Thursday, January 29, 2015

Look of the Day: Moondust Eyes

I did this look the day I tested the Wayne Goss Powder Under Foundation Method and not only did I end up loving the powder under foundation technique (read why in my link above), but I loved the whole look. I also mentioned recently how I've been liking Metallic Eyes, and  the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow, which I used for this look. I made a metallic smokey eye with bronzed dewy skin and nude lip. The best part of this look is that you can actually use any color of the Moondust Eyeshadow and just use the same technique to get several different looks. I used the Zodiac shade which I LOVE. It is a black base with green and purple metallic, almost hologram looking shimmer to it. I think this color would be flattering on a lot of skin tones, but is rather bold, so grab whatever shade you like best, there are 7 to choose from, and follow the same technique for a holographic, metallic smokey eye.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Noteworthy: A Clarisonic Drugstore Dupe!!

Conair True Glow
Finally! A sonic skincare brush that looks, feels and works identically (if not better) to the Clarisonic, but for half the price!! Big beauty and skin trends usually end up eventually being copied by less expensive drugstore brands. Sometimes these less expensive dupes are also less quality. Not always, but I would say usually.  However...the day we have all been dreaming of is here. There is a drugstore dupe for the Clarisonic Mia2 sonic skincare brush. It is half the price and just as good. It is the Conair True Glow Cleaning Skin Beauty Treatment. For anyone who has wanted to try or purchase a sonic skincare brush, but the price was holding you back, your answer is here!

Clarisonic Mia2

Sonic brushes have been all the rage since Clarisonic invented theirs, and several brands from Clinique to Olay have made their own versions, but so far none of them could compare.That is, until now. This brush looks, sounds, feels, and works just like the Clarisonic Mia2 , but it is half the price. AND, it actually has some features I like better. The Clarisonic ($149) has 2 speeds and a pulsing timer for 60 seconds. The Conair ($80) has 3 speeds for even more options, and actually pulses every 10 seconds, 6 times, for a total of 60 seconds. I actually like that better because you can clean 6 zones of your face equally for 10 seconds each, unlike with the Clarisonic where it seems like you can still be on the spot you started when the 60 seconds is up. Both come with almost identical two-prong chargers, but the Conair has a charging stand that it sits in, which I really like because it stands upright when you're not using it. I like it because it can dry better being upright, and it probably stays cleaner standing up than just laying on the counter like the Clarisonic. The Conair also comes with two brush heads unlike the one that comes with the Clarisonic.

Conair Sensitive Brush Head
Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head
Speaking of brush heads, not only is the Conair brush half the price at $79.99, compared to $149 for the Clarisonic, but the brush heads are almost half the price too. You can purchase either Normal or Sensitive brush heads for the Conair, at $8.39 and $14.99. These are the only two options, unlike Clarisonic which offers several brush heads, but each at a whopping $27.00. Replacing your brush head regularly is important, and if they get overused and too worn, they can actually start to irritate your skin. The cost of the brush heads alone would be good reason to choose the Conair, regardless of the initial cost savings on the brush. 

These sonic brushes are all the rage for a reason, they do feel amazing and leave your face feeling noticeably softer and cleaner. I use mine three times a week, and even in the first week noticed that my skin felt softer. I talk about my dry skin and flaky patches frequently, but this has really helped. I noticed much less flaky, dry skin even in just the first week. I also have very sensitive skin, and this has not bothered it at all. Usually any harsh abrasive or physical exfoliant can really irritate certain spots on my face, but this has not bothered my skin at all, only improved it!

Bottom line, I would recommend a sonic brush to any skincare junkie, and the one to buy is the Conair True Glow Cleaning Skin Beauty Treatment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Powder BEFORE Foundation??? The Wayne Goss Foundation Method-Tested

Wayne Goss is one of my favorite artists on YouTube, so naturally when he had a video titled "This Foundation Tip Can Change Your Life", I had to watch it (you can/should too, right here). In the video, he demonstrates putting a loose powder on your face before applying liquid foundation. He himself even admits that he knows "it sounds mental" and goes against everything we are usually taught about the order of products, but he promises us that it will leave your foundation looking flawless. I watched the video several times over a rather long period of time before I finally had to just try "The Goss Foundation Technique". I tried to follow what he does as closely as possible. I think I came pretty darn close, and I was remarkably nervous. I kept reminding myself I could wash it off if it didn't work, but that wasn't very comforting for some reason.

The verdict?? The master is right. I don't know if I would call it "life changing", but it definitely does create one of the most flawless finishes I've ever achieved. It really did leave my skin looking like velvet. Gorgeous, healthy, velvety smooth, but not flat or totally matte. It also did a great job of making the foundation not cling to my dry patches as it sometimes can. My friend even told me how good my face looked and how great my skin looked that day. I thanked her and said it was experiment, but apparently with great results. The picture of my skin shows how smooth the foundation went on, but also how little foundation you need to use with this technique. You can still see my freckles but my skin looked flawless, a combination that is usually hard to achieve. I'm not sure it's a technique I would use every day (although as I'm saying that I'm trying to think of why I wouldn't, and I can't think of a good reason. Maybe I just need to get comfortable with feeling like I'm doing things backwards?), but I definitely liked it and will do it again. Not only did it instantly achieve a gorgeous finish, but having the powder on first really locked that finish in place for hours. Powdering after always makes me look too dry so I don't like to do it, but if I don't, my foundation does move throughout the day. This was just the answer, a beautiful finish that lasted all day.

I documented the whole process of what products I used and the exact technique I used I also took pictures immediately after applying the foundation and hours later to see how it lasted. 

The pictures above are my skin right after applying (you can see I'm a little skeptical by my expression), and then hours later with a full face of makeup, and the foundation still looks flawless.

Products Used

I did not use exactly the same products he used, but I used almost exact duplicates with products I own and know I like
First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream, which I raved about in my Products I've Hit Pan On/Empty Products #1
tarte Clean Slate 12-hr Brightening Primer
Benefit Cosmetics 'That Gal' Brightening Face Primer
Clinique Blended Face Powder
MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation, which I mentioned in My Favorite Foundations


I followed (almost along with the video) step by step exactly what he tells you to do
1) Moisturize your face well and give it a minute to absorb. First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream
2) Apply a skin primer all over your face. tarte Clean Slate 12-hr Brightening Primer
3) Top that skin primer with a brightening, particularly a light reflecting primer. Benefit Cosmetics 'That Gal' Brightening Face Primer
4) Use any powder brush you have and buff a loose powder all over your face into that primer and wait another minute. Clinique Blended Face Powder
5)  Use your fingers or a foundation brush if you want to (I used my fingers like he does in the video) and apply the liquid foundation.

The foundation will start to almost mix with the powder you just applied to create an extremely velvety smooth texture. It looks and feels a little dusty and dry at first, but after a couple minutes it will set and become a slightly luminous, truly velvety and smooth finish.


*It NEEDS to be a loose powder. If you have more oily skin, a pressed powder might be alright, but I would say for most skins it definitely needs to be a loose powder or you will apply too much, it will get too dry, and the foundation will end up looking cakey.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Look of the Day: Monochomatic Marsala

Pantone named Marsala as the 2015 Color of the Year. Last month just after they announced it, I wrote about how excited I was for this unusual color. You can read it here. I also mentioned how it's not a color I play with very often, but wanted to. Well, I have been playing with it, and really liking it lately. Other than bronze and copper shades on my eyes, I usually stick to cool tones, so this was kind of new for me. I have wanted to experiment with more warm tones, and Marsala was an excellent gateway. I love this look, and it will be flattering on all skin tones. I also mentioned earlier this week how I am currently obsessed with Metallic Eyes, and they worked great as part of this look. I went with a monochromatic look, using a Marsala shade on eyes, cheeks, and lips, and I loved how it turned out. I will list the products I used below. What I did was actually pretty simple, but I loved the way it turned out. This look manages to be understated yet bold at the same time. It's very simple, but it looks so polished and it's quick and easy to do. I am usually uncomfortable in monochromatic looks and think they can end up looking kind of plain, but I felt great in this, and thought it looked far from boring.


I buffed tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation all over my face
I concealed and highlighted with NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
then I set that concealer with a combination of the light shades from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit 
then I contoured under my cheekbone, around the forehead and the sides of my nose with Benefit Cosmetics Hoola
I applied BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Rose Gold to my cheeks above the Hoola
then highlighted above that with my favorite highlighter ever, theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighting Powder
and filled in my brows with Hourlgass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil


I patted Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer all over my lid from lashline to brow
then I buffed MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow in M650 Cookie into the crease as a transition shade
I packed Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow in No.79-Indian Summer all over the lid with a wet brush for extra dimension
then put MAC Texture Eyeshadow in the crease
and Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Snakebite
on the outer corner in a V shape
I lined my upper and lower lashline with Marc Jacobs Highlighner Gel Eye Crayon in Brown(out) 54, creating a wing on the top lashes, and being relatively messy on the lower line because I am going to buff it out with shadow
then buffed out the lower line with a pencil brush and more MAC Texture Eyeshadow
and finished with several coats of Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara on the top and bottom lashes


I did not use anything on my lips other than OCC Stained Gloss in Nomad
I love this color!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Current Obsession: Metallic Eyes

I feel like metallic eyes are big right now. Not only are they trendy and every brand is coming out with metallic shadows, but I really like them. I have noticed that they are everywhere from the red carpet to YouTube. Lots of brands now have very high-shine, foiled finish eyeshadows which make getting a mirror like metallic eye look super easy. The best part is, you can wet your brush and get and even higher shine finish. You can manipulate how foiled of a finish you get by how you apply them, which makes them not only versatile, but super fun to play around with. Below are some of my favorites, the best metallic shadows from drugstore to high-end, in my humble opinion.

MILANI Fierce Foil Eye Shine

These are super, super shiny, and also super affordable. They come in quads (4 shadows to a compact) for $9.99 from the drugstore. The only downside is that there are only 4 color options. Granted, the math comes out to a total of 16 shadows, but only 4 combinations, a neutral set, a purple set, a rosy set, and a blue set. The formula of these is nice, especially for a drugstore eyeshadow. It is very smooth and blendable, unlike a lot of drugstore shadows which can be chunky or chalky.They have a very wet look to the finish, even when applied dry. This glossy finish does mean that they don't have the greatest staying power, but still pretty good for one of the cheaper drugstore products. Also, priming your eyes will make them last even longer, so be sure to do so or they will crease quickly.

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow

Urban Decay's eyeshadows are great, we all know that. And they do already have some shimmer and metallic shades in their VERY wide shade range of eyeshadows. I mentioned one of my favorite shimmer shades, Roach, in my November Favorites. These Moondust shadows are a new line of shades that they added to their range. They claim these are their "most sparkly" shades yet, and once you swatch them, you know they are right. They have the most intense, micro fine metallic sparkle that is so fine, it almost feels like a cream when you apply it. They are so smooth, blendable, buildable, and super pigmented. If you like metallic shadows, but don't like how some of them can be chunky, this is your shadow. Like most metallic shadows, they can be applied wet for an even more intense finish, and can be packed on with your finger for a very opaque finish. They come in 7 shades, which include neutrals, pastels, and bold tones. They are $20 a piece, but are so pigmented that I'm pretty sure they will last forever.

Makeup Geek Foiled Eyeshadow

Makeup Geek's eyeshadows have been huge lately. It seems like everyone on YouTube, and therefore almost every makeup junkie everywhere, has tried and loved them. They come in a wide range of shades, and the formula is buttery smooth perfection. I also like that they come in pans without packaging. I depot all my shadows and put them in pallets anyways, so not having to pay for extra packaging that I just throw out anyway is great. If you haven't started depotting yet, Makeup Geek does sell her own magnetic pallets too. Her latest addition to her eyeshadow line are her Foiled formula. She released ten shades, in a range of neutrals and bolds, and these are pigmented to perfection. Again, you can manipulate the formula depending on how you apply them, and they are very smooth and blendable. They have a glossy finish and great staying power. I also like that the shades are similar to other shades she makes, so you can mix them and matte them out a bit if you wanted to.

Anastasia Eye Shadow Singles

Anastasia is a very well know, very well loved brand, and the queen of eyebrows. They recently added eyeshadows to their makeup line, and they are gorgeous. They released a whopping 69 shades, including 13 metallic shades. All of the shades are pretty, but these metallics are beautiful. They have such finely milled shine in them that creates the most dramatic, extreme mirror shine finish, which can be amped up even more with a wet brush. They are so shiny and so pigmented, that just one swipe of a swatch on your finger and you can see how pigmented it is from an arms length away (or further if that was possible). These also are sold as individual pans with no plastic packaging, and are $12 a pan. The shades themselves are gorgeous, and the shade range is amazing.

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow

I am in love with these shadows. They come in over 200 colors, about a quarter of which are metallic, and the shade range is beyond amazing! With that many shades I would expect there to be a lot of really similar colors, but these come in literally almost every shade imaginable, including some incredible brights. They also come in individual pans, are super blendable, and the pans they come in are huge. They are $21 a pan, but these pans are by far the largest. Online Sephora gives you the option to create your own palette, and when you do you actually get a discount for buying more than one which is extra great because with this amazing shade range, you are going to want more several. The metallics are beautiful. They are not as mirror-finish, high shine as some of the others listed, but are still very smooth and come in WAY more shades than any others.

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow 

These are one of the best drugstore eyeshadows out there, metallic or not. However, they are very metallic. The formula is similar to a MAC Pressed Pigment, and is not the smoothest of shadows in this list, but it is still blendable, and one of the most foiled, shiny finishes of all when applied wet. They come in 18 very diverse shades and are only $7.99 each. My favorite part about these shadows is how manipulable they are. If you apply them dry with a fluffy brush, they have a lightly metallic, shimmery finish, but if you apply them with a flat, dense, wet brush, they go on very pigmented and high-shine. They also look nice when packed on directly with your finger. I included and swatched the Glistening Garnet shade, a rich cranberry, in a previous Drugstore Dash/Haul, and I'm still loving them. Considering the price, the formula, and the shade range, these are the metallic shadow I would recommend to someone starting out or nervous about playing with metallics at first.

stila Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow

These are the only on the list that are truly a cream formula. They are also the highest shine formula on the list. I love how buildable these are. You can really keep layering them on to build up a high-impact color and extremely glossy finish. They come in 15 shades, with a terrific range of neutrals and a few good bold shades.They also come with a mini eyelid primer, which helps the color go on even smoother, bolder, and shinier than it already does. It really helps the color stay smooth and bold without fading or creasing. I also like to dip a brush in the primer and mix it into the cream, then pack it onto my lids. If you apply it dry and without the primer, it is has a beautiful sheer shimmer finish, but if you do the mixing and packing like I described, it has an intense, opaque mirror finish.

NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow

NARS revamped and released a number of new products recently, including these metallic eyeshadows. They had a lot of shimmers previously, but these are smooth metallics, not glittery shimmers. They call them "Dual-Intensity" because of the two finished you can achieve when applied dry versus wet (much like most of the others, but this one tells you so in the name). These are very rich colors, which pride themselves on being long-lasting, and that they definitely are. In fact, the formula is so stay-put, that they can be difficult to blend at times. Most of the others listed are very buffable, which is part of what I love about them, but this one is definitely the least buffable and blendable. That very thick, stuck in place formula means that if you do want to pack on very intense color that is not going to move, this is your formula. However, if you want to be able to blend multiple shades, or to buff out any harsh edges, this is probably not your favorite formula. At $29 each, I would hope to love the formula more, and there are definitely people out there who will, it just isn't always what I'm looking for. They come in 12 mostly neutral shades, with a few bolder colors like a plum, cobalt and green.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

December Favorites


Lime Crime Velvetines in Wicked

Apparently everyone is loving these because most colors are sold out. However, you can get them online at Urban Outfitters, and a Google search usually shows a few more options for purchasing. Their Instagram also said they'd be restocking soon. The reason everyone is loving these, and why these babies are perfect for the holiday/party season, is because they DO NOT come off!! These take the term "stain" to a whole new dimension. You can talk, eat, drink, for hours, and it seriously looks like you just applied it. In fact, at the end of the night when you actually do want them to come off, you will need to use an oil or makeup remover because that is seriously the only thing that will remove them. On top of staying power beyond belief, they are actually also comfortable to wear, and feel relatively creamy and non-drying, like a lot of stains can be.

boscia Tsubaki Beauty Oil

I love beauty oils. I mentioned another one by Fresh in my Winter Skin Savers, but I have to say I am now liking this one better. Both are great, and if your skin isn't super parched like mine, you may like the Fresh one better, but for those of us who's faces turn into deserts in the winter, this one is amazing. I like to use it at night, after I cleanse my face and before I moisturize. I don't really rub it in, but press it into my skin all over my face, give it a minute and then moisturize over it. Regardless of what moisturizer I use, my face is 5 times softer when I use this than if I just use moisturizer alone.

Real Techniques Setting Brush

Setting my under-eye concealer is an absolute must for me. I get creased concealer very quickly if I don't set it with some powder, and this brush is magic for doing so. It's tiny, so you can really get close into your inner corner without stabbing yourself in the eye, and the pointed tip makes it even easier. I also like that is more flat than round, so you can pack the powder on and press it into the concealer, instead of sweeping it on top and risking removing all the concealer you just blended so carefully. It's also really soft, and really cheap, a win win. I will be doing a foundation and concealer routine soon, and I'll go into more depth about how I do this and what products I use.

theBalm 'INSTAIN' Staining Powder Blush in Houndstooth

I really like these blushes by theBalm. The formula is so soft and creamy feeling, even though they are powders, and holy crap are they pigmented!! They come in a number of shades, all equally pretty, but I am loving this color for winter. It is a deeper, mauve like color with the most subtle hint of shimmer, but just in a naturally glowy way, not in the "holy cow she has glitter on her face" way. This shade is a gorgeous way to liven up a winter complexion. Now that I am in love with this formula (and they will last forever because a very, very little goes a long way) I will definitely be trying the pinks and peaches come spring. 

MAC Cremesheen+Peal Lipstick in Peach Blossom

During the holidays, I found myself wearing a lot of bold eye looks, which meant I also found myself wearing a lot of subtle/nude lips. I am so fair that sometimes a nude lip makes me look like I am back from the dead, or just dead, but this shade has a nice peachy undertone to it, which is still nice and nude, but still gives me life. I love the Cremesheen formulas, and even though this one is called Pearl, it is not what you think of when you hear "pearl" with lipstick. It has a very, very subtle shimmer to it, but nothing metallic or frosty, or even anything that I would call "pearl" really, which in my mind is a good thing. Just a hint of shimmer, and a very buttery, creamy, feels so good formula. 

SheaMoisture Olive & Green Tea Body Scrub

I can't exfoliate enough in the winter. And for some reason (maybe I'm just picky?) I have trouble finding a body exfoliant I really like. They are either too fine and don't slough off enough, leave you really dry after, or smell terrible. This has none of those issues. It is coarse enough that it really gets rid of the rough patches and reveals smoother skin, and it also leaves a soft moisturizing layer that feels like a body oil. Even after you get out of the shower and dry off, you feel like you applied a light layer of body oil to moisturize that fresh new skin. It also has a subtle scent, but a scent that is actually good. It doesn't smell like straight up olive oil, but it does smell fresh, crisp and clean, but warm at the same time. it's actually a very comforting smell, which goes well with the comforting feeling it leaves on your skin.

Hourglass No28 Primer Serum

I try a lot of primers, and don't always think that they make any difference. In the winter though, I will take any extra smoothing I can get to keep my foundation from sticking to my dry patches. This primer does actually make a noticeable difference in the way my foundation applies, and how it lasts throughout the day. I press it into my skin, all over my face, after moisturizer and before foundation, and I do notice that my foundation goes on much smoother. It's like this creates a perfectly silky surface for your foundation to just glide on top of, no clinging to dry patches, no settling in lines, just smooth, flawless foundation. I do also notice that it keeps my foundation that way throughout the day. Sometimes without it I notice dry patches poking through my foundation as the day goes on, but this stays silky and flawless, without increasing shine, through a full day.