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

 

 

Hits & Misses: February Edition

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February was a month of trying new beauty products and rediscovering old ones.  Brands are coming out with their spring and summer collections, and since Ulta had a 20% off everything discount code, I decided to splurge and test some new products as well as some that I have had my eyes on for a while.

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I have been eyeing the LORAC PRO To Go Make-Up Palette but have restraining myself from buying it because I have a lot of eyeshadow palettes already.  I decided to take the plunge because I’ve heard so many good things about the Lorac Pro eyeshadows and I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  This palette comes with three shimmery eyeshadows and three matte shadows so it can create any day and night look.  These shadows are really buttery and creamy and blend like a dream.  Since I have been traveling more often, this is the perfect makeup product to pack.

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Buxom Lash Mascara is an oldie, but a goodie.  The rubber bristles and hourglass-shaped brush really help reach every lash and volumize and lengthen without clumping.  I bought the waterproof version since it helps keep my curl throughout the day.

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I received a sample of Benefit Fake Up Concealer in a Birchbox and I have used it up!  I love the convenience and consistency of this concealer because I can just swipe it underneath my eyes and it blends beautifully.  The ring of moisturizer around the concealer prevents the concealer from looking cakey and flakey – nobody wants that.

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Milani’s blush in Bella Rosa is a little intimidating in the packaging, but it really sheers out on the cheeks.  It gives a really natural and flushed effect.  I also really like this blush because it is matte and it doesn’t settle and accentuate my pores.  The blush itself is very pigmented, so I recommend using a duo fiber brush or even a stiple brush to give a natural look.

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Real Technique brushes are really high quality at a terrific price point.  They are so soft and sturdy, but are all under $10.  This Real Techniques Retractable Kabuki Brush is no different – it is so fluffy and soft.  I love using this with Milani’s Matte Blush because it really diffuses the color and it doesn’t give any harsh lines to give a more soft and glowy effect.

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I have pretty oily eyelids, so I always need to apply a base before I apply shadow.  I’ve been loving Milani Shadow Eyez in Champagne Toast because it’s easy and quick to apply and I can wear it on its own or layer shadows on top of it and it lasts all days.

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Anastasia Brow Whiz Pencil in Medium Ash has been a savior for my brows.  This pencil gives me really natural looking brows because the pencil is firm and not super pigmented, so when you apply it to your brows, it blends beautifully.   It is also super convenient because of the spooli brush on the other end.  Just swipe, blend, and go!

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My final favorite of the month is Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Minimizing Lotion.  I’ve been using this moisturizer since high school and I alway come back to it.  It sinks into my skin wonderfully and it minimizes the appearance of my pores.  It’s gives my skin a semi-matte finish, so if you have oily skin, I definitely recommend this product.

Time for the misses…

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Picture from notoriousbeautyblog

My one miss of the month was Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Beige-ing Beauty. The color is a golden champagne color and I had such high hopes for this shadow – I thought it would be a dupe for Benefit’s cream shadow in RSVP.  Unfortunately, this cream shadow had lots of glitter and it went on very sheer and the glitter went everywhere.  I don’t like to deal with glitter because it always ends in a mess and usually I’ll have glitter somewhere on my face for days.  I had to return this item because I would never use it.

That wraps it up for February! What have you been loving? Leave a comment below!

Stay Chic!