Influenster Mary Kay Voxbox

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I actually received this a few days ago but I’m just getting to it now. A few weeks ago I was asked to complete a quiz to receive a Voxbox from Influenster and I was selected to receive this box for review. I received 5 items which included: (Retail Price)

-Mary Kay Lash Love Lengthening Mascara in I Black ($15.00)
-Mary Kay Cream Eye Color/Concealer Brush ($10.00)
-Mary Kay Lash Primer ($15.00)
-Mary Kay Cream Eye Color in Violet Storm ($22.00)
-Mary Kay True Dimensions Lip Stick in Pink Cherie ($18.00)

So let me start off by explaining the brand. I don’t have a Mary Kay lady on speed dial or anything, a few years ago I did know this customer from working at the dealership who often dropped off catalogs and the like, I maybe have been to one Mary Kay party a long time ago. Like 10 years ago, when I really didn’t care too much about makeup, well I can’t say I didn’t care but it seemed to be geared towards older ladies. I think that’s the image a lot of people get. It was like going to a Tupperware party but for makeup that was way too expensive. Quite frankly the prices of these products are a good surprise for me, but maybe it’s because I am older and willing to pay more for my makeup now than I was when I was in my teens. Overall I like these products, even if the lip stick wasn’t exactly a complimentary shade to me.

Click more for my individual product reviews.
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Elf 50% Off Best Sellers!

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So I’m back! I’m not even going to mention all that’s happened or why I’ve been gone for so long but let’s just say I could achieve a proper work/home life balance.

Onto the fun stuff. Last week I was cleaning out my purse and realized my favorite “go to” eyeliner had lost its cap and completely dried out. There’s a story here though, because of the current weather situation in Northern California (burning hot!), I have been going very low key on my makeup routine. Since I figure I’ll sweat it off or it will melt off I have been basically using a powder foundation and if I do wear any eye makeup I’ve been using minimal eye makeup and liner. One of my favorite re-discovered items has been the elf waterproof eyeliner in Teal. It’s a super bright color that gives a pop of color without smearing or making me look too colorful at work. It’s the perfect spring/summer color! It’s also the one that lost its cap and dried out. I got lucky this time and elf was having a 50% off sale on its Best Selling items. This of course was on its list. So I went ahead and made a big purchase and my items finally arrived today!
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NYC Individual Eyes Palettes

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Everyday go to is Union Square, new fave is Midtown Mauve, least fave is Smokey Browns

This is my new everyday palette. One day I was just browsing the makeup at Wal-Mart and came upon these palettes from NYC. Of course every brand seems to have these types of palettes which you choose based upon your eye color. I normally rebel against them and get whatever color I want since the last time I chose a palette according to my eye color I got this horrible one from Covergirl which had blues and grays. Not my colors personally. I decided to give this a fair shot and it was very affordable at around $3 each. I purchased the two they had- Union Square (with a dark mauve and shimmery brown) and Smokey Brown (with grays and a sparkling black), I tried the Smokey Brown palette first and found it lacking since all the colors seemed so similar. The next day when I was getting ready for work I decided to use the Union Square palette. In case you can’t tell from the photos- there are 4 shades in each of these palettes, with at least one matte shade, also included is an illuminizer and a primer. I applied these according to the instructions and I like them. I prefer wearing the darker two colors though, the shimmery brown all over my eyelid and then I use the darkest shade in the crease. I added my eyeliner, mascara and out the door to work I went. It wasn’t until I was actually outside did I realize how great the colors worked for me. It wasn’t over the top like my wild colors are but it certainly looked great. The latest palette came out recently and it’s the Midtown Mauve palette. It had a more shimmery dark mauve color and pinks instead of the usual browns. I’ve been using both palettes now, alternating or sometimes including more dramatic colors for a little pop. The colors were very complimentary to my skin and eye color, with the exception of the smokey palette which was way too blah. I like that it comes with it’s own eye primer, it doesn’t have a thick consistency but used sparingly it does a great job. I rarely use the Illumnizer but if you can manage to put some in the inner corner of you eyes, it works real well. I usually skip it since I never have time. I wish there was a separate cover over the illuminizer since one of mine is now covered in powder. Speaking of- I’ve heard complains from other reviewers on the chalkiness of the eye shadows. And it’s true, some of them are quite chalky so it can get messy. But it’s a small drawback, the best colors are very pigmented and smooth.

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Girl’s Night & Haul

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So it’s been a crazy new year thus far and I haven’t had a chance to hang out with my buddy Lindsey so I invited her out tonight since I had 2 straight days off! Since Lindsey had to work I picked her up at work and we headed over to Elephant Bar. I’ve never been, but the menu looked decent. Lindsey had the Teriyaki Chicken and I had the Kona BBQ combo which had ribs and chicken. I have to say it was pretty delicious and very affordable. I was shocked when Lindsey said she’d never had Creme Brullee so we had to split one of those for dessert.

After dinner we went to Sunrise Mall, we always do the same thing but I always manage to get lost. We parked over by JC Penney’s because Sunrise doesn’t have an actual Sephora in the store so we had to settle for the one at JC Penney’s. We browsed for a bit and unfortunately the lady that helped us last time who was so awesome wasn’t working and we didn’t really get any help. I was going to try some foundations but the lack of service was a bit off putting so I just bought more of the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray. Lindsey purchased more mascara since that’s her favorite makeup item.

After that I had to stop at Bath & Body Works to pick up some of those little anti bacterial mini things for my brother. They were on sale 5 for $5, and I picked up one of the new Sweetheart Scents Sprays for $8 (Regular Price $12!). We had alot better service here from Chris and Dani. They’re definitely getting a survey from both Lindsey and I.

The last stop of the day was Victoria’s Secret. Now I rarely buy any clothes from Victoria’s Secret, if I do I get their pajamas or their sweaters but I do love their fragrances and I wanted to try some of their makeup. I was hoping they’d have some in their store and luckily they did. They were having a sale so I picked up a few of their makeup items to try, 2 of their body sprays, a setting spray and a little combo pack. Plus I received a trio of makeup bags for free!

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Basics: Powders

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These aren’t the foundation powders I was talking about from my previous post. These powders are face powders you can use in addition to mineral powders, such as setting powders, mattifying powders or HD powders. Setting powders or finishing powders do exactly what you might have guessed- they set your makeup. Usually they’re made from a finer milled powder that fills in areas that your foundation powder didn’t. Mineral veils do almost the same thing but I don’t believe they’re as finely milled so they don’t work as well. Being that I’m not very picky and mineral veils work just as well for me, I use my mineral veils and setting powders as well. Mattifying powders are used during the day for clearing up excess oil that can accumulate. Palladio has a rice powder that works this way and they offer it in a sheet version that I keep with me at all times. My younger cousin actually ate one of these papers thinking it was food. Don’t worry, he lived.

Another powder that has been more available recently is the HD powder. I only have one of these and it’s the elf version. I don’t use it all the time since I don’t really take pictures in HD. When using flash photography this can give off a white cast which can look very odd. So unless you’re taking photos or videos in HD, you don’t really need to use this on a daily basis.

So, in conclusion- I recommend having these powders in your collection. Perhaps not all of them but they’re handy for setting your foundation (mineral or liquid) and can really maximize the staying power of your makeup. Another tip- if you’re ever using a creme eyeshadow you can make it last longer if you set it with a similar shade of powder eyeshadow.

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Ipsy (My Glam Bag) Reveal

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I’m still fairly new to the world of Subscription Beauty Boxes but I’m already on my 2nd one. Last month I posted about how disappointed I was with my Birchbox and I subsequently cancelled my subscription. I signed up for Ipsy that day and I’m so relieved I did. I received by Ipsy bag today, 2 days ahead of schedule and I’m so happy with what I received. One of the main differences between my Birchbox and Ipsy bags is that you get the same items in ALL of the bags. With a few exceptions- I mean I received a different shade of the Nyx pigments than a few of the people’s videos that I viewed on YouTube. So what exactly did I receive in my Ipsy bag?

*Metallic Grey makeup bag (of course)
*1 Full Size Nyx Pearl Pigment
*1 Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Mini in Zero
*2 Mirabella Eye & Face Primers (a mistake I’m sure)
*1 MAI Couture Booklet of Highlighting Papers (25 sheets)
*1 Be A Bombshell Lipgloss in Hot Mess

So I got basically 7 items, all of which are deluxe if not full sized items. There was no food, perfume samples, foil packs or fashion tape. Don’t get me wrong I love perfume but I don’t need a sample of perfume every month. So far this is a wonderful start for Ipsy. We’ll see how they do next month!

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Basics: Lip Gloss & Lip Sticks

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Let me start this off by saying that I’m not a lipstick/lipgloss kinda girl. It’s probably the weak link in my makeup arsenal. I am constantly overlooking my lips. I’m more focused on my eyes. You might not be able to tell that though if you saw how many lip products I own. Basically I have tons. I always carry Chapstick or other lip balms with me and I use them but I do not use any with actual color. My favorite lip balm has always been Carmex. I use it on a nightly basis and my cat Jack knows that it’s sleepy time when he smells it on my lips. I have recently found 2 lip products that I absolutely love. The first is the mini lip balms from Fresh. They were the birthday gift from Sephora this year. The Sugar lips mini is smooth and it has a fresh grapefruit like scent. It’s thick without being oily and it hydrates really well. I’m considering getting more lip products from this brand. The other mini lip balm was more reddish in appearance but it didn’t have a color when I applied it. The other lip product I love is from Too Faced and it came in my Beauty Darlings set, it was a mauve colored plumping lip gloss. Though it did have some color I only applied it lightly and it has a very minty feel on the lips. It’s very refreshing and has no flavor. I find flavored glosses kind of weird anyways. So those are the two lip products I use on a semi regular basis.

So the main reason why I don’t use lip products is their lasting power. I’m aware that lip sticks have come a long way and last a lot longer but I haven’t found one that I like enough to use. Usually lip sticks that do last long tend to dry out my lips and defeats the whole purpose of having lip stick in the first place. Also, I drink a lot of water throughout the day and I hate reapplying any products. I don’t even reapply liner and I love eyeliner. That makes me wonder why I even carry my makeup in my purse with me. I guess I’m just complex like that.

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Basics: Foundation

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There are many, many types of foundation out there and it can be a little overwhelming when stepping into the world of makeup. From my own personal experience I started out with face powders. You know those cute little compacts from Covergirl or Maybelline. I wasn’t ever sure of how to pick one out so I just grabbed whichever color I thought I was and it usually ended up going all wrong. It was always a shade lighter or darker. Luckily for me, during my teenage years and early 20’s my skin was always pretty clear. I had no need to even try liquid foundations until I was in my mid twenties, even then the one I spent money on was never a product I would use everyday, simply because it felt too heavy and cakey on my face.

Then recently, I started to develop redness on my skin and there was no avoiding it because it was so noticeable. I tried using my liquid foundation I had on hand but it irritated me and my skin. I have oily combo skin so from my research it was recommended to me that I try mineral makeup. I wasn’t really into doing a system, so when I went to Ulta they had me try a powder from Tarte. It was great, with buildable coverage in a very cute compact. However I eventually wanted something more and so I ended up going to Sephora and buying a starter kit for Bare Escentuals. I found that I loved the system. I loved the primer, the feel of the powder and the setting powder. I still wasn’t content with the price however and went online to try Everyday Minerals. They had more tones and finishes (matte, semi-matte, satin & natural), and you could order samples for a mere penny for 7 samples of your choice. It wasn’t even limited to the foundations, you could try their bronzers or other face powders. It was my younger cousin Ian who actually assisted me in finding the right shade for me and I’ve been using that on a daily basis since.

I am open to trying a liquid foundation again since they do have oil free & matte finish foundations. I also found this handy website that will help you find the right shade for you. It’s not 100% reliable but it will at least point you in the right direction.

So, my tips for finding the right foundation for you? Go to Ulta or Sephora if you want to find a good starting point. Personally I’d recommend Sephora since they seem more knowledgeable about their products. If you don’t want to necessarily go into a mall, you can just go into JC Penney’s since they have small Sephora stores or Ulta since they have free standing stores. Ask someone for help in finding the right tone for yourself and request samples if they offer them. If they don’t offer them, ask about their return policy, since foundations (especially from some high end brands) can be quite pricey- if it doesn’t work out you don’t want to be stuck with a product. If you do decide to go with drug store brands, check their return policies as well, and try to take advantage or deals or coupons they may be offering. Basically shop smart, foundation is a worthwhile investment, whether it be time or money.

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New makeup I forgot I had! Plus some I just bought!

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You know you have a makeup addiction when you forget about a recently purchased new product. I was racking my brain while I was taking pictures just a few minutes ago about my new Covergirl liner pencils when I realized I took pictures of my recent purchases from the other day but never blogged about them. It was earlier this week when I went on a quick Wal-Mart run with my brother and I picked up a few things:
-2 Covergirl eyeliner pencils in blue & purple
-Revlon Creme Shadow Quad
-Goody Mini spin pins
-Maybelline Fiber Lash Mascara
-NYC makeup palette for brown eyes

Today at Target I picked up:
-elf cream liner in black
-Revlon Custom Eyes palette in Pop Colors

Maybe my mother was right when she asked me today if I had enough makeup. I could never have enough but still, it makes you wonder.

My favorite of this whole set is of course the Covergirl eyeliner pencils. They reminds me of my jumbo pencils in consistency but of course with thinner lines. The blue in particular is more of a shimmery blue while the purple is more of a matte. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the elf cream liner, but when I first swatched it, it was very light. I guess I just had to press a little harder. It was very black and didn’t smudge easily, in fact my hand went a little red while I tried to take it off lol. I’d say that’s good quality since I’d never rub my eyes that hard.

I bought the mini spin pins after realizing my hair is a bit too short for the regular sized pins. They’ll come in handy though since I am trying to grow my hair out. These work great for half up hair styles.

I have yet to use the Revlon Cream Shadow Quad but the consistency was good. I imagine these will make a great base. I have been using the NYC palette and it makes for a great daytime look. I didn’t think so at first but I’ve used it once this week and the combo is perfect for work. It’s not overly colorful and the brown and purple work well together. As for the Revlon Custom Eyes palette it’s a bit too bright for work at the 1st job but I could use it for my 2nd job. I’m allowed to be a little bit more colorful there.

Now for the Maybelline Fiber Lash Mascara- I’m still not sold on this. While I have been using it almost everyday now I’m still not 100% sold on this. Not that I expected it to work wonders but it doesn’t work as well as I thought it would. I’m gonna give it a few more days before I resort to trying false lashes again.

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Basics: Daily Brushes

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I only use 4 types of brushes in my daily makeup routine. Not the same exact brushes, but the same types. For applying my foundation I use a flat top powder brush for the best coverage. For my eyeshadow application I prefer to use an eyeshadow brush, I may use 2 or 3 of these depending on how many colors I use. Then for the crease I prefer to use a thinner brush like a concealer brush, and then I use a clean fluffy brush for blending it all together. It doesn’t matter what your brush is called, what matters is the shape. For my eyes- the concealer brush works best at getting into the crease if my eyes. For some a contour brush may work better, but my eyes are smaller and the crease brush gets into the smaller spaces much better.

I think the key to finding the right brushes is experimentation, buy an inexpensive set and play around with the application, and develop a routine with those brushes. Also make sure you take proper care of your brushes. Spot clean them between application with alcohol to disinfect and brush cleaner. I use baby shampoo to clean my brushes at least every two weeks. I also use conditioner so they stay nice and soft. make sure to dry then bristles down as to not let water into the ferrules. This has been a long and winding post about brushes lol.

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