Concealers Worth Your Money, Honey! | Part II

One of my most viewed blog posts is my “Concealers Worth Your Money, Honey!” post from October 23rd, 2016! I thought it was time for an update and to my surprise, only one of the concealers mentioned in that previous post has remained a present day fav! If I had to guess, this subject has such popularity because of how common dark circles are for all of us! Whether you have them because they’re hereditary, or you’re a new Mom, an overworked employee, whatever the circumstances may be…we all seem to struggle with being tired and/or having discoloration in our under eyes. I wanted to include different brands, price points, formulations, etc. to fit the needs of the variety of skin types/concerns of my readers. Just to give you some background information about me. I am always tired due to a new job with a very demanding work schedule. I also have dark, blue-black circles underneath my eyes from genetics. Plus, I have seasonal allergies which play a big role in the puffiness and swelling that I experience this time of year. Safe to say, I have less-than-perfect under eyes and personally NEED to wear concealer in order to feel comfortable. It’s a step I never skip, whether I’m going for a natural, “no makeup makeup” look or a full glam beat! There is never a time (unless I’m physically ill or in a state of emergency) that I’ll pass on concealer. Since I do have this great need, I’ve tested a lot of different formulas from many different brands and have narrowed down my list to 5.

L’Oréal Infallible Full Wear Waterproof Concealer | $13.49

I stumbled upon this product when I was trying to find a more affordable dupe for the Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. After reading reviews and testing swatches in store, this one seemed to be the closest match on the claims and coverage from Tarte Shape Tape. This is a very full coverage product that dries to a matte finish. I would definitely recommend applying this with a damp beauty blender to thin out the formula. I really like the large doe foot applicator because it covers such a wide area very quickly! It claims to be water resistant and all day wear, but I’ve never really tested it to withstand either of those conditions. I can tell you that it for about 14-15 hours on me and didn’t fade. I really like the versatility of this concealer because I can use it to cover up imperfections, such as blemishes and dark spots, and also use it underneath my eyes!

Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer | $27.00

If I could only recommend one concealer to you, it would definitely be this one! I’ve used it for years and it’s just so consistently amazing. Not only is it very full coverage, but it is also lightweight and very blendable! Warning: this can get cakey and look dry if you 1. Apply too much (all you need is a small swipe of product underneath each eye) or 2. You blend it out with a brush. I’ve found that using a damp beauty blender is key to sheering out this concealer and making it look more skin like and natural, without taking away from any of the coverage it provides. It also will not settle into your fine lines, exaggerate pores, or cling to dry patches. I think it’s also very important to mention that this is formulated without Parabens, Mineral Oil, Phthalates, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and Gluten. It’s also Vegan and Cruelty-Free! I have 2 of these in my collection at the moment. One is in the shade “Light Neutral” which is about 1-2 shades lighter than my skin. It’s definitely personal preference, but I’ve found that buying a concealer that is a shade lighter than my foundation, really helps brighten up my under eyes. I also use the shade “Light Medium Sand” to conceal blemishes, which I want to match the color of my foundation and provide extra coverage for redness and inflamed looking skin.

Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer | $29.00

If you have dry under eye skin, combined with dark circles, then I would highly recommend this Too Faced concealer to you! The formula is infused with coconut water, alpine rose, and hyaluronic acid which keeps your skin plump and refreshed throughout the day! I’ve noticed that this product is a lot thinner than the previous two I’ve mentioned, however it still has high coverage and will conceal darkness and discoloration. It has a very lightweight feeling once applied and blends effortlessly into foundation. I’ve actually found that it pairs so perfectly with the Born This Way foundation from Too Faced! I know this product works really well on mature skin because it is so nourishing and won’t settle into fine lines. You definitely have to set this! I would use a really finely milled translucent setting powder on a tapered brush and just tap tap tap out the creases! I find that all hydrating concealers require setting powder to last all day. I use this in the shade “Snow” which is one of their lightest colors. It does oxidize (turn a shade darker) after it’s applied, so be warned of that as well. I would test some in store on the back of your hand, walk around for a bit, then check back to see if the color has darkened since first applied. That’s how I had to select my perfect brightening color!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer | $9.99

Okay I HAD to include this because I don’t use it alone, but rather in conjunction with all of these other concealers to brighten the darkness first, and then cover it with a shade of concealer that is closer to my skin tone on top. The “Brightener” shade is a peachy pink, color correcting product that is going to counteract the blue/black tones of your under eyes. It instantly gives life to sallow, sunken areas that need an extra boost! I’ve found that I use less concealer when I first apply this, which ensures that I never look cakey around my eye area. It’s seriously so good! I really love the shade “Neutralizer” as well. These are such a great affordable concealer that I seem to always have in my collection. Such a staple!

bareMinerals bareSkin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer | $22.00

If you really don’t have bad dark circles, but mainly just want to brighten and hydrate your under eyes, then this is going to be your bestie! This has such a silky, smooth texture and glides evenly over the skin. I love the way this feels on my skin. It is definitely not the most full coverage, but it does cover and will last for 8 hours (sometimes more) without fading! The way I apply this is by creating the standard diamond shape underneath my eyes, then letting the product sit there for about a minute. Then once I feel like it’s started to set, I will blend it out with my damp beauty blender. I’ve found that this method works best if you want to get the maximum amount of coverage from this concealer. As always, I think it’s really important to know that this formula is Paraben-Free, Phthalate-Free, Formaldehyde-Free , Chemical Sunscreen-Free, Triclosan-Free, Triclocarbon-Free, Propylene Glycol-Free. Mineral Oil-Free, Coal Tar-Free, Microbead-Free, and Cruelty-Free. If you get this concealer, I guarantee that your eyes will look more healthy and hydrated!

Whew, that was a lot! If you made it to the end, thank you SO much for sticking it out and reading all 5 of my recommendations. Each of these concealers is so different. I wanted to give you a variety to choose from because I know that we don’t all have the same skin types and concerns! If you know of an incredible concealer that I’m missing out on, then please leave me a comment so I can try it next! Love you!

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October Favorites!

I feel like I always say this, but WOW this month flew by! I feel like this entire year is going by fast. As always, I’m bringing you my monthly round up of the top products I used and loved throughout October! These posts are so much fun for me to write. I get an opportunity to thoughtfully reflect on the things I’ve been using and give insight into application, wear time, etc., which could only be determined over a period time. If you like these types of posts, please “like” and share with your fellow makeup lovers and leave a comment so we can talk about your loves for the month of October!

Milk Makeup Flex Foundation Stick | Sephora, $36.

I’m going to start off this review by stating who may not love this type of foundation stick… If you like full coverage, want your base makeup to look flawless, or have combo/oily skin… I wouldn’t recommend this to you. If you like light coverage, want your face to look natural (freckles still showing, etc) and have dry skin, I think you would love this! I picked up the Milk Makeup foundation stick to wear on days where I do a very minimal routine and need some extra hydration. Now that the Fall and soon-to-be Winter is here, I’ve noticed that my skin is becoming more dry and needs that extra layer of a moisturizing foundation throughout the day! I apply this by drawing lines all over my face, then blending it all out with a flat top brush to get maximum coverage. This is great for the “no makeup makeup” look because your moles and freckles will still show, but you’ll have an even skin tone and can build coverage on areas where you may need additional concealing. I love this for traveling too because it’s in stick form and can easily be applied on the go! I love the shades in this line as well. “Golden Sand” is so complimentary to my olive complexion.

Ilia Soft Focus Setting Powder | Sephora, $34

If you only buy one thing from this post, this is what you need to get! On my quest for finding clean beauty products that perform better than their less natural competitors, I stumbled upon the Ilia translucent powder. This has become holy grail status for me! It is talc-free, which helps my sensitive skin stay clear and healthy! Since using this powder, I have not produced any mila bumps near my eyes and it’s all because of it being talc-free. I’ve become so reliant on this powder and *dramatic statement ahead* but I really don’t like the way my makeup looks whenever I use something different to set my face. This is my one and only to help prolong the wear of my makeup, aide in oil control, and improve the softness of my skin!

PÜR Skin Perfecting Powder After Glow | Ulta Beauty, $26.

I am a complete highlight addict. I own a shameful amount of golden, champagne shimmers that give my face a gorgeous glow! This one from PUR is absolutely stunning! I would describe the shade as a true bright gold that is highly reflective. You’re definitely going to get the “wet look” with this product. A little goes a very long way, so you definitely get your money’s worth! I love using this as an inner corner highlight shade to brighten and widen the shape of my eyes too. The texture is so creamy and finely milled, which makes this a dream to blend! This was a product that honestly shocked me because I haven’t heard it talked about yet. It really encouraged me to check out some more products by PUR!

CoverGirl TruNaked Queenship Shadow Sticks | Ulta, $9.99.

One of my favorite “throw on and go” products are the CoverGirl shadow sticks in the shades “Frivolous” and “Leading Lady”. I love these two colors for different reasons! Frivolous is a super bright rose gold color that has a ton of champagne shimmer throughout. Once applied, this maintains is brilliance throughout the entire day! The glitters do not transfer and the color doesn’t fade as time goes on. Truly impressive for this price point! I love the matte cool brown color in Leading Lady to use as a smoked out eyeliner color on quick makeup days where I need to swipe something across the lids and quickly blend out for an effortless smudged look. The only con to this product is that once is sets, it’s set. These really don’t budge, so you have a short amount of time to blend and manipulate the color in any way before it is completely budge proof on your eyes. There are a few other shades in this line that I’m dying to try, but these 2 have been in heavy rotation throughout the month of October!

Neutrogena Lip Gloss Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shine, Berry Brown | Target, $8.39.

As much as I wish I was sharing a bold, cranberry lip color with you for Fall…that’s just not the reality of my daily life! It’s so nice to have a gloss to apply on the go, without having the fear of precision or transfer! This Neutrogena gloss is so hydrating that it honestly gives your lips a plumper appearance, without the stinging sensation that most plumping products will give you! The shade “Berry Brown” has a hint of mauve and a gorgeous warmth, making it a lovely Fall lip color option if you prefer a more natural look! The texture is hydrating without feeling heavy or sticky. You really can’t go wrong with this line of glosses! I own a few different colors and every shade is consistently wonderful.

Thank you so much for reading my monthly favorites for October! These aren’t the most festive products or “on theme” for Fall, but this is what I truly used and never wanted to put down! I hope it gave you some good ideas for products to pick up the next time you’re browsing the isles of Sephora and Ulta. As always, I would LOVE to know the products you’re adoring for the month, so please leave me a comment with your top picks too!

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How to Look Well-Rested with Brighter and Wider Eyes!

Do you have dark circles, puffy eyes or just a sleepy looking appearance after repeatedly hitting snooze on your seven alarms? Because same. I developed a routine to de-puff and give a highlighted, lifted appearance to my under eye area, while also brightening and widening my eyes! Keep reading to see the list of products I use and the ways I apply them to look more awake!

I always wake up with puffy eyes and the Clinique “Pep-Start” Eye Cream is my go-to for hydrating and brightening! I love it for so many reasons. I’ve struggled with finding the perfect formula to lightly moisturize my under eyes before I apply concealer. Whenever eye creams are too heavy, it will cause whatever you put on top of it to look heavy and crease. This one is so lightweight, while also being hydrating, so it’s the perfect formula for A.M. application! It is cooling to the touch, which helps with de-puffing as well! I’ve also noticed that this doesn’t give me those small white bumps, which sometimes can happen with different eye creams that I’ve tried. I use a small, pea sized amount and tap it on with my ring finger since it applies the lightest amount of pressure! I wait about a minute for it to sink in and then I go onto the next step!

I’ve been using the Becca “Under Eye Brightening Corrector” for a couple years now and I can’t imagine this product not being in my daily routine! If you have stubborn dark circles that show through with even the most full coverage concealers, then you need to invest in a good corrector! This one is a peach color with light reflecting illuminators, which will counteract the blue tones in your dark circles. A little goes a long way with this product, plus it lasts all day long! I apply this with my damp beautyblender underneath my eye and in the inner corners.

After I’ve moisturized and corrected, I apply a full coverage concealer! I always purchase one that’s 1-2 shades lighter than my foundation to give a highlighted effect! My holy grail formula is the Tarte “Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer” (that’s a mouthful!) and it comes in 14 shades so you’re bound to find your perfect match! It is by far the most lightweight, full coverage formula that I’ve ever tried! It truly conceals acne, dark circles and redness so flawlessly! I always use this product with a damp beautyblender to help sheer it out slightly! If you’ve struggled with your concealer wearing off, then you NEED to try this one because it doesn’t fade during the day or look drying!

By this point, I’ve used so many creamy, liquid products underneath my eyes, that I have to set it with a powder to lock it all in and prevent any creasing! I always choose a yellow-toned, matte highlight powder to enhance the brightening effect I’m going for! Even if you have a different skin tone than me, I would still highly suggest checking out the NYX “Highlight Pro Singles” on Ulta.com! These aren’t sold in store, but I always stock up online! At only $5 a pan, they’re extremely affordable and there are 12 different shades to choose from. I was constantly buying the Anastasia highlight refills and then I discovered these, which are just as pigmented! The powder will also help smooth out any fine lines you may have, which is an added bonus!

Now that my under eyes are concealed and bright, I move onto making my eyes look big and awake! On a daily basis, I typically just apply my bronzer in my crease and take a shimmery shade all over the lid. Even when I’m rushing, I will never forget to highlight my inner corners with a shimmery, champagne eyeshadow! This makes the biggest difference in opening up your eyes and reflecting much needed light in an otherwise shadowy area! I love using this L’Oreal “Infallible Eyeshadow” in “Iced Latte” to brighten everything up! I take my pinky finger and dab the shadow on my inner corners, blending it outwards to seamlessly fade into my lid color.

I have round eyes, with a lot of lid space, so I always use eyeliner on the top lash line to help define and thicken the look of my eyelashes! Whenever I don’t put eyeliner in this area, I feel like my eyes look super tiny and tired. My favorite liners to use are the Kat Von D “Tattoo Liner” in “Trooper” for an ultra black, winged liner and I love the Marc Jacobs “Highliner Matte Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner” in “(Earth)quake 41” for a smudged out, brown liner look! I also use the Marc Jacobs liner on my top waterline to further define that area, as well as smudged out on the outer corners of my lower lash line!

I’m pretty sure the best makeup secret to opening up your eyes and making you look awake is using a nude eyeliner in your lower waterline! The Tarte “Fake Awake Eye Highlight” is the most pigmented and long wearing one I’ve tried so far! I’ve repurchased it so many times because nothing compares! The nude color will neutralize any redness you have from having your eyes closed all night long. Using a light color in the lower waterline will help widen and brighten your eye. Back in the day, I would use a white eyeliner, but I’ve started to enjoy the more natural effect of a nude eyeliner now! If you haven’t tried this beauty hack yet, you really need to! It makes the biggest difference and I really can’t do my makeup without it!

Do you have any tips or tricks to getting a fresh and well-rested appearance when you’re really just a sleepy gal?! Let me know by leaving me a comment! I love learning new techniques from you guys! Thank you so much for reading, I hope you found this type of product review/routine helpful!

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Cream Contour and Highlight Routine 

I wanted to share how I contour and highlight my face for special occasions! I am often asked how I achieve a full coverage, evenly blended, contoured look. On a day-to-day basis, I definitely do not use a cream contour because in my opinion, it’s not necessary. I opt for this routine whenever I have a special occasion, when I need my makeup to last and stand out in photos. 

    
With contouring, you really want to make sure you adapt the placement of lines to your face shape. My face shape is a mix between square and round (so annoying) so I draw lines based on where areas of my face need to appear more sculpted. The darker colors should be placed in the hollows of your cheeks, where you want to create a shadow. If you want to sculpt your chin, draw lines at your jawline and blend underneath. If you want to minimize your forehead, darken your temples and hairline. This is the basic rule of E and 3. Think of drawing an E shape on the right side of your face (temples, under the cheeks and jawline) and a 3 on the left side of your face. This will serve as a guideline on where to place the darker colors you use for contouring. I also like to contour the tip of my nose so it appears more slim. As far as highlighting, you can use a concealer or a light colored highlighting stick to place in the areas you want to bring out in your face. For me, this is underneath my eyes to brighten my dark circles. To even things out, I’ll place some concealer in between my eyebrows and into the center of my forehead and on the tip of my chin. If you want to get a super sculpted appearance, you can place the concealer underneath the contour on your cheekbones to chisel this area out more.

I like using the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio for my cream contour because you can be very precise with your application. Since they’re in a stick form, you can place the product directly on your face without the need for a brush. The formula is dry enough to stick to your skin, but also creamy enough to blend out seamlessly.

My cream contour and highlight routine begins with the application of primer all over my face and a light layer of foundation. You want to choose a foundation that is light-medium coverage so that you can add the extra layers of cream products and not look cakey. Next I take my “Contour” colored stick and draw lines around my forehead, temples, underneath my cheekbones and jawline. I then place the “Bronzer” shade directly above the “Contour” lines to add warmth to my look. I find that when I blend these colors out together, they create my perfect contour shade. Next I add a concealer that’s 1-2 shades lighter than my foundation in the areas I want to highlight. For extra brightness I apply the “Highlight” shade on top of the concealer. 

     
Once I have the lines placed on my face, it’s time to begin blending! This process can be tricky if you rush through it. The worst mistake you can make is to use the same brush to blend out the dark areas as well as the highlighted places. You’ll end up with a muddy and non-sculpted look. So make sure you take your time and blend out the contour first with a brush and then the highlight with a different brush. I use a Real Techniques buffing brush for my contour and my beauty blender for my highlight. 

Before: With only a light layer of foundation. After: Blended out cream highlight and contour. Set with Kat Von D powder contour kit.

Now that everything is blended out, I set my entire face with a loose translucent powder. My favorite is by Laura Mercier because it’s lightweight and never looks overly powdery on my skin. Since I’m extra, I set the places I cream contoured with a powder contour and do the same with the highlighted sections. I use my Kat Von D contour palette to do so. I think this extends the longevity of my cream products and is especially useful in situations where my skin gets oily. If you haven’t tried using a brightening powder underneath your eyes, I highly recommend it even on a day-to-day basis!

Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio, $45. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette, $46. These products can both be found at Sephora!

To finish the entire look, I spray a setting mist to lay all of my powder products flat and make sure my makeup lasts all day long. I really hope you enjoyed this post and have a good idea of contouring and highlighting after reading! It can be pretty tricky, but with a lot of practice, you’ll learn the best look for your personal facial structure! Again, I only do this full routine whenever I have a special occasion or an event where photos will be taken, but feel free to do this on a daily basis if you really enjoy the way it looks! Thanks for reading! 

Yay for the finished product!

That Glow Though!

A major Spring beauty trend is to look glowy and fresh! By using products that have shimmer and other light reflecting properties, you can give your skin a “lit from within” look. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain a glow without looking greasy throughout the day. If you have combination to oily skin, you may find it hard to incorporate this trend into your daily routine. However, I have some strategies to help you create that healthy, natural glow without looking oily.

  
For this entire makeup look, I am using the new Anastasia Glow Kit in the color “That Glow.” This is an incredible value when you break it down and realize that for only $40 you are getting FOUR very different, but wearable highlighters! The formula on this product is amazing! The smooth texture gives more of a dewy effect, rather than straight shimmer on your face, which is nice if you want to go for a more natural look! 

 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit, $40


 

Swatches of each shade on my olive skin tone!

  

   
To begin this look, you need to start by priming your face. This will create a smooth canvas for foundation and powder to lay on. Some highlighters are problematic in the sense that they cling to texture on the face. If you have a breakout or enlarged pores, you may find that your unprimed face will emphasize these areas with added shimmer. 

   
I choose to use a combination of a hydrating primer and a mattifying, pore minimizing primer. My favorite combination is to use the Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer all over my face and the NYX Angel Veil Primer in my oily t-zone and the places I have enlarged pores.

     
With a damp beauty blender, I begin applying a mattifying foundation all over my face to make sure my natural oils do not break through the rest of my makeup throughout the day. A great, inexpensive foundation is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation. This will make sure your highlight doesn’t turn into a slippery mess within a couple hours of wear.

     
The most important step, is to set your face with a translucent powder! My favorite is the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder because it never looks cakey and does not alter the color of your foundation. This will lock in all of the liquids applied to the face and create a soft canvas to blend powders on! 

      
The next step is totally optional, but it’s what makes my highlight last all day long. With my fingertips, I place some of Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up cream highlighter on my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, underneath my eyebrows and on my Cupid’s bow. These are the areas on the face you want to highlight, since they naturally catch sunlight. I set those places I placed the cream highlight with whatever powder highlight I choose for the day! I’ve noticed I receive the most compliments and questions on the highlighter I’m wearing whenever I do this extra step! 

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer, $32. NYX Angel Veil Skin Perfecting Primer, $15.99. L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation, $12.99. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38. Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream Highlighter, $30.

Now check out these awkward photos of me trying to capture the difference between an all matte face and a highlighted one! 

Before

  

After


  

I hope you enjoyed this in depth look at highlighting and learned some great tips along the way! And I know when that highlight bling, that can only mean one thing…(that you did in fact read this blog post.)