My Face

Full Face: Bright Colors & Dehydrated Skin

The Boyfriend requested a “bright surprise” for a recent date night and I delivered. I loved the balance of super bright eyes with pretty neutral lips (which is a favorite move for nights out so I can still eat whatever I want). This is not a tutorial, but I often get asked about which products I’m using so I thought I’d share a full product list for one of my go-to styles. These photos have not been edited in any way.

SKIN PREP

Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Primer

MAC Strobe Cream

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My Hits & Misses

Top Ten: Summer Favorites

It’s that time of year again when the sun starts setting a little earlier and those back to school lists start cropping up, but I’m not quite ready to let go of those long, warm days yet (or to go back to school next week for my last semester of grad school). Instead of jumping the gun for fall, here are my top ten favorite products that I turned to all summer long.

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Brow Wiz ($21.00/0.003oz) – Believe the hype. I avoided this little thing for ages because I couldn’t believe it was really any better than the other brow pencils I’d been using (MAC, ColourPop). Oh how wrong I was! This brow pencil is so fine, it’s nearly effortless to shape and fill in your brows with precision. The formula is fantastic as well, not too soft to make a mess and not so hard that it’s difficult to use either. I’m not sure there’s anything better on the market. I use the shade Medium Brown.

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photo from anastasiabeverlyhills.com

LUSH Let The Good Times Roll ($12.95/3.5oz) – An old favorite, I recently restocked on this polenta-based exfoliating cleanser and can’t remember why I ever stopped using it. It leaves my skin feeling so smooth, and it’s gentle enough to slough away dry patches without making any new ones. After cleansing to remove my makeup, I use a nickel-sized amount to gently scrub my face and neck. My makeup sits so much better on my skin after using it!

MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Powder ($20.00/0.14oz) – It took me ages to even test out the little samples I had of this loose powdered sorcery, it seemed so intimidating, but I will never look back. This microfinish powder is so finely milled and looks absolutely flawless on the skin. I use it to set my under eye concealer and around my nose where I’m prone to creasing to keep those areas looking perfected (and poreless). It’s super lightweight so it’ll never get cakey, which makes it an excellent choice for special occasions and photos. I like to apply with my RealTechniques setting brush.

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MUFE HD Powder

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My Hits & Misses

Tools of the Trade: Best Face & Eye Brushes

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Tools of the trade can often make or break a project, and makeup is no different. You don’t need to splash a lot of cash to get the good stuff, but a few key investments can really help you level up your skillset. If I tried to go through all of the 50+ brushes I own, we’d be here for the next week, so instead I thought I’d just share the key members of my brush family – the workhorses, the luxury buys that were totally worth it, and the guys I reach for just about every day.

As a side note, I have listed (to the best of my ability) whether the brushes are vegan, cruelty-free, natural hair, etc. If you prefer to only shop vegan/cruelty-free, this list from Logical Harmony is a great resource for cruelty-free brands.

Face Brushes

RealTechniques Duo-Fiber Face Brush (Amazon) – I had no idea how to use this when I first picked up the RT Duo-Fiber Collection (the colors were recently changed to align with the rest of the brand’s products), but it has become my absolute favorite brush for working with super pigmented blushes like NARS and Tarte. It’s so soft and pleasant on the skin, and picks up just the right amount of product for the easiest blending. I had such a hard time working with blush before and now it’s quickly become one of my favorite products. RealTechniques brushes are always cruelty-free.

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RealTechniques Setting Brush (Amazon) – The multi-tasker! This brush gets used so often that I actually have two of them; setting powder, highlight, contour, all over lid shade, you name it – this brush can do it. Right now its top two uses for me are picking up just the tiniest amount of HD powder to set my under eye concealer and giving me a perfectly blended out natural-looking contour. RealTechniques brushes are always cruelty-free.

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IT Cosmetics #103 Airbrush Blurring Concealer Brush (Ulta, $16.00) – For anyone that just cannot get the hang of the micro.mini beautyblender, this is hands down the best concealer brush I’ve tried. Specifically, under-eye concealer. It helps blend out product beautifully without disturbing the rest of my makeup or sheering out my foundation too much. With my current foundation, I’ve actually had better luck applying my concealer first and this brush really does give me an airbrush finish that is undetectable under or over my foundation. This brush is made with synthetic fibers.

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My Reviews

Spring Haul: Part II (Sephora, Glossier, Indies)

I wasn’t kidding when I said I did a ton of shopping recently, won’t be doing anymore for quite a while! Unfortunately, when I shared my first haul post two weeks ago, not everything had arrived yet. Now I’ve had a bit more time to test out all the good stuff from Sephora, Glossier, Blackbird Cosmetics, LunatiCK Cosmetic Labs, Sugarpill, and Jeffree Star.

Blackbird Cosmetics Pressed Luxury eyeshadows in Imogen, Immortals, Figment, Atlas ($8.00/2g each) – This is actually my first order from Blackbird and also my first time trying pressed shadows from an indie brand. I was super excited to try these, but a bit annoyed by unexpected shipping delays so I’m just putting that out there (TAT on the site says 1-4 days, I waited 8+). But I digress, I chose Atlas after realizing I somehow do not own a single cool toned dark brown, but the other three I picked up as possible dupes for some of the shades in Urban Decay’s Naked3 palette (loved the concept, hated the product). When rubbing my finger in the pan, I can definitely feel a little bit of grit or texture, but it doesn’t translate onto the eyes. These shadows blend easily, they all work really well together, and lasted all day without creasing (over my go-to primer). Blackbird Cosmetics products are vegan and cruelty-free.

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L to R: Immortals / Figment / Imogen / Atlas
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L to R: Immortals / Imogen / Figment / Atlas

Glossier Balm DotCom ($12.00/0.5oz) – Between rave reviews from Rachel Whitehurst and JamiePaigeBeauty, I had a hard time resisting the pull of Glossier, and with 20% off my first order, well… here we are. I’d heard great things about this lip balm, part of the brand’s Phase 1 skincare line, and figured I’d give it a shot. With dehydrated skin and unwavering love for matte liquid lipsticks, I’m always down for a good lip balm formula and while it can’t quite stand up to my reigning champion, the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, it’s less than half the price and still does a fantastic job. The Glossier formula also comes in a coconut scented/flavored option.

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My Hits & Misses

Top Five: February Favorites

It’s been quite a while since I posted a Top Five Favorites list, but I’ve acquired a lot of goodies over the last few months and a few of them have completely stolen my contoured heart. Here are my top five favorites for the month of February!

Sugarpill CosmeticsPoison Plum eyeshadow ($12/0.12oz) – This was my first ever purchase from Sugarpill and now I want to try damn near everything! The single eyeshadow is massive (3x the size of a MAC Pro pan), and one of the best purples I have ever had the extreme pleasure of working with. It’s a gorgeous deep matte shade with a bit of hidden sparkle to it and has become a major player in my go-to look lately.

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