Sunday, February 23, 2014

Skincare 101: 8 Tips for Your Best Skin Ever!

Its a lot easier to skip the foundation and concealer when you're confident in the way your skin looks. Don't neglect or overlook your skin- its your largest organ. And your face is what people see first, so take care of it! Obviously most of us aren't blessed with perfect complexions but there are lots of things we can do to keep it looking its best! 

1. Keep it hydrated! Besides using moisturizers (I'll get to that later) the best way to keep your skin hydrated is by drinking lots of water. Water is so important and I could go on and on about its benefits, but please just keep in mind that it is so good for your skin and keeps you young and beautiful! I think one of the most important beauty tips is avoiding dehydration. Dehydration keeps your skin from eliminating toxins which can lead to all sorts of skin disorders (dermatitis, psoriasis, etc) and leads to premature wrinkles and discoloration! Drink 8 8oz glasses of water a day, OR MORE! Humidifiers help as well, use one while you sleep!

2. Exfoliate. Our skin is constantly renewing itself by generating new skin cells, but unfortunately the dead cells like to hang out on the surface, clogging your pores and making the skin look dull. Exfoliation is necessary as it helps to remove those cells that are clinging on by revealing the fresher & younger skin cells below. I remember I always had flaky skin on my nose, and it was frustrating because my skin definitely wasn't dry. Makeup would always look gross in that area and I couldn't figure out how to get rid of it. Someone eventually recommended exfoliating (duh!) so I tried it and I was shocked at how much smoother, softer, and brighter my skin looked. If you want to invest in your skin, I definitely suggest getting a Clarisonic. It has been the best thing for my skin and keeps all the dead cells far, far away (among many other great things). I do want to mention, though, that it is possible to over-exfoliate. Don't use anything too harsh, and it should only be done a couple times a week, not every day (unless its extremely gentle). 

3. Wash your face before bed & when waking up. I mentioned before that I used to be such a slacker and never washed off my makeup before bed. I know, right?! I was lucky enough that I got away with it for the most part, because I didn't have horrible acne. But once I forced myself to get into the habit, I saw a noticeable difference. I always had little tiny bumps in random areas on my face that I thought were unavoidable, but since I stopped sleeping in my makeup, they're completely gone! Its also important to wash your face in the morning. I shower in the morning, so that was kind of a given for me, but its so important to wash all 8 hours worth of bacteria, oils, and toxins off of your skin. And keep in mind that while makeup remover towelettes/wipes are great for removing stubborn makeup, they shouldn't be a substitution for an actual cleanser. I like to remove all my makeup with a wipe, and then wash my face with water + cleanser. Oh, and my #1 excuse was that by the time I was ready for bed I was too tired to wash my face.. So I started setting a timer for 8:00 so that if I was home, I would wash it before I got too tired, but I was nice and clean and makeup-free for bed :)

4. Create a skincare routine. To read about my favorite skincare line and what I use, click here. While simply washing your face is great, there are other things you should do to keep your face in tip-top shape. There are all sorts of skincare lines out there, and unfortunately its trial and error to see what works best for you. I prefer a line without any dyes, fragrances, parabens, mineral oils, etc. There are skincare routines with as little as 3 steps, or as many as 10 steps. Its really up to you how much time you want to put into your skincare, but in my opinion everyone needs a cleanser, toner, moisturizer (with an SPF, if not, then add a sunscreen) and eye cream. Four things may seem like a lot, especially if you aren't even used to doing more than one, but really it would only take 5-6 minutes total to apply it all. In case you were wondering, a cleanser cleanses the skin (duh) by removing any excess makeup, toxins, oils, etc. A toner restores the pH balance of your skin keeping it from getting too oily or too dry. A moisturizer moisturizes your skin (duh again) and keeps your face hydrated, also providing a smooth base for your makeup. And an eye cream hydrates the eye area (which is so important) and depending on what type of eye cream you have, usually prevents or reverses crows feet or other wrinkles. 

5. Protect your skin from the sun. Did you know that 80% of your skin's aged appearance is caused by the sun? I love to lounge at the beach in the summer, so I'd be a hypocrite if I told you to avoid the sun at all costs. But its really important to protect your skin, especially your face, from harmful rays. Use a sunscreen. Like I said above, its great if you use a moisturizer with SPF. BB creams, CC creams, etc also provide an SPF along with light coverage. Its also great to wear a hat or use shade. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later. I'm sure we've all seen the photo of the retired truck driver who always had one side of his face exposed to the sun (out the window from driving). The difference in the sun-exposed skin vs the non exposed skin is amazing. (Click here to see the photo)

6. Take your vitamins! Studies show that your skin needs 

  • Vitamin C -- Plays a vital role in collagen production, which is responsible for giving your skin elasticity. Collagen makes up 70% of skin!
  • Vitamin A -- Helps to rebuild tissue and to smooth out rough skin.
  • Vitamin E -- A powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce free radicals in your body.  Free radicals are the primary cause of aging in skin! 
All vitamins are helpful to your skin and its really important to realize that the healthier you are, the healthier your skin is! I have been taking this vitamin, which contains several B vitamins, vitamins D, C and E, an antioxidant, and aloe. 

7. Don't use astringents or products with alcohol. Our skin is fragile, and although it seems to put up with a lot, as we age it starts to show all the wear and tear and abuse we put it through. Don't use harsh exfoliators, toners, astringents, etc. When your skin seems too oily, most people think that by using an astringent with alcohol or other harsh chemicals, that it will dry the skin out. I know, I was one of those people trying desperately to make oily skin go away by dousing it with alcohol ridden products. What you're doing is actually counterproductive! When you dry out your face, your skin actually freaks out and overcompensates by producing even more oils. Instead, moisturize! Although it sounds crazy, keeping your skin at a normal pH level by using (alcohol-free) toner and moisturizing afterward, you're helping to keep it at a normal, healthy level which will result in normal skin. Don't get me wrong though, sometimes we just have oily skin and it may never be perfect, but try your hardest to keep a healthy balance of dryness and oiliness instead of going to extremes. 

8. Keep it natural. I'm not going to say I never use any makeup or skincare products with dyes or fragrances, but I think its important to stick to natural, plant based products as much as you can. If you have the time, do some research on the effects of mineral oils, parabens, harsh fragrances, etc on your skin. This is why I use the skincare line that I do. Its also great to use natural products like coconut oil, avocado, brown sugar (for exfoliating).. there are tons of things that are great for your skin that you can pick up right from your grocery store! I like to keep it as natural and chemical-free as possible. 

There are so many things I feel passionately about when it comes to your skin. Its so important to take care of it, and although I'm only in my early 20s, I know how important it is for my future face.. I always say I'll thank myself later! Its never too early to invest in your skincare, and keeping your skin clean and healthy can improve your appearance immediately! So go pour yourself a big glass of water, exfoliate and wash your face, and take your vitamin. You'll be glad you did! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Drugstore Makeup Favorites: The Best of L'Oreal

Part 2 of my Drugstore Makeup series is all about L'Oreal!

1. L'Oreal Telescopic/Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara
This is my favorite mascara, hands down. There are 2 versions, the original Telescopic mascara and a 'better' version called Shocking Extensions. I honestly don't see a huge difference between the two mascaras, and I like them equally. They have tiny, skinny brushes which are perfect for bottom lashes. I wasn't sure if I'd love the long skinny brush at first for my upper lashes, but they make my lashes longer, and more separated than any other mascara I've ever tried. When anyone ever asks me about mascara suggestions, this is what I recommend. Go try it! 

2. L'Oreal True Match Foundation
Ironically, as much as I love this foundation, I've never really been able to find a shade that works for me. Their claim is that they have tons of shades to find the perfect color match for you. There really are tons of choices, and I suggest you buy more than one and try it out, and return what doesn't work. This foundations is also really great for mixing. I have a summertime shade that is too dark for me now, but I mix it with a lighter shade and its perfect. It doesn't make me too shiny (as long as I have a setting powder) and the coverage is great. Its one of my top 3 foundations. 

3. L'Oreal Colour Riche Lacquer Lip Stain
I elaborated on these a bit more in this post. These are great, super shiny, and really do last a long time. I love all the different colors, although I don't see much color in the lightest shades. I love this for a super-shiny colorful lip, and the staying power is pretty great. 

4. L'Oreal Colour Riche Lip Balm
It took me a while to get any of these because I just assumed they were a different version of the Revlon Lip Butters (see Revlon post, link at the top of this post). I finally got one because I thought the color was really pretty, and I really liked it!! Its the same idea as the Lip Butters, Color Whispers, etc, in that its a sheer, semi-tinted, moisturizing balm. These actually have a bit more color payoff than the others of its kind, and are glossier. I don't own a ton of them but the ones I have I really like. 

5. L'Oreal Infallible Shadow
Let me start off by saying I don't like the Maybelline Color Tattoos, and I thought that these shadows were the same idea, so it took me forever to get any. I finally picked up Iced Latte and I love it. Its sort of like a pressed pigment. Its a looser powder that you sort of pack onto your lid. Iced Latte is a gorgeous creamy white color that looks great for highlighting the inner corner of your eye. It works really well if you add a bit of Mac's Fix+ to your brush, it makes the color even more pigmented. 

6. L'Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer Liner
I never found a gel liner I liked until I tried this one. The brush is AMAZING and makes for great precision. I'm not good at liquid liner and just figured I'd never accomplish a dark, dramatic lash line that liquid liner gives.. but then I discovered this gel liner and fell in love. It really is the easiest I've ever used and goes on smooth and precise. I love the brush more than anything, and plan to save it and use it long after the liner is gone! 

I think L'Oreal is great at making products at Drugstore prices that seem to be the same quality as high-end makeup. With all Drugstore makeup, the products can be hit or miss. I don't really care for their eye shadow other than the Infallible pressed pigment kind, and the True Match is the only foundation I like. But the things that do work for me, I love! Which of these products do you have?

Stay tuned for next week's post on Maybelline! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Birchbox vs Ipsy: February 2014

I feel like this review is almost pointless since everyone else got their boxes forever ago and already posted pictures everywhere.. I'm sure you've already seen a million Birchboxes or Ipsy Bags on Instagram already, but now you get to see mine as well. I was a bit frustrated because my Ipsy took forever this month. I already had my Birchbox before my Ipsy even shipped! My first instinct, just seeing the couple good things in my Birchbox, was that BB won this month. But then I got my Ipsy.. so here's the comparison!

(ignore that blurry picture.. it looked clear on my camera for some reason) 

1. Smashbox Full Exposure Palette Sample, full size $49
This was a neat idea, especially if you're interested in buying the palette. I thought about swatching the shades for you, but honestly, there's just a really thin layer of shadow so by swatching them I'd use it all and not be able to use it on my eyes. There are some really pretty colors, and its neat that I can see them in powder form and not just in a picture online. 

2. Agave Healing Oil Treatment, full size $24-$40
I wasn't sure until reading the card, but this is actually for your hair. Unfortunately there isn't really enough in the sample for me to use it on my hair. I could possibly try it on just my ends, but even that is doubtful. 

3. OPI Sheer Tint Top Coat, full size $9
I was actually really excited about this.. mainly because it was so adorably small! But also because I love OPI polishes, and I'll definitely get use out of this. I love samples like this.. they're in a bottle that I'll use and get more than one use out of it, plus its cute!

4. Refresh Cleanser, full size $30
Like I say in all my other Birchbox/Ipsy comparisons or reviews.. I'm not really into skin care, because I don't like trying new things for fear that my face will react badly to it. This is a really decent size sample though, which was exciting. I'll probably pass this on to someone else who wants to use it, because its definitely a nice sample. 

5. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara, full size $19.50
This was my favorite thing in the whole box. I LOVE samples like this, and I really think Birchbox should do it more often. I liked this mascara, it has a pretty basic brush and basic formula, but it made my eye lashes look long and pretty and that's all that matters! 

Overall thoughts: I really liked this box and to be honest, the OPI polish and mascara made the whole box for me, I would've been satisfied with just those 2 things. I've talked to a lot of people who were really disappointed with their box this month, though. I don't think many people got the mascara, which like I said, was the best part. I'd rate this box a 6/10

1. Eyetini Codial Cream Shadow, full size $18 (?)
I'm not sure how I feel about this concept. Its like a liquid/cream shadow, that is sort of in a lip gloss tube. I swatched it on my hand (see swatches below) and its a great color and very pigmented, but I rubbed it after about 20-30 seconds and it smeared, which means that it needs a long time to dry, which isn't always practical. So I'm not sure how I'd use it but I really do love the color and would love to try it. My other complaint is that there is nothing on the tube at all except for a small sticker on the bottom that said something about eye shadow.. Its a bit misleading since it seems like a lip product. 

2. Zoya Nail Polish in Odette, full size $9
I was really excited about this because I dont own any Zoya polishes, although I've heard so many great things about them. This is a full size polish which is great. The color is really pretty, and thankfully like nothing I have (because lets be honest, I DON'T need any new nail polish!). This was my favorite item in the bag. 

3. Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Body Butter, full size $15
At first I didn't love the smell, especially not in the bottle, but once I put it on my hands and wore it for a little while it started to grow on me. Its a fruity, tropical smell, but has a little something different that I can't put my finger on. Either way its very moisturizing and smells great. I'm not going to bother applying it to my whole body (even though its a body butter) because its not a very big bottle and wouldn't last long. I've been carrying it around in my purse and using it as hand lotion. I learned on their website that the line is strictly vegan, so that's good to know. 

4. J.Cat Beauty Eyelashes + Glue, full size $3.99
At first I was really excited about these because I never buy false lashes, but always like playing around with them.. but they're a bit too dramatic and thick for me, so I don't think I'd ever wear them. Maybe for something costumey, so I'll save them! 

5. POP Beauty Plump Pout Mini in Fuchsia Freesia , full size $16
I thought the color was really cute (swatch below) and it was a brand I've actually heard of. I'm not a fan of the smell, but the packaging is adorable, and seems like a great lip gloss. Not sure it did much plumping (like it claims to do) but its very pigmented and bright, and I like that. 

Swatches: lip gloss on left, cream shadow on the right.

Overall thoughts: My major complaint was that it took so long to get this bag in. Their whole 'thing' this month was for Valentines Day, and things you could wear on your date night out; however, I got it the day after Valentines Day so that didn't exactly work out. I really like the bag, it isn't in-your-face Cupid, just pink with a cute pink leopard lining. I really liked all the products, and the only thing I don't see myself using is the lashes.. other than that, all the products were pretty much great! I'd rate this box an 8/10.

Winner: Ipsy

When I first got my Birchbox I thought it was going to be a winner, mainly because it came with a decent-sized mascara! But Ipsy definitely won. I will use all of the products included (besides the lashes) and not just because I have them, but because they're products I'd buy for myself.. especially the polish.

 I said this last time, and I stick to it, I hate that Ipsy doesn't include a card with product info. In my mind, Birchbox wins in that alone. When reviewing and sharing info with you guys about my Ipsy, I have to login and view my bag, click on each item, and follow the link to the website where it is sold, and then FIND it on the site to find the full price, which color I have, etc. Birchbox includes a card with all the info I need- which color/brand/style etc came in my box, the full price, and a brief description of the item. Ipsy really needs to follow their lead!! 

What was your favorite? Did my Ipsy win, or would you prefer the Birchbox?
Which of YOUR boxes won this month? What kinds of things did you get?? Tell me!! I want your opinions!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stila 'In the Light' Palette Review

It occurred to me while looking through my makeup that I've had this palette for a while now and haven't reviewed it. I did mention it in my post all about the palettes you need in your life (click here) but didn't elaborate on it much... so here you go! And once again, my swatches suck (especially in the first picture). One of these days I'll talk my husband into taking the pictures for me! 

What is it: a palette of 10 neutral shades, plus a Stila 'smudge stick' (not photographed)
Price: $39

**Also, let me note, that the reason I bought this palette in the first place was because it had the shadow 'kitten' which is a super popular, award-winning, best-selling shadow.. its gorgeous and has quite the cult following. The shadow itself retails at $18, so the fact that there are 9 other shades along with it make it a great value. 

1. Bare - a matte ivory shade, and as you can see, it doesn't show up on my skin tone at all. I'm sure if you're darker than me it would work fine with you.. but I pretty much skip this shade unless I want a matte base that doesn't show up.
2. Kitten - I pretty much said it all in my comment above, but its gorgeous shimmery pink/champagne color that works great for highlighting. (People even use it to highlight their cheek bones)
3. Bliss - a matte beige-y pink. Great for crease or transition color.
4. Sunset - I love this shimmery bronze/copper color. Looks great with Bliss, to the left.
5. Sandstone - one of the least pigmented shades in the palette, it seems like a really deep, creamy chocolate brown but it doesn't have that great of a color payoff. A tad bit powdery.
6. Bubbly - My favorite shade, second to Kitten. Its a really pretty shimmery gold with a hint of copper. As you can see, it goes great with the color next to it, and looks so pretty all over the lid, without being too red.
7. Guilded Gold - I don't find this to be gold at all, like the name states. I think its more of a sienna color with a tad bit of shimmer, which honestly doesn't come across that well on the skin.
8. Luster - This is a really pretty deep gray with a bit of shimmer. I would consider it to be the "big brother" of the color to its right. Just a deeper shade and they complement each other really well.
9. Night Sky - I didn't expect to love this color but I really do.. Its a grayish blue with lots of pretty shimmery pearly flecks. 
10. Ebony - a true matte black, very pigmented. 

Overall I really like this palette. The shades are very similar to some of the shadows in the Lorac Pro Palette but that doesn't mean I think you should skip this one. I love this because its all basic neutrals that work well together. They each have a shade that they correspond well with and can be combined with, so there are tons of looks all within one palette. I also love, you guessed it, that there is a good selection of mattes, all which complement a shimmer shade. Perfect for lid/crease combinations. 

I like the size of the palette because the shadows are HUGE so you get tons of products. I also like that the mirror is big. This is a great palette, and rather affordable compared to other palettes (think, $52 Naked palettes) and you get a lot of bang for your buck. It also comes with a Stila 'smudge stick' in Damsel, which is a dark matte brown liner. I'm not in love with the eye liner because the color is sort of red-toned which I, personally, don't like. But the fact that it comes with a liner, along with 10 great shades that retail around $18, means you really got a good value for $39. So if you're looking for an affordable palette with lots of neutral shadows.. this is the one for you! Its a lot of fun to play around with and try new looks with. So try it out! 
Friday, February 7, 2014

Drugstore Makeup Favorites: The Best of Revlon

I've decided to start a new series each week where I highlight a brand from the drugstore and tell you what are (in my opinion) the best products from that line. I wanted to start off with Revlon because its my favorite drugstore/affordable line and I happen to have lots of Revlon products and love them. 

1. Revlon Lip Butters
It occurred to me the other day when I included these in my favorite lip product post, that I really have not talked about these enough, considering how much I adore them. I really think these Lip Butters are perfect in every way, and perfect for everyone. There are lots and lots of colors to choose from, ranging from light nude colors to bright candy apple red, to deep plum or burgundy. What I like best about them is that you can control the amount of color.. they are very buildable. If you just want a sheer wash of color, just apply one layer. If you want something a bit more dramatic, do a couple layers. I don't just love them for their color payoff though, they are very moisturizing and feel smooth and soft on your lips. If you're just sort of iffy about wearing any color on your lips, pick one of these up. You will not be disappointed! 

2. Revlon ColorStay Whipped Foundation
This was my go-to foundation for months.. I've since been trying out new things, but I always go back to this trusty foundation when I want medium to full coverage. I love the whipped texture and how smooth and creamy it goes on and looks on my skin. I was a powder foundation wearer for a long time and any liquid foundations just seemed so heavy and thick on my face.. but I finally found this foundation and loved it because it didn't feel wet and greasy and made my face flawless!

3.Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss
I don't have these glosses in a ton of colors, just 2, but I love the 2 that I have. Peach Petal is my absolute favorite for a gorgeous, pearly, peach, nude color. It goes great over any lipstick and is, in my opinion, an exact dupe for MACs Flair for Finery Lipglass. They aren't sticky, and last a pretty long time. 

4. Revlon Photo Ready Eye Primer
This was the first eye primer I ever purchased. Since then I've tried out some pretty pricey ones.. and I honestly don't see a difference. Its a great primer at a great price point. I love that it has a flesh toned color (it isn't just a clear primer) because it sort of acts as a foundation or concealer for my eyes, covering any discoloration or veins on my lids. On days that I don't want to wear much eye makeup besides mascara, I'll put a thin layer of this on my eyes and it really makes them look more awake, and as I said before, covers any imperfections. It also makes your shadow stay a long time and prevents creasing.

5. Revlon ColorStay Foundation
Obviously this is the non-whipped version of #2. I consider this a great every-day foundation, whereas the whipped version is better for a more full-coverage nighttime look. I like that it blends really well which makes for a quick application. I just apply a bit to the back of my hand, dip my finger in it, and dot it all over my face. Then I take a brush and blend it in all over. It goes on smoothly and effortlessly and covers well. I buy the one for combination-oily skin but I hear the dry skin formula is really great for dry skin. This foundation does need a setting powder to keep you matte throughout the day.. but I have yet to find a foundation that doesn't.

6. Revlon ColorStay Polish
I've mentioned these before in previous posts.. They are the best polishes, with the best staying power, of anything else I've tried. I once wore this polish for 3 weeks without any chipping. I was amazed. There is a great color selection and I love the shape of the brush, which makes it much easier to paint mess-free. If you don't want to spend extra money at the nail salon, and don't want to have to paint your nails over and over each week, definitely try this ColorStay polish.. you won't be disappointed! 

7. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains
Once again, another product I've talked about over and over. Read here and here. As I said before, they're moisturizing, smooth, and feel cool and minty on your lips. As you can see in the picture, there are tons of colors to choose from. I think they're so easy to apply and I love the concept of a big crayon. They are very similar to Clinique's Chubby Sticks. My only complaint is that the lighter colors don't really show up that well (not on me anyway) so I'd stay away from the 2 or 3 lightest shades.

8. Revlon Lash Potion Mascara
I loved this when it first came out, and then I started trying new things and forgot about it. I recently started using it again and forgot just how much I loved it! Its a pretty basic mascara, a normal brush with a normal formula.. But something about it just really makes my lashes look really long and full. It was a little too wet for me in the beginning but after it dries out (about a week later) its so easy to use and makes your lashes look amazing. This is one of the few Revlon eye products that I have tried and loved.. definitely worth picking up! 

As you can see, most of my favorites are lip products.. Revlon has really hit the nail on the head with their moisturizing formula with great color payoff. I haven't tried many of their shadows or liners which is why they aren't on my list, but if you know of any that you think I'd love, let me know! 

Which line would you like to see next? L'Oreal, Maybelline, Rimmel, Cover Girl, Wet n Wild..
The list goes on and on! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

50 Shades of Pink

Its February.... and that means PINK OVERLOAD! Which is totally fine with me because its my favorite color. I've been playing around with some flirty, feminine, pink Valentines Day looks to show you guys, and while going through my makeup I decided it would be a good idea to show you my faaaavorite pink products. 

1. Naked 3 Palette - When I think of sexy and feminine eye shadow.. I think of the Naked 3 palette. A great balance of pinks from matte to sparkly to pearly. Perfect for a Valentines look!
2. Flower Beauty Sheer Lip Tint in Bare Blush - Such a pretty color and sheer is definitely the word for it. Very subtle but enough pigmentation that you actually see the color on your lips, and its a great, rosy pink!
3. Real Techniques Blush Brush - Its pink, so it counts! I love this blush brush because of its unique dome shape. Great for applying blush or bronzer exactly where you want it.
4. Revlon Lip Butter in Cremesicle - This is my favorite lip butter next to Creme Brule.. its a great light nude shade that lightens your lips with the perfect light peachy pink shade, and like all the Lip Butters, its very moisturizing.
5. Revlon ColorStay Polish in Cafe Pink - This was my favorite shade this summer and the perfect color to add a bit of girly Barbie pink to your nails for Valentines Day! (I'm thinking red accent nail?!)
6. Sonia Kashuk Blush in Flamingo - I love this color because its really bright, but nothing too shocking. You can build it up so it gives you that hot pink dramatic cheek, or it can just be a light sheer rosy shade that makes you look like you're blushing.
7. NYX Lip Creme in Tokyo - These are SO great because of their pigmentation and color selection. They're like NYX Butter Glosses but with even more pigmentation.. they're consider a lip creme because its sort of like a lipstick in gloss form, and this shade of pink is awesome.

Are you wearing pink as much as I am this "Season of Love"?! I'm not big on Valentines Day but I love any month or holiday that celebrates my favorite color.. pink! What pink products are you loving this February?!
Saturday, February 1, 2014

My favorite lip products of all time!

I really didn't have to put much thought into today's post. I keep a small bag in my purse that has all of the lip products I use the most. Each and every one of these lippies listed today are what I keep in my bag, and use on a daily basis. Obviously some are more dramatic than others, but for the most part I stick to natural nude colors, aka "my lip color but better" shades. So, in no particular order...
(note that the name & shade of each product is listed on the side of the picture)

This was my very first Mac lipstick and I was not disappointed. Its a satin, which means its right in the middle between matte and creamy. Its definitely creamy enough, but nothing too shiny. Just nice and natural. I like it because it isn't a typical nude, its definitely got a pink side to it, without being too dramatic. And it definitely Mac lipstick quality in that it lasts a long time, has great pigmentation, and doesn't dry out your lips. 

In the tube you would think this is an exact dupe for Faux, but as you can see in the swatch, its actually way more brown and less pink. A great nude that seems to be just a couple shades darker than my lip. Perfect for someone who isn't too brave with lipstick because its very natural but still adds a little 'umph' to your look. It can be a tad bit drying, so I tend to apply a chapstick/lip balm before using this lipstick, but its not too bad. Looks really pretty with a sheer gloss over it. 

This is such a great, feminine color for when you want to be a bit more dramatic. I consider this THE color for fall/winter and will still be rocking it into spring. Milani lipsticks are so creamy and shiny (but not shimmery) and feel so comfortable on my lips. If you've ever worn a dry or thick lipstick, you'll know what I mean by being "comfortable".. this one feels so moisturizing and lightweight. I also have a Milani lipstick in a nude color and love it just as much, but to me, this deep plum/sangria color is a color you should definitely pick up! If you haven't worn a bold color before, try this one! 

I did a review on this one once before, but I'll go ahead and say it all again.. this is the perfect matte lip color, especially for a dark lip. I love the way this deep red looks when its matte, it just adds a whole new layer of drama to the look. Its wearable for day or night, and stays put for a long time. It does, however, dry my lips a bit, but at that point I like to just wipe it all off and reapply to avoid creasing or chapped looking lips. Its a gorgeous color that can be great for an evening out on the town or a day shopping.

I was a little unsure on whether to add this with my lip balm category or lipstick.. but I think they're pigmented enough to be considered closer to a lipstick. Months ago I never wore lip color. The only thing I ever had on my lips was lip balm and maybe a gloss every now and then. Then I discovered Revlon Lip Butters and it was my transition into lip color. These are great for anyone who isn't comfortable wearing anything major on their lips. Its a nice sheer color, very moisturizing, nice and glossy but natural looking. Even their darker shades are sheer, but buildable, so you can make them as simple or dark as you'd like. Creme brulee is my absolute favorite and is on my lips pretty much every single day. It gives a nice, light, sheer nude color to my lips and is a great complement to any makeup look. Out of all the products I've talked about today.. these are my absolute favorites! Especially this specific color.

I grouped these together because there are only 2 of them, and the only 2 I'll ever need! I can't stand sticky gloss and have trouble finding any gloss that I like. These 2 are my favorites and I own them in multiple shades! 
1. Mac Lip Glass in Softly Lit. This actually came in the Stroke of Midnight Holiday Collection from Mac that also came with a lipstick (Creme de Nude) and a lip liner. This is a great, pearly, light pink gloss that looks good with any other shade, or does well on its own. Not sticky at all. This one was, unfortunately, limited edition; however, their Lip Glasses in general are great, and you'll love it in any shade. If you're looking for a similar color though, try Flair for Finery.
2. NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee. I heard so many things about these Butter Glosses so I had to pick some up. This one was my favorite, hands down. Butter Glosses have names related to food (Creme Brulee, Peaches & Cream, Maple Blondie, etc) and smell AMAZING. There is nothing better than a lip gloss that feels great on your lips and smells like you want to eat it. It has a yummy vanilla/food-ish scent that makes you want to lick your lips. The pigmentation is amazing (as you can see in the swatch) and doesn't need to be worn with a lipstick at all. This particular one is a light pink color but nothing too bright.

Lip Balms
First of all.. I didn't realize until looking at the photo, just how beat up these are. Its because I use them all the time and they're always with me (even if that means sticking them in my husband's pocket if I go purse-less). They are well loved. I think I've loved Burt's Bees since middle school and probably always will. I've tried other brands and other chapsticks, but I'm just not happy if it isn't the cool, minty feel of Burt's Bees. The Nivea Lip Butter was new to me this past year, and I was surprised how much I love it. I typically don't buy anything I have to dip my finger into (am I the only one weird about that?!) but I heard this smelled and felt great so I gave it a try.. and it lived up to its reputation. The smell is really nice, even though I don't even like raspberry smells. It also feels literally, like butter on your lips. It also gives a really nice creamy light pink sheen on your lips, so its really more than just a moisturizing balm. There is also a vanilla scented (I think) one that I hear is great but I haven't tried it. 

So that's it! My favorite lip products, ever. They are all products I stand by and would recommend to anyone, so go give them a try! Let me know if you bought any and loved them as much as I do. What are your favorite lip products? Comment below!