Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Winter Favorites

Happy spring! After doing monthly favorites for the last year, I decided that seasonal favorites would be a lot easier for me and a lot more interesting for you guys, especially since I'm in school and don't find myself wearing makeup all that often! This winter has been kind of hectic for me, because it's the first time I've ever had to deal with such cold weather and snow for an extended period of time. Last year, I went to Chicago, but that was only for a few days. I've been here in North Carolina all winter! My skin has been parched, my hair has been frizzy, and I can never seem to put enough layers on. Most of my favorites this month have been focused on combating all that!

Nivea Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss Lip Butter. After picking up the Kiss of Milk & Honey lip balm for Andrew back while I was on winter break, I decided to give this stuff a chance. Now, I apply it ever single morning and night, and I absolutely love it! In fact, since it's a few dollars cheaper than my all-time favorite Jack Black Lip Balm, I might find myself purchasing this more often. It has kept my lips super hydrated this winter -- well, as hydrated as they can be when I have to walk to school in below freezing weather. I never expected such amazing results from such an inexpensive lip balm, but now I'm hooked! Oh yeah, and it smells amazing.

Macadamia Deep Repair Masque. I talked about this mask back in my Winter Pamper Essentials post, but it's seriously become such a staple in my weekly hair care routine. I use this mask once a week, and that's all I need for some intense hydration! This mask makes my hair feel like I had never colored it in the first place, and that says a LOT, considering how many times I've bleached and dyed and bleached and dyed it. It's also been such a huge help with my current journey of attempting to grow my hair out back to my natural color, since I have a lot less breakage now!

Wet n Wild Color Icon "Comfort Zone" Collection Palette. As you may be able to tell with my use of this palette in two recent tutorials, I really enjoy this palette. My good friend Ciarlene gave it to me back when I was home as a Christmas present, and I can't stop using it! I used it when I went to a post-Christmas Christmas party (for which I took pictures for but never typed up a post about) and I got so many compliments on my eye makeup. For those of you looking for an amazing drugstore neutrals palette -- this is totally the one for you!

Real Techniques Bold Metals 301 Flat Contour Brush. If you read my review on this brush, you'll already know I'm obsessed with it. It feels so luxurious and soft and makes contouring a breeze! If you have the chance and the money, go out to Ulta and buy this brush, I promise you won't regret it. The short, dense bristles make applying and blending out contour shades super easy and quick, and since getting it, I have pretty much looked for every possible excuse to use this brush!

Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant. I REALLY hesitated about putting this in my winter favorites because it is SO expensive. $78 for the full size of thing. I personally did not buy it, it came in a huge deluxe sample bag that my best friend gave me for Christmas, and the sample I have is about an eighth of what you get if you purchase the full size. However, this microdermabrasion exfoliant is really, really good. It is so finely textured, but it really gets the top layer of your skin off without being overly aggressive, and my skin always feels so incredibly soft after using it! You really don't need very much, so this tiny bottle seems to be lasting me quite well! Do I have $78 to be spending on a full bottle of this exfoliant? Heck no. Would I spend the $78 if my budget allowed me to? Yeah, probably. It's that good.

Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow -- Bella White. For a pale girl like me, I can never quite find the right matte highlight for right under the brows. Turns out, I need a white eyeshadow to do the trick! I've been using this in quite a few of my recent tutorials, and I have been absolutely loving using this shadow as a highlight! When applied with a fluffy brush, it gives just a subtle highlight to the brow bone without being so obvious that I used just a straight up matte white. Then again, I'm crazy pale, and definitely need such a light color to really get the job done.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. I know this concealer has gotten a lot of hype in the makeup community recently, being noted as a pretty dead on dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I bought it while on the hunt for a replacement for my Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer (which I no longer need, thanks to Andrew). It's a total gem. It's just the right amount of coverage for the majority of my spots, especially considering I don't wear much makeup on a day-to-day basis, and because it's definitely a creamier concealer, it isn't super drying. My blemishes tend to get kind of dry and flaky, and this concealer does a great job of hiding them without making the texture even worse!

Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Daily Calming Moisturizer. After running out of my long time favorite moisturizer by First Aid Beauty, I finally decided to go back on the hunt for a new moisturizer. I wanted something more affordable, since the one by FAB was $24, so I hit up my local drugstore and found this! It comes in very similar packaging to the moisturizer I loved before, but it is a bit thicker and really hydrates my dry skin! The best part is, it's totally comparable to the FAB moisturizer, for about $10 less!

That's it for this season's favorites! I'm so excited for spring, I'm absolutely dying for it to warm up. Hurry up, spring, I'm waiting for you!

- D.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Bohemian Queen Using Only Drugstore Products!

A few weeks back, my friend Alana (who did a guest blogger post about a year ago) requested I do a look inspired by the lovely Stevie Nicks. It's so funny to me when I do looks like this, because I feel like other people look absolutely lovely with this kind of makeup, but it's not something I normally gravitate towards! However, I think the soft and smokey style of Stevie Nicks is timeless, and can easily be worn during the day, or smoked up even more for a fun night look! For this tutorial, I chose to stick with only drugstore products, aside from my brows, so everything I used is super affordable and easy to get a hold of!

My look was inspired by this video, but I also screencapped a couple shots for reference!

Oh the 80s...How I could never pull of that hair.

To start out this look, I used my Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Stick in "Bulletproof Beige" as a base all over my lid, stopping at the crease, and using my fingers to blend the product out. Then, I took my Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Collection in "Comfort Zone" and used the left browbone shade all over my lid, covering up the "Bulletproof Beige" pencil. Then, I took the left eyelid color and patted this on the outer third of my lid, as well as taking it through the crease to warm up the eyes a bit more. Then, I took the left crease shade, and buffed that into the outer V, to really help smoke out the look a bit more. To help define the crease a little more, I used the Milani Eyeshadow in "Bella Caffe" and really blended this through the crease on top of that bronzey pink shade. For my brow bone highlight, I decided to stay matte, since all of the lid shades are generally shimmery, and i used the Milani Eyeshadow in "Bella White," as well as using that in my inner corner for a pop of white.

For the smokey liner, I used the left definer shade on an angled brush and smudged that along the outer parts of the upper and lower lash line, stopping about halfway in. Then, I took a small pencil brush and smudged out that definer shade, to really help smoke the look out. If you wanted to wear this on a night out, I would definitely recommend using this shade in the outer corner to help deepen it up, but for the sake of this tutorial, I only used it as a smudgy liner. On my waterline, I used my Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in "Nude," and then finished off the eyes with a few soft layers of the Maybelline The Mega Plush Mascara.

Since I didn't want to contour for this look, I used a concealer to highlight the high points of my face -- almost like a backwards contour. The concealer I used was the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer, and I used this under my eyes, on the high points of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, and on my cupid's bow. For blush, I used the Milani Baked Blush in "Luminoso," and, in a very 80s fashion, used this almost like a contour, and placed it in the hollows of my cheeks, blending upward. It helps to add just a subtle warmth to the cheeks without becoming overpowering!

For my lips, I used my Maybelline Color Senstational Lip Liner in "Rose," lining my lips and filling them in. To imitate Stevie's naturally pouty lower lip, I very slightly over lined my lower lip, drawing just outside of my natural lip line. To add a gentle shine, I used my Burt's Bees Lip Shine in "Blush."

I hope you enjoyed this look! I'm sure it's definitely a bit different than what you normally see on my blog, but I think it's definitely fun to try to branch out and play a bit more with makeup!

- D.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Snow Day

So this post doesn't really have anything to do with a snow day other than the fact that I was basically cooped up in my apartment for 36 hours because we had a snow day and my car isn't prepped to be driven in snow...Of course, North Carolina, being a part of the South, doesn't really get a lot of snow, so ANY snow seems to be a lot. I don't think our roads were cleared until almost 24 hours after the snow had begun. Now everything is just icy and frigid, and after being cooped up for 36 hours, I decided I needed to get some of my creative juices flowing!

As you can see, I definitely wanted to do a more colorful look, so I had some fun mixing warm and cool colors. That's my favorite part about using my Coastal Scents 252 Ultimate Palette -- it really gives you so much variety when you just wanna have some fun with your makeup!

I labeled everything because I can see how this would get a little confusing. To start, I primed my lids with my concealer. This is a great technique because it also helps to reduce any veins or discoloration on your lids. Then, all over the lid, I took the slightly pearlescent corally orange color and placed that all over the lid. At this point I just wanted a general wash of color to get me started. Then, I took the dark caramel color and rocked that lightly in the crease, to help deepen up the crease while helping to add a subtle transition. I really blended that out, then used the darker warm brown color on a pencil brush in the outer V, really buffing it back and forth to help create a lot of depth in the outer corner of the eye. Then, I decided I wanted more dimension in the crease, and I took the Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder Eyeshadow in "Bella Caffe," and layered that on top of the original caramel color. Because this shadow is more pigmented than the original caramel color, it really helped to add some dimension that the first color couldn't add on its own. Then, I took the light matte coral shade and, using my fingertips, placed that on the inner third of the lid, but not all the way onto the tear duct.

For my lower waterline, I used the Stila Smudge Stick in "Bluefin." If you have sensitive eyes, I do not recommend this liner for the waterline because it has tiny specks of glitter in it! It bothered my eyes a bit at first, but the feeling went away after the liner set. I also took the "Bluefin" liner and applied that to my upper lash line, staying as close to the lash line as possible, before winging it out on the edges. I chose to keep the wing very crisp because I wanted to add a lighter color below it. Because I wanted to use false lashes, I took my Lorac Front of the Line Pro Liquid Liner and created a super thin line just alone the base of the lashes.

For the lower lash line, I first used the NYX Slide On Eye Pencil in "Pure White" and ran that along the lower lash line, winging it just below the dark blue liner. I just needed it as the base for the shadows to go on top. On the outer two-thirds of the lower lash line, I used the shimmery pastel blue color, and patted that on top of the white base, as well as winging it out slightly in the outer corner and blending it out. Then, on the inner third of the lower lash line, I used the shimmery lavender color and patted that on top of the white base, blending it with the light blue shadow. Finally, to finish off the eyeshadow, I took the pale golden color and dabbed that on the inner corner to bring an iridescent glow to the eyes.

Finally, I used the Laura Geller GlamLASH Mascara on both my upper and lower lashes, then used the Andrea Modlash Lashes in "53 Black" to really amp up the glamour!

To keep with the coral theme, I used the Rimmel Stay Blushed! Gel Blush in "Peach Flush" as a base, and popped just a bit of Milani's Baked Blush in "Luminoso" on top to add a subtle glow. On my lips, I initially went for a nude, but you really can get super creative with your lips for this look! First, I lined my lips with the Maybelline Lip Liner in "Rose" and topped it off with Milani Color Statement Lipstick in "Nude Creme."

Like I said before, though, you can totally push this look to the next level by adding a bright lip! The lip colors that I played with were Urban Decay Super Saturated Lip Color in "Punch Drunk" (the orange on the left), and Milani Matte Moisture Lipstick in "Matte Diva" (the bright fuchsia on the right).

I hope this gets you as in the mood for spring as it's gotten me! I can't wait for the warm weather to start setting in again -- I need some sun!

- D.