Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Top 10 Products For Ages 35+

In a few weeks I am turning 38 years old. At this point in my life, I have a good sense of what beauty products really work for me. I have compiled a list of my top 10 products that I hope my readers close to my age and older will benefit from. 

  1. Primer: Invest in a good face primer. Good, does not have to mean expensive.  Try Wet n Wild photofocus Face Primer. This lightweight formula is easy to use. Simply apply to clean skin before applying your foundation. 
  2. Liquid Highlighter: If you haven't tried Charlotte Tilbury London Wonder Glow yet, then you are really missing out. I love mixing in a tiny bit of this luminous liquid with my foundation for a soft focus look. It is a great product to liven up dull skin. 
  3. Coverage with SPF: Oddly I was a little late to the game on this one. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Cream provides great coverage and includes an anti-aging, hydrating serum. With SPF 50+ UVA/UVB you can even out your skin and protect it from the sun at the same time. 
  4. A two-on-one lip/cheek color: I can't really think of one product that IT Cosmetics makes that I don't love. Their Vitality Flush Color Stain Stick in Je Ne Sais Quoi is perfect for busy people. Simply tap some of this on your cheekbones, and a little on your lips for a pink hue that looks good on everyone. 
  5. Micro-Powder: The older I get, the less powder I use. Yet, I am constantly going through compacts of Charlotte Tilbury London Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Micro-Powder. This pressed powder really is different from others on the market. It is very finely milled and never emphasizes the lines under my eyes. Plus, the golden compact is super elegant. 
  6. Brow Color: As I have gotten older, my brows have gotten thinner. While I have been known to use a variety of brow products,  Milani Stay Put Brow Color in Medium Brown is a great drugstore find. Simply dip your favorite angled brush into this pomade and fill in any sparse areas. 
  7. Soft Face Brushes: Anything that tugs and pulls at the skin is not acceptable.  IT Cosmetics has some of the softest brushes out there. They are especially perfect for those with sensitive skin. 
  8. A Good Eyeshadow Blending Brush: I am sure it is no secret that I am in love with the bdellium tools #776 Pink Bambu brush. I think it is one of the most underrated brushes out there. A good quality blending brush can really make a difference in your makeup look. 
  9. Waterproof Mascara: A question I always get, especially from women my age and older, is how to prevent mascara smudges on your lower lash line. Try Wet n Wild megaslim Skinny Mascara. Not only is it waterproof,  but the super thin brush head makes it easy to coat those bottom lashes. 
  10. A Facial Spray: I have tried many facial sprays over the years. There are actually quite a few good ones on the market. Aveda makes a great one, as does Mario Badescu. You will want to purchase one formulated for your skin type or find one suitable for all skin types. Once you have added this step to your routine,  you will never look back! Lightly spray over your face and neck to set your makeup, or simply refresh your skin. 

That wraps up my top ten products for us "mature" individuals.  Did any of your favorites make the list? Let me know in the comments below!

*This post may contain some products sent for consideration by the company. This is not a sponsored post. I do not get paid to write reviews or accept products in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Best Eyeshadow Palette of All Time

I admit, I am a bit late to the game. I didn't buy the Blood Sugar palette from Jeffree Star Cosmetics when it first launched. I saw a palette full of red shadows and just did not think I would get a lot of use out of so much red. 

After reading tons of positive reviews on this palette, I started to think maybe I was missing something. At the very least, the packaging looked like something I should own as a collector's item. 

When I heard Beautylish was restocking the palette, I decided to re-watch Jeffree Star's launch video on Blood Sugar. He pointed out the entire first row was neutrals. As I really looked at the palette, I realized how "wearable" the majority of the palette is. 

After thinking about how much I love the Thirsty palette from the brand, I decided to buy Blood Sugar. I also added the Androgyny palette to my Beautylish cart, because....why not?

The Blood Sugar pans are not as large as the super huge pans in the Androgyny palette. However the 18 pans in Blood Sugar contain 1.5 g of product per pan, still a very good size.

Here is a listing of the shades in the palette as seen on beautylish.com:

*Glucose: Pure white with a matte finish
*Sugarcane: Cool tone brown with a matte finish
*Cake Mix: Light brown with a matte finish
*Ouch: Camel brown with a matte finish
*Donor: Bronze pressed glitter pigment with a foil finish
*Intravenous: Chocolate brown with a matte finish
*Candy Floss (this is what Cotton Candy is called in the UK): Cotton candy pink with a metallic finish
*Tongue Pop: Soft tangerine with a matte finish
*Sweetener: Golden peach with a metallic finish
*Cavity: Hot pink with a matte finish
*0 Positive: Muted gray-brown with a matte finish
*Root Canal: Violet with a matte finish
*Prick: Candy apple with a matte finish
*Cherry Soda: True red with a matte finish
*Fresh Meat: Dark mulberry with a matte finish
*Blood Sugar: Rusty red with a metallic finish
*Extraction: Plum burgundy with a matte finish
*Coma: Eggplant with a matte finish

Here is a closer look:

I have had a lot of fun playing around with this palette. 

Here are some of the color combinations that I have been playing around with:

Above, I used a mixture of the red colors as an accent on the lower lash line and in the outer corner of the eye. I used Cake Mix on the lid and Glucose as a highlight under the brow.

Above, I used Glucose as a base from lash line to under the brow, Prick on the lid  and a mix of Fresh Meat with Extraction in the crease. I used Prick, Cherry Soda and Fresh Meat on the lower lash line. 

For my third look (above) I used Donor & Sweetner because I wanted to play with the metallics in the palette. I took Intravenous along the lower lash line and in the crease. Again, I used Glucose to highlight under the brow. For the lips, I popped on my favorite Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Liquid Lipstick in Allegedly. 

When Urban Decay launched their Naked Cherry palette, I couldn't help but think that the color story should have looked a lot more like Blood Sugar

It's funny, but this is one of the first popular eyeshadow palettes that I didn't purchase at launch time. It turned out to be my favorite and dare I say, the best eyeshadow palette of all time! 

As you may know from an earlier post, I am in love with the Alien Eyeshadow Palette from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, but there are some bold colors in that palette that I admit may not work for everyone. The Blood Sugar palette has plenty of neutrals, and berry tones that will work well for most people. The pops of color like Root Canal and Cavity can still be worked in with neutrals making them more user friendly. Cherry Soda and Prick are the only true reds in the palette, and even those can be mixed with Glucose to lighten them. They can also be mixed in with some of the other red shades which lean more copper or berry. 

If you don't have this palette yet, I highly recommend it. The shadows perform perfectly and are the best formula that I have ever used. 

Do you have Blood Sugar? How do you like to wear it?

*All of the products in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews or accept money from any brands.

How to Get Waterproof Lashes That Stand Out

When Covergirl announced that they were going cruelty-free it shook the beauty community. Some of us in the cruelty-free beauty community were skeptical at first. However my fears were soon put to rest when it was confirmed that they do not sell in China, a place that mandates any brand selling there is subject to animal testing. Having not used the brand for years, I was unsure of what products to try first. I decided to defer to my fellow makeup artist friends, and every single one mentioned the Last Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara from the brand. 

As many of you may know, I have struggled with finding the perfect, waterproof, cruelty-free drugstore mascara for years. There are a ton of great high-end options on the market, but mascara should be tossed after 2-3 months for sanitary reasons. I have either purchased minis of high-end mascaras or found drugstore versions that were solid, but not holy grail status. 

Enter Covergirl Lash Blast Volume Waterproof Mascara. This popular orange tube lives up to the hype. As you can see in the photo above, it adds volume and length to my sparse lashes. As for it being waterproof, it sure is! I had to use a makeup remover specifically for waterproof cosmetics or it would not budge! This product now has a home in my personal and professional kit. I purchased multiple tubes so that I always have a backup handy. The wand has a fat plastic brush head with many short bristles helping to add volume. 

I do use disposable wands professionally, and can confirm the formula itself is what makes this a stand out product. 

I want to congratulate Covergirl on officially joining the cruelty-free beauty community. I hope other large brands follow their lead.

What is your favorite Covergirl product?

*All products in this post were purchased by me. I do not get paid to write reviews.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Are You Ready For An Alien Invasion?

Well, it seems like Jeffree Star Cosmetics has done it again. The brand recently released the most exciting holiday palette that I have ever seen, and believe me when I tell you it is our of this world! I am of course referring to the Alien Eyeshadow Palette.

Lately I have been considering this brand to be a modern version of Urban Decay. I used to love the collectible palettes and innovative colors that Urban Decay sold. However, lately when I think about "beauty with an edge," Jeffree Star Cosmetics comes to mind. 

While there are some truly unique, bright colors in the palette, it is equally as easy to put together office appropriate neutral looks. At $52, this palette is well worth the money. Inside there are 18 shades, and a large mirror. The cover folds back under the palette if you are working at a makeup table that already has a mirror. 

Here are three "wearable" looks that I created:

Look #1 - I used Titan, Gravitea, Phone Home and Interstellar

I used Titan as a base all over the lid. Gravitea was swept into my crease as a transition shade. I used Phone Home in the outer corner and deeper crease as well as along the lower lash line. Interstellar was applied to the inner 2/3rds of my eyelid.

Here is a description of the colors from Beautylish.com:

  • Pluto: Icy white with a duochrome finish
  • Titan: Ivory with a matte finish
  • Alien: Neon green with a metallic finish
  • Interstellar: Antiqued light gold with a metallic finish
  • Abduction: Bright chartreuse with a matte finish
  • UFO: Green-gold with a metallic finish
  • Gravitea: Caramel with a matte finish
  • Martian Soil: Cool mustard with a matte finish
  • Flying Saucer: Bright teal with a matte finish
  • Phone Home: Mauve with a matte finish
  • Moon Rock: Forest green with a metallic finish
  • X Files: Cool-toned brown with a matte finish
  • Ghost OG: Deep army green with a matte finish
  • Area 51: Rich purple with a matte finish
  • Space Cowboy: Reddish brown with a metallic finish
  • Probe: Reddish brown with a turquoise shift and a metallic finish
  • Tall Grey: Light blue-grey with a matte finish *Black Hole: Deep black with a matte finish

Look #2 - I built upon the earlier look, adding Moon Rock to the inner 2/3rds of my eyelid. Area 51 was used to darken the outer corner, and brushed along the lower lash line. Pluto was used as an inner corner highlight and just below my brow.

The shadows are very high quality. They are also vegan and cruelty-free. 

Look #3 - Today, I used Ghost OG pressed over Urban Decay's Stash Eye Pencil, keeping it very close to the lash line. I used an Hourglass No 11 Brush to press the shadow on over the liner. After the top lash line was done, I took just whatever product was left on the brush and traced along my lower lash line. This dark, army green works well as a neutral. If you are over 35 years old, like me, matte shades like this will become your best friend. Any of the dark mattes in this palette work great as an alternative to eyeliner, creating a softer look. For extra staying power, layer it over your favorite eye pencil, like I did here.  

The combination of looks you can create with this palette is only limited by your imagination. I plan to create some bold looks as well, and combine these shadows with others from the brand to see how they work together. I wanted to share these first, as I suspect many YouTubers will gravitate towards the bright and metallic shades.  

Did you purchase the Alien Eyeshadow Palette? Which colors are your favorite?

*All products in this post were purchased by me at beautylish.com. I do not get paid to write reviews.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Best Solution Ever For Highlighter Application

Looking for the perfect brush to apply highlighter? Look no further. The Sephora Collection PRO Highlight #98 Brush is the answer.  The bristles are soft, and the shape and size if the brush head allow for easy one swipe application of your favorite powder highlighter. It picks up and blends product quite well. 

This high-quality brush comes complete with a plastic cap to protect it from dust. Don't just take my word for it. Read all of the glowing reviews on Sephora's site. At $28 each, you may want to consider buying a couple if you are a working pro artist. I think the quality is well worth the price. 

Pictured above is a closer look at the bristles. Like all brushes I feature, this is made out of synthetic bristles so it can be used with liquids and creams. However, I find it works best with powder and gel/powder hybrid formulas. 

The shape of the bristles reminds me of my Arbonne Precision Brush or my Bdellium Tools #964. The size of the brush head is noticeably smaller, which is exactly what makes it such a great tool for highlighter application.

I love the nice long handle, and professional quality of this brush. This was a gift from my cousin, who always knows what current products and tools I will love.

Do you have this brush? What highlighters do you like to use it with?

*I do not get paid to write reviews. I do not do sponsored posts. This post may contain products sent to me for consideration. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

One Brush Collection That Everyone Should Own

Wet n Wild 10-piece Brush Collection

Sometime in the past two weeks, my cousin sent me a text about this Wet n Wild 10-piece Brush Collection.  This set is sold at Walgreens and retails for $30. From November 4th-10th it was available for only $15 with the use of a Walgreens reward card. 

This set was sold out online, and many stores ran out of inventory super fast. You can imagine my surprise when I saw a full display at the Walgreens right near my house!

My excitement was quickly replaced with confusion when I did not see any sign about the half price sale. I asked an employee if they were on sale, and she told me they were not. I texted my cousin with a picture asking her if I was looking at the correct set. 

She sent me the below picture from their website. While it does say, "Online and in-store prices may vary," I decided to make extra sure that the employee was not mistaken. Armed with a shot of the sale price on my phone and my Walgreens card, I approached the register, brushes in hand. I showed the cashier the online price and asked him to match it. He said as long as I had my Walgreens reward card, I could get the set for $15!

I left the store, brushes in hand, with a super excited skip home. These brushes come in a gift box, so if you want to purchase this set for someone else, no wrapping is required. 

As soon as I got home, I ripped open the box to check out my new purchase.  My cousin was right, these brushes are excellent quality. With soft vegan bristles and ergonomic handles, I still can't believe I only paid $15 for this set. 

After using all of these for several days, I feel confident saying that even the $30 price tag is a complete steal given the quality of these brushes. 

I do consider this to be a full, complete set. You can easily do a full face of makeup without bringing in any other brushes. While the set is no longer offered for $15, I still think everyone should own it. I can't think of another brush set with this many brushes of this quality that retails for only $30. 

Wet n Wild has a different 10-piece set on their site currently. While this set includes a case, it is over $50 for 10 brushes. 

These really are great quality. The value is impressive, and the brush shapes are useful for everyday. 

If you are thinking of buying a set for yourself, or as a gift, I highly recommend this one.

Thank you, to my wonderful cousin for alerting me to this steal!

Do you own this set? Are you planning on purchasing it?

*All products in this post were purchased by me. This is not a sponsored post. I do not get paid to write reviews.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How To Get The Perfect Neutral Eye Look Using Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics

When it comes to eyeshadow, Urban Decay has been a longtime favorite. Their Naked palettes are collected and coveted by many and with good reason. Neutral eye makeup works well for all occasions. The Naked palettes typically have a combination of finishes to choose from. Their Naked Basics palettes contain mostly matte shadows and work well both on their own and in conjunction with other palettes. 

The most useful of all of them in my collection is the Naked Ultimate Basics. This 12-pan eyeshadow palette has a nice full size mirror, 11 matte shades, and one satin. 

This palette is not new to the brand, but I do think it is underappreciated. I use this palette more than any other that I own! 

Here are some of the looks I have worn recently using the palette:

I love to use Commando (light taupe-brown matte) and Tempted (pale brown matte) in the crease as transition shades. Typically I will create a mixture of the two and blend it on. 

For my eyelid, I like using Nudie (soft pink-nude matte).

This palette works for me because it is super easy to create daytime appropriate looks, but just as simple to reach for the darker shades in the palette and create a smoky eye.

Today, I really wanted to bring out the blue in my eyes. By simply adding in one additional shadow, (ABC Gum from Urban Decay) I used the pallete to create my perfect neutral eye look.

Here is how I did it:

  • To start, I always prep my eyelids with a good eye primer. It prevents my eyeshadow from creasing, and extends wear time. 
  • Next, I grabbed an eyeshadow single from Urban Decay called ABC Gum. It is a light matte peach tone that really brings out the blue in my eyes (orange & blue are complimentary colors). Using a flat, but fluffy brush (eye shading brush from Icing), I blended it onto my eyelids. 
  • Then I took a mixture of Commando & Tempted on an Hourglass #4 brush and blended it just above the natural crease of my eye.
  • Using the same brush, I patted Lethal on the outer corner of my eye, blending it slightly inward and upward.
  • Switching to a Sigma Firm Shader (E57) brush, I blended Lethal along my lower lash line. I started at the outer corner, bringing it about 1/3rd of the way in. Then I wiped off the brush, and used it to pull the color along the rest of my lash line. This technique helps keep the concentration of color darkest at the outer corner.
  • To complete the eyeshadow I applied Blow (light nude satin) to the inner corner of the eye, and just under the brow for a highlight using a Furless Cosmetics PRO3M brush (collab with It's Likely Makeup)
  • Add lots of black mascara to top and bottom lashes as a final touch to compliment the eye makeup. 

After applying Senna Cosmetics Suede Cream lipstick, I patted some of the ABC Gum matte eyeshadow on the center of my lips to take down the shine.

For highlighted cheekbones, I swept on e.l.f. Baked Blush in Pinktastic using my new Sephora PRO Highlight #98 brush (brush review coming soon).

If you don't currently own Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics, run to your computer right now, because it is on sale for $24.97! 

The palette can be purchased here:


Shades included:

Blow (light nude satin), Nudie (soft pink-nude matte), Commando (light taupe-brown matte), Tempted (pale brown matte), Instinct (medium pink-taupe matte), Lethal (reddish brown matte), Pre-Game (pale yellow matte), Extra Bitter (burnt orange matte), Faith (medium warm brown matte), Lockout (rich neutral brown matte), Magnet (smoky gray matte) and Blackjack (warm black matte).

Urban Decay has absolutely nailed their matte eyeshadow formula. The pigment is rich, yet smooth. I recommend this for literally anyone who wants a good quality matte palette. In fact, I love this palette so much, I just may buy another to have as backup! 

Do you own Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics? Which colors are your favorite?

*I do not get paid to write reviews. This is not a sponsored post. Some of the products in this post may have been given to me, but all opinions are my own. I never accept products in exchange for a review or post. 

Monday, November 12, 2018

4 Skincare Products That Will Make Your Skin Glow

I normally would not write a post about skincare products after only using them for one week. However, I recently started using a whole new skincare line and I am in love! With my recent Sephora order, I redeemed 500 of my Beauty Insider points for the IT Cosmetics It's Your Glow-Getting Essentials! 

My skin is fairly sensitive and a lot of products cause me to breakout. As a result I am fairly apprehensive about trying new skincare products. IT Cosmetics is a brand that I have purchased makeup and brushes from for years. I have not tried a bad product from them yet. 

Here is what came in the sample size set:

  • Secret Sauce Anti-aging Moisturizer - this product is suitable for all skin types and has a very luxurious feel to it.  I love using this both under makeup and in the evening before bed (Full size retails for $68).
  • Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream - it brightens and depuffs. I will absolutely buy the full size of this when I am done with my sample (Full size retails for $48).
  • 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm - if you only want to try one of these products, this is my top pick. Most cleansing balms break me out. This one doesn't, and it leaves my face feeling super clean without stripping it. At $38 for the full size, I think this is a great value. I use a little scooper to take out some of the product, then rub it over dry skin to remove my makeup before rinsing off.
  • Miracle Water - I am so in love with this stuff! It has anti-aging benefits and I really notice a difference in how my skin looks after I apply it. I apply a tiny bit with a cotton ball after cleansing my face. I also put some on a cotton swab and use it to remove my mascara. This retails for $38 for the full size, or you can purchase a mini version for $15. 

Here is a closer look at the cleansing balm: 

My 38th birthday is rapidly approaching. Good skincare is always important, but I am starting to pay extra attention to anti-aging products lately. Compared to other products on the market, these prices are more than reasonable. 

IT Cosmetics always delivers quality products, and this skincare sample set is no exception.

Have you tried any IT Cosmetics skincare? Which products are your favorite?

*I do not get paid to write reviews. These products were purchased by me using my Sephora Beauty Insider points.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Attention: Makeup Lovers - Don't Buy New Brushes Until You Read This

As some of you may know, I love makeup brushes. I keep a list of brands that I want to try and the list keeps getting longer. The Kat Von D 10-year anniversary set is one that I have been eyeing for a while. This limited edition set was gifted to me by my cousin, Sandra. She is also a makeup artist and brush enthusiast. 

The set retails for $125.00 And includes the following brushes:

  1. Lock-it Edge Foundation Brush
  2. Lock-it Edge Concealer Brush
  3. Lock-it Precision Powder Brush
  4. Lock-it Setting Powder Brush
  5. #2 Powder Contour Brush 
The brushes themselves are lightweight with super soft bristles. Buying them in a set is slightly cheaper than buying each of the black handled versions separately. These feel amazing on the skin and are great for those with mature or sensitive skin. 

The foundation & concealer brushes remind me a little bit of the Sigma 3DHD brushes, but they are softer with a more rectangular shape. 

Conclusion: These are my first brushes from the Kat Von D brand. They have exceeded my expectations, especially the concealer and foundation brushes.

I was surprised that overall these brush shaped were rather unique to my collection. I am happy to finally have tried these and this set is the perfect introduction to Kat Von D brushes. 

Hopefully the brand will make more eye brushes in the future, because they clearly have the face brush game on lock.

Thank you, Sandra for sending me this beautiful set. It is so pretty that I almost didn't want to use it. I got over that feeling and am glad I did, because these have become part of my daily makeup routine!

Have you tried Kat Von D brushes? Which are your favorites?

*I do not get paid to write reviews. All opinions are my own.