Easy, Affordable, and a DIY Makeup Brush Cleansers (3 Options) + How To

Welcome back, or if your first time here, welcome to Makeup In Montana!

Today we’ll be tackling every makeup lovers least favorite thing – brush cleaning. The vast majority of us absolutely detest doing this, but it must be done. Makeup brushes harbor all of the bacteria and general ick that’s on our faces and eyes, so they need to be cleaned very often to reduce the chance of said bacteria and ick causing infections. Without further ado, let’s talk about some methods and products that you can use to clean those brushes!

Spot Cleaning  

If you’re anything like me, you let your brushes get shamefully filthy before washing them. Spot cleaning is what you can do to keep them from getting totally disgusting between deep cleans. I also use this method to clean my brushes between colors I’m using during makeup application, since it dries quickly due to the alcohol in most formulas.

My personal favorite spot cleanser is the Elf Cosmetics Daily Brush Cleanser.

elf daily brush cleanser.jpg ($3) 

Simply spray a bit onto the bristles of the dirty brush and rub into a washcloth, paper towel, etc. It’s that easy! Highly recommend doing this after each use of your brushes to prolong need to deep clean.

Deep Cleaning 

I would recommend doing a full on deep clean of your brushes once a week, but do it whenever you deem appropriate. There are so many different ways to clean your brushes, but I’ll share three of my favorite methods and products.

Biggest tip about this, no matter what method you’re using, do not get water into the ferrule (the metal part that attaches the bristles to the  handle). That is where the glue that holds everything together is, and if you get it wet and get product into it, the glue will weaken and the brush will fall apart.

#1 – Swirl + Sparkle Natural Solid Brush Cleanser 

swirl-and-sparkle (Sample size, $8) 

This is a solid, all natural soap that has little plastic ‘diamonds’ and other little odds and ends that help cleanse and scrub your brushes.

washing brush w sparkle and swirl.jpg

Basically, you get your brush wet and swirl it in the soap. There are tons of different beautiful designs and scents to choose from, and it’s a really simple and effective way to clean your brushes.

#2 – DIY Brush Shampoo.  

There are tons of different recipes online to make your own brush shampoo, but I’ll share the one I personally use.

I use only water, olive oil, and dish soap.

brush shampoo in cups.jpg

As for measurements, I just eyeball it, but I keep it to around 1 part olive oil, 1 part dish soap, and 2 parts water.

brush-shampoo-mixed

I transfer all of the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake it up, and you’re good to go.

washing brush w diy shampoo.jpg

Spray generously onto the bristles of the brush and clean under running water. You can get fancy and use a brush cleaning glove with grooves, but I’m lazy so I just rub it against my hand, and it works like a dream. Super affordable and super effective.

#3 – Bar Soap  

Yep, your standard bar of soap. I like to use Ivory, because it’s incredibly pure.

ivory soap.jpg

This is the same idea as the Swirl + Sparkle cleanser, where you just swirl your brush all over the bar in running water and continue doing so until the water runs clear. This is my preferred method of cleaning my beauty sponges as well.

brush with ivory bar.jpg

washing sponge with ivory 2.jpg

This is by far my favorite method of cleaning my brushes. It’s super easy, smells amazing and cleans my brushes and sponges flawlessly. Use whatever bar soap you like, but I do prefer Ivory, and it’s super affordable.  I have a demo using this method HERE on my Instagram.

After the brushes are clean, I just gently pinch out the extra water.

Once your brushes are actually their original color, they’re ready to dry. There are plenty of brush drying trees you can buy that will hang them upside to dry, but I personally just lay them all out on a towel in a safe place overnight and that typically does the trick.

dirty brushes.jpg (This was taken before they were washed, but you get the idea)

And that’s it, the secret to clean brushes. I hope this has been helpful for you, and if you enjoyed it, please sign up to receive email notifications of future posts.

As always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. All products purchased myself. No affiliate links used.

 

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Best In Beauty 2016 – Top 5 Best Skincare!

Welcome back to the final installment of my Best In  Beauty 2016 miniseries. We’ve already done top 5 best makeup products,5 worst makeup products, and today will be my top 5 skincare products. as I’ve mentioned in the previous two posts, I am limiting myself to either new releases of 2016, or products I’ve discovered in 2016, so let’s dive right in to number five.

#5 – Little Pea Soaps Tunnel Vision Coffee Body Frosting.  

Tunnel Vision.jpg ($12) 

This is a really unique body moisturizer. It actually has the texture of cake frosting, which I think is really cool. The scented version smells like maple bar donuts, and this makes my skin feel absolutely amazing.  It’s so incredibly hydrating without being greasy at all. If you can’t tell by my blog name, I live in Montana. And it’s cold out here. Like super cold. It was -26 F when I took this photo, not including wind chill.

ae77921e4214fdd8e57fbe35f19d87a700d32a307c6db0d05ca199b34e05f150.jpg

Point being, my skin is already naturally very dry, and the unending winter doesn’t exactly help the situation. This has really helped my skin stay nice and smooth during the winter, and I highly recommend it to any and everyone. The only reason it’s in my number 5 spot is because I didn’t buy it until December, but it’s a winner nonetheless.

Funny story with this, turns out it’s edible. Our dogs ate a sample of it and I messaged the Little Pea Soaps owner somewhat frantically to make sure we weren’t going to have to induce vomiting or anything for the dogs, and she informed me that she actually makes her products edible because her child and pets have both gotten into them before. Can’t blame them, if I didn’t know better I would eat them too. They look delicious.

#4- Tarte Maracuja Oil  

maracuja oil.jpg

(Sample size is $15, full size $48)

If you’ve been here for any length of time, you know that I have very dry skin, so I live for face oils. This one is very expensive, but really makes a big difference with the hydration and texture of my skin. I am die hard for my jojoba oil, but this just does something more for my skin that that can’t. If you want a splurge-y skincare product, try this out. I am so dreading when I run out of my current sample because I know I’m going to have to buy more.

#3- L’Oreal Detox & Brighten Charcoal Pure Clay Mask.  

charcoal collage ($12.99) 

When I initially did my review of these, this one was by far my favorite, and that hasn’t changed. This mask really helps draw impurities from my skin and leave me with smoother, healthier looking skin. Totally worth the $13!

#2- Replenish Soap Co. Lip Balms.

20160718_012956 ($3) 

These are by far my favorite lip balms I’ve ever used. I’ve gone through 3 tubes since March, and I’m working on my fourth.

They are super hydrating, and really save my lips from the dry weather in Montana. If you’re a lip balm junkie myself, you NEED to try these. Peppermint is my favorite!

And finally, my #1 skincare product is probably something you’ve all seen coming if you’ve been a reader for awhile.

#1 – Little Pea Soaps Breast Milk Rose Clay Charcoal Facial Soap.  

breast milk soap ($10) 

I’ve talked about this ad nauseum, and that’s because it’s truly the best skincare product I have ever encountered. If you’re interested in learning about the very different ingredients in this product, read THIS review.

To sum it up, this does for my skin what no other product can. It hydrates, softens, gets rid of texture, it’s basically magic. When I stop using this, I can see a huge difference in the overall integrity of my skin. If you have dry or mature or if you have skin at all, you need this. It’s currently out of stock, but I’m hoping it’ll be back soon!

And with that, we end today’s post and this miniseries. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my favorite (and least favorite) products of this year. I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for the beauty world.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post, and if you’ve liked it, be sure to subscribe to make sure you never miss a post.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy 2017!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. Some links are affiliates.

Best In Beauty 2016 – 5 WORST Products!

Welcome back to my Best In Beauty 2016 miniseries!

Last time, we covered my Top 5 Best Products of 2016, and today we’ll be talking about the 5 worst products I discovered this past year. I’m limiting myself to products that were new releases in 2016, or were new to me. We’ll count down from 5 to my  number one worst product, so let’s get started!

#5 – Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

Marc Jacobs .jpg

(Sample size; $30 for full size)

I feel like I may be one of the few people with this opinion in the beauty community.

1gqaiy.jpg                (Yes, I made a meme about it.) 

The meme says it all. They go on super creamy and pigmented, but for a cream lipstick, dry my lips out so badly. I wore this for about 4 hours one day and had to take it off because of how incredibly uncomfortable it was.

Now you’d think that since it’s so dry, it would have good lasting power. Wrong. It lasted maybe two hours with no eating or drinking. I had to reapply, which just made my lips feel even worse.

For $30, I expect so much more out of a lipstick. I have affordable lip products that perform better than this does.

Maybe it’s just the shade I have, but I’m not in a hurry to try any other shades, that’s for sure.

#4 – TheBalm Mad Lash Mascara

mad lash.jpg($20)

This mascara really doesn’t look that bad on my lashes, my issue with it is how it makes my lashes feel. This makes my lashes feel so crunchy and stiff. And it smudges and flakes horribly. If you read my last post, you’ll know that my favorite mascara is the Covergirl Super Sizer Fibers, and it’s much better than this one. Save your money!

#3 – Covergirl TruNaked Palette (Goldens)

cg goldens.jpg ($12)

These received really good reviews, but this one in particular really left me unimpressed.

cg swatches 3.jpg

It’s not that the colors are necessarily bad, but once you start blending it really just becomes a muddy mess. And for $12 for a drugstore palette, nope. Hard pass on this one.

#2 – Elf Cosmetics Acne Fighting Foundation 

elf acne .jpg

A lot of people really love this for a good affordable, full coverage foundation. Not only was this not even remotely full coverage, it was so cakey. It made my skin just look and feel gross. Elf makes much better foundations than this one (Moisturizing stick, Flawless Finish). Unless you want a light medium coverage and you have very oily skin, this will probably not look great on you. And the shade range is awful, to top it all off.

And now, my number one fail of 2016.

#1 – Coty Airspun Extra Coverage Translucent Powder.

airspun.jpg

This is an old, cult classic powder. I bought this specifically for baking the smile lines of my mouth and what a huge mistake. Not only does this smell absolutely disgusting (there is an unscented version, but it isn’t easy to find) it’s super cakey and breaks me out. If you’ve got very oily skin, maybe this would be okay for you. But for me, this was by far the biggest loser of 2016.

 

And with that, we end today’s post! Stay tuned, because the last installment of this miniseries will be my top 5 favorite skincare products of the year.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. Some links are affiliates

Best In Beauty 2016 – Top 5 Best Products!

Welcome back!

Since 2016 has (finally) come and gone, let’s talk about my top 5 favorite products of this year. Narrowing it down to only 5 products was a huge challenge to me, but that’s how you find what products are truly your favorites, by what pops into your head first.

This is totally inspired by Emilynoel83‘s annual  Emily Awards. If you’ve never watched those, you’re so missing out!

There will be 3 posts in this “Best In Beauty 2016” miniseries; this one, 5 worst products, and top 5 skincare products. I’m only including products that were either new releases in 2016, or products I discovered in 2016. We will count down from #5 all the way to my #1 recommendation, so let’s get started!

 

#5 – Manic Panic Dreamtone Foundation (Vampire White) 

manic panic.jpg($10)

The only reason this takes the bottom place in my top 5 is because it snuck in at the very end of the year. This is a pure white foundation that I use to lighten foundations that are too dark for me. If you’re very fair skinned like myself, 9 times out of 10 the lightest foundation in a range is not light enough. This product has helped me get so much more use out of my foundations, and I no longer have to limit myself to the brands that do cater to my skintone.

before and after mixer.jpg (Before and after using 1 pump of Dreamtone in the LA Girl Pro Coverage Foundation in “Porcelain”…don’t mind the cat scratches.)

I don’t find that this alters the formula of my foundations, it only changes the color. If you’re a pale girl, this is an essential product that you need to have in your arsenal.

 

#4- Too Faced Lip Injections Extreme Gloss 

tf lip injections new.jpg (Full size is $28)

This is not a product I would ever have seen myself loving. I personally think my lips are fine and don’t really feel the need for a plumping gloss. However, I received this in an Ipsy bag and cannot stop using it. I put it on while I’m doing my makeup and it does plump a bit, but it leaves my lips feeling hydrated, and helps reduce the appearance of lines in my lips. If you’re someone who wears a lot of matte liquid lipsticks, you know that any little line in your lips is greatly exaggerated by them.  Putting this product on beforehand just really helps solve the issue of lip products sinking into lines. I have to say, I think after using this continually for several months now, I’m seeing actual permanent results. My lips are just more plump and smoother than they were before.

As for the pain level of this product, I would rate it at a zero. I feel no pain at all, and actually really enjoy the tingling sensation I get from it. If you’ve got very sensitive lips, this may not be for you, but otherwise, I think you’d be fine. If you’re in the market for a product like this, definitely go try this one!

 

#3- Too Faced Born This Way Concealer.  

born this way

I’ve already done a full, in depth review of this product, so I won’t rattle on about it. To sum it up, this has excellent coverage,is very hydrating, and lasts all day on my under eyes.

btw before and after (Before and after using Born This Way Concealer) 

This does retail for $28, but I absolutely think it’s worth it. If you’ve got very dry or mature skin, I think this would be an excellent concealer for you. My only gripe is that the shade range is seriously lacking. I have the shade “Very Fair” and its not light enough to highlight on me, and come dead of winter it’s a little dark. But I love it nonetheless!

#2 – Covergirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara.   

super sizer ($8) 

Again, this is another product I have reviewed, so if you want more information about this product, check that out.  This has become my absolute favorite mascara. Nothing gives me more length and volume than this one can.

PicMonkey Collage2

As you can see from this before and after, this mascara is no joke. It stays all day without smudging or flaking, and I honestly can’t say I’ve ever used another mascara that even compares to this one.

And finally, my number one product of 2016.

 

#1 – Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette.  

mr2 ($42)  

I have raved endlessly about this palette (review here), just like many others have. And that is because this is by far the best palette I own. The quality is phenomenal, every single shade performs just like it looks in the pan, and I find myself wanting to use this and only this every day. Palettes are my weakness when it comes to makeup, and I haven’t even felt the urge to buy a new one since I bought this.

If there was only one product I could recommend to you, it would be this. Go pick it up, you will NOT regret it.

And those are my top 5  best products of 2016. I cannot wait to see what kind of releases 2017 will hold for us!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for my 5 WORST products coming next!

Happy New Year, and thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored, some links are affiliates.

 

Monthly Favorites- September 2o16

Welcome to Makeup In Montana! If you’re already a fan, welcome back!

Today is the day we talk about what products I have been loving throughout the month of September. Maybe it’s because I was traveling through the month, but September seriously flew right by! But that’s okay, because I’m SO READY for October! Halloween, here I come.

Enough of my rambling, let’s get into this month’s favorites!

First product I want to share with you this month is the Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist.

hard candy primer msit.jpg                                 ($8)

Primer sprays have become incredibly popular in the last few years, since they are a faster (and more portable) alternative to traditional primers. This one is PERFECT for anyone who struggles with dry skin. I use this not only as a primer, but as my setting spray. It helps prolong the wear of my makeup, and help settle any powders for a more skin like appearance. And for only $8, you can’t beat it!

My next favorite product this month has definitely been my Elf Cosmetics Bronzer Palette in “Bronzed Beauty”.

bronzer palette.jpg ($6) 

This $6 palette offers 4 different shades and tones of bronzer; two matte and two that have some luminosity to them.

What I really like about this palette is not only the versatility, but the pigmentation. Instead of being very strong in pigment, they have a softer appearance to them that makes for a much more natural looking, yet buildable bronze. All of these shades work well on my fair skin(about an NC15 in MAC)  and Elf does have another color option called “Deep Bronze” and they do seem to be very accommodating to deep skin tones.

Moving right along with the Profusion The New Trendsetter Brow Kit.

brow inside.jpg ($12.49)

I am going to be doing a full review on this and more from Profusion, but I couldn’t do this post without at least briefly mentioning this guy. I’ve been using this every single day I’ve worn makeup since I received it, and I couldn’t be happier with it. I’ve never been someone who enjoyed doing my brows, but this product has actually made it fun. Totally recommend this to everyone!

And that’s it for today’s post! I know it’s short, but I’d rather share only a few amazing products over a bunch of mediocre ones. Quality over quantity, my friends.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this, and be sure to check out these amazing products for yourself, and come back tomorrow for a makeup look done using them!

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. All products were purchased myself with the exception of the Profusion Brow Kit, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

 

Back To School Makeup Essentials +Look: Products UNDER $7!

Welcome back!

Today I bring you a back to school post! I’ve gone through my collection and compiled a list of what I think are total back to school essentials, and the best part? All of the products are under $7! Even the brushes and tools. This is also intended to be a really quick, easy makeup look. Ain’t nobody got time to go full glam before school. Now let’s get into the look!

BeautyPlus_20160825162735_save (Sad attempt to step up my selfie game) 

As you can tell, this look is very fresh faced and natural, while still looking like you put a little effort in. Believe it or not, this look took me only 10 minutes to do. If you’ve got a face and ten minutes to spare, this look will work for you.

I actually decided to skip primer for this look. Specifically because I don’t have an affordable one that I’m loving right now, but also because I think just starting out with moisturized skin is enough for this look. If you’re in the market, the Elf Cosmetics Poreless primer is really great and is only $6.

Now for foundation, I immediately reached for my Elf Cosmetics Moisturizing Stick Foundation.

elf moisturizing foundation ($6) 

I’ve raved about this in the past. The coverage is excellent, it blends beautifully into the skin with a natural dewy finish that honestly makes you look like you’re wearing nothing at all, this is basically foundation that doesn’t look like foundation.

This is perfect for back to school because it takes such a short amount of time to apply and blend out. I used my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge ($5.99) to blend this and it’s really the perfect tool to use with this product.

Moving on, I applied the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer to my under eyes, on my eyelids, and to any blemishes, and blended it out with my Real Techniques sponge.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (WATERMARKED) ($6.99) 

This concealer has a really good, natural looking coverage. It covers everything I need it to, without looking cakey or thick anywhere. I applied this to the aforementioned areas, as well as my eyelids to prime for shadows. Concealers make fantastic eye primers, especially if you’ve got a lot of discoloration or veining you want to conceal, and multitasking products are the best for back to school makeup.

Next, I set my face and under eyes (as well as my lids) with the Elf Prime & Stay Finishing Powderprime and fine powder ($2, Shade: “Sheer”) 

This was actually featured in my July Favorites post, because it’s a fantastic powder. Being the owner of some seriously dry skin, I typically skip powders because they make my face look even drier than it already is. However, this powder sets my makeup without killing any of the dewiness from my primers or foundations. This mattifies where necessary, without making the face look dull. My only wish would be that this product had a mirror in the compact, but for only $2, I can’t complain at all. I dusted this on my face with my Elf Cosmetics Complexion Brush ($4) and used my Elf Small Tapered Face Brush ($3) to set my eyelids and under eyes.

Moving on, I grabbed my Elf Cosmetics Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder Duo in “Fiji”.

contouring blush and bronzing ($4) 

I’ve mentioned this product several times as well, and for good cause. Not only do you have both your blush and bronzer in here, you have a really good sized mirror as well, making this product perfect for travel and any on-the-go makeup.

This bronzer is warm, but not orange at all, and the blush is the perfect pink for nearly any skintone. For my application, I skipped on the contour and just used this for an overall bronze, to add a little warmth and definition to my cheeks and cheekbones, and I applied both of these products with my Complexion Brush I mentioned previously.

I also used this in the crease of my eye with my Elf Cosmetics Blending Brush, to add a little definition to the eye.

Next step I really never skip is highlighting. Since I have very dry skin, my skin tends to look incredibly dull and flat, and highlighting helps bring a little life back to my skin. I immediately went for my Elf Cosmetics Baked Highlighter in “Moonlight Pearls”.

Elf Moonlight Pearl ($3)

This highlighter is really versatile, as you can apply just a bit for a subtle glow, or really pile it on to be a total glowing goddess. The shade is perfect for pale skin, but is still warm enough that deeper skin tones could pull it off too.I applied this to the tops of my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and my cupid’s bow with my Elf Small Tapered Face Brush that I previously mentioned. This step is totally optional, especially if you’re oily skinned, but it does add just a little something special!  I also used this highlighter all over my eyelid and in my inner corner  for a wide awake effect.

To finish off the face makeup, I used my Wet ‘n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray to set it all in place.

wnw setting spray ($4.99) 

I don’t know about you, but I loathe having to touch up my makeup. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about makeup and putting it on, but once it’s on, I want it to stay that way. This has totally become my favorite setting spray, specifically because it not only settles down my powders and helps them become one with my skin, it keeps my makeup looking beautiful from start to finish. This is even nice for a midday spritz if your skin is feeling a little dehydrated.

I kept my eyes very simple, and used my bronzer and highlight as shadows as I previously mentioned.

To go the extra mile, I used my Jordana Made To Last Eyeshadow Stick in “Continuous Almond” in my waterline.

jordana continuous almond.jpg (3.99)

This makes for an awesome cream shadow, but I love using this in my waterline because of it’s amazing lasting power. I can apply this in the morning and have it last a full 8 hours without budging. I have expensive liners that don’t even remotely measure up to this guy.  The nude color is great to conceal that red waterline we can tend to get when we’re really tired, and fake wide open eyes.

To finish up my eyes, I applied a coat of my Jordana Best Lash Extreme.

jorana best lash extreme.jpg ($3.99) 

This mascara is great for building natural volume, which is awesome, because I know I wasn’t willing to put false lashes on when I was in school. To be completely honest, I usually wore yoga pants and a sweatshirt 3 times my size because I was entirely too tired to care, but that is a story for another day.

I have never noticed this mascara smudging or flaking, and it makes for some seriously beautiful lashes!

And to finish everything up, I applied my Jordana Twist & Shine Balm Stain in “Honey Love” to my lips.

jordana honey love.jpg ($3.99) 

This is a very comfortable, very long wearing glossy lip color. This color in particular is perfect for a look like this, because it’s totally effortless. “Honey Love” is the perfect “my lips but better” shade (and is a dupe for Nars Satin Lip Pencil in “Rikugien” if you caught my Lipstick Dupes post!)

And that’ll be the end of today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and it’s been helpful for you if you’re going back to school, or just need a few recommendations for quick makeup before work! If you’ve enjoyed this post, please be sure to subscribe to receive email notifications for more!

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. All of these products were purchased myself, some links are affiliates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Monthly Favorites – July 2016

Welcome back!

It’s finally time to talk about the products I was loving during the month of July.

July was a pretty busy month for me, we had some family here for the 4th, and even took a trip to Mt. Rushmore! But all of the festivities did not stop me from wearing makeup and trying new products, so let’s get into it!

Starting with the only non-makeup product this month, the Swirl + Sparkle Solid Brush Cleanser.

swirl and sparkle.jpg (Mini size is $3.99) 

This is a super tiny little sample I received from redeeming some Ipsy points, but I fully intend on purchasing a full size. This is a handmade all natural soap specifically for cleaning your brushes. This scent in particular is Toasted Marshmallow, but there are several different scents and fun designs to choose from on the website.

b4&after.jpg

As you can see, this took a shamefully filthy brush and cleaned it so well in less than a minute. Any makeup wearer knows that washing your brushes tends to feel like a completely insurmountable task, but this product makes it so easy, with great results. Totally recommend checking this out to make brush cleaning a little less painful.

Next face product we’ll talk about is the Too Faced Born This Way Concealer.

born this way ($28, my shade is “Very Fair”)

I’ve done an entire review about this concealer, so I won’t go too in depth here, but I really like this. This has nice, natural coverage that looks hydrated and smooth.  If you’ve been thinking about getting this concealer, I say go for it!

Last up for face products, the Elf Cosmetics Prime & Stay Finishing Powder.

prime and fine powder.jpg ($2, shade: sheer)

Summertime is the only time I can get away with using a little powder on my skin, and this has been my go-to. Powders and dry skin are basically mortal enemies, but this looks completely undetectable on my skin, while setting my makeup and helping to extend the wear beautifully. This actually helps blur my pores, and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. By far the best powder I’ve ever worn.

My first eye favorite has to be the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette.

mr2 ($42)  

Again, I’ve done a full comprehensive review on this palette that you can check out HEREI’ve been wearing this palette basically every chance I get this month. It’s so unique and stunning, and I never get bored playing with it. I strongly recommend this palette to everyone, it’s a total must have!

Next up on the list, the Ardell Soft Touch #162 Lashes.

Ardell Soft Touch 162.jpg ($3.99) 

I did an entire post on my top 5 favorite Ardell lashes, and these came in at #2! These lashes are anything but understated, but they look remarkably natural on the eyes, while bringing a lot of depth and drama to any look they’re paired with.

soft touch 162

Even if you’re a lash novice, or a total expert, I think you’ll love these!

My last favorite I’ll be sharing with you today is the Elf Cosmetics Cream Liner in “Coffee”.

elf cream liner.jpg ($3) 

This is a favorite not as an eyeliner, but as a brow product. A friend of mine mentioned that she loves this for her brows, and I had it sitting around in my collection and had to give it a try. This looks beautiful on my brows, and helps fill in sparse areas without looking dramatic and “drawn on”. Elf does have an actual brow pomade that I intend on getting my hands on, but if you’re like me and have this taking up space in your makeup drawers, try it like this! You’ll be pleasantly surprised. With that being said, a little goes a long way with this guy, so don’t go crazy!

And that’ll be it for today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and be sure to tell me what your favorite products were! Also, don’t forget to 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, all products were purchased myself.

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Favorite Ardell Lashes!

Welcome back!

Today we’ll be talking about my top 5 favorite lashes from my favorite affordable lash brand, Ardell. These lashes are  widely accessible, very affordable, and excellent quality. So let’s get into my favorite styles. We’ll start with number 5, and work our way up to my ultimate #1 favorite!

Number 5: Glamour Lash – Black 102 

Ardell Glmaour 102 Demi.jpg ($3.99) 

These are very spiky, and taper to be longer at the ends, thus giving the eyes a wide, elongated effect.

halo eye .jpg (Shadows are from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

When I initially bought this pair, I figured I wouldn’t really like them, but they’re dramatic and unique, and a lot of fun. The spiky tips help open up my hooded eyes, and they’re easy to apply (easy for lashes, anyways).

Number 4: Glamour Wispies 

Ardell Wispies.jpg ($3.99) 

These are super dramatic, and perfect for an equally dramatic smokey eye.

smokey collage (Shadows from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette) 

These are really big lashes, so if you’ve got eyes that are very hooded or very small, these most likely won’t work well on you. My eyes are hooded, but I can just barely pull these off and I love it.  With that being said, these aren’t every day lashes for me. They’re very dramatic, but perfect for looks like these.

These have a very thin band, making them easy to conceal, but can be a little more difficult to apply at times. Personally, I love a thin band, but it comes down to personal preference.

Number 3: Cluster Wispies #601 

Ardell Cluster Wispies 601.jpg ($3.99) 

Lashes that have these longer chunks throughout the band really help open up your eyes, so these are perfect for those of us with hooded lids.

cluster wispies 601- .jpg (Shadows are the Maybelline The Nudes Palette)  

As you can tell, I’m really into lashes that open and elongate my eyes, so these are no exception. The first time I put these on, I thought they were just too much for me. The more I wore them, the more I fell in love with them. I love how they accent any eye look and give me those ever-coveted doe eyes.

Number 2: Soft Touch #162 

Ardell Soft Touch 162.jpg ($3.99) 

These have a much thicker band than the others, due to the layered style of the lashes.  Something about how these look is just absolutely stunning. The tips are tapered, and the end flares out for an elongated look.

soft touch 162 (Shadows from the Maybelline The Nudes Palette) 

These are more “natural” than some of the lashes I’ve shared, but add something really special to the eyes. They look gorgeous with any eye look, and I’m so crazy about these!

And finally,

Number 1: Demi Wispies

Ardell 120 Demi Wispies

These are a cult favorite lash for a reason. It’s very short and thin on the inner corners and flares out beautifully for the most fantastic tapered lash effect.

demi wispies         (Shadows from the Maybelline The Nudes Palette) 

These lashes amp up every single eye look imaginable, and really bring something extra to your whole look. They look great on very natural or dramatic eye looks, and are the perfect lash for those with hooded eyes.

 

That’ll be it for today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, and if you have, be sure to sign up for email notifications of my future posts.

And as always,

thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

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