Urban Decay Lounge - unusual in the pan, unexpected on the lid

Monday, August 31, 2015

As I mentioned in my review of Urban Decay's Tonic shadow, I wanted to try out Lounge next. I didn't even remember seeing it in the store when I bought Tonic, so I was on a mission for it the last time I went shopping. Once I spotted it, I remembered why I didn't notice it last time. It looks like straight-up green shadow at first glance. Green shadow isn't exactly my jam when it comes to colors I typically use, but I swatched it anyway. 

Lounge is one magical little shadow. Although it's a deep green in the pan, it becomes a stunning reddish-brown with a hint of green shift when it's applied. I've never used anything like it. It's so multi-dimensional and stunning! A neutral lover's dream, it's a very wearable warm red-brown, but when light catches it, that green gives it a unexpected colorful sheen that amps it up! This has been my go-to lately when I want one shadow all over the lid, but I'm still looking for something a little unique. 

Have you ever tried Urban Decay's Lounge? What eyeshadows have surprised you that looked odd in the pan? I don't know what it is about these UD singles, but they keep sucking me in. Who knows which one I'll try next. If you have recommendations, I'd love to hear them! Have a great week!

We've got a one coat-er here, folks

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Opaque in one coat. Sweeter words were never spoken. As a self-professed Essie addict, it takes a lot for me to try out another nail polish. I'd heard a little bit of buzz about Trust Fund Beauty so I was definitely excited to give it a whirl when it came in my Ipsy bag this month. Although it's a bit pricier than an Essie polish, at $15 a bottle, it might be worth the splurge for the right shade. In a tall, hefty bottle it already has a feeling of luxury, and being non-toxic and cruelty-free takes the brand up another notch. 

The shade I tried, Elegantly Wasted, is a deep lilac purple, so a seriously Me shade. Earning points already... The brush is the perfect size for full brush strokes that evenly coat the nail. I can't speak to all shades, of course, but I can say that this purple gem was fully opaque in one coat, without being streaky or bubbly. Cue party music, 'cuz that is some serious joy and so hard to find in a polish. Two coats? Sure! But one? Yes, please, sign me up!

As I was browsing around the Trust Fund Beauty site, I was loving their vibe more and more. Their colors are chic and their shade descriptions equally sassy. Resting Bitch Face, a duochrome shade that caught my eye, is described as "Nothing is wrong, I am not mad it's just my face!" Hilarious, and I can completely relate to the RBF syndrome! I also love the looks of Got Yacht (a deep blue that's perfect for fall) and Kiss Kiss Darling (a chic, dark burgundy red).

Use the code IPSYGIRL through September 30th to get 35% off your order on the Trust Fund Beauty site. If you try any of the polishes, let me know if you like the formula, too! I'm always excited for a recommendation!

The reality of a beauty box subscription for a beauty addict

Monday, August 24, 2015

When the beauty box subscription trend took off a couple of years ago I was totally on board. It sounded awesome - $10 a month and you'd get a box full of beauty surprises delivered to your doorstep to try out. I signed up to Birchbox first and Ipsy a few months later, and I'm still subscribed to both. (I'm on the fence about continuing with one of them, but more on that later...) I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts on the best and worst parts of them, as well as some more info on the ones that I use.

Obviously one of the most fun parts of these monthly boxes for a beauty addict is being able to try out a lot of new products for a relatively reasonable cost. I've discovered so many incredible products that I might never have tried if they hadn't come in a beauty box (I'm looking at you, Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten.) I've also received so many different makeup removers, hair oils, and face sunscreens that I won't need to buy any for a very long time. However, you're also rolling the dice with getting something you'll never use. I've received several lipsticks that are shades that I'll never wear in a million years, and it's not like you can exchange them for something different.

Being both a beauty lover and beauty blogger, I tend to buy a lot of makeup, skincare, and hair products pretty often. So adding in ten-ish more products a month from two boxes on top of what I've already bought leads to the dreaded pileup. I have so many products between what I've willingly bought and what's come in my beauty boxes that I'll never have enough time to try out, let alone consistently use them all. There are honestly several boxes worth of products that haven't even been opened. This is probably the biggest con for me of having these subscriptions and why I want to cut it down to just one. I've ended up putting together a little pile of things I think my mom would like or that I have something similar to to give her her so at least someone will get use out of them.

As I said before, I currently subscribe to both Birchbox and Ipsy. I'm strongly considering getting rid of Ipsy, though. Out of the two I seem to get more beauty related products in Ipsy (more beauty than skincare, etc.). However, the shades I get are really hit or miss for me- either something in a shade I don't like, another black eyeliner, or, at times, a chalky eye shadow. Granted, there are definitely some gems once in a while (nail polish from Trust Fund Beauty, a shadow brush from Crown Brush), but not too many products that really stand out to me. Last but not least, I feel like the rewards program is horrendous. You get points for reviewing products, but by the time you have enough to cash in for an extra product in your bag, pretty much everything is sold out. They also seem to expire faster than I can earn enough to use most of the time, so I feel like I'm really not getting any type of rewards for being subscribed.

Birchbox on the other hand is the box that I see myself keeping for quite some time. They've really upped their game since I first subscribed to them two years ago. The boxes I get have a good mix of beauty products, hair care, skincare, nail polish, and everything in between. They've also added a great feature where every month you can choose between a guest editor box which is selection of products chosen by the likes of Emily Schuman from Cupcakes and Cashmere, Nicole Richie, Rent the Runway (that was a great box!), or you can choose one of the 5 products that you'll receive in your next box from a small list. I love this feature, since it gives you a little bit more control over what you'll be receiving, and I have to say, the guest editor boxes have been really good lately. 

The rewards program that Birchbox offers is killer and one of the main reasons I'll keep subscribing. Every product you review is 10 points and every dollar you spend in the Birchbox shop is 1 point. Every 100 points earned is $10 you can spend in the shop, so basically if you just review all of you products each month, then every 2 months you'd have $10 to spend. The shop offers a lot of great products, too, from brands like Benefit, Oribe, By Terry, and Laura Mercier, among others. Just for an example of how great the rewards program can be, I just combined some earned rewards points with a discount code that they sent me and bought a Laura Mercier baked eye shadow, cream shadow stick, and a By Terry Ombre Blackstar shadow stick all for a little less than $50. For what those cost full price, that's a steal in my mind, and most of the rewards that I cashed in were from doing a quick review of the products in my box each month.

If you subscribe to any beauty boxes, let me know if you're experiences are similar to mine! If you're interested in subscribing to Birchbox, click here! Ok, now I feel like that turned into an unintentional essay... Who knew there was so much to say about beauty boxes? This post wasn't sponsored in any way, I just really wanted to throw my thoughts your way about these boxes.

I'm sorry I'm been MIA for over a week - work got super busy and I had some plans on the weekends, so there just ended up being no time for creating any posts that I would feel proud of. I went shopping on Friday night, mostly as a mental boost after a long week at work. After a few stores and a lot of browsing, I picked up a couple of new things including these little flats (on sale!) that I posted on my Instagram. I did almost nothing on Saturday (literally nothing - it was awesome!) and on Sunday I had a bridal shower to go to. Afterwards, Steve and I went to our nephew's football game, too. I hope you all had a great weekend!

I've got your oasis right here

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm going to need to start cataloging my Essie polishes soon, 'cuz I'm starting to lose track of which ones I have at this point. (I'm officially an Essie hoarder.) Luckily the latest one I picked up, Find Me An Oasis, was a shade I didn't have yet. The baby blue tone was calling to me- it looked so soft and feminine, making it a great summer nail color! This one's a pale gal in the bottle, almost like a white polish with a hint of blue. When applied, it comes across a lot brighter than you would think! It has quite a pop to it and reminds me a little bit of Mint Candy Apple (but less minty, of course).  As light as it is, two coats made it completely opaque. I looove when it only takes two coats! It wears just as well as most Essie polishes, too. I'm about a week into it as I type this and there's not a chip in sight. I'm definitely happy to have added this cute color to the group!

Have any of you ever tried this shade or anything similar? Will this color be your summer nail oasis?

Back on the Maybelline mascara train

Monday, August 10, 2015

Now I remember why I only bought Maybelline mascara for years! After being loyal to The Falsies, then The Rocket, I decided to shake it up and try some other brands' mascaras for a while. Not that they were bad by any means, they just weren't exactly what I look for to enhance my lashes. I picked up a tube of the Maybelline Lash Sensational after hearing that it was one of the best drugstore mascaras to come out in a while. After one use, it all came back to me and I've completely reignited my love for Maybelline mascaras. 

I went for the waterproof version, since my lashes can't hold a curl to save their life. When they say waterproof, man do they mean it. Only tough makeup remover can get this stuff off at the end of the day (I've been using Lush's Ultrabland), so it definitely is a long lasting formula. I really put it to the test this weekend - Steve and I went out on the motorcycle for a while and even with the wind in my eyes and them watering like crazy, this stuff didn't budge!

It's a wetter formula and quite a bit comes out of the tube onto the brush, so I've found it best to wipe the excess off on the opening of the tube before applying. One coats gives me good definition and coats all of my lashes nicely, but it can also be built up with multiple coats easily. If multiple coats are added, you'll need to work a little faster than normal, since this formula seems to dry more quickly than the average mascara. 

The plastic brush might be my favorite feature of this mascara. It somehow seems to snugly grab each lash right at the root and hug them to coat each one all the way to the tip. I love that feeling during application- so satisfying! The slight bend of the wand also nicely fits along my lashes without getting mascara all over my lid, too. (We all know how much I hate that!)

Let me know if you've tried Lash Sensational and what you thought of it! It's safe to say I'm back on the Maybelline mascara train with this one. I hope you all had a great weekend! Steve and I popped over to an annual art festival on Saturday and picked up a few small pieces for the house. The weather was perfect for walking around there, too - not too hot like it always seems to be. I went to a bridal shower on Sunday for one of my best friends from high school and caught up with a few other old friends when I was there, too! Looking forward to the bachelorette party and wedding!

The contour powder I've been using daily

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I've heard beauty bloggers talk about the NYX HD Blush in Taupe as a contour shade for a while now, but I was on the fence, especially since it had been reformulated and repackaged. Holly from Bloomin Rouge featured it in her June favorites and reminded me again that I wanted to give it a whirl.

I have a hard time falling in love with powders for contouring. The only one I've used (and liked) in the past is Benefit's Hoola, so I really wanted to find a drugstore alternative. NYX's Taupe incredibly inexpensive at $6.50, which is such a bonus. I'm just going to say it- this blush has completely blown me away and hit on all of the things I look for in a powder contour. The powder is finely milled, so one swipe of your brush has enough to provide a subtle shadow, but it's also really easy to build up to a more noticeable contour. The color itself is a cool-toned brown with a subtle gray undertone, so basically a gorgeous contour shade. It's very long-wearing, as well- I can still notice it on my face at the end of the day after applying it in the morning.

So long story short, this has shot to the top of my list for contour powders! Have you ever tried NYX's blush in taupe? Let me know your favorite drugstore product for contouring!

July Favorites

Monday, August 3, 2015

As we're getting into August already (August-eek!!), it's time for July Favorites! I've been using some new products and rediscovered some old favorites, so let's dive right in!

Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water // I haven't given this one a full review yet, since I'm still testing it out, but I've been misting this on my face both morning and night for about a month. It smells incredibly refreshing, like seawater, and makes my skin feel revitalized when I use it. 

NYX HD Blush in Taupe // I bought this after reading a great review of it in Bloomin Rouge's June Favorites and now it's in my favorites, so... On Thursday I'll have a full review of this, so stay tuned, but I'll just say for now that it's been my daily contour powder every single day for weeks. I luuuurve it!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer // As you can see, this concealer is well loved and almost empty. I love this drugstore gem since it gives good coverage, it's very creamy, and blends out easily. I like to swipe this on the general area that I need it, and then blend it out with brush to make it a little more seamless.

Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya // I've swapped out my typical lip balm for this sheer peachy glossy balm and loving the added oomph it gives to my daily look. I always forget about these, but I'm so happy I rediscovered this while shopping my stash. It's such an easy product to quickly slap on, but it gives such a bright, summery color to your lips!

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer // I don't know if it's the sudden heat wave we've been having or strobing being everywhere you look, but I have been completely obsessed with slapping this highlighter all over my cheekbones for an intense glow. I probably wear too much for daytime, but who cares- do what makes you happy. The champagne sheen it adds to my cheeks gives me all the feels.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Tonic // You may have seen my full review of this purple shadow a few weeks back, and I'm still just as in love with this duochrome shade now as I was then. I've been loving it on minimal makeup days for a little added dimension on my lids and a light wash of color. It's such a versatile stunner!

The Strain // My last July favorite is a tv show! Steve and I watched the first season of The Strain in less than a week and now we're caught up on season 2, which is still in progress. I didn't know much about it before I watched it, but I'm pretty addicted now. If you like shows that have anything to do with vampires, zombies, or apocalyptic environments, then you'll probably like this one.

Let me know what your favorite product was in July! I'd love to hear your recommendations!

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