Hits & Misses: August Edition

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Summer’s over? That’s annoying; it’s definitely time to stow away the shorts and bring out the chunky sweaters.  Before we bundle up for fall, let’s reminisce over what happened in August – a weekend trip to Vancouver, Outsidelands, and a road trip to Reno.  Let’s see what came out on top and what should really be left in the dust.

Hits

1. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer in Brightener – This is one of the best pink/salmon concealers I have ever tried that really brightens and neutralizes my dark circles.  I apply this in a triangle shape that starts near my tear duct and the point of the triangle meets the top of my cheekbone and continues along my cheekbone. (Visual here) The sponge applicator really helps this concealer apply smoothly and I just blend it out with my Beautyblender and it doesn’t look cake-y or settle into my pores.

2. MAC Selectcover in NC25 – This is an oldie but a goldie. This was the first concealer I had ever bought and over the years I forgot how good it was.  I repurchased it a couple months ago and I have been loving it.  It works great for under the eyes as well as on small blemishes.  I use this in conjunction with the Maybelline Brightener.  I like to fill in the triangle I create with the brightener with this yellowish concealer.  The doe foot applicator really helps target the darkest areas of the eye and because it’s more of a liquid consistency, it’s really easy to blend out.  The MAC and Maybelline concealers combined neutralize and cover my dark circles completely, but the finish is still very natural.

3. bareMinerals 5-In-1 BB Cream Shadow in Divine Wine – This cream shadow is perfect as an everyday crease color. It’s really easy to apply and blend out and I don’t even use a brush; I just dab this product onto my finger and blend away.  It’s really subtle and natural and there is no need to put a shadow over it.  It also stays all day and doesn’t crease.

4. theBalm Instain Blush in Swiss Dot – If you have trouble making your blush stay, you NEED to try this product.  This blush comes in a powder form, but after a couple minutes, it will actually stain your cheeks so even if the powder rubs off throughout the day, your cheeks will still have a subtle tint to them.  For me, this blush lasts all day and when I get home from work, I can still see some color on my cheeks.  This blush is super creamy and pigmented and a little will go a long way.  Swiss Dot is a peachy-apricot shade and it is completely matte.  Although it’s matte, it still adds a glow to your face – it doesn’t accentuate your pores or dry patches.  It makes a great summer to fall transition blush color.

5. Paper Towns by John Green – After reading and watching The Fault In Our Stars, I got kind of hooked on everything John Green.  His Youtube channel, and of course, reading his other book, Paper Towns.  This book was so good that I literally could not put it down once I started reading it.  I was on a 6-hour bus ride to Reno at the end of August and I finished this book before I even arrived in Reno.  I normally fall asleep during long car or bus rides, so the fact that this book kept me up is saying something.  I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a “coming of age” story and I would describe it as a mystery/adventure novel.  On a completely side note, I recently found out that John Green came to my high school to give a talk AFTER I had graduated.  Needless to say, I was super bummed, but I also didn’t know about John Green until last year, so I probably would have skipped the talk.  If only I had read more in high school…

6. Stuart Weitzman Sunbelt Bootie – The thought process of purchasing these booties was long, frustrating, and exhausting.  I originally saw these booties at the Stuart Weitzman store with my friend Nadia and we both fell in love with them.  They were quite pricey, so I didn’t really think about buying them because I wouldn’t get a lot of use out of them.  About a month ago, I saw that they had gone on sale for 50% off and after weeks of pondering I asked Nadia if I should buy them.  She told me that she bought them at the original price and didn’t regret it one bit, so at that point, I was convinced.  I quickly purchased them and it was final sale, so there was no going back.  Even at 50% off, they are quite pricey, but they are so comfortable and versatile that I don’t regret buying them.  They are very sturdy and they make my legs look slimmer and longer.  I plan on wearing them for the rest of summer and into fall and then bring them back for spring.  They are still on sale, so if you were thinking of investing in some good quality booties, I would definitely check them out.

Misses

7. Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – Ever since I dyed my hair, I’ve been trying to wash it every other day instead of every day.  Unfortunately, I have thick hair and a lot of it, so my hair can get pretty greasy, pretty quickly.  I also like to workout every day, so in order to keep my hair looking fresh for two days, I have to use a lot of dry shampoo.  Since I was using a lot more product in my hair, I needed a clarifying shampoo to use once a week just to get rid of any build-up or residue that had accumulated over the week.  I’ve heard great things about this Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo and it got really good reviews on all the beauty websites, so I decided to give it a try.  First off, this shampoo does not lather, so I find that I have to use a lot in order to wash just my roots.  Then rinsing it out, my hair just felt really dry and limp.  After air drying my hair, I noticed that my hair looked very greasy, but my scalp would be really dry.  My scalp was producing more oil than it needed to in order to counterbalance the dryness created by this shampoo.  I tried this product for three weeks and decided to toss it because my hair was looking like a grease ball and I was getting a little bit of dandruff.  Not a good look.

8.  Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Shampoo – I recently tried this because I ran out of my Living Proof Full Shampoo and I wanted to try something new.  I really like the Living Proof Full Shampoo because it doesn’t contain any sodium chloride.  Sodium chloride will dry out your hair and will make color fade faster, so my hair stylist told me to find a shampoo that didn’t contain this ingredient.  The lady working at Sephora told me she loved the new Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Shampoo because although it did contain sodium chloride, it was really gentle and didn’t dry out her hair.  I decided to give it a shot, but after a few uses, I noticed that my hair was a lot drier and it would be a lot frizzier after I air dried it.  Overall, I was not impressed with this shampoo.  I honestly think that there are drugstore shampoos that are better than this Bumble and Bumble shampoo.  Thank god for Sephora’s great return policy because I returned this shampoo and exchanged it for the Living Proof Full Shampoo.

It seems like I tried a lot of shampoo this month, but for me, I really like to switch my shampoos up every now and again.

What did you guys love in August? Let me know!

Stay Chic!

 

Hits & Misses: May Edition

[Insert obligatory mark about how it’s already June and the year is flying by.]  Now that I got that out of the way, let’s just jump right into what I loved in the month of May.

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Starting off with skin care, I wouldn’t necessarily call these two products monthly favorites because I’ve been using them for over a year, but the results are so great, I couldn’t help but share.

I originally heard about Michael Todd from Youtube and I distinctly remember at one point, almost every “beauty guru” on Youtube was recommending products by this company. Luckily, for one Youtuber, my skin was having a freak out sesh and I was convinced that my cleanser was the culprit, so I used one of their coupon codes and bought a few things to try out.  I have not used a different cleanser or toner since.

The combination of the Charcoal Detox Cleanser and Blue Green Algae Toner cleared my skin up within a week of use.  Since it takes about two weeks for your skin to adjust to a new skin care product, I wasn’t ready to call this duo a miracle worker, but after using these two products for a year and rarely getting any breakouts, I am convinced. I do notice a difference in my skin when I don’t use these two products.  Although the Charcoal Detox Cleanser is for acne prone skin, it doesn’t dry your skin out and I like that there’s not Salicylic Acid or acne medication in it.  The Blue Green Algae Toner really gets rid of an extra bacteria on the face and leaves it feeling hydrated and smooth.  These two products work really well for my normal/combination skin and I doubt I will be trying anything new for a while.

Moving on to haircare.  Since I’ve gotten accustomed to showering at night, I am left with the unfortunate situation of blow drying my hair before I go to sleep.  Since I have a lot of hair, this can take a lot of time.  This Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal* has not only significantly cut down my blow drying time, but also makes my hair super soft and smooth.

Finally, onto the makeup.  Since summer is basically here and I have a 45 minute commute to work, daily sunscreen is a must.  Even though I don’t get sun burnt, I do want to protect my skin, and this Coola Daily Sunscreen has been doing the perfect job.  It smells like cucumbers and it’s ultra light and doesn’t leave a greasy residue on my face.  I apply my primer over it and it doesn’t affect how my makeup applies.

For my actual makeup, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple with my Oil-Free Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Ochre.  This tinted moisturizer has such great coverage that I don’t have to apply concealer after.  I like to apply this with my Beauty Blender for an even and glowy finish.

Next, I like to brighten and set my undereye with bareMineral’s Multi-Tasking Face Powder in Summer Bisque.  This powder is super light and doesn’t get cakey throughout the day.  It also keeps my under-eye makeup from budging.

To set my entire face, I like to use bareMineral’s Original Foundation in Medium Tan.  I’ve been using this powder foundation for years and I absolutely love it.  I can use it on top my tinted moisturizer and it won’t look cakey.  If I’m in a rush or just feeling lazy, I can wear this powder alone because it gives great coverage and keeps my skin looking natural.

Now, I like a pigmented blush just as much as the next person, but when I’m rushing to work everyday, I don’t have time to worry about if my blush has the potential to make me look like a clown.  That’s why I went back to an oldie, but a goodie with MAC Mineralize Blush* in Warm Soul.  It is shimmery, but not to the point that you’ll have disco balls as cheeks – it gives you a nice flush.  I’ve had this blush for a very long time and I always go back to it because it gives my cheeks a very natural and dewy finish.

For my eyes, I’ve been keeping it pretty simple with two cream eyeshadows.  For my base, I have been loving Maybelline’s 24 Hour Tattoo Cream Shadow in Barely Branded.  It’s a light shimmery champagne color and it really brightens up the eye.  On top of that, I’ve been putting Milani’s Shadow Eyez in Champagne Toast on the outer half of my lid to give some definition.  I blend it all in with a fluffy dome brush, and I am good to go!

Now on to what didn’t bode well with me.

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Exactly two and half minutes ago, I was raving about two Michael Todd products.  Like I said, I bought a few products to try out and this Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub did not work for me.  It had a really plastic and artificial scent and I didn’t feel like it exfoliated my skin or do anything spectacular for my skin.

The next product was an impulse purchase at Target because my LUSH lip exfoliator had expired.  The Elf Lip Exfoliator is good in theory, but it didn’t work for me because it wasn’t gritty enough to really exfoliate my lips.  The first time I used it, it felt like a lip balm and it left a greasy residue on my lips.  I then rubbed it against my hand to get rid of the “moisturizing barrier” and it broke! It was too much work for me and it didn’t even work.

I get a lot of samples from my IPSY and Birchbox subscriptions, so I’ve been trying to go through them before I buy anything new, so I have been using the Pixi Flawless & Poreless Primer* and I was not impressed.  It has a lotion-y texture instead of a gel/silicon texture that I am used to, so I fill or blur the appearance of my pores.  It has a pink tint to it, so it does brighten the face, but it didn’t keep my makeup on all day and it made me look greasy throughout the day.

My last miss of the month is the Pantene Pro-V Original Fresh Dry Shampoo*.  First off, I love the scent of this dry shampoo, but it really did not work for me.  Most dry shampoos I use spray a white powder, but this one was like a liquid spray and it dried to a powder finish.  I found that because it was a liquid spray, it weighed down my hair and actually made it look a little greasy and wet.  It also takes a few minutes to set, so you can’t immediately scrunch it through your hair.   The one benefit of this dry shampoo is that you if you have dark hair, you won’t have to worry about white streaks in your hair.  I will finish this product, but won’t be repurchasing.

That does it for this month! What were your May favorites? Let me know below!

Stay Chic!

* = affiliate links

 

 

June Hits and Misses

Another month has passed, so it’s time for my June’s Hits and Misses.

This month was all about keeping it simple and fresh.  The heat and humidity caused me to break out a little, so I kept my face makeup to a minimum.

My favorites for this month were:

1. MAC’s Painterly Paint Pot – I love this primer because it is a nude color and makes any eyeshadow pop and last all day.  If I was running late for class, I could just swipe this all over my lids and look instantly more awake.

2.  Revlon 12 Hour Eyeshadow Quad in Addictive – This quad made my life so easy this month.  It consists of a matte off-white shade that is perfect for a highlight color under the brow or a very natural all over the lid look.  Next, you have a light shimmery taupe color that I used all over my lids everyday.  Then there is a darker shimmery taupe color that I used to define my crease.  I used a very light hand to keep the look more natural.  The fourth color is a matte dark brown.  You can use this in the crease to make a more dramatic smokey eye look or keep it natural and use it as an eyeliner.

3.  Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tough as Taupe – I love using this cream shadow as a primer.  It really intensified the taupe eyeshadow and made it last all day.


4.  Too Faced Eyeshadow Duo in Teddy Bear and Heaven – These two eyeshadows are perfect if you are looking to brighten up your eyes and keep it really simple.  They are both matte colors, super silky, and easy to apply.

5.  Revlon Cream Blush in Flushed – I love cream blushes for the summer because they look more natural.  Although it was a hot pink in the packaging, it sheered out quite a bit and gave the perfect flush to my cheeks. (Review on these blushes coming soon)!

(photo from Amazon)

6.  Alterna Hemp Organics Repair Treatment Conditioner – I used this conditioner all month and really noticed a difference.  It has made my hair less frizzy and a lot sleeker.  The Houston humidity does a number on my hair, and this helps tame the frizziness.  This conditioner is very thick, so a little bit goes a long way.  As another added bonus, there is no sulfate in this conditioner, so it doesn’t strip your hair of its natural oils.  It’s pricey, but I found that if you order from Amazon, it is a little cheaper. (find it here)

(photo from Lush)

7.  LUSH Lip Scrub in Mint Julips – I use this lip scrub every night before I go to bed and it makes my lips super soft.  It also has a delicious minty flavor, so you can lick it off you lips.

(photo from Kiehl’s)

8. Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner – This toner is alcohol-free, so it won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.  It is super light on the face and feels extremely refreshing.  It is the perfect pick-me-up in the mornings when I have to wake up and go to class.

Misses:

(photo from Kiehl’s)

1.  Kiehl’s Oil-Free Cleanser – I used this cleanser during the school year and had no problems with it.  I wanted to finish it before using my Kiehl’s Rare Earth Cleanser, but I found that I really didn’t like what it did to my skin. I just don’t see a big difference in my complexion, and it actually made me break out more.  Also, I had to use more because it didn’t really lather much when I used it with my Clarisonic.

(photo from Ulta)

2.  Sally Hansen’s Simple Spa Wax Warmer Kit – This just didn’t work.  The directions stated that the wax would be heated within 25 minutes.  I left the wax on the heater for a good 90 minutes and the wax was still hard.  I ended up microwaving the wax and then just used the heater to keep the wax warm.  Once heated, it did a pretty good job of removing hair.

That is all for this month.  I cannot believe that summer is going by so quickly.  Happy July!

Stay Chic!

Naturally Flawless

My friend recently asked me what my daily makeup routine was because she didn’t know I wore makeup until she stayed with me and saw me with no makeup.  I’m fortunate enough to not have acne-prone skin, but in no way have perfect skin. I have hyperpigmentation and acne scarring when I do the occasional pimple.

I am a pretty low maintenance girl when it comes to makeup – I am a firm believer of “less is more”.  Although I use a lot of different products from different companies, the key to my  flawless face is to blend and use only what is necessary.  Let’s get started!


1. Bare Escentual’s Prime Time -Since I live in Houston and am a full time college student, I do not have time to touch up my makeup; so I need primer to make my makeup last all day

 2. Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in Bisque – On the days that I do not need a lot of coverage, I can get away with just wearing Tinted Moisturizer.  I particularly like this one because it has good coverage, but it still feels very light.

 3. MAC Select Moisture Cover Concealer in NW 25 – Since I wear mineral foundation, this concealer is great for under the eye because it is creamy and easy to blend.

4. MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC 35 – I absolutely love this concealer because it isn’t too thick that it stands out compared to my mineral foundation.  It is creamy, very easy to blend, and has great coverage.

  5. Bare Escentual’s Foundation in Medium Tan – I’ve been using this mineral foundation for 5 years and it lasts forever (I use it everyday and have only gone through two packages)  It  doesn’t break me out and it lasts all day, even if I am running around and sweating.  It also gives the perfect natural look.

6. Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer -This is good for contouring because it is matte and it doesn’t make you look orange.

 7. MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul -Gives a nice flush to the skin and because it is mineralized, it doesn’t break me out in the cheek area.

 8. MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot – A perfect swipe of color for the eyelids.  I use my fingers and this color is easy to blend and it looks so pretty in the sun.

9. Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze – This is perfect for changing a look from day to night because it will not budge from your eyelids once you put it one.  It also looks like two different colors on the eyelids, so it gives a nice depth to your eyes.

 10. Physicians Formula’s Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio for Brown Eyes -Really smooth and who doesn’t like buying three different eyeliners specifically to bring attention to your eyes?

  11. Bare Escentual’s Buxom Lashes Mascara – I have very limp lashes and this mascara hold my curl all day.  Not to mention, they give my lashes a fuller look.

 12. Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie – The perfect color for my lips because it looks like my natural lip color, only slightly brighter and better.  It’s also very sheer and easy to build.