Monthly Favorites – August 2016

Welcome back!

August is officially a memory as of tomorrow, and we’re on to September! Seems like this summer really flew by (which I’m totally happy about, bring on the Fall!) so we need to talk about my favorite products of August while we still can!

We don’t actually have all that much to talk about, as I was really trying a lot of products and typically went for easy makeup this month. So let’s get into it!

We’ve got a few face products to talk about, so let’s start with the City Color Cosmetics Highlight Trio.

ccc highlight.jpg ($8.99) 

There are two shades of this product, I have Collection #1, as it’s perfect for fair skin. I’ve never found a golden highlight that actually worked with my skintone as well as the one in this trio does. Every single shade is amazing, and I have nothing bad to say about this at all. The powders are versatile so you can get a subtle glow, or some serious hardcore highlight, depending on what you want and how you apply it. There really is something for everyone between the two collections, totally recommend this!

The other face products I want to share with you today are the Profusion Bronze & Contour Sticks.

profusion contour sticks swatches.jpg          ($10)

I did an entire review of these products last month, and this entire kit comes with cream highlight, bronze, and contour sticks as well as a blending sponge. The highlight color (swatched above) doesn’t really work for my skintone, but I am totally in love with the bronze and contour sticks. They’re incredibly creamy, and they just melt into my skin so effortlessly. They’re perfect for my easy makeup days because I can just reach for these guys and cut out the powder bronzer and contour completely. Super happy with these, and I think they’re a steal for the price.

Both of my eye favorites this month hail from Jordana Cosmetics, the first being the Made To Last Eyeshadow Stick in the shade “Continuous Almond”.

jordana continuous almond ($3.99) 

This is a beautiful shadow stick with a very creamy texture, but my personal favorite way to wear this is in my waterline. Since I’m fair skinned, my waterline tends to look very red in comparison to my face, especially in the mornings (my chronic dry eyes don’t help the matter). This is the perfect nude shade to put in the waterline and really wake up your eyes.

jordana swatch.jpg

When they say “made to last”, they’re not joking. This stays in my waterline ALL DAY. My expensive liners can’t even do that, and this was only $4. I absolutely love this product, and fully intend on picking up more shades.

And the last eye product I have to share this month is the Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara.

jorana best lash extreme ($3.99) 

This is by far one of the best mascaras in this price range. I tend to go for volumizing mascaras, and this gives plenty of that, but also really builds length. This is a cult classic for a reason. If you’ve never tried this, I strongly suggest picking it up and trying it out!

And the last product we have to talk about this month is the Milani Amore Matte Lip Cream in the shade “Precious”.

20160829_125459.png($8.99) 

I’ve alluded to this multiple times, but I am working on a big drugstore liquid lipstick showdown coming soon, so I won’t get into too many specifics. However, this is a really nice liquid lipstick. Doesn’t really last through eating, but it’s supremely comfortable, this color is to die for, and I found myself reaching for it a lot this month.

Believe it or not, that’s it for today’s post! I know I didn’t have a ton of products to share, but I’d always rather have a few great products than several mediocre ones.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and if you did, please be sure to subscribe for more, and come back tomorrow to see a makeup look done using all of these great products!

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. The Profusion sticks were sent to me, all other products were purchased myself. Some links are affiliates.

 

 

 

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August 2016 Ipsy Unbagging + Review

Welcome back!

Today we’ll be taking a look inside my August Ipsy* bag! If you’re not familiar, Ipsy is a $10/month beauty subscription service that sends 4-5 personalized beauty products directly to your mailbox.

August Ipsy Bag.jpg

This month’s theme is “Sugar Highness”, so it’s very pastel and elegant. The bags this month were actually illustrated by Ipsy’s founder Michelle Phan. I think the bag is absolutely stunning, and it’s very sturdy. It has a patent faux leather texture, and feels incredibly high quality.

Now let’s get into what came in the bag!

First things I pulled out were the Sally’s Box Secret Garden Ampoule Sheet Masks.

Worst masks ever.jpg ($5 each)  

These are Korean 2 step sheet masks. For the first step, you apply the serum from the top of the package, and put the mask on for 20 minutes before that serum dries.

I can honestly say I’ve never used a mask that was worse than these. I’m not being dramatic when I say that this mask literally ruined my skin. I have decent skin, a little texture and the occasional blemish. This broke my skin out pretty badly, and gave me tiny bumps all over my face. I’ve only used one of them, and I’m not coming within 50 feet of the other, I may apply for a restraining order.Absolutely horrendous product. No me gusta.

Moving on, the next product I pulled out was the Beau Gachis Paris Applicator Sponge.

sponge .jpg (Before & after being dampened, $23)

I was really happy to find this in my bag, as I’m always needing a beauty sponge. They’re my favorite tool to use to apply my foundation, and I’ll never say no to a new one. Except to this one, big no.

First of all, this one is really stiff. I prefer sponges like the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge that have a little bounce to them. This one is just way to dense for me, and it soaks up a ton of product. It really didn’t blend my foundation at all, and wasn’t really enjoyable to use at all. This is okay to use for the baking method, but I would never spent $23 on a sponge specifically for baking when my Real Techniques sponge can do that as well. Hard pass from me on this guy.

As you can tell, this particular unbagging hasn’t been terribly positive this month, but we’ll keep on going.

Next up, we have a nail polish from Dermelect in the shade “Unscripted”.

Dermelect.jpg ($14) 

This polish is infused with peptides and 5 free, basically meaning it’s free of a lot of gross chemicals, which I always appreciate.

The formula was decent, took about 2 coats to be fully opaque. Unfortunately, this chipped within minutes of application. As I’m writing this post, I barely have any polish left, and it’s only been about 3 days. I’m also really not crazy about the color. It’s a radiant orchid type shade that I just don’t like. This is not the best polish I’ve ever used, but it’s also not the worst.

The only makeup product I received this month is the It Cosmetics No Tug Waterproof Eyeliner.

It Cosmetics Eyeliner (Sample size; full size is $22) 

I was really excited to get this in my bag, because I’ve heard great things about it. Besides, never hurts having an extra black liner.

stuff.jpg

As you can see, this is SO black. This is by far the blackest eyeliner I think I own, and I really love that about it.It’s also very creamy and glides on to the eyes really easily. Unfortunately, it really doesn’t play well with my eyes. I loved how it looked in my waterline immediately, but it only lasted for a minute before it began smearing all over my eyeball. This left a film on my eye that was not only really uncomfortable, but gross. I don’t understand why this product claims to be waterproof, because that’s definitely untrue.

And the last product I received in my bag this month was the Sympan Beauty ONE Moisture Cream

Sympan Beauty Moisture Cream.jpg ($20) 

This claims to be a moisturizer, but being someone with very dry skin, I’m super picky about moisturizers. This really doesn’t add even close to enough hydration for me. If you’re very oily and just need something mild, this could work for you. The texture is also very sticky and tacky. As a moisturizer, I really don’t like this. However, the tacky feeling made me think of the texture of the Too Faced Hangover Primer, so I decided to try it in that way. It actually works really nicely as a hydrating primer. It really gives my makeup something to grab onto , and helps extend the wear of it. Not exactly the intended purpose, but works nonetheless.

I hate to be such a downer, but this is by far the worst Ipsy bag I’ve ever gotten. I really think all of the effort this month went into the bag, not the products. The only product I kind of liked was the moisture cream, but I only liked when not using it for it’s intended purpose. This bag was a total fail for me. Really hoping for better next month.

And that’ll be it for today’s post! Even though it wasn’t as positive as my other posts, I still hope you’ve enjoyed it, and will tune in for more.

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This is my personal Ipsy referral link

**This post is NOT sponsored. All products were purchased myself.

The Wicked Beauty – Indie Brand Review!

Welcome back!

Today I bring you a review from an indie brand called The Wicked Beauty.

This brand focuses on eye and lip products, and we have a few of them to talk about today, so let’s get into the makeup!

twb.jpg

 

Starting off with the lips, let’s talk about the Greaspaints.

3 greasepaints .jpg ($9)

These are called Greasepaints because that’s basically what makeup really is. A mixture of oils, liquids, etc. with colorants to be used on the face. If you’re familiar with traditional stage makeup used in plays and musical, that is also referred to as greasepaint, and since the theme of all the lip products is The Wizard Of Oz, I’m assuming the reference was intentional.

These pot style lip products have become very popular, especially for their more interesting color selection, and their ability to be mixed and customized.

These appear very sticky in the pots, but are very comfortable on the lips. The texture once on the lips is somewhere between a lipstick and gloss, and actually set down to a satin, almost matte finish. They feel almost like a chapstick on the lips.

 

 

Greasepaint shades.jpg (Shades: Witch’s Castle, Horse Of A Different Color, Emerald City) 

As you can tell, we have some really different colors here. I am not typically the type to go for colors like these, but there’s something about the tone of these that makes them almost wearable.

witch's castle lip swatch.jpg

(Witch’s Castle

This one is my favorite of the bunch. It’s obviously very bold, but something about it just really speaks to me.

Horse Of A Different Color lip swatch.jpg

(Horse Of A Different Color

This color is totally stunning, but it is patchy. I would typically layer this one over a matching eye or lip pencil.

emerald city swqatch.jpg

(Emerald City)  

This one is in a typical lip gloss tube with a doe foot applicator. I really love the packaging like this, unfortunately  they’re not for sale like this on the website. However, I saw on The Wicked Beauty’s Instagram that they will be available in squeeze tubes soon. This one also seems more minty to me than the others.

The formula is highly pigmented, but  the shades do need to be built up for full opacity. They can be applied in a very sheer manner for a whisper of color, or built up for some seriously eye catching lips. These have excellent staying power, (will stay through drinking and light eating) and will definitely stain your lips. They also have a very strong mint scent/taste/sensation. If you’re not a fan of mint, you will not like these at all. I like it, but that comes down to personal preference.

Ultimately, I really like these. They’re a fun, affordable way to play with different colors and step outside of your comfort zone, and a little goes a very long way. If you’re interested in trying some samples, there are some on the Etsy shop for only $2 each.

Moving on, we have a few Pressed Glitters to talk about.

Pressed Glitters collage.jpg

These are $7 a piece, and come in a magnetic pan shaped like a little bottle cap, which is very cute.  Pressed glitters have become kind of a big thing in the past year, as they’re much easier to use than typical loose glitters and don’t need a glitter primer.

If you’ve been in the makeup community for any amount of time, you’d know there was controversy with several brands over their pressed glitters. No names will be named, but the glitters were molding due to the lack of a preservative in the formula. I personally went through the ingredients on these glitters and there are preservatives used to make sure that doesn’t happen with these. These pans will rust if they’re in contact with water, so make sure to keep them dry. Otherwise, I haven’t noticed anything weird with these, but if something does happen I will make note of it.

Glitter is  not actually FDA approved for use on the eyes, there are cosmetic grade glitters that are available and safe, but it’s really a “use at your own discretion” kind of thing.

Now, let’s check out the swatches.

glitters swatched.jpg (Shades: Beetle’s Back, Pickled Flies…these names get me pumped for Halloween!)

Out of these two, Beetle’s Back is definitely my favorite. They’re both beautiful, but I find the formula of Pickled Flies to be a little more chunky and a little difficult to work with. I still used a glitter primer with these, but I wouldn’t say it’s totally necessary. These are very finely milled, and I really don’t feel uncomfortable using these on my eyes. If a piece were to make it’s way into my eye, I don’t think it would actually cause any damage. Still not a preferable scenario, but you know what I mean.

Devinah Contest Collage 2.jpg Here’s a very colorful look I did  using these products. I used Beetle’s Back on my under eye, and Pickled Flies in my inner corner, though it really didn’t show up much because I used a very small amount.

These are a lot of fun, and if you’re looking for affordable pressed glitters, I think these would be up your alley. Again, use at your own risk, as with all glitters.

To wrap this up, I really like the things I have from this brand, and I will continue to use them, especially for Halloween . I definitely want to get my hands on a few more lip shades and pressed glitters!

And that will be it for today’s post!  I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and will you be picking up any The Wicked Beauty products?

As always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

The Wicked Beauty Links: 

Etsy Shop 

Instagram 

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. These products were sent to me for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

 

The Monthly Meow: Catit Treat Ball

Welcome back!

It’s that time of the month again, where Daechir and I bring you a review for a product just for your furry friends, courtesy of Chewy.com!

12227187_1101713983172196_7941875106625366969_n.jpg (Laundry bags are obviously the best place for a casual hangout) 

This month we’ll be talking about the Catit Treat Ball Toy.

treat ball packaing.jpg This is a toy that you can put your cat’s treats in, and they have to knock it around to get the them out!

There are very few claims about this product, basically all stating to keep your cat occupied, and reduce feline obesity by making them work for their snacks.

This retails for $4.99 on Chewy.com, and are available in pink and blue.

Now, with all of these details out of the way, let’s take a look at the actual product!

treat ball.jpg

The ball itself is actually pretty weighty and sturdy, so the chances of your cat breaking this are incredibly slim, in my opinion. Unless your cat is The Hulk. Very small cats wouldn’t get a whole lot of use out of this, because it would most likely be too heavy for them to really knock around. Any larger cat shouldn’t have an issue, though. Daechir weighs about 4 lbs, and she has no issue playing with this.

So as you can see, you basically drop the treat in the ball, and it spirals to the bottom. There are different openings if you rotate the top, from fully open, to the small hole you see above, to completely closed.

treat ball openings I typically fill the ball with 3 or 4 treats (Daechir’s favorites are Temptations) through the wide opening, and then I close it off to the small hole so it’s a little more challenging for her to get the treats out.

The ball rolls really easily, but the treats will get stuck in the bottom, so I occasionally have to shake it a bit to get the treats rolling around again.

treat ball spiral.jpg

Now for the most important part, how does Daechir feel about it?

As we recall, Daechir tried out the Friskies Pull and Play toy a few months ago and really wasn’t interested at all. However, I’m happy to report that she actually has been having a lot of fun with this!

She doesn’t necessarily go out of her way to play with it, but if I initiate, she has a lot of fun chasing it around and sniffing the treats out.My cat is incredibly picky when it comes to toys, but something about this just really gets her interested and engaged.

Ultimately, I would definitely recommend this for cats who are in need of a little more exercise, or a very active kitty who needs to blow off a little steam. This is definitely the best treat dispenser type toy I’ve found, and if this sounds like something your cats would enjoy, definitely give it a try!

And that’ll be it for today’s post. I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and if you have please subscribe to receive email notifications of future posts!

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

 

*This post is NOT sponsored, this product was sent to me via Chewy.com for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.

 

 

 

Manly In Montana: NEW Ralph Lauren Polo Blue Eau de Parfum – Review!

Hello, and welcome to my first installment of Manly In Montana!

Intended to be a monthly occurrence, my reviews will be covering the less common corner of the beauty blogging industry; anything and everything manly. From products for a glorious beard, to colognes. From balms that restore your feet after a long week’s work, to natural soaps that get the garage off better than your generic soaps.

Considering the demographic of this blog, I imagine my posts will be read mostly by the female population.  That being said, I have a secret for you ladies.  Men love to be clean, and to smell and look beautiful too.  It may not be nearly as often as you’d like, and our definition of what smells and looks good might be slightly odd, but it’s there.  (Men, if you’re out there reading this blog, you know what I mean.  Tobacco, mountains, and bacon just smell better than flowers.) So ladies, tune in to Manly In Montana, and let me review for  you some products the men in your lives will love; and that you will love them better for. Likewise, for the men that will read this, I wont steer you wrong. Your only choices aren’t to be dirty and gruff or to smell like lavender. There are products out there for you, and I will do the leg work in finding them.

Once more, welcome! Today I will be reviewing Polo Blue Eau de Parfum, by Ralph Lauren.

ralph lauren

This cologne comes in four sizes: 0.67 oz, 1.36 oz, 2.5 oz, and 4.2 oz. Ranging from $36 to $98 dollars. Purchasing the 4.2 oz bottle will net you more than double the cologne per dollar than the 0.67 oz version; but being the type of guy that may have never finished a bottle of cologne in his life, the 0.67 oz bottle is the perfect size for me.

As nearly all Ralph Lauren colognes, this scent comes in a glass bottle with a twist off lid. Applied by dabbing, a little goes a long way with this subtle yet defined scent. Clean lake waters and fresh mountain air are what come to mind every time I find myself wearing this scent.  It may be that I grew up in the mountains of western Montana… on a lake… but  I have no better description.  If blue had a smell, this would be it. I’ve owned it for almost a month now and I can honestly say it may be my favorite cologne to date.

As stated before, a little goes a long way with this cologne. The first day I wore this scent I dabbed a small amount on my wrist, then spread it to my other wrist as well as my neck.  I applied it at about 5 am before going to work. I work as security in the field of corrections and spend most of my days on my feet; around coworkers and felons. The drive I take to work is almost two hours round trip. On top of my eight hour shift and two hours on the road, I spent hours at a nearby national park with a friend. (Maybe or maybe not playing Pokemon GO) By the time I had finally made it home and gotten in to bed, roughly 20 hours after I had first applied the cologne, I could still distinctly smell it. If that isn’t some serious staying power, I don’t know what is.

What else is left to say about this cologne? In my opinion it is very reasonably priced for a high quality cologne. It has an incredibly refined scent; clean and classy, and it truly doesn’t fade. No need to reapply a second round as you make your way through a long day. I hope some of you will be purchasing this product, you wont regret it. If somebody out there makes a deodorant that can do what this cologne does, I need to know about it, people.

Anyway, that was my first review for Manly in Montana. I hope you enjoyed it. Even if you didn’t, don’t punish Samantha for it.  Sign up for email notifications for future posts!

Thanks for showing up,

Michael

*This post is NOT sponsored. This cologne was sent to me via Influenster. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

BH Cosmetics Shaaanxo Eyeshadow & Lipstick Palette – Review!

Welcome back!

Today I bring you a review on the BH Cosmetics  Shaaanxo Palette.

shaaanxo12

This palette is in collaboration with Shannon Harris (AKA Shaaanxo) on YouTube, a very successful beauty vlogger from New Zealand. It retails for $22 on bhcosmetics.com, but is currently on sale for $14.50.

The palette is double sided, with 9 eyeshadows on one side, and 9 lipsticks on the other, both sides having a pretty good sized mirror as well, and the packaging is relatively sturdy.

 

Now, let’s get into the palette, starting with the shadows.

shaaanxo1

As I mentioned earlier, there are 9 shades in the palette, 4 being a matte finish and 5 being shimmers. These shades all lean warm, with the exception of the darkest color.

shannon collage shadows1

These shadows have seriously blown me away. the quality far surpasses the price.No shade is lacking in pigment, and they’re all very buttery and smooth, and practically blend themselves. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about these shadows at all, my only con would be that they can be a little powdery, but so is my $45 Anastasia palette.

With that being said, you do have a limit as to what you can do with this palette alone. The shades I would typically use in my crease from this palette are warm, reddish shades so without bringing in other shadows, I can really only do looks that are very warm toned.

shaaanxo look 12        (For this look I used the peachy-custard shade as a transition, the reddish brown in my crease, and the duochrome all over my lid)  

rose gold eye w hella creasing.jpg (Same shades used in my crease applied very lightly, rose gold shade packed all over the lid. Try to ignore the creasing, tried out a new eye primer that isn’t working for me.)   

A flaw in this palette is definitely that it won’t be very usable for all skin tones. If you have a very deep complexion, I’m not positive that all of the shadows would work for you. However, if you’re fair to medium-deep, this would be fine.

Even though the shade range is somewhat limited, I am really loving the looks I’m getting using this palette. I’ve never tried shadows from BH Cosmetics before, but if they’re all like this, I’m definitely getting my hands on more. For such an affordable palette, I’m honestly shocked at the quality of the shadows. This easily rivals and surpasses some of my more expensive palettes.

So a huge thumbs up from me on the shadows, now let’s talk about the lipsticks.

shaaanxo2.jpg

Just like the eyeshadows, there are 9 shades. These range from a pale nude to a dark maroon shade, and have a few fun pops in between.

lipstick collage1.jpg (Swatched using my finger) 

Shaaanxo Palette lip swatches.jpg (In the order they appear in the palette) 

These are all very creamy, and clearly pigmented. These are swatched with no lip liner, which will always help add to the pigmentation of a lip color.

I really appreciate the range of shades in here, as there’s pretty much something for everyone. However, as you can tell, these don’t come off exactly as they look in the pans, especially the dark shades. These are all applied with a lip brush, if you were to use your finger, you’d get a more true-to-pan color.

These lipsticks are very comfortable, and the shades really play well with the selection of shadows you’re given. Beyond the general hassle of a lip palette, I really don’t have anything particularly negative to say about them.

To wrap this post up, I definitely recommend this palette. Not only am I fan of Shannon, but this palette really did live up to my expectations. I think it’s a great addition to any collection, and would come in handy for any traveling due to the multitasking nature. I strongly suggest getting your hands on this palette while you still can!

And with that, we end this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, will you be picking up this palette?

As always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored, all products were purchased myself.

 

Lipstick Lover TAG!

Welcome back!

Today we’ll be doing a tag that I saw on LipglossLeslie’s YouTube channel and I couldn’t resist trying this one for myself, because it’s all about my favorite thing, lipsticks!  These are a bunch of fun questions all about lipsticks that any lipstick lover will enjoy.

This tag was started by Mallory1712 and WannaMakeup, so be sure to check out their channels to watch the original video.

Without further ado, let’s get into the tag!

1.Most underrated lipstick? 

My pick for this question has to be the Nyx Round Case Lipsticks.

nyx round case.jpg(3.99) 

These are all cream finish lipsticks that come in a large variety of shades.

Nyx Round Case Lipsticks.jpg (Shades: Femme, Snow White, Thalia)

These are very comfortable on the lips, as well as being highly pigmented. There are 44 shades in this line, so there’s definitely a shade for everyone. These are only $4, and I think the quality of these far exceed the price. Even though they’re not new, give these a try! They’re totally worth it.

2. Favorite discontinued lipstick? 

This was a very easy question, definitely the Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in “Musk”.

musk 2.jpg

This past year, Bite discontinued their Luminous Creme line, and replaced it with the Amuse Bouche lipsticks and got rid of Musk. Which basically broke my heart into several tiny pieces.

MUSK.jpg

This is the most gorgeous beige nude shade that I think really complimented my skin tone, and the formula was fantastic. If Bite would bring Musk back to their Amuse Bouche line, you better believe I’d be on it immediately!

3. Lipsticks that you have back ups of or have repurchased? 

I kind of have to cheat with this question, specifically because I can’t honestly say I’ve ever completely finished up an entire lipstick. My choice for this one is the lipgloss that I’ll be repurchasing very soon, the Nyx Butter Gloss in “Tiramisu”

Nyx Tirimasu ($4.99) 

I have raved about this product a ton of times, and I have in fact used up my entire tube. This is the first lip product besides a lip balm that I have used in it’s entirety and I will repurchase this the next time I make an order on Ulta’s website.

tiramisu.jpg

This is the perfect nude gloss that works with everything. I even wear this on days I’m not wearing any makeup, just because I love it. The texture is fantastic, very pigmented and not sticky in the slightest. If you’ve never tried a butter gloss, I strongly suggest trying this one first.

4. Favorite lipstick packaging?  

This was kind of hard for me to choose, but I’m going with the Clinique Lip Pop Lipsticks.

20160811_233349.png ($18.50)

There’s something about the simplicity of the packaging that I really like. The mirrored top with Clinique’s logo and the bottom of the tube matching the color of the lipstick inside is just really appealing to me.

Clinique Lip Pop.jpg (Shade: Passion Pop)

These lipsticks are so intensely pigmented, very creamy, and have great lasting power on the lips. If you’re looking to make a bit of a splurge, these are a fantastic option.

5. Favorite liquid lipstick brand? 

I’ve mentioned this before, but I am currently working on doing a HUGE affordable liquid lipstick showdown, so I don’t want to divulge all of that information here. But my current favorite liquid lipsticks are the Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Matte Lip Colors.

HC VM.jpg($6)

These are not your typical liquid lipsticks, as they are a bit thicker, and really live up to their “mousse” namesake.

Hard Candy Velvet Mousse Matte Lip Colors.jpg (Shades: Cherry Blossom, Dahlia)

These go on fully opaque and dry down to  a completely matte finish within 10 minutes. What makes this my current favorite is the comfort level. Matte liquid lipsticks are not known for their comfort, but these don’t dry my lips out at all, and still last through eating and drinking. These are totally worth checking out, and only run you $6, so it’s a win win!

6. Favorite lip combo?

There are tons of lip combos that I love, but my current favorite has to be lining and filling my lips in  with my Essence Soft Berry Lip Liner, and topping it off with the Nyx Lip Lingerie in “Satin Ribbon”. This is the lip combo I was wearing in my July Favorites Makeup Look  post and a lot of people really seemed to like it.

nyx plus essen ce(Essence – $1.99, Nyx – $6.99)

nyx+essence

Satin Ribbon is too light to wear on my lips on its own, but when it’s layered over this liner it becomes this gorgeous lavender sepia kind of color and I just LOVE it!

7. Lipstick that is always in your purse or that you HAVE to take on vacation? 

This was such an easy question for me to answer, definitely the Elf Cosmetics Lip Kiss Balm in “Bare Kiss”.

elf bare kiss.jpg

This is a tinted lip balm that I have with me wherever I go. It’s not only very moisturizing, but the color payoff is excellent.

elf bare kiss lip swatch

The shade is just the perfect warm nude that looks beautiful with every eye look imaginable. I never leave the house without this in my purse!

8. Lipstick that you regret buying? 

Unfortunately, when I read this question the Jordana Modern Matte Lipsticks immediately popped into my head.

Jordana modern mattes.jpg

Now, I don’t say these are regrets because they’re bad products, but I’ve had them for over a year and I have NEVER worn them!

jordana modern mattes2.jpg (Shades: Matte Tease, Matte Classy) 

These are ridiculously gorgeous. I think they’ve just managed to get lost in my collection, and I really need to pull these out and give them some love.

And finally, that will be the end of today’s post! I tag anyone who’s reading to give this a try, and if you do, be sure to let me know on Instagram!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, and if you have, please be sure to subscribe for more!

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. All products were purchased myself.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Elf Cosmetics Brushes!

Welcome back!

Today we’ll be talking all about my top 5 favorite Elf Cosmetics brushes.  These are very affordable and accessible brushes that I think everyone needs in their collections!

elf brushes

This post is in collaboration with @bfgbeauty on Instagram, so be sure to check out her post and find out what her top 5 favorites are!

Number 5: Ultimate Blending Brush 

Elf Ultimate Blending Brush ($6)

I typically always use damp sponges to apply my foundation, but some foundations will always work better with a brush as opposed to a sponge. When I run into that, I always reach for this brush. It’s very soft and dense, with just enough give in the bristles to really blend out foundation flawlessly.

The quality of these brushes is just incredible. I have not experienced any shedding with any of these, and the quality hasn’t changed at all, even though I have owned some of these brushes for several years.

If you’re looking for a new foundation brush, I highly recommend picking this one up!

Number 4: Complexion Brush 

Elf Complexion Brush ($4) 

This brush is in my top 5 specifically because of it’s multitasking capabilities. This brush can be used for face powder, bronzer, contour, blush, and I could probably continue, but I think you get the point. When I travel, I always make sure I have this brush with me, because it can replace a lot of my other brushes. This one is a total must have for any makeup lover.

Number 3: Crease Brush    

Elf Crease Brush($3)  

This is a small crease brush, perfect for those of us with smaller or hooded eyes. It’s tapered in such a way that makes it really great for fitting directly into the crease to place color, or to blend it out. This has become such an important brush in my arsenal, that I probably couldn’t do my makeup without it anymore, nothing else I own compares.

Number 2: Small Tapered Face Brush 

Elf Small Tapered Face Brush.jpg ($3) 

This is another brush that can have many different purposes. I typically use this for setting my under eyes with powder, but it also makes for a fantastic contour or highlight brush, due to the size.

This is another one of those brushes I would immediately replace if it were to go missing from my collection, because I don’t own anything that could possibly replace it. And for only $3? Serious steal.

And finally, the countdown to my favorite Elf Cosmetics brush is coming to an end.

Number 1: Blending Brush 

Elf Blending Brush.jpg ($3) 

If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a big fan of brushes that can serve multiple purposes, and this one is no exception. I can use this one brush and get an entire eye look because of how versatile it is.The tapered, slightly flattened shape makes it perfect for applying shadows, as well as blending them out.  The shape is very similar to that of a Mac 217 brush, so if you’ve had your eyes on that brush but would rather spend $3 as opposed to $25, this is a brush for you.

And that’ll be it for today’s post! I hope this has been helpful to those of you who are new to Elf’s brushes, or just looking to expand your collection.

As always,

Thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored, all products were purchased myself.

 

 

 

NEW Profusion Products Review-Super Affordable!

Welcome back!

Today we’ll be talking all about some new releases from Profusion Cosmetics, a very affordable brand that can be found online and in some drugstores.

profusion.jpg

This is my first true experience with Profusion products, so I was really excited to dig into this and go nuts. We’ve got some good, and some not so good here, so let’s get into it!

We’ll start with the Absolute Conceal Palette.

absolute conceal paleete collage.jpg ($4.99) 

This is a concealer palette that comes with 4 different shades for concealing, highlighting and correcting.

cream concealer swatcg.jpg

My issue with this product lies in the formula. It’s very stiff and dry until really warmed up with the fingers. Even then, it’s still too dry for me to personally use. With that being said, the highlight and corrector shades are really great. The tone of the correcters are perfect for cancelling out under eye darkness and cater to most skin tones, and the highlight shade (more of a concealer shade on me) is light enough to highlight on most people. The shade at the far right would be a great highlight on tan to deeper skin tones.

If they would come out with this same palette in a creamier formula, I’d be head over heels for it. Unfortunately, it’s just too dry for me to really use on my already very dry skin, so I don’t recommend this product.

One thing that’s awesome about this product is actually the brush that comes with it.

profusion concealer palettebrish

This brush is really soft and great quality. Most brushes that come with palettes are stiff and virtually unusable, but that’s not the case here. I would pay $5 alone for this brush. My hat is definitely off to Profusion for providing excellent, usable brushes in their palettes.

Next product we’ll talk about are the Highlight & Contour Sticks.

IMG_6141contour kit.jpg ($9.99) 

In this kit, you receive cream highlight, bronzer, and contour sticks, as well as a beauty sponge, for $10.  Right off the bat, that’s a great deal. And I’m happy to report that I am over the moon about these.

profusion contour sticks swatches.jpg           (From right to left: contour, bronzer, highlighter) 

These are all 100% matte, so they are perfect for highlighting and contouring. The bronzer stick is warm, but not orange, and the contour shade is absolutely perfect for my skin tone. I’m not crazy about the highlight stick, only because it’s too yellow for my skin. I’m sure someone who had a deeper complexion than myself could get a lot of good use out of it, though I have noticed that it isn’t quite as creamy as the other two sticks.

soidfhgoid.jpg

These are super creamy and blend effortlessly into the skin, leaving a very natural looking effect behind. When I say natural, I don’t mean that these are sheer. These are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way. But they’re very buildable, and can be used to create a “barely there” look or full on drama. I have been using these every single day, and will probably need to hide them from myself so I’ll actually use something else. Totally 100% recommend these!

As for the beauty sponge that comes with these, I’m not totally crazy about it, but it definitely isn’t bad.

profusion sponge collage (Before & after being dampened) 

This sponge works really well for blending out these sticks in particular, but it is too dense to use for foundation or anything of the sort. This sponge doesn’t claim to blend out foundation, so I’m not mad at it. I would like it to be a little softer, but this is definitely not like hitting yourself in the face with a rock either. It’s just a little dense for my liking, but I will continue to use it.

Last product we’ll be talking about today is The New Trendsetter Eye Palette.

profusion eyes outer packaging.jpg

The outer packaging is actually really nice, and reminds me a lot of a book (which I think is kind of the idea here). My only wish here was that this had a magnetic closure, but that really isn’t a big deal. Now, let’s dig into the palette.

profusion book 2.jpg ($12.49) 

As you can see, there’s a lot going on here. You get 24 shadows, 2 brow powders, 4 gel liners, 2 under eye concealers, 3 brushes, and an eye shadow primer.

For $13, this is a fantastic deal. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a palette in the same price range to offer so much for this low of a price. I also really love how all of the shadows are individually named. Most drugstore brands don’t bother to do that, and I personally love it when my shadows are named. There’s also a really substantial mirror in here, which makes it great for travel.

Let’s dig into the shadows first.

palette .jpg

profusion the new trendsetter eye palette shadow swatches.jpg

First things first, there is a really nice shade range here, which you can use to get a multitude of different looks. You’ve got your everyday neutrals, all the way to your bright, fun colors.

18 of these 24 shadows are matte, which is so refreshing to see in the drugstores. As you can see, some of these shadows are really strongly pigmented, others are very lackluster. Shockingly enough, the mattes far surpass the shimmers in pigmentation, usually it’s the opposite. Some of these shades are hard to see because of my light skin tone, but would definitely show up on someone who has a deeper complexion than Casper.

These definitely perform better over a shadow base, but not every shade is wonderful. As a whole, I think this is a great palette for the mattes, but none of the shimmers are very good.  I haven’t had an issue with blending, and found these actually really easy to blend.

profusion eye 1 (For a neutral warm look (very trendy at the moment) using this palette, I used “Khaki” as my transition, “Celebrity” in my crease, “Terra Cotta” on my lid, “Cream” under my browbone, and “Pearly” to highlight the inner corner. I also used the “Brunette” brow powder and the brown gel liner.) 

profusion eyeb 2.jpg (For this very colorful option, I used “Enchanted” in my crease, “Deep Sea” on my lid and blended into the crease, “Cobalt” to deepen the inner corner, “Aluminum” to highlight my browbone, and “Pearly” to highlight the inner corner. Brows are the “Blonde” brow powder and a tiny bit of the black gel liner on my upper lashline.)

Moving on to the other products in the palette, we’ve got a lot to talk about here. palette 2.jpg

We’ll start with the brow powders.

 

with names2.jpg

These look much warmer in the pans than they come off on the skin, but they are still pretty warm toned, so if you’ve got very ashy brows, these won’t work as a brow powder for you. Also, the names confuse me a little. The dark one is called the “Blonde Brow Powder”, and the lighter one is the “Brunette Brow Powder”. Maybe that’s mislabeling, but I find it very strange regardless.

I don’t typically use a brow powder, but these aren’t bad at all. The color is too warm for me, but I have been using them as eyeshadows as well, and actually prefer to use them in that way. So even if these don’t match your brows, they can still serve a purpose.

Next up, the gel eyeliners.

gel liner swatch names.jpg

These are actually pretty good. They’re easy to work with and look really nice on the eye. There is a pigmentation issue with the plum and navy shades, they take a lot of building to get to full color, and even then, they’re not 100% opaque. I like to use these shades first, and then top them with a shadow of the same color. The black and brown shades are really nice. Very creamy, smooth, and pigmentation isn’t an issue at all with these. I’ve actually continued to come back to this palette just to use these liners. Total thumbs up from me. These also may be sold in their own gel liner palette, THIS palette from Profusion looks to contain the exact same shades, but I haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure if the formula is exactly the same, but I’m willing to bet it probably is.

Right below the liners in the palette are two under eye concealer shades.

concealer swatch

I would consider these a corrector and a skintone/highlight shades, but that is very dependent on your skintone. If you’re darker than a light complexion, these will not work as concealers for you, but I have used them to prime my eyes and they’ve worked nicely for that.

As for the formula, it’s really not bad. MUCH better than the other concealer palette we talked about in the beginning of this review. Very creamy, blend nicely, and are much more hydrating. With that being said, they’re not my #1 choice for concealers, just because of my dry skin. I have been used them several times and haven’t had any creasing to speak of, but they do look dry on my under eye. If you’ve got more normal to oily skin, I don’t think you’ll have that problem with these.

Alright, the last actual makeup product to talk about is the eyeshadow primer.

It’s nothing special, honestly. I appreciate that it’s in here, and it’s decent, but it doesn’t do anything particularly great for me. It’s a very greasy kind of consistency that reminds me a lot of the Jessie’s Girl eyeshadow primer, and I really am not a fan of that one. I don’t find that this really intensifies my shadow, extends the wear time, or prevents creasing. It’s not bad, but it is also not that great.

And finally, the last products we’ll be talking about today are the 3 brushes that came in this palette.

profusion brushes.jpg

Earlier I said that I was a fan of the brush that came in the concealer palette, and I feel the same way about these. They’re very soft, I haven’t experienced any shedding with them, and they’ve cleaned really nicely. I really like the flat shader brush for adding shadow to my outer corner, the angled one is great for brows and liner, but I’m not totally crazy about the small liner brush.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, besides the fact that not all of the brush hairs are completely even, but this just isn’t the kind of brush I like to use with cream or gel liners. I really think that comes down to personal preference, and doesn’t have much to do with this brush itself.

In total, I think this is a great palette. Not only for general use, but for travel as well. This is definitely something I can see a lot of people really enjoying.

 

And finally, that will be it for today’s post! I hope you’ve found this helpful, and if you’re looking for some great affordable products, be sure to check out Profusion’s or look for them in your local drugstores.

As always,

Thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. Profusion Cosmetics sent these products to me for honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and genuine.

 

 

July Favorites Makeup Look!

Welcome back!

Each month after sharing my favorite products, I put together a makeup look using all of the products to show them in action! Definitely check out my July Favorites post to get a little more in depth info on all of this great makeup!

more pictures  (Let me know if this photo looks really yellow on your device! It looks normal on my computer but very bizarre on my phone!)

 

Face Details:  

-Primed with the Too Faced Hangover Primer.

Elf Cosmetics Moisturizing Foundation Stick in “Ivory”

Too Faced Born This Way Concealer in “Very Fair” under my eyes.

-Cream contoured with the Profusion Cream Contour.

-Set my face and under eyes with the Elf Prime & Stay Finishing Powder in the shade “Sheer”.

-Bronzed with Elf Cosmetics Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder in the shade “Fiji”.

Ulta Illuminating Powder in “Yellow Diamond” as my highlight.

Wet ‘n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray to set everything in place.

-Lips lined and filled in with Essence Lip Liner in “Soft Berry”, topped with Nyx Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in “Satin Ribbon”.

 

post collage

-Primed my eyes with the Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base.

-Shadows from the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette.

  • “Warm Taupe” as my transition
  • “Buon Fresco” in my crease
  • “Cyprus Umber” on the outer corner
  • “Tempera” on the lid
  • “Vermeer” on the inner corner.

Jordana Made To Last Eyeshadow Pencil in “Continuous Almond” in the waterline.

Ardell Soft Touch #162 lashes.

Wet ‘n Wild MegaLength Mascara.

Elf Cosmetics Cream Liner in “Coffee” to fill in my brows, set with the Nyx Tinted Brow Mascara in “Brunette”.

july faves face

That’ll be it for today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed this look using my favorite products of July, be sure to subscribe for more!

As always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. All products were purchased myself.