December 2015 Favorites!

December Favorites

Hello everyone!  How was your Christmas and long weekend?  Mine was great although I still can’t believe that we are only a few days away from a new year.  Crazy how time is zooming by.

Anyhow, I’ve gathered my favorites this month so let’s get started. 🙂

Renee Rouleau Purifying Face Wash

This face wash is on heavy rotation in my skincare routine.  It’s a very gentle, unscented gel cleanser that slightly foams but doesn’t leave skin feeling stripped of moisture.  Ingredients like sea whip and green tea are included to calm skin. I think this cleanser is perfect if you don’t have too many breakouts.

Skin Script Raspberry Refining Cleanser 

I ordered a box full of Skin Script skincare gift sets and I’m really loving this cleanser.  It smells like raspberries and includes glycolic and salicylic acid to help clear up acne as well as yucca extract to help relieve irritation.  This cleanser gently foams and rinses clean without that harsh tight feeling certain cleansers can leave afterward.

Skin Script Cacteen Balancing Moisturizer

I picked up a few samples of this moisturizer at the esthetic trade show in Long Beach and it’s been a good moisturizer for these winter nights.  A medium weight moisturizer, this has prickly pear cactus to help heal and is rich on olive oil fatty acids that help retain moisture in the skin.

Tarte Cosmetics Beauty and the Box Eyeshadow in Apple of My Eye

I’ve been reaching for this eyeshadow quad quite frequently throughout the holidays and I love it. Bronze and gold eyeshadows are my go-to shades and this quad encompasses gorgeous colors that can be used to create subtle daytime looks to dramatic smoky night time looks.

e.l.f. EX-tra Lip Gloss in Scott

I picked up the e.l.f. Mix and Mingle Lip Gloss set at Target and while I’ll have a complete review on the blog later, the shade I have been loving is Scott. Scott is a peach beige lipgloss with gold flecks that once applied give a nice subtle glow.  Priced at $2 each, they glosses have good pigmentation, decent staying power, aren’t sticky and have a sweet taste.  My only issue is that the lip gloss applicator is flimsy and I’m constantly worried it may break off.

Scott Swatch

e.l.f. EX-tra Lipgloss in Scott

Rhonda Allison Holiday Wine Luster Holiday Set

I follow fellow esthetican Christina Gliatta from Estie Skincare on Instagram and when she posted this Rhonda Allison kit, I knew I had to order it from her.  I’ve been wanting to try Rhonda Allison skincare products for a while and this kit did not disappoint.  It includes one ounce of Cucumber Spritz and half an ounce of Blushed Wine Gel.

I use the Cucumber Spritz in the morning before I apply my makeup to add moisture to my skin without it feeling heavy. Depending on the weather, I’ll toss it into my purse and take it on the go to refresh my skin.  The Blushed Wine Gel is a great antioxidant moisturizer for my combination skin during the day.  It has small shimmer particles that provides skin with a glow and it works great under my makeup.

So far, I am impressed with the Rhonda Allison line and can’t wait to try more in the future.  If you’re looking to try out Rhonda Allison products, make sure to follow Estie Skincare-Christina is super nice and helpful.

Sara Happ Lip Scrub in Peppermint 

A special extra that Christina included- thank you!- this lip scrub is heaven sent!  I like Fresh Sugar Lip Polish but this one is more moisturizing, and perfect for this harsh winter weather.  The price is a little steep at $24 but you only need very little of this luxurious feeling lip scrub so it will last you a long time.  Lips feel super soft and hydrated and most importantly, are left flake free.  Bonus: the packaging is so chic complete with a little bow.

Estie Skincare

What are your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

November Favorites 2015!

Nov End

Happy December everyone! My, my, how time is just zooming by.  Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  🙂

Well, it’s the start of a new month which means it’s time to share items I have been loving all throughout November.  Let’s get started!

Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling

Featured in October’s PopSugar Must Have Box, this was a fairly quick and great read.  A humorously written account of her life and experiences, I especially loved the beauty advice she gives.

“Who is the beauty icon that inspires you the most? Is it Sophia Loren? Audrey Hepburn? Halle Berry? Mine is Nosferatu, because that vampire taught me my number-one and number-two favorite beauty tricks of all time: avoid the sun at all costs and always try to appear shrouded in shadows.”

I mean, there is some truth in that. 😉

Dior Addict Lip Maximizer High Volume Lip Plumper in Pink 001

After my horrible experience with the Dior Addict Fluid Stick-it made my lips burn and feel sensitized-I returned it and the sales associate gave me a sample of this.  I took a liking to this immediately.  I don’t think it plumped up my lips but the high shine, non-sticky texture is amazing.  It’s light pink in color and feels slightly minty on the lips without being overwhelming.

Skinfix Ultra Rich Body Butter 

A little body butter jar that came in my Target Beauty Box, I keep this on my nightstand as it deeply moisturizes my dry hands.  It absorbs fairly quickly and doesn’t really have a scent.  I love mixing this with my favorite lavender essential oil for a customized scent.

Kiko Cosmetics Smart Lipstick in 901 Natural Neige 

I was ecstatic when a Kiko Cosmetics store opened up near me and one of the first things I gravitated towards was this lipstick.  At a little less than $5, this lipstick is absolutely amazing. (Note: I found this one in the discount section of the store.)  Creamy and the perfect nude color for me, this looks great worn alone or under lip gloss.  Did I mention it is under $5?  You need this.

Kiko 901

Kiko Smart Lipstick 901

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick in Natural Tan 4.25 

I received an array of Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick samples and immediately went to Macy’s to purchase the full size.  The stick form makes this a breeze to apply and is perfect when you are on the go. It melts into moisturized skin and doesn’t look cakey on me plus the coverage can be light or built up.

Foundation Stick

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick Natural Tan

Deepa Gurnani Katie Crystal Headband 

Another PopSugar Must have item, I love this headband!  It is festive and perfect for the holidays.  It doesn’t move once you put it on,which is an issue I have sometimes with other headbands, and is super comfortable.

Holiday Down

That’s it for my favorites.

Nov Faves

What were your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

October Favorites 2015!

October Favorites

Hi everyone!  With October ending this week, I’m sharing products I’ve been using religiously this month.  Let’s get to it!

Nest Fragrances Moroccan Amber Candle 

Nordstrom just opened up locally and when I saw they carried Nest Candles in store, I knew I had to pick this up. With exotic notes of Moroccan Amber, Star Anise, Sweet Patchouli, Bergamot and  Eucalyptus, this candle is just what you need to create a zen environment.

NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait 

I received this NYX Butter Gloss in a Target Beauty Box and I must say it was love at first swipe.  It’s described as a fuchsia but has a sheer finish that on my lips looks natural with a slight tinge of pink. Great for everyday minimal looks or to top off lipsticks without competing with the shade underneath.

Renee Rouleau Skin Drink 

I had a chemical peel about 2 weeks ago and this was instrumental in keeping my skin hydrated.  It’s an oil-free, water based serum of hyaluronic acid that helps attract and retain moisture in your skin. Perfect for my combination skin as it delivers hydration without making me breakout.

Burberry Beauty ‘Light Glow’ Natural Blush in Earthy 

I know I’ve mentioned this blush before but it’s for good reason.  It’s an absolute staple in my makeup arsenal because it is versatile and is a joy to use with its smooth and buttery consistency.  Pairs well with natural or vampy fall looks.  You need this blush. Trust.

Swatches of the NYX Butter Gloss and Burberry Beauty Blush

October Swatches

What are your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

September Favorites 2015!

September Faves

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Hope everyone’s weekend was great.

October is practically here so here’s a quick post on items I have been enjoying this month.

Sephora Collection Pro Airbrush Concealer Brush

I have the older model of this brush but I’ve found myself using this practically everyday this past month.  Not sure why I overlooked this brush for a while but I’m happy to have started using it again.  This brush is  bigger than most concealer brushes but I love it for that purpose.  After applying concealer underneath my eyes, this quickly blends everything into place and it doesn’t tug the eye area.

Sonia Kashuk Core Tools Synthetic Buffing Brush 130

Another brush I have used frequently, as you can probably tell from the disappearing letters.  I picked this up at Target and love using this to apply foundation/tinted moisturizer and it’s excellent for buffing out cream blushes or bronzers.

Origins VitaZing SPF15 Energy-boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen Sheer Tint Release

A sample that came in this year’s Sephora Sun Safety Kit, this moisturizer goes on clear but within a few seconds turns into a tinted moisturizer.  It’s a bit darker than my normal foundations but gives just enough of a tan glow that doesn’t come across as orange or fake.  It gives an, “I’ve been on vacation,” glow without having to leave home and I use the Sonia Kashuk Buffing Brush with this one.

HydroPeptide Power Lift Advanced Ultra-Rich Moisturizer

I picked up a HydroPeptide set at the trade show and this moisturizer has been a pleasant surprise.  The consistency with this one is very thick where I can flip it upside down and it takes a while to move.  Normally, I run away from these types of moisturizers as they are too heavy for my combination skin and cause me to breakout.  So far, this has worked wonderfully for my skin. I only use a pea-sized amount and it glides on my skin, making it feel hydrated and not tight. Surprisingly, it doesn’t feel heavy either.  I use this at night and feel it will be perfect for the cooler weather coming up.

What were your favorite products this month?

Stephanie

August Favorites 2015!

 

August Main

Happy September 1st everyone!  I can’t believe how fast last month zoomed by, which brings me to share with you things I’ve loved this past August.

Let’s get to it!

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Potent 

My first Estee Lauder lipstick purchase and the credit goes to Cos from The World of Cos. 🙂  I love a great creamy lipstick and this one is perfect for everyday, a night out-virtually any occasion.  It’s a light pink coral nude that glides on nicely over exfoliated lips and has good pigmentation.  I’m not a fan of the scent, which I’m not sure how to describe, but once you apply it, the smell disappears.  Pairing it with a lip pencil underneath extends its wear time.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Lip Pencil in Nude

It’s been a while since I used a lip liner but I am happy I picked this up along with the lipstick. The shade Nude is a MLBB (my lips but better) and pairs well with a lot of neutral/pink lipsticks I own.  While I don’t agree with the creamy consistency claim, it applies nicely and really extends the wear of lipstick.  A lip brush is included on the opposite side of the pencil which is a nice addition and a magnetic cap.

Tresemme Keratin Smooth Flat Iron Smoothing Spray 

I’m not a fan of Tresemme hair care products but this keratin infused heat protection spray is the exception.  I love using this when I straighten my hair as it facilitates the straightening process and smooths hair without making it feel greasy.  The style holds up very well and this product doesn’t make your hair smell burned when heat is used.

Below are swatches of the lipstick, lip liner and CC Cream.

August Swatches

A picture of me wearing the lipstick and lip pencil plus my hair after using the Tresemme spray.

EL Look

Supergoop Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35

A sample that came in my August Birchbox, this CC Cream, housed in a convenient squeeze tube, provided good coverage without the heavy feel.  It evens out my redness while allowing skin to look like skin.

Supergoop

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

A book that came in June’s PopSugar Must Have Box, In the Unlikely Event was a great summer read that was based one real life events.  The book is set in Elizabeth, New Jersey in the 1950s and follows a young woman’s memorable journey  in the aftermath of multiple plane crashes in her hometown. I was impressed at how well Judy Blume was able depict the emotions of all the characters who make up and tell the story- her writing manages to convincingly  transport you back to the 1950s and experience the tragedy that occurred, offering multiple view points from different age groups and characters that feel so real.  It made me feel nostalgic for a time period I didn’t even experience. 

What are you favorite August items?

Stephanie

 

 

July Favorites!

July Faves

Hi everyone!

With July almost behind us, it’s that time again to share my favorite products that I’ve been loving. Let’s hop to it!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 23 Corail Poetique 

After trying out a couple of Chanel lipsticks that didn’t work for me, I decided to try the YSL Rouge Pur Coture lipsticks as I’m already a huge fan of their Glossy Stains.  This lipstick does not disappoint.  I was looking for a nice peachy nude color and while most of them are too sheer, this one has just enough opaque coverage to change my lip shade while still looking natural.  The formula glides smoothly and has decent staying power but wears off with drinking and eating.  Overall, a good high end lipstick to try.

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Speak Your Mind

An oldie but goodie, I’ve found myself reaching for this lipstick a lot this month.  Since I have kept this as a backup lipstick in my purse, I’ll usually be wearing this shade at the end of the day despite starting off my morning wearing a different lipstick. It’s kind of mauve pink that looks great with a lot of looks and it’s one of the very few lipsticks I can wear where I don’t feel the need to apply lipgloss on top.  It’s not a buttery lipstick but it has just enough glide to feel comfortable and a tiny bit of shine.

Swatches J

SkinMedica Age Defense TNS Eye Repair 

I have a few samples of these and have recently rediscovered them.  The fast absorbing and non-greasy texture makes this easy to work with plus the blend of peptides, retinol and vitamin C and E help firm, brighten and smooth the eye area.  I don’t have any lines around my eye area yet but it does tend to get dehydrated and this cream does an excellent job of moisturizing without irritating me and I don’t have to worry about developing milia.

Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Masque with Hyaluronic Acid 

Lately my skin has been acting weird, sporadically breaking out and feeling dry-I blame the crazy California weather for this.  I keep this in the fridge and apply it to areas that feel tight and need moisture.  Although it’s a dense and creamy yogurt like formula, I don’t have an issue with breaking out and my skin feels moisturized and soothed afterwards.  And yes, this smells faintly of strawberries which is a nice bonus.

Nelson J Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask 

A sample I received through Birchbox, I instantly fell in love with this.  Its coconut scent instantly reminds me of summer and is a great choice for summer use.  The instructions even state that it can be used before swimming to protect hair from damage.  It’s not as thick as other hair masks I have tried but that in no way affects its performance-hair instantly feels smoother and hydrated. I have curly hair and this really helps smooth out the frizz factor and makes detangling easy.  I will definitely be purchasing the full size soon!

Aside from these, I’ve already shared a ton of favorites in my Summer Have Series and if you’re new or have missed a few posts, make sure you check out my beauty guide for everything hair, nails, skincare, lip products, eye and face makeup, blushes and travel.

What are your July favorites?

Stephanie

 

 

June Favorites!

June Faves!

Hello readers!  It’s July which means my monthly post on products I loved in June.  I have been trying a lot of products and not all of them made it on here but no worries, they will be making appearances in the next coming posts.  Now, on to the task at hand.

 AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30

First off is a sunscreen from the Sephora Sun Safety Kit.  There are quite a few more I need to go through but this pink-tinged sunscreen feels light-weight and silky, absorbs quickly and leaves behind a very subtle glow.  There is a very strong, flowery scent but that dissipates within a few minutes of application and this works well with my foundations and moisturizers, meaning it doesn’t pill (clump up).

 

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser 

A product featured in my May Birchbox, this product was something I was both excited and hesitant to try.  I loved the fact it was a skincare item but I’m not usually fond of products containing sugar designed for use on the face as I find them abrasive.  This however was a very unique experience and is different than other sugar based exfoliators I have tried.  I gathered a little bit of the product, mixed it with water and applied it in circular motions.  Immediately, the product began to foam up and the majority of the sugar seemed to melt into the skin while still leaving a few granules to exfoliate. My face felt softer albeit a bit dry but that was resolved as soon as I applied moisturizer.   The Suki skincare website states they use, ” larger, soft sugar crystals (sanding sugar),” which could be why this felt gentler though I did research sanding sugar and I couldn’t find anything on it in its use in skincare besides what’s provided on the website.  Not sure I would recommend this for sensitive skin but normal to oily skin could benefit from it.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow 

I received this in my June Birchbox and wasn’t too excited at first but I ended up using it quite a bit.  I was worried the color would be too dark but it gave me a hint of color without looking orange.  According to the description, this is “gluten-free, perfume-free, and oil-free.”  The formula is light and perfect for everyday use.  I feel this would work well if you don’t have problematic skin but if you’re looking for full coverage, skip this as it functions more like a tinted moisturizer.  Unlike some BB creams this one does not contain SPF but even if it did, I still recommend layering your normal sunscreen underneath.

Marcelle NP

Marcelle Golde Glow BB Cream + Clinique Nude Pop Blush

Clinique Nude Pop Cheek Pop Blush

If you’re in the market for a, ‘I’m not wearing any blush’, blush, this shade is a great one to try, especially if you’re fair skinned.  Although it’s a powder formula, it blends effortlessly into the skin and provides either a sheer wash of color or can be built up for more pigment. Perfect for day and/or night, and complements both a smoky or natural look.  There’s also a great variety of shades so if this one is too light for you, you’re bound to find another that better suits your skin tone or style.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour 

After reading countless articles on contouring sticks, I gave this one a try and am glad I did.  The color appears dark and downright scary at first but after it’s been blended out, you end up with definition that isn’t over-the-top.  Fairly simple to use, you just draw lines wherever you want to contour and then either blend it in with a sponge, your fingers or a brush.  I find that a damp sponge or synthetic brush do the best job at blending though.  This doesn’t take up too much space in your makeup arsenal either, making it easier and perfect for traveling.

June Cheeks

L-R: Clinique Nude Pop + Clinique Chubby Stick Contour

Here’s a picture of me wearing the contour shade on the hollows of my cheekbones.

Contour

e.l.f Moisturizing Lipstick in Pink Minx

Oh e.l.f.  You’re incredibly low prices make me both eager yet skeptical to try products but luckily there’s more to love with this lipstick than the $3 price tag.  The color pay-off is absolutely gorgeous where one swipe garners a creamy opaque coverage and as the name implies, it is moisturizing.  I do find that this sort of clings to dry patches so make sure lips are exfoliated.  The packaging is simple and secure and although it’s not the best, I won’t complain.

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Noble

The lovely Katie from Plus Beauty sent me the Kat Von D Lip Vixon Duo as a birthday gift (thank you Katie!) and I loved the Studded Kiss Lipstick.  Described as a, “matte petal pink nude,” this is a great nude color that feels so creamy when applied.  I do have to top it off with gloss so that the color doesn’t wash me out and exfoliated lips are a must again but I just love the texture.

June Lips

L-R: KVD Studded Kiss in Noble + e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick in Pink Minx

 

 

 

What were your favorite products this past month? 

Stephanie 

 

 

May Favorites!

May Faves

Hi everyone!  Just thought to pop in and write a quick post on a few makeup items I really enjoyed in May so let’s get right to it. 🙂

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25H Foundation in 100 Ivory

Confession: I have never owned a drugstore foundation before.  When I started wearing makeup, my go to products were tinted moisturizers from brands like MAC and Merle Norman.  I could never find a good match and often felt frustrated which resulted in me seeking products from stores where I could actually be color matched.  With all the buzz surrounding this product and in need of a new foundation, my trip to Target ended with this in my cart in the shade 100 Ivory which is a near perfect match.  I am very impressed with this foundation.  It’s a full coverage foundation that feels very lightweight, lasts all day and doesn’t look cakey as it has a satin finish.  The only drawback with this one is that it does make me breakout a little and cause a few blackheads but using a primer underneath helps a bit- for this reason this is reserved for special occasions or weekends.

Nars Audacious Lipstick in Jane 

I’m late on jumping on the Nars Audacious bandwagon but better late than never, right? Seeing the countless pictures on Instagram about these lipsticks prompted me to buy one during Sephora’s VIB sale.  After swatching a few recommended shades, I settled on Jane- a terracotta rose- as it was a shade I found to be unique and unlike anything I own.  Aside from the color, I love how pigmented this is.  One swipe and your lips are saturated with color meaning this will last you a long time.  The finish is matte so I prefer to add a bit of lipgloss to add some moisture.

Below is a picture of me wearing the Rimmel foundation and the Nars Jane.

May Faves 2

Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Highlighters (Pearlized)

After loving the blushes from Colour Pop, I was thrilled when they launched their highlighters and immediately purchased three shades: Highly Waisted, Most Necessary and Teasecake.   Highly Waisted is described as a “soft golden peach with pink and gold duo chrome finishes”; Most Necessary is described as, “soft copper with rosy gold highlights”; and Teasecake is described as “pale pink with a gold and pink duo chrome finish”.  The formula on these is creamy but they don’t have that mousse like texture as the blushes and these also rub off rather easy. Highly Waisted and Most Necessary have noticeable glitter chunks but once you apply them, they disappear or aren’t visible.  I love the overall effect of these since they give you a nice glow and they have a great selection of shades to choose from, so regardless of your skin tone, you’re bound to find a shade you like.

The swatches below are as follows: Highly Waisted, Most Necessary and Teasecake.

CP Highlight

 

Have you tired any of these products?  What are your thoughts?

Stephanie  

April Faves!

AprilFaves

Hi everyone!  Can you believe another month has practically flown by?

With today being the last day of April, here are a few products I have been enjoying this month.

Dermalogica Sebum Clearing Masque

With the weather warming up, I’ve had a few breakouts here and there and this cooling clay masque always helps clear up pimples since it’s formulated with salicylic acid, while kaolin and bentonite mop up excess oil.  I use this mainly on my T-zone or as an overnight spot treatment.

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

A great exfoliating treatment that consists of enzymes and several fruit acids such as mandelic, lactic, salicylic, tartaric and malic for a sweet skin treat that will leave skin soft and glowing.  Smells like and has the consistency of jam complete with berry seeds.  One word of advice: Since the color of this mask is red, if you decide to walk around with other people in the house, let them know so they won’t freak out. 🙂

The Honest Co Lavender Mint Lip Balm

I received a trio of lip balms as part of a gift bag when I attended a film festival and I instantly fell in love with this one.  I get my calming lavender scent fix-yes, I love aromatherapy and this type of lavender is my favorite- as well as moisturized lips that feel light.

Colour Pop Super Shock Cheek Blush in Trickery

Mousse like texture and  long-lasting peach color that’s wallet friendly.  Need I say more? Click here for a complete review.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Birkin Brown 

My first Charlotte Tilbury purchase. From the gorgeous, sophisticated packaging to the product itself, I can see what all the hype is about.  This matte lipstick feels creamy on application, delivers a chocolate cream opaque coverage in one swipe (but can be sheered out) and stays that way for a few hours.  It’s similar to the new Maybelline Mattes but in my opinion stays a bit more hydrating than those.  Exfoliating your lips prior to use is a must and layering a lip liner underneath helps the wear time.    Below is a picture of me wearing Birkin Brown.

P.S. According to the Charlotte Tilbury website, there is one day left in the U.S. to purchase the Modern Matte lipstick so if you’re interested head on over there to check them out. 🙂

I still have a few new items I received that I haven’t tried out but this is it for this month.

 

Birkin Brown

What are your April faves? 

Stephanie