Sunday, July 31, 2016

JULY EMPTIES | Products I Used Up In July!

Hey guys! So I always see videos and blog posts about monthly empties where people review products they used up within that specific month, and I decided to do it too! These are one of my favorite kinds of posts because you can see reviews for a variety of products and whether someone liked them or not. I hope you enjoy my July empties post and if you want me to do an empties post every month let me know in the comments!





These are my favorite makeup removing wipes ever. I always try to buy these wipes if they're on sale, but you'll see in this post I also like to try out other makeup removing wipes as well. These get the job done, are safe for eye makeup removal, and don't irritate my skin!

Would I repurchase? Yes!


I bought the value box of two 30 count packs at CVS because they were on sale and I have to say, I'm glad I did. These wipes are actually amazing. They don't irritate my skin and easily remove all makeup. 

Would I repurchase? Yes!

3. Simplify Makeup Removing Wipes

I couldn't find a link for these, but I bought them at Rite Aid and I believe it's there own brand of wipes. These were horrible! The texture of the wipes was weird. They didn't remove makeup easily, and they burned my eyes so bad! 

Would I repurchase? No!


This foundation used to be my go-to for the longest time. I always liked it, but after some time I realized that it just wasn't working for my oily skin. There are so many foundations out there that work so much better for my skin.

Would I repurchase? No!


Another long time must have for me, that I'm kind of over now. I'm so into matte foundations to help with oil control that anything else just doesn't cut it for me at the moment. I do love the way this powder feels and the color was always perfect, but I still have to reapply when I use it, which I don't like. CoverGirl came out with a matte version of this exact powder so I've been using that instead and I love it.

Would I repurchase? No!


One of my favorite eyeliners ever! It's super black, easy to apply and it lasts all day! I have two more of these in my collection currently.

Would I repurchase? Yes!


This shaving cream is the best! It's super foamy and the can is rust proof so you can keep it in your shower. It's also perfect for sensitive skin. I currently have another one in my shower right now!

Would I repurchase? Yes!


I don't really use this as a leave in conditioning cream, but I love using it as a curling product. If I want overnight waves or curls I put some of this in my hair, braid it, then sleep on it. When I wake up I have perfect waves that last all day! I also love using this to hold my hair in place if I'm doing a crazy braid and don't want any pieces to fall out. I also have a back up of this!

Would I repurchase? Yes!


I got this in a three pack of mini Juicy Couture perfumes from Sephora a couple of years ago and I love it so much. The scent is amazing, its a little fruity with some vanilla and other notes. 

Would I repurchase? Yes!


That is all of the products I used up in July! I hope you enjoyed my July empties post! Let me know if you want me to do an empties post every month in the comments! Also, let me know if you ever tried any of the products listed and what you think of them!




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X0A

Sunday, July 17, 2016

THIS OR THAT BEAUTY TAG!



Hey everyone! I've seen so many people do the "This or That Beauty Tag" and decided, I'd give it a try too! 
Enjoy!

1. Blush or Bronzer?

Oof. I use a little of both everyday because I use a matte foundation and I always need to add more color and "dimension" back to my face afterwards. If I had to pick one, I guess blush. I'm more drawn to buy a new blush over a new bronzer. 

2. Lipgloss or Lipstick?

I'm not a huge lip product person, I prefer the natural color of my lips most of the time, but I don't ever use lipgloss. I ditched the stuff back in middle school, it's just too sticky! I prefer lipstick if I am putting something on my lips.

3. Chapstick or Lip butter?

Definitely chapstick, I use it all day, everyday!

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow?

Are we talking about sparkly or shimmery eyeshadow? I don't use sparkly eyeshadow often, but I do like to use shimmery eyeshadows a lot. However, for everyday I prefer matte, so let's go with that.

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner?

Always liquid. Pencil is great for applying eyeliner in the waterline though and gels and creams can be frustrating for me, so I only use them occasionally.

6. Foundation or Concealer?

Foundation. I don't use concealer unless I have foundation on anyways.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? 
Both! Liquid provides way more coverage, but I always have to put some kind of powder on top because I hate the feeling of just liquid foundation on my face.
8. Neutral or Statement eye? 

Neutral is what I go for more, but I love a great statement eye!

9. Pressed or Loose shadows? 

Pressed, they're so much easier for everyday use. Loose shadows are pretty messy sometimes. I do love the Bare Minerals loose eyeshadows though, they're my favorite and the only loose eyeshadows I use!

10. Waterproof or Non Waterproof?

I don't even bother with waterproof makeup. I don't wear makeup at the beach or when I'm swimming, so I never have a true reason to buy anything that's waterproof. I also seem to do fine with non waterproof makeup. Plus it's easier to take off!

10. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers?

I have yet to use a sponge, don't judge me. Only because the Beauty Blender is $20 and from what most people say, no other sponge compares, not even close. I'll occasionally use my fingers for applying eyeshadow on my lid and for applying my foundation when I'm in a rush. For the most part though, I use brushes.

11. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters?
I prefer powder. Cream can be annoying to blend sometimes and I haven't tried any liquid highlighters yet.
Wow, some of these were pretty tough to answer! It's so hard to choose between two beauty products, when you love makeup so much!
Let me know what you think of my answers! Also, if you've done this tag or plan to do it, let me know in the comments! I'd love to hear what you'd pick!

Thanks for reading!
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XoA 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

| WORTH IT WEDNESDAY | Bonita Gel On Nail Polish




Hey guys! For the past few weeks I've been collecting drugstore gel nail polishes to start a weekly series type of thing. Every Wednesday for the next five weeks I'm going to be reviewing a different drugstore brand of no UV light required at home gel nail polish. 
I think it's so great that brands are coming out with at home gel nail polishes that don't require a UV light. You can save tons of money on gel manicures and you don't have to expose yourself to those harmful UV lights! 
I picked up five different gel nail polishes to try out. I'm going to paint my nails every Sunday with a different polish and keep each polish on for a week then, every Wednesday I'm going to let you know if it's worth it or not!




For the second week in my five week series I tried out the Bonita Gel On gel nail polish. This is a lesser known brand, I had no idea it existed until I found these get nail polishes on a display in Rite Aid. I checked out their website and you can purchase a whole bunch of beauty products from there, including nail polish, if you wish. It seems to be a very affordable drugstore brand. I'd like to try out some other products from Bonita in the future. 
Anyways, this gel nail polish costs $2.99 and is supposed to last up to seven days and have a very glossy finish. There are currently 18 shades on their website, linked here. The shade I picked was All Things Blue. It's also a one step gel polish, so you don't need to purchase or use a gel setting top coat. 

So does this actually work?

The application of this nail polish was super easy and the formula was perfect. It wasn't too thick or too thin. I used two coats and did not apply a top coat. The drying time was about 20 minutes which wasn't too bad and the finish was pretty nice. My nails were glossy, but not as glossy as they would be if I had gotten a gel manicure at a salon, but the color was super vibrant. 
This polish lasted a pretty long time. There were no chips until about the fifth day, which is great. The website says it's supposed to last seven days, and five out of seven isn't bad.
Removing this polish was a little annoying. I'm not sure if it was the formula or just the color I used, a super bright blue, but after removing with nail polish remover it left my nails stained a little.



So...is this product worth it?

I think so. For less than $3 you can have pretty close to a salon gel manicure at home. It isn't anywhere near as shiny as a salon gel manicure but it is easy to apply and it lasts basically seven days. Even if it doesn't work that well as a gel polish, it's still a great nail polish. The brand has a pretty decent color selection and it's super affordable. 
I was very impressed with this product and I personally would recommend this Bonita Gel on gel nail polish to anyone looking to try out an affordable gel polish.


Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you've ever tried the Bonita Gel on gel nail polish or any beauty product from this brand! I haven't heard much about it, but I'd love to hear some opinions from those who have used some of these products.
Remember for the next few weeks every Wednesday I'm going to be reviewing five different gel nail polishes to let you know which one is the best and which one is worth it!

Check out my review on the Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy gel nail polish!


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XoA

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

| TEACHING TUESDAY | 10 Beauty Tips & Tricks For Beginners!

Before you start your journey into the world of makeup, you might be a tad bit intimidated. With all the confusing words like, strobing and baking; thousands upon thousands of product choices; and the endless cycle of changing trends, it can be very hard to find a place to start. 
I've decided to make a list of my top 10 beauty tips and tricks that are perfect for beginners. These tips will help you avoid making common makeup mistakes and make the overall use of makeup a little bit easier for you.
Enjoy!

1. Use concealer darker than your skin tone to hide pimples and imperfections.

This is a mistake I see so many people do, even professionals. When applying concealer to an unwanted pimple you always want to use a shade that's either one or two shades darker than your foundation or the same color as your foundation. Using a lighter shade will draw eyes to it more, and make a pimple appear more raised. When a darker shade is used it actually helps to hide it.
Think of it like highlighting. When you highlight your face, you're highlighting parts of your face you want light and eyes to be drawn to. Do you want eyes drawn to the pimple on your face? Probably not. 

2. Start your winged eyeliner off with the flick, not on your lid.

Anyone who has mastered winged eyeliner deserves a medal of some sorts. It takes extreme patience and concentration. When I first started attempting to do winged eyeliner I would always start on my lid and try to do the flick after. This never worked for me. I could never quite figure out where to put the flick and it always ended up looking chunky and uneven.
When I started doing the flick first, I found it was much easier to get an even and precise wing. You just draw your flick where you want it and then go back and line your lid. Simple as that.

3. Use cream/gel to outline your eyebrows only, use powder to fill them in.

I truly think mastering doing your eyebrows is another challenging thing to do in the world of makeup. It's hard to figure out what shape suites you best and it's very easy to make mistakes. 
When applying cream/gel, (like the Anastasia DipBrow Pomade), to your eyebrows you really only want to outline your eyebrows with it, not fill them in. When you fill them in with gel it makes your eyebrows look more boxy and unnatural. After outlining them you can fill them in with a powder for a much more natural finish.

4. Don't use a contour/bronzer that's too dark for your skin tone.

When using bronzer or a contouring powder you want to use a shade that's only one, maybe two shades darker than your foundation. Using a shade that's way too dark can make your face look muddy.
Remember to use a shade that's not too orange for your skin tone also. When your bronzer or contour looks too orange it won't look natural.

5. Apply powder with a light hand.

When applying any kind of powder product, (blush, bronzer, contour, highlighter, setting powder, etc.), you want to start off by using very little product and a light hand. Doing this insures you don't accidentally apply too much and if you didn't apply enough you can always build it up and add more until you get your desired look.

6. Match Your Foundation.

This one sounds pretty obvious, but I think everyone has been a victim of having foundation too light or too dark for their skin tone at least once. When matching your foundation, match it to your neck or chest. Those areas are closest to your face so you want to match it to them that way your foundation looks natural.
When you use a foundation too light or too dark for your skin tone, or even one that's too yellow or orange, you tend to look like you're wearing a mask instead of wearing makeup.

7. Use a concealer that's only one to two shades lighter than your foundation.

When using concealer under your eyes or to highlight other areas of your face, stick to one that's only one to two shades lighter than your foundation. You want to brighten up the area but you want it to look natural. When you use a concealer that's way too light it doesn't look natural and it can make you look a little like a ghost. 
The same goes for highlighter, don't use a highlight that's way too light for your skin.

8. Build up your foundation.

When applying foundation start off with a small amount first, put it on your face, and check if it's the right amount of coverage. If it isn't then go in with a little more to build it up. If you take a lot of foundation and just put it all over your face, you could end up putting too much on, causing your face to look a little cakey. This doesn't look natural at all.
Same goes for a pressed powder, a little goes a long way.

9. Don't over line your lips too much.

I personally don't over line my lips at all, but if you're looking to make your lips appear a little bigger than there's nothing wrong with it. Just make sure you're not over lining them too much. Just go a little over your lip too make them bigger and make sure you're applying your lipstick evenly.
When you try to make them too big, it just looks fake and unnatural.

10. When applying eyeshadow, use a transition shade.

A transition shade is just an eyeshadow you put in your crease before you put the color you want in your crease. Sounds a little silly but it makes a difference. When you take a transition shade, one that's usually a little lighter than your crease shade, and put it in your crease it tends to make things look a little more natural. It allows your crease shade to transition towards the shade in your brow bone area and prevents your eyeshadow from looking too cut.


I hope these 10 beauty tips and tricks help you when it comes to applying makeup.
Let me know in the comments below what tips and tricks you swear by! 

*Remember everyone is different and we all have different preferences and likes. If you do anything above that I told you not to do and you like it, continue to do it! I don't want to stop you from doing what makes you happy or tell anyone what to do. Makeup is a way for people to express themselves as well as a way to enhance your natural beauty.*



Thanks for reading!
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XoA

Monday, July 11, 2016

| MAKEUP MONDAY | e.l.f. Cosmetics Favorites & Fails!






e.l.f. Cosmetics is one of my favorite makeup brands of all time. I first discovered e.l.f. products in high school and I've been using them since. They're super affordable, cruelty free, and some products are really high quality. Like any other brand though, there are a few products that aren't so great. 

e.l.f. Cosmetics have three different lines that range in prices. The e.l.f. "Essentials" line features the cheapest products, most starting at only $1 but no higher than $3, these are usually in white packaging. The e.l.f "Studio" line, usually in black packaging, features products that are supposed to be higher quality with prices ranging from about $3-$10. There's also the e.l.f. "Minerals" line which focuses on mineral based products, which rage from $3-$8.

Today I'm going to show you five e.l.f. products I love and five I'm not too fond of. 


Favorites:


Left: Blush shade.
Right: Bronzer shade.



I bought this when I was looking for the contouring palette from e.l.f. They didn't have it, so I purchased this instead. I was actually not very happy with this palette at first, but after a few uses it began to grow on me. The bronzing powder is a deep brown with a light sheen and the blush is a light pink with a light sheen as well. The colors look so gorgeous together and are decently pigmented. The best thing is that it is build able, so you can either add a little for a natural look or build it up to add more drama.


For only $3 this is a total steal! It comes with a wax/gel for defining you eyebrows and a coordinating powder for setting them. It also comes with a mini brush that's actually quite useful. It's so easy to use, the colors are pigmented and this lasts all day. My only issue was I bought the shade Light and it was still too dark for me. I have naturally dirty blonde-light brown hair, (but I dye it light blonde), so I was shocked that the lightest shade was too dark for me. However, they now have an Ash shade which looks like it might be perfect for me, so I'm going to buy it and let you know!


This is one of my favorite drugstore brand mascaras ever. Its the perfect consistency, not too dry and not to wet. It also never clumps on me. This mascara is perfect for a more natural look, I don't usually use it if I'm doing a dramatic eye look, but you can build it up. I love wearing this mascara to work because it applies easy and can be very subtle.

4. e.l.f. Flawless Eyeshadow in Beautiful Browns: $2.00

This product was an impulse buy for me. I saw it while standing in the checkout at the store, liked the colors, and figured I would spend the $2 on it. I wasn't expecting much from this eyeshadow quad, but boy was I wrong. The colors are really pigmented and not very powdery when swatched. When put on the eye they're still pigmented and when used with a primer they last basically all day. The colors coordinate perfectly to create an easy and beautiful natural eye look.

5. e.l.f. Pointed Foundation Brush: $4.00

This brush is new to me, and I think it's new in general. It's perfect for applying liquid foundation. The pointed tip allows for easy application in hard to reach places like around the nose and eyes and it also gives an even coverage all over. The bristles are soft and the handle fits perfectly in the hand.

Fails:



1. e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer: $6.00

I bought this in the winter while looking for a moisturizing primer since my face was feeling a little dry. (I have combination/oily skin that will sometimes get very dry in the winter.) This has got to be one of the worst products I've ever used, like ever. It pains me to say that because I hate talking bad about products from brands I truly love, but I cannot lie about this primer. 
First off, it smells horrible. It has a weird plastic-y smell that actually makes me gag. It's also incredibly greasy, it doesn't feel like a primer on the face, it feels more like a really oily gel. It also made me break out very badly. It got to the point where I was going to go to the dermatologist for acne, when I've never had to do that before. As soon as I stopped using this primer, my skin cleared up so I knew that was the problem.

2. e.l.f. Eyeshadow "C" Brush: $3.00

This is actually a favorite among many as far as e.l.f. brushes go, so I might get some hate for this but, I don't like this brush. It picks up plenty of color and applies it nicely, but every time I use it it hurts my eyes and this isn't a problem I usually have with brushes. I don't know what it is, but I feel like because the bristles are so short and the metal around the bristles isn't that smooth, it always ends up hurting my eyes every time I try to use it. It stinks because I do like the way this brush applies shadow.

3. e.l.f. Smudge Pot Cream Eyeshadow: $3.00

I might get some hate for this one too, it seems to be another very popular e.l.f. product. Unfortunately, I just don't like it that much. The color is great and pigmented, but the application and wear isn't too good. Applying it can be annoying without the right brush and I hate using my finger to dig into the pot, especially if my nails are a little longer. It also doesn't stay all day for me, it moves around and the color fades.

4.  e.l.f. Expert Liquid Liner: $2.00

So I featured this in my Top 10 Under $10: Eyes post about a month back, and I now regret it. I mean it's an easy to apply liquid liner and it does the job for only $2, but I don't love it. It doesn't dry matte and it does take a little while to dry. I've just found recently that I'm not happy with the results this eyeliner gives me. I like the L.A. Colors Liquid Eyeliner more and it's a buck cheaper.

5. e.l.f. Flawless Face Powder: $2.00
*Not pictured above, I no longer own this product*

Probably one of my least favorite pressed face powders ever. The color range isn't that great and the color I did pick that most closely matched me, ended up oxidizing on my skin after a short amount of time. The packaging is also really tiny. It is only $2 but for the amount you're getting, you might as well buy the $8 drugstore pressed powder that works better. It will end up costing the same in the end.

I made this Favorites & Fails list for e.l.f. cosmetics as a way to help you decide which products to try out. Just because a brand is super cheap, doesn't mean you should waste your money trying out every single item they have, if that's the case, you might as well buy the higher-end products that have a better chance of working. I hope these lists help you decide which e.l.f. products to go for, and which ones to skip.

Let me know in the comments if you agree or disagree with me. 
Also let me know your favorites and fails from e.l.f. I'm interested to hear what you think!



Thanks For Reading!
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XoA

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

| WORTH IT WEDNESDAY | Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy





Hey guys! For the past few weeks I've been collecting drugstore gel nail polishes to start a weekly series type of thing. Every Wednesday for the next five weeks I'm going to be reviewing a different drugstore brand of no UV light required at home gel nail polish. 
I think it's so great that brands are coming out with at home gel nail polishes that don't require a UV light. You can save tons of money on gel manicures and you don't have to expose yourself to those harmful UV lights! 
I picked up five different gel nail polishes to try out. I'm going to paint my nails every Sunday with a different polish and keep each polish on for a week then, every Wednesday I'm going to let you know if it's worth it or not!



For the first week I tried out the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy nail polish. This one is a two step product. First you pick out the color you want, which doubles as a base coat. Next, you buy the clear gel top coat. The top coat can actually be used with any nail polish but it does say it's recommended you use it with the Colorstay polish for best results. You can either buy these two separately for $5.99 each or together, which I did. For the two pack I paid $14.
The color I picked out was just a basic purple and it's gorgeous but they have 30 other colors to choose from as well. The back of the packaging says it's easy to remove and that the top coat delivers a glass-like shine that have superior strength. 
Gel manicures that use the UV light usually last close to two weeks and are super shiny, so I did go into this with that in mind.

So does this actually work?

The actual nail polish is very vibrant and really shiny. It was easy to apply and with just the first coat it looked good. I applied two coats of this. 
The Diamond Top Coat was a little challenging. It was a little runny which caused me to get some on my fingers but for the most part it was fine. I would just be super cautious with the top coat, if you add too much to your nails it will cause the polish to run and smudge or take forever to dry. 
Drying time was about 30 minutes, which was pretty long but it is a gel nail polish. When they were dry I could really see how great the results were though. My nails looked like I just walked out of the nail salon, they were so shiny! I couldn't wait to see how long this would last.
Unfortunately, after only one day my nail polish was already starting to chip. It was a little chip, but a chip nonetheless. It was all downhill from there. By Sunday my nail polish was about 50% gone. This polish didn't last two weeks, it barely lasted one, bummer. It was easy to remove so the box didn't lie about that.


So...is this product worth it?

I don't think so. Well, for me, it wasn't worth it. The color was great and the shine was amazing but it was starting to chip after only one day! I spent $14 on this product, I was expecting it to work much better than it did. I get the same results from a $1 regular nail polish. If you can get this on a sale and you're dying to try it out then I think you should buy it. If you're thinking of buying any kind of gel nail polish I recommend trying out a cheaper one first. I feel like I spent over $10 on a regular nail polish, which is something I'd never do.


*Now I'm not sure if it's just me who had this polish chip so easily, I do wash my hands a lot because I work with kids so let me know if you've tried this and it lasted longer for you. I'm very interested. 

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if you've ever tried the Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy and what you think of it. I'd love to hear your opinions!
Remember for the next few weeks every Wednesday I'm going to be reviewing five different gel nail polishes to let you know which one is the best and which one is worth it!

Like, Comment, Share!
Follow me on Twitter & Bloglovin' to get updated on when I post next!
XoA