What's In My Travel Makeup Bag

Monday, October 22, 2012

I spent this past weekend away from my house and plan on going to work tomorrow from my mini vacation spot. When this happens, I tend to pack my travel makeup bag much heavier than I would for a day trip, so here is what it consists of...

This is the largest makeup bag I own, it's Betsey Johnson. The only thing I don't like about it is it doesn't have a handle, which would make it much easier to travel with. It's usually stuffed full on my trips. 

 And here is everything I managed to stuff inside of it. From Top left: Naked Palette, Lorac Pro Palette, Sephora Mineral Powder, Laura Mercier Creme Foundation, Toki Doki Bronzer, NYX Blush in Mocha, MAC Fix +, NARS Orgasm Blush, MAC Painterly Paintpot, MAC Dipdown eyeliner (brows), MAC Eyeshadows in Espresso, Bamboo and Omega. Benefit PoreFessional Primer, MAC Concealer and My Spots are Concealed, then various brushes.

I use the dual fiber brush for my Fix + spray because I don't like to spray it directly on my face. The I always take a couple crease brushes such as the Stila one and MAC 217. Then angled brushes for my eyebrows and eyeliner, then a blush brush. 

I chose these products because they make it easy to change my mind about my looks. I always pack a pink/red toned blush and a peach colored one so they will fit with any eye look. The two palettes (Naked and Lorac Pro) have a combination of matte and metallic colors and give a lot of versatility. Even though it's usually the case that I only rock a thick liner and mascara when I'm away, I like being able to have the option to do whatever I'm in the mood for. 

Drug Store Come Up of the Week

Sunday, October 21, 2012

 I was searching some makeup artists and common makeup tags on Intagram the other day (for me those are #ilovemaciggirls, #makeupaddict, and various brand tags) and I came across an artist who posted a flawless fall face which included a thick black liner, bronzer for blush and a deep purple lip that I fell in love with. She stated the color was "Va Va Violet" by Revlon. I found myself at Walmart and checked out the color, it seemed much deeper in the packaging than it did on her lips but I bought it anyway. While I was there I snagged this gem called "Wine Not" by Revlon, and I am much happier with this purchase. "Va Va Violet" is a satin finish and it's not as opaque when you put it on, it has more sheen to it than I'm normally drawn to but I need to play with it a little more. "Wine Not" is a deep burgundy matte lipstick that is now my new staple for fall. I paired it with MAC's "Vino" lip pencil and the combination is one of my favorites. Vino is a super deep pencil and I wouldn't wanna pair it with a lip color that was also that deep, so I love the two together. Here are some pics of me rocking the combo. If you have any fall must haves from the drugstore feel free to let me know in a comment below!

Above: Pics of me wearing the colors one with iPhone front facing camera, and the other with a flash so you can get a better idea of what they look like. For the rest of my face I used Terra Cotta Blush by NYX and the Naked Palette on my eyes. 

Above: You can see the Vino pencil is much deeper, so if you don't want to achieve of look that is as deep as the picture of me above, skip the pencil or just apply it lightly. 

Above: Vino Lip Pencil and Wine Not Lipstick post application :)

Summer Empties

Monday, October 15, 2012

With the heat wave of this record breaking summer lasting well into this October month, I found that I was not burning through my regular makeup products as much as I was my hair and skin care ones. My go to face consisted of primer, concealer, light foundation, blush and mascara, and my hair was almost always in its natural curly state. This brings me to my list of empties for the summer. These are products I loved so much that I used the very last drop, and for the most part I will be purchasing again.

1. Laura Mercier- Mineral Foundation Primer: I've talked about this primer before, and what I loved about using it during the summer was that it has a lotion consistency and didn't feel heavy on my skin. I put this on with a light layer of foundation or tinted moisturizer and I was good to go.
2. MAC-Fix + Spray: On the occasion that I did wear a full coverage foundation during the summer, I wanted to keep my look dewy and less heavy. That's where my Fix + spray came in. If ever I felt like my makeup was looking too powdery or overdone, I just sprayed this all over and it gave me the summer glow I was looking for.
3. Bath and Bodyworks- Black Raspberry Vanilla Body Cream: I actually don't enjoy the feeling of wearing/putting on lotion. I don't like it on my skin and I find myself having to force myself to put it on after I get out of the shower. Fortunately, the skin on my body isn't prone to dryness so I can get away with not wearing lotion everyday. But the smell of this lotion is amazing to me! I felt like the berry and the vanilla was a perfect summer to fall combination, and the formula is silky, so the feeling didn't gross me out like a lot of body creams do.
4. Tresemme Split Remedy Leave In Conditioner: I posted when I started using this in the beginning of the summer and now that the bottle is empty I'm really happy with the results it's given me. There have been countless times that I did not feel like blow drying, then flat ironing my hair and I just wanted to let my curls go natural. So I put this in my damp hair along with a tiny bit of argan oil and I was very impressed. I've also used it by itself and it still works really well, definitely going to purchase it again.
5. One n Only Argan Oil Conditioner: I bought this bottle last October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it's taken me a year to get through it. The reason for this is because I really didn't like it. I use their argan oil and it works very well, I just feel like the conditioner fell short. It did not leave my hair as soft as I thought it would and I wasn't a huge fan of the smell. I don't think I would purchase it again.
6. L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara: I have purchased this mascara probably 10 times since I discovered it. It's hands down the best drug store mascara out there and definitely a contender for the best mascara ever. It gives volume, doesn't clump and the wand comes in the normal straight wand or with a bend to help cover all of your lashes. If you're looking for a great full looking mascara this is it.

Updated Face Cleansing Routine

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Monday Everyone!

This post if going to be half face routine, half review of The Body Shop's Tea Tree line of face cleansing products, enjoy! Comment or email if you have any questions :)

About two months ago I was on the hunt for a cleanser to put my skin in check and clear up any unwanted acne that I had recently been experiencing. I asked around and my cousin purchased the Tea Tree set from The Body Shop and told me that it was working amazing for her skin. She wears a great deal of makeup like I do on a regular basis so I figured I would give the products a shot. At the time they were having a sale of buy 3 get 2 free. So I purchased the Foaming Face wash, the Blackhead clearing scrub, Toner, Face Lotion and the Mask. I have been using these products for the entire 2 months and I would say the only things worth purchasing again are the toner and the mask, which is why they are now apart of my routine. The foaming cleanser did not take off my makeup the way I had hoped and the scrub was hardly scrubbing anything off. I like my scrubs to be filled with little tiny beads so they really work their way into my skin. This scrub had very few beads and they were sort of large and seemed to not be able to do the job I wanted them to. Also be warned that this entire line burned/tingled my skin when I applied them, especially the lotion. To me it was extremely drying and when applied on top of blemishes it burned so bad I almost couldn't take it. I would say the lotion was my least favorite purchase of all. However, I did fall in love with the toner and the face mask. The toner leaves your skin feeling amazingly fresh, but also it isn't too drying. Once I wipe my skin with it, there is still plenty of moisture left so that I am not applying my moisturizer onto dry skin. Also the mask is amazing, it tingles the skin in a good way and feels very refreshing. Once removed it leaves your skin feeling clear and super soft.

Since I was really disappointed with the cleansers I started rummaging through the drawers in my bathroom to see what else I could use to wash off my makeup and I came across a travel size bottle of Purity by Philosophy. I used this product years ago and I do not remember why I switched cleansers, I forgot how amazing it is. It takes off makeup with ease, it's gentle and works well with every skin type, and it smells amazing! So I back to claiming this as my go-to cleanser. Once I was my face with this, I tone with the Tea Tree toner, and if need be I apply the Tea Tree Mask (I do this about once every 4 days or so). Finally, I apply a moisturizer. For a while I had been using Lubriderm's moisturizer for dry skin and it was working great because there were no harsh scents and it didn't irritate my skin. But after hearing some great things about MAC's Studio Moisture Cream I gave this is a shot and I'm so happy I did! I really can't say enough about how much I'm in love with this moisturizer. It smells amazing, it's so silky and creamy and it hydrates like nothing I've ever used. I apply it at night and in the morning and my skin is so soft with no signs of dryness. When I use it in the morning I give it a few minutes to dry and set into my skin, then I apply a primer and do my face routine and I'm really happy with how my skin is clearing back up. Though I have a tendency to switch my routines up, I really want to stick with this one because so far it's working out great!

Back to having clear skin! 

My Makeup Collection and Storage

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I recently decided to throw out my old makeup set up which consisted of an Ikea desk with lots of shelving and a closed work space that was just not working for me. I was unable to see my collection because all of my products were hidden in different places, and I was using my train case as my main housing unit and I didn't like that I had to dig through the box to find the things I needed. So I did some googling on DIY makeup storage and I found a very inspirational post by Vichy et Pois. Here is the link to her post DIY Makeup Storage by Vichy et Poit. She purchased a shelf from Ikea that had a glass top so she could see all of her products and I thought that was brilliant! So I set out to purchase that shelf as well as a rolling cart I had seen at Michaels to create my dream makeup station, and so far I'm extremely happy with it.

For the shelf portion I have all of my palettes underneath the glass. On top (left to right) A sephora bag filled with q-tips and cotton balls, some hand sanitizer. A plastic carrier holding my foundation, powder and some moisturizers. A pencil holder filled with my brushes, then a brush holder from Sephora with a brush collection from last winter. 

On the right  I have a moisturizer, Fix +, UD All Nighter Spray and a holder with all my mascaras. 

I was so excited about the rolling shelf because Michael's was having a sale on the brand, I got it for 40% off, which turned out to be about $40. Here I have my perfume on top. My Valentina is in the box because I've been using it too much lately! Gotta calm down because that mess was expensive haha ;). 

For my first drawer I have nothing but blushes and bronzers

Second drawer has a container with nothing but eyeliner, then some random loose eyeshadows, then cream color bases and pencils. In the back are my false lashes.

Next I have my skin primers, shadow bases/ primers, concealers and luminizing bases. 

The bottom 3 drawers are about twice as deep as the first ones. This was perfect for the larger containers I have for my lipsticks and glosses. Then on the side of them I have my makeup wipes. 

Then I have my random drawer. I has a container with my lip pencils, my perfume samples, random eyeshadows, tape, removers, scope haha 

Lastly, I have all my makeup cases/purses. I seriously have no idea why I have so many of these! But when I see a cute one I convince myself that I need it. So this is what happens...

And that's all! I think what I love the most is it's so easy to see exactly what I have and what I need. The only problem is now that it's organized I feel the need to fill it up and shop more! I just bought 2 new palettes (the Smashbox and Lorac Pro ones in the first couple pictures) and I'll be reviewing those soon. 

Review: MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Okay Folks, it's review time!
Studio Sculpt Foundation by MAC now holds a special place in my heart. I've even set aside my beloved Laura Mercier Creme Foundation for it. Ideal for dry skin, Studio Sculpt is a full coverage foundation with a dewy finish. If you have dry skin you probably know that it's difficult to find a full coverage foundation that looks dewy as well, but I love that this product was able to do both. And one of my favorite things about it is you really don't even need a lot of product to get the coverage you need, especially now that it's summer time. What I have been doing with it lately is mixing it with some fix + spray and applying with a foundation brush and it goes on a little more sheer but still has great coverage. I then set it with either some translucent powder or my Mineralized Powder Foundation by Sephora to get a nice sheen while still preventing the foundation from running off my face in the heat. Really the only complaint I have about it is the smell, but most of their foundations smell pretty bunk.

I'm also a really big fan of the way it's packaged. It's in a squeeze tube so you don't contaminate the product by double dipping, but also so none goes to waste because you can squeeze out the last drop, unlike bottles. 

So overall I give a big thumbs up to this foundation. Definitely my new favorite for full coverage and based on how long I've had it and how little I've had to use, I predict it will last me a while as well.

Below: Here I am wearing it with Sephora powder on top and some bronzer. At this point it had been on my skin for about 3 hours. The coverage is full and natural looking. 

Pick a Primer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I'm definitely a huge advocate for fully prepping the skin before applying my makeup. I make sure my face is deep cleaned, moisturized, THEN I use a primer. Though at first I wasn't always into adding this extra step, I've definitely found that it makes a difference in the appearance and wearability of my foundation and gives my face a nice flawless finish. But the question is, which primer is best? I have tested out MANY primers and they all come in different formulas, finishes, and textures depending on your skin type. Here are a few of my recommendations and reviews some of the ones I've tried so you can decide which (if any) is best for you.

Pick a Primer

1. Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer- I'm starting off with this one because it is my absolute personal favorite. Though when I discussed it with some friends they differ in opinion because this product has a very distinct texture. It is extremely smooth and soft. Not only does it smooth over blemishes and wrinkles but it leaves your face feeling like a cloud and your foundation really glides right over it. However, I've been told that if you have oily skin this formula can make it feel even more oily. It does come in an oil-free version but I have yet to try it. But this would be my first recommendation if you're looking for a flawless finish and smooth feel.

2. Benefit The PoreFessional- This primer also offers a smooth finish, however I feel as if the formula does not blend well across the face, you have to use a lot of product to get a full face of coverage, whereas with the photofinish a little goes a long way. This does cover your pores and fill in lines. So if you are the type of person who only needs a little help maybe around the nose or under the eye. This product would be ideal.

3. Clinique Pore Refining Solution- I first tried this product when I was in high school and at the time I had no idea it was a face primer. I think some woman at the counter sold me on it because at the time I was really passive and kind of a pushover (things have definitely changed!). Either way, I'm glad I made the purchase because after a while I realized this product really does smooth out my skin. I would say the formula is almost EXACTLY like that of the Benefit Porefessional though and I believe this one is less expensive, so for the same reasons listed above I would try this one, and also for the more reasonable pricing.

4. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer- At first when I used this product I REALLY didn't like it. To me it felt more like a lotion/gel and did not give my skin that smooth finish I was looking for. But after continued use I can see why it's so popular. After all Laura Mercier is the self-proclaimed creator of the
flawless face" so they have to know something about primers. I think what you can really appreciate about it is that the formula is suited for all skin types BECAUSE it does not have the super smooth finish and it still gets the job done with prepping the face for foundation to set and stay for all day wear. And it doesn't add too much texture or heaviness to the skin if that's what you're into.

5. MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother- I was sold on this product during the MAC seminar I attended because I wanted to try a new primer and also for the packaging. I liked that it was a bit more portable than my others and because of its claim to fill in wrinkles and smooth skin. But after a few weeks of use its definitely not my favorite. I'd say I like it a bit less than the porefessional and I think that's because it still leaves my skin feeling a little on the dry side. I'm wondering if it might be a little more suitable for someone with more oily skin. It still has a smooth finish, the coverage just isn't what I thought it would be. Also they claim it can be used to "touch up" your face throughout the day, I think it's supposed to mattify the skin if you're makeup is starting to fade and get oily. I've yet to try it for that, but that's another positive factor to the product. If you've ever used Benefit's Dr. Feelgood, it's a bit like that just not as heavy.

6. Sephora Foundation Primer- Finally, the Sephora primer is really one of my favorites because it's an almost exact dupe for the Smashbox Photofinish, just with a smaller price tag. It fills in lines, leaves your skin smooth and helps your foundation last all day. And now it comes in a larger size with an easy to use pump, I love it.

Review: Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Lovelies!

Lately I have really been on a mission to develop my Matte Eyeshadow collection because for a while I was purchasing nothing but Frosts and Shimmers and didn't have much to work with in the blending department. However, I came across this Moonshadow Baked Palette from Sephora and I just couldn't say no. I loved that it came with a not just some colors that pop like the teal or the orange, but also plenty of neutral shimmer shadows so I can work them in my everyday work looks. I have been playing around with it for a while and even though the color selection is great, I'm not super thrilled with the payoff when the shadows aren't wet, but I have created some awesome looks when I wet them. So if any of you are looking to purchase this palette or any of their baked shadows I would say do so with caution. Sometimes wetting eye shadow requires a more dramatic eye and is more time consuming, so if you're looking for this to be a go-to daily palette, I would say pass on it. But I'm still happy with the purchase because it adds some variety to my shadow collection and the colors are really fun. I just know I have to think out my look and make it a bit more dramatic if I want the true color of the shadows to show.

Above: These are the shadows with one light swatch. The payoff isn't that great when they aren't wet

Above: The shadows swatched after I sprayed my brush with Fix + by MAC (wet look) 

Nordstrom/Sephora Haul

Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy Monday Everyone!
This past weekend after much debate, I decided to take back my Clarisonic Mia2. I had stopped using it for about a week to give my skin a break, then when I went to use it again I broke out again! I thought what a waste of money, so I took it back to Nordstrom and redeemed it for a whole bunch of goodies that I could actually benefit from! Also, a few weeks back I cashed in some of my rewards points from one of my credit cards and they sent me a $50 Sephora gift card, so I had some fun with that as well. 

At Sephora I settled on Benefit's gift set that came with Bella Bamba blush (full size), Eye Bright, High Beam, and Stay Don't Stray. I had originally intended to pick up an Urban Decay Primer Potion but when I saw this I gave it a shot because of all that it comes with, and I had been meaning to try Stay Don't Stray to see if it is a good primer, so I'll be doing a review on that soon. Also, I was super stoked on the High Beam because it's a mini version but you really don't need much when using it (just a few dabs on the cheek bone or under your eye brow, so for that price ($38) I thought it was worth it. And the Naked 2 Palette is a gift for my Step Mom, her birthday is this Friday. So I didn't open it up to get any swatches, but there are so many reviews on this palette I didn't really think it was necessary. 

One of the things I was most excited about was the Sephora brand blush/bronzer face powder (above) went on sale! I remember when I stopped working seasonal there in February they had just released them and I had my eye on them ever since, the price dropped down to $7 so I snagged one. The colors blend together really nicely and the product is HUGE! I'm sure it will last a long while. 

With my Nordstrom credit I really didn't have to think too much about what I wanted because ever since the trend show I attended I have been dreaming about the Valentina perfume by Valentino so I picked it up. It's a very light floral, not overpowering at all. It's wearable on a daily basis and my dad hasn't told me that the smell is obnoxious or overpowering yet (he tends to do that, especially when I wear Chanel) so that's definitely a plus. I love it for summer. 

I also decided to grab one of MAC's Cremeblend blushes in So Sweet So Easy. This is the blush that Laura used during the seminar and it looked really great on here. She also informed us that MAC reformulated their Cremeblend blushes (remember when they were super sticky and thick?) to be more like a moose texture and when you dip your brush in it you don't get this huge gooey blob of color, it comes out really nice and light.

This is my first time picking up the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick. I got it in the Beige color as recommended by the sales women and after using it once I can see what all the fuss was about. This is actually my first Bobbi Brown purchase and I'm really impressed with the product. The payoff is amazing, it's super pigmented and leaves your skin glowing like an angel. I wore it to a party on Saturday and my friend told me my skin was glowing when we were only sitting in candle light. They're super beautiful and definitely worth the spend.

Finally, I grabbed the NARS lip color in Cruella. I spoke about this in my previous post, amazing red lipstick!

Thanks for reading and subscribing! If you have any questions, comments or experiences with any of these products please leave a comment below.

Red Lipstick Smackdown!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A great red lipstick never goes out of style. A red lip and some mascara is typically my go to look on a daily basis. It's little enough work when I'm feeling lazy and I look "done up" enough to get a little attention ;). So I decided to make a post about my favorite red lipsticks. My first love was Viva Glam I.  I actually think this is the first MAC lipstick I've ever purchased, and I think since then I've gone through about 3 of them. But in my makeup adventures I have discovered many more awesome ones. Here is a list of my favorites

1. Barcelona by Buxom- Not only is the color on this amazing (it's more of a deep/ blue red than a bright orange which I prefer) but it boosts the size of your lips and leaves them feeling cool and minty. It also has a bit of a gloss finish to it if you don't want the completely matte look.
2. Cruella by NARS- Right not this is my absolute favorite lip color. It's a deep red with a perfectly matte finish and the pencil makes it so easy to apply. It also looks great on all skin tones.
3. Ruby Woo by MAC- I like this color because it's brighter and super matte (can you tell I like matte reds?) I keep this one in my purse at all times.
4. Viva Glam I by MAC- This one is very similar to NARS, but the NARS one is a bit less shiny. And I think this one is slightly deeper, but like I mentioned before this is my first love and I think it looks great on everyone.

Above: Me rocking my favorite, NARS Cruella <3 

My MAC Seminar Experience

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Thursday Everyone!
This past weekend (I'm late I know, it's almost the next weekend!) was very eventful for me, with it being Father's Day weekend and all, but it really all got started on Friday when I drove all the way from the Inland Empire to Canoga Park (about an hour and a half drive) for a MAC makeup seminar with Laura Arellano, but she is better known for her Instagram name @Loreleicakes. If any of you follow her on Instagram you may have seen that she created a seminar for any of her followers in the LA area to come to her location and learn her face routine. Upon seeing this I inquired about it right away. I really LOVE her work and felt it was a great opportunity to see how she does what she does. I learned after a few emails that in order to reserve my space I needed to make a $50 reservation that would be used toward MAC purchases.

So I arrived a bit early for the seminar and when I reached the MAC counter in Nordstrom a woman escorted me to where Laura was sitting. She greeted me with a hug and was super friendly. I chatted with her and the other artist who would be demoing for the day whose name was Ilene, and another woman who was there for the class. Once everyone got to the store we walked up to a private room that was set up with chairs and a stage. They also provided us with a notebook, face charts, eye chart, and a full list of their face routine rundown which included all the products, the order in which they were being used and all the brushes they used. The seminar lasted for a little under 2 hours and it was very informative and fun to see how these pros put their faces on. It was an intimate setting so it made it comfortable to ask questions. and I was sitting in the front row about 2 feet away from the artists so that made it easier to see their techniques.

I picked up a few very helpful tips, I was mainly interested in how she does her eyebrows! They're perfect, and though I didn't completely succeed at recreating them when I went home, I now know how and I'm working on it :).
I had a great time and met some cool people but the only thing I would say was a little irritating about the whole thing was the whole time I felt more like they were just trying to sell us product rather than really teach us anything. But I mean, they were still on the clock at work and they make commission so I can't hate on their hustle because they made a nice chunk of change off of use for just being there for 2 hours. I was proud of myself though, I spent about $94 in total (this includes the $50 I used to reserve my space, so the damage wasn't too great. Overall it was an experience and it's cool to be able to say I met and learned something from her. I just wish that my last impression of the experience wasn't me sitting in traffic for 3 hours trying to get home, but I knew what I was in for!
Also I'll be making a separate post very soon about my purchases and give some reviews on things since I've had a few days to test them out.

 Photo Credit: @loreleicakes via Instagram
 Photo Credit: @loreleicakes via Instagram
Also the look above it basically what she showed us how to do in the class, just a little more fancy :)

I also thought it was cool that when we walked in they had notebooks, face charts and a full list of all the products and brushes used in the demonstration. But I'm a lil bummed that I didn't get any pics of them while they were up on the stage doing their makeup, but they asked us not to take pictures (cuz they didn't have a face on through most of the demo) so we obliged. I only got a shot of the aftermath!

 Above: the book for notes they provided
 Above: Empty face chart, can't decide what look I wanna use on it...
 Above: Full list of products and brushes, and some Instagram names I wanted to remember. Shout out to @itzpeechezyo! Follow her on Instagram, she took the class with me and she was super awesome. Glad I got the chance to meet her. And if you haven't read it in my contact tab, follow me too, duh!! @mandy_apple