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Friday, August 30, 2013

High five for Friday: Weekend Plans & Travel Makeup Bag!

Hello beauties! Just wanted to pop in and quickly ask you ladies what are YOUR plans for Labor day and the long weekend!? My fiance and I are heading to my annual Labor day family reunion. I know... it doesn't sound too fun, but it actually is! My extended family rents out a Summer Camp {which is now closed for the season} and there are cabins, a pond to fish/boat in, animals to ogle over and the whole nine! So over all, it's pretty cool, plus I get to see people I don't get to see too often!

I wanted to quickly show you a peek into my travel makeup bag! We're only staying one night so it's not too full, I am a crazy over packer so, this amount is amazing for me haha

I'm just going for the essentials and most of these items I've mentioned in previous posts! 

I will share my thoughts on a few things I haven't mentioned before! 

  •  Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mascara I liked this mascara for a long time, I've just sort of rediscovered it recently, not only is the packaging adorable but it performs pretty well too! It's got a comb-like brush so it great at separating your lashes, it lengths decently too. My only small complaint is that I wish it held a curl better, but that's usually always a problem for my lashes!
  • Covergirl & Olay concealer, this stuff is magic in a pot, I'm pretty sure it's being discontinued because it's been on clearance at several stores I've been to, but if you can find it I highly recommend it!
  • Rimmel lip pencil in "eastend snob" it's a great staple pale pink color, I find it goes great with pretty much any shade of pink lipstick AND coral {which has been my favorite of the summer!} 
  •  Wet n Wild Vanity Palette {pictured under the "walking on eggshells" trio} this six pan palette is absolutely great, I HIGHLY suggest you get this if you don't own it! It's limited edition so it is hard to find, but that link that I listed has it for 11 dollars & free shipping. I know that a little expensive for wet n wild, but considering every single color is a Mac dupe, it's still very much a bargain in my book!
 Please comment if you want details on anything in my travel makeup bag that I didn't mention!

 I hope all of you have a safe, fun and wonderful Labor Day weekend, until next time

xo Leah
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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Makeup look for less: Taylor Swift VMA's

If you caught the 2013 MTV VMA's on Sunday I bet you couldn't help but notice how elegant and classically beautiful Taylor Swift looked... am I right?! I love the gray smokey eye and darken red lip, so I thought I'd show all my lovely readers how to recreate this look using drugstore makeup products! This look would be perfect for a special occasion or a girls night out. So, let's get in to it!

1. Covergirl Outlast Foundation I simply cannot say enough good things about this foundation. It lasts longer than anything I've ever used, it is absolutely perfect for a long day, or even a sweaty night of dancing! You can read more about my thoughts on it in my summer essentials post , I have put this stuff to the test and it truly is impressive! Plus I thought it was super fitting I used a CoverGirl foundation, considering Taylor herself is a Cover Girl! Cost: $9-12

2. E.L.F. baked blush in "Pinktastic". If you notice Taylor has minimal product on her cheeks, it almost looks like she skipped a blush all together and just used a pink/silver highlight on the top of her cheek bones. Pinktastic is a great way to achieve just a slight shimmery, pink look and if use with a light hand could be used as just a highlight instead of a blush. The elf baked blushes are long wearing and extremely pigmented, they are a great alternative to the Mac mineralized skin finishes. Cost: $3

3. Physican's Formula Quad in "Canyon Classics" This palette is absolutely fantastic, it can work as double duty to fill in your brows {if you have brunette hair or lighter} and the gorgeous matte grey shadow is PERFECT for recreating Taylor's smokey eye! I know what you're thinking... "Leah there is a ton of glitter on her eyes, they're not matte!" Don't worry, #4 takes care of the glitter, just apply the matte shade all over the lip up into the crease and smudge it along the lower lash line. If you want a little more definition put the lightest color in this palette in the inner tear duct area and right below your brows! Cost: $7

4. Femme Couture glitter eyeliner in "Chain Reaction" This is a liquid brush on glitter eyeliner in silver. Now I know that glitter can be intimating for some people, but I think the tiny brush applicator on this wand offers a great amount of control, so the application isn't messy at all {hallelujah!} To get Taylor's look apply the eyeliner right under your lower lash line & in your inner corner. If you're glitter maven, however, by all means... go nuts! Haha {Note: I know that NYX used to make a silver glitter eyeliner too, but I couldn't find it anywhere... not sure if it's been discontinued.} Cost: $7

5. Maybelline Cat Eyes Mascara , I love this Mascara! Not only is the packaging adorable {I'm a completely sucker for leopard print!} but I think this formula is long lasting and holds a curl very well. The curved brush helps my stick straight lashes to curl better, even after curling them with an eyelash curler. Also, it isn't a HUGE brush like a lot of mascaras tend to be now-a-days, so it works very well at getting your bottom lashes without smudging/making mistakes. You can always pop on a pair of false lashes if you want a bit more drama, Taylor didn't look like she was wearing any {if she was they're semi-natural}. Just make sure you curl first and apply at least 2 coats for that dramatic look! Cost: $7-9

6. NYC lipstick in "Sheer Red" this lipstick is absolutely gorgeous, plus for a red... it's such an easy to wear red! It's tad bit darker than your classic "retro red", so I thought it would be perfect for Taylor's look. If you're a little intimidated about wearing a red lipstick just apply this lightly, I almost guarantee you'll like it! It's flattering on so many skin tones, and guess what it's only a buck!? That's right 99 cents. If you're going out for a long night try and apply a lip liner first to increase the longevity of wear. Cost: $1

There you have it an easy, cost effective way to achieve Taylor Swift's VMA makeup look FOR LESS! I really think this is a perfect look for a sexy date night or a special night out! Please let me know if you plan on trying this look out AND what was your favorite celebrity look of the night. Thanks for reading, don't forget to subscribe!

Until next time! xo Leah
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beauty Bargain Review: ELF Mineral Infused Mascara

Hey beauties! I'm back with the second installment of "beauty bargain review" my review series on exactly that... bargain priced makeup! As of late I've kind of been on a mascara buying kick lately. I was getting slightly bored with my current mascaras, you know... when you just feel like mixing it up! So I started exploring the Makeup Alley website {which, if you don't know... is a makeup junkie's dream for reviews of products!} I searched mascaras that were top rated and I was surprised and immediately curious when I saw the e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara was one of the top drugstore options, with 80% of reviewers saying they would repurchase again. I thought for 3 dollars, it's gotta be worth a try!

The eyes, lips, face website describes this e.l.f. mineral infused mascara as: "The top rated Mineral Infused Mascara creates fuller, healthier looking lashes. Enhance lashes for a naturally thicker and more volumized look. The long-wear formula and unique silicone brush creates a clump free and defined application for gorgeous lashes all day." List of ingredients here if you're interested.

First Impressions: 
The brush is a rubberized, not your standard bristle-type brush. It has lots of little teeth for separating your lashes and to prevent clumps from forming. It is a pretty wet formula, those who prefer drier formulas, may not enjoy that. The tube opening is good at take away the extra product from the brush though, so there isn't too much mascara on the wand.


I thought I would start with a picture of my bare lashes, they are pretty short and hard to curl, definitely nothing to write home about!

Maximize to see details better!
The only "prep step" I did was curl my lashes with the amazing Lancome Eyelash Curler {I highly recommend this if you're looking for a good "upscale" eyelash curler}

1st coat: brush combs thoroughly through my lashes separating them, giving pretty good length and curl but not a lot of volume.
2nd coat: continues to length and gets some volume and curl, does a good job at not clumping {my eyelashes clump VERY easily!}
3rd coat: I probably could of done without the 3rd coat I got a few clumps, but for my lashes clumping as easily as they do, the clumping was VERY minimal and the length was pretty darn good. I doubt this mascara would clump at all on most people.

I found the lasting power to be perfectly fine, no flaking or running. I've worn it several times and had no problems.

The only thing I am slightly disappointed in is the lack of volume in this mascara, especially since elf advertises it as be voluminous. I've found if I use an eyelash primer before hand I can get a little more thickness out of my lashes, so that's a tip!

Value 5 out of 5 / Lasting Power: 4.5 out of 5 / Lengthening 4 out of 5 / Volume: 3 out of 5

I highly recommend checking out this mascara if you like in the market for any of the following: an inexpensive, lengthening, clump-free (pretty much), wetter formula, rubber brush mascara!

Thanks so much for reading ladies! If you have any additional questions about the mascara {or anything!} please comment below, until next time!

xo Leah

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Get that famous "Jlo glow" using drugstore makeup!

Most ladies {whether you're crazy about makeup or not} know about the Jennifer Lopez's famous "jlo glow" it is one of the most talked about looks in makeup and Jennifer's makeup artist Scott Barnes made the look famous on Jennifer. It's super iconic and it's easier to obtain than you may think! I'm going to share with you great products to achieve this look available at the drugstore {including several high end makeup dupes}!

Now I wouldn't advise you to necessarily use ALL of these products are the same time, but some in combination would give a great glow to your face, eyes and lips!

1. L'Oreal True Match Lumi This foundation is a light to medium coverage that gives your skin just that little extra glow. Don't fret though, there are no "visible shimmers" so you won't end up looking like a disco ball. It's a natural healthy finish, with that little extra "something". I'd recommend applying it with a beauty blender {or a cheaper alternative} sponge so you get an absolute flawless finish. I have heard people with very oily skin don't have a lot of luck this foundation, so just be aware of that! Another alternative would be to get something like Mac's Lustre Drops added to your favorite foundation will do the trick as well!

2. NYX Cream Blush in "tickled", the blush is absolutely gorgeous! It is hands down my favorite cream blush, see my swatches of it here. It reminds me of Nars Orgasm in cream formula, in which it's a pinky peach with great golden shimmer. It gives off an amazing sheen and almost iridescent quality. Again, it's not over the top and it's a great user friendly cream blush. Trust me, once you buy this blush you'll find yourself using it again and again.

3. Wet n Wild Bronzer in "ticket to brazil" first and foremost this baby is a dupe of the shimmery version of the Tarte Park Avenue Princess bronzer! {Picture of the comparison on my instagram here , make sure to follow me too!} It's a gorgeous shimmery golden bronzer and it'll last forever, it's 23 grams of product! It's great to add a glow or to lightly contour the hollows of your cheekbones. This is quickly becoming my holy grail product when it comes to a shimmery bronzer.

4. Hard Cany Highlighter in "tiki" this product has quickly become a cult favorite in the beauty blogger/guru community and there's not doubt as to why, it's really good stuff. It has been compared to high end highlighters like a the balm's Mary-Lou Manizer or even the coveted Dior Amber Diamonds, I can't say for sure if they compare because I don't have the high end counterparts. All I know is it's a beautiful champagne, light yellow based highlighter. It's perfect for dusting on the top of cheekbones, placed on the inner tear duct of the eye or on the brow bone. It brings just the right amount of light and life to the face.

5. Wet n Wild trio in "Walking on Eggshells" Let me start off by saying, I just can't get enough of this trio. I put off getting it for so long because I kept telling myself you have enough neutrals. I finally caved when Wet n Wild was 30% off at Rite Aid, so I paid less than 2 dollars for it. Let me say I'd pay way more money for it, these shadows are so pigmented and buttery. Also, a bonus all 3 shades are Mac dupes: the highlight shade is a dupe for Mac's "shroom", the bronzey/brown shade Mac's "tempting" and the champagne/peachy shade Mac's "all that glitters". Use these shadows together or separate to create a great bronze, shimmery eye.

6. L'Oreal Lipstick in "Peach Fuzz" This lipstick is so pretty, it's a great shimmery peach shade. It's almost frosty, but don't be afraid it's not your "grandma's frosty lipstick" It's great at adding light to the lips, while adding a peachy sheen. See swatches in this post. It's rather subtle really, and can be used to amp up a darker lipstick or topped off with gloss for a super pretty shimmery lip. It's definitely a must have for you coral lovers out there!

There you have it! A list of some outstanding drugstore beauty items that you can use to get that famous "Jlo glow", see go forth and be that bronze goddess I know all of you can be! Haha. Until next time my beauties, please comment, share and subscribe!

xo Leah
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Friday, August 16, 2013

Mac Brush Cleanser: the lazy way to clean your brushes!

Hello beauties! When I first started this post I was going to "label" it as a product rave, but as I was putting it together I realized the way I clean my makeup brushes really could be classified as the "lazy girls approach". Don't worry it still cleans, sanitizes & conditions your brushes ...just quickly & as painlessly as possible!

What I use:
Mac Brush Cleanser it's 15 dollars, 7.9 fl oz and it'll last you forever I've had mine for almost a year and I'm not even half way through with it [note: I use baby shampoo to deep clean my brushes, though].

 I find the Mac cleanser is gentle and user friendly, and most importantly it spot cleans brushes, amazingly.
Of course, some of you reading this are no newbie to spot cleaning brushes, but others may only deep clean their brushes, which everyone knows is time consuming & annoying. So ladies I'm going to show you how I spot clean my brushes and how simple & easy it really is!

What you need:
1. Your Mac brush cleanser
2. A small spray bottle {look at the dollar store or travel size section}
3. Paper towels or old towel {one you don't care about being stained}

Put some of  the cleanser into the bottle, whatever amount you'd like. Spray your paper towel (or towel) with the cleanser!

Take the dirty culprit, in this case I'm cleaning my blush stained mini stippling brush from elf (which is what use to apply cream blush!) and start swirling the brush in circular motions into the cleanser/paper towel.

Swirl your brush in circular motions!
Keep swirling! Don't be afraid to spray a little more cleanser on the towel if it doesn't seem damp enough {or if the brush doesn't seem to be getting clean}

And voila! Clean, pretty disinfected stippling brush! It seriously takes like 30 seconds to clean each brush! There is NO rinsing involved, which is great because you can save water :)

I do recommend that you deep clean your brushes when you can. I only do mine probably once a month and I know that's probably frown upon but I'm sorry it's the truth, haha.

So there you have it... the lazy, easy way to clean & serializing your makeup brushes! Thanks so much for reading, remember to subscribe {follow me on bloglovin' if you haven't} comment and share! Until next time beauties!

xo Leah
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Beauty Bargain Review: City Color Sunkissed trio

I spotted this beauty at a store called Five Below. {which is awesome, btw!} My hometown just got one so I stopped in to see what the fuss was all about and I must admit it's sooo right up my alley because I'm all about a bargain. Anyway, I've seen City Color products a various drugstores, but have never been too impressed with the looks of the product to purchase anything before. It was available in few other colors, but this trio in "bronzed peach", however, was calling my name. I'm obsessed with blush, especially anything peach or coral toned and for only 4 dollars... I can justify that!

This baby is huuuge, which could be a pro and a con depending on your lifestyle. Con: for travel Pro: for the amount of product you're getting! The compact itself is a little cheap and plasticy. That doesn't bother me though, it seems to be sturdy for the most part and that's whats important.
Compared to a Mac blush
Sunkissed Trio in "Bronzed Peach" by City Color
Color: Bronzed Peach
Amount: 15.25 grams (compared to 6 grams for one mac blush)
And it is cruelty free! :)


maximize to see bigger & more detailed :)
The blush & highlighter come off slightly sheer, unless you really pack them on. The blush comes off almost completely matte and is sort of a cross between orange & peach. The bronzer is definitely the most pigmented of the group and is gorgeous! I'm not even big on bronzer, but this is so pretty and provides a great sheen without being chunky glitter. The glimmer is subtle enough that you could use the bronzer for contouring without looking too over done.

Overall I believe this compact performs pretty great, especially for the price! I wore the trio to run some errands, then {for the true test} to the gym for a pretty sweaty workout and to my surprise the blush & bronzer seemed to last pretty well! The highlighter wasn't very noticeable towards the end, but I almost expected that. I am most disappointed with the highlight because it just has a top shimmery layer, after you get pass that it seems to be just a buttery shadow. But if you don't typically like shimmer this may be right up your alley. Overall performance I'd say is average/good depending how long your day is.


Blush: 3.5 out of 5       /       Bronzer: 4 out of 5      /       Highlighter: 2 out of 5

If you're interested in purchasing this you can find it at your local Five Below OR it is also available on the City Color Website {for 2 dollars more} but I'd be willing to pay 6 dollars for it, on sheer size alone. next challenge... not going back for the other colors! haha

Thanks so much for reading beauties! As always please subscribe, share and comment!

xo Leah

Friday, August 9, 2013

Surprising beauty items you can SAVE on & not SPLURGE on!

Hey beauties! So, I got so excited when I had the idea for this post. I don't know about you but as an active beauty community follower {i.e. blogs, beauty gurus via youtube, review websites, etc.} I've heard over and over again things like, "there's some things you NEED to splurge on" or that you MUST buy the high end version of this or that. Along with that chatter comes the typical list of things that you have to buy the expensive version of because the cheap stuff just doesn't compare! Well, I'm here to tell you that's B.S. and don't you believe it, there are plenty of great cheap alternatives to the things ladies always claim you must splurge on!

Makeup Brushes:
I've heard youtube "beauty gurus" say over and over again, "you have to have Mac brushes" or "No other brushes compare to Sigma!" and obviously both those brush lines both seem great, but do I have the money for them? No. And have I been putting on my makeup just fine without them!? Yes! My favorite line of low cost brushes hands down is ELF. They make a wide variety of brushes for your eyes and face and at a price range of $1-3 dollars, that's right up my alley! Read more about my FAVORITE elf face brushes in this post!

These are some of my other favorite elf brushes L to R: small angled brush, lip defining brush, eyeshadow "c" brush, eyeshadow brush, and blending eye brush. I stand by these brushes not only because they're inexpensive because the quality is pretty darn good and I've had a lot elf brushes for years and they're still going strong! I also have had good luck with  forever 21 {edit: this is F 21 brush set I love! So much so, I bought a second one}.

Liquid Foundation:
I may get some backlash for this one... but I just can't bring myself to purchase a 30 or 40 something dollar high end foundation, that's just me, if you can do it more power to yah! Personally, I think people would never notice the difference if you're using something that works with your skintone and is a great drugstore product!

My choice for top 3 drugstore foundations
1. Covergirl outlast stay fabulous 3 in 1 foundation {whew, is that a mouthful or what!?} is my newest holy grail foundation it's really fantastic and super impressive stay power, read more about it in my summer essentials post! 2. Revlon colorstay was my holy grail foundation for years! Its got great staying power, the only down side to this foundation is that you have to work fast when applying because it sets quickly! But, overall colorstay provides a great, matte finish foundation. 3. Rimmel's lasting finish foundation I used this foundation for about a year straight before the covergirl one came out, if you're seriously broke, this is the foundation for you. lasting finish its only 4-5 dollars at Walmart or Target and it's comparable to colorstay honestly and leaves you with a matte finish, the staying power is just a little less I'd say, best cheap foundation I've used though.

 Brow products:
I know ladies rave and rave about Anastasia's brow powder and gel. But, even if I had the extra cash I don't think I could even make myself spend it on high end brow stuff. Don't get me wrong... I'm obsessed with brows... and making mine as close to perfect as I can. The thing is I can make that happen with drugstore products, so why spend more?

Rimmel makes great brow pencils and so does Milani. My preferred method is using my elf angled eyeliner brush and my Physician's Formula Canyon Classics Palette. It's pretty inexpensive it's an absolute must have eyeshadow palette (regardless of if you use a color to fill in your brows).

Can you tell what color I use to fill in my brows? lol.
  The bottom right shadow is a perfect, natural match for my light brown brows! Then I use my Maybelline great lash CLEAR mascara to set my brows and I must admit I wasn't very impressed with this at first, maybe it's just me but my brow hairs still moved out of place after using this. So I took a few spritzes of hairspray {what women doesn't have hairspray laying around!?} and squirting it into the mascara tube to give the gel alittle more staying power and it worked beautifully... even lasts through a sweaty workout!


Now by now a lot of us beauty bloggers & makeup enthusiasts know that most {not all, but most} drugstore eyeshadows are just as comparable as the high end brands like urban decay, mac, etc and sometimes even better! But... I just had a sweet reader comment on one of my posts saying "I would of never thought wet n wild products were good!" ...well they're not just good, THEY'RE GREAT! And better yet, between my wet n wild eyeshadow collection & some elf palettes I almost positive I have both Urban Decay naked palette's duped and countless mac eyeshadows duped as well!

Some of my all time favorite eyeshadows, details below.
 1. L'oreal infallible eyeshadow in "Amber Rush" this is a must own shade. The perfect rose gold/coppery color which incomparable pigmentation.
2. Wet n Wild trio in "Silent treatment" great smokey eye palette, or you could go very daytime if you just used the eyelid color & browbone shade.
3. Maybelline's color tattoo in "bad to the bronze" is {obviously} a bronzey shade with a metallic finish, it's a gorgeous multidimensional shade that can be easily be "stand alone" eyeshadow.
4. Wet n Wild trio in "walking on eggshells" perfect for that everyday shimmery, neutral eye. Plus all 3 shades in this trio are Mac eyeshadow dupes!
5. Wet n Wild 8 pan palette in "Comfort Zone" this beautiful palette has an array of neutrals and even some darker sultry colors. This palette is damn near perfect and so unbelievably pigmented.

Is there any of your drugstore favorites that didn't make the list? Please share in a comment below! I could go on and on about makeup {especially affordable makeup} all day, so I'd love to hear what you beauties have to add! Just remember you don't have to spend a lot to get a lot, and if you try something new you may end up replacing your 45 dollar foundation with 10 dollar one... and that's money worth saving! :)

until next time!, xo Leah