August Favorites!


Well August flew by! I feel like I just wrote my monthly favorites for July, ah! Regardless, I am really excited to share some of my new favorite products and exciting beauty discoveries for the month. A lot of these products are new items in my collection and products I haven’t heard much buzz about from the beauty community, so hopefully you find some of these mini reviews helpful!     


SEPHORA COLLECTION Lashcraft Length & Volume Mascara, $12. 

As I was browsing the “Just Added” section of Sephora.com (one of my favorite pastimes) I noticed this new mascara by Sephora Collection. I usually don’t buy too much from this brand, but once I read that this is both a lengthening and volumizing mascara, I figured I would try it out! Typically, I use two mascaras to achieve a dramatic lash effect, but in this case, this product can do the work of both combined in one convenient product! After using this product for a few weeks, I can definitely say it saves me a lot of time getting ready in the morning because it does lengthen and provide volume, without me having to switch mascaras! This effect is due to its flat-paddle wand, which you use by taking the flat side of the wand to lift your lashes and create volume, and then use the comb side to lengthen! Something else I love about this mascara is that it lasts all day, doesn’t flake, but somehow removes easily with just warm water! Amazing, huh?! Definitely try this out if you want a time saver product that will give you big and bold lashes! 

     


It’s Skin Cookie & Body Ice Cream, $10.

Just stop reading this blog post now and spring to your nearest Sephora because you need this. I may not know you personally, but I do know you need this product in your life. Of course the novelty of this adorable little “ice cream” container is EVERYTHING, but the actual product inside is equally as exciting! This cream is full of nutrients that will soften and improve the texture of your skin and I can definitely agree with that claim! It is also feel of chemical sulfates and phthalates, so yay for that too! It is so softening on my hands, arms and legs and never feels greasy! A lot of times with scented lotions, I find that they have that sticky, oily feeling, which never actually moisturizes and just feelings annoying throughout the day. This body cream smells like warm cookies, I don’t know how to explain the warm smell, but they mastered it. I have the Mint scent and it has little “chocolate chip-like” beads that absorb into the skin after application. It’s seriously a must have and I cannot wait to try out the other scents as well!

    


stila, Eye Shadow, $18.

I recently received this eye shadow in the shade “Kitten” as a 500-Point Perk from Sephora! Let me just say, I cant believe I haven’t tried this award winning shade before?! I am a huge fan of highlighting my inner corner with a bright, shimmery, champagne shade and this product is exactly that! I will say, you do have to use a primer to get the full-effect of this eye shadow, because otherwise it is not as vibrant or long-lasting. However, it does look stunning on the eyes and can even be used as an intense cheekbone highlight! I have been using this a lot during the month of August to look more awake on those sleepy mornings, rushing off to work!
   
stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner, “Moray”

The stila Smudge stick liners are by far my favorite eyeliners because they not only stay put on your waterline, but they are also creamy enough to blend out on your lower lash line for a soft effect. I have been loving the shade “Moray” because it’s an olive green color with gold glitter. I find that combination especially flattering for my brown eyes, but of course I think this would be gorgeous on any eye color! I’m so excited to continue wearing this color into the fall season since olive is very on trend this year! You can also use these liners as an eyeshadow base to make any powder colors you place on top really pop! I love blending out this gorgeous green color and then going over top with a gold, shimmery shadow for a beautiful foiled effect! 
     
NYX, Soft Matte Lip Cream, in the shade “Stockholm”

I’ve loved these liquid lipsticks for such a long time because they’re affordable and come in so many different colors! Recently, I’ve been loving the shade “Stockholm” because it’s a warm-rose neutral color that looks great as an everyday lipstick. The trick to applying this particular formula so it doesn’t dry out your lips, is to only use a very thin layer of product and then lightly press it out with your finger tip, removing any excess product! Since this formula is very mousey, you can add too much product by just applying the dispensed amount from the wand, causing it to look thick and super dried out on the lips! Instead, I use my ColourPop Lip primer or a light Chapstick and gently tap out the lip cream onto my lips. This color is going to transition beautifully into the fall months and I have a feeling I’ll be buying more soon! 

          
      


Stella McCartney, “Pop” perfume, sample size. 

I received this product as another point perk at Sephora and I’m in love! I definitely will buy the full size “Pop” perfume once I finish this teeny bottle! When I looked up the notes on Sephora.com it said, “Tomato Leaves, Violet Leaves, And Green Mandarin, Violet, Tuberose, Plumeria, Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Musks,” which I definitely wouldn’t have guessed that’s what this smelled like! All I can tell you is it’s a very feminine and fresh scent, but it’s not floral or powdery smelling! It’s a mature perfume, but definitely still smells energizing and different from a lot of my other fragrances! If you’re just looking to try something new and different, I would recommend just trying some in-store and seeing if you like how it smells on you! I was really impressed that this perfume lasted so long on me too and didn’t fade off by the end of the day!

     


Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner

This is my new every day shampoo and conditioner and I truly believe it’s helping my hair grow! Once I read the claims that it helps with hair loss and promotes growth, I knew I needed to try it immediately! I have really long hair, but I always seem to shed like crazy and have a whole ponytail worth of hair in my brush once I’m finished coming through! Since using this shampoo and conditioner, I’ve noticed my hair falling out significantly less. Plus it’s actually growing faster than I’ve ever seen it grow before! I love that this formula is sulfate free since I do have color treated hair. It gives me volume and truly cleans my hair from root-to-tip. The only downside is the smell…it’s very earthy and kind of smells like licorice for some reason, which is just personally a bad scent for me. But other than that, it’s pretty reasonably priced and actually delivers on its claims! 

    

Thank you for taking the time to read about my August favorites! Let me know the products you’ve been using and loving all month long and maybe they’ll end up in my September version of this series 🙂 

     

Links to shop my favorite products! 

SEPHORA COLLECTION Lashcraft Length & Volume Mascara, $12. 

http://m.sephora.com/product/P408602

It’s Skin Cookie & Body Ice Cream, $10. 

http://m.sephora.com/cookie-body-ice-cream-P411212    

stila, Eye Shadow, in the shade Kitten, $18.

http://m.sephora.com/eye-shadow-P8431

Stella McCartney, “Pop” perfume, sample size. 

http://m.sephora.com/product/P406521?icid2=skugrid    

stila, Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner, in the shade “Moray,” $22. 

http://m.sephora.com/smudge-stick-waterproof-eye-liner-P261621

NYX, Soft Matte Lip Cream, in the shade “Stockholm,” $5.99.

http://www.ulta.com/soft-matte-lip-cream?productId=xlsImpprod3020045#

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner, both $10.99.

http://www.ulta.com/jamaican-black-castor-oil-strengthen-grow-restore-shampoo?productId=xlsImpprod11361001 

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Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer Review!


As a concealer junkie, I’m always trying to find the best and brightest product to put under my unsightly dark circles. Just to give you some insight into the exciting world of my under eyes, they are puffy, discolored and have fine lines; attractive! So when I’m researching new concealers, I not only look for one that has the ability to cover, but also brighten and moisturize. After reading the description of the new, “Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer,” I knew I had to have it! Take a look at the main ingredients, “coconut water, alpine rose and hyaluronic acid” are formulated to hydrate, promote youthful elasticity and last for a long time once applied to the skin. It is in the high-end price range at $28, but once you read the many benefits of using this product, it is worth it to receive a skincare treatment and essential makeup item all in one! I think it’s also important to mention that this product is oil-free, so when you’re using it on existing blemishes or if you just have sensitive skin, rest assure that this won’t do any damage!      


So as you can see in the first photo, my under-eye area looks puffy and dark. Not a great overall look. You can’t really tell in the photo, but I also have some serious fine lines underneath there too. I’m not sure if it’s just because I do have dry skin or if I’m just rapidly aging only in my eye area; either or. Once I applied the Naturally Radiant Concealer, I could definitely see that the “Light” shade was maybe too brightening, but decided to roll with it any blend out anyways with my Beauty Blender sponge. Within seconds, this product began creasing and settling into my lines. Although initially discouraged, this happens to me A LOT with pretty much every concealer and I do have strategies to make it work. If you’re noticing that even after you’ve blended your concealer, it still is creasing, take your ring finger (it applied the least amount of pressure) and gently tap on the creased areas and it will remove that excess product, without disrupting your existing makeup.

    

 
Once I blended this product out, I could tell it was a situation that I needed to set with powder immediately in order to prevent further creasing! I used the NYX HD setting powder in the shade “Banana,” which also additionally brightened up this area! Once set, I thought this concealer looked absolutely beautiful! After a few hours, I was absolutely impressed that my fine lines were still concealed and my under eye area felt super hydrated and soft! This continued on throughout the day as well! I was very excited that the concealer stayed true-to-color and didn’t fade or oxidize darker throughout the wear time.

    

I am in love with this product after using it for a couple weeks. I love it for natural looks and I love it for full glam makeup. I find it does have a radiance property to the formula, hence the name! This product blends seamlessly into the skin, making it perfect for those “no-makeup-makeup-looks.” I think this product is going to perform well for any skin type, but especially those with drier skin! I know for me personally, it really hydrated all day long and kept this area plump and youthful looking. What new products are you currently loving? Let me know in the comments below! Thank you so much for reading!  

    

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Rahua Voluminous Shampoo Review! 


If you have fine, thin hair that always ends up laying flat and looking lifeless, then you need this shampoo. I would honestly never advocate that you should spend $34 on a shampoo that’s only 9.3oz., however if it actually works and you are tired of wasting money trying to test other shampoos, then I feel like I have to at least share my experience of this product with you. So to preface this review, I received a sample of the shampoo and conditioner with one of my Sephora orders and decided to try it out because why not. As soon as I opened the packet, I noticed a strong herbal/licorice kind of smell, which I was initially not very fond of. I decided to use both the shampoo and conditioner and could immediately feel that the strands of my hair felt more plump. Even once I towel-dried my wet hair and brushed it out, I could visibly tell my hair look lifted and voluminous!   

I shower at night and do not use a blow dryer on my hair. So when I woke up, I was absolutely shocked that my hair had so much volume, but also felt super silky and healthy. My experience with other oil-reducing or clarifying volume shampoos is that they may give lift and body to my hair, but they turn my hair dry and brittle, which is never a cute look. I decided to straighten my hair and still could not get over the lift this gave me at my roots! All I used was a shampoo and conditioner, zero styling products and was able to achieve a voluminous hair effect that I never knew my hair was capable of achieving!

     

I instantly purchased the shampoo on Sephora’s website because I knew I couldn’t be without this product. I didn’t purchase the conditioner because it is just so unbelievably expensive to get the duo. So fast forward to now, I am still absolutely loving this shampoo. I only use it for special occasions because I’m trying to make it last for as long as humanly possible hehe. I just know how absolutely frustrating it is to have fine, ribbon like hair that never looks full, so whenever I find a product that gives me my dream hair, I have to jump on it and share the good news with my pals!

    

Also if you want to attempt to justify the high price-point, this shampoo does have an amazing ingredient list that will make you feel luxurious just by reading it. “Organic and 100 percent natural ingredients, formulated with lemongrass and green tea create body, volume, and bounce by balancing and removing excess oils from the hair shaft, without compromising the integrity of the hair. It’s enriched with quinoa, a gluten free super-food indigenous to South America, to promote healing and moisture retention. Citric juices break down oils, extending the time in between washes. Rich in omega-9, the rahua-ungurahua oil restores, heals, moisturizes and strengthens hair follicles and the hair shaft, resulting in stronger, healthier hair.” Like are you kidding me…I’ve never felt more cool than I do when using a 100 percent natural, vegan, cruelty-free, USDA certified organic ingredient based shampoo. Also important to mention it has no parabens, sulfates or phthalates, which are unfortunately found in most lower-priced shampoos and conditioners.

   

I never would devote an entire post on a hair product, especially a shampoo if it really wasn’t something to rave about. I am of course searching for cheaper alternatives and trying to compare ingredient lists, but it is really hard to find such a natural shampoo that also delivers incredible effects. Plus it will make your hair healthier and stronger the more you use it, which will save you money in the long run because you won’t be spending money on pricey restorative treatments. So definitely let me know if you love this shampoo and if you think the conditioner is totally worth it as well (I have a feeling it may be, ugh) because I am really digging this Rahua brand and their stance on creating sustainable products that really work. Thank you so much for reading!

First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask! 

I’m a sucker for trying new skincare products, especially masks! When I first checked out the “First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask” on Sephora’s website, it seemed too good to be true! Not only is this product formulated for sensitive skin, which I have, but it also has no parabens, sulfates or phthalates! Yay! It claims to give the same results as a facial, perfecting the overall appearance of the skin, but in one simple mask application for only 10 minutes! You get 1.7 oz. of product for $38.00, which may seem expensive for a face mask, but when you weigh the cost of getting facials and using other skincare products to achieve the same results, you will see that all of those extra treatments can add up quickly! I think this is a pretty good value for what it’s claiming to do!   

First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask 1.7 oz $38.00


This mask is aimed at correcting uneven skin tone, dullness and enlarged pores, while also making the skin more firm. It is gentle enough to be used three times a week, or whenever you feel that your skin is looking tired and in need of a pick-me-up. There are many natural products in this formula, including rose bud extract and Vitamin C, which will plump and hydrate the skin. The most impressive claim for me was this mask’s ability to calm, nourish and refine uneven texture, which I do have on certain areas of my face.

   
As I first opened this product, I immediately noticed a strong cucumber smell. So if you don’t like that, you’ll probably want to stay far away from this mask. The texture is exactly as the name states; “bouncy.” It is super sticky when getting it out of the jar and has a syrup-like consistency (weird comparison, I know!) Once applied to the face, it just looks like a completely clear, shiny layer of moisturizer. I actually kind of liked this because I didn’t feel crazy walking around my house, like I do with my black and green colored masks. It says to wait 10 minutes until taking it off with warm water, but I decided to leave it on for 15-20 minutes. 

Mask applied to the back of my hand

Once I rinsed it off, I noticed my skin looked brighter and more hydrated. I didn’t even feel like I needed to put on my nightly moisturizer! Safe to say, I was very impressed. It also calmed some of the redness I have around my nose and chin area. Since I had such great results, I continued using it throughout the week, waiting a couple days in between uses! I noticed that over time, this mask did begin to shrink the pores on my cheeks and give me a much brighter complexion! I don’t know how much of a firming effect this product has, but I do know that the plumping/hydrating aspect makes the fine lines around my eye-area seem softer and not as pronounced.

   
It’s always amazing whenever you find a product that actually works! I was so relieved that my money was well spent on this mask, as it’s one of the more expensive ones I’ve ever purchased! I love First Aid Beauty as a brand and use many of their other skincare products on a daily basis! Let me know if you would like to see a review on some of these other items as well! If you are looking for a good, “facial-in-a-jar” type of mask, then I would highly recommend this one! It’s worth it because it actually gives you the results it claims to offer, plus you only need a small amount to cover your entire face, so I can see this lasting for a long time! I want to know what skincare products you are currently loving so please leave me a comment below! Thank you so much for reading! 

   

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New Favorite Nude Lipsticks! Swatches and Review!

bareMinerals GEN NUDE™ Matte Liquid Lipcolor, “XYZ,” $18.


I raved about the new bareMinerals GEN NUDE liquid lipsticks in my July Favorites post! These are by far the most beautiful and comfortable matte lip products that I own! I cannot get over how smooth and liquid-like these apply (which is usually a sure sign that it’s going to be painfully drying) yet they remain comfortable on the lips throughout the day. One swipe has enough pigment to cover your top and bottom lip. Plus I’m obsessed with the applicator that makes it easy to precisely apply without the need for a lip liner. The color “XYZ” is my perfect, warm-nude shade. I am so excited to try out other colors in this range because the formula is so incredible. I would highly recommend these if you’ve been searching for the perfect liquid lipstick that dries extremely matte, without feeling or looking chalky! Let me know your favorite GEN NUDE liquid lip shades because Sephora is calling my name!   

   

tarte Tarteist™ Glossy Lip Paint, “Snap,” $20.


The new tarte Glossy Lip Paint’s are amazing! These are a thick, buttery, gloss-like product that provides full-coverage pigmentation as a lipstick would! I am obsessed with the high-shine effect that this formula gives off! This gloss does not have any shimmer, which I love because my lips just look shiny and full when I wear it, without being too over-the-top. The shade “Snap” is actually pretty unique because it’s a cool-toned mauve, which I rarely buy! There is a slight gray-brown undertone that makes the lip color seem super edgy and on-trend for Fall makeup looks! I don’t buy lip gloss too often because if I want to wear anything on my lips, I want it to show up. Most glosses are just too sheer for me to love them, so it was great to find such an extremely pigmented lip gloss by Tarte!    

    

M.A.C Lipstick, “Velvet Teddy,” $17.


I have been lusting after M.A.C’s Velvet Teddy lipstick for so long! I felt so accomplished when I finally purchased this cult-favorite lip color recently! It’s described as warm-nude shade, which is right up my ally! This is a matte formula, so it definitely isn’t the most hydrating lipstick I own, but it’s nothing too terrible! I think the color of this is my perfect, every day nude shade, but also amazing to compliment intense, smokey eyeshadow makeup looks. It’s crazy how different this shade looks swatched onvarious skin tones, so keep that in mind! I think this product is worth it since you can manipulate the color with different lip liners. For example, I can use a brown-toned lip liner like M.A.C “Whirl” and get a darker, natural, nude lip; or I can use a pink-toned lip liner, like my Makeup Forever 3C and create a peachy-pink nude shade. Let me know if you have any other ways you like to make this product versatile!

   


Thanks for taking the time to read this post! I love nude lipsticks and personally believe that all of mine look different…Delusional? I just may be. I am always trying to hunt down the newest lip products because I personally love changing up my lip color every day! If I had to recommend only one to you, it would be the GEN NUDE liquid lipsticks from bareMinerals because I’ve literally never tried a more comfortable and better formulated matte lipstick before. They are truly innovative and one-of-a-kind. Plus the shade selection is huge, so you’re bound to find your perfect color!

   

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Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation: Review & Wear Test!

As soon as I saw there was new foundation releasing from Urban Decay, I knew I had to try it! I am a huge fan of the UD Naked Skin foundation, so I had very high hopes for this product to perform at the same level! I did want to list the claims of this foundation because it is super different than the Naked Skin. The only similarity between the two are the shade categories that Urban Decay created. For reference, I wanted to mention I am a 6.0 in this foundation, but it does oxidize to be a half shade darker. It’s nothing too terrible, but I definitely noticed that as soon as the foundation dried, it did get slightly darker in color.

Urban Decay Cosmetics, All Nighter Liquid Foundation, Shade 6.0. $40 for 1 oz.


    
This is my first “wear-test” makeup review, so let me know if you enjoy these types of posts! I wanted to check in at various points of the day since this product is marketed as long-lasting and mattifying. I marked the times of each photo and documented the way my skin looked and felt, so you will have constant updates on how it’s holding up. I even worked out, while wearing it (and I hate working out with makeup on) so you can see how it performs during crazy conditions!

 

Claims

  • “Full coverage with a modern matte finish that never looks overdone.”
  • “Get all-night wear and a blown-out effect you never thought was possible for a flawless-looking complexion that looks amazing and stays that way.”
  • “Completely matte – but never flat (and it’s oil-free!).”
  • “An insane amount of pigment (about three times as much as Naked Skin Liquid Makeup), so a little goes a long way.”
  • “This waterproof, paraben-free formula diffuses light to blur flaws for beautifully perfected skin as it mattifies and absorbs oil to reduce the appearance of shine.”

       

    Initial Application – 9:00am



    After reading some reviews online, many people suggested that this product applies more evenly with a damp Beauty Blender, so that is what I used! I also applied my Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer beforehand because my skin was looking extra dehydrated on this morning. My first reaction is that a little goes a long way! This product pumps out super thick and creamy, so I was happy I could sheer it out more with the help of my damp sponge. One pump was enough product to cover my entire face, so this formula is extremely pigmented and very full coverage. At $40 for 1oz, I was happy to see that I’ll get a lot of uses out of one bottle. You can see in my before and after that the foundation is extremely mattifying and full-coverage, but in my opinion, it does not look cakey or overdone! I was really impressed with it’s ability to cover all of my redness and uneven pigmentation. If you have problem skin or acne, I could see this product also taking the place of your concealer since it’s so full-coverage.
         
    First Check-In – 1:00pm



    At this point, I had just returned from church and lunch. I was outside in the sun for a little bit, but not to the point where I was sweating. I think my makeup looks pretty fresh. Some foundations tend to break up after a couple hours around my nose and chin, so I was pleasantly surprised that everything looked even and matte after a few hours into the day.  

         

    Second Check-In – 5:45pm



    After lunch, I went to run errands, which of course included a Starbucks visit. Have you guys tried their Iced Coconut Mocha Macchiato?! I am obsessed. Anyways, I thought this picture was an amazing representation of how good this foundation is! First of all, natural light isn’t always forgiving and displays oily skin in a super obvious way. So for this to still look matte and even, I was extremely impressed! I also read a lot of reviews that said the longer you wear this product, the longer it feels cakey. I disagree with that claim because I never noticed a thick feeling on my skin at any point with this product.  

         

    Third Check-In – 8:00pm



    This check-in was after going for a walk and then doing a Kayla Itsines circuit workout. So keep in mind I was sweating a lot, wiping my face and definitely predicting that my foundation would be looking crazy afterwards. Nope, not at all. It still looked good! I noticed that it was a little patchy around my forehead, which was probably from my hair! Honestly, it was more of my bronzer that was breaking up than the foundation itself. This was a true test of it’s claim to be waterproof and oil absorbing. In my opinion, it passed with flying colors! I was seriously shocked when I looked at the photo up close and still thought I looked matte!

    Fourth Check-In – 10:30pm



    Time for bed! I tried to wear this foundation until midnight, but I got super sleepy so 10:30pm had to suffice. I didn’t think my foundation, or makeup in general looked amazing…but keep in mind all that I had put it through and the likelihood of any formula holding up perfectly through those conditions. So although I didn’t look fresh-faced, I still could see that I was matte and the product wasn’t majorly breaking up around the areas on my face that tend to react poorly to liquid foundation. The only part of the foundation that separated noticeably was on my nose. As you can see, most of my freckles are exposed at this point and you can see some slight redness around the sides. For me personally, that isn’t enough to call this product a dud because it withheld an entire day of active wear.

        

    Final Thoughts

    I absolutely think this foundation is worth the money. If you struggle with uncontrollable oily skin or if you have problematic breakouts that can’t be covered with other foundations, then I think you need this! I personally have combination/dry skin, but my t-zone can get super oily during the summer months. I could see that this foundation did an amazing job at controlling this, without feeling heavy. This definitely isn’t a light foundation, but I think applying it with a beauty blender is your best bet at sheering it out to the point it’s comfortable on your skin. I could not be more impressed with it’s wear time and lasting on my skin for 13.5 hours. Keep in mind, this is my personal experience with the foundation and I can certainly see why girls with dry skin types absolutely hate this! It will not provide you with extra hydration or a dewy finish, so steer clear of this if that is you preference! The only small con would be the oxidizing of the foundation after you apply it. It wasn’t anything alarming for me, since it was only slightly darker, but keep that in mind when you are trying to color match! 

        
    I hope you enjoyed this first impression review and update throughout the day! I really liked this style of post, so let me know if you want to see more of this format in the future! What other products would you like for me to put to the test? Let me know! Thanks for reading! 

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