Beauty Deals & Steals: NYX Tricks of the Trade Travel Kit

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Disclaimer: I do not own any of these photos nor am I claiming any rights to them. They were sent to me via email by NYX (customerservice@nyxcosmeticsmail.com)


 

Hi my belles! I am so excited to be bringing this post to you! This morning I was scrolling through my emails per usual, and I came across an email from NYX. I always check them to keep up with their new products, and this week they were promoting the NYX Tricks of the Trade Travel Kit. As a Freelance Artist I know how hard it is to find a collection of products for your kit that work. Well I am here to tell you I have tried nearly all of these (sans 2) products and they work! I think it is fabulous that NYX now offers these in a convenient kit. I have several of them in my train case already and they work as well as more expensive products on the market. The best part of this kit might be the tiny price tag…just $25 for all 7 products! In the words of Nitraa B…”you can’t beat that with a stick!” Available now on NYX’s website.  Happy shopping!

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Beauty Deals & Steals: Wet N’ Wild | Fergie Highlight in Hollywood Boulevard

I recently paid a trip to my local CVS to use the plethora of Extra-bucks I had in my possession. As a bon-a-fide regular they know what I’m always on the hunt for; it’s like they make a point to ensure the NEW! displays are in my line of sight. On this particular day I went straight to the Wet N’ Wild section after seeing a new highlighter on Kathleen Lights’ YouTube channel. Needless to say with it’s $4.99 price tag I didn’t hesitate to lay my hands on Mrs. Josh Duhmel’s latest collab with Wet N’ Wild. It is everything I thought it would be and more! The pan and my pathetic swatch do not do it justice. This highlighter is smooth, buttery, glides on the face like silk, and is the perfect champagne gold color with a hint of a rosey hue. If you don’t believe me try it out yourself. You will thank me later!IMG_3999IMG_3997

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This product can also be found at Walgreen’s, Duane Reade and Walmart.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Review

Hourglass Edit

Today I am feeling inspired and lately that hasn’t been the case. If you didn’t already notice, there has been a lack of updated content! Anywho…I am not writing to discuss my personal life or recent resurgence of said “social” life, but rather the controversial item in the photo above. That little baby is the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit.

Hourglass compiled some of it’s best and brightest powders, blushes, and one bronzer to make up this palette. There are six pans total: (Left to Right) Dim Light, Iridescent Strobe Light, Diffused Light, Mood Exposure, Luminous Flush, and Luminous Bronze Light. Each pan is approximately the size of an old school NYX powder blush if you can remember the square packaging. I saw mixed reviews on Sephora.com; many negative reviews citing the size of the pans as the palette’s downfall. A number of shoppers even went as far to say that they could not fit brushes into one pan without picking up product from another.

Other reasons for dislike or return were the price ($80), and value. After reading these reviews I admit I became a skeptic, but I waited for it to arrive before making any decision. When it came I was pleasantly surprised that many consumers over exaggerated about the size and value of the product. The pans are big enough for me to fit my E.L.F. tapered brush, Sigma angled contour brush, and Morphe M501 brush inside. I do not find it difficult to use and the actual powders are just as high quality as any other Hourglass product I own.

The intent of the Ambient Light Edit was to give Hourglass customers and newbies to the brand a chance to try six products in one palette. If purchased separately each powder would cost $35, a total of $210. I don’t know about you but I am not interested in dropping that kind of cash! The powders are light weight, not chalky, and give a beautiful lit from within appearance. The bronzer does have shimmer as it is mixed with lighting powder, so if a Matte shade is your preference this may not be your cup of tea. The pans offer plenty of product for occasional use, which is about how often most of us use these types of powders with many options in our collection! Overall, I find the palette worth the $80 price tag, and if you’re into Hourglass powders you’ll want to pick this one up for sure!

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E.L.F Matte Lip Color

ELF Matte

I recently posted a photo of myself on my Instagram wearing a bright berry lip that garnered lots of attention. (See Below) I was surprised at the amount of buzz I was getting wearing a $3 product! If only my higher end lippies got that much love. When a friend asked what I was wearing I didn’t hesitate to share my bargain beauty find. “You won’t believe that it’s an E.L.F. matte lip color, ” I boasted. “And it was only three bucks!” I have a total of four of these fabulous finds now: Berry Sorbet, Praline, Coral, and Tea Rose.

The formula of this product is smooth and glides on easily despite its matte finish. The pointed tip makes application a breeze even in those hard to reach corners of the mouth; it can even be used to line the lips so you can mix and match colors for a cool ombre look! There is no unusual smell to these babies, so if you are sensitive to what goes below your sniffer no worries E.L.F. has that covered. All in all there is nothing bad I can say about this product. It is lost cost and high quality that most matte lip lovers will flock to.

Of course you can still find E.L.F products in your neighborhood Target and at their website eyeslipsface.com but E.L.F. has also expanded their market into actual drugstores. I found my Coral lip color just last week in my local CVS and have seen several new displays in my Walgreens housing their products. They have even popped up in Wal*Mart! Needless to say if you want to find this product or another by E.L.F look no further than your usual drugstore haunts. Happy shopping!

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Me wearing Berry Sorbet
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Review: NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette

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Long awaited…review on this product I have had for months! I think I have talked about this on my channel for the last six weeks, but I am just now getting around to posting this review. There is a lot of hype surrounding highlight and contour palettes right now. Frankly they are all the rage! Just about every major cosmetics label has one out right now: be it a duo, trio, six-pan, cream, or powder. The most notable of the high-end brands are Anastasia Beverly Hills and the Kat Von D Shade and Light. While I have tried a contour pan by Anastasia, I have not tried or purchased the palette by Kat Von D. I merely swatched the palette the last time I went into Sephora.

I was all set to shell out my $46 to purchase the Kat Von D palette until I saw a review of the NYX palette on Lustre Lux’s channel. At $25.99 the NYX palette was a fraction of the cost and NYX has a reputation of being a higher quality affordable brand. I purchased mine directly from the NYX website. It took entirely too long to get here, but when it arrived all eight of the pans were intact. I tried it out the next day, and one thing I quickly figured out is that the powders go on much better with a natural fiber (or natural fiber feel) brush as opposed to a synthetic brush. I use a natural fiber contour brush that I got in a set from Sephora.

When using a synthetic brush the color does not deposit on to the brush well; therefore the power is not as pigmented. When using a natural fiber brush the colors are pigmented and very blend able. The palette contains four highlight colors and four contour colors. I would say that this palette is great for all skin tones, but especially friendly for those of us with a bit more pigmentation than others! Which is my book is a win, however, if you are of a very fair porcelain skin tone I would steer clear of this as a contour palette. The colors may come off muddy on a very fair skin tone. I would also discourage anyone with a very deep skin tone from purchasing this palette. If your shade is an NC 55 or higher even the deepest shade may not give you the desired results for contour. Also the palette’s pans pop out to be replaced which is an extremely cool feature for a drugstore priced product!

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Overall I would give this palette a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Minus a star simply because you cannot use a variety of brushes with the palette. Many makeup lovers have synthetic as well as natural fiber brushes in our collections. Only being able to use a natural fiber brush with this palette is extremely limiting. Check out the swatches below!

Swatched with the Flash On

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Highlighters

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Contour Powders

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How I Care for my Skin

I recently posted a video on my new channel about how I care for my skin. I couldn’t go into too much detail there because videos are supposed to be a condensed version of what you may find on my blog. It’s here that I get to be a wordsmith and elaborate on what I could not orate via YouTube. The products I use regularly are listed below, along with the benefits I see after utilizing each product.

Hydrogen Peroxide

I’ll admit this one isn’t for everyone, and you shouldn’t use this everyday, but I use it every other day to rid my skin of additional bacteria that my cleanser may have missed. The great thing is that it foams so you know it’s working on all those nasty little buggers trying to break out your face. The body actually produces hydrogen peroxide through white blood cells as a first line of defense to bacteria.

Neutrogena Stress Control Toner

Ever used a toner that just made you say “ahhhhh” after putting it on your face? Then this one is for you! This is by far the most refreshing toner I have ever used and it works perfectly with my crazy stressed, hormonal skin! As we know I love my foundation, and this stuff gets any residual dirt my cleanser might leave behind. The best part is that it treats both active breakouts as well as emerging.

Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Cleansing Wash

If you haven’t had the chance to tune into my video, then you don’t know that I have very sensitive, very oily skin. I discovered Boots Expert Gentle Cleansing Wash after watching another fellow acne prone, sensitive skin YouTuber’s video, JoshCollierMUA. Josh’s skin is dry so I was skeptical on this one, but it really works! It’s a light, airy foam that penetrates the skin to deep clean and makes it feel soft and nourished. It also doesn’t have much of a smell which is great because some of us have faces that don’t agree with fragrances!

Queen Helene Gentle Oatmeal n’ Honey Scrub

In a world where one has plenty of options when it comes to facial scrubs, this $3 one by Queen Helene is bae!; for me anyway. I love this stuff! It smells yummy and oatmeal calms skin irritation and redness; not to mention honey is a pre-biotic that stops yeast and bacteria from flourishing. Yay for honey!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

Sure you look like a creepy, little green martian when you put this mask on, but that is what pamper nights are for. You may look funny, but there is nothing funny about this powerful and inexpensive mask that draws out impurities with mint and sulfur. If you’ve got a “friend” that recently has taken residence on your beautiful countenance send him packing with the Mint Julep mask!

Freeman Clay Mask | Avocado & Oatmeal

This one happens to be green too but I promise it is worth looking like the Jolly Green Giant to have gorgeous skin! The bottle even says “purges pores”. It is a lot more mild than the Mint Julep mask and if you aren’t partial to the mint smell this is a great alternative. I love it for a nice switch up, because as we know our skin gets used to things, and once again it contains oatmeal which is fabulous for my irritable skin.

CVS Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF

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An awesome dupe for the more pricey Neutrogena moisturizer; I use this on my face every single day. It has light SPF so you don’t get that awful flashback in photos, but you still get the benefits of protection from the suns rays. I say that’s a win!

Pond’s Clarant B3 Cream

Because all of us cannot afford those fabulous lightening/whitening creams from Shiseido; this Pond’s cream is an amazing alternative. The price tag is also considerably smaller at just $4.98 at your local Walmart. This heavy cream packs a punch when it comes to moisture so you should use it at night when your skin is at rest and not exposed to the elements. As an added bonus this bad boy lightens and fades hyperpigmentation. Just be sure to stay out of the sun if you do wear this during the day as it will be counterproductive.

That about wraps up my laundry list of products! I hope you guys will check out my new channel and continue to support me there as well. Thank you for all you do! xo

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*Gorge Products Review

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I was recently sent a few samples from a company called *Gorge. I first encountered them on Instagram. Some of my favorite bloggers were buzzing about their hair products. Of course I had to investigate for myself. I went to their website to find out what all of the fuss was about. Needless to say, as a beauty vlogger/blogger I signed up as an “influencer” and landed some freebies.

Upon first use I honestly did not notice much of a difference other than my hair being a bit more volumized. I went back to the site to find out what hair types the product targeted. I found there was no type, but the claim was all hair types could use *Gorge’s products. Initially I was skeptical, as an ethnic person I often have a hard time with that statement.

I used the sulfate free shampoo, conditioner, and the leave-in spray. Each has a cute name like: I’ll Make you look Amazing, and No More Bad Hair Days. They also have sleek black packaging with colored, light reflective lettering. The packaging is awfully cute, but it’s what is inside that counts and let me be the first to tell you that what is inside is ahhhmazing!

The second time that I used the product. I had just added violet streaks to the front and a peek-a-boo highlight to the back of my head. After pre-lightning my hair with bleach and then dying it again I expected my hair to feel and look fried. Not thanks to *Gorge! My hair was smooth and silky like it always is and it may have even looked healthier than the first time.

I admit when it comes to hair products I am a picky creature of habit and I don’t like to try new things. However, this time I am glad I took the plunge and did not miss out on a fabulous product. *Gorge has definitely made a believer out of me and I will definitely be ordering full size product soon.

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2nd Wash

 

 

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Disclaimer: I am not a hair care professional or licensed cosmetologist. I also have thick, curly hair and only wash it once every ten days. Everyone has different hair texture so what works for me may not work for you.

 

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Beauty on a Budget: NYC Lip Lacquer Review

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I guess I figured I would do some actually blogging today! More seriously, one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 is to take my blog more serious. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and I definitely need some therapy at the moment! High school teaching is not living the dream…you heard it here first!

If you’ve been trolling your local drugstore like I often do (seriously they know me at my CVS) then you may have noticed the plethora of NEW! signs plastered in the cosmetics section. I am a sucker for those signs so naturally I followed the glossy, colored paper toward a new lip product. I always peruse all of the brands in cosmetics, but I must say it is rare that I pick up anything NYC.

Don’t get me wrong, there are things in their line that are fantastic, but it isn’t the first place I gravitate to. On this particular CVS trip the new NYC lip lacquers caught my eye. I am usually not a fan of lacquers or liquid lipsticks because I find them to be quite drying. However, I’ve been dying to try the Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick since I saw them on Elba Navarro’s channel. Those bad boys are $23 a pop!

Since I am working on a Teacher’s salary and paydays are once a month; I wanted to explore a less expensive option first. I picked up an NYC lip lacquer in Coney Island Cotton Candy, which in true NYC style, was named after an iconic landmark in New York. It is a bright fabulous pink with a blue based undertone, a true Barbie pink. I wore it the next day thinking at only $3.99 it wouldn’t last long.

Imagine my surprise when I looked in the mirror at the end of a 7 hour school day and there was still color on my lips. It wasn’t as flawless as when I applied it at 6:30 AM, but it still looked presentable. My lips didn’t peel because they were dry, the color wasn’t patchy, and I didn’t feel like I wanted to scrub my lips to remove a sticky film.

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At the end of my day

NYC’s website describes their latest innovation as: rich lip color, high coverage, long wearing, light weight texture, hydrating/moisturizing, comfortable all day, non sticky, and doesn’t dry lips. Of the bulk of claims I particularly agree with the statements that the product is long wearing, comfortable, hydrating, and rich in color. I don’t think it’s a high coverage product seeing that I had to apply a few swipes to get the full color as it appears in the container. However, the colors are gorgeous so well worth the work. Overall I would say this product is worth a try and certainly worth the tiny price tag of $3.99. I purchased three of them!

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CVS/Ulta Beauty Deals and Steals

   I have not purposely been neglecting my blog. I began a post last weekend and I actually ended up losing all of my work because like a dummy…I did not save my work! I have recovered from the anger and I’m ready to write again…lol. A few weeks ago now I had so many CVS coupons and discounts I feel like I could have purchased half of the store. However you know what I used all those perks on…beauty products!

   If you’re not in the know, CVS has a Beauty Club program in addition to the Extracare Card. Beauty junkies like myself can appreciate the fact that every $50 you spend on Beauty gets you 5 Extrabucks! I literally shop CVS once a week even if I am just browsing the store…they know me at every CVS within a 10 mile radius of my home…haha. So I recently had a handful of coupons that earned me a whopping $30 off! My damage ended up being 9 items for a total of about $40 which in unheard of as the cost of drugstore cosmetics has been on a steady climb. 
   I also popped my head into Ulta in search of the elusive Revlon CC cream in Medium/Deep. I’ve decided that unless you order that shade direct from Revlon it is like the Easter Bunny…you’ll never see it! Well you know I did not leave my Mothership empty handed. Ardell lashes were on redline so I picked up a pair of the new Lash Lites in #335. I’ve worn them about 3 times since then and they are super comfortable. After grabbing those and a bottle of Sally Hansen Xtreme Nails ; I was quickly informed at the register that Ulta’s Beauty Club Rewards program was changing and it was my last chance to select a free item with my points. 
   Needless to say I picked up my item of choice as instructed: NYX Butter lip balm in Parfait. The new Ulta rewards system is easier to understand and a lot more to the point and succinct. In short the more you spend the more points you earn; the more points you earn the more discounts you get off merchandise…sound familiar?! (See above) 
   I hope you guys are having a fabulous week and enjoyed this post! The products I purchased are pictured and listed below. Please leave a comment if you would like a review on any of these products! xo
Top Row (left to right): Milani Brilliant Shine gloss in Mai Tai and Nude Touch, Maybelline Eye Studio quad in Nude Romance, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Nude Compliment, Sally Hansen Xtreme Nail in Lacey Lilac
Center Row: Milani Power Lip in Macaroon, Ardell Lash Lites in #335, Black Radience shadow palette in Urban Jungle, Maybelline Buffs lipstick in Nude Compliment, NYX Butter Lip Balm in Parfait
Bottom Row: NYX gel liner in Dark Brown, NYC Brow/Eye Liner in Sable 

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Spring 2014 Beauty Trend Report ft. Amber Lindsey (beautyguide101)

Hey y’all! I hope all is well. The weather in Dallas today is downright depressing. Thank goodness Spring is around the corner. Speaking of Spring, today’s post is a very special one. I want to share the beauty trend report for the upcoming season with all of you! I called in some reinforcements to give you a full range of tips and product recommendations. Amber Lindsey from BeautyGuide101 graciously agreed to collaborate with me. I hope you guys enjoy and please leave questions and comments below! Don’t forget to check out 
 
2014 Spring Trends: Soft Berry Lips, Bright Orange Lips, Blue Shadow/Liner, White shadow with white liner, Metallic lids with glitter, Glowing Skin, Pop of Green, Rosy Pink Shadow

Soft Berry Lips– A great way to wear soft berry lips is to first apply a clear coat of lip balm. This will moisturize your lips so they don’t look dry when you apply color. Next, take a berry lipstick and apply it to your lips using your ring finger. This will distribute color to your lips without looking to heavy or over- done. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Simply apply the color and press your lips together to smooth out any harsh lines. 

Try- Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Bit of Berry or MAC Rebel LipstickTry- NYX Loose Pearl Shadow in Oro or MAC pressed pigment in Blonde StreakTry-Wet N’Wild trio in I Dream of Greenie or Urban Decay’s KushTry-Milani powder shadow inTickled Pink or Laura Mercier baked eye color in Petal Pink
 
Bright Orange Lips– I LOVE this trend! When it comes to orange lipstick, go for a color with more red in it as opposed to more yellow. Too much yellow in an orange lipstick can be tricky to wear because it can make you look sickly. Unlike berry lips, orange lips look best when they are neat and clean. Take your orange lipstick and apply it with a lip brush to get a smooth line and even application. Clean up any mistakes with a Q-tip.
Try- Kiss Me Coral from Revlon or MAC Morange Lipstick
 

Blue Shadow/Liner
– This Spring, think saturated colors across the eyes. There are several ways to wear cerulean blues so it should be easy to pick a style that suits you best. One way is to line the lower lash line with the color while keeping the top half of the eye naked or neutral. Another way is to pop the color on the outer corner of your eye while keeping the inner two thirds of your eye free of the vibrant color. Lastly, the most subtle way to add color is with an eyeliner. Simply line your waterline and add mascara to curled lashes with neutral lids. 
Try- Milani Liquif’eye Eyeliners in Aqua and Blue. Also try Sephora Colorful Eyeshadow in Pool Party (18)
 

White Shadow/Liner– This is my favorite trend for the season by far! It was a hit on the runway during Fashion Week. Rock this look by sweeping a soft white over your entire lid and inner corner, then lining your waterline with a white Kohl liner. Feeling daring? Try doing a cat eye look with a white liquid liner instead of black. Load on the mascara to top off this fresh look. 
Try-Cover Girl SnowBlossom shadow or Urban Decay’s Zephyr. Liners: Rimmel Soft Kohl liner in Pure White or Lime Crime liquid liner in Lunar Sea
 
Metallic Lids w/Glitter– Girls’ Night Out won’t be the same when you step out wearing this look. To execute try foiling a shadow that already contains glitter or tap on a pigment with a spritz of Fix +. To foil a shadow all you need is a wet brush. You can wet the brush using water or Fix +. A great alternative to Fix + is eye drops. Any brand will do. Be sure to use a tapping motion when applying any product containing glitter. Tip: Apply your eye makeup first then do your foundation. This will sweep away any fall-out from the glitter.

Glowing Skin– Glowing skin is beautiful paired with the pops of colors mentioned. To keep your look from falling flat, make sure your skin is taken care of by exfoliating, moisturizing, and keeping a light hand when applying foundation. You want to look fresh for Spring, so stay away from heavy duty foundations that can make you look cakey. 

 
Pop of Green– This color is definitely for color lovers. Take any green shadow and drag it along your lower lash line. Keep the rest of your look neutral and let the green be the stand out. Think creamy shadow on the lid and a basic brown in the crease.

Rosy Pink Shadow-What better way to show your femininity than with the ultimate girly color? Be sure to use a flesh toned base before applying otherwise you may look sickly. Also, I would steer clear of this look if you are extremely Fair in complexion it may not be the most flattering. Put this color on your lids to give an ethereal appearance. Wear with just mascara for a soft and pretty presentation.

 


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