All I Want For Christmas…

The holiday season is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing: super fun make up kits at beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora. The other day I went to Ulta because I ran out of concealer. Needless to say, I got distracted by all the fun, new, perfectly paired beauty packs. When I saw this I absolutely fell in love with the compact which has 2 eye shadow colors and a blush. The light eyeshadow shade is a great “vanilla” matte while the dark has just a hint of sparkle, it is not as dark as it appears. It’s the perfect combination for a simple, sultry eye. I am obsessed with the blush. It is the perfect peachy color that will work with every outfit all winter long. A huge plus to this pack is a full-sized eyeshadow primer ($20 by itself), which is one of my absolute faves. I had never tried the Too Faced mascaras or eyeliner, and they are surely going to become a new staple in my makeup drawer. The eyeliner stayed all day and did not budge or flake at all. The mascara does wonders by giving lots of volume yet does not clump. Finally the lipstick. For those of you that know me personally, you know I am more of a chapstick girl, but after trying this lipstick I think my views have changed. It is a full-sized la creme lip creme ($21 by itself) in a shade called “believe” and I am obsessed. The lipstick is creamy without being greasy and the color stays for a long period of time. Plus, it comes with a super cute travel sized make up bag. All in all, it is a great deal for the price, and has essentials you will be using all winter long.

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Eyeshadow Primers

The dreaded crease in your eyeshadow. It happens to everyone, but it can be avoided if you prep and prime your eyelid properly. There are tons of eyeshadow primers out there, but I find these two products really do the trick. No creases in your eyeshadow, and color that doesn’t fade makes these two products winners in my book.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – $20

This is Urban Decay’s #1 selling product and for good reason! It never creases and is coveted by makeup artists. When it dries, it essentially becomes invisible/nude so it doesn’t change your eyeshadow to a different color than you expected. I use the original formula, but they do offer a couple other selections that dry to have a slight shimmer and darker shade. 

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Too Face Shadow Insurance – $20

Just like Urban Decay’s product, this dries nude and is amazing at locking in the color of your eyeshadow for hours on end. It is silicone based which does help with the adhesion of the eyeshadow to the lid, but do not worry that doesn’t mean it is difficult to remove. I love this primer and high recommend it.

 

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Make Up Primers and Setters

Wouldn’t it be nice to apply our make up in the morning, be on the go all day, and when you finally get the chance to look in the mirror in the evening, your make up is in the same place. Well there is a way, and it is all in how you prime and set your make up.

Primers

I love both Urban Decay and Smashbox (if you can’t tell by how often I post about their products). Urban Decay’s product is awesome because it almost works like a moisturizer at the same time. I don’t feel like it is greasy or leaving a weird film on my face like some products. Smashbox is known for being at the forefront of cosmetic technology, so do not let their selections of primers scare you away. I stick with their original photofinish (the clear primer) on an everyday occasion. If for some reason my skin is super dry, i will use the hydrating formula (the blue primer…don’t worry it is not actually blue once you rub it in) just to help seal in the moisture. Both of these brands ensure that you are going to get even flawless coverage with your foundation so you are not constantly running to the ladies room to powder your nose.

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Setters

I can not begin to tell you what a life changer the all nighter make up setting spray has beenThe first time I used it was at my sister’s wedding and I have never looked back. With weddings, you are doing hair and make up first thing in the morning, then going through pictures, the ceremony, reception, and by the end of the night it is possible your make up could be completely worn off. By using this spray, my make up looked as perfect at midnight as it did at 10am in the morning right after it was applied. This spray is a must in your make up bag!

 

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The Dirt on Face Wash

Finding a facial cleanser that you are truly happy with is very difficult. Especially when you need different cleansers for different purposes. Some are made to fight acne, but if you use them every day, then you run the risk of your skin becoming dry. Others are made to remove make up that goes deep and can clog your pores. Others are made to be daily cleansers to simply remove the dirt and sweat from the day. But how do you know which one is right for you? My trick, get one from each category and intermix them throughout the week as you see fit.

Bare Minerals Deep Cleansing Foam – $20

This daily cleanser from bareMinerals works wonders. After using it, your face feels so soft and smooth. It has a slight tingle when you are using it, almost like you can feel it cleaning your face. A little bit goes a very long way with this product because it does foam up nicely. This is my go to when I am traveling because I know it is going to get the job done for the few days I am away. The travel size is perfect and lasts a long time, so you are not constantly running to the store before your trip to try to find a face wash that doesn’t take up half your make up bag. You can find this at Ulta, Sephora, or any bareEssentials store.

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Murad Pore Reform Line- $28 – 49.50

A lot of people are scared to try murad for fear it will dry out your skin. It is prescription strength, so that is possible, but if you only use it a few times a week, have no fear, your skin will be clear of acne and blackheads and look radiant. They recently came out with their Pore Reform line and I am obsessed. I keep the Pore Reform  Daily Cleansing Foam in the shower and try to use it every other day after I get home from a long day of cross-country practice. While it is considered a daily cleansing foam, I am still hesitant because it is such a strong cleanser. I also use the Pore Reform Blackhead & Pore Refine System Duo to help keep my problem areas in check. Step 1 is a thick, creamy, cleanser that you leave on your problem areas for 5-10 minutes then wash away. You then follow with step 2, which is a light weight lotion to help repair skin.  You can find the whole line of Murad products at Ulta or Sephora.

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Stila Coming Clean Revitalizing Gel Cleanser – $22

After a night out, a lot of times, we are too tired to take off our make up, but sleeping in make up is not good for our skin. While the convenience of facial wipes sometimes win out, they do not necessarily get the job done. When I got this product and tried it out for the first time, I wanted to test just how well it removed the make up from my face. After washing my face, I got a make up wipe, and used it, and it was perfectly clean. I am in love. This is my new go to for completely removing my make up. You can find this at Ulta; Sephora does not carry Stila products.

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Neurtrogena Microdermabrasion System – $22.99

Let me begin by saying that I LOVE this! I use this every other day to really get a good, deep clean feeling. The pads are premeditated, so you simply have to get them wet and attach to the wand. It does the same job as other brands of at home microdermabrasion systems for a fraction of the price. The starter pack comes with a months worth of pads and the refills come in 2 month supply pack for around $12. You can find this at Ulta or Target.

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Liquid Foundation Faves

I have long been a fan of mineral powder foundation. In fact, I went 6 years using the same exact foundation. However, I began to notice it was not lasting and I was not happy with out my face make up looked by the end of the day.

I finally made the switch to Smashbox Studio Skin 15 hour liquid foundation and fell in LOVE. I could apply this make up first thing in the morning, and when I got home at the end of my long days, my makeup looked the exact same. I wore this foundation at my sister’s wedding this past spring; make up went on about 10am, and when I got home at midnight, you would have guessed I applied it less than an hour before.

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Early this summer, Smashbox announced they were coming out with a Liquid Halo Foundation. I was like a little kid in a candy store, I was so excited. I have been using Smashbox Halo Perfecting Powder to set the Studio Skin, so I had to try out the liquid version. Let me tell you, the Liquid Halo is like butter; it goes on so smooth and makes skin feel so soft. The best part is, it give you coverage without looking like you just frosted your face. I still set the liquid halo with the halo powder, but you do not have to. All these products are a little pricey, but in my eyes, they are worst every penny. A little goes a long way, so you can really make the foundation last so you do not have to feel like you are breaking the bank.

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Glam Glow

 

Taking good care of your skin at a young age is very important. I am always in the sun, whether it be on a run at cross country practice or laying by the pool, I know the rays are damaging my skin. In addition to this damage from the sun, I know my pores get dirty just from being outside all day. I have tried different masks in the past that are supposed to clean out pores and tighten the skin, but I haven’t been happy with any of the results. I was at Sephora one day when I stumbled upon GlamGlow, and my interest was sparked.  I did a quick google search on the product before I dropped $69 on a mask, and every review was raving about how awesome this product was. It has been said that Jennifer Aniston swears by this product and it was featured on Cosmopolitan as a must try. Naturally, I had to splurge.

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I could not wait to get home and try out the new product. One of the best part about the packaging is the little reminder you get that you are sexy, and your skin will be even sexier.

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This little jar of volcanic mud is my new obsession. Simply apply a thin layer all over your face, or do spot treatments. Allow the mud to dry then rinse off with warm water.

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I am going to forgo posting pictures of what my mask look liked, so I have included the picture from GlamGlow’s website. It is very accurate. As the mud dries, it turns lighter in color, but it somehow manages to pull the dirt out of the pores, which is the little black spots you see everywhere.

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It looks gross, and is a little pricey, but it is so worth it. Go try it. NOW!

BB Creams and CC Creams

Ask any one of my closest friends, and they will tell you I have enough make up to last me forever. There is no doubt that I love trying new products regularly. Some of them even ask me to teach them how to apply make up since they typically use just mascara. If there is one product that I would recommend every girl has in her make up bag, that would be a BB cream or a CC cream. They absolutely work wonders and I swear by them on a daily basis.

So what is a BB cream? BB stands for beauty balm and it has 5 key functions to maintaining a healthy glow: moisturizes, primes, perfects, protects, and controls oil.

But then how is a CC different? Well, CC stands for color correcting, so it basically has the same functions of a BB cream but also helps to correct dark spots and redness.

BB creams and CC creams are great if you are on the go and do not want to apply foundation and powder. Since they are tinted, you get minimal coverage, a healthy looking glow and some SPF to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. I typically use the creams as my prep before I apply my foundation just so I get a little more coverage. Either way though, a BB cream or CC cream is a must have!

I personally swear by Smashbox Comsmetics BB and CC creams in the light/medium shade. Other great options come from Stila, Urban Decay, Lorac and Olay.

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