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.

February Favorites

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The month of February flew by (then again it was a short month). Since I am still on a no buy until March, I decided to go through my old makeup and use items that I have not touch in a while. Most of my February favorites are old items that I have been finding myself reaching for more often.

  • ELF Contour Palette: This palette was not one of my favorite contour kits compared to all the other ones I own but I decided to give it another chance this month. I have actually been using the lightest shade in this palette to highlight my brow bone. It provides a nice glow without being too overwhelming but I do find that it is too subtle for my cheekbones so I put it on my brow bone instead. I still don’t find the other shades too impressive as I find that they are not pigmented for my liking. But I do think it is a great affordable contour kit, especially for beginners since the shades are not super pigmented it is easier to use.
  • Hoola Bronzer: This was on my 2016 Favorites and for good reason. It is one of my favorite bronzers of all times because it is super flattering on the skin. Hoola provides my skin with a nice tan glow without making me look too muddy. This month however, I have actually been using it all over my lid for a subtle color. In the mornings, I am always too lazy to wear heavy makeup but I do like a bit of color and Hoola bronzer has been my go-to this month.
  • Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer: I am actually planning to write a full review on this, but this has been my favorite foundation of this month. It has light/medium coverage and I find that it does cover up my flaws without making my face look too cake-y. However, if I do use too much powder, I do find that some parts of my face do look super dry. But I love how it feels on my skin and it does not feel tacky so I do not need to use a powder.
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: I only have a sample size of this product but I love it. It does feel like a regular silicon primer, but it makes my make up last all day. After using this primer, my foundation/concealer goes on super easily and everything is super blendable. My base makeup looks super smooth whenever I use this primer and I am definitely considering getting the full size once I am done with the sample size.
  • NYX Prismatic Pro Single Eyeshadow (Quad): My best friend got me this for Christmas and I had never actually tried out NYX single eyeshadows until now. They are pretty pigmented and very good quality. I have been loving the darkest color there (which I actually don’t know the name/number of), I usually use it on the corner of my eye, to provide more depth to my eyes. On a day to day basis, I tend to put Hoola bronzer all over my lid and the NYX color on the outside corner of my eye to provide more depth. I am very impressed with these colors and is considering getting more, I love how they are also singles so you can essentially create your own palette.

What’s in my Philly Makeup Bag

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I recently took a weekend trip to Philly and since we were only there for three days, I did not want to lug all my makeup there but I wanted to make sure that I had the essentials. Here is a peak into what I brought with me to Philly along with some tips that I have for packing light!

  • Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, I got a travel size item of this a wide back and I love this primer so I brought it along with me (especially since most of my other primers are huge).
  • Setting Spray: I brought along my travel size Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (I actually own a lot of travel size items, as I find that travel size items are a great affordable way to try out new products.) This is my favorite setting spray which is why I love having a travel size of this item.
  • Blush/Bronzer: Duos are great for traveling, you get two different products in one compact! I brought along my NARS duo in Laguna and Orgasm. Instead of bringing eye shadow along, I used laguna on my eyelids to bring a bit of color to  my eyes.
  • Powder: ELF Clarifying Pressed Powder is the setting powder that I brought along since it is super light and it prevents my face from becoming too oily.
  • Concealer: I actually brought concealer in a lighter shade and a darker shade so I could use them for contour as well. This saves me less items to bring along since I know I would need concealer anyways. The lighter concealer I brought along is the Maybelline Fit Me in light which is a great under-eye concealer. For the “contour” shade I brought along LA Girl Pro Concealer in cool tan, another super affordable great concealer.
  • Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream: This was in my January Favorites and the reason is because it is super light weight while evening out my skin tone. It is a great BB cream for the day since it provides enough coverage without making me look cake-y.
  • Highlighter: I brought along my travel size Becca highlighter in Opal which is one of my favorite highlighters. It is such a flattering color for both the day time and night time.
  • Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, Black: Eyeliner is one of my staple items and I have been loving this liquid eyeliner which some have said is a dupe of the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper!
  • Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Define: Another must have item for me is a brow pencil and I brought along both my Maybelline and Anastasia Brow Wiz because they are such small items and I need both to help my brow situation.
  • Mascara: Max Factor Masterpiece Max Mascara is the mascara that I have been using for the last couple of months and I really like how it lengths and volumizes my lashes.

Let’s Talk about Brows

If I had to leave the house with only one makeup item on my face, it would be my brows. When I first started wearing make-up, I never realized the importance of brows. After my best friend helped me fill in my brows on day, my life was forever changed. Brows help to frame the face and by just filling in my brows, my face automatically looks more awake.

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Theses are my holy grail brow products that I use on the daily. I am going to be honest and say that I do not try out brow products really often; but that is only because I am already so obsessed with the brow products that I already own.

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  • Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Wiz: I am sure that everyone has heard of this product because all the Youtubers have raved about this product one time or another. This was my first brow pencil ever and the moment I used it, I knew why everyone loved it so much. It glides on extremely smoothly and it is so precise. Especially when I was a beginner, I needed something with a “fine” tip so that I could get my brows to look the way I wanted them too. This product is so easy to use and I would say it is a  great staple for any beginners. The color that I use is dark brown as I find it matches best with my dark brown hair. This product does last all day as well which is amazing because nobody wants to look in the mirror and see half their brows missing during lunch time.
  • Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Define + Fill Duo: I picked up this product when I was looking for a dupe for the Brow Wiz because paying $21 for a brow product that I use every day was a bit pricey for me. I picked up this product from the drug store and it worked way better than I expected. It goes on extremely smoothly and lasts all day as well. The only problem is that the tip is not as “fine” as the brow wiz. I usually like outlining my brows with the Brow Wiz and then filling them in with the Eyestudio Brow Define.
  • Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer: This is the newest item to my brow collection, I like this for keeping my brows in place and for giving my brows more volume. It makes my brows look more “natural” but I have to say that the applicator is not the greatest. It is a bit hard to be precise with this product but I do like using it occasionally when I want more volume in my brows.

January Favorites

The month of January flew by and since I have been doing a no spend I decided to go through my make-up collection to try out some items that I may have forgotten about. I have a bunch of items that I recently fell in love with again, some of these items I have loved in the past and some of these items I was meh about in the beginning but they have started to work for me now.

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  • ELF Mineral Infused Face Primer: When I first tried this primer, I did not find that it was anything special. However, the more I began using it the more I began liking it. It helps to smooth out my skin and my foundation/BB cream goes on so smoothly afterwards. I really like how it feels on my skin and how soft it makes my skin feel afterwards.
  • Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream: I use to love this but for some reason I had put it away and completely forgot about it. To be honest I am not a huge fan of foundation as I find that it makes me look super cake-y, therefore I turned to BB cream as they are more lightweight while still providing coverage. This product is great for covering up small blemishes while still feeling lightweight on my skin.
  • Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: I actually heard of this eyeliner from Jen (Beauddiction), she mentioned that this eyeliner would be a great dupe for the Kat Von D eyeliner in Trooper. Since I had just ran out of my regular eyeliner, I decided to pick it up. It has a super fine tip which is great for creating a winged eyeliner. The tip is extremely soft as well which sometimes makes it a bit hard to control. It is a great black eyeliner for an extremely affordable price.
  • ELF Baked Highlighter and Bronzer: I got this in my Influenster box and I was never a fan of the bronzer. However, the highlighter on the other hand is extremely pretty. I find that it is a great everyday highlighter, it provides a nice glow to the face without being too shiny.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy – Pink Kiss: I never use to wear blush but I wanted to expand my make-up skills so I began playing around with blush. This is a great pale pink color without much glittery particles in it. It is a pretty matte shade which I really like since I normally put highlighter on top and I do not want my face to be too sparkly. The blush is also pretty pigmented so you do need a light hand if you do not want too much pink on your cheeks.

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  • Nars – Laguna and Orgasm Duo: These two are probably the most popular blush and bronzer by Nars. Since I was not sure how I would like them, I decided to get the travel size duo. This way I could try both products without committing to a full size product in case I was not a fan. To be honest, I feel like my Laguna shade is extremely not pigmented. I have to dip my brush into it multiple times before I get any color on my skin; since I have heard good things, I believe that I just got a bad batch. The Orgasm blush on the other hand is a pretty pink shade, there is sparkles in this blush compared to the Estee Lauder one. I love the color that it provides to my cheeks and it is not as pigmented as the Estee Lauder so there is a lower chance that you might overload on this color.

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Items to try in 2017

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In an attempt to try to use the make-up that I currently own and not continue to horde items, I have placed myself in a no buy until March. However, there have been some makeup items that I definitely want to try out once this no buy is up!

  1. Tarte ShapeTape Concealer: I have been wanting to try this out since last year especially since everybody raves about this product. All the beauty blogger and the youtubers have been talking non-stop about this product and I definitely want to try it out for myself!
  2. Wet n’ Wild Perfert Pout Gel Lip Liner: Wet n’ Wild has came out with a bunch of products and this is one that I want to try. I have never been a fan of lip liners but I have heard that these are extremely creamy and glides on smoothly.
  3. Wet n’ Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick: This is another Wet n’ Wild product that I want to try out. I have been a fan of liquid lipsticks since last year and find it hard using regular lipsticks so I want to check these out especially since they are so affordable.
  4. Too Faced Natural Eye Netural Eye Shadow: I have never been an eye shadow person so I don’t actually own any eye shadow palettes but I have been playing around recently and I think eye shadow is something that I might begin adding to my makeup routine. Since I am still a beginner in using eye shadows I was hoping to pick up a palette that would work for both day and night with neutral colors which is what this palette includes.
  5. Becca First Light Priming Filter: This is one of Becca’s new item that I have been really interested in. It claims to work as a primer to brighten up the skin which is something that I want for my skin. Since it is winter my skin has been looking dull lately and this is something that I want to try to see if I could brighten it up.
  6. The Balm: Mary Lou Manizer: This item has been out forever and so many bloggers speak highly of this product and after seeing swatches I knew that I needed this highlighter in my life (in addition to all the others that I own).
  7. Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette: This item has also been out for a while but yet another item that I have been eye-ing since last year. I love highlighters and after seeing the pigmentation on this one I knew that I needed it in my life as well!