Friday Five

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for me to gush about my favorite things of the week again! This week I’m excited, because I have a lot to talk about with you guys.

1. Covergirl Foundations

I have tried a lot of foundations. From high end to drugstore, they all work for a while, then irritate my skin to no end. We’re not talking acne here. We’re talking full on rashes, hives, and horrible itching. This is generally considered “not good” by the majority of the population, so that leaves me with skin that looks funky and no way to cover it.

IMG_1117.JPG

Enter my three new best friends in the makeup world. Covergirl NatureLuxe liquid foundation in 305, and Covergirl Sensitive Skin powder and liquid foundation in 210 (powder) and 205 (liquid).

I’m not sure why my face color varies so widely in these three foundations, especially two of them seem like they should be identical, but I really don’t care. These aren’t breaking me out, they look flawless, and they’re cheap too! Seriously, nothing better.

2. Beet Salad

I’ve talked about this before, but I’ve fallen even more in love with this, if that’s possible. Each week I get to pick out one “treat” at the grocery store. This week I picked out a pint of local beet salad!

IMG_1081.JPG

Goat cheese, mandarin oranges, and local root veggies. What could be better? Well, not eating all of it at once and freaking out that your pee turns neon pink, probably. (Am I allowed to talk about that on a blog? Well, I just did.) Other than the unfortunate side effects of consuming large amounts of these bright veggies, this has probably been the highlight of my week.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar.

Great for digestion. Great for your skin. Apparently great in fresh juices with a little bit of ginger, too. Need I say more?

IMG_1079.JPG

(Speaking of juice, I just found out that my watermelon juice habit is actually good for me. Watermelon has a ton of iron, which is great because I am always lacking iron. Plus it’s pretty, too!)

IMG_1011.JPG

4. NYX matte lipstick in “Nude.”

I’m almost ashamed to admit is, as someone who talks about makeup as much as I do. Out of all the fabulous lipsticks I have collected over the years, I did not previously own a true nude.

IMG_1060.JPG

I cleaned out my makeup drawer earlier this week, which meant a lot of swatching and a lot of “keep or ditch” conversations with friends. During my total overhaul of my lipstick collection, I noticed that I had a ton of fun winter colors, but nothing to transition into fall! I had to fix this.

So I am now the proud owner of Nyx’s “Nude” matte lipstick. I’ve worn it twice since I got it this week and I’ve gotta say, it’s fantastic.

IMG_1121.JPG

5. Desserts.

Okay, this is a broad category, but let’s be real. When I was little, sweets were the last thing I wanted out of a meal. Now? This is my first time admitting it, but I love sweets. Macarons, cheesecake, frozen hot chocolate, I love it all. Which is why it made my week when my husband surprised me with this treat:

IMG_1043.JPG

Yep, you’re seeing this right! Frozen hot chocolate from a local chocolatier, and macarons that combined two of my favorite things- dessert and Earl Grey! Do I have the best husband or what?

So what are you loving this week?

Advertisements

Friday Five!

Is it that time of the week again? The end of the week, and the end of August- time seems to be flying this year!

As with every Friday, it’s time to share the things I loved this week. So here’s the best of the best of the week!

1. My Keurig Mini

I was impressed with my Keurig. I wrote about it before. But then I ordered a variety pack of tea, cider, and other speciality drinks for it. Now? This is the best invention ever!

IMG_0550.JPG

I’m really digging herbal teas, as too much caffeine seems to be irritating a bunch of symptoms that aren’t really blog appropriate. However, these hot cocoas and the cappuccino flavors rock!

2. Aviary Photo-editing App

This free app offers in-app purchases to beef up the already impressive editing capabilities. I’ve purchased a few extra sticker packs and borders to play with, just for fun, but even without them, this is the editing app I keep returning to. It’s easy to use and has some cool effects.

IMG_0553.JPG

Be careful though, it’s easy to get caught up in what you can do and over edit your photos.

3. Pur Minerals Lip Gloss Sticks

I found one of these in my makeup drawer, completely unused. It was in a pretty coral color that matched what I was wearing, so I figured I would give it a try. The result? Loving it! A touch of color and completely non-drying. Perfect for my summer sunburnt lips!

4. The Sporty Look

So, I finally figured out how to style my Joggers. For a summer-to-fall transition look, I’m loving joggers with fun sneakers and a classic tee. For errands or just to look a little more fancy, I’m pairing peplum with my Joggers for a really neat look. But as much as I love the peplum+joggers? I just keep coming back to the sporty look.

IMG_0545.JPG

5. Beets

I thought I hated beets, I really did. But after trying a local best salad from Grocery Bar, I’m a convert. They’re earthy, they’re pretty, and they’re perfect with goat cheese. Plus they’re inexpensive and readily available. Really, what more can you ask for in a root vegetable?

So what are you loving this week?

Simple Make-up Look

I don’t do make-up every day, partly because I work from home and seriously, my dog is not impressed with a full face of makeup and some beautifully curled hair. But recently, I went to a dinner celebrating my best friend returning home from a college trip to Mexico, and I wanted to look a little special.

Here I am pre-makeup!

IMG_0311.JPG

Not too bad, not too bad, but nothing special. So let’s see after.

IMG_0312.JPG

Much more appropriate for the occasion! For this simple look, I used a beauty blender to apply elf mineral primer, then elf BB cream. Then I tightlined half of my upper lids with NYX very black eyeliner pencil. I used Billion Dollar Brows brow pencil in brown and clear brow gel on my brows. Then, I swept elf baked highlighter in blush gems in a figure 8 motion around my eyes.

After that, all I did was apply some elf baked blush in peachy cheeky to the apples of my cheeks and top the look off with Covergirl Bombshell Curvaceous Mascara in Very Black. I’m in love with this mascara, guys. It has mixed reviews but personally I use it almost daily!

So that’s all for my simple, casual makeup look. What do you use for a casual dinner out?

ELF Baked Palette Review: Texas

When I was browsing elf’s annual half off sale, I saw a “back by popular demand” banner on the front page of the site. Intrigued, I clicked on the banner, and found myself staring at the baked eyeshadow palette in “Texas.” Of course, since it was half price, I had to add it to my cart to try out. When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised.

The palette is a collection of shimmery neutrals, ranging from a shimmery white to a deep brown. In between are several metallic shades, including a gold, rose gold, and bronze.

elf haul 1

Here’s a picture of it in it’s original packaging, along with most of the rest of my haul, because I accidentally deleted all my good pictures of the original packaging. In fact, I had to retake the picture of the palette itself after spilling HD finishing powder on it, which makes it look a lot less nice than it actually is.

untitled

I was so excited to swatch the shadows for you, I forgot to take a picture of the palette before using it. As it was, I wound up having to take a picture with a little bit of fallout. That’s going to be expected with this palette, as I got it for $5, but even so, it wasn’t extreme. The shadow fallout wasn’t enough to compromise any of the other colors, just enough to make it look a bit messy.

texas

That’s a well-swatches palette right there, folks. Most of the colors don’t look the same on the palette as they do on the eye, which is why I always look up swatches before buying. The Texas palette appears to be a cult favorite, because there were swatches all over the internet, along with some incredibly mixed reviews.

Swatches

The first picture of the swatches is in terrible indoor lighting from the fifties. This is probably what your eyeshadow is going to look like if you wear it to your office job. Well, if you wear it to your office job and you wear it over primer. I used e.l.f. eyeshadow primer to form a base for all my swatches.

Outdooor Swatches

The second photo is of the first five shadows (the top row) in natural light. The rose gold in this photo is probably my current favorite eyeshadow shade. I wear it for everything, from family events to doctor appointments to dinner with friends. My least favorite shade is probably the pink in this row. I don’t have much against it, because it creates some lovely looks, but I would never wear it alone.

Outdoor Swatches 2

These four are the bottom row of the palette, barring the darkest shade, because my dog got hold of my hand before I could take the photo. Although e.l.f. eye primer has staying power, it can’t stand up to the teeth and slobber of a German Shepherd/Border Collie mix who is determined to love you. The shades on the bottom row include a lovely gold, and a bronze that I’ve been using for metallic brown smoky eyes.

All in all, this is a solid eyeshadow palette. It’s versatile enough to go from day to night, with a little creativity, and the shades are fairly pigmented. I have read about people who have trouble getting the shades to show up on their eyelids, but I have not had this problem so far. At $10, that comes out to a dollar per shade, which is a bargain. If you can get the shadows during one of e.l.f.’s regular sales events, it comes out even cheaper.

The palette is small enough to tuck into a purse or makeup bag, in case you need to touch or change up your makeup on the go. The included mirror is also nice, and doesn’t distort like some of the palette mirrors I’ve seen before.

As with all e.l.f. products, this is going to be a hit and miss. Some people will love it, and some people will hate it. I’m one of the people who love it. The only thing I could wish for would be more matte shades, as I used to have a beautiful matte brown eyeshadow that would have worked perfectly on/with this palette. Since not all of the colors were metallic, a few matte shades would have been nice!

If you’re still undecided about purchasing an e.l.f. baked palette, I’ll be sharing a post detailing a date night look I’ve done with this palette, just as soon as I can get my face psoriasis to clear up!

Have you tried e.l.f. baked eyeshadow palettes before?

 

E.L.F. Eyebrow Kit Review

I’m obsessed with perfecting my eyebrows. For several years now, my staple has been a brow set from Billion Dollar Brows. When I got the brow set as a gift,  I had no clue you were even supposed to do your brows.

Since then, I have tried several different brow products, but I always went back to my trusty BDB kit. Well, the kit has finally run its course,  and it was time for me to move on to bolder and better brows.

Enter the e.l.f. 50% sale. If it’s half price, and it was already a great price, you gotta buy it, right? I think so, anyway, so I snatched up the Brow Kit (a gel and a powder, with a tiny little brush) and got ready to try it out.

image

Here’s my daily brow look. It’s pretty nice, I get a lot of compliments, but it could be better. It’s just a basic brow. And it’s time to move past that.

When I opened the e.l.f. brow kit, I was a little concerned. The powder side looked really light, and the gel looked really dark.

image

Swatching them soothed my fears almost immediately, although it proved the tiny double-ended brush a little unwieldy. I stocked up on brushes during the last sale, so providing my own wasn’t a problem. I also realized I would need my own brow brush- my last few kits came with them, so that wasn’t really a problem either.

Here’s the swatch, for comparison to the packaging:

image

The powder is on the left, and the gel is on the right. As you can see, it’s a lot more natural than it looked when I first opened it up!

Using my own brushes, and my eyebrow brush, I applied the powder first to fill in blank spots, then went over with the gel before using an e.l.f. all-over color stick (I’ve totally forgotten the name of the shade!) To highlight underneath the brow.

I’m pretty proud of the results.

image

This brow look is a lot bolder than I usually go for, but I love it. It’s stayed put through playing with a dog, packing for a business trip, and a nice dinner, so I’d say it will stand up to just about anything.

Usability-wise, I’d probably say average if you’re trying to use the tiny brush it came with. If you have your own brushes, it’s much easier and the end result is better, too!

All in all, will I buy it again? Definitely! Even if it’s not on sale, it’s really inexpensive and I love the results.

e.l.f. Makeup Haul!

e.l.f. cosmetics recently had their annual 50% off sale. If there´s anything I love, it´s sales. Especially makeup sales, which is surprising to anyone who has known me for more than three years. I was the last to wear makeup in my group of friends, but also the first to fully master it. Now, I have friends coming to me to ask my advice on various cosmetics, eyebrow techniques, and most anything else beauty or fashion related. It´s fun being the go-to, but it also means I constantly have to…okay, want to try new makeup so I can let my friends know if it´s a buy or if it´s a bust.

e.l.f. is a great brand to try new makeup techniques with, because it is incredibly cheap and most of it is good quality, at least for beginners. Add in a half price sale, and of course I had to go shopping! So, without further ado, here is my haul!

IMG_0034

Can´t see that? Here´s a closer look!

IMG_0033

IMG_0032

I grabbed a few of my basics for this haul, but I also wanted to try some new things. My trusty Billion Dollar Brows set has seen better days, and I wanted to branch out in the brow world, so I bought an eyebrow kit. A baked highlighter and baked blush join the baked bronzer I already own, rounded out with the baked eyeshadow palette in Texas, which has excellent reviews. e.l.f.´s eyelid primer and mineral primer are two of my everyday supplies, so I restocked on those while grabbing a spf 20 BB cream!

I know, BB creams don´t really live up to their hype. However, my skin type requires only the lightest coverage, especially with a smoothing primer, so a BB cream that´s basically a renamed tinted moisturizer is perfectly okay by me.

Finishing off the purchase were a pair of slanted tweezers, not pictured, along with two brushes and a 3 piece eye set. I also bought the lip exfoliator on a whim, because I love lipstick but my lips are often too chapped to wear my favorite matte shades!

So far, I have only tried the tweezers and the BB cream, but I will be posting a review of the brow set and the Texas baked eyeshadow palette once I put them to use!

What are your favorite e.l.f. products?

Image

Getting Married!

Getting Married!

Wondering where I’ve been? I’m getting married on June 7, so these last few weeks leading up to the wedding are incredibly busy. We decided to DIY most of the décor, and I’m still wrangling bridesmaids and groomsmen into their last minute duties.

Luckily, I have finally found a bb cream that works: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB. Since the wedding will be in the heat of a Southern summer, foundation would be a bit much. This BB cream just smooths out flaws without being too heavy. Plus it’s SPF 30, which means no sunburn on the big day!

Now all we have to do is keep me drinking lots of water so I don’t wind up with a last minute, stress induced POTS flare. I am tempting my EDS and ankle instability with my tiny heels, but it’s my big day! I have to look good, right?