July Favorites 2016!

July Favorites

Happy Tuesday and second day of August!  How was your weekend?  If you follow me on Instagram, you got a sneak peek of a new exciting opportunity that’s happening in my life.  I’m setting up shop inside a studio and will be offering skin treatments twice a week very soon!  I am so excited and nervous at the same time.  Those who know me know that it has been a very bumpy road for me in the esthetics arena but here I am and I am so thankful that God has provided this opportunity for me. 🙂

Here’s a picture of the room I’ll be renting.

Facial Room

In other news, July has come and gone which brings us to my monthly favorites post.  Ready to see what I’ve loved this month? Keep reading!

Sol de Janeiro Brazillian Bum Bum Cream 

I’ve seen this item floating around on Instagram and has been recommended by a few beauty blogger friends so I picked one up while I was at Sephora. A blend of guaraná, nourishing cupuaçu butter and coconut oil helps your body look and feel its smoothest and tightest. I love the coconut smell of this and how it provides skin with intense hydration.  The texture of my legs looks a bit smoother so who knows what will happen with continued use.

Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne 

I received this last month for my birthday and I absolutely love it.  It’s woodsy without being overpowering and perfect for any season if you ask me.

Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom Cologne 

Along with the Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne, I got a sample of the Mimosa and Cardamom one and it smells so delicate and nice.  Based on the suggestion that you can layer the fragrances, I blended it with the Wood Sage and Sea Salt and guys, it’s such a great combination.  With scents of mimosa, cardamom, tonka bean, sandalwood, heliotrope, Damask rose, it softly mellows out the woodsy aspect of the other cologne if you want a more subtle and sweet version of the Wood Sage and Sea Salt.  I highly recommend it.

Benefit Cosmetics Dew the Hoola Soft Matte Liquid Bronzer 

Featured in my July Play! by Sephora bag, this liquid bronzer is very easy to use and looks natural on my skin tone.

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara 

A sample that came with my July Birchbox, this mascara does not leave my eyelashes clumpy and does a nice job of providing a fan-like effect.

MAC Powder Blush in Melba

Another item from my birthday haul, I’ve been using this blush almost every single day because it just looks so natural and blends in effortlessly.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine Sculpting Shine Lipstick in Fairest 

The last item on here from my birthday haul, this lipstick is sort of like a MLBB shade that’s just a tad darker. I love using it alone or layered over my ColourPop Echo Park liquid lipstick to create a customized shade that has a little bit more shine and hydration. The magnetic cap is a neat feature.

9Round Kickbox Fitness 

At the beginning of this month, I joined 9Round Kickbox Fitness and though I leave looking like a super sweat drenched mess, it’s also a lot of fun.  With all that goes on in my life at times, it feels so good to just punch out your frustration. There are no class times which is nice because you can pop in anytime you have 30 minutes to work out and be done or do some extra rounds.  Plus the owner, Dan, is very helpful and has modifications available in case you need it, which I do at times.

July Favorites End

That’s it for this month!  What are your favorites and do you have any advice/suggestions for starting your own business? Let me know in the comments below! 

Stephanie 

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How Do You Cope with a Stressful Situation?

Hi everyone!  I hope that your weekend was great. 🙂

Today’s post is more on the personal side but I feel it may be beneficial for some who are going through tough times.  It’s so easy to post about the great and wonderful moments in our life but what happens when that dynamic changes? We all know that life is a constant motion of highs and lows and that it’s important to stay on the positive side but let’s face it-sometimes it seems impossible to remain positive. Your loved ones are diagnosed with cancer.  The symptoms of a chronic illness that were under control are suddenly surfacing again.  Someone used and lied to you.  How do you cope?

When difficult moments arise, it can feel like you’re battling it alone and in some senses, that’s true. After all, you’re the one experiencing the pain, the loneliness, the hurt.  However, there are many people out there going through something similar and can offer you that beacon of hope.  I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll mention it again.  One of the best things about creating this blog is that I have encountered the most positive and helpful people who are ready to lend an ear whenever you have problems.  I think it’s paramount to have a support system to reach out to in time of need.  Even reading other people’s struggles and how they coped can help. *Note: In case your new to this blog, I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis or IC. 

Another thing that has helped me through weary days is to read quotes, especially ones from the Bible. They provide me with spiritual strength and hope.  Recently, I’ve been avidly reading daily devotionals from the blog Miekeey and it helps me in putting things into perspective and focus on what’s important. It reminds me that there is a bigger picture and while I can’t see it now, one day, I will.

Now, I’d love to hear from you readers and I’m sure anyone who reads this post will also appreciate your feedback.

How do you cope with life when it seems like no hope is in sight? 

Stephanie 

 

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color Review!

Vivid Matte Liquid

Happy Thursday everyone!  I was at Target the other day and was thrilled to find the new Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Colors on the shelves. Here’s my review on it.

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lip Color in Nude Flush 

Described as, “bold, vivid color [that] glides easily onto lips for a velvety matte finish. Formula is comfortable and creamy with a smooth feel upon application.”

Pros 

Budget friendly

Good pigmentation

Good color selection

Glossy

Cons

Made my lips feel numb

Not matte

Fragrance might be bothersome to some

Easily transfers/comes off when eating

Overall: Unfortunately, this didn’t work at all for me as I think I had an allergic reaction to it.  As soon as I applied it, my lips felt very numb.  At first I thought my reaction was similar to what I get when I apply lip plumping glosses but the numbness never faded away.  The second day I tried it, again my lips felt numb and this time they really started to hurt so I immediately wiped it off.  This applied like a gloss and isn’t really sticky but it never dried down to a matte finish.  About 2 hours into wearing them, I could still rub my lips together and get a glossy feel. Upon drinking and eating, the lipstick wore off completely, so this product doesn’t last long.  Even if I didn’t have a reaction to this, I would still return this as the name is misleading, and, in my opinion, you’re better off sticking to the Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Colors.

Nude Flush Swatch

Maybelline Nude Flush

A swatch of the shade Nude Flush.  These are nicely pigmented as I only swiped it once across my arm to get this color.

Maybelline Matte Liquid

Have you tried these ones?  What’s your opinion on them? 

Stephanie 

6 Things I’ve Learned as a Blogger!

Blogging

Hi everyone! I’m back! These past two weeks have been a rollercoaster catching up with friends and family, getting in plenty of workouts, my grandma being hospitalized for a few days-she’s okay now thank God-working, testing out products, and watching a couple of seasons of Parks and Recreation. It’s literally, one of my favorite shows at the moment.  If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll understand this reference. 😉  Also, I am now stephieestie.com which will hopefully make it easier for people to follow me.  Super excited about this!

While it was great taking a much deserved break, I must say it’s nice to be back into the swing of things which brings me to today’s post.  This moment away from blogging and a post written by Karen from Confetti and Curves (hi Karen!) made me reflect on 6 things I’ve learned so far about being a blogger.

Support Group

One of the biggest surprises I’ve encountered as a blogger is the immense encouragement and support from fellow bloggers, readers and family.  They are people from all over the world who are willing to lend a hand when you need help whether it’s  a technical issue, their honest thoughts on new products or accepting to work with you on a collaborative post.  Absolutely incredible.

New Ventures + Consistency

Starting a blog teaches you to reach out into an unknown world, forcing you to step out of your comfort zone which is a necessary facet to grow as an individual.  Luckily, as stated in the aforementioned section, there’s a great support group of people.  Blogging also teaches you that with consistency, patience and hard work, your little corner on the web starts to grow and opportunities you never thought of begin to present themselves.

Creativity + Vocabulary Skills

I’m constantly thinking of what could be a new blog post or what places would be best to capture the essence of a post and I really enjoy this.  With everything I read and learn, I get excited to share this information with all of you.  Having a background in writing, I’m used to making good use of the thesaurus and blogging is no different.  It’s a handy tool to have when you’re looking for ways to describe products not to mention an excellent way to build up your vocabulary skills.

Sharing the same interests…and fears

The most obvious aspect of course is that regardless of your interests, you’ll find people who share the same passion on the same subject as you.  As a beauty blogger, this means I can share my excitement about the latest beauty launches without that blank stare of indifference I normally get.  You also get to understand that the fears that plague you are also shared by fellow bloggers.  From something as small as hating the sound of your voice to insecurity, we’re all scared of something yet you’ll find that you begin to slowly overcome those fears or at the very least know that you’re not alone.

Picture Perfect

As a beauty blogger, showcasing pictures of products and swatches is vital and you really come to appreciate the art that is photography.  Now, while I will never be a professional photographer, I have paid attention to and learned different aspects about photography including product placement, lighting, editing, etc.

Can any of you relate to this?  Let me know in the comments below!

Stephanie

 

Summer Must Have: Eyes and Face!

MH EF

Hi everyone!

Almost down to the last post of my series and so far we have covered skincare, lipcolors, blushes, nails and hair.  Now, it’s time for the face and eyes. Take a peek at my picks in today’s quick read post!

Face 

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 

Light-weight makeup is key for me in summer months and this is one fits the bill.  This foundation provides enough coverage to conceal redness yet still allows skin to like skin.  Another slightly less expensive option is Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup. 

bareMinerals Ready Translucent Touch-Up Veil SPF 15

This is great for setting your makeup and helping to control shine. Bonus: it has SPF.

Eyes

Urban Decay Naked Palette

The original product that started it all, this palette has a great color selection and a variety of finishes that take you from workday neutrals to sultry bronze summer nights.  My favorite picks: Half-Baked and Smog.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Back 

Just as the name implies, this liquid eyeliner will last all day without creasing or transferring.  Just a little primer underneath and you can create a thin or thick line thanks to the fine tip.

Rimmel London ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick in Witness White

An easy way to brighten your look, just pop this shade in the inner corners of your eyes and you’ll instantly look awake.  You can also use this as a base to accentuate other eyeshadow shades.

Do you use any of these? What are your favorites? 

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

 

 

Colour Pop Blushes + Eyeshadows Review!

 

 

Colour Pop

 

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I’m back with some reviews on Colour Pop Cosmetics! If you haven’t heard of them, they’re a company centered in Los Angeles that specializes in “making killer makeup in every shade imaginable at prices everyone can afford.”  They carry lip products, eyeshadows and pigments, blushes and more recently, have added highlighters to their collection.

CP Products

I ordered three blushes and two eyeshadows and it took about a week to receive these goodies.  I must say that the personal note card they include adds a special touch.  A company who thinks I am awesome? It’s about time a company got it right. 😉

Curious to see what I got and my thoughts?  Keep reading!

Blushes 

Between the Sheets– Mid-tone beige pink (matte)

CP Btwn the Sheets

Quarters– Mid-tone dusty coral (satin)

CP Quarters

Trickery– Soft pastel true peach (satin)

CP Trickery

Swatches of the blushes: L-R Between the Sheets, Quarters and Trickery

Blushes

Pros

Price: $8

Great selection of shades for every skin tone

Long-lasting

Excellent color payoff

Mousse/gel like texture that blends easily

Cons

Matte shades blend unevenly

Best applied with fingertips or a synthetic brush

Must be closed tightly to prevent the product from drying out

Overall: I love these blushes a lot and if you follow my Instagram, you’ll see that Trickery is by far my favorite shade followed by Quarters and Between the Sheets.  Using your fingertips is the best method to apply. I found that Between the Sheets applied unevenly with my fingertips but I was able to buff it out later with my Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Buffing Brush No 130.

Eyeshadows 

Get Lucky– Liquid-like true gold (metallic)

CP Get Lucky

Sequin– Copper penny like shade with silver and gold glitter (metallic)

CP Seq

Swatches of the eyeshadows: L-R Get Lucky and Sequin

Eyeshadows

 

Pros

Price: $5

Great shade selection

Excellent color payoff

Cons

Crease without a good primer

Can be a bit difficult to blend with other shadows at times because of the mousse/gel like consistency

Fingers or synthetic brushes provide best results

Must be closed tightly to prevent the product from drying out

Overall: The colors are amazing and the overall effect is gorgeous.  My only complaints are a) you must wear a really good eye primer underneath because they will crease and fade if you don’t and b) I find these hard to blend with other shadows and use them mainly as lid colors.  Perhaps the fact that they are metallic finishes could be a reason why.

Colour Pop Cosmetics is definitely a brand to explore!  Have you tried Colour Pop Cosmetics?  What was your experience and what’s your favorite item?

Have a great day,

Stephanie