Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Favorites 2015

I would say the typical "Where did this month go?", but I know the answer for me: work and sickness. Long hours followed by a cold did not make September an amazing month by any means. October is going to be excellent, though! (Two weddings, a trip to Las Vegas, and Halloween!) I did have good month beauty-wise, and I found some great new products to share with all of you!

Origins Drink Up // Having a cold is terrible, but the damage it does to the skin around your nose when you've had to blow it about 500 times in one day is even worse. At the end of that tissue-filled day, my nose was irritated and red, so I used the Drink Up mask on just that area for about 15 minutes before bed. I'm not even exaggerating, when I woke up it wasn't red at all and you wouldn't even know I was sick! 

NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown // I've mentioned in many posts that I'd heard the NYX brow pencil was a good dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz. Now that I've tried it, I can confidently say that it really is! Half the price and the same results makes this a shoe-in as a favorite this month! The shade selection in NYX is decent as well, with 8 shades to choose from. I'm somewhere between Chocolate and Ash Brown, but I think Ash Brown is a pretty good match for what I need for my brows.

Rimmel Lift Me Up Mascara // I've been switching it up from my beloved Maybelline Lash Sensational lately to the new Lift Me Up mascara from Rimmel. It's not quite as good in terms of length and volume, but it does a good job and is much easier to remove. It smells just like cucumbers, similar to the rest of the Wake Me Up range, and it has Argan oil in it to condition your lashes. My only complaint would be that the two larger ends of the waved brush are gigantic and I tend to get a little smudge of mascara on my lid no matter how hard I try not to every time I apply it.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Orchid // Can you be in love with a color? 'Cuz I'm pretty sure I'm the heart-eyed emoji every time I apply this. I've worn this shade so much this month- it's ridiculous. This pretty color is a shimmery, cool-toned light purple with a bit of pink in it. The shade reminds me so much of the light purple shades I wore in my late-teens- I must be feeling nostalgic! If you have green eyes, this color will really enhance them, too! I can't rave enough about the formula of these shadow sticks. No primer needed and they can be worn more sheer or built up to a brighter color. I might go as far as to say I like them better than the By Terry Ombre Blackstars. (Eek!)

Laura Geller Eye Dew in Copper Penny // I have a full review of this shadow stick coming up next week, but for now I'll say that this was a surprising favorite! It was an unplanned purchase, but I've fallen in love with the versatility of the shade! Copper Penny is truly metallic shade, that I've been using in three different ways: a sheer wash of shimmer across the lid, built up to an intense copper shimmer, and as an inner corner highlight in an unexpected shade. 

Revlon Lip Butter in Creme Brulee // You might have noticed that Creme Brulee wasn't in my full review of the Revlon Lip Butters. Yes, I bought another one since then. #notashamed This shade shot to the top of my favorite colors and I've worn it almost every day. It looks like a brown-ish tan in the tube, but on the lips it transforms into a glossy nude your-lips-but-better shade and goes with any look you've created that day. I looooove it! I can't find the lip butters on the Revlon website anymore, so I'm wondering if they're discontinued?!? I hope not! Get 'em while you can, I guess!

What was your favorite product this month? A new purchase or a rediscovery of an old favorite? As I said earlier, I have two weddings this month and they're two weekends in a row- busy busy! My company is also send me and my work bff to training in Vegas at the end of the month. We're going down a day ahead of time to have some fun before training starts (read: shopping and eating). We're trying to pull together our list of restaurants to go to while we're there. Any suggestions are welcome!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Current skincare routine: a.m., p.m. and everything in between

My skin is something that gets commented on both on the blog and in person relatively often. I take a lot of pride in my skin and think that it's a combination of being lucky to get very few breakouts nowadays and taking good care of it every day. I'm hoping I've inherited my grandma's anti-aging genes- I swear she didn't age at all during the last 20 years of her life! I'm going to preface this entire post my saying that I'm not an expert in skincare and I'm just sharing what works for me, which may not be what will be best for you. For your reference, my skin is currently sensitive and combination/dry.

Each morning for the past month or so, I've been reaching for the Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash. My skin was feeling pretty dry prior to switching to this and I can honestly say that it feels significantly more hydrated every day when I wash with this. After I'm all cleansed-up, comes the finishing steps. I use a toning spray (both morning and night) after cleansing and have been spritzing nothing but Lush's Breath of Fresh Air for months. After generously spraying this refreshing and nourishing toner that smells like the sea (love the scent!),  I apply a light layer of the Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer. I'm pretty impressed by the formula of this moisturizer, as it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin, a little goes a long way, and you really do feel like your skin stays moisturized for hours.

If you've been a reader around here for a while, then you've probably noticed that in pretty much all FOTD posts, I never mention a foundation. That's because 99% of time I don't use any. Don't get me wrong, I feel like foundation can be great for balancing skin tone, hiding blemishes and scars, and making a nice, even-toned base. However, it always makes my skin feel like it can't breathe all day and is super clogged for days to follow. This might just be me, but I feel like going foundation-free helps my skin to be healthier and have less breakouts. I will apply a tinted moisturizer every once in a while, though, so I completely understand wanting more coverage from time to time.

My makeup removal varies, depending on what I have on and my laziness at night, honestly. On nights when I'm tired and can't be bothered for intense makeup removal I'll use the Up & Up makeup removing wipes (not pictured) or the Simple Micellar Cleansing Wipes. (I'm shaking my head at myself for using wipes, but we all know the struggle...) On tough as nails waterproof mascara (I'm lookin' at you Lash Sensational) I'll reach for an oil-based makeup remover pad to get off the excess that won't budge. I really like these pre-soaked eye makeup remover pads from Almay. On evenings when I'm actually being good about my skincare, my favorite makeup removing and cleansing hybrid is the cult favorite Ultrabland from Lush. The texture is somewhere between an oil and a balm and leaves your skin feeling both clean and hydrated. As I said in the A.M. routine, I follow up cleansing with a few sprays of toner water and moisturizer.

Everything in Between
Aside from the typical cleansing and moisturizing, there are a few others steps that I consistently keep in my routine to keep my skin looking as radiant and youthful as possible. I dont ever sleep in makeup. Ever.  Even on those nights when you come home after having far too many drinks and can barely function, I still take two minutes to quickly remove my makeup. Your skin will thank you the next day. I'm also an extreme stickler for sunscreen, especially on my face. If I know I'll be outdoors for more than 10 minutes, some form of spf will be on my face. I'd rather not risk getting the dreaded lobster-look from sunburn, premature aging, or (most importantly) risk my long-term health.

Masks are your friend when your skin is dry, acting up, seen too much sun, or recovering from a night out. I like the Origins Drink Up Mask for either spot treatments of dry areas or a hydration boost for my entire face (full review here). BioRepublic Sheet Masks are a favorite of mine, as well. The Aloe Rescue mask is so good after a day in the sun - I used it one day this summer after I was outside all day and my face felt so cooled and soothed after I used it! Lastly, let your skin have one day off a week. Unless I have some serious plans, every week I abide by makeup-free Sunday. Every Monday morning, my skin feels cleaner and less irritated because of it.

Oh boy, the makeup free selfie. (It was makeup-free Sunday when I took it, of course!) Well, there you have it, my daily routine and some tips and tricks for what keeps my skin looking and feeling healthy. I'd love to know what products and tricks you swear by in your skincare routine!

I hope you all had a great weekend! Of course as soon as I finished working crazy hours, I got sick. Isn't that always the way? Ugh. I'm definitely feeling a lot better than I was a few days ago, so things are looking up! What is everyone up to this week? The Mr and I have a wedding to go to on Saturday for my cousin. I've finally found a dress, so now I just have to decide how to style it and what makeup and hair combo to go for! Have a great week!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Simple and chic nail art

I typically can't be bothered with any nail art. It never seems to turn out how I envisioned and I usually prefer the look of a single color. However, I was feeling inspired to shake it up the other day and tried out a simple, chic, and easy nail art design using only two colors. 

After the normal base coat, I applied two coats of a sheer pink polish, to make my nails look natural with a hint of shine and tint. I used the Sally Hansen Triple Shine polish in a sheer pink, Jell-ous, which isn't available anymore, but Essie's Pink Glove Service should give you the same effect.  After the sheer pink had dried a bit, I went in with a cool gray (Essie Chinchilly) and free-handed the triangle section in the same corner of each nail. If your hand isn't very steady you may need to use tape to keep the line even, but the Essie brush is a good firmness for helping to create a straight line.

So that's it! Really easy to create, but more unique than a one color mani. Are any of you going to try this out? If you do, upload a picture to Instagram and tag me (@_shelikestoshop) so I can check it out! I hope you all had a great weekend! I went to a bachelorette party on Saturday, which was such a blast! I caught up with some old friends that I haven't seen for years, and had some delicious drinks along the way while we stopped at different local breweries!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Revlon Lip Butters: the tinted balm I can't get enough of

I know when to admit that I have a problem... And that moment was when I knew I had a bunch of the Revlon Lip Butters, but didn't know just how many until I gathered them for this post. Now that I've 'fessed up, let's dive into exactly why I keep buying them!

First and foremost, I am a lip balm girl. I use a balm more than any lipstick, lipgloss, or lipstain that I own. It's the ease of a balm that really appeals to me. The quick slap on, knowing that if it wears off I don't need to touch it up unless I want to, and the hydration that it gives my lips. Enter the Revlon Lip Butters. They're the more refined version of a typical lip balm- they do all the things that a balm does, but they also provide a nice sheen and wash of color to the lips. 

Out of all of the shades that I own, I seem to gravitate towards the lighter, more sheer colors most often. Must be that fuss-free thing, again. My hands-down favorite, and most recent addition is Cotton Candy (as seen in my August favorites). It's a cool-toned pink that's a perfect color for me. I carry it around everywhere, which, for me, is a clear cut sign of a winner. Juicy Papaya, a light coral, and Strawberry Shortcake, a baby pink, have been go-to shades for me all summer. They're such easy colors to finish off a any makeup look, since they go with almost any eyeshadow and blush you could choose for the day.

If a red lip is what you're looking for, but you don't want the extreme commitment of a red red, then Candy Apple is what you need. A light wash of red, but not too intense. Of all the shades I've tried, Lollipop is my least favorite, solely because of the ridiculous amount of glittery bits in it. That glitter makes it look terrible on it's own (who wants glitter chunks on their lips?), but topped off with a pigmented gloss, it makes a nice bright pink base.

As we're moving into fall, Raspberry Pie and Sugar Plum are great deeper colors for the seasonal change. Raspberry Pie is the deeper pink-toned berry shade that every lip collection needs. Sugar Plum is great for anyone who's loving the 90's trend being a dark purple with a heavy brown undertone.

The packaging is bright and fun and the names are honestly yummy! Since each tube is color coded you know which shade is which at a quick glance. The perpetually late lady in me loves that, since in so simple to find the one you're looking for within your lip stash (or hoard, as mine seems to have become...)

Have you tried the Revlon Lip Butters before? If you have, what's your favorite shade? Do you have any other tinted lip balms that you'd recommend?