bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

I’m always trying new foundations, especially when it comes to liquid foundation.  I’m a diehard Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 fan, but I still like to have a trusty liquid option at hand.
I just recently finished a bottle of the fan favorite bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation in Bare Ivory 04.  When I purchased this product I also purchased the accompanying bareSkin Perfecting Face Brush.  
bareMinerals bareSkin

Photo from Sephora.com
At first I had mixed feelings on the bareSkin foundation, I thought it made me just a little too dewy.  My mom & my best friend also have this product, and they kind of felt the same way.  I remedied this problem by making sure I used my MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, once I did that I looked nice & matte.  I really liked how easy it was to blend and apply the foundation, the color matched me well, and it’s super lightweight.
One downside I found was that the bareSkin foundation didn’t offer a whole lot of coverage, so I really only used this as a foundation on days when I had no blemishes or extra redness.  If you’re looking for a heavier coverage I’d try looking for something different.  If you’re looking for a more lightweight formula that will deliver a super glow-y and dewy finish (especially if you have dry skin) then bareSkin is definitely for you.
As far as the bareSkin Perfecting Brush goes, I really like it, but I don’t think it’s necessary at all for the use of the foundation.  The foundation is released like a dropper, and you’re supposed to drop two droplets into the top of the brush.  bareMinerals says that’s the only amount of foundation you’ll need, but I found I always needed just a tiny bit more.  I guess it’s more of a personal preference choice for amount of coverage, but just keep in mind that the foundation is thin, and coverage may be minimal.

*Affiliate links used in this posting.

XO.
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Mascara 101: Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara

Looking for your mascara to deliver unbelievable curl and length?? Well then, the Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara is certainly for you…and here’s why…
Not a day goes by where I don’t wear mascara- it’s just one of my things.  I just cannot not wear mascara.  
I’ve been blessed with super long lashes, so my #1 necessity in a great mascara is its curling ability, and hey, if it’s also great at lengthening, so be it.
Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara

Marcelle is a great brand, I’m a fan of their BB cream, bronzer, and gloss, so when I got a hold of the Xtension Plus Mascara I naturally had high hopes.  Now, as I said, length really isn’t an issue for me, so I can’t speak to whether or not it’ll really help lashes that need that length factor.  I can however speak to its amazing curl ability.  My lashes look bold and voluminous when I use this mascara…and seeing that I’ve never had issues with clumping, it’s been absolutely perfect for me since I started using it.

The formula is so light looking and feeling, which I love.  I hate when the mascara wand looks clumpy or as if it as too much product on it- the Xtension Plus wand doesn’t allow for that.  In fact the Marcelle wand is super simple and thin, I cannot stand ridiculously fancy mascara wands, I always find the wand is what’s causing the clumping, not always the formula of the mascara.

If you’re looking for a new brand of Mascara to try that isn’t too expensive, join the waitlist over at Birchbox for the Marcelle Xtension Plus
Heard great things about Birchbox?! Sign up here for an awesome monthly beauty box at your door for only $10 a month! I’ve been using Birchbox for years and I cannot tell you how excited I am when I receive my box each month!
Marcelle Xtension Plus Mascara | $13
XO.
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Brighten Up with Benefit’s Erase Paste

Concealer. I need it every day.  At least I think I need it every day…I am a teacher after all.  & I’m always tired.  Therefore, I would think concealer is an absolutely non-negotiable.  
My absolute favorite concealer for both under eye and to cover blemishes, which I’ve been using for years, & I mean seriously, years, is Benefit Erase Paste
, a “brightening camouflage for eyes & face”.  & trust me when I say, Erase Paste is the ultimate camouflage ever…in life.

Benefit Erase Paste

The consistency of Benefit Erase Paste
is my favorite part, it’s very creamy and on the thick side.  So, a little goes a long way and the blend is flawless- it seriously just melts into my skin, which gives me great even coverage.  I always make sure I top it with a translucent powder to help set it and prevent any oiliness throughout my long day.

One bonus of this product is that it comes with a little “how to” guide so you can really maximize your use of the product!  How nice of you, Benefit!

As I said, this is my favorite go to & daily concealer.  With three color choices, deep | medium | fair, I know you’ll find your perfect match.

XO.
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Lip Love: Nyx Butter Lipstick

I’ve been wearing the Nyx Butter Lipstick in Little Susie since the weekend, every morning even though without school I have nothing to do I’m still putting it on…ha.  I received this in one of my Ipsy bags, & honestly, if it wasn’t for Ipsy, I would probably would have never tried this product.
Nyx Butter Lipstick

I’m usually a strictly gloss girl, but this butter lipstick delivers lipstick like pigmentation with high shine and hydration.  The formula melts perfectly into my lips & seriously, look at this color, it screams summer fun.
In reading various reviews on this product, some users said it wasn’t very long lasting.  I have mixed feelings on this, the first time I used it I thought it lasted really well.  Thennn, the next time I used it, not so much- I could still see some of the pigment but overall it looked very dull after just about 2 hours.  I really think it just depends on the person, how much you’re exfoliating, & if there are any other products on your lips.
Not only is this color fantastic, but there are 22, yes 22, other colors the Nyx Butter Lipstick comes in…I can definitely see myself purchasing some fall colors soon.  

XO.
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Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer

I’ve recently gone on a primer binge.  I used to not apply primer before work in the morning…well, more like some days I would (i.e. if I was going out after work) & others I wouldn’t.  
I apply my makeup around 6:30am and my day ends around 5:30pm…seriously, my makeup wasn’t cutting it for 11 hours.  Between the temperature of my classroom, doing 500 things in the span of 7 hours, and not always hydrating as much as I should be I felt like I looked like a mess by 5pm- it didn’t even look like I had any makeup on.
My solution?  Purchasing a high quality primer.
I’m really into color correcting products since I have rosacea, so I figured I’d give the Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer a try.  I have used the standard Photo Finish Primer before, so I already knew it was a great product.  I was hoping the Color Correcting Primer would give me just a bit more oomph and conceal any redness.
The first rule with this product, and any primer, but I really notice it with this one…is to let your moisturizer/ eye cream completely dry before applying it.  The primer won’t stick and it’ll feel kinda wet/ slippery if you try to apply it over skincare products that haven’t completely set yet.
As far as the color correcting aspect, I expected more.  It did tone down redness a little bit, but I had much higher expectations.
After using this primer my makeup applied super smooth and even.  Although I’m bummed out about the lack of color correcting this Smashbox Primer does, I am impressed with its ability to allow makeup to last all day without feeling like it slid off my face.
I can’t speak to the other colored Smashbox Foundation Primers working the way they claim to, but I do know that overall the Smashbox Foundation Primer line is amazing at doing it’s primary job, creating a great canvas to helping makeup last.
XO.

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Sephora VIB Event Buys

Sephora VIB Buys

Did you celebrate the Sephora VIB 20% off event?!
I certainly did…and totally binged on lip products without even realizing it.  
In terms of skincare I picked up an Origins Night-A-Mins, which I’ve used for years.  I hadn’t repurchased it in a while because I had a lot of other nighttime moisturizers to use up, but I’m so happy I’m returning back to Night-A-Mins just as a polar vortex is arriving.  I’m looking forward to trying Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Mineral Oil-Free Facial Cleansing Oil.  I’m addicted to the Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, so I have high hopes for this cleansing oil- I’ve heard nothing but great things!  
I saw the Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Skincare Collection and freaked out.  I didn’t really need this, but I’ve been on such an oil kick lately I knew I had to try it out.  This collection features 6 Josie Maran products: Argan Cleansing Oil, 100% Pure Argan Oil, Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment, Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil, Whipped Argan Oil Intensive Hand Cream in Vanilla Apricot, and Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47.  I’ve never used any of these products, so I’m super excited to finally rip this open and start using them all!
Lastly, I picked up a First-Aid Beauty Anti-Redness Serum.  Again, I’ve heard nothing but great things, and with the weather changing so quickly the way it has here in D.C. I’ve been experiencing a lot of redness.  Bisabolol, ginger, aloe, and caffeine are the main ingredients, the bisabolol and ginger are anti-inflammatory, the caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, and of course, the aloe is the soothing element.
Makeup wise, with the exception of the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, I went crazy and only bought lip products.  I have no idea why.  First, when I saw the Tarte Kiss & Belle Lipsurgence Lip Set online I had every intention on buying it during the sale.  I love all the Lipsurgence colors and the colors in this set were right up my ally.  I also saw the Buxom Winner Takes All Lip Set online and knew I was probably going to buy it.  I love the Buxom Full-On lip glosses, they’re always super shiny and plumping.  
My last item was put in my bag in the extra long checkout line, lining the line with all those products is super smart Sephora, you got me.  I rarely wear lipstick like products, but the BITE Beauty Best Bite Remix Set looked so alluring.  These are the perfect holiday colors and they are ridiculously pigmented and satiny-matte when you apply them.  I’m trying to branch out lip wise and I think these are perfect.  I can’t find this product on the Sephora website, it is limited edition for Holiday 2014 so stop by your Sephora store to see if there’s any left!!

XO.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush

The brand Hourglass is huge right now, especially the Ambient Lighting Blush, and with good reason.  I finally purchased the Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush, which is described as a champagne rose.  Don’t you just love the sound of that, champagne rose?  I do.

Luminious Flush is perfect for fall, and gives great depth and color to my cheekbones.

Hourglass is known for it’s Ambient Lighting Powder highlighter, which is next on my makeup must buy right now list.  I love that they combined the great effects of their staple highlighter to a blush.  The product is fabulous, and a little goes a long way, the pigment is fantastic.  
Aside from the product looking fab on my face, the packaging and design of the product in the pot is so beautiful.  I definitely want to try a few more Ambient Lighting Blushes, all of the colors are gorgeous and work perfectly for different seasons.  
If you’re looking for a top of the line fall blush, look no further than Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, even if Luminous Flush isn’t the best color for you, stop by Sephora and test all 6 of them out!! 

XO.
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Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush

The Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush in Candy Glow has been on my face almost every day for the past, oh I’m not sure, maybe 3 months?
I’m in love with it.
First of all, the colors are amazing- they’re bright and punchy give an excellent flush.  The colors in Candy Glow, rose pink shimmer, soft coral pink, and peachy pink shimmer, may be a bit intimidating because they’re so pastel-y, but I can assure you they are perfect.
{Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush, $30}
Candy Glow is very natural looking, lasts the whole day, and gives me an amazing healthy looking glow.  And honestly, the packaging is ridiculously cute, anything shaped in a heart, I will probably buy.  Duh.

The Perfect Flush Blush is also very buildable- I love using all three colors initially and then playing around with the rose pink shimmer if I want a bit more dramatic look.  I also love using the peachy pink shimmer as a highlighter and right below my brow bone- it looks gorgeous and luminous.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

I’m a huge Smashbox fan, I love their primers, and most recently I’ve been over the top obsessed with the Full Exposure Mascara.  I never use false lashes, I’m super lucky in that I don’t need to, my lashes look crazy big just with mascara.  Since I create dramatic lash looks…basically daily…I need a mascara that’ll deliver length, volume, and curl.  Anddddd, since I use mascara daily, it’s super important for me to have some type of nourishing qualities in the mascara I’m using.  I’ve used a few in the past (I won’t name names) that’ve just completed dried out my lashes, and then I get super sad.

The Full Exposure Mascara gives amazing length and volume, and contains olive oil to help keep lashes hydrated healthy.  I also really love the wand, it covers all my lashes in one sweep, and while the formula itself for this mascara does not clump, the wand doesn’t cause any clumping either.
In terms of color, the Full Exposure Mascara is offered only in black, which is fine with me, I’ve never used any other color, and don’t plan on it either.  It’s “Jet Black” and I think the color lives up to its name just perfectly.  I do a ton of coats, just because I’m over the top like that with how my eyes look…I’m sure the average person puts about two of this on.

My one gripe, and it’s not even a big deal to me personally, is that this mascara is not waterproof.  I don’t plan on jumping into any pools with this on, but I’m just sayin’, it’s something to be aware of.  I don’t really care for waterproof mascaras, I find they really dry out my lashes and I hate the process of getting it all off.  Butttttt, I know some people are particular about their mascara staying on no matter what, so I just wanted to throw that in there.

XO.
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Benefit Cosmetics Cabana Glama

I’m a huge Benefit fan, I love their mascara, concealer, blushes, and highlighters, so why wouldn’t I love a perfect looking summery palette?! 
Nobody likes wearing a lot of makeup during the summer, which is why I love the Cabana Glama palette so much…aside from of course, it’s fabulous name.  It has your summer makeup essentials without going overboard in any way.
First, you have your Some Kind-A Gorgeous foundation, a cream to powder that is perfect for summer months.  You don’t feel like you’re wearing foundation, yet you have an even coverage that will cover any minor skin issues you may be experiencing at the moment.

Benefit Cabana Glama, $18
Next, the eyeshadow palette has three colors that, in my opinion, scream natural beach-y glam.  The pink looks amazing with the other two bronze shadows.  You can opt for a light and natural look with Peach Fizz and Bronze Buzz, or take it up a notch with the darker brown, Cocoa Pizzazz, for some dramatics.

Peach Fizz, Bronze Buzz, Cocoa Pizzazz
Lastly, follow up with the Hoola bronzing powder to give yourself a sun-kissed glow, and apply cult favorite Posietint to cheeks and lips for a bright and natural flush.
I. love. Cabana. Glama.
It’s seriously all you need for summer, I use it every time I’m going to a relaxing happy hour, and I used it before brunch this weekend.  I know I look bright and fresh, and have a natural summer glow.

PS: This palette is currently on sale!  It was originally $36 but is now only $18 on Benefit’s website!

XO.
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