pretty happy with my box.
The Tarina Tarantino eyeshadow palette was a great surprise because I had almost purchased that exact one a few days before this arrived but decided to save a little money.  And when I opened it I was so excited it was one of the two palettes I was debating between.
The Custom 3 shade is marked as a cake liner but I don’t feel that is necessarily accurate, to me it’s just a really great eyeshadow that you can use wet or dry.  The photo does not do the color justice, it’s a very pretty green with gold metallic, very unique and nice to get since I don’t think I would have purchased this on my own.
Two items from Mica Beauty…. a felt tip eyeliner in black that is fine but I’m not a huge fan of felt tips.  Also they stated that retail price of the felt tip was $30, anyone that pays $30 for that eyeliner is out of their mind.  I highly suggest if you even considered purchasing it for that price that you look at Kat Von D’s eyeliners (Ink if you want felt tip, Tattoo if you like a pen brush style), Physicians Formula makes a fabulous pen brush style eyeliner that last all day, as well as Stila Eyliners are always great if you are looking for a felt tip; all of the ones I just listed are well below $30.
The eyebrow gel on the other hand is very nice.  At first when I went to apply it I did not think it was going to go very well. I was expecting something more similar to Anastasia Dip Brow but when I went to dip my brush in it I realized it was much more dry/hard. However I continued on because I’ll give everything a try once, and I actually REALLY like this product.  Because it has a bit more of a wax texture to it my brows not only became filled in but behaved better.  Also with Dip Brow it can become to much really quickly, but the texture of this really lets you build up and you are not as likely to go overboard with it.  The color was great and spot on for the Burgundy hair color that I have without turning my eyebrows Burgundy, just gave my brows a nice auburn undertone so that they still looked very natural.  Only negative: I would not use the attached brush on my eyebrows so they could have just but a regular cap on it.
If you are not happy with what you receive Wantable does allow refunds which I have not yet tried but it states that you can do a full box refund and some boxes are eligible for partial refunds but not all.
UPDATE: After receiving this box for a year I have canceled.   The contents got less impressive over time and for the price of this one I found my money was better spent on Glossybox & Boxycharm

Le Femme Eyeshadow & Blush

I picked up some Le Femme products at Makeup Mania while I was visiting family in Denver.   I was unfamiliar with the brand, but it is very inexpensive and it came recommended form my other family makeup guru so I decided to jump in with both feet and get the 12 well custom palette that they sell in the store for $45.
La Femme Blush Palette 12 Color
La Femme Blush on Rouge RefillLa Femme Eye Shadow Pans Refill Large

Individual pans are $3.50 …. I mean how crazy is that.  They are very good size pans and have great pigment and blend-ability.  One of my favorite things about this brand is that the blushes (which they are most famous for) and the eye shadows are the same size so you can mix and match a palette the way you want.

La Femme Empty Blush Palette (12 well)

They are not the easiest things to find online, I did a little research after I tried them out a few times and fell in love.  There are some old YouTube videos all praising them (even my beloved Wayne Goss), but they do not even have their own website up and running.  The best two places (most reputable) I can find is Makeup Mania and Camera Ready Cosmetics.

I can not find the 12 well palette for $45 on the website but they are a great little store and I can bet that if you called them they would give you the same deal plus shipping cost.  Maybe tell them I sent you 😉

Late….June Beauty Box vs Ipsy

June Beauty Box 5 & Ipsy content Photos:
I enjoyed that Beauty Box 5 was on a “natural” kick this month with items promoting “paraben free” , “formaldehyde free” etc.
The shampoo & condition packets where disappointing because it looks like free samples you receive in magazines & the mail.  They were even more disappointing when I used them because I got out of the shower and dried and styled my hair only to get back in and wash it all over again with something different……Yes it was that bad. I would have been better off if I had just rinsed my hair in warm water.
The nail polish is very nice, I took it to get my regular pedicure and the Salon tech was very complimentary of the application.  I love the color and will be holding on to this little goodie.  It has stayed on very well with no chips; however it did fade in spots with my spray tan blocking lotion which is the first time I have seen any of my pedicures do this.  Especially seeing they put a top coat on top of it.
Vitabath is nice, very sugary scent. But not something I would necessarily search to make sure I could purchase it again.  It’s a body wash, nothing special.
I do really like the mascara, it survived the humid south test when I was outside several hours with it on.  I love the little brush that is in this trial size which had me wanting to purchase it again but when I look at the photos of the full size it looks like the brush gets full size too, so maybe I will skip.
Ipsy was a tough one this month, at first glance I was excited but then there where some down falls.
Love that the bag is my Rebecca Minkoff, I love her purses!
I was excited that the mascara appeared to be full size, but then I opened it and it had an awful smell so I chucked it into the trash without trying it.  Nothing that smells that bad is going near my sensitive eyes.
The perfume had exploded inside that little bag, which they don’t normally use those little bags, so that makes me think they were aware that this would be an issue.  Since when I opened that bag I was not amazed by the smell, that went in the trash too because the container and the inside where covered in it and I doubted much was left if I bothered to get it out and clean it all off.
Getting a full size NYX butter gloss was exciting since I love the one I have, but there was one problem. This happened to be the color I have!  I only have one and they sent me the same one, not that there is any way they could have prevented that.  So I gave this one to a coworker and shared the love.
The OFRA brow pencil is ok, I think it would be better as an eyeliner because it’s just too soft in my book to be used on the brows.  So I will be switching it’s use. It is a very pretty dark brown, good for smudging the lower lash line maybe….
Beach spray I honestly have not tried yet.  I am not a huge fan of hair styling products and it sounds like my hair will fell sticky. I will save it because it could come in handy for a special even of some sort.

Ben Nye Powder – Under Eye

If you follow my blog much you know one of my greatest challenges on my personal face is the under eye area.  I have dark and very puffy under-eye that even my dermatologist is out of ideas on how to treat.  So obviously everyday my under-eye routine includes a very high coverage concealer.

This then creates yet another problem, creasing.   Over the years I have tried many different powders to set the under-eye concealer.  My biggest problem with most is that they change the color of the concealer when you apply it.  I’m sure it has something to do with chemical reactions or oxidation because it will even happen with the so called “translucent” powders that are not suppose to have any color.  Another problem is some translucent powders will cause flash back in photos due to their silica base.

I feel that after trying several drugstore and high end powders I have finally found my champion.  It doesn’t adjust the color of the concealer I have applied and it also stops concealers I had previously given up on from creasing. The unfortunate part is you will probably have to buy this online unless you have a professional makeup store near you or you can also find this at the costume shops that are permanent and open all year long.

Ben Nye Neutral Set Translucent Face Powder

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Available In:
TP-5  1.75 oz / 49 gmTP-6  3 oz / 85 gmTP-61  8 oz / 226 gm

You might recognize this as the brand that Kim K. made famous for their Banana Luxury Powder.  I have tried that as well and while it is beautiful it is to dark for my undereye.  If you are wanting something with color in it then my next recomendation would be one of Ben Nye’s Luxury Powder, in your coordinating color.  My problem is that most of the lighter shades are too pink undertone for me so I like using neutral. Price ranges is around $6 reatail and up depending on size and store.  And if you airbrush like me and will only be using this under-eye, this will last you forever! So I suggest the smallest size.

You can find this available for purchase at:

http://www.nigelbeauty.com
http://www.naimies.com
http://www.frendsbeauty.com
https://camerareadycosmetics.com

If you are a makeup artist please see my post here on how to apply for a discount at these retailers before purchase.