Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spring Makeup: Save & Splurge

What can I say?! I've been bitten by the Spring bug. So I decided to make a compilation of some great Spring makeup at 2 different price points- so you can decide whether you want to save or splurge. 
Keep in mind these aren't comparisons or exact dupes, but they've very similar and all favorites of mine.

Save: CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation, $12 +
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder, $5
Splurge: Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation, $40 +
Urban Decay De-slick Mattifying Powder, $32

Save: Maybelline Falsies Mascara, $7
Splurge: Benefit They're Real Mascara, $23

Eye Shadow
Save: Maybelline Eye Studio Quads in 'Taupe Temptress' & 'Sapphire Siren', $10 each
Splurge: Stila 'In The Garden' palette, $40

Save: Elf 'Candid Coral', $3
Splurge: Nars 'Deep Throat', $30

What is your idea of perfect spring makeup?
Also, I'd love to hear if you'd like to see more save/splurge posts, they're fun to do!
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring 2014 Nail Trends

Happy first day of spring, everyone! ...Although it feels nothing like spring where I live. In fact, it is supposed to snow AGAIN next week. But I'm pressing on and embracing some of this spring's big trends, in hopes that it pushes the cold weather far, far away. 

I've been doing some research on nail trends for this spring, and although some of them are pretty predictable and expected- pastels, florals, etc- I think the key this year is keeping it classy. In my opinion, I think the trend is to go for a classier, more subdued version of the florals, pastels, neons, etc we loved last spring and summer. Think "Secret Garden" and less "Spring Break".
I don't know about you, but I'm excited about trying some new things! 
Here is some nail inspiration for Spring 2014!

Tip: Keep it limited to an accent nail or two. Don't go overboard and make it look like flowers threw up all over your nails. Pick a neutral color for the rest of your nails, or add some glitter to another nail for variety.

Tip: Your nails don't have to look like an easter egg. If you're mixing colors, keep it limited to one or two pastels that complement each other. Or keep it simple and stick with one really pretty color that pops.

This trend is nothing new and although I feel like its sort of overdone, I think a really simple ombre nail can look great. Tip: Keep it limited to 2 colors. Pick a color and bring it gradually lighter, you don't need 3 or 4 colors all bleeding into each other for a great ombre nail. 

White Nails
Tip: If you want a completely opaque, non-streaky white, try this- put one layer of white polish, then use a mattifying polish (like Essie's 'Matte About You') and then apply another layer of white. It will be streak-free! You can also kick it up a bit by adding a glitter accent nail, some silver stripes, or an unexpected pop of color.

Natural, Romantic, Subdued Hues
I know this doesn't seem all that springy, but trust me when I say these shades are hot this spring. I actually really like the romantic shades. This is where I think the "Secret Garden" idea comes from. Since these are just one-shade nail looks, I'm including the polish color in case you want to try it out!
Essie 'Romper Room'

Essie 'Cocktails & Coconuts' 

Zoya 'Marley'

Essie 'Fiji' 

Okay guys, I hope this was helpful. I'd love to hear what nail trend you're planning to try!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Birchbox vs Ipsy: March 2014

Its that time again! There is nothing more exciting than seeing these pink things in my mailbox! And there is nothing worse than being disappointed in what you got.. And I know a lot of people who have subscribed to Birchbox and have been bummed. And curious about Ipsy. So this post will be my final decision and final recommendation on which company I think is worth subscribing to. First I'll give a brief description of what I got in each and my overall thoughts. Then I'll break it down on which I think is worth the $10 subscription.

1. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Spray, full size $21.95
2. Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom Perfume sample, full size $55
3. Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion, full size $16
4. Tea Forte Minteas, pack of 3 $9.99
5. Coola Tinted Matte Moisturizer, $36
6. Ghirardelli Cherry Tango Dark Chocolate Square

Overall thoughts: My main complaint/annoyance from this Birchbox was that a lot of people seemed to have this exact same box. I did a quick Birchbox hashtag search on Instagram and saw at least 20 people that had the exact same box as I did, no differences at all. This mainly frustrates me because Birchbox is supposed to be a completely customized box that is determined by the questionnaire you fill out when you join. I'll elaborate more on my thoughts on Birchbox at the end. The chocolate was yummy, and I really like the smell of the lotion- seems like a very high-end lotion. Haven't tried the detangle spray because I don't typically use them. I've used Coola sunscreen before, not sure how I feel about it being a tinted moisturizer, but I may use it on a day I'll be out in the sun (has SPF 30)

1. Pixie Flawless Beauty Primer, full size $9
2. NYX 'Love in Rio' Eye Shadow, full size $6 (this is full size)
3. Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in 'Get Ready', full size $18 (swatched left in picture)
4. Chela Indigo Blue Liquid Liner, full size $24 (swatched right in picture)
**here is a better photo of the Bare Minerals lipstick 

Overall thoughts: I think the bag itself is tacky. I will probably give it away or throw it in a drawer to hold tampons or something. There are only 4 items in the bag, which doesn't seem like much compared to what I've gotten in the past, and compared to what Birchbox sends. I'm going to nitpick for a second.. I won't use the eyeliner because its a very bright blue and I just don't do indigo eyeliner. I wish they had sent a more user-friendly color like black or brown. It seems like a really nice tip though. The lipstick is really creamy and shiny. A really nice sample.

should I subscribe to, Birchbox or Ipsy?

So I started asking myself this question, which one I would recommend to you guys and I realized that you may have a different preference on what kinds of things you get in your subscription box/bag. So I'll break it down in a pretty simple way so you can make your own decision.

Subscribe to Birchbox if...
- you like high-end beauty samples
- you like food-related extras like tea, chocolate, bonbons, etc
- you like things that aren't always makeup or skincare products. for example:
hair bands, decorative bobby pins, nail polish, pore strips, etc
- you like sample packets like shampoo or hand lotion
- you prefer skincare products, hair products, lotions, sunscreens, etc
over actual makeup items. (although Birchbox does sometimes include makeup)

Subscribe to Ipsy if...
- you like actual makeup items like eye shadow, eye liner, lip gloss, etc
- you don't mind cheaper brands that you could buy from WalMart, Target, CVS, etc
- you want/need small cosmetic bags in all shapes, sizes, and colors
- you'd prefer 3 or 4 full size items, over 5 or 6 sample size items

In other words
Birchbox: 5 or 6 high-end, expensive (usually) samples in small(er) sizes. Usually at least 1 foil packet of shampoo, lotion, moisturizer, etc, mixed with sample bottles of other skincare or hair care items, perfume samples, nail polishes, and an 'extra' which is usually food-related, like tea, chocolate, etc.
My main complaint- almost always something that I won't/don't use and just throw away

Ipsy: 4 or 5 inexpensive full-size samples. Usually a lip product in a smaller sized tube, an eyeliner, mascara, or eye shadow, a hand lotion, facial moisturizer, nail polish, etc. Almost always consists of makeup items only, although I have gotten some skincare products and hand lotions as well.
My main complaint- the products are usually items I could just buy for myself and aren't that expensive. For example, the NYX eye shadow or Pixie primer which can be purchased at Target for under $10 each

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox or Ipsy, click the
referral links above to join! 

Shew. I know this was sort of long, but I know a lot of people who have been disappointed with Birchbox lately and are thinking of switching to Ipsy. I personally still like Birchbox because I like trying high-end products, or different things like the tea flavored 'relaxation' mints I got this month, or the chocolate covered fortune cookie I got in December. But I really like that Ipsy gives full-size makeup items or decent sized, usable (vs foil packet) samples like the Bare Minerals lipstick or the full sized eye shadow.

I will stay subscribed to both for a few more months, because I like having the best of both worlds.
But I hope this helped you make a decision (if you were trying to decide) on which subscription box/bag is best for you. Let me know your thoughts on both and what you got in your Birchbox or Ipsy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Drugstore Makeup Favorites: The Best of CoverGirl & Rimmel

Today I'll be wrapping up the Drugstore Makeup Favorites series and I decided to combine the last two, CoverGirl and Rimmel, all in one post, but separate sections. Here we go! 

1. CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara 
This is definitely in my list of best mascaras. It does exactly what it claims to do, crushes clumps. It has a fine toothed brush that separates lashes. I also really love this for my bottom lashes because it manages to coat them completely (they're blonde, so that's important) without making a mess or causing them to clump all together. I also like this mascara as a second coat to go over another mascara to 'crush' any clumps and separate. Overall a great product and I will continue to buy it over and over.

2. CoverGirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation
This is my absolute favorite foundation.. ever. Yep. I said it. I'm not sure if I've given too many foundation recommendations on my blog, mainly because I think foundation is super subjective- it depends on your skin, your skill level, the brush you use, etc. But in MY opinion, this is the best foundation I own and what works best for me. It claims to be a primer, foundation, and concealer all in one (hence the 3-in-1) and although I do still use a concealer when I use this foundation I think it lives up to its claim. It keeps my oil at bay, has great coverage, and is very long lasting. I have yet to find a foundation with coverage this great that doesn't make me look cakey.

3. CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner
Well, speaking of "my favorite ever" this is my favorite eyeliner ever. I have mentioned before that I've used this eyeliner since I first started wearing makeup at 14/15. I'm not sure what it is, but I can't seem to find anything else I like as much as this liner. It goes on so smooth. The line is always, as the name states, perfect and smooth and it doesn't smudge on me (although I've heard others say it does on them, I've never had that problem). I use black onyx on my top lash line daily. 

1. Rimmel Finish Lipstick - Kate Moss Collection
I'll admit it. I mainly bought these because they said "Kate" on them which is my name. I'm a sucker for packaging anyway.. So I could resist a matte black tube with my name on it! :-) But soon I grew to love them for more than the packaging. These lipsticks are extremely creamy and opaque. I mentioned #14 in My Favorite Lip Products post and it definitely is my favorite from this collection; however the red is SO vibrant and I love the variety and uniqueness of their colors. 

2. Rimmel Scandal Eyes Kohl Eyeliner in 'Nude'
I wanted to include this liner specifically in nude because its hard to come by many nude liners great for your waterline. I've always heard of and experimented with using a light flesh-toned liner for your waterline to make your eyes seem bigger and more open, but I could never find the right liner. The closest I could find was a taupe shade that was too dark, or a white which just didn't look natural. But then Rimmel came out with their Scandal Eyes Kohl Liners and I ran out and bought the nude one right after I saw this post on Pinterest. It lasts all day, is waterproof, and goes on super smooth! 

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
I'm sure if you're a regular reader you're sick of hearing about this powder. I talk about it all the time and mention it in any and all blog post that include any of my favorite products. I go through a ton of these, but it really doesn't matter because its so cheap! I have tried other setting powders, at all different price points, and I continuously keep going back to this one because its the only one that makes the cut. It keeps me from being shiny, it doesn't make my face cakey or powdery at all, and is one of my all-time favorite drugstore buys ever. If you have any issue with oiliness and want to 'stay matte'.. pick this up RIGHT NOW!

As you can see, some of my favorite makeup products ever are from these two brands. My 'best of' list in this post may not be the longest, but the products that I do like, I love. The CoverGirl eyeliner and foundation and the Rimmel powder are staples in my makeup collection and I rarely leave home without them. Do you have any favorites from these lines that I didn't include? Let me know!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Drugstore Makeup Favorites: The Best of Maybelline

Drugstore Makeup Favorites: The Best of Maybelline
Hi, guys! It seems like it has been forever since I blogged, and I think I somehow missed a week in my drugstore series. But do me a favor and pretend that never happened... I'll just pick up where I left off! 

Part 3 of my Drugstore Makeup Favorites is alllll about Maybelline. I'll be honest and say I did Revlon and L'Oreal first because they're my favorites and I have a lot of products from their lines. But when I started thinking (and going through) my makeup I realized I have A TON of Maybelline products.. even more than L'Oreal! I guess I love them a whole lot more than I thought. So here we go!

1. Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
I haven't really tried many other things in the Fit Me line, but I heard so many great things about this concealer so I had to try it. I wasn't sure at first.. But after a while I found that I love it. Its sort of a really creamy mousse. The texture is different from any other concealer that I've used and I love how easily it blends. It isn't too thick at all, and never looks cakey, but it has great coverage. I especially like it for under my eyes and to hide redness around my nose. Just yesterday I used it under my eyes, on redness, and a few blemishes, and then added a bit of setting powder, and was able to skip foundation all together! 

2. Maybelline Color Elixir Lip Color
I really like the fact that they call this a lip color and not a lip gloss because its definitely more than just a lip gloss. They definitely look like lip glosses in the tube, and are applied as lip glosses. But they are just as pigmented and opaque as a lipstick. There's a great color selection and the brush feels so good. (Apparently its an Angora brush?!) I can't wait to use the bright pops of pink and purple this spring.

3. Maybelline Dream Lumi Concealer
I realize I included 3 concealers in this list, but I don't even consider this a concealer because I use it as a highlighter. Its definitely able to be used as a concealer and has great coverage, but I specifically like it to highlight my cheek bones and upper lip. It isn't sparkly or overly shimmery, which I like, and can be blended so that it looks way more natural than any powder highlighter I've ever used. It illuminates, brightens, and reflects light in a way that isn't overly obvious, and I really like that. 

4. Maybelline Falsies Big Eyes Mascara 
Okay, first of all: I love Maybelline Falsies Mascara. I just want to make that super clear to anyone who didn't know. I love it, I really do. I consider it to be one of the best mascaras ever, even out of the high end brands I've tried. They came out with the Falsies Big Eyes mascara and I was in love! Basically its a double ended mascara with two different brushes, one for top lashes (its the normal Falsies brush) and the other is a tiny, thin brush for bottom lashes. I have really short, blonde bottom lashes and this works great for applying it without getting it all under my eyes, and it separates them as well. My only complaint is that since its two separate ends, you really get half the amount of each product you would normally get, so I find myself having to replace it a lot more than a full tube. 

5. Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
This mascara is specifically for dark circles (the full name is actually Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer..... but that's a mouthful right?!) I absolutely love this under my eyes. I was a bit intimidated when I first tried it because it is pretty thick. But the coverage is amazing and it is one of the only concealers I've ever used that didn't make me greasy at all. It really does make my eyes look refreshed and more awake (which it claims to do) while covering any dark circles or discoloration. 

6. Maybelline Volum' Express Mega Plush Mascara
Maybelline really likes long names! I usually just call this Mega Plush. I reach for this mascara when I want a natural look because it makes my lashes look amazing.. without looking like I'm wearing mascara. Is that a weird description? I think it makes my lashes look so natural and 'bouncy' but long and separated as well. It apparently has a gel-mousse formula with 40% less hard waxes, which I think is what makes it looks so natural and plush without being crazy dramatic. I never have to worry about brittle, clumpy lashes when I use this and I think more mascaras should switch to this formula. 

7. Maybelline Baby Lips
The packaging of these balms remind me so much of the 80s and 90s. In fact, they really remind me of my childhood, and something I had as a kid, so when I first saw them I assumed they were geared more toward kids and preteens sort of like Lip Smackers! After a couple of people told me I had to try them, I did, and I was pleasantly surprised! They glide on super smooth and make your lips feel great, all while making them look shiny and 'baby soft.' There's also a huge variety of colors and scents. I picked up a hot pink one, thinking it was just like a fruity chapstick, and I was shocked when I saw that my lips were actually hot pink. Don't be fooled by the 'lip balm' claim, these actually have a lot of color payoff! 

8. Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad
I mentioned these a month or so ago in my Drugstore Eyeshadow post. I love that these quads are small and compact, but still have plenty of product. The shadows are super silky and soft, not powdery at all, and have tons of color payoff. All four shadows are shimmers, I don't think there is a matte shade included in any of the quads.. the shimmer of the shadows is gorgeous. They blend really well and make your eyes really pop, and the colors in each quad are all beautiful and work really well together! 

I love Maybelline because they make products anyone can afford, but they don't skimp on quality. The only Maybelline products that I personally don't feel live up to the hype, are the Lip Whispers. I'm just a Lip Butter fan and haven't found a Lip Whisper that worked for me. But I've loved pretty much any other product from Maybelline that I've tried. 

Stay tuned next week for Cover Girl!