A Woman’s Brush Collection

If you are going to be doing your makeup you will want a good, solid brush collection. I don’t recommend going super cheap, not to say some of them aren’t good, but you want a good set that will last years not months. I love my Mary Kay brush set and have had it since 2009. They have held up very well to all the use I give them and I take good care of them.

Brushes in my collection:

  1. Powder brush
  2. Mineral powder brush
  3. Cheek brush
  4. Liquid foundation brush
  5. Eye definition brush
  6. Eye crease brush
  7. Concealer/cream eye color brush
  8. Eyeliner/eyebrow brush

This may seem like a lot but they each have their distinct uses. The brush I use the most is the eye crease brush. I love it for all eyeshadows because of the size and feel. The liquid brushes are stiffer and built to handle the liquid foundations and creams. The takeaway: Invest in a good, quality set. It will change your life.

To keep your brushes in good condition you need to clean them regularly. This isn’t an everyday thing but regular maintenance is important. You may want to clean your liquid brushes more frequently to prevent contamination. This is particularly true with the concealer/cream eye color brush. This will help your set last even longer.

If you have any questions, suggestions or tips please leave them below. I always love hearing from you!

June 2014 Birchbox Reveal

I just received my June Birchbox in the mail and was extremely excited to find out what was inside. This month is full of travel ready samples that range from lotions to shampoos. The theme this month is travel since Birchbox recently teamed up with JetBlue. It is very fitting as quite a few of us will be venturing off on vacation.

1. Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face: This is a mineral-based tinted moisturizer with sun protection. It goes on smooth and creates a shine free finish. This is a great product for the summer months as it works to minimize oil production and shine. I really like the sheer finish and light feel. Unfortunately, there’s not much product in the sample. It was mostly air.

2. Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion: This is an antioxidant-rich moisturizer with ingredients such as grape seed that help smooth and soften. It has a light scent and is not too thick while providing excellent moisture. It also creates a cool sensation. I like the product itself but wasn’t impressed with the presentation. The sample was messy and looked like it had already been opened.

3. Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum: This is a fresh blend of mandarin, rose, and sandalwood. It is a great light scent. I love the fact that the ingredients named can be easily distinguished without being overwhelming. Spritz on pulse points such as your wrists and neck.

4. Number 4 Hair Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner: This is a sulfate-free cleanser containing botanicals and vitamins designed to repair and protect dry, brittle hair. One of the most frequent comments is about the fragrance, it is a little manly but it is fairly light. It is a good shampoo, although slightly pricey.

5. Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: This product mimics microdermabrasion and contains enzymes such as papaya as well as aloe vera, and coconut for cleansing. I love microdermabrasion in general. It is my must do in my skin routine. Again the presentation wasn’t great, the bottle was full of air and contained little product.

There was also a travel quiz with a chance to win a travel certificate with JetBlue. Overall, the content of the box was good. I wasn’t very impressed by the quality of some of the samples. They were messy, looked already opened and full of air. This is the first time I have been even slightly disappointed with Birchbox’s selections. My favorite is the Joie Parfum as I love good scents. It is a bit expensive but well worth it. I will update this post when I use the shampoo and conditioner.

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions please leave them below. I love hearing from you!

Tips on Summer-proofing your makeup

We can all feel the heat and in some cases, humidity, rolling in to kick off the summer. The sun feels great, only not when your makeup begins to melt off your face. You will not only sweat more but your face will produce more oil. Here are some easy tips to help keep your make looking and feeling fresh.

Before applying

Use a oil controlling cleanser and blot before applying.

Try using a clay mask once a week to control oil production.

Use a primer first. They create a barrier between your skin and the foundation. They also help your makeup stay on long. Eye primers are also recommended with eye shadow for the same reason.

Face

Apply foundation sparingly. If you can avoid it don’t apply it at all. If you must apply do so sparingly. Light, sheer color is best. I recommend a tinted moisturizer or a light concealer.

You can use a translucent powder to set your foundation. Powders help absorb extra oil as it’s produced.

After application

Keep a sponge handy to smooth out creases as they appear. Then reset with a light dusting of powder.

Blotting papers are extremely handy and easy to carry around. They are also very inexpensive. If you feel slightly oily use one to stay looking fresh.

Other tips

Skip the heavy lipsticks and use a tinted lip balm or lip gloss.  Going lighter and more subtle on the lips will allow you to play with the bright purples and blues this summer. To get extra staying power you can use a lip primer. Stains are also in this season as they boast staying color. If they are too dry pair them with lip balm.

Use a waterproof or water resistant mascara. They have the staying power and look great for all occasions. To remove them effectively invest in oil free eye make up remover to use before cleansing.

Use these tips to beat the heat and keep looking fantastic. If you have any questions, would like clarification, or have tips of your own please share them. I love hearing from you!

 

My Summer Beauty Bag

Since summer is upon us I put together what I will be carrying around in my beauty bag. This may change as I run across more products but for now watch to see my favorites. These will be hard to replace as we all know some oldies are goodies.

Products in my bag:

Silver eye liner: It’s so old I don’t remember the brand but I love using this in the corner of the eye to open it and about half way down my upper eye lash line. These techniques help make the eye appear more open and I love the dewy look with a little bit of mascara.

Marcelle BB Golden Glow cream: I received this product in a Birchbox and I fell in love with it. It is great as a mixer or base with my normal foundation or it can stand alone. It does have some shimmer in it so be careful if you don’t want to shine.

Pixi Shea butter lip balm: I have said this before but I love this product as well. It provides great moisture and a good pop of light color. It is also a Birchbox find.

Mary Kay Love Lash Mascara: This is my all time favorite mascara. It has a flexible wand and provides great volume and length.

Mary Kay cream highlighter: They don’t make this product anymore but I love to use it on high points I want to highlight on my face. My favorite place to put this is on my eye lids for a very natural look.

Mary Kay Poppy Love lip jelly: I just bought this color and it looks intimidating in the package but great on. It is sheer and not too sticky. I’m glad I tried this one.

Mary Kay CC cream with SPF15: This is also another new find. This replaced the tinted moisturizer so I wanted to give it a try. It is a little more robust than a BB cream but still lighter than my regular foundation. I love the pump on the tube and the fact that it has SPF in it. I really try to use face products with some sun protection.

I highly recommend all these products. If you have any products you love for the summer please let me know. I would love to try them!

A day in the life of a beauty blogger: Chapter 1 – Let’s get organized!

I have finally had enough. I looked around my bathroom and decided it was time to do some major organizing. Please click on the link for the video:

https://www.wevideo.com/view/205856673

Here I have several drawers and cupboards with miscellaneous products strewn about. I have quite a collection of products and will be receiving more. I am a hopeless makeup/product junkie. The plan is to hit up Pinterest and other craft sites to find cute, cheap organization projects. They  must also be fairly easy as I am not super crafty, I leave that to pros.

I am looking forward to sharing this with you. If you have any suggestions that may be beneficial to other readers please leave a comment. I always loving hearing from you!

Samples: Do they give an accurate picture?

We all love product samples. It is usually a free or cheap way of testing before buying. One thing I run across is most of the time the sample is not enough to get a clear picture of how the product will really work for you. This is particularly true for facial cleansers, moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners. Samples are really beneficial when determining what you don’t like.

Usually, with hair products, I will use it and initially my hair feels great. A week after buying it the product stops working and I wonder why I purchased that. With facial products, your face can react fairly strongly at first but that doesn’t mean the product is bad. It usually takes at least a week to see definable results, especially with a cleanser and you normally don’t get enough in the sample to test for that long.

As a marketing enthusiast I can tell you companies use small amounts for a reason. Smaller amounts tend to give really good results with regard to taste or performance. A famous example is the Pepsi Challenge. It was a blind taste test between Pepsi and Coca Cola and the announced winner was Pepsi. The reason is Pepsi is sweeter and subjects tended to choose it in small portions, however Coke is still the number one soda. This is because Pepsi is sweet and Coke is more drinkable it larger amounts.

There will be some products you try once and know immediately it’s not for you. There could be allergies you were unaware of or you see things you don’t like after one use. Samples can save you a bundle of cash by weeding out the products you may have been thinking about purchasing and pointing you in the direction of ones that work. If you aren’t careful you could spend a lot on trial and error.

There are always giveaways online and you can sign up for samples. This is also a way for companies to get your information to eventually use to market to you. I am a huge fan of my Birchbox subscription because for $10 a month I get a targeted number of larger samples and I don’t have to struggle through the weeds to find them. I get a great mix for a low price.

If you have a favorite way of getting samples please let us know. I love hearing from you!

Find the right light for your makeup

Have you applied your makeup in your bathroom, thought it looked good but didn’t like what you saw when you looked in a mirror outside? I have and I’m sure many other women have as well. What kind of light is the best for applying makeup? I have come across a few tips to help make your bathroom application friendly.

Bright Sunshiny Day

Light that mimics sunshine is the best as it is the purest light. It is very crisp light and is unforgiving when it comes to makeup application. It also ensures you don’t miss anything. The easiest way to get this light is to buy a crisp, natural light makeup mirror.

Other considerations

You will want to consider the source of the light. If it is overhead or from the back you will get unwanted shadows. It could accentuate wrinkles and other features you want to minimize. You will want light to be directly in front of you to illuminate the front and sides of your face without glare. Makeup and vanity mirrors are designed to provide the best illumination.

When buying bulbs look for ones that say “daylight spectrum” or “natural light.” If you have fluorescent lights you may want to think about replacing them as they are a bit harsh. You will also want to use lower wattage lights as the wattage is not what causes vision problems.

The right makeup for the occasion

Once you have the right light everything else will fall into place. For daytime favor warm colors such as brown and taupe for the eyes and a light colored blush and lipstick. To avoid a heavy texture, refrain from shading and contouring to make your nose smaller or cheeks look thinner. At night the light is more forgiving and you can play with cooler colors like blue, purple, gray and dark reds.

Use caution when using light-reflecting foundations and powders. They have small particles that can irritate sensitive skin or settle in pores, making them look larger. They do brighten your face but they might make you skin look shiny. Use these in specific areas to highlight features, such as the high point of the cheekbones. Try using it at night for the desired effect. Too little makeup is definitely better than too much, particularly in the bright sunlight.

If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them. I love hearing from you!