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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Beauty Essentials!

Hello beauties! Are you a summer slump when it comes to your "go to" beauty products? Well maybe I can offer some relief with a list of some of my MUST HAVE can't live without summer beauty essentials. These things are a low maintenance girl's best friend, which I am more-so in the Summer than any other season. So, without further ado, on to the list!

Sunless Tanner: FakeBake flawless

This is my HG (holy grail) sunless tanner! So many good things, where do I begin!? First, the application is practically goof proof. In a nutshell, exfoliate while showering, once you get out and your body is completely dry just apply the tanner with the mit that comes with it and it turns out beautifully. If you feel like you need some pointers before applying watch a few youtube tutorials (that's what I did) and I felt completely confident applying ...even the first time! Also, it is a beautiful brown/dark tan, not orange or unnatural in the slightest. It has no offensive odor and I haven't noticed any color transfer on my sheets or clothing and it dries SO QUICK, you don't have to wait around forever awkwardly in your birthday suit for it to dry. Fakebake is absolutely amazing, I have nothing bad to say about it AND I don't feel the need to buy any other sunless tanners.
***Cheapest place to purchase: HERE!

Revlon Lip Butters & Maybelline Color Whispers:

Left: Sugar Plum Right: Coral Ambition
I don't know about you but unless I'm dressing up or have to be in a professional setting, chances are in the summer (day to day) I will be sporting either a Revlon lip butter or a Maybelline color whisper! They are nicely pigmented without being fussy AND they come in some great bright colors and summer hues! My favorite in the lip butter is Sugar Plum  (which you could wear anytime of the year) and in the color whisper is Coral Ambition which is a great shimmery light coral shade. They feel nice and smooth on your lips and make you feel alittle more put together than not wear anything on your lips! I highly recommend them both and I have sooo many more colors on my wishlist!

Essie Nail Polish:
Essie's Playdate

Essie's Boom Boom Room, photo credit here.

Unlike a lot of beauty girls out there I'm not CRAZY over Essie, mainly because of the 8 dollar price tag not because I don't like a lot of the colors. But, the 2 colors I've been LOVING recently happen to both be from Essie (the only colors I own from them ...haha) Playdate, the perfect purple -not too light, not too dark- and Boom Boom Room, a need shade for summer and great vibrant hot pink. Both colors would look great on your fingers or toes and to me they are just the kind of shades that make you happy!

Dove Dry Shampoo:
Again, another holy grail product for me Dove dry shampoo is THE BEST dry shampoo I've tried and I've try almost allll of them, at least from the drugstore. It has a great, "fresh out of the shower" smell, very pleasant and clean. Also, unlike other dry shampoos it is easy to brush into your hair and there is no white residue left behind and of course, most importantly it truly does absorb oil it does a FANTASTIC job and you can get another day out of your second or even third day hair. (honorable mention: I also like pssssst dry shampoo, but I find the Dove one is just as good and at least 3 bucks cheaper.)

Covergirl Outlast stay fabulous 3 in 1 foundation:

This product has received a lot of hype recently and after wearing it for about month straight... it's freaking impressive. I'll give you an example I just recently graduated from college and had to be at rehearsals at 10 am then the actual ceremony was the same day at 4 pm. I had my full face of makeup on by 8 am, was running around all day, in the sun a lot and it was almost 90 degrees. Before the ceremony began I lucky enough to have the opportunity to touch up, but when I looked in the mirror to my surprise foundation was flawless, I didn't need to powder at. all. In fact, I swear my face looked just as flawless as the minute it was applied. Now just so you know, I have dry to regular skin, but I have heard amazing things about this foundation on a RANGE of skin types, do a lot research if you're thinking about purchasing but I think it's amazing and very long wearing.

Honorable mention: Carmex Chapstick

If you're in the market for a great chapstick I must mention my love affair with Carmex. Now I don't mean that gross stuff in the little pot, I mean the flavored chapstick in the tube (my favorite being strawberry and the newly released lime). This is the longest lasting, moisturizing chapstick I have every found. It's the only thing I use because I KNOW (after years of being tempted to buy other things) that beyond the frills and cute packaging of other chapsticks... Carmex is still a better product, get one it's like a 1.19 and you will not be let down.

For now that's what I'm loving for Summer, like I said before I'm more low maintenance girl in the Summer, I still love my girly stuff- just lazy I guess, haha. What are YOU loving for the Summer months? -Please comment below, I'd love new suggestions of products to try out!

As always, please follow and subscribe xo


Sunday, June 23, 2013

My top 5 drugstore blush picks!

If you've read my past posts you know that my favorite makeup items are lipstick and blush ... tied pretty much equally with one another. I don't know what exactly it is about blush it just makes me so happy; the hunt for new shades, finding great formulas and of course discovering a great drugstore blush!

In my collection of *cough* 39 *cough* blushes, 35 of which are drugstore I think I am qualified to bring to you the best of the best when it comes to drugstore! So, lets get on to it! In no particular order...

Wet n' Wild: Pearlescent Pink, $: 2.99-3.99:
maximize to see better color/pigmentation.

Wet n Wild's Pearlescent Pink  is an absolute gorgeous color its a light pinky peach color with tons of subtle gold shimmer. To me this is the drugstore equivalent of Nars "Orgasm" and because I have this I feel like I don't even need to own Orgasm. The best part is its only 3 to 4 dollars and that means you can buy all four Wet n Wild blushes and you STILL wouldn't spend as much as you would spend on a Nars blush. Not to mention, the pigmentation is amazing, its a buttery soft powder and you only need a tiny bit at a time. So it's a win-win.

 NYX: Peach, $: around 5 dollars

 NYX Blush in "Peach" (which is by the way, not a peachy color at all) is a great cool toned pale pink, almost baby doll and is completely matte. Pale pink (in my experience) is really hard to find at least at the drugstore and this one is perfect. It was hard to get a great swatch of it because it is light, but don't let that fool you... it has wonderful pigmentation. It is my GO TO light pink blush and one of only a few I've been able to find. I recommend any NYX blushes, and there will be another one in later in this post :)

Milani's baked blush: luminoso, $: 5-7 dollars:
maximize for full affect of amazing-ness.

Milani's Luminoso is probably my favorite blush and one I consistently wear multiple days of the week, because it goes with everything and it is so utterly pretty. It is a peachy orange shimmery blush with the most finely milled gold iridescence. You really don't need a highlight when wearing this blush because it gives such a great glow without looking too glittery or juvenile. The pictures don't even do it true justice, you have to just try it on your cheeks and you will NOT be disappointed.

Wet n' Wild: Heather Silk, $: 2.99-3.99:

Sheered out on the left, heavy swatch on the right.
 Wet n Wild's Heather Silk is a great fuchsia, hot pink blush without being "too much" or too bright. In the swatch I show how you can sheer it out or heavily apply it, depending on the look you want to get. Also, interestingly, I didn't even realize this blush had shimmer in it until I was editing these photos, it so minimal that I thought it was matte (haha my bad). This blush is a must have that would look wonderful on a variety of skin tones and again it's 3 to 4 dollars so you can't beat the price.

NYX cream blush: tickled $: 5-7

maximize for beautiful glimmery-ness.
NYX Cream Blush in "Tickled" is BY FAR my favorite cream blush and it is absolutely beautiful! its pinky peach with amazing shimmer, it has more gleam and shimmer than I've seen in another blush. That being said it's not greasy or overly shimmer, it's just gorgeous. In case your wondering I like to apply my cream blushes with a small stippling brush (if you're interested in the brush you can read more about it in this post.)

Well that wraps it up beauties! Again, drugstore blushes can be amazing with great color pay off and awesome color selection you just have to be willing to look and deal with a little trail and error. These blushes are ones that I reach for day to day and would recommend to anyone! Happy Hunting!

As always please share, comment and subscribe! xo

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Monday, June 17, 2013

The best [unexpected] places to buy beauty products!

A little about me: I feel like I was bred to be a bargain hunter. My grandma is an amazing one and since I was very little she taught me the best places to find awesome clearance deals and insane markdowns. BUT, as I got older I developed a love/passion/obsession with makeup [that my grandma doesn't share- though she will NOT leave the house without lipstick :)] So I took a bit of what she taught me and learned some tricks on my own when it comes to finding beauty bargains. I think a lot of people would be surprised where to hunt down beauty bargains so I thought I'd compile a small list and give you some tips & tricks on how to find good, name brand makeup ...for CHEAP!

[in no particular order, though the last store is my favorite for finds!]

Dollar Tree:
I could talk and talk about how much I love the dollar tree  -I'll spare you-  BUT if you don't frequent this place, you should. BTW, if you're unfamiliar everything is a one dollar, everything. Regarding beauty, it is hit or miss as far as name brand stuff is concerned. They usually have LA Colors and random stuff, which is okay. But once and while you'll be strolling down the beauty aisle and... BAM! you see Milani, or ELF, or Maybelline!

I just recently got these gems (which helped to inspire this whole post):

3 Milani HD advanced lip colors and 2 Milani eyeliners

I always get so giddy when I see name brand stuff and I look through alllllll of it which brings me to tip 1: look through everything, you may not initially see "the hidden gem(s)" make sure to scan the entire beauty section (no matter what store you're at) and when things are hanging up look to the back of each peg, making sure not to miss anything.

With the Milani lipsticks pictured above I almost missed the color I ended up liking the most because as I was looking through I noticed it was only really 2 different colors available (which I had already put in my basket, of course) and after filing through about 10 or 15 I moved on to the eyeliner but before I left the aisle I thought I should look through all the lipsticks just to make sure they weren't anymore shades and with a little more digging I found a beautiful berry shade, which is now my favorite!

T.J. MAXX/Marshall's:

Most ladies probably are aware by now of the almighty bargain that is TJ MAXX & Marshall's, both are one of my favorite places to shop, and if you're not checking their hair/beauty/skin care section, you must!

This is the absolute BEST place that I've found to buy high end hair care products. I've seen practically ever name brand there from Bedhead to Joico, and it's at least half off. I have also found some AWESOME makeup including the balm, OPI, and Urban Decay! It is also a great place to get quality makeup tools like [dupe] beauty blender sponges, eyelash curlers and sometimes brushes. It can be hit or miss but 9 times out of 10 I usually find at least one thing I don't need can't live without.

Rite Aid:

Confession: I try to avoid any drugstore like the plague, I do so because when I go in I practically drool over all the makeup... then scoff at there ridiculous mark-up of prices (compared to Target or Walmart). The exception to that is Rite Aid, in my experience they have some GREAT sales, more so than CVS or even Walgreens. tip 2: sign up for store's email, then you'll know about the latest shipments and sales. I include this tip under Rite aid  because they send you coupons once a week or so [it's the only place I will buy Essie nail polish because once and a while I'll get a 2 dollar off coupon in my email!]

 Not to mention they're sales are phenomenal! They don't just do the typical "buy one, get one half off" other stores do, they have real clearance and sometimes they'll have ALL of NYC cosmetics 40% off or ALL of Rimmel. That's when I rack up, I got my favorite/holy grail bronzer (Sunny by NYC, more about that bronzer here) for a $.140, at that price if you already know you love it, get 2 or 3 back ups! Last time I went they had all of they're older stock of Wet n' Wild 75% off...

I got 3 loose powder blushes (which I intend to press- so I'll use them more) for ONE DOLLAR EACH and the mascara was no more than 2 dollars. A trend I've noticed with Rite Aid is that they aren't afraid to markdown "older" cosmetics when new collections come in and they don't have room on their displays... and that is alright with me!

Big Lots:

My all time favorite! Why you may ask? Because 99% of the time there is always something worth buying and their prices are absolutely fantastic, on everything (not just makeup). I have to brag for a minute and share the best, most high end brand I've found at Big Lots...

Philosophy: 2 eyeshadow quads, highlighter, 2 cream blushes
That's right Philosophy makeup! These products we're 3 dollars each, I definitely got back ups and even sold a few for a profit, haha. It just goes to show you can find great items by shopping discount places and always having your eyes peeled.

I just went to Big Lots yesterday so I took a few pictures to show you the typical lay out and to give you a few more tips and tricks.

Jackpot of Drugstore goodies!
Just in this one picture you can see there's Revlon, Sally Hansen, Maybelline, Covergirl etc. Most of the items will be hanging by hooks, so remember like I mentioned in when talking about the Dollar Tree make sure to look through the hooks so you don't miss anything.

Tips for Big Lots:

Make sure not to miss anything, as I was looking through all the crap at the top of the picture, I spotted this tiny box at the very bottom filled with revlon eyeshadows, concealers and l'oreal nail polish . I don't know why but (in my experience) Big Lots is NOTORIOUS for doing this, so check every inch of the aisle to maximize potential of finding something great!

Display of Physicians Formula on the end of  an aisle
Also don't forget to check the end of the aisle or (as we call it in the retail world) end cap! At Big Lots this is usually where their new arrivals are displayed OR where great name brands are [this is where I found the Philosophy stuff!] Also worth noting, you can usually find great hair care, personal hygiene stuff and sometimes skin care at Big Lots!

Well, that wraps it up my beauties! I really hope you enjoyed the list and I hope you learned a thing or two about where to shop for beauty bargains and HOW to shop for them!

As always please comment, share and subscribe!

xo Leah
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Bits and bobs: eye of the day & latest polish!

I decided I start a new series to post at least once a week or so, with "little bits and bobs" I've been loving during the week. Anything from the eye look I wore one day, a piece of jewelry I've been loving or latest nail polish I've rocked! Easy, peasy and hopefully you can take some inspiration/ideas from it! :) So let's get on to it!

My eye look of today!:

  • This created by using l'oreal eyeshadow infallible eyeshadow in Amber rush on my lid [I consider this eyeshadow a MUST HAVE, you will NOT regret this purchase], Mac's copperplate [beautiful matte cool toned grey] in the crease, I just used a soft matte brown -almost skin color- to blend everything together. 

  • Rest of the face, sorry about the low quality [iphone] photo! Wearing revlon's pink pout lipstick, great cool toned matte pink -a supposed dupe for Mac's snob-.
And here is my most recent mani!

  •  This is china glaze's "Dance Baby" it is a little more cool toned than the picture is letting on... it almost has a ting of lilac to it. Probably my favorite pink I own, and the glitter "accent" nail is Wet n' Wild's "Sparked" which absolutely gorgeous. To see this nail polish in full action click here.
  • Other things I've been loving this week: NYX blushes: both powder and cream, mixing lipsticks especially mac's shy girl with any hot coral shade, and covergirl's 3 in 1 foundation!
Until next time my beauties... please comment, share and subscribe!

xo Leah

Monday, June 10, 2013

Perfect Mascara Combination: length and volume!

Are you in a mascara slump? Can't find one that does what it claims to do?  Believe me, I've been there and I believe I've finally found the perfect combination of 2 mascaras, that together (drum roll please...) give both length and volume, maintain curl AND doesn't clump. I know what you're thinking...AND yes, it is possible.

And I think I've got it down to a science.

The mascara lineup and their claims:

L'Oreal Telescopic Mascara: L'oreal states:  "enhances your lashes with intense length and unique lash by lash separation. Precision Brush lengthens lashes up to 60%" (via. website) Cost: $ 8-10

breakdown: this mascara is a wetter formula (if you prefer a drier formula ...stick with me!), with a smaller comb-like brush. It is extremely good at lengthen but can fall short when it comes to holding a curl or creating volume, but it really does make your eyelashes a million miles long.

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara: L'oreal states: "soften and build lashes up to 5X their natural thickness, quickly thickens and builds lashes in a single application for a full and dramatic look." (via website) Cost: $ 5-7

breakdown: this is a drier formula (told yah, to stick with me) with your classic bristle-type brush [Dupe alert: also suppose to be a good cheaper alternative to Dior's Diorshow mascara] this brush is good at getting to the root of your lashes to create volume and hold curl. This is why...

TOGETHER they are the ultimate combination of awesome; even for my -mediocre at best- lashes!

Application: (attention: extreme close ups of my eyeball ahead! haha)

to start, my eye without any eye makeup on! As you can see, I have stumpy, barely there lashes!

Before applying mascara remember to CURL YOUR LASHES, this is will make a big difference in the way your lashes turn out!

1st step:

1st step: Applying voluminous and wiggling at the base of lashes!
Apply your first coat using the voluminous mascara, make sure to concentrate on slightly wiggling the brush at the base of the lashes then sweeping upwards, apply a generous coat. (maybe two if you like to apply a lot of coats of mascara, I ain't judgin')

2nd step:
2nd step: 1st coat of telescopic.
Wait until the first coat is tacky (or almost dry) then apply your first coat of the telescopic mascara, again slightly wiggling the brush through your lashes. Make sure to get the sparse hairs on the inner and outer corners of your lash line. This brush is very good at coating all your lashes, no matter how small.

results of 2nd step!

3rd step:

3rd step: applying telescopic again, focusing more on the tips my lashes.
Wait until your second coat is tacky or completely dry (if you find that works better for you) and apply the telescopic mascara again, focusing more on the ends or tips of your lashes. This will add even more length, almost like little false tips to your lashes... it's kind of crazy amazing haha

That's it! Not too hard or complicated, I know it may seem a little time consuming but it should only take a few minutes of your morning routine and it WILL make a difference, I promise!


Thank you so much for reading beauties, I really hope you found this post helpful and will try this mascara combination for yourself! Please share, comment and subscribe! 

xo Leah