Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tricks for Tired Eyes (Part 1)

There are just some days where you wake up and can't open your eyes, in every sense possible. You're sleepy and want more shut eye, but even once you're up you can't open your swollen, puffy eyes. Feeling tired is frustrating, and looking tired is even more frustrating. The good news is, it is possible to disguise those tired eyes (ooh that rhymed!). The two main things that make your eyes look tired are puffiness, and dark circles. I am going to talk about the first part, the puffiness, here and I will talk about how to treat the darkness in another post soon.

Puffiness can be treated with a number of tools. Moisture will cure any crepiness which can make you look older and more tired. Cooling will cause cells to contract and reduce swelling/puffiness. Massaging will increase blood flow which will also reduce swelling. There are now a number of products that can give you the moisture, cooling, and gentle massage all in one. These all-in-one products not only make it easier, but faster, which is nice when you're tired and probably either late or moving slowly. Here is a list of my favorite all-in-one puffy eye cures. They all provide a very smooth moisture, which will also make any makeup you put on top of it go on smoothly (I will talk about those products in the next post). They all either have cooling effects from the ingredients, or have a metal tip which is cooling to the touch. The metal tip, especially a roller-ball, also massages the eye area, giving you all the puffy cures in one.

Boscia Super-Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm

Ole Henriksen Ultimate Life Eye Gel

Milk Makeup Cooling Water

Origins No Puffery Cooling Roll-On

Olay Fresh Effects Eye Awakening Cream 

Clinique All About Eyes Serum Roller

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller

Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector

Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off 

First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Lip Treatment Loves

The Groundhog said we'll have an early spring today, but my lips are definitely feeling winter. It seems like I am constantly trying to keep them from cracking, peeling, flaking, and just comfortable. Soft, smooth lips are not only more comfortable for you, but help your lipstick go on smooth and look better. Have you ever noticed someone wearing lipstick where it's all cracked, or clinging to flakes and patches on their lips? Yeah, not cute. The key to soft, smooth lips is a combination of exfoliating and moisturizing. I always have moisturizer on my lips,and I try to exfoliate every other day or so. Here is a list of my tried and true, my most loved lip care products, exfoliants and moisturizers:

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish

GlamGlow Poutmud Fizzy Lip Exfoliating Treatment

LUSH Bubblegum Lip Scrub

Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub

Bliss Fabulips Sugar Scrub

Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant

Clinique Sweet Pots Sugar Scrub and Lip Balm

Jeffree Star Velour Lip Scrub

Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Solid Oil Lips

Farmacy Lip Bloom 

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Morphe 9B Blush Palette-Review and Swatches

I have wanted to talk about this palette for a while, but it was sold out for so long! It's back now, and if you can get your hands on it, I would definitely advise you do so. Get it here. Plus, now it's on sale! You get 9 pans for $19.99, and they are good sized pans. Below I put a MAC blush next to the palette, and you can see how big they really are, especially for a palette.

MAC Margin and 9B
The formula is amazing. They are so smooth, and holy crap are they pigmented! The swatches on the right are literally one swipe. That excellent color payoff means your money goes even further too, because you can use so little. Sometimes highly pigmented blushes kind of scare me because it can be really easy to overdose and end up looking scary or clownish. And we all know that once you've applied too much, it can be hard to correct. These blushes are so blendable though. They are super pigmented, but not in the way where you apply one dab and look psycho.

The shades are great too. There is a nice range of warm and cool, matte and shimmer, peaches, pinks, and mauves. A few of the shades could be very close dupes for the cult favorite NARS Orgasm. Below I swatched Orgasm across all of the 9B shades, and you can see a few are very close. In the photo you can also barely see Orgasm, but you can really see the 9B swatches and see how much more pigment they have than the NARS.

NARS Orgasm and 9B
NARS Orgasm across the top of 9B
Overall, it is a great palette. If you don't have a large blush collection, or if you like to wear a variety of shades or want to experiment, you need this. The price is definitely right and the product is good. I just love that the quality of the blushes is great, there is such a wide range of shades (and all are nice, not like some palettes where you only use half of them), and they are all in one palette. Everyone loves eyeshadow palettes, but I feel like it's not very often we see a blush palette. Love it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Best Foundations for Pale Skin

It's Winter! And for some of us, that means that our complexion starts to match the snow outside (if you live somewhere like I do). I'm not exactly tan ever, in the Summer I might get to an NW20 in MAC, if I've gotten a pretty good tan. I used to fake tan, but the last couple of years I just couldn't be bothered and I embraced my Snow White skin.

I have had trouble finding foundations that were the right shade since I started wearing foundation. A lot of brands don't even make a shade light enough, let alone in a formula I like. This list is not necessarily my favorite foundations or favorite formulas, this is a list of the lightest, fairest, palest, milkiest, most porcelain shades out there. There is a variety of price points, formulas, and finishes so you can pick which one works for you within the list of the lightest and fairest foundations I've found.

NARS Foundation in Mont Blanc

Cover FX in N0 and N10

Lancome Tient Miracle in 2C

MAC Foundation in NC15

L'Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation in N1-2

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation in Y205-Alabaster

Maybelline Foundation in Porcelain Ivory

Dior Nude Air in 010 Ivory

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Hydrating Gel Cream in Opal 01

Maybelline Fit Me in Porcelain 110

NYX Mineral Stick Foundation in Porcelain

And if you like powder, here are the fairest of them all. From drugstore to high-end, sheer to powder foundation, mineral and not.

Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder Foundation in 110 Pink Porcelain

Maybelline Fit Me Powder in 110

bareMinerals Original Foundation in Fair

Lancome Dual Finish Powder Foundation in Matte Porcelaine I

L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Powder in Porcelain 100

Smashbox HALO Hydrating Perfecting Powder in Fair

Monday, January 4, 2016

December Favorites

December flew by like it always does, but one reason it always goes so fast is because of all the festivities. With so much going on-friends and family in town to see, holiday parties, and lots of places to be and people to see all leading up to New Year's Eve, it's a busy month. I feel like I wore a lot of makeup in December. I was either going full out glam and rocking a party

Monday, December 14, 2015

Ulta Haul

I did some damage at Ulta. Enough said. Let's discuss...

I should also say that I made this purchase about a month ago. Usually I write about them right after I buy them because I'm excited about new things and like to talk about why I picked things out. This time, I decided to wait until I had used them for a while, so I can still mention why I purchased them, but also talk about how they worked and how I liked them, so you can decide whether you would want to purchase them too. What do you think, do you like the waiting and reviewing better?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Noteworthy: MORE Morphe Brushes

I wrote about my collection and love of Morphe brushes in a post back in April. I said then that Morphe are not only the best quality, but cheapest, best value brushes I have tried. My obsession has continued, and my collection has expanded since that April post. This post will cover all of the new Morphe brushes I have collected since then. And I have to say, I think they have gotten even better! They were fantastic, especially for the price then, but now I feel like the quality is even more fantastic in and of itself, let alone the for the price. They came out with a new Elite collection, which several of these are from, and is the best quality of all the Morphe collections I've tried. They are seriously the softest brushes ever. That line is a little more pricey than the others, but that still means they are around only $11 instead of $8.

Eye Brushes


This is just an all around excellent blending brush. It is from the Elite collection, which are by far the softest Morphe brushes. It just feels luxurious when you use it. It's a bigger brush, which makes it really good for diffusing color and blending, or for quickly putting color on a large area.

E30, E13, Real Techniques, Sephora, Real Techniques


This is actually very similar to the E30, but a little smaller and more dense. This is just one of those blending brushes that everyone should own, and once you do, you will use pretty much every day. The picture above shows this and the E30 compared to a Real Techniques, Sephora Brand, and Real Techniques Bold Metals eyeshadow brush. I definitely like these better because they are so soft and blend shadow so seamlessly and effortlessly.


This is seriously the brush I have been searching for my entire makeup-wearing life. I like using shadow on the bottom lashline, whether I'm smoking it out or not, but I find that every pencil brush I try either doesn't blend well, or just plain hurts the delicate skin under my eyes. Again, this is from the Elite collection so it is SUPER soft. It also does not have the pointed tip that most pencil brushes have. The rounded shape not only helps blend and smoke out shadow easily, but makes it not feel like you are stabbing the skin under your eye. I have tried other rounded brushes for the lower lashline, but they are always too big and blend shadow so far down your under-eye that you start getting the Panda effect. This is small and precise enough that you can control where the color goes, but blend it easily and smoothly while not hurting yourself. Absolutely the most perfect, best lower lashline/smokey eye/smudged liner/under-eye brush I have ever tried! I compared this to the G27, and the very popular MAC 219 pencil brush below.

G15 and Tarte


This brush is great for packing on eyeshadow or pigments and getting really concentrated color. I love flat, dense, synthetic brushes for packing color onto the eyelid, and I used to always use a Tarte brush (compared to this on the right), but I am liking this even more now. It is a little shorter than the Tarte brush, which helps it pack on even more color and make the color even more concentrated. This is great to use with metallic or duo-chrome shadows where you really want dense, concentrated color on your lid and aren't worried about blending. *Hint: spray it with a little MAC Fix+ before you pick up color to make it even more concentrated.


Obviously I am obsessed with the E18, but this is a really good pencil brush too. This has more of the traditional, pointed pencil brush shape, but the bristles are soft enough that you still don't feel like you're ripping the skin, like I sometimes do with the MAC 219. It doesn't diffuse color or smoke out color as well as the slightly larger, fluffier, rounded E18, but when you want a slightly more precise line under your eyes, this is perfect. The point gets up close to the lashline, but how soft it is still lets you blend enough so you don't have harsh lines under your eyes. You can see this compared to the E18 and MAC 219 above.


Um, so basically take everything I said about the G15 and repeat it here,  except this one is smaller. This is another one I use almost every day because it is the perfect brush for highlighting the inner corner of your eye. It is so teeny tiny that you can really get into that inner corner of your eye and put the highlight exactly where you want it.


I feel like I own so many angled liner brushes, but don't really like most of them. I use these angled brushes both to apply gel eyeliner and to apply color to my brows. So many angled brushes are just too fat and almost fluffy, that it seems impossible to create a straight line, a precise line, or a line with sharp edges. Then the brushes that are thinner and not fluffy, always seem to have bristles that are too long, so they almost bend when you apply pressure and can't get a sharp line with them either. This (and the very similar, but slightly different sized Morphe angled brush from my first post) are about the only angled brushes that are short and thin. This makes getting a straight, sharp line much easier.


This is a flat definer brush, but absolutely the best one I have used. I have a few other Morphe ones too, which are good, but this is my favorite. I feel like a lot of flat liner brushes have bristles that are just too long and don't seem to pick up or deposit any color. This brush picks up so much color with just one little sweep, and makes packing color on, whether it's shadow, cream, etc., super easy and fast. I love using it to put shadow really densely on my lower lashline (and the flat shape makes getting really close to your lashline super easy) and then blending it out with the E18. It also super soft and feels so luxurious.

Face Brushes




I feel like commenting on how these brushes, especially any of the "E" or Elite line of brushes, are super soft is getting repetitive, but seriously, they are!! This is such a luxurious powder brush. I love this for powdering my face, so much. It's so giant that it covers your whole face quickly, and how big and soft, but still kind of dense it is, means you quickly get a good amount of coverage, but you never look dusty or over-powdered.  Here I compared it to the Real Techniques powder brush. You can see it's pretty similar, but it is even softer, and a little denser, which makes applying powder even quicker. It's also really nice for bronzing when you want a buffed-out glow, not a sharper contour.


Again, this is soft and the perfect density. This brush is the ultimate multi-tasker.  It is just so good for so many things. It's an angled brush, and the head is the perfect happy medium between the rounded, wide heads and flat, slim heads that most angled brushes seem to have one or the other. This is great for bronzing, blush, soft countouring, highlighting, everything! I actually use it so much and for so many things that I bought more than one. You can see it compared the very popular Kat Von D Shade/Light brush. It is a little bigger and slightly fluffier, which I really like. It diffuses the color easier and I have an easier time blending and buffing out color with this than the Kat Von D.


Everyone already knows about this brush because of Jaclyn Hill, but she's right, it's a fantastic foundation brush. It's head is so fluffy and big, and the perfect density, bristle length, everything. You can see it next to the Urban Decay Good Karma foundation brush and the Real Techniques Buffing Brush, which I like both of, but aren't nearly as good as the M439. The M439 has shorter bristles than the Urban Decay, a larger head than both, a rounder head than the Real Techniques, and more dense than both. This makes it really fast and easy to buff foundation into your skin, and it manages to not only buff quickly, but it buffs out so smoothly it's crazy. The Urban Decay sometimes leaves some streaks in my foundation, and the Real Techniques leaves streaks and takes forever, but this is brush is point-blank fast and smooth. It makes buffing your foundation in feel luxurious. Normally when I'm done buffing I think "whew, glad that's finally over", but now I almost want to keep going it feels so nice!


This is a nice blush brush. Plain and simple. It is not one of the brushes I am going to tell you to add to your cart if you're going to make a Morphe purchase today, but it's nice. I like that is is smaller, so it allows you to get a precise placement with your blush, and it's still fluffy enough that you can blend that precision and have no harsh edges, but I definitely reach for the E4 most days instead of this.


This is another one that is nice, but not one of the first few I would suggest you purchase. It's smaller than the M100, and has a pretty flat head.  I like that I can use it to contour, highlight, or blush, it works well for all. There is nothing "wrong"with this brush, it just isn't one I reach for as often as others. As I'm sitting here trying to think of what to say about it, I'm not as inspired to rant about how amazing it is like I (clearly) was about some of the others. Again, it's nice, just not amazing.


This is my favorite highlighting brush I own. I used to say that about the M438, which I wrote about in my first Morphe post, and is in the middle of the picture to the right, above the M501. The brush on the top is the Real Techniques Setting Brush. You can see that the M501 is a very similar, tapered shape like the M438, but this one is a bit smaller. It's really the exact same brush except for the size. I still love and use the M438 every single day, but now I use that to set my under-eyes, and use the M501 to highlight (I used to set with the Real Techniques and highlight with the M438, but now I just barely use the Real Techniques). The M438 is great for setting because the point gets into the corners of the under-eye area and it's big enough that it doesn't take forever to pat powder over the whole under-eye triangle, but it is almost too big to highlight, it's not very precise. The smaller size of the M501 makes it easier to control where you place your highlight, which is especially nice if you're highlighting anything other than tops of cheekbones like upper lid, tip of nose, or center of forehead. You want to be able to have a little more precise control over where the color goes in those areas, and this does just that. The point gives you even more control, but it's soft enough, and the bristles are long enough, that it doesn't pack on too dense of a highlight, and lets you be precise, but still diffuse the color perfectly at the same time.


Now THIS brush is precise. This makes contouring so easy it's not even funny. I actually don't even know what else to say about this brush, it's just so precise and easy for contouring, bottom line. How flat and slim it is really gets up under cheekbones (or draws a defined line where they should be, for those of us who don't have them) so you can get that sharp, defined contour right where you want it. You can see it next to the Angled brush from Real Techniques, which I do like for contouring, and I used to think was precise, but that brush is so much fatter than the Morphe that it's nowhere near as precise. I do sometimes like using the Morphe to precisely place my contour where I want it, then softening it with the Real Techniques. This brush also makes contouring your nose easier than any brush I've ever tried. I've attempted to contour down the sides of my nose to make it look slimmer several times, and uslaly with not-so-pretty results. This made it so easy. I just hold the brush with the flat top down the side of my nose, move it up and down a little for a second, and bam, my nose is contoured and doesn't make me look crazy or muddy. Speaking of brushes for contouring, I know a lot of people love the NARS Ita brush, but I did not. That brush seriously hurts my face. The bristles are just stiff and sharp, and it honestly hurts. If you had the same experience, this is a perfect dupe that doesn't hurt. Or, if you like that brush, or have been wanting to try it, I honestly think this works better, feels better, and is less than half the price.