Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: ELF products

I know I know, it's been a while since I posted.  I am SO sorry, life has been super busy over the past two weeks, with my daughter starting kindergarten, me trying to find a job, 4 interviews, it's been hectic.  I am so sorry to have neglected you all.  I have to learn to balance my time better now that it's not me and my daughter home all day with no set schedule.

I wanted to do a review for you today of a few ELF products that I have.  ELF is available online at or most Targets also now carry ELF products.  However there is way more product on their website.  They also run a lot of good sales online where you can get stuff half off, and all sorts of other sales.  Their prices range from $1-$3 on their single items, then they also have some bigger makeup sets that cost from $5-$100+.  I have tried quite a few of their products and for the most part you really can't beat it for the price.  Some things obviously aren't going to be perfect but you really can't go wrong at $1.  So I have lots of products by them that I want to review for you guys but for today I am going to just review three of them.

So the first one is the blushing and contour duo, now this is supposed to be a dupe for NARS orgasm/laguna duo.  However since I have never used the NARS one I can't really compare.  I do however know that for $3, I absolutely LOVE this product!  It is my everyday go to bronzer and blush when I don't feel like going through all my blushes to pick one out.  Both colors have great pay off.  The bronzer is the perfect shade, not too dark, for my skin tone.  The blush can either be a sheer wash of color on the cheeks, or you can build it up to be more intense, it also has a bit of shimmer in it.  The color lasts on your face for hours, so you don't have to worry about it fading either.

The next product I have, is the eyebrow kit in medium.  It comes with a gel eyebrow color on the left, and a powder on the right, it also comes with a crappy little brush but I threw that away.  When I first bought it I thought that the left would be way too dark and the right way too light, but thought why not try it for a couple bucks.  So I tried it and fell in love.  They are both the perfect shades when added together, and the powder is a lot darker than what it appears to be.  I first fill in my brows with the gel side and then I always set it with the powder, using an angled brush like shown in the picture.  This is better than any brow pencil or eyeshadow I have ever used to fill in my brows.  It gives them the perfect color, fullness, and it lasts all day!  I really recommend this if you have dark brown brows.

The last product that I have to review for you is the makeup mist and set.  Makeup setting sprays can be really expensive, although they are very worth it to me.  They give your skin a dewy finish, take away any powdery mess you have going on, and make your foundation set all day long.  So when I saw ELF's version I just had to try it.  Unfortunately I didn't love this one.  The sprayer on the bottle is TERRIBLE.  It sprays out fast, hard, and in a huge concentration.  In no way is it even thinking about being a mist.  It just sprays a huge wet spot on your face, in one area.  Your face ends up way to wet and it defeats the purpose of a "setting mist".  It does give you a dewy finish, but way too wet and I didn't really notice that my makeup lasted longer with this one.

So out of these products two are a hit and one is a miss, really not too bad at all for the price.  I will have more reviews on ELF products coming up for you guys, there are more I love and a few not so much!!  :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Birch Box

Today was a rough day.  My only daughter...only child....started kindergarten today.  I keep looking at her and thinking she looks bigger than she did yesterday.  I can't believe she is in kindergarten.  It warms and breaks my heart all at the same time.  After dropping her off and watching her at the door for 20 minutes this morning I retreated to my car, and the minute I closed the car door the tears came.  I drove home crying.  It was hard.  When I got home I decided to check the mail, and a surprise awaited me!  It was just the pick me up I needed.  It couldn't have came at a better time.  So what was waiting for me in the mail box?

The little pink box called Birchbox that is. Birchbox is a program that for $10 a month they send you this cute little box filled with about 4 or 5 beauty product samples, sometimes they even send full size products.  A lot of the full size products retail for just under or even over $10 which makes this program really worth it.  Another positive to this is that you can try out all kinds of products to see if you like them before shelling out a lot of money on some of them.  The site also sells the full size of the products that they send out each month.  This month was the first box that I received.  I am very excited about a couple of the products in here, and one I have used before and talked about in my last post.

So the Products I got are:

June Jacobs Papaya purifying enzyme masque .5 oz  Retails for $64 for 3.7 oz (yikes!) 

Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel .6 oz  retails for $16 for 6 oz 
Not sure if I will get much use of this since there is no heat or humidity here and my hair isn't frizzy.

Smashbox photo primer .25oz Retails for $36 for 1 oz
I think this is a great primer, but there are cheaper alternatives.  See previous blog post.

The Cool Fix Targeted Gel lotion 1 oz Retails for $11 for 2 oz
This claims to treat ingrown hairs, razor bumps, razor burn, and redness

It also came with one of these hair ties but I didn't take a picture. I really like the idea of these hair ties though!  They also aren't breakable because they tie together at the end which I think is awesome because I am always stretching out and breaking my hair ties!

Out of all these products I am most excited to try the June Jacobs mask and The cool fix targeted gel lotion.  I will let you all know how I feel about these products after I have used them!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: Monistat Chaffing Gel

I know I know!  Just finish reading before you disgustedly turn away!  I promise you won't feel the same after reading!  I know you are thinking what the heck does Monistat Chaffing Gel have to do with a beauty does believe me.  Trust me when I say I felt the same way you do reading this right now, as I did when I kept seeing this product all over beauty blogs, forums, and youtube.  So here goes, this is why Monistat Chaffing Gel is a must have beauty product and what it is used for other than its original purpose......

Face primer.  Yes you are reading it right.  FACE primer.  Now keep in mind this product has NOTHING to do with monistat yeast infection products (gross).  If you read the ingredients on this product and then compare it to the ingredients of Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, which is a very popular primer, you will find that they are virtually the same!

Monistat Chaffing Gel Ingredients 1.5 ounces roughly $7
Ingredients : Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisiloxane

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer 1 ounce $36
Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Trisiloxane, Silica, Dimethicone/ Vinyldimethicone Crosspolymer, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Water (Aqua, Eau), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cola Acuminata Seed Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract

With the monistat you are getting the same product without added extracts for a 1/5 of the price.  I use the monistat after my moisturizer and before my foundation.  It not only helps to keep your foundation lasting all day but helps to fill in large pores and fine lines.  The monistat will also not cause breakouts on your skin unless you have allergies to products with silicone in them.  Another thing I love about the monistat is it dries to a powder finish which really aids in smoothing out and blending your foundation.  Keep in mind when you use it you only need a TINY bit to cover your entire face, about the size of a pea.   Even this picture below is a bit too much for the entire face.

I honestly really love this product.  I was VERY wary at first, I have been hearing of it for years while shelling out way too much money for other primers.  I was a little turned off by the general idea of using monistat anything on my face and was worried it would break me out.  It has not made me break out, and has done an even better job at keeping my makeup put all day and filling in my fine lines and pores, then smashbox did.

Do you feel different then you did before reading this whole post?  Hopefully you aren't too turned and try it before waiting years like I did!  Let me know if you try it and how you feel after using it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Face Charts

I am trying to get a good portfolio together, so that I can apply to work at MAC.  I want to have a good portfolio to really help my chances of getting the job, and I have a few things I have done photographed already.  I really wish I had taken more pictures in cosmetology school of all the make up I did on people, but unfortunately I didn't.  So since I don't really have too many people I can work on now, I decided I would start doing face charts and fill the rest of my portfolio up with them.  Here is some I have done so far.  

First of all let me tell you, it is SO much fun working on face charts.  I absolutely love it.  However with that being said, they are so difficult to work with.  It is MUCH much harder than working on a real face.  My first face chart leaves a lot to do desired.  I was going for the look I did with my previous tutorial but it did not turn out so well.  I have definitely seen improvement after that one, but I would like to start getting a little more playful and maybe do some more editorial or mask looks. 

Let me know what you guys think!  I will do a post later on some tips I have figured out on how to make it easier on yourself to do face charts if you all are interested.

This one is my beautiful first one!  Haha

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

You asked for it ;)!

Alright Alright, so you convinced me.  Friends and family have been begging me to show how to do my make up looks, so I thought I would give it a try.  Haven't quite made that leap to making videos yet, but here is my first picture tutorial on how to get a sparkled smokey eye.  I hope you enjoy this.  My inspiration for this look came from Panda Eyes.

1. To start this look you need to prime your eyes.  I used Urban Decay Primer Potion, a cheaper alternative to this would be ELF eye primer for $1 at target.

2.  Apply a black colored base, this step does not have to be perfect, its just a dark base for the black eyeshadow to stick to and help it show up as black as possible.  I used a black NYX jumbo eyeshadow pencil, I don't have a picture because I depotted this into a container and used a brush to apply it.

3.  Take a few different shades of brown and a blending brush and blend out the black line in the crease creating a gradient effect from darkest in the crease to the lightest near the brow bone.

4.  Take your favorite black shadow and pack it on the lid blending it into the crease.  Take the black eyeshadow down under the eye and blend it out with a light brown shadow.  

5. Take your favorite creamy black eyeliner and line your top and bottom water lines, then set with a black eye shadow.

I also added a shimmery inner corner highlight here, and used an eyeshadow a shade lighter than my skin tone to help blend out the brown and highlight under the brow.  Sorry I forgot to take pictures of this step!

6.  Fill in yo brows.

After this step you can stop here if you just want your basic black smokey eye, just curl your lashes add mascara and you are good to go!  If you want to add a little more flare and glamour to this continue on to the next step!

7. Take a golden glitter of your choice and a damp brush and apply a small amount of glitter over the black on the lid.

8.  Curl yo lashes and apply your favorite mascara!

That completes how I achieved this look.  I hope it was helpful and you guys enjoyed it.  Let me know in the comments what you did or didn't like about this picture tutorial!!