July 21, 2014

Is Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara Worth the Hype?



Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard of Younique's 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. I've known about this product for quite some time but I hadn't gotten around to trying it. Why? No real good reason, I just thought I knew what the deal was and I was too lazy to look into it. Been there, done that sort of thing. Years back when I was doing makeup for Gene Juarez, we had a very similar product that was totally new to the scene (at the time). You applied a "base" gel, then while it was still tacky to the touch, you applied these little hairy fibers and then your regular mascara over the top of it. It worked quite well (aside from the little black fuzzies that inevitably dropped onto your cheekbones) but I personally never wanted the extra steps seeing as I have pretty long lashes as it is. I just figured if I wanted the "wow factor", I'd apply individual flare lashes.

Last week I was contacted by Alecia, an Independent Presenter with Younique and she asked me if I would be interested in trying out the 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. I was very interested to see how it differed from the product I had used years ago with Gene Juarez. For the record, it's MUCH better. As in, I'd actually use Younique's on a regular basis and I wouldn't use the above mentioned "fibers" from years ago. Alecia said she would send me a couple things to try out. Read on for my completely non-biased review and opinions as well as my before and after picture at the top of this post (I apologize for my shiny nose in the photo, I was chasing my son around and making dinner right before I snapped the photo so I look like a bit of a grease monkey....this is real life, folks.)

First off, the packaging. How cool is this? You get your own personal hard shelled carrying case for your Transplanting Gel and your Natural Fibers. Such a cute idea to keep everything all in one place. I'll be tucking my favorite mascara in here as well so everything is handy. Great for travel.
 
So here's the deal: You first want to apply a very thin coat of your favorite mascara. I found that using a defining mascara (lengthening) as opposed to a volumizing or plumping mascara works best. Otherwise you'll be combing clumps out of your lashes for days. Once your mascara of choice has dried, you apply a coat of the Moodstruck Transplanting Gel to your lashes. I was expecting a clear gel, but to my surprise and delight, this was a creamy black gel (see top wand in the photo below).

While the Transplanting Gel is still wet (this is important, make sure you work relatively quickly so that your little fibers have something to "grab onto") you will take your tube of Natural Fibers and apply to your lashes, concentrating on the mid-shaft out to the ends of your lashes. If you get too close to your waterline, you'll get them in your eyes and we all know that's no fun! I was really surprised how little "fall out" this step had. I was expecting to see the little black hairs all over my cheeks much like the old Gene Juarez version. Totally didn't happen! I'm not sure why, but as I always say "don't question the good things in life".


After you've applied your Natural Fibers, you want to get your tube of Transplanting Get and "lock in" or secure your fibers. Then you're finished! The directions say you can repeat the last two steps as many times as you want to achieve the results you desire, but I found that I was able to get insanely dolled up lashes after just one 'go-round'! It seriously looked as if I had applied a hefty dose of my Ardell Flares! I mean, just check out the picture below (center).


The above (center) photo is me with no other eye makeup on other than the 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. I wanted to leave my eyes bare so you could really see the lashes. Alecia also sent me a GORGEOUS tube of Younique's Lucrative Lip Gloss in shade "Ladylike" which is a beautiful shade of bright, orangey-red coral (she must have sensed that I love me a bright, sassy lip!). What I thought was incredible about this gloss was the pigmentation! Holy smokes this was more like a liquid lip color than a gloss. In the future I can't wait to use this with my Prestige Classic Lip Liner in "Poppy" and then this gloss over the top. It's a perfect color match.

So, to summarize...is it really worth it? Yes, I'd say so. I was able to get some seriously mega-long, full lashes with this stuff and it really did take much less time than applying my falsies. Now, the only thing that begs to be seen is whether or not it will transfer onto my brow bones or underneath my eyes. I usually have an issue with mascara "wandering" due to the size of my eyeballs (read: GIANT). I had the Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara on for about 4 hours and I didn't notice it had budged (yay!) but I'm excited to see how it holds up after 8 hours in the summer heat! As far as the lip gloss goes...AMAZING. Like I said, the pigment is right up there with the luxury lines from the department store (at least in the shade I tried, anyway). I can't wait to try "Loveable" which is a yummy-looking bubblegum pink. If you get a chance, take a peek around Alecia's site! I was surprised to discover how many different products Younique makes. Everything from skincare to a full range of cosmetics!

You can find Alecia's contact info on her website which I have linked all over this post, but just to make it easy for everyone, here it is:  Website | Contact

 
Let me know in the comments if you've tried this! I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are if you've tried the Fiber Lash Mascara or any other products from Younique! 

July 17, 2014

How to Make Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste



This may be the easiest "how to" tutorial you will ever see here. It's literally 2 steps and it will really make teeth whitening maintenance a snap for y'all. But first, let me tell you what happened to me last night while I was whipping up this little concoction to give you a tiny glimpse into my glamorous life:

I was upstairs, in my bra and underwear (it's hot as Haiti here lately) just finished waxing my eyebrows so you can imagine how attractive my red, puffy forehead was, and had all my "supplies" ready to whiten my teeth and then mix up some toothpaste (see photo above). If you haven't seen my post on using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, CLICK HERE, baby! Well, I had just finished with the whitening and was ready to start mixing the toothpaste when I accidentally shook my container of charcoal a bit too aggressively and all the powder shifted too quickly and fell into my sink and surrounding countertop (LUCKILY this stuff doesn't stain). That wasn't even the worst part, when this stuff "moves around" it creates this creepy black dust that looks like something from a Harry Potter movie (or that weird black smoke from ABC's 'Lost'). Of course my husband would come upstairs at the very moment I'm standing there in my unmentionables amidst a mushroom cloud of charcoal looking something like this:


But I didn't care. That guy is used to seeing me looking questionable (at best) especially when I'm experimenting with beauty-related procedures. He didn't even bat an eye. He just told me I looked like something from 'The Exorcist' and walked out of the room. True love, folks. Here's an added bonus: my sink and tile countertops never looked as white and sparkly.

Aaaanyhoo...trying to find activated charcoal toothpaste is trickier than you might think, so I'ma gonna show you how to do it YOself! DIY ftw!

You're going to need a few things:
1 | A clean, empty plastic or glass container with a lid
2 | A small spoon (a measuring spoon would work handsomely)
3 | Activated charcoal powder (please refer to my original post HERE on where to find/buy)
4 | Toothpaste of choice. My all time favorite toothpaste is Colgate Optic White. I buy it in bulk.
5 | A small utensil to mix with (I used a clean toothpick since I used such a small jar).
6 | A toothbrush

Mix about equal portions of activated charcoal and toothpaste (I just eyeballed it to get the consistency I wanted) until you get a pretty light, gray mixture. It's normal for the mixture to get kind of "foamy" or "puffy" looking so make sure you leave enough room in your container for the mixture to expand a bit before putting your lid on. Then you just dip your toothbrush in and brush your teeth as usual! You may need to rinse a bit more to make sure you remove all the little black particles from your teeth. I love this method because it forces people to floss and we ALL know how I feel about regular flossing...if you don't know, I feel strongly about it. Do it. It's important. *Steps down from soapbox*

That's it! I keep my container in a cool, dark area on my bathroom countertop and I brush my teeth with it each night. Because there is no sensitivity associated with whitening with activated charcoal, I use this toothpaste as maintenance in addition to my regular whitening routine.

There you have it! Cheap, easy and most importantly...effective! Now go show off your blinding pearly whites!
July 14, 2014

DIY Gel Manicure with NO Lamp!

Helllllo, lovers! I deeply apologize for my blogging absence as of late. I have been enjoying this summer weather with my little guy and have spent almost the past week battling the worst sinus infection from HELL. I think you'll like what I have for you on this fine Monday morning. Or should I say on this fine #manimonday (Good God I swore I'd never use that hashtag). Whelp! I hope you're ready to save some SERIOUS SCRILL because what I'm about to show you makes me so excited that I feel like if I had to explain this in person, I'd be fumbling and jumbling and stuttering all my words up because I just couldn't get them all out in time!


I can't remember how I stumbled on Hairspray & Highheels AMAZING post about DIY gel nails, but boy howdy!! Am I glad I did! Angela (the blog owner over at H&H) wrote the coolest post including a tutorial and 7 day photo test. She makes it SUPER simple to follow and made the cutest little "how-to" that you can "Pin" to your nail themed Pinterest board (here's mine)! I had made a mental note that I wanted to try it and told myself next time I was near Sally's Beauty Supply, I'd pop in for this incredible little bottle of clear miracle polish.

If you love gel and shellac manicures as much as I do, then you know how frustrating it can be when you have to do your own manicure at home and wait for the inevitable first chip. Sometimes it happens the next day, sometimes you're lucky and you can make it a few days. I wash my hands A LOT. I do a lot of dishes. I change a lot of diapers (more hand-washing), I do a lot of laundry. My point isn't to tell you that I keep up my end of the bargain in the housekeeping department, it's that my hands see a lot of abuse and a lot of water which means manicures don't tend to last long around these parts. That's the beauty of shellac or gel manicures. They are cured with a UV lamp and they don't budge. At all. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of running to the nail salon every 2 weeks to have my shellac properly removed and reapplied. With this method, you just need the bottle of American Classics GELOUS Advanced Nail Gel Coat, any polish of your choice, and top coat of your choice. I will tell you that if you haven't used Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. Out of the billions of clear top coats I've used, this one is leaps and bounds above the others. It really does dry insanely fast AND it gives the glossiest, shiniest finish. Do yourself a favor, and pick it up when you get your bottle of Gelous. The two together make the cutest couple since Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

Here's what you do:

Step 1 | make sure your nails are bare and don't have any oils or lotions on them. If you want to moisturize or rub a cuticle oil in beforehand, make sure you take a Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover and carefully remove any residue from nails before you apply your first coat of polish.
Step 2 | apply a very thin coat of Gelous to nails. Make SURE you wait at least 45 seconds before you apply your nail polish.
Step 3 | apply a very thin coat of the nail polish color of your choice (I used China Glaze in color "Japanese Koi" which is kind of a neon orange red). Again, wait at least 45 seconds to dry.
Step 4 | apply another very thin coat of Gelous to nails. Wait 45 seconds to dry.
Step 5 | apply another thin coat of the nail polish color of your choice.
Step 6 | apply top coat of choice. Again, I used Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat. Wait 45 seconds to dry.
Step 7 | apply one more coat of Gelous and let dry.

That's it! You're done! No curing under a UV light! You won't believe how shiny and glossy and sexy your new nails are and no worrying about them chipping off before you can say "Hey YOU! Check out my nails!" If you want your manicure to look as great as day 1, make sure you rub a good cuticle oil, coconut oil or olive oil into your cuticles daily to keep the skin around them soft and healthy. This easy step also keeps a bit of elasticity to your nails and polish which will give it major staying power. This makes a HUGE difference in the lifespan of a manicure.

You should be able to remove your new gel manicure with regular nail polish remover (you may have to soak a cotton ball in remover and let it sit on nails for a minute or two). If you have 100% pure acetone nail polish remover (you can find this alongside any normal nail polish remover) it will work a bit faster to remove your polish. Just make sure you wash your hands every well afterwards and then moisturize and rub some cuticle oil or coconut oil (or olive oil) into your nails and cuticles.

Here's how my mani held up after a week! I would have left it on longer, but I wanted to give myself a festive glitter mani for the 4th of July!


July 2, 2014

Get Festive :: 4th of July Style!

4th of July Picks


Y'all ready for the 4th?! There are some seriously fun red, white & blue pieces I've noticed lately while dinking around online. I made sure to only select items that can also be found in-store just in case you gotta have it before Friday and don't want to pay for overnight shipping (who even does that anyway???)
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Flag Bikini Top | Nothing says "Happy Birthday, America!" like wearing the flag on your chest! Plus you can totally mix and match and either get red and white striped bottoms OR blue and white stars!
Chino Shorts | I'm obsessed with chino shorts. They just fit amazingly well and this is a super cute print.  
MTV Tank Top | Anytime I see the MTV logo, it reminds me of sneaking watching rap videos with my brother in elementary school which makes me feel kind of like a bad ass. Does MTV still show music videos? This American flag, crop top version is way too cool. 
Navy Eyeliner | Navy eyeliner looks pretty on everyone. 'Nuff said.
Navy Stripe Pullover Hoodie | How cute is this striped hoodie?? It looks like it would fit nice and lean and long which I'm way into. I imagine this would look SO adorbs underneath a denim jacket for late night campfires.
Polka Dot Dress | I've spotted this dress (see what I did there) a few times on my regular trips through Target and it is so cute! It's very "All American Girl" without being annoying. Would be so cute with those white Converse or a pair of sandals. 
White Converse Shoes | White Chucks are kind of a wardrobe staple and these ones are PERFECT with their red and blue stripes. 
Young & Free Tote | Canvas tote bags are a must have to haul all your crap around in in the Summertime. This is just a basic tote with lots of room and the caption on the front is so fitting for the 4th, don't ya think?!
Statement Necklace | This is another Target piece that has had my eye for a while and it's under $20!! How cute is this chunky fan design? This could totally be carried over with so many different outfits. I love the cornflower blue and cranberry together.
Red Matte Lip Crayon | Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are one of my all time favorite lip products. The colors are TO die for. My fave reds are "Pop Life", "Red Square" and "Cruella". 
Star Hoodie | Okay so this is from the Boy's section of Old Navy, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret. You can find some seriously cute items here (and in the Men's section but that's a different post all together) if you get the sizing right. I usually wear a medium or large depending on the item. I'd probably go large in the hoodie so it's slouchy. 
Glitter Nail Polish | Formula X has so many awesome glitter top coats. I just about stood up and put my hand over my heart when I saw this red, white, and blue one! I'd pop this over an opaque white base coat to really see the colors of the glitter. God Bless America!

What do you guys have planned for the 4th? Hope everyone has a fabulous and SAFE holiday!
June 30, 2014

How to Bust Out of Your Beauty Rut




Ruts. They come in all shapes and sizes. Fashion ruts, food ruts, activity ruts and the very common beauty rut. It seems we're all pros at pointing the finger at other women who appear to be in a beauty rut. Some are glaringly obvious to spot: the woman you work with sporting a lovely femme-mullet you know she's had since the 80s. The woman at the grocery store wearing blue eyeshadow clear up to her eyebrows. Stevie Wonder could identify these ruts. It's the ruts that (gasp) we...yes MYSELF included, get into that are hard to break because they are hard to pinpoint. 

There is nothing wrong with finding what works for you and sticking with it. It's what we call a "signature look" and it's part of what makes us..well, us. But you know what takes skill? Learning how to give your classic look a tweak here and there. It keeps things fresh and forces us to break out of our beauty comfort zones. You never know, you may learn that what you thought was working best for you really isn't the most flattering. Just like our mothers used to say when we were little brats "how will you know unless you TRY?" 

Now, before you start getting all clammy and nervous that I'm going to suggest you color your hair indigo, get feathered eyelash extensions and start experimenting with body piercings (don't worry, those won't be on the list) I have broken these up into "threat level categories". You know, a color-coded threat advisory scale, so to speak, that will help you determine exactly what you're in the market to try. We'll start at the bottom and work our way up. Here are our categories so you know what we'll be working with:

Red (Severe): severe risk
Orange (High): high risk
Yellow (Elevated): significant risk
Blue (Guarded): general risk
Green (Low): low risk

I think it's important to point out that what I have listed as "low risk" may be in the "high risk" category to someone else and visa versa. This is the beauty of subjectivity. Everyone has their own opinion and comfort level. Keeping in the spirit of open-mindedness, try to see these ideas as suggestions and don't get too caught up on where they fall on MY scale. Have fun with it and see if you can come up with any more ideas that you might be ready and willing to try out! Maybe some of these will get your creative juices flowing...

LOW RISK
- Switch up your part from one side to the other. Not only does this give you just enough of a change to feel refreshed and different, it can give limp and lifeless hair the "oomph" and volume it may be needing.
- Have your stylist style your hair differently at your next appointment. If you're not ready for a completely new cut or color, just ask your hair stylist to style you differently than they normally do. Usually go for sleek and straight? Have them give you beachy waves. Usually curly? Have them give you a sleek blow-out. Worst case scenario? You don't like it and you can go home and fix it. No harm, no foul.
- Try a different makeup formula. If you normally wear a pencil eyeliner, try a liquid or gel. If you only wear lipgloss, try an actual tube lipstick with a cream or satin finish. If you normally wear powder blush, try a cream or stick formula. Tiny tweaks like this can be a fun way to keep your signature "look" but give you a range of options on how to achieve it.

GENERAL RISK
- Switch your "focal point" on your face. If you usually go with a bold lip and a clean and basic eye, try a nude lipstick or sheer gloss and go big with your eyes. Try a dramatic liquid liner and a full set of lashes. Or go visit a cosmetic counter (or Sephora) and ask them to show you how to do a smokey eye. If you normally like to play up your eyes, try switching to a defining mascara and a clean, simple liner and a bold, punchy lip! There are so many fun lip products out there, you'd be insane not to give them a try! Stains, glosses, jumbo crayons, gloss stains, lacquers...the possibilities are endless!
- Have your eyebrows professionally "done". Go visit a brow specialist. I'm not talking about getting your brows waxed at a chop-shop nail salon DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT do this. That is NOT a brow specialist. There are so many places that offer incredible brow services such as Anastasia Beverly Hills brow bars at Nordstrom stores, Benefit Brow Bars at Macy's and select Ulta locations as well as highly skilled estheticians that work in salons and spas in your area. They can help you determine the best shape and arch as well as cleaning up any strays around your face. It makes such a difference and can really make you look so much more pulled together and polished.
- Get bangs or fringe. Having your stylist snip bangs can be a great way to update your look. There are so many options: full, thick straight across bangs, long side-swept bangs, wispy fringe, baby bangs, etc. Hop online ahead of time and grab some of your favorites for reference so you don't have to rely on your memory or verbal skills in case you panic last minute.

SIGNIFICANT RISK
- Give your makeup bag a serious makeover. And I mean it. Start with a new bag, sometimes that can be just as exciting as what's inside! Throw out all your junky, broken, old, smelly makeup (make a list of what you tossed so you know what to refresh) and take yourself shopping! Here's your one rule: you are not allowed to buy the same things you tossed out. If you absolutely can't live without your black pencil eyeliner, try a different brand! If you don't think you can breathe without your mauve lipstick, choose the same color, but try a different finish. If you've been using the same pressed powder since high school, see if it comes in a loose powder formula, who knows...you may LOVE it! Branch out! Play around! Makeup isn't permanent so really push yourself to evolve and try new things!
- Visit a cosmetic counter and tell them to do whatever they want on you. Tell them to demonstrate some of the latest trends in beauty products. This can be scary, but remember, it can be removed if you hate it.
- Get your lashes tinted or try eyelash extensions. Make sure you do your research and even ask your friends for suggestions on who they visit if they get them done. This is not a service you want to "wing it" with.
- Get a new hair cut. If you've only ever had trims or have had your stylist do the exact same thing every single time, think about a new do. Not just a new style, but a new CUT. Talk to your stylist about your face shape, lifestyle (how much time you have to style your hair), personal style, etc. and find a new look that will flatter your face! 
- Get a new hair color. If you've always wanted to be a redhead, go for it! What's holding you back? If you're tired of the same old blonde foil, think about trying an all-over color or some rich low-lights. If you're feeling bored with your all-over color, ask your stylist about a balayage or some block coloring to add some depth in!

HIGH RISK
- Have a head-to-toe makeover at a reputable salon. Tell the front desk you want a completely new look including a makeup application. Make sure you communicate with your hair stylist and makeup artist and tell them that you want a complete update, but make sure they hear your concerns and desires as well. Just because you want a new look doesn't give them carte blanche to do whatever they want. However, try to be open minded and trust their skill. Just make sure you are all on the same page BEFORE anyone starts their work so you don't panic halfway through. 
- Get a texturizing service for your hair. Notice how we don't use the word "perm" anymore? I think it evokes memories of over-processed, frizzy, spiral, poodle-esque styles we got so used to seeing in the 90s. Texture services these days have improved greatly. You can achieve anything from soft, beachy waves to full, bouncy curls using all sorts of non-conventional tools. Make sure you find a salon/stylist that specializes in texturizing services and ask to see some of their work if you are nervous. Here are a few examples of amazing textured hairstyles that can be achieved through perming services:
 
SEVERE RISK
I don't really consider anything "severe risk" territory unless it's permanent and can't be reversed. Things like permanent makeup, plastic surgery, veneers, etc. I might also consider shaving your head a severe risk (even though it can be grown back out). Besides what I have listed here, what would you consider a RED LEVEL or "severe risk" change? I'm curious to know what other people consider the scariest level of change!

June 23, 2014

How to Get Perfect Skin with Color Correcting Products

Color Correcting Beauty Products


I know you've seen them out there. Green concealers, purple primers, kaleidoscope-esque finishing powders. Most people know that green concealers and primers can counteract redness and hide pimples, but if the other colors are confusing as to what to be used for or how to mask and correct, let me break it down for you, mmmkay? I'm personally a big fan of green concealer for around my nose and mouth and yellows and pinks for under my eye area. Check out the below "skin concerns" and how to combat them!

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Bright red zit || Rosacea || Red cheeks || Redness around nose/mouth
If you didn't learn the basic color wheel in school, allow me to very simply explain that identifying the opposite color on the wheel can counteract the color or "tone" you are wanting to address. Green is the opposite of red, so it works wonders for covering obnoxious pimples, red or inflamed skin around the nose and mouth and bright red cheeks. If you have a pinkish or red tone all over, green primers (like this and this ) are a fantastic option to perfect your base before you apply foundation, other wise, use a green cream concealer for smaller areas and a green stick concealer for pimples.

Sallow Complexion
If you aren't familiar with the term "sallow", it basically means sickly and yellow looking. For example, when I'm sick with the flu or feeling nauseated, I usually get a yellowish and generally "ill" look to my skin. This is where lilac shades come into play. They can really perk up a sad skin tone. Favorites: Clinique, Smashbox, NYX Concealer in a Jar, NYX Concealer in a Stick, NYX Concealer Wand.

Lifeless, Pale Skin
Dull, lifeless skin can look very different on different skin tones. Lackluster, pale skin needs different attention than dull olive or deep complexions. If you're very pale (or porcelain) and need some "oomph", a blue undertoned primer like the Koh Gen Do primer or the Make Up For Ever HD primer in blue, can add a beautiful radiance and give a "porcelain" finish to pale complexions.

Dull, Medium to Deep Skin
If you have medium to deep skin and you feel like your complexion is dull, you'll want to go the peach route. Peach can really brighten, illuminate and combat hyper-pigmentation (sun spots, etc.) These two primers are fabulous options for you: Smashbox 'Photo Finish' Luminizing Primer and Clinique Superprimer to correct dullness in deeper skins.

Dull, Pale to Light Skin
Pink primers and pink undertoned creamy concealers can really zap dullness and add brightness to the lighter skinned ladies. I have pale skin but lean more towards "light" (as opposed to porcelain) so pink works better for me instead of the blue mentioned above. Some favorites: Koh Gen Do primer, Clinique Superprimer, Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen in "0 Bright Idea) and Make Up For Ever HD Primer in "07 Pink".

Purplish, Blueish or Plum Toned Under Eye Circles
I don't know a whole lot of women who don't suffer from this one. If you don't, then la-dee-dah for you! Just kidding, I'm actually very jealous. I typically don't notice bad circles under my peepers unless I was up too late (so....every night practically) or if I'm not feeling well. I always make sure I have some type of creamy yellow concealer on hand as it addresses a MULTITUDE of problems (I also find that I like yellow better for my red areas sometimes instead of green which can be a little too harsh when I only need a little help.) A few years ago, YSL introduced new shades into their classic Touche Eclat family that included a ".5" to the end of their existing colors. Any shade you see in this range with a ".5" after it has more of a yellow or gold undertone to it as opposed to pink or peach under tone. It was a GREAT idea on their behalf and now every skin tone is represented. A few more favorites: Clinique Superprimer, Benefit LemonAid (fabulous for eyelids and setting concealer under the eye area) and NYX Concealer in a Stick.

Universal || For All Skin Tones
Lastly, a multi-colored finishing powder or multi-colored CC cream can be used to correct multiple skin issues at once. Grab yourself a big, fluffy powder brush, swirl all the colors together and set your foundation. Other favorite multi-colored finishing powders: Stila Set & Correct Baked Powder Trio (LOVE this stuff!) and NYX Radiant Finishing Powder.




June 18, 2014

The Absolute BEST Places to Buy Makeup Online

I get asked pretty frequently where I do my online shopping for makeup. I have a handful of go-to places but I typically check around for things like price (duh), shipping, freebies, gifts-with-purchase, etc. to get the most bang for my buck. Below I've broken down my favorite places to shop for cosmetics along with a short snippet of why they're great.

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1 | Ulta I shop at Ulta a lot. They usually always have what I'm looking for, their prices are great, they always have either a $3.50 off coupon or a 20% off coupon (that can be used online or in store) and I love that I can get both (some) luxury lines along with drugstore brands all in one place. They have makeup, haircare, skincare, hair accessories, nail care, a salon, the list goes on and on. Also, their rewards program is really awesome! All sorts of different perks AND you get a full-sized luxury product on your birthday! Sign up if you haven't already! If you don't have an Ulta near you, check them out online! Don't forget to choose your 3 free samples at checkout!

2 | Sephora I honestly don't know of a woman who doesn't know about Sephora. They have all my favorite brands and their Beauty Insider program is fabulous. They also do the 3 free samples at checkout, so don't forget to do that!

3 | Nordstrom Obviously you can shop in-store for personalized service, however, shopping for cosmetics online at Nordstrom is also a great resource. Nordstrom does a great job at giving you all the latest trends in makeup on their website with things like their Beauty Concierge, New Arrivals, and Recommendations. Just like Ulta and Sephora, you also can choose 3 free samples at checkout. Lastly, if you weren't aware, Nordstrom recently adopted a free-shipping and free-return policy. They ship (almost) anything on their site for free to anywhere in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). This is a great option if you buy something and don't love it and need to return it. Once again, Nordstrom coming in clutch with amazing service!

4 | Target Seriously...I love this store. I'm there about 3 times a week. However, when I can't make it in or can't find something in the store, I look online. I have a Target RedCard so I get free shipping on anything (no minimum) and 5% off all my purchases. It makes it a great option if I'm running low on a product and don't want to drive in, since I don't have to pay for shipping! Also exciting, Target recently added premium skincare lines Borghese, Vichy Laboratories, Laneige, La-Roche Posay, MD Complete, 29, and Own Beauty. All of a sudden shopping at Target just got a lot more high-brow!

5 | Beauty.com If you've heard of Drugstore.com, then you've probably seen the extra "tab" along the top of their website for Beauty.com. They have TONS of great brands and since they are a shared site, you can grab your higher end cosmetics, put them in your shopping cart, and then click the Drugstore.com tab and add whatever drugstore products you need and they go to the same shopping cart! SO convenient! Free shipping over $35, free returns, free samples. Things like "save your list" and "auto-reorder and save" and advice and trends. Also make sure to check out their Gifts with Purchase options to see if you can nab any cool deluxe samples with items you already need to swoop up!

6 | Directly at the cosmetic websites. You may be wondering why you'd do this as opposed to finding them at Sephora or Nordstrom. Well sometimes the websites have special offers, freebies and sales that the department stores don't have. Sometimes they have exclusive products that you can't find anywhere but from them. Lastly, most of them offer some type of percentage off your first order if it's the first time you've shopped with them! Some of my favorites are: Urban Decay, MAC, NARS, Benefit, YSL Beauty, NYX Cosmetics, Smashbox and Tarte.

And please don't forget, if you are going to be doing some online shopping, check to see if they are a participating retailer on Ebates so you can get some of your money back. It's free and so easy to sign up. I get money back constantly for taking a couple seconds beforehand to check them out and find my retailer first.

If you become familiar with all the different options for shopping for cosmetics online, you'll be amazed at how much you can save (and score in freebies)! Think outside the box and do some research before you commit to the first thing that comes to mind! Happy shopping!
 
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