Friday Favorites | 1.15.16

The first full week of January proved to be more busy than I was expecting and I wasn’t able to get a Friday Favorites post up. So here’s my first one of 2016! The first full week back to work since the holidays was overwhelming with having to go back to business casual outfits, getting in my gym sessions during the busiest time of the year, and sending my brother off on his very own journey and road trip across the U.S. With all that behind me, I’ve finally had some time to use some new products I purchased over the holidays or received as gifts! Everything I’ve been loving this past week is makeup related, so sorry to anyone looking for fitness or lifestyle updates. Some times I go through phases when I’m loving all things makeup, and that’s been the case the past two weeks.

Beauty

Sonia Kashuk Brightening PowderI had wanted to purchase the Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder for awhile, but I just couldn’t justify the price tag on a simple powder. The past few months I’ve been loving ELF High Definition Undereye Setting Powder, but I had watched a mini review of the  Sonia Kashuk powder on Jessica Braun’s YouTube channel.  Jessica said that the Laura Mercier powder wasn’t any better than the Sonia Kashuk powder, so naturally I went out and purchased it that very week. I’m always skeptical about using powder to set my under eye concealer because they always seem to crease on me. I’m happy to report that this powder sets my under eye concealer with no creasing. I use it along side my Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer that I raved about in my December Favorites along with a few other favorite under eye concealers.sonia kashuk powder

And I’m also happy to report that the slight glitter in the powder doesn’t distract when it’s on the skin. For a long time I didn’t purchase the Laura Mercier powder because of the glitter in it, but it doesn’t seem to affect the appearance of the powder in person or pictures. A word of warning on this product, the label says to not use near the eye area, so if you have sensitive eyes maybe stay clear of this powder.

sk brightening powder

Sonia Kashuk Grand Bazaar Matte Lipstick Crushed Berry (LE) I purchased this lip color right before Christmas and it was the perfect color for the holiday. I put it away right after the holiday since it’s not a very wearable color for work, but pulled it out for the weekend and I wish this was a permanent item in Sonia Kashuk’s line.

IMG_0577 (2)

This matte formula is extremely comfortable to wear – not drying at all, doesn’t move outside of my lip lines, and has full pigment. I do have to be careful when applying since it can tend to pill out up itself when layering or reapplying. Sadly, this was a limited edition product which is a total bummer because this is great matte lip product!

Makeup Geek Eye Shadows | I made my first Makeup Geek purchase shortly after Christmas as a gift to myself. I purchased eight eye shadows and a small Z Palette to customize the shadows. I purchased some of the more popular and recommended colors and two colors that I hadn’t heard much about. The first time I used these eye shadows, I’m not going to lie, I was surprised at how much powder kicked up from the pan. I also got fallout from Corrupt which is so pigmented it stains the skin. I pushed through it and really love the blendability of the shadows and their pigmentation. I was a bit unsure of Peach Smoothie since its very warm and has an orange color to it, but I like seeing it peek out in my crease as a transition shade. I’m also very careful about using Corrupt during the week when I’m doing my makeup quickly for work to minimize fallout.

Out of all the colors I purchased my favorites are Homecoming and Showtime. Homecoming is lighter taupe shade with a slight shimmer, great for every day wear and Showtime is a foiled eye shadow that is an amazing wine color – I’m really surprised that I like this shade so much since it’s so outside of my comfort zone. I posted a full review of these shadows earlier this week if you’d like to read more.

Makeup Forever Full Cover Extreme Clamouflage CreamI recently had a few breakouts that I needed cover, but I didn’t have a concealer that could do the job. I have countless concealers that I can use on my under eye area for concealing or highlighting, but nothing made for breakouts or dark spots. I knew I wanted to purchase either this Makeup Forever concealer or the Kat Von Dee Lock It concear so I went to Sephora and made it a point to get a color match before making such an investment. I went the Makeup Forever because the color match was better. IMG_0529 (2)This concealer has great coverage and a little bit goes a long way. It’s perfect for around my nose which tends to be red in the morning and it’s also working great on any breakouts. The concealer looks great over healing breakouts and doesn’t make it look dried out, do you know what I mean? I wear shade 7 for reference and I think it’ll work great even during the summer months. To apply it I use the Sigma F63 which is perfect for blending out a concealer of this consistency.

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Achiote Is it cheating to put all of  your new beauty items into one favorites post? Seriously though, I’m loving this blush! The Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blushes are the some of the best and I want to keep adding them into my collection. On New Year’s Day Ulta was having a great deal on the Tarte blushes – Platinum members could get them for $14. Half off! I had to purchase some Clarisonic replacement heads anyway so I added this shade to my cart. I expected to love it, just like all the other shades own, and I do! Achiote is the perfect winter peach blush, which is the color I prefer on my skin. The natural, glowing blush colors tend not to show up o my skin color and most of the time I don’t wear pinks. Corals and peaches though look great on me! But those shades are usually reserved for spring and summer. This shade though it’s still in the peach family, is a muted color and works as a more natural looking flush during these winter months.

IMG_0508 (2)

At first I thought the color was going to be too similar to Blissful which I have owned for a while and love! While they’re similar, there’s a distinct difference between the two colors. Blissful is more coral, just the pop of color I gravitate towards in the spring and summer, while Achiote is a muted peach that is more subtle and that will work in the winter months. Even though this color will be great for the winter months, I can see myself loving it all year long.

blush

I don’t really have a lot of other favorites this week in the fitness or lifestyle areas. I’ve been super motivated to get ready for the spring fitness routine and get back into eating healthy. I won’t start the spring fitness routine until the first full week of March and I’m planning on being on that routine for about 12 weeks. I’m making a whole plan all myself, with a two week, four day split routine along with the recipes that I’ll being choosing from during that time. It’ll be intense for me! I’ll be posting all about it so it can hopefully help someone else looking for something new.

Makeup Geek Eye Shadows | Review

After hearing endless great things about Makeup Geek eye shadows all over the beauty community, I finally caved and made a purchase! I definitely had very high hopes for the shadows given everything I’ve heard and I wasn’t disappointed.

After I purchased these eight colors I also bought a small Z-Palette to store the eye shadows in that would be great for traveling. I had a little issue with the shipping method that Makeup Geek chose and the fact that I ordered over a  holiday didn’t help. When the shadows arrived they were very neatly packaged in bubble wrap and in a secure box. I took pictures of all the shades I received before I even swatched them so they showed up as true to color and texture as possible.

package

I’m really happy with all of the shades I picked out. I wanted to choose colors that I know I would get good use out of, but I also picked a few outside of my comfort zone. I chose two foiled eye shadows, Grandstand and Showtime, both of which I really love. Grandstand is rose gold, which is a super popular shade in the makeup community at the moment, but sometimes the color washes me out. This shade shows up a bit more bronzy on my skin color and works better than others in my collection. Showtime is a beautiful wine shade and it’s a lot more red than I’m used to using. I love using it as an eyeliner though! It adds a little something different and can be smoked out a bit for an evening look. I of course got Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee which are some of the more popular transition shades. I also purchased Latte which is a medium brown, but it could work as a transition shade on deeper skin. I’m really liking along side of Homecoming for an everyday look.

Swatches Row 1

Top Row

Swatches Row 2

Middle Row

Swatches Row 3

Bottom Row

First impression: these are great quality and a way to add personality to your collection. At first, I was shocked by how powdery these shadows appeared when I dipped my brush in them. I’ve used Mac and Coastal Scents shadows in the past, and I don’t remember them coming off as powdery as my first time using Peach Smoothie. I kept on testing them out and while I get fallout with the shadows, I’m absolutely in love with their color payoff and how well they blend out. I don’t have to do nearly as much as blending with these colors, especially my transition shade, as I’ve had to with other brands. I like to mix Peach Smoothie and Creme Brulee together to get my perfect transition shade, then add Homecoming to the crease, and finish off with Corrupt as my eyeliner. The first time I used Corrupt I really underestimated how pigmented it was as I ended up with black fallout on my under eye, but I’ve learned to really be careful when picking up the color and being sure to tap off any excess.

I really wanted to compare the Makeup Geek eye shadows to Coastal Scents Hot Pots, which I’ve had in my collection for years and are even more affordable than Makeup Geek’s coming in at $1.99. I would say that Makeup Geek’s are better quality in terms of their blending ability and lasting power throughout the day. The pigmentation of both brands are the same and show up great with and without a primer. If you’re trying to decide on purchasing one or the other, I would say go for the Makeup Geek shadows. In the end, you’ll be more happy with how they perform compared to the Coastal Scents shadows. If you’re able to get the Hot Pots on a great sale however, don’t overlook them – they can be a great option for getting vibrant colors that you may not usually gravitate towards.

Overall I’m really loving these shadows and I would definitely get more! Like I said, I was so surprised at how much powder kicked up from some of the shades the first time I used them and that I received some fallout, but it’s nothing too out of the ordinary. I’d love to buy some more shades, especially some from the foiled eye shadow line and maybe a few more outside of my comfort zone as I’m really loving Showtime as an eyeliner.

Favorites | November 2015

November is over and I’m sad about it. November is one of my favorite months of the year, mostly because it’s my birthday month. This year’s birthday celebration was rather quiet, but I got to spend it with my good friends and enjoy those around me that I care most about. November also brings Thanksgiving and the end of fall. Fall has ushered in winter and a new year is almost here – I can hardly believe 2015 is nearly over! Here are all my favorites from November:

TRESemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture 
I repurchased this a few months ago after moving near a Walmart that carried the line for around $5, but if it’s difficult to find it can be found on Amazon. I tried this conditioner a few years ago when I was trying out a silicone-free hair routine and I don’t remember liking it for my curls. Since then, from the reviews on Amazon and Makeup Alley, the conditioner was reformulated and a lot people don’t like this formula. I however LOVE this conditioner and highly recommend it. This conditioner easily detangles my hair and moisturizes the curls to keep the frizz away. Since switching to this conditioner from some others that contained silicone, I can see a huge improvement in the health of my hair and how my curls looks; it’s rare that I have a bad hair day. While I’m not officially using the curly girl method, a lot of the hair products I’m now using are silicone-free and I’m loving the way my hair is looking and feeling.

Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation Natural Beige
I started a new job this month and I knew that I would be so busy during the day that I wasn’t going to have time for touch-ups. Since I’ve been getting more oily throughout the day, I wanted a foundation that was going to hold up. I had heard really great things about the formula of this foundation, and I haven’t been disappointed. I really like the color match of the foundation and how natural it looks despite being a higher coverage foundation. The lasting powder is about the same as my other matte foundations, but the fact that this foundation comes in a pump makes me like it more than the others. This foundation isn’t going to be ideal for traveling since it’s packaged in a glass jar, but that’s the con I have with this foundation so far. Not the worst thing!

Beauty Blender
I know the Beauty Blender is nothing new for anyone, but it’s really proven itself to me in the past few months. I’ve tried to apply foundation with a brush, just for the sake of trying, and they really don’t work as well as the Beauty Blender. At the beginning of November I tried the Real Technique’s beauty sponge hoping it would be the dupe I’ve heard so much about, but I returned it the very next day.

NYC Sunny Bronzer
I’ve finally figured out how I like my contour/bronzer to look on an everyday routine and the NYC Sunny Bronzer is perfect what I’m looking for. It’s not too warm for me, it’s perfect warming up my complexion. I wouldn’t do a full on contour with this product as it’s not meant for it, but it definitely is a great and easy to use product.

Sigma F23 Soft Angled Contour
To go along with my NYC Sunny Bronzer I’ve been loving this new Sigma F23 brush from their highlighting and contour brush collection. I used to use my Sigma F40 for my bronzing routine because it’s fluffy and doesn’t do a harsh contour. When I got the F23 I was able to do more of a contour, but it still keeps my cheeks look bronze. It’s the perfect brush to get just enough of an effortless contour/bronze look.

Sigma F15 Duo Powder/Blush
Another brush I’ve been loving is the Sigma F15 which I’ve been using with my face powder to set my foundation. Because I usually wear a higher coverage foundation, I don’t need high coverage from my powder. I just need enough powder to keep me from getting oily throughout the day and the F15 does just that. It’s also great for wiping away excess powder if I decide to use the baking technique for setting my under eye concealer.

Z Palette
I’m so excited to finally have a Z Palette in my makeup collection! Jake got it for me for my birthday this past month and it’s already full. I had a lot of Hot Pots from Coastal Scents and I really didn’t enjoy the palettes that Coastal Scents offered. I’m definitely planning on purchasing a few more along with some Makeup Geek eye shadows and depotting some blushes from my collection.

Old Navy
I’ve already dedicated a blog post about how much I’ve fallen in love with Old Navy, so if you’re interested you can check it out here. I highly recommend checking out OldNavy.com for business casual clothes or good basics for every day where. It’s also great for those who are petite or tall and have issues finding clothes that fit correctly. Old Navy only carries those styles online, but they offer free shipping over $50, in-store returns, you can always get a deal with coupons or discounts, and Ebates* is always offering cash back.

What products were you loving this past month?