My Little Beauty Beast | NARS, Estee Lauder, Hourglass, Anastasia & Stila

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

It's been a hot minute since I've done the last segment of My Little Beauty Beast and I can tell you that since then, I've accumulated a beauty wish list longer than the hair on Chewbacca's back. To save both of our sanities, I cut down my wish list exponentially so that it only reflects the products that I... ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE OKAY?!? *sobs.* Alas, money does not grow on magical giving trees--especially when you are a young, pregnant newly wed--so I'll gaze longingly from afar and maybe grab one or two of these slowly but surely. I got diapers to buy, people.

Besides that little factoid, I've noticed that my taste has gotten really (inconveniently) expensive lately. Almost every product on my colossal wish list is high-end or borderlining on Marie Antoinette frivolity like this gorgeous Givenchy number. Highlighting powders, bronzers, and all things with a beautiful sheen take up the top spots on my list as well. For example, I've been searching for the coveted limited edition Estée Lauder Heat Wave highlighter for ages now. It's on Amazon and other websites but people are charging insane amounts of money just because they know they can (it was originally $45!). I just want to be a summery, glowy, bronze Aphrodite, okay?

A Makeover: Charlotte

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meet my beautiful baby sister (or baby seeeeeesster as I like to call her). She kindly came over yesterday to help move some last minute little things into my apartment and hangout and of course we ended up breaking out the makeup and playing! I decided to give her a full, fun makeover and teach her some little tricks of the trade. We decided on doing glamorous, Victoria's Secret inspired makeup--glowy, healthy bronzed skin and some va va voom eyes! 

The Products: 

Victoria Secret Radiant Glow Highlighting Powder 

The How-To: 

The Face: I prepped Charlotte’s skin with an oil free lotion great for sensitive skin and a primer to fill her pores and create a long-lasting base for her makeup. I chose MAC Face and Body Foundation because of its sheer, water-based buildable texture. I wanted to create the look of perfected skin while still letting her beautiful, natural freckles peek through. A thick concealer 2 shades lighter than her skin tone was placed under her eye area, the middle of the forehead, down the center of the nose and in the center of the skin to conceal dark circles and highlight the face for dimension. I used the darkest brown shades in the BH Cosmetics Concealer Palette to contour the hollows of her cheeks, temples, jawline and sides of the nose. I then set her face with a transluscent powder and brushed a rose-gold blush on the apples of her cheeks sweeping upward. I added a bit more depth to the contour by placing a powder bronzer over top. To add a glow to her cheekbones, I mixed a pink and champage colored highlighter together.

The Eyes: I filled Charlotte’s eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil with warm red undertones to suit her strawberry blonde hair coloring and primed her eyelids with my favorite MAC Painterly Paint Pot. I used a beautiful rose colored highlighter, Victoria Secret’s Radiant Rose all over the inner half of her lid space. I used the lightest egg-white shade, “Strange” from the Naked 3Palette as a highlight under her brows and next to her tear ducts to open up the eye area. From the original Naked Palette, I used the gold color, “Half Baked” to cover the outer half of the lid space that was not covered. To add warm depth to the crease and on the bottom lash line, I used MAC Pro LongwearEyeshadow in “Uninterrupted” and blended it well. I used a cooler, dark brown from the original Naked Palette, “Hustle” in the outer corner of her eyes and then placed on a set of Ardell #109 Lashes. To cover the band and create a smoked out lash line effect, I pressed “Creep”, (a black shade from the original Naked Palette) as close to the lash as possible. Black mascara was then coated on the top and bottom lashes.

The Lips: Charlotte’s lips were outlined and filled in the corners with a mid-toned pink lipliner and filled with a nude-pink lipstick in the center to create dimension and the appearance of a fuller lip. A shimmery pink lipgloss was then coated on her lips to top it all off and to bring extra shine.

Just Hit Shelves | Drugstore Edition

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Like a makeup ninja, I prowled through the cosmetic section of Target the other day to scout out the latest products and get the 411 on the newest beauty items. Not gonna lie, I definitely felt like that awkward person you might spot during the occasional outing who talks to themselves while stroking their cat in their pajama bottoms and fur coat. Yeah. I was that person trying to inconspicuously snap photos of products and fervidly writing notes as I moved down each aisle. Le sigh. The life of a weirdo beauty blogger.
Aside from looking like a total crazed lunatic, I found it really fun and even therapeutic to take a break from moving into the new apartment and take a chill pill for a second in the glorious, air-conditioned Target oasis. If you can't tell, I love Target (like most girls) with a strange passion that I can't quite describe. Maybe it's the way the aisles are arranged so perfectly or all the bright, happy colors. It's probably the cute clothing and the fact that a Starbucks wonderland can be found inside each one. Whatever the reason, be it my weary, tired-of-moving-into-new-places pregnant hormonal self or that I'm obsessed with makeup, I was particularly thrilled to be there that day.

There are probably a million more new products out in other drugstores (like Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, etc.) but these were the ones I specifically found at Target and the ones that excited me the most.

New From Maybelline:

Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation ($8.99)- Maybelline describes this as "a breakthrough liquid foundation texture" that "fuses with skin" and provides an "impeccable, yet undetectable" finish. It's medium to full coverage and works well with normal skin types. The line seems to have quite a lot of shades--I saw 12 different shades on the display rack in Target. I was disappointed with the measly amount of product listed on the bottle (0.6 ounces). The average foundation has at least 1 ounce so that was definitely a big con for me. The few reviews of this foundation I've seen compare the texture and wear of the product to be similar to L'Oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder Foundation

Maybelline The Nudes Palette ($9.99)- I was literally SO excited to see a drugstore brand release a large palette of convenient every-day nudes like this. The price is also incredible and works out to be 83 cents a shadow (there are 12 eyeshadows). The palette has a great assortment of both warm and cool shades which is great for creating lots of different looks. I snatched up the very last one on the display below and can't wait to review the palette to see what it's like concerning quality and blendability.  

Maybelline Master Kajal ($7.99)- Maybelline describes this as their "first liner designed for an easy glide along the inside line." Apparently it's also waterproof, "infused with luxurious oils", and provides all day wear. The line comes in 4 shades--black, brown, gray and an intense royal blue. I didn't pick up this particular product since I usually don't line my waterline with dark colors but I might want this for my kit if it's really as long wearing in the waterline as it says. 

Maybelline Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara ($7.77)- Maybelline describes this as, "our biggest mascara brush with the double curved stem delivers a double shot of mascara." They also claim that "the smoother formula with double the collagen plumps without clumps." The packaging immediately drew me to this product with its bright, neon pink and yellow look. I know that sounds kinda bad, but I am such a sucker for pretty packaging and the marketing totally reels me in like a sucker sometimes. I am excited to try this out as I have had a lot of great experiences with Maybelline's mascaras. 

Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal ($3.49)- I have honestly never even tried the original baby lips so I can't say much from personal experience but so many beauty bloggers rave about this lip balm. This is a new extension of that line which has 6 new shades with "a kiss of shimmer." Maybelline claims that this new lip balm has "micro crystal particles" and that it "visibly renews lips in 1 week." 

New From L'Oreal:

L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Foundation ($14.99)- L'Oreal claims that this foundation "blurs the look of lines, wrinkles an uneven texture while delivering the anti-aging benefits of Visible Lift..for a fresh, smooth youthful finish you'll love." I have never tried any of L'Oreal's anti-aging foundations (since I'm only 22!) but I have heard a lot of great reviews from others. There seemed to be a huge color range to choose from at Target! 

L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Blush ($11.99)- With the same technology as used in its partner foundation of the same name, this is described as providing a youthful and blendable color to the cheeks. I actually almost bought one of these despite the anti-aging advertising just because the colors looked so beautiful and the idea of blush in a tube isn't something you see every day. There are 3 summery pinky-coral shades. 

L'Oreal Collection Privée Lipsticks ($5.99)- I recently picked up two colors from this line at my local Walgreens but Target seems to have a larger selection of these lipsticks. For a full review, check out this blog post

L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara ($7.99)- L'Oreal calls this "one of their most exciting innovations yet" with an "asymmetrical lash line shape" that extends and lifts out corner lashes to give you a winged-out effect."

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess Mascara ($8.95)- L'Oreal describes this as a mascara that "builds volume with clean definition for an excessively dramatic lash look." They also claim that their millionizer brush is "bigger than ever to separate and build each lash evenly from root to tip."

L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara ($6.59)- L'Oreal claims that this mascara has "a 360 flexor brush to build bold volume with high intensity from top to bottom." They also claim that it has a "unique conical shape to catch those hard to reach lashes with an incredibly even application." I thought the little anime panda bears on the packaging were so stinkin' CUTE. 

New From Revlon:

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain ($7.49)- Coming in a wide range of 11 colors, Revlon describes these as an "ultra-light creamy lipstain with Vitamin E and Aloe" and that it "drenches lips in a glossy wet color." All of the colors look so pretty to me but I held off on buying one at the time. The reds, corals and oranges look so beautiful to me and so I might grab a few next time. 

Revlon ColorStay Photo Ready Skinlights ($11.99)- Revlon describes this as a skin illuminator that can "banish dullness and even out skin with light capturing crystals and photochromatic pigments for a lit-within look." I swatched one of the lighter shades on my hand (since the bottle had already been opened--shame on you random person) and it seems like this would be a decent product to mix in with foundation to create more glow to the skin. It felt way to sheer to use as a cheek highlight that you would actually notice. 

What new products have you spotted at the drugstore lately? Which ones have you liked? 

Currently in My Makeup Bag | Summer Daily Makeup Routine

Monday, July 14, 2014

If you read my recent blog post, 5 Beauty Lessons I Learned While Sick, you will know about the fiasco my husband and I have been having recently with our little flea friends. After chemically bombing the apartment to high heaven several times to no avail (I'm pretty sure the Apocalypse could occur and they would be the sole survivors), we have decided to re-pack everything we just finished putting up and move to a new apartment complex. C'est la vie.

In between moves, my parents have adopted our cute homeless selves into their home and I've adopted  a makeup bag to tote around. I filled it with some summery everyday products from my squirrel stash. The rest I tucked away all snuggly to be moved to the new apartment. In the meantime though, these have been my everyday essentials. 

The Skin Prep:

I'm testing out a new facial lotion, Olay Regenerist Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, and I really like it so far! It hydrates and brightens the skin for a youthful, refreshed look before applying makeup. If I wake up with dark circles, I massage a drop of my handy-dandy MAC Fast Response Eye Cream into my under-eye area and then seal it all in with my Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser Primer. Before applying any makeup I dab on a bit of Nivea Lip Balm to soak into my lips. Crusty-crust lips ain't a cute look under lipstick y'all.  

The Face: 

Since it's hotter than Hugh Jackman's abs out there, I'm currently using Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous Foundation. It dries to a powder finish so it keeps my oily skin at bay. I like that it also protects my skin  during the day with SPF 20. For a heavy duty concealer that doesn't budge, I'm using MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW20 (seriously best concealer ever...check it out in this blog post.) To seal everything in, I'm using MAC Prep + Prime Pressed Powder--a translucent setting powder that knows no limits when it comes to sweat. As usual, I bronze/contour my face with my NARS Laguna Bronzer. No surprise here. It's just perfection and I haven't found anything I like better. Milani Baked Blush in Delizioso Pink has been calling the apples of my cheeks its home lately. Such a pretty baby doll pink! For a golden glow, I like to apply my Hard Candy Bronzer in "Tiki" to the tops of my cheekbones (or anywhere on my face I want to look particularly angelic that day).

The Eyes: 

As usual, I'm still filling in my eyebrows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in "Auburn." It's so precise and just so simple to work with and I love the color. I decided to switch it up and use MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot instead of Painterly. While it's definitely more sheer, it still primes great and provides a great coral sheen to the lids. It pairs great with MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow in "Sweet Satisfaction." Together they make a warm sand-beige color that I love. In the crease, MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow in "Uninterrupted." Absolutely beautiful. The color is such a warm, rich mustard/camel brown that just screams summer. I'm currently using Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in "Smog" to line my eyes and intensify the warmth in that area. To create the illusion of bigger, brighter eyes, I rim my waterline with a NYX Eyeliner in "Pure White" and also apply it to the brow bone as a matte highlight. To top it off, I curl my lashes and then apply Too Faced "Better Than Sex" Mascara--which is ahh-mazing (and the commercial for it is hilarious, btw).

The Lips:

If it's a particularly hot day--haha jk that's everyday recently--I apply MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer to prevent my lip products from feathering and smearing throughout the day (this blog post is also great if you have that problem). I then line my lips with a great browny-nude color, Jordana Lipliner in "Rock N' Rose." Depending on my mood that day, I either fill them in completely with the lipliner and pair NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée on top (for a beautiful nude lip) or I fill in the lips with a fun orange coral color, MAC "Vegas Volt."

What's in your summer makeup bag? 

My Wedding Day | Vendors + Stores

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Things that are put together well or organized never appear complicated on the outside. When you watch sports champions like Rodger Federer glide across the tennis court, I bet your bottom dollar you aren't thinking about the dude that iced his leg that morning, the coach who sculpted his forehand, or the chick that mixed his top-secret energy drink. 

Same goes for weddings. Despite all my perusings through the happy photos of wedded couples and cakes on Pinterest, it never dawned on me that, "Wow, this actually takes a lot of work and people to get this done!" I was just like, " caaaUUUUUTTTEEE!! You are SO being pinned."

Like. Totally.

Anyways, I guess what I'm trying to say through all the blabber is that planning a wedding or any event for that matter takes a lot of time, thought, people and planning. Also a lot of research. If you live in the Jacksonville, Florida area, hopefully my list of vendors (who were all incredible, btw) will help you if you are currently planning your own wedding. Otherwise, it can be used as a tool for inspiration and ideas. 

The Behind-the-Scenes Superstars:

Wedding Planner: Christina Kreations
Photographer: mak photography
Videographer: Collab Creations (video coming soon!)

The Makeup:

The exact products and how-to for my wedding day makeup can be found in my last blog post.

The Wedding Dress + Accessories: 

Wedding Dress: Bridals and More
Wedding Dress Alterations: Sew True Alterations
Bride Veil: Alfred Angelo
Bride Reception Dress: Michael's Formalwear & Bridal
Bride Engagement Ring: Union Diamond (Atlanta, GA)
Bride Wedding Band: Kay Jewelers
Bride Earrings: Dillard's 
Bride Bracelet: Caché 

The Bridesmaid Dresses + Accessories:

Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal
Maid of honor dress: Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaid Hair Stylist & Makeup: Simply Makeup 
Bridesmaid Personalized Gift Bags: Exclusively Weddings
Bridesmaid Robes:
Bridesmaid Hangers: Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaid Jewelry: Etsy

The Groom & Groomsmen Tux + Accessories:

Groom Tux: JoS A. Banks
Groom Vest & Tie: Amazon
Groom Wedding Band and engraving: Tiffany & Co.
Groomsmen Tux: JoS A. Banks
Groomsmen cufflink gifts: JoS A. Banks
Groom & Groomsmen buttoners: Liz Stewart Floral Design

The Rehearsal Dinner: 

Rehearsal Dinner: The Lodge & Club
Rehearsal Dinner Personalized Hershey Chocolate Miniatures:
Rehearsal Dinner/Wedding Cocktail Napkins:
Coral/Beach Decorations: Liz Stewart Floral Design

The Ceremony:

Ceremony Music: The Newton Quartet
Ceremony Vocalists: Rachel Kamps and Walter Hook
Ceremony Priest(s): Father Remek Blaszkowski + David Keegan (seminarian)
Ceremony Programs:
Ceremony Flowers: Liz Stewart Floral Design

The Reception:

Reception: TPC Sawgrass
Reception Lighting + Flowers:  Liz Stewart Floral Design
Reception Band: The River Town Band 
Vintage Rolls Royce Transportation: Tommy Emtenza
Limo Transportation for bridesmaids/groomsmen: East Coast Transportation
Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes
Grooms Cake: Publix
Menus: Pearl Beach Paperie 
Wedding Invitations: Pineapple Post
Personalized Wedding Invitation Stamps:
Bride/Groom sweetheart table signs: Etsy
Dance floor decal: Etsy
Seating Assignment sign: Etsy

If you have any questions about the vendors or want some help with ideas, feel free to comment below!

My Wedding Makeup | Products + How-To

Monday, July 7, 2014

Looking through the pictures of my wedding day, I have been almost permanently poised over my laptop with a huge Chesire cat grin smeared across my face as each moment is re-lived in my mind. After a month of worth-while waiting, our photographer (who is a talented genius, btw) sent us the albums of gorgeous photos. Sidenote--I'm pretty sure I broke some buttons on my keyboard in a spluttering, exasperated attempt to open the email files as quickly as possible. Needless to say, I am so thrilled by the turnout of all the photos that captured our magical day in the most magical way (sounds like a Disney catchphrase, haha).

I always knew I wanted to apply my own wedding makeup. While the thought of hiring another makeup artist did flicker across my mind once or twice--for the convenience and the relaxation aspect--I  knew I already had a vivid idea of how I wanted to look that day. I also find the process of applying makeup just so fun and expressive and so doing my own makeup made the process even more exciting to me. 

For my wedding day, I focused on using products that would define and accentuate my features without creating some foreign creature that I wouldn't recognize in photos. I therefore went for a glamorous look that would appear soft and natural at the same time. Florida heat can be a killer, and with a late May wedding I knew I would have to use products that would hold up during the busy, scorching day ahead. I feel that there is a misconception that this means you can only use high-end, expensive products. The drugstore has developed some really impressive formulas over the recent years and I definitely chose some drugstore products over the more expensive ones. I originally had bought Armani Luminous Silk foundation for my wedding day. While a fantastic foundation, I knew it wouldn't hold up in that kind of heat and so I chose Revlon Color Stay Whipped. That's just one example! The key to doing your own wedding makeup is merely researching the products and testing them out to see what works. 

The Products:

Lorac Pro Palette  (see my review here)
Real Techniques Brushes (see my review here)
Sigma Brushes (see my review here)

The How-To:

Face: I prepped my skin by applying Clinique Dramatically Different Gel all over my face and neck area for a healthy dose of moisture for the skin. I then dotted the Hourglass Primer to my T-zone area and blended that in to create a smooth base for my foundation, to fill in my pores, and to prevent my makeup from smearing throughout the day. Foundation was applied all over the face next, and I defaulted to my favorite full-coverage Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation since I knew it wouldn't budge in the hot Florida heat that day. I used one pump of my MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in 2 shades lighter than my skin tone and painted an upside down "V" shape under each eye and blended upwards. This created the illusion of higher cheekbones, increased dimension on the face, and of course covered my dark circles. Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder was applied next all over the face to set the makeup and create an HD finish. To contour, I applied NARS Laguna Bronzer to the hollows of the cheeks, temples and jawline to slim the face and create a healthy bronzed look. I mixed Dainty Doll Blush in "You Are My Sunshine" and Sonia Kashuk Blush in "Glisten" to achieve a pretty coral kiss of color to the apples of my cheeks. I swept this upward and then used a clean brush to blend everything out. Finally, I applied Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Powder as a beautiful highlight on top of the cheekbones, under the brow bone and my cupid's bow. 

Eyes: I prepped my eye area using MAC Paint Pot in "Painterly" as an opaque base and primer to keep my eye makeup locked on all day and night. I filled in my eyebrows with Anastasia Brow Wiz in the color "Auburn."Then I took out my Lorac Pro Palette and packed the Champage color all over the lid space with a flat brush. I applied the gold color, covering the second half of my lid just up to the outer corner of the eye. For the crease color, I used a fluffy blending brush to apply the taupe color and used windshield wiping motions. In the outer corner, I layered the brown color, dark brown color and a touch of black to create dimension and a gradient. I then applied the nude shimmery color to highlight the inner corner of my eyes. I lined my eyes with a Maybelline black gel liner and winged out the corners to create the illusion of a more almond shaped eye. For false lashes, I used my favorite Ardell Demi Wispies and sealed my real and fake lashes together using Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Lips: I lined my lips used Jordana Lipliner in "Tawny" which is a rosy-pink color. I then applied Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick in "Camelia." I chose not to wear a lipgloss as the lipstick already had a natural sheen. I also didn't want my hair to stick to my mouth in the wind or for Scott to have to kiss a slimy mess! 

The finishing touch: For the final--and I would definitely say--most important touch, I gave my face a liberal spritz of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. This magical potion is like hairspray for your face and seals in every possible stitch of makeup. My makeup lasted all day and into the night and a lot of people asked what the dealio was and how the heck wasn't I melting like icecream after all the craziness that day. Well, mi amigas, I present to you the not-so-secret. It's this magical spray thingy.  

*Special thanks to mak photography for taking all these gorgeous photos!

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