Feb – April 2017 Empties

As I was gathering products for this blog post, I realized how bad I am at finishing makeup products. Every month I have been meaning to do an empties post, but every month I realized I only used up about two items. I ended up compiling all my empties from February to April and still I only ended up with the following items. My goal for the next three months is to try to finish more products so that I can purchase new makeup items.

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  • Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz: This is my all-time favorite brow product and since I always do my brows, it was no surprise that this was part of my empties. I always make sure that I have back up of this in my house.
  • Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Define + Fill Duo: This is my favorite drug store brow product and I actually find myself reaching for this more than my brow wiz. One of the main reasons is because it works extremely well and it is so much more affordable than my brow wiz. I am not at the point in my life where I can drop $21 for a brow product every three months so I try to use the drugstore alternative more often.
  • Softlips Cube 5-1 Lip Care: I actually got this product way back in an Influenster box and since I have so many lip balms, I constantly forgot about this product. To be honest, it is not my favorite lip balm and I cannot see myself repurchasing. It retails for around $3-$5 which is not too expensive but I do not find it to be very moisturizing. It does not provide me with the deep moisturize that I want but rather just sits as a thin film on top of my lips.
  • LA Girl Pro Concealer – Cool Tan: This is one of my all-time favorite concealers because it is so affordable and high coverage. I tend to use the shade cool tan to contour my cheeks and it always provide a nice subtle contour that I really liked. However, when I tried to contour with this recently, it began to look extremely muddy on my face. I decided to part with this product for that reason, as I am unsure if it is just because I have had it for such a long time (two years and counting).
  • Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: I featured this eyeliner in my January Favorites a while back because it was a great dupe for the Kat Von D Tattoo liner. It was a great product (until I discovered the Kiko Milano eyeliner that I featured in my April Favorites) but the only problem I had with it was that it was not black enough for my liking. It also dried up in a month which was extremely fast in my opinion.
  • Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara: This product came in one of my Influenster packages and I was skeptical about this mascara since I have never heard of this brand. However, it actually worked pretty well, it lengthened my lashes and did not smudge which is two of the main things I look for in mascara. I did not find that it helped with curls but I have yet to find a mascara that helps to define curled lashes.

It is quite sad that I only managed to use up six products in the span of three months. I am going to try to finish up more makeup items in the coming months so that I can justify buying more makeup to try out.

Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation

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I have been looking for a cushion foundation ever since they came out. The idea behind a cushion idea is extremely fascinating and I have been looking to get my hands on one for a couple of months now. More and more drugstore make up brands have been releasing them, L’Oreal Paris was the first one and then Maybelline released their Dream Cushion. Since I had a coupon deal at CVS, I decided to pick up the Maybelline Dream Cushion in true beige. They retail for $15.99, which is price-y for a drugstore item. However, with a couple of coupons, I got it for around $12 which was a pretty good deal.

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The packaging comes with a cushion that you can use to apply the foundation or I have seen people use a brush as well. I find the texture of the foundation to be extremely interesting, it reminds me of a sponge. When I put the cushion into the foundation it sinks in and then expands again which feels pretty cool.

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The shade that I got was true beige, which is actually too dark for my skin tone right now.  It also has a slight-y pink undertone which does not work that well with my skin since I have yellow undertones. I am hoping to use this foundation more when it i the summer since currently I look a bit like an oompa loompa when I wear it. However, I do find the application process pretty easy since I used the cushion and I did not have to clean another brush for this product. Although I do find that the cushion gets real dirty real fast. But the cushion made the application quick and easy and it applied very smoothly onto my skin. The foundation does provide light to medium coverage and you can build it up for more coverage. It does provide a dewy finish which may not be too great for oily skin but I do have dry skin so that was not an issue or me. Along the day I did find dry patches especially around my nose areas. However, I did like this foundation since it felt very lightweight on my skin but I do have to play with it more when it is summer to see how I really feel about this foundation.

March 2017 Favorites

I feel like I say this every month, but March has just flew by. It was a pretty busy month for me since it was both my boyfriend and best friend’s birthday! But that also meant a lot of chances to try out new make up and rediscover ones that I have loved in the past.

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  •  Korres Quercetin and Oak Anti-ageing Foundation: I recently wrote a review on this foundation where I mentioned how much I loved it so it is no surprise that it made my March favorites. This foundation does not make me look dry or cake-y which is what I have been looking for in a foundation. It covers up all my imperfections and makes my skin look smooth and amazing.
  • Mary-Lou Luminizer: This highlighter has been on my wishlist for the longest time and I finally picked it up last month. It provides such an amazing glow without being too glittery. I also love how it is a very build-able highlighter so I can add more if I want more glow or I can be light handed and it will be a subtle wearable glow for work.

Clinique Moisture Surge: I was using this moisturizer last summer but I stopped when winter came along for no real reason. Recently, I decided to pick up this moisturizer again and I loved it. It leaves my skin feeling super soft without being too oily. The moisturizer is also extremely lightweight so it does not feel like you are wearing anything at all. Recently, it has been my go to moisturizer for the night time. Processed with VSCO with  preset

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From top to bottom: NYX Lingerie (Push-Up), Wet n’ Wild Perfect Pout Gel Lip Liner (Gone Burgundy), Wet n’ Wild Perfect Pout Gel Liner (Bare to Commit) 
  • NYX Lingerie (Push-Up): From the swatches above, it looks very patchy but it actually goes on smoothly on my lips. Push up is a great nude pink color that is perfect for everyday. It dries matte and has a pretty decent amount of staying time but it does transfer. I don’t mind it much since it is not drying on my lips and feels extremely comfortable when I am wearing it.
  • Wet n’ Wild Perfect Pout Gel Lip Liner: These were on my wishlist for this year and I finally got a hold of them. The two colors that I own are Gone Burgundy which is a burgundy red color and Bare to Commit which is a nude pink color. (My favorite lip combo for the month of March is bare to commit with  NYX Lingerie Push-Up on top). This lip liner is extremely creamy and goes on extremely easily. It does wear off pretty easily since it is so creamy but usually I layer a lipstick or liquid lipstick on top so it does not matter as much. The colors are super pretty so I do like to wear them alone sometimes!

Korres Foundation and Lip Butter Review

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Recently, there was a Korres sample sale going on near where I lived. Most of the products were 50% off or even more; the downside (or upside) was that some of these products are actually discontinued and it seemed like they were trying to clear out the rest of their inventory. I have actually never heard of the brand Korres so before going I went online to find out their best items and I found that their best sellers were all skincare and a lip scrub. However, the sample sale did not have many of their newer skincare items but I did pick up the lip butter in guava for $6 (it normally retails for $12). Another item that I picked up was the Korres Quercetin and Oak Anti-ageing Foundation in light sand for $5 (complete steal but this item is actually discontinued, sadly).

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The packaging for these products are pretty sturdy and sleek. I did not really have any expectations for these products as I have never heard of this brand before and I figured since I got them at a super affordable price, even if I did not like them it would not be much of a lost.

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The lip butter that I got was in the scent guava, but on their website they have other scents as well. It did smell strongly of guava when I first opened the packaging. Personally I am not a huge fan of any lip products that I have to dip my finger into since I find them to be a bit unsanitary but I wanted to find a good lip butter / lip balm to help my dry lips. The scent is pretty strong  so if you are not a huge fan of super scented products you may not enjoy this one. The lip butter was a bit waxy and it did not make my lips feel super oily after I put it on. However, I do not find that it really moisturizes my lips, it kind of feels like just a film on top of my lips and once I eat or drink water it kind of goes away and I would need to reapply. I stopped using it after about a week of consistent usage since I find that it did not do much for my lips.

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The Korres Quercetin and Oak Anti-ageing Foundation that I got was in the shade light sand which I found was a bit light for my skin tone but nothing that bronzer could not fix up. This foundation actually goes on extremely smooth and evenly. The coverage is light to medium and it has a slightly dewy finish. Honestly, this has quickly become my favorite foundation because I find that it does not cake up around my nose at all which is amazing since most foundation do tend to cake up and make me look super dry. Since the foundation does not feel tacky after I put it on, I usually avoid using a powder on top since I find that using a powder does make me look dry (especially around the forehead and nose area). Overall, I find that the finish look super nice and makes my skin look super even and natural.

I am still on the fence about the Korres brand since I have not tried out their skincare items. Despite not liking the lip butter, I really liked the foundation and kind of sad to hear that it is discontinued.

The Balm: The Manizer Sisters

Processed with VSCOI have been eyeing the Mary-Lou highlighter from The Balm for ages. It was on my beauty wish list for the longest time and I finally decided to pick it up when The Balm was having a 50% off sale. Rather than just picking up the full size of the Mary-Lou highlighter, I decided to go with the Manizer Sister trio which comes with Mary Lou, Cindy-Lou and Betty-Lou. I cannot imagine finishing a full size highlighter so I decided that getting a small amount of the Mary-Lou will not kill me and this way I would have more colors to work with. The palette retails for $28 but I got it for around $16 (since it was during their 50% of sale and plus shipping).

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I was honestly so excited to unpack this product since I have been waiting so long to get my hands on Mary-Lou. The colors itself are stunning and I am honestly so impressed with all three colors.

  • Mary-Lou Manizer: This is a champagne highlighter color which provides an amazing glow to the face. This highlighter works on a wide range of skin tones including those who are extremely fair.
  • Cindy-Lou Manizer: This is a rose highting color which provides a pink glow to the face. This can also work as a blush since it does provide a nice peachy pink glow to your cheeks.
  • Betty-Lou Manizer: This is the darkest shade out of all of them and this one will def. be a bronzer on my skin tone. This provides me with an amazing all over glow, like I just went to the beach and tanned kind of glow. I am really excited to use this color for the summer.

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When I went into swatch each color, I was amazed at how smooth and buttery each color was. My fingers just glided over each color and they were extremely pigmented. Betty-Lou felt a bit gritty compared to the other two but nothing too bad. The colors themselves are absolutely beautiful on my skin and they have such an amazing glow without being glittery. I am not a huge fan of highlighters that are super glittery, so these are def. right up my alleyway. This palette blew me away, especially since it is pretty affordable and you get three amazing colors. I am so excited to continue wearing these products throughout the month of March and into the summer as well!

 

Makeup Geek “Damaged” Eyeshadows

I have heard amazing things about Makeup Geek single shadows but never got myself to actually buying them. Recently when I was browsing on the sales section, I noticed that some of the shadows were half off because they were “damaged.” On Instagram, some people mentioned that the damage shadows were still really good quality so I decided to go ahead and purchase five of them for $3 each.

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I received them in about a week or two which was pretty fast shipping. When I opened up all the shadows, I noticed that most of them were pretty good quality with just small dents on the shadow which is why Makeup Geek was not selling them at full price. To be honest, three of my shadows looked perfect to me, one was alright and there was only one that was visibly “damaged.” As you can tell from the above photo, Bitten is the only one that had quite a lot of dents in it, but all the other ones look perfectly good.

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These shadows were so much better quality than I expected, especially for the price. They normally go for $6 which is still extremely affordable. The shadows themselves are extremely buttery and pigmented. I had no problem swatching them and there was very little fall out.

  • Beaches and Cream: This is a light peach matte shade that would be a great base color.
  • Frappe: This was the shade I was most excited about since I hear everyone talking about this shade. It is a wonderful matte light brown shade that goes amazing as an all over lid color.
  • Cosmopolitan: This is a shimmery rose gold color. I honestly expected this shade to be gritty, however it went on super smootly.
  • Bitten: This is dark matte maroon shade which would be perfect for the outer corners of the eyes to provide more depth to the look.
  • Chit Chat: This is a beautiful purple blue shimmery shade. I wanted to have a nice pop of color in my collection so I picked up this shade as well.

Overall, I am extremely impressed with these eye shadows and I can see myself buying more in the future, especially because they are so affordable.

Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio

Is it obvious that one of my favorite makeup items are contour items. The Smash Box Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio were actually my first ever contour sets. I was gifted this item and they began my love affair with contour kits. These retail for $45 and you get three sticks: highlight, bronzer and contour.

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The packaging is very simple and it comes with a sharpener so whenever one of the pencils become dull you can make it sharp again. They are extremely travel friendly as it is so easy to slip all three into your makeup bag and there is no need to carry a huge palette which is likely to be heavier.

When I first got these, I was scared to use them as I never tried cream contouring before. However, they come with a booklet which provides tips on how to contour based on your face shape. When I first used them, I was amazed at how creamy they were. Since they are sticks, you do not need any other brushes to apply, simply just draw on your face and then blend it out. I like using a damp beauty blender to blend out. They are very forgiving and very easy to use, so if you are a beginner you would have no problem.

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  • Highlighter: This is a great highlighter for the under eye area and for places that you want to brighten up. It is very creamy and blend-able.
  • Bronzer: This is the stick that I have used the least as I find it makes me look a bit muddy.
  • Contour: I absolutely love this contour stick and this is my favorite product out of the three. It is so creamy and it is the perfect contour shade – it does not make me look muddy at all.

I think that this trio is a great beginner cream contour kit. They are so easy to use and you do not need any brushes in order to apply. These are extremely creamy and blend-able as well.