My Favorite Drugstore Eyeshadow

With the summer months coming up my makeup routine has been all about doing quick, easy looks with as few products as possible. While traveling I usually carry around a small makeup bag so I can easily apply my makeup in the car or on the go. This has lead to me rediscovering my all time favorite drugstore eyeshadow formula. I’m all about doing a quick wash of color over the lid throughout the summer and Colourpop is one of my favorite brands for this, but I’ve recently fallen back in love with the L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows.

How They Perform:

These L’Oreal eyeshadows are very similar to the Colourpop Super Shock Shadows in their formula. They’re super creamy and feel almost wet to the touch. These shadows come with a small plastic piece that says “do not discard” that prevents the shadow from drying out. I think this is the biggest difference between the Colourpop shadows. My Colourpop ones have dried out noticeably after a couple of months compared to the L’Oreal ones which I haven’t noticed a change in the formula even after owning these for over a year.

These are advertised to last for 24 hours. I personally haven’t worn eyeshadow for that long ever but I can testify that these do last for a very long time. I would recommend using a primer, which I do with every eyeshadow, as it will increase the wear time of the shadow and prevent it from having fall out.

These apply best with a flat eyeshadow brush that I would use for any sort of pigment or glitter. My two favorites which can be seen above are the Urban Decay Shadow brush, which I think I may have received in the Naked palette, and the Sephora #25 brush which is very similar.

The Shades:

These L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows come in 18 colors so there’s one that’ll fit whatever you’re looking for. I own four of them: Perpetual Purple – a deep, shimmery plum, Gilded Envy – a moss color with shimmer, Amber Rush – a great sparkly copper, Iced Latte – the perfect cream highlight shade. The shades really range from deep blacks and grays for the perfect smoke eye to lighter shimmery shades such as Iced Latte. All these shades are shimmery or kind of metallic making them beyond beautiful to use all over the lid.

L-R: Amber Rush, Iced Latte, Gilded Envy, Perpetual Purple

Where to Find Them:

I’ve seen these shadows at pretty much every drugstore. Unfortunately, I can’t find them online right now at Ulta but they are listed on Walgreens website. The shadows run for $8.99 and you receive 3.5 grams compared to the Colourpop Super Shock shadows that run for $5.00 and you receive 2.1 grams.

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My Go-To Travel Makeup Palettes

I’m a huge fan of the ‘all-in-one’ palettes. You know, the ones with all your staples. A good blush, bronzer, and highlight all in one place. These are great to save space while packing on vacation. If you’re like me, I tend to over pack and when it comes to my makeup that means bringing three different peach toned blushes I probably won’t wear. Now don’t get me wrong, I still love having options so finding a palette with several different choices in it is always a plus.

My go-to travel-friendly palettes:

These are probably my top three palettes to travel with. They’re all sturdy enough so I’m not afraid of them shattering and cover all my bases makeup wise.

1. It Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Complexion Perfection | $42

This palette has all your essentials, the perfect pink blush, a super easy to blend bronzer and an everyday appropriate highlight. What makes me love this palette so much is the addition of the pressed translucent powder. This is the only palette I’ve seen with this addition and I think it’s a great touch, making traveling that much easier. Not to mention this also includes a huge mirror which is always a plus.

 

 

 

 

2. Benefit Cheek Parade | $58

Like I side earlier, I’m all about having my options. I’m probably the most indecisive person I know so having three blush options on a trip is my dream. Benefit’s Cheek Parade supplies just that and even has two different toned bronzers so at the beach when I start off ghostly white and leave with a tan glow, this palette has me covered. You can also use the lighter shade as a bronzer and the darker shade as a contour shade. The only things this palette is missing is a highlight but since two of the blushes have shimmer, I usually skip the highlight while wearing them.

 

 

3. Lorac Pirates of the Caribbean Cheek Palette | $30

This one definetly gives you the most bang for your buck and includes some of my favorites formulas. You get one bronzer, two blushes and three highlights which are all beyond creamy and beautiful on the skin. I like how you have different options with this palette and it’s small enough to throw in any bag. The palette folds back making it easy to do makeup on the go and also includes a mirror! Really what more could you want?  

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KKW by Kylie Cosmetics | Swatches & Thoughts

I haven’t purchased anything from Kylie Cosmetics in a while – and by a while I mean since the Valentines Collection. I’m a sucker for any good (trashy) reality show and my obsession definitely started with the Kardashian clan. Although I’m embarrassed to admit it sometimes, their show is one of my guilty pleasures and love a good marathon on E! When I saw Kylie was collabing with Kim and how gorgeous the packing and products looked, I jumped right back on the Kylie bandwagon and made a purchase.

Packaging:

Okay, let’s be honest – the packaging is truly what sold me on this product. I have enough nude lipsticks to last me a lifetime, I did not need 4 new, very similar, ones with a formula I knew I wouldn’t be thrilled by. But the matte baby pink on the box and the lipstick tube really drew me in. These just look so sleek and classic. Any brand that switches up their packaging like this for collaborations really just knows how to get me.

Product:

Now the product itself is really so/so in my opinion. Hopefully, she starts selling these as separates because I would recommend waiting until then and chose one color you really enjoy – if you must purchase from this collection. The colors are extremely similar that I do not believe it’s necessary to have all four. It’s more of a ‘collectors’ piece in my opinion.

On the lips, they don’t perform all to great as well. I would describe it is a melted down tube lipstick in a liquid lip tube. These don’t dry down matte and are not long wearing what so ever. These lasted at most 2 hours on my lips, without any eating/drinking, or excessive talking. Another big negative for me is how streaky the apply. It’s hard to get an even coat without putting multiple layers on and that point it looks like you have a river of lipgloss on. After they dry down slightly they do look a little better which is nice. Since these don’t last that long on the lips, touching up the go I think would be difficult because of how streaky they perform.

L-R: Kimberly, Kim, Kiki, Kimmie

Overall:

Alright, clearly I’m not the hugest fan of these but I do have a couple of reasons that I have been enjoying them. The names! It’s obviously very egocentric for Kim to name all four shades after herself but let’s be real, she made a book with solely pictures of herself in it. It’s just a very Kim thing to do and it’s why we all (okay only me) love her so much. The colors are gorgeous, yes very similar, but gorgeous. The one I reach for the most at the moment is Kimmie, I think it’s just the perfect pinky nude. These are all very light pink nudes so if that isn’t your cup of tea I would 100% pass on this.

Another positive is these do feel great on the lips. They’re super lightweight and moisturizing. I’m definitely not the biggest fan but if you do like light lipsticks that feel very smooth and like nothings on your lips these may be up your alley. Kim included a note with each packaging saying there are more surprises coming so crossing my fingers that I enjoy what’s coming much more.

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How I Whitened My Sensitive Teeth + Giveaway!

**this product was sent to me complimentary for review. all opinions are 100% my own. there are affiliate links and codes in this article – these do not charge you extra but I do earn a percentage of the sale. all of the earnings go to bettering erinkanee.com**

p.s. I know why you really clicked here! Giveaway information is at the bottom of this article along with a coupon code!!

Background:

Besides my quick experience with crest white stripes in high school, I only have one other experience with a professional whitening kit. I purchased this through my dentist office several years ago and was determined to brighten my smile. I opted not to purchase the custom fitted tray for my teeth as my dentist recommend just using the retainer I had from getting my braces off. Without the tray, this kit was easily $200 and if I did receive the tray it would’ve been another $100 on top of that. Professional whitening kits aren’t cheap!

The few things I do remember about this experience, besides how expensive the trays were, were how little results I was seeing and how beyond sensitive this process was making my teeth. The days after whitening I would have to avoid drinking anything colder or hotter than room temperature. This is something I could’ve forced myself to put up with but because I was seeing little to no results I had to give up. It was horrible and turned me off from purchasing any type of whitening kit in the future.

So of course when Smile Brilliant contacted me about trying out their professional whitening kit I was highly skeptical but excited as my teeth were in direr need of a whitening. The first thing I noticed upon looking at their system online is that they offer two options, one for non-sensitive teeth and another for sensitive that included a desensitizing gel. This automatically sparked my interest considering my horrid experience years ago.

Getting Started:

Smile Brilliant offers six different packages so you can truly customize your experience. The packages range from how heavy the stains on your teeth are to whether you have sensitive teeth or not. After selecting which packages interests you, the company sends you your whitening and desensitizing gels, if applicable, and also the needed materials and instructions to mold your teeth for your customized tray. This is really the unique part. I was very intimidated by molding my teeth and nervous I would mess my trays up but it turned out to be fairly easy. The instructions are super easy to follow and they included extra product in case you do mess up your mold.

When you’re finished molding your teeth, they included a prepackaged envelope so that you can easily send it back. Once they receive your impressions it takes 3-6 business days to create your tray before they ship to back!

Whitening Process:

I started out whitening my teeth for 45 minutes at a time since I was so nervous about them becoming sensitive. After whitening them I would use the desensitizing gel in my tray for another hour. They recommend doing this before bed so you are not eating or drinking anything afterward. I would do this every other day and slowly increase the amount of time I was whitening my teeth until I reached the four-hour mark.

Obviously, this takes a large chunk of time out of your day, so I do also recommend starting after you eat dinner and before, if you’re like me, getting settled in to watch Netflix before bed. These trays are super sturdy and stay on your teeth so you don’t have to worry about them moving around. Because of this, I found it so easy to do tasks around the house while I was whitening, taking showers, cleaning out the litter box, doing laundry. Since I would use these after I ate dinner, they would prevent me from having that after dinner sweet snack I so badly try to avoid.

My biggest tip here would be to only put as much gel as you need into your trays. You want to prevent it overflowing from the trays when you put them over your teeth. I won’t say it necessarily tastes bad but it is unpleasant in my opinion. The ingredients are vegan and cruelty-free! You really only need a small dot of product on each tooth in the tray to cover all your teeth once the tray is on. This will also prevent the product from getting on your gums which can cause them to become sensitive as well.

Results:

I was beyond shocked when I started noticing results right away – no, I am not making this up. At first, I thought it was all in my head but my boyfriend noticed as well without me having to ask him. The more I used this the more impressed I was. Now don’t get me wrong, you can’t use this one time and bam you have a movie star smile. It really does take time to get to where you want your smile to be. The biggest thing I noticed is that by using the desensitizing gel my teeth were not sensitive from whitening whats so ever which is a huge positive in my book. If you’re scared to whiten because of this problem, I would highly recommend checking Smile Brilliant out.

Another huge positive is that you can easily purchase more of the whitening and desensitizing gels online, without buying the whole package, when you feel like your white teeth are dulling throughout time. Obviously having white teeth and keeping them white is a commitment, so having a product in your corner that you can trust and easily fall back on is important.

Giveaway Time!

To enter the giveaway follow this link and all you have to do is enter your name and email address! The winner will be selected in two weeks and will win a $139 credit to their website – this is the full price of one fo their kits! It’s open to the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia

Smile Brilliant has also given me an affiliate coupon code to pass along to you guys. You’ll receive 10% off with the code: erinkanee


Home Teeth Whitening

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Best & Worst Drugstore Brow Products

I know I can’t be the only one who has been on the hunt for the perfect brow products. I love a good brow pencil and pomade like the next girl but on my everyday quick natural looks, a tinted brow gel is what I reach for. Since I have naturally pretty full and thick eyebrows I don’t necessarily need to fill them in on a daily basis but I do like using a tinted product to add color and make sure they look full. Much like anyone else I naturally have spaces that I like to fill in on my brows. When looking for a tinted brow gel, I want something that is pigmented and keep my brows in place.

Left: NYX Tinted Brow Mascara Right: Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer

Worst Drugstore Brow Gel:

The hands down worst brow gel – worst brow product- I have ever used is the Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer. First of all look at the brush, what is that? I really can’t tell you. This causes the product to lay on your brows pushing them down and making them flat against your head. It’s one of the weirdest products I have ever tried. The ‘fibers’ don’t really do much for me and since the wand is so thick it’s incredibly hard to not get product around your brows where it is unwanted. I have this in the color deep brown which I do enjoy because it is a little cooler toned than most brow products I have tried. This product runs for $9.99 at Ulta and you receive .27 fl. oz.

I can slightly (maybe) see the idea behind the brush head but since the product is so thick because of the fibers everything gets caked into it and just causes the brush the be full of product and won’t comb through your brows. It’s honestly one of the most disappointing products I’ve tried. Eventually, I have gotten to work for me with a very light hand and only using it on the beginning of my brows where my natural brows are thicker. Please save your money though and walk right by this product at your local drugstore.

Best Drugstore Brow Gel:

On the opposite spectrum though I have my beloved NYX Tinted Brow Mascara that I have repurchased time and time again. This a must have product for me. The brush makes it so easy to comb through your brows, even while on the go. It’s a pigmented product which I love and keeps your brows in place all day. I have this in the color espresso which is perfect for medium to darker brunettes. This product runs for $6.99 at Ulta and you receive .22 fl. oz.

Since I’ve dyed my hair to an auburn, I was hoping they had a red color but they don’t. After looking through other brow products at the drugstore, I couldn’t find an auburn brow product anywhere. I was super disappointed by this and it caused me to splurge on the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel. After using both of this, I would definitely say the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara is a great dupe. If you’re on the market for a new brow gel, I highly recommend checking this one out!

Left: NYX Tinted Brow Mascara
Right: Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer

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It Cosmetics Confidence In Your Glow – Swatches and First Impressions

I was so excited when I saw that It Cosmetics was coming out with such a beautiful blush/bronzer/highlight trio. These give me total Kevyn Aucoin Neo Bronzer vibes, which I love but is a little out of my price range. It Cosmetics has to be one of my favorite brands, if not my favorite. All their products are of great quality and I love how they promote self-love through their products.

Confidence in Your Glow | $32

This product contains 14.76 grams for a highlighter, blush, and bronzer (a Nars blush contains 4.6 grams and a Benefit blush contains 5 grams). It comes in three colors, Instant Nude Glow, Instant Natural Glow, and Instant Warm Glow. I was definitely torn between which color to choose but eventually settled with Nude Glow as it seemed to be the one I would reach for more often. This product is paraben free, cruelty-free, and talc free. It’s infused with ceramide complex, peptides, collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, colloidal oatmeal, and drops of light technology that all help your skin look instantly younger, softer, smoother and promises to give you an airbrushed appearance. I think mt favorite part of the packaging is when you open the box, right on the flap is a note saying “you are beautiful, you are it!” Signed by Jaimie the CEO of It Cosmetics, if you’ve seen the infomercials you know exactly who she is.

Instant Nude Glow

I chose this trio because it looked like it would work the best with my skin for everyday use. This seems like a great product to throw in your bag for touch-ups during the day or for traveling with. And I was right, this is the perfect size to put in your purse or a traveling makeup bag. Touching the product for the first time I was blown away by how smooth and silky it felt. I can’t wait to try this one skin because I think it’ll just blend beautifully. All these colors are slightly muted so it’s nothing too in your face, making it perfect for an everyday look. The portion you get for each product is pretty much equivalent to a full-size individual product.  So there will be no issue just dipping your brush into a specific portion. Overall, I’m really impressed by this product and excited to put it to use.

(L-R) Highlight, Blush, Bronzer
(Bottom Row) Highlight and Blush mixed, Blush and Bronzer mixed

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Lorac Pirates of the Caribbean Collection – Swatches and First Impression

I was so excited when I first saw this collection announced and decided to pick up some of it with my Ulta 20% off coupon. Lorac makes one of my favorite eyeshadow formulas and I usually jump on the opportunity to pick up their palettes. This collection was no exception. I couldn’t just stop at the eyeshadow palette, I also bought the cheek palette and one of the 6 lip duos.

Eyeshadow Palette | $52

Unfortunately, my mirror came broken in the top right corner, but that’s not that big of an ordeal. At first, I was a little disappointed with the shades but after seeing swatches and them up close they grew a little on me. Now that I have the palette in my hands, I’m a huge fan. Looking at them in the palette just doesn’t do them justice. You recieve 18 eyeshadows and a deluxe sized mini eye liner. This palette is a little chunky but includes a side compartment that the cheek palette fits right into. I think the packaging is gorgeous, although a little bulky.

These eyeshadows are all new shades in their PRO formula. If you have not tried this formula I highly recommend it. It’s beyond creamy and easy to work with. All the shades can be used wet or dry. As you can see below most of the shades are gorgeous but a couple of the mattes swatched a little choppy and stiff. These included Silent Mary, Bones, Tell No Tales, and Ghostly. I haven’t used these on my eyes yet, so I’m unsure if how they swatch translates to the eyes. The shade I’m most excited to use on the eyes is Black Pearl as it looks like a typical black gray shade but is really a duo-chrome purpley blue black shade. I’m also excited for the eye pencil, as I had a very hard time removing it from swatching it on my arm.

(L-R) First Row: Ghostly, Starry Night, Compass, Arrgh!, Black Pearl, Yo Ho, Bones, Silvermist, Treasure, Tell No Tales
Bottom Row: Shiver Me, Cursed, Matte-y, Lost at Sea, Pirates Chest, Sea Haze, Menace, Silent Mary, Black Eye Pencil

 

Cheek Palette | $30

I haven’t tried any of Loracs Color Source Blushes or Light Source Highlighters but have heard phenomenally things about them so was super excited to try them in this palette. These are all gorgeous and I can’t wait to try them out on the face. I was blown away by how creamy these felt when soft, they almost felt wet in a way. There are 4 shimmer shades and two mattes, three blushes and three highlights. The mattes are just as creamy as the highlights. The palette was a little smaller than I expected at first but I think that’s just because the packaging is a little slimmer, making it easy to put in the compartment on the eyeshadow collection. This would be a great palette to travel with.

(L-R) Top Row: Star Reader, Destined, Fortune
Bottom Row: Bold Spirit, Caribbean, Lost Soul

Lip Duo | $26

I also haven’t tried out any of Loracs lip products but I almost passed on these. They looked a little cheap but last minute I decided just to try it out. Unfortunately, I was right. Ultimately the packaging looks gorgeous but once fully opened the lipstick has clear looking plastic which just screams cheap to me. There are six colors to choose from. one being a bold teal but I stuck with a neutral pink in Me Hearties.

On one side of the lipgloss tube, there’s a small mirror which is a nice touch. To me, the lipgloss side seems perfect and then it’s almost like they gave up on the lipstick. These swatched okay, nothing out of this world. The lipstick pulls a little and takes a couple passes before it’s completely opaque. The lipgloss is pretty standard. It’s not super glossy and has zero shimmer in it. It seems like it may be a little sticky on the lips but I haven’t tried it out yet.

(L-R) Me Hearties Lipstick, Lipgloss

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YouTube Made Me Buy It

I’ve seen these type of videos floating around YouTube and even in the blogging community. Going through my makeup collection, I figured half my products would be items that I was influenced to buy through YouTube but to my surprise, it was a lot less than assumed. Now don’t get me wrong I do have a plethora of products I was influenced in some degree to purchase through vloggers I follow.

Eyeshadow:

  1. Makeup Geek – This is a brand I would never have even heard of if it wasn’t for YouTube. After hearing how great their shadows were time and time again I finally jumped on the bandwagon. During Christmas time they had a sale for 9 shadows and their travel magnetic palette so I decided to take the plunge. Now I can say these single shadows do live up to the hype and are a great investment. The travel palette as well is my favorite that I’ve tried. It’s super sturdy and has a huge mirror.
  2. Natasha Denona – Another eyeshadow formulation I’ve heard vloggers rave about is Natasha Denona. As much as I would love to purchase her larger palettes, my wallet would not appreciate it right now. I picked up one of her five shadow palettes and can say it’s phenomenal. I don’t know if I believe it’s worth the price tag but these are beautiful shadows. She’s coming out with new products for the summer and I’m excited to see what that eyeshadow palette looks like.

Face Products:

  1. Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops – These I knew I needed the second I saw Jaclyn Hill rave about them on her snapchat. They are beyond gorgeous but a little pricey. Since these came out, other brands have developed similar products which seem to compare that might be worth it to check out first. You need the smallest amount of these which is great because I’m sure I’ll have these forever.
  2. Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist – I don’t think I can name a vlogger that didn’t rave about this at one time or another. For me, it’s really a hit and a miss. I like this on some days but then others I can’t stand it. I would recommend only using it if you have dry skin and for lighter makeup days. When I have a heavier look going on I find this really makes the product cake up.
  3. Make Up For Ever Step 1 Mattifying Primer – I was on the hunt for a product that would help my makeup stay matte all day and when I heard about this one, I knew I needed to check it out. I would agree this is a great primer for oily skin. It’s a little heavier feeling so I only use it around my nose and pores, where I tend to get oily. I have such a great things about all the primers in this range.
  4. Mac Fix+ – So man vloggers used this product and I did not understand the hype. I loved my Urban Decay All Nighter and didn’t see how this product could top that. I love this for wetting my brushes to foil shadows. On my face, I spray this to get rid of that powdery makeup look but not necessarily to ‘set’ my makeup.
  5. RCMA No Color Translucent Powder – This is another product I would never have heard of if it wasn’t for YouTube. Baking was a concept I never got until I started using this product because it seemed like such a waste of product and always made me look crepey. This is such a cheap powder and you get so much of it. The only real negative is the packaging makes it tough to use.
  6. The Balm Mary Lou Luminizer – This was the first highlighter I really heard people rave about anywhere. It took me awhile to purchase it but when I did it did not disappoint. Now there are so many highlighters available to chose from but this is still one of my go-to’s.
  7. Sonia Kashuk Satin Matte Foundation – This product I heard Casey Holmes talk about in so many videos and I usually love the foundations she recommends but this one was a huge miss for me. I don’t think it has that great of coverage and really don’t think it should have the word matte in its name. For me, this was a huge disappointment.

ColourPop:

This is another brand I would’ve never heard of if it wasn’t for YouTube. I put off purchasing from them for so long but after realizing how cheap their products were I stocked my cart up and now have made several purchases from them. I’m in love with their super shock shadows and their pressed shadows. Their highlighters are excellent too. I have multiple of their lip products and would agree that they can really be hit or miss.

Lip Products:

  1. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner and Hot Lips Lipstick in Kim K. W. – I purchased these both after hearing various YouTubers mention them. That has quickly become my go-to nude lip combo. I also secretly love Kim Kardashian so that made me immediately intrigued by this lipstick. I probably won’t be repurchasing another lipstick from this line because they are a little pricey and not all that pigmented.
  2. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Creme – These are the perfect lip for someone who wants the lasting power of a liquid lipstick but not the matte drying feeling. Although they aren’t transfer proof they do last all day on your lips. I wish I could purchase these in every color but my wallet would never forgive me.
  3. Jeffree Star Liquid Lipstick – This was a pretty obvious one for me. Jeffree Star is a beauty vlogger with a cosmetics company so that’s where I believe I first heard of his products. I’ve heard such great things about his liquid lipsticks and thought this color was super unique. I do love the formula but since this color is a little out there it isn’t something I grab for all that often.
  4. Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick – These were the first liquid lipsticks I really heard about. I first tried out the nude pink one and immediately wanted to purchase more. I still love these but since there are more liquid lipsticks available now these aren’t my all time favorite formula.
  5. Jouer Lip Creme Liquid Lipstick – I heard about these metallic liquid lipsticks through multiple vloggers and thought they looked so cool and unique. Unfortunately, they don’t look that great on the lips. They’re a little streaky and patchy. I’ve heard though the darker colors work a little easier so I might need to try those because these are beautiful. I do love these though to add a little shimmer in the middle of my lips over top a matte lipstick.
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e.l.f. Cosmetics Aqua Beauty Products

As I was walking through the aisles in the target beauty section I tend to skip over e.l.f. cosmetics. Now don’t get me wrong, they do have some great products that I love (especially their brushes). But I haven’t seen anything new out that really caught my eye from them in some time. Once I saw this line, which I think some or these products have been out for some time now, I picked out some of the products to try out. Unfortunately they were out of the liquid eye shadow which I will have to pick up on a different trip. There are some other products in this line as well including a mousse foundation and an expanding skin care line.

The three products I did pick up were the Aqua Primer Mist, a Radiant Gel Lip Stain, and a Blush and Bronzer Duo. I’ve been testing these out for a couple months now and have experimented enough that I feel confident in my opinions of these products.

Aqua Beauty Blush and Bronzer | $6.00

First lets start out with saying that $6 for a full-sized blush and bronzer duo is just out of this world. I was praying to love this product just for the price point. I was really expecting this to be more of a powder product that has a very creamy ‘wet’ kind of feel. It’s definitely a cream product which I’m not the huge fan of, so I tried to put that aside for this review. The product itself blends wonderfully on the skin and on top of makeup. I purchased this in the color bronzed pink beige which is perfect for the summer months. The bronzer is very warm toned and the blush is a more pinky coral. It reminds me a lot of NARs cactus flower without the shimmer. These both are matte but since they are creams they add a nice hydrated glow to the skin. Overall I’m not the biggest fan since I don’t care for cream blushes and bronzers but if you’re in the market for this kind of product, this is a great option at an evener greater price point.

Aqua Beauty Radiant Gel Lip Stain | $4.00

Again with the price point, you can’t ask for it much lower. This product mostly intrigued me by the name. What is a gel lip stain? Well in this case it’s very similar to a traditional lip stain product. It comes in 6 colors but at the store there were only two for me to pick from. I chose Dewy Berry because I love a good berry lip. On the lips this product feels very light and wet but does dry down with a sticky feeling. It wasn’t as pigmented as I was hoping, even after a couple of layers on the lip. It was hard to build up as it started to get streaky. I’m really wondering how the nude shade would look on the lips because this one seemed like every other lip stain product I’ve used. It gave my lips the look you get after finishing a cherry popsicle. I definitely won’t be purchasing more of these and don’t see myself grabbing for this very often, just because the lip stain look is a little dated now and there are so many better products out there.

Aqua Beauty Primer Mist | $8.00

This is marketed as a product to prime, refresh and set makeup. I would highly not recommend spraying this over top makeup as it is not a fine mist and comes out very fast onto the face. As a primer though this products is alcohol and silicone free. It contains cucumber, vitamin E and B which helps hydrate and soothe the skin. I like to use this as kind a ‘pre-primer’ step – yes I’m that extra. I really like the added skin care benefits, especially when my skins feeling dry but for a primer I’m looking for something that’ll cover my pores and smooth my skin out. All together though, I do like this product. I don’t think I’ll be jumping to repurchase it, as I have other mists that do the same thing but the mister is much better for refreshing throughout the day.

From L-R: Bronzed Pink Beige Blush and Bronzer, Dewy Berry Lip Stain

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Transitioning my Makeup from Winter to Spring: What’s in and what’s out?

I don’t think I’m the only one who can say they get excited as soon as the warm weather hits. It really inspires me to switch up most things in my life. Most recently I dyed my hair a deep auburn that shines bright red in the sunlight. Besides my hair I also feel inspired with changing up my wardrobe and make-up routine. This really inspired me to create a What’s In and What’s Out post about my make-up routine switch ups for the spring and summer months. Obviously I’m just speaking for myself and my usual make-up transitions during the hotter months so if you do the complete opposite transitions there’s no harm! There are no rules in make-up!

Cool Toned Mattes Vs. Warm Shimmers

During the winter months I tend to gravitate towards more matte shades of eyeshadow, in particular cool toned mattes. My go-to palette this winter was The Balms Meet Matt(e) Nude palette. I love this one because of how versatile it is. You can easily create an everyday look or a more smokey night time look. I also love how cute these palettes are and all the shades names. For the spring summer months I really like to add more shimmery warm browns to my looks. My favorites are my Natasha Denona 5 color eyeshadow palette in #4 and two Make Up Geek shades in Magic Act and Legend. All these shadows are so rich and pigmented. When foiled with some Fix+ they really just pop on the eyelid.

Dewy Setting Spray Vs. Matte Setting Spray

I know this one can really depend on your skin type but since I have such combination skin I can luckily pull off the dewy skin look and matte skin as well. During the winter months my skin is so dry that I do enjoy a more luminous look. This Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist does break the bank but all you need is a spritz or two. During the summer though I’m putting this away for a more matte look. I really want my make-up to stay on and look fresh throughout the heat from the summer days. Two of my favorite matte setting sprays that really SET my make-up are Urban Decay’s De-slick setting spray and Boscia’s White Charcoal Mattifying Setting Spray.

Stark White Highlight Vs. Bronze Glow

My first in your face highlight I ever purchased was Becca Pearl. I have very fair skin so in the winter I’m as white as can be and this highlighter really pops on my skin. When I have a slight tan it’s a little too stark for me and I tend to go for my of all over bronzy look. I love the Jeffree Star Skin Frost in King Tut. He offers so many bronzey shades that there is definitely one for all skin tones. This one really warms up my face and adds the prefect glow on top of my cheek bones.

Deep Purple Vs. Vibrant Bright Plum

During the colder months my go-to going out look is a deep purple lipstick (or a deep red but we’ll get into that later). I love a dark liquid lipstick that you can put on and forget about, especially when you’re drinking throughout the night. My favorites are Huda Beauty Material Girl and ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Panda. During the warmer months I love to try out brighter more vibrant lip colors. Maybelline Vivids in Hot Plum has been a staple for me for years now. It’s such a fun color and a comfortable formula.

Wine Blush Vs. Bronzey Cheeks

I think this is a very popular switch that most make-up lovers make. During the winter months when I’m pale I love a natural eye and face look with a deep wine blush on my cheeks. I think it just really amps up a plain every day look. My two favorites are Milani Red Vino and NARS Goulue which is the Sephora VIB Blush NARS made. During the summer I like to simplify my makeup routine a sometimes combine my whole bronzer, blush and highlight. This is a great product for that. NYX Ombre Blush in Nude To Me adds the perfect bronze look to any cheekbones.

Deep Red Lips Vs. Bright Red Lips

Like I mentioned above during the winter months I love a deep lips. Whether it’s  purple or a deep wine lipstick I love have sultry these colors look in the winter. For my winter red lips I switch between Hourglass in Icon and Maybelline Divine Wine. During the summer though I love a true blue toned red lip. This is such a classic look that you can never go wrong with. I think every brand makes a red like this but my favorite formulas are Urban Decays Vice Lipstick in 714 and Mac’s Ruby Woo.

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