Monday, February 26, 2018

February Favorites 2018

February Favorites 2018

*All products in this post were purchased by me or a gift from someone I know.  I do not get paid to write reviews. This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own. 

I can't believe February is almost over!  Today I am sharing with you my favorites of the month. This post includes items that were new to me, not necessarily the beauty market. To make my "favorites" list, products have to be ones that I actually use and love.  This is not a first impressions, so all items in this post have been used multiple times to earn their spot in this post. 

Here is a list of the makeup that helped make this February just a bit more fun!

#1 Makeup Geek Eyeshadow 

I purchased two of the empty 9 well palettes that come with the Makeup Geek logo on the cover, and a mirror on the inside.  I tried a bunch of new colors and stocked up on some favorites like Peach Smoothie, Preppy, and Mirage.  The empty palettes are $12 each, and the eyeshadow pans are $6 each.  I can't get over the quality of these eyeshadows.  They rival any high-end brand, and at $6 each, not to mention the large color selection, well...what is not to love?!

Some of the new colors I bought include: Bake Sale, Casino, Concrete Jungle, Desert Sands, Dirty Martini, Faux Fur, High Tea, Hipster, Morocco, Pretentious, Rapunzel, Sand Dollar, Sin City, and Sora

Here are two eye looks I created using these shadows:

The makeup look on the left used some of the warmer tones by Makeup Geek. I layered some warm neutrals on the lid, and then smoked everything out along the lower lash line using the Makeup Geek Defined Crease Brush ($8.50).

The second look is one that I created for Valentine's Day.  Cupcake is the star of the show for this look. This eyeshadow is a matte medium pink that is so pigmented. I found this color to really shine on its own and required little more than some liner, and a few swipes of mascara for a completed eye look.

Speaking of mascara....I think we are ready to have a look at February Favorite #2!

#2 Wet n Wild Lash Renegade Mascara

This is another super affordable pick. At only $5.99, this has become my go-to bottom lash mascara. The brush has a ball at the end that really helps grab those bottom lashes.  It applies smoothly, and doesn't flake or smudge.  The formula lasts all day, and doesn't budge until I remove it at night. I bought this on a whim, and am so happy I found a new bottom lash mascara!

The disposable mascara wands that I keep in my professional kit have a very similar wand. I find this style is the easiest for reaching the inner corners of the eye and really coating every single lash with product.  I have not seen many cruelty-free drugstore mascaras with this type of brush in the past. I hope Wet n Wild continues to make this, as I know it is becoming a fast favorite of many people!

#3 Marc Jacobs Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eye Palette in Scandalust

This item is not on the super affordable list, but damn it sure is beautiful!  Quite frankly for the name, quality and sleek design, I think this palette is well worth the $49.  When it comes to eyeshadow, I am very picky about quality. I prefer a smooth, velvety long-wear formula that is easy to blend and has true-to-pan color.  Urban Decay has always been my favorite eyeshadow brand, until now. Marc Jacobs really hit it out of the park with this palette. The shadows feel like silk as they glide onto the eye.  The seven colors in this palette work well together and it is easy to create everything from a work-ready wearable look to a high-end sophisticated evening glam look. I am dying to try some of the other colors available as Edgitorial has been on my list for a while now. The pigment in these is truly like none other.  If you love rust/warm-toned palettes, I highly recommend this one. These look especially beautiful with my blue eyes, and I appreciate the variety of textures and finishes in this sleek and portable palette. 

#4 Besame Cosmetics Long Hair Finishing Powder Brush

Another high-end favorite, this makeup brush is not completely new to my stash.  However, I did....rediscover it. As I was organizing my makeup brushes, I came across this one that I purchased a while ago, but for some reason did not use much.  After washing it and putting it on my newly designed makeup station, I found myself reaching for it quite a bit over the past month. This $50 brush is as practical as it is pretty.  It was inspired by the makeup brushes of the 1930s, and the bristles are so extremely soft.  I really can't explain the bristles in any words that would do this brush any type of real justice.  The bristles are made of cruelty-free ultra-fine synthetic hair and due to the number of bristles and their length, it almost feels like you are petting a super soft animal.  I generally apply powder with a powder puff, and have been using this brush to lightly dust the excess off my face.  The softness of the bristles against my skin feels so luxurious that it turns my morning makeup routine into a true moment of mindfulness. I even kept the beautiful box that it came in and use it to store the brush in my drawer when not in use. 

#5 MAC Cosmetics 217s and 239s Makeup Brushes

While we are talking about favorite makeup brushes, I must bring up the two newest brushes to my collection. If you read my previous post, you will know that I recently added the well-known MAC 217s & 239s brushes to my stash.  As many of you know, MAC is sadly not a cruelty-free brand.  However, they recently redesigned most of their brushes so that they are now made with synthetic hair instead of animal hair.  I am sure many in the cruelty-free community will not purchase these as MAC has left many makeup lovers feeling betrayed when they dropped their cruelty-free status.  That being said, I am a long-time vegetarian, and this reminds me of the debate that occurred when Burger King decided to sell veggie burgers. Does buying a veggie burger at Burger King mean that we support Burger King? This is an individual choice that only you can make. My position was that I want to encourage more places to offer vegetarian options.  I also want to reward companies for making positive choices.  This is how I feel about the MAC brushes. I will not start buying MAC makeup, as I know these products may be tested on animals. I will use MAC brushes that are made of synthetic hair to support what I believe is a move in the right direction.  The best way to let companies know how we feel about their decisions is to vote with our wallet.  I never owned an animal hair brush from MAC, nor will I.  These synthetic brushes are wonderfully made and have changed my eyeshadow game.  I have countless blending brushes, even some shaped similar to the 217, but none have blended my eyeshadow as flawlessly as the MAC 217s.  The bristles feel silky smooth, and the brush head is the perfect density and shape. The 239s is a flat shader brush that is the perfect size for packing shadow onto the lid. I find many flat shader brushes are a bit too large when working on someone with smaller eyes. 

#6 Bamboo Drawer Organizers

The final item on my list is not a makeup item, but I had to include it anyway.  I was lucky enough to find these bamboo drawer organizers for just under $6 each at my local Cost Plus World Market
These are intended to hold silverware, but I recently got a new makeup table with the Ikea Alex drawers to hold my brushes.  These fit perfectly inside and hold a large number of brushes.  For now, I have most of them sorted by brand, with a few sorted by brush type.  The separators are removable, so that I could create a larger section for brands that I have a lot of. I was looking for bamboo organizers, and stumbled across these one night.  They were labeled $25 each, so initially I only bought one to see if I liked it. When I got to the register, the cashier informed me that they were on sale and I just had to scoop up the rest. I am so glad that I did, because they truly fit the Alex drawers perfectly.  Having my brushes organized like this enables me to easily find any brush that I am looking for quickly. I still keep some brushes on my table for display, or so that I can grab them quickly if I know I will be using them that day.  Knowing that the rest of my brush collection is safely tucked away in my drawers means I don't have to worry about them rolling onto the floor, or getting misplaced. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a super organized person.  Yet when it comes to makeup and my brushes, nothing makes me sleep better at night than knowing everything is in its proper place!

What are your February Favorites?  Anything that you have rediscovered in your stash?  Please share in the comments below! 

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