Monday, July 6, 2015

Laura Geller blush-n-brighten: the collection grows

Yep, I know. How much can a girl talk about one line of blush? I'm apologizing in advance, 'cuz it's about to get gushy here. Since I now have 5 of the Laura Geller Blush-n-Brightens I thought it would be the perfect time to do a little round-up of my thoughts on the shades in my collection. Overall they're long lasting, highly pigmented, and give the cheeks a bit of sheen. All of the shades make your cheeks look like "natural you with a boost". They each give off a gorgeous healthy glow and are really flattering.

Boysenberry // the pink one
One of the newest in my collection, Boysenberry is the most pink and least shimmery of the bunch. It's considered a matte on their website, but when applied, it still has a bit of an understated glow. The peachy-pink tone is a good one if you're looking for a girly and bright cheek. Admittedly I reach for this one the least out of the group, but I still give it a thumbs-up.

Tropic Hues // the one that goes with everything
Where to begin...Tropic Hues is the faintest, but most used one of them all. The shade is shimmery yet sheer and gives the cheeks a light wash of color and glow. It's probably reached for most often because it goes with any makeup look since it's so neutral, but it still gives a light flush of color to the face.

Pink Grapefruit // the one that looks good on everyone
I won't hammer on too much about this, since I've already done a full review (here). Pink Grapefruit is that blush shade that I use when I'm looking for a boost. I love the mauve mixed with the shimmery pink and the glowy-warmth that it gives to my face. The color is more of a medium tone, so it would be really beautiful on many different skin tones. 

Golden Apricot // the one for the peach blush lover
Out of all the shades I have, Golden Apricot just screams summer to me, The peach-heavy color, sprinkled with a hint of gold is perfect if you're looking for that golden goddess look. (Who isn't?) It has just enough pink laced in it to make it nicely balanced, too, so it's not overpoweringly peach.

Sunswept // the one to give you a slight tan
The color that Sunswept gives to your cheeks is a unique one in my blush collection. It's almost a hybrid of a blush and bronzer. This one also has a balanced combination of peach and pink, but it's the level of bronze throughout it that makes it stand out. I swear, every time I wear this and look in the mirror I instantly notice that I look more tan than I normally do. The only downside is that if you're more pale you'll definitely have to add some bronzer around your face to make look more even and natural. 

Have you ever tried the Laura Geller blushes before? If you've tried Roseberry or Pink Buttercream, let me know you're thoughts and if I need to pick them up to round out the collection!

I hope you all had a great weekend! For the 4th of July we didn't do anything special. The Mr and I watched fireworks on Thursday night, so on Saturday we did a little shopping (of course!) and had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. On Sunday we went kayaking, which I'm sure my arms will be thanking me for all week. I think we're going to go out again on Monday, but to a different creek. We thankfully live in an area that's full of places to go boating, jet skiiing, kayaking, canoeing - you name it- so it's about time we got around to picking up some kayaks. It was actually really fun, but definitely a workout- especially for someone as out of shape as me. I'm on vacation all week and I'm really looking forward to relaxing a bit. Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My favorite bronzer for...

The Favorite Products by Category series continues! As a pale lady, a bronzer can be both a friend and enemy. It can add a nice warmth and color boost that can sometimes be lacking, but add too much and you can look overdone and unnatural. I rounded up my favorite bronzing products and what I like to use each of them for so let's dive in!

Nars Laguna Bronzer // the one for all-over color
Laguna. You probably know what it is by that one word alone. I resisted buying this for the longest time, but finally buckled back in December. Boy am I glad I did. The faintest hint of sheen throughout pan makes me steer away from using this as a contour, but I love whacking it on all over my temples, cheeks, and well, basically everywhere for a hint of color. In addition to warming up your face, it works wonders as a crease shade for your eyes. Double duty? Bonus points.

Benefit Hoola Bronzer // the one for countour
Benefit's Hoola Bronzer was one of the first non-drugstore products I ever purchased. I'd seen everyone mention it at some point in a makeup tutorial, so naturally I had to get it. Several years later, I still love it just as much as I did when I first picked it up. A gorgeous cool tone, it works great as a contour for a bit of subtle definition, even for pale girls. I tend to concentrate it under the cheekbones and along the jawline when my face is screaming for added dimension. It's incredibly pigmented and very finely milled, so a tiny bit goes a long way. Must be why there's barely a dent in mine...

Pop Beauty Secret Sunshine // the one for a warm glow
This little number showed up in a Ipsy bag last year, and is annoyingly no longer for sale on the Pop Beauty website. (Isn't that always the way?!) However, it's still worth a mention, since there's plenty of similar shimmery bronzers out there that give off the same look. There's definitely a noticeable shimmery sheen to it, so I won't use this for contour and I'm not too keen on it being everywhere, either. I prefer to concentrate this on the cheeks and temples to give me that golden goddess look...or as close as I can get to that via makeup.

Laura Geller Sunswept // the one in a blush
This blush has such a warm, bronze undertone to it that every time I wear it I somehow look tan, without looking unnatural. The pink that runs through it adds just enough color to balance out the bronze qualities, making it such a winner. There's a slight sheen within it, too, giving it another layer of dimension to your cheeks as it catches the light.

The next bronzer on my wishlist is definitely the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. It looks like a perfect color, not too light or too dark, and it smells like chocolate- fantastic! Let me know what you're favorite bronzer is and why you love it!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hello Sunshine! Prep your wardrobe, makeup, and hair for summer!

Sunglasses. Shorts. Sandals. I look forward to summer all year. It may have something to do with the fact that my home is pelted with snow for far too many months, or it may be because I love being able to walk outside barefoot whenever I please. Either way, summer is my favorite season and it's here! I'm bringing you my top tips for getting summer ready, as well as a little Summer Survival Checklist from Madison Reed!

The weather is hotter, the sun is brighter and now the question is 'What am I going to wear?' The moment winter ends, I start to shop for some additions to my summer wardrobe. Once summer is upon us I like to dive into it by pulling out my printed rompers, since it makes a cute outfit in one simple step. I love pairing rompers with my favorite sunglasses, some stacked bracelets, and shoes that you don't need to wear socks with. (If I can avoid wearing socks most of the summer, I will! #footfreedom) Sperry and Converse are some of my fave shoes to reach for in summer.

Moving into warmer days always means changing up some areas of my beauty routine. One of my favorite ways to jump into summer is with a colorful eye liner! Purple, blue, and metallics are always great for a summery twist in your makeup routine, especially along the lower lash line. Incorporating more highlighters, glossy lips, and shimmery shadows are a must for welcoming summer, too! Don't forget to prep your skin for seeing more sunlight by applying spf to your face, neck and ears daily- it's a must to keep your skin healthy and youthful for years to come! I reach for a Neutrogena SPF 55 for my face. And don't forget the rest of your skin- a spray-on sunscreen is quick and easy to apply all over before you head outside!

With my feet and legs out for all to see, I always make sure to visit the nail salon for a pedicure in a bright, summery color so I'm ready to throw on sandals at any time. I went for a cheerful pink with a slight coral tone to bring in summer this year. One of the most important routines for me is exfoliating my legs before shaving and moisturizing them after. My favorite products to use are both from Lush- Ocean Salt for exfoliating and Sympathy for the Skin for moisturizing. That store is such an enabler...

When summer rolls around, one of the first things I do is make an appointment with my stylist to trim my hair and spruce up the color. I don't have the guts to chop it off into a cute bob (maybe someday!), so long hair is my look for the season. Since I'm keeping my hair long, on sweltering day I like to go for a messy top knot or a sleek low pony to stay cool. For color, although you may think 'summer = blonde', you have to do what you know looks best on you, so I stick with a dark brown laced with a slight red tone that really ignites when the light hits it. If you looking to update your color for summer, Madison Reed offers a great range of shades that you can dye your hair at home with! Let the color advisor on their site guide you to the color that will be best for you! I'm most drawn to Verona Brown or Sardinia Red for myself! The formula of the Madison Reed colors is healthier than most at-home dyes too, as it uses less chemicals and includes strengthening ingredients, like keratin and argan oil. To protect your color from fading, make sure to use a leave in conditioner with UVA and UVB protection daily (I swear by the UniqOne Hair Treatment, and it now comes in a coconut scent- perfect for summer!) 

Last, but not least, my number one tip for getting ready for summer is hydration! Keep chugging that water all day to avoid dehydrating when the temperature rises. Drinking more water makes for overall good health and glowing skin, and that's gorgeous year-round!

Make sure to check out Madison Reed's Summer Survival Checklist below for a great warm-weather guide!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

My favorite eyeliner for...

I'm continuing with the my 'favorite products by category' series and moving on to eyeliner! I don't rock eyeliner on daily basis just out of sheer laziness, but when I do, these are my top picks! Each has a specific purpose based on the look I'm going for, but all are trusted members of the makeup team.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper // The one for the wing
This gem is the newest member of the group, but has quickly shot to the top. I'm sure you've all heard of this one and with good reason. It's what I was always looking for in a liner to create a nice deep black wing that won't budge or transfer throughout the day. The tip is made up of tons of tiny bristles that come together into a fine point, making it a breeze to apply, too. That Kat Von D really knows what she's doing...

NYX Slide on Pencil in Jet Black // The one for the waterline
Affordable and long lasting, what's not to love? I don't even know how many black liners I tried in my waterline that disappeared, smudged, and just plain didn't work out before I discovered this one. The formula is a somewhere in the middle of a soft and hard pencil, making it the perfect consistency for not irritating your eyes on application, while still wearing for hours without fading.

Jane Cosmetics Eye Liner in Midnight Blue // The one for a hint of color
Sometimes you need to break out of the black and brown liner rut and shake it up. When I'm craving a color that's unexpected, but still wearable, I love this navy blue shade from Jane since really enhances your eyes, no matter what color they are. I especially like the way is looks when it's smudged along the lash line imperfectly making it a little smokey.

My most used liner for the past few months is Roach, hands down. The color is somewhere between a neutral brown and a slightly shimmery bronzey-copper. It's natural enough to wear daily to beef up the lash line, but also has that something special taking it one step above a typical brown. It's especially nice along the lower lash line for a bit of definition, too. I'll definitely repurchase this one when I run out.

Of course no liner list is complete with out one to brighten up your eyes when you need a little awakening boost. I prefer nude liner over white for this, since it's not quite as harsh. The formula of Rimmel's nude really takes the cake, though. It's that creamy, dreamy, glide on goodness, while still being one of the best waterproof liners I've found. (Trust me- it took an oil based makeup remover to completely remove this swatch!)

Let me know which eye liner you can't live without and why you love it! Favorite bronzers will be up next in this series!