The Beauty Lover Tag

If you could have anyone in the world do your makeup, who would it be?
Joyce Bonelli, the go to makeup artist and friend of Khloe Kardashian.

What’s your top makeup tip?
Eye shadow primer. It makes ALL the difference.

What one makeup item could you not live without?
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz & Brown Gel

What one skincare item could you not live without?
Daily facial moisturizer

What are you worst at when it comes to applying makeup?
Highlighting/Contouring

What’s your biggest pet peeve when it comes to beauty?
Cost. Beauty is art but it’s also a trend that many companies are currently cashing in on. This increased hype and easy access to professional products has increased demand which means constantly increasing costs.

What’s your favorite makeup era?
The 80’s, all those electric neon colors.

What’s your guilty pleasure product?
Anything Christian Louboutin beauty.

What’s your underdog product?
Sephora waterproof liquid eye liner

What’s your favorite makeup product of 2016?
SEXY Too Faced eye shadow palette

Ipsy March Glam Bag Review

NYX Cosmetics – Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick
nyxcosmetics.com
Full Size Retail Price: $7
IMG_7346
I am new to the NYX liquid lipsticks but I love them. This Suede Cream lipstick is super lightweight and glides on effortlessly and dries to a highly pigmented matte finish. NYX boasts that it is also waterproof so it’s long wearing.
Final Verdict: NYX liquid lipsticks are a must try!
Starlooks – Luxe Longwear Eye Pencil in Jet
starlooks.com
Full Size Retail Price $19
IMG_7345
Loving my introduction to Starlooks! This black eye pencil is highly pigmented and has a mechanical applicator. For those of you who remember life before mechanical pencils, for makeup and for writing, you know how great this is. The consistency is soft and glides on smoothly without pulling your eyelid which a lot of other eye pencils do.
Final Verdict: Must try up-and-coming beauty brand.
Living Proof – Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo
www.livingproof.com
Full Size Retail Price: $12-$22
IMG_7349
I do not typically use dry shampoo’s but I have tried other Living Proof products so I gave this particular dry shampoo a try. The application is easy and leaves no residue as long as you spray just a enough to coat the root and blend into your scalp. It smells great and doesn’t leave any residue or build-up behind.
Final Verdict: Living Proof is a fantastic haircare brand!
TEMPTU – Warm Glow Bronzer
Full Size Retail Price: $64 Sun Kissed AirPod Bundle
IMG_7347
It is know doubt that TEMPTU products are uber professional and their AirPods give you an all over coverage that can only be applied via airbrush. If you have the money to spend on high quality makeup application then TEMPTU is for you. Their bronzer is full coverage and super lightweight. The shade I have is definitely too dark for me and even when applying a small bit of product I received a lot of highly pigmented coverage (see photo).
Final Verdict: Great for those who have the time (and $$$) to spend on their makeup.
Aphrodite Skin Care – Replenishing Eye Cream

Full Size Retail Price: $27.99

On Sale Now for $23.99
IMG_7348
The only time I try anything “anti-aging” is when I get a sample. At almost 27 I am not yet concerned with aging. Even though I know it’s never to early to combat aging. This eye cream is definitely hydrating and comes full of all the best ingredients like 0rganic extra virgin olive oil and high levels of natural active ingredients such as Argan Oil, Evening Primrose and Shea Butter. The only thing I didn’t like was that it did not absorb very quickly even when using a small amount (smaller than a dime).

Final Verdict: Not for me. Well maybe in like 20 more years.

Ipsy September Glam Bag Review

Ipsy September Glam Bag

NYX Cosmetics – ipsy Eye Shadow Trio
nyxcosmetics.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $4.50 for single eye shadows

NYX ipsy Eye Shadow Trio

NYX ipsy Eye Shadow Trio

This palette was exclusively designed for ipsters by NYX so it cannot be purchased through the NYX website. As usual ipsy (and NYX) hit it out of the park with the color sections for the September glam bag whose theme was all about leaving the past behind for autumn elegance. Let’s face it nudes are in and they probably always will be. So there was no chance of failure (except for those whose palettes arrived broken) when making this collaboration part of the September glam bag.

My review is pretty simple. The shades are your typical nudes with one smoky option which is more black than brown which was unexpected. The consistency of the shadow is chalky but to be fair I am used to Too Faced and Smashbox shadows. You can build up each shade to get the pigmentation you want which makes the palette even more versatile. It came with the standard 90’s applicator which has gone straight to the trash. Why anyone continues to produce those things is beyond me.

Final Verdict: It’s NYX you get what you pay for.

Nyx, Temptu and J. Cat Swatches

Left to Right: NYX, Temptu and J. Cat Swatches

TEMPTU – S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer
temptu.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $27.50 1oz

TEMPTU - S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer

TEMPTU – S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer

TEMPTU is typically used by pro artists because they have revolutionized the flawless finish and airbrush makeup application. Which basically means I had never heard of this company until it showed up in my ipsy bag. Now TEMPTU is reaching out to the everyday makeup wearer by creating easy to use airbrush systems and “Airpod” makeup. Still all beyond my realm of makeup application. Who really has time to fire up their airbrush machine and paint a flawless face before their 9-5? I don’t.

The item TEMPTU chose to share with us ipsters was their silicon based highlighter in Champagne Pop (it also comes in three other shades). It’s designed to highlight eyes, cheeks and “other features” though I am unsure of what that means. To be blunt I do not like liquid highlighters, blush or really anything liquid besides eye liner and vodka. The shade is lovely and reminds me of pink champagne. It’s fast drying and extremely pigmented, which means I will overuse and end up blinding my co-workers.

Final Verdict: Pricey for a working girl. Very pretty though.

J. Cat Beauty – #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze
jcatbeauty.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $3.99

J. Cat Beauty - #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze

J. Cat Beauty – #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze

I am pretty sure I have received other items from J. Cat courtesy of my ipsy bags but I cannot remember which means they probably weren’t all that memorable. Hold on let me check… Yes, I have one of their Liptitude hydrating lip stains which I received from a friends ipsy bag as the color was too pink for them. Quick review: super pigmented lip stain, not very fast drying and definitely not 24/7 wear. Cannot compete with my favorite Aqua Rouge lip from Make Up For Ever, the apocalypse won’t take that stuff off.

The #MOTD slide on pencil for eyes as it is so named (not sure why) has a medium creamy application and glides on fairly effortlessly (but not as effortlessly as the Urban Decay 24/7 glide on pencils). The shade is lovely with just the right amount of sparkle and pigmentation. This product can be purchased in 11 other shades on the J. Cat website and boasts that it is waterproof and smudge proof. I will give it smudge proof but anything that can be removed with soap and water effortlessly (like washing your hands after using the restroom) is not considered water proof in my opinion. I live in Florida I need waterproof that can outlast a monsoon and hurricane in one day.

Final Verdict: Not waterproof, but worth a try for the price.

Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted
trustfundbeauty.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $15.00

Trust Fund Beauty - Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted

Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted

Wow calm down $15 for a bottle of nail polish? I do not think so. Now that that is out of my system lets talk facts. Trust Fund Beauty boasts a “Made in the USA” product so if you are going to spend your trust fund on nail polish you might as well go American made. It also boasts that it is cruelty free, non-toxic, vegan, and 7-free.

Yay for all the small animals that were spared for this to happen but the minute I opened the bottle I thought I was being tested on. The smell is overwhelming and I regularly use products from OPI and Creative and have never had such a strong smell come from those polishes. Smell aside the color is great and dries a bit darker than the bottle color would suggest. The product is also a bit watery for my taste which I also think makes application harder for those whose nail polish skills are mediocre.

Final Verdict: You need a trust fund to save animals.

Garnier Fructis – Brazilian Smooth Flatiron Express
garnierusa.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $5.99 via Garnier website

Garnier Fructis - Brazilian Smooth Flatiron Express

Garnier Fructis – Brazilian Smooth Flatiron Express

Garnier Fructis is a household name and sold all over the globe so it is pretty exciting when ipsy partners with such a well known brand. But when it comes to receiving hair products in my ipsy bag I am the opposite of excited. Mostly because I was raised by a hair dresser and have an unrealistic expectation of only using “salon quality” products for the rest of my life. Yes, this makes me a hair snob. No, I really don’t care. #FREEhaircuts4life

Long story short this product does what it says. It helps smooth “difficult to straighten” hair. With that said this product is NOT for everyone. My hair for instance is not difficult to straighten so all this product did was make my hair a little more smooth, and greasy way quicker than normal. I have medium wavy hair, that isn’t fine but it isn’t coarse either. I imagine this would work great on those women with the heavy beautiful curls who just want straight hair for the day. But again I haven’t tested my theory.

Final Verdict: Great product for “difficult to straighten” hair, worth a buy.

Ipsy July Glam Bag Review

Ipsy July Glam Bag

Teeez Cosmetics – Read My Lips Lipstick
teeezcosmetics.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $22

This lipstick was the item I was most excited to try in July’s Glam Bag. I confess it was mostly due to the awesome packaging that features a skull (I am super into skulls). Once I had the lipstick in my hand I realized the packaging wasn’t the only thing to get excited about. The shade “Killing Me Softly” is a satin matte finish and a beautiful red coral color. The coconut oil extract gives it a lovely scent while moisturizing your lips. This product compares well with other lipsticks like it, especially for the price.

Final Verdict: Worth a buy although the product currently only comes in the one shade.

Teeez Cosmetics - Read My Lips Lipstick

Teeez Cosmetics – Read My Lips Lipstick

Read My Lips Lipstick in Killing Me Softly

Read My Lips Lipstick in Killing Me Softly

Killing Me Softly Swatch

Killing Me Softly Swatch

Jor’el Parker – Classico Perfume
harveyprince.com

8.8ml Retail Cost: $21

When it comes to scents I am a try them all kind of girl which is strange since I am pretty particular when it comes to smells. But I also get bored easily and like to change my scent up almost daily. So I am always happy to receive a new scent in my Ipsy bag. Scents can take you to places you haven’t been in years, or remind you of a fond memory or person from your past. In this case the Classico scent reminded my of my mom and I will probably end up giving it to her. It is sweet, spicy and calming in a way that perfectly describes my mother. Ipsy and Jor’el Parker really hit it out of the park with this one.

Final Verdict: Definite buy but its a bit pricey.

Jor'el Parker Classico EDP

Jor’el Parker Classico EDP

Crown Brush – Professional Tweezers
crownbrush.us

Retail Cost: $17.49 (on sale for $6.99)

I will admit that I am biased when it comes to tweezers because the only tweezers I love are my mini Anastasia Beverly Hills brow tweezers and I only use tweezers for my brows. With that said these Crown Brush tweezers are just your typical tweezers, they are a bit bulky for my taste and would trust them to pluck the stray eye brow hairs I get. They would be good for attaching bling to nails or maybe applying eyelashes but I have little expertise in that area.

Final Verdict: Nothing special, too bulky for brows.

Crown Brush Professional Tweezers

Crown Brush Professional Tweezers

Vasanti Cosmetics – Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser
vasanticosmetics.com

Travel Size Retail Cost: $10

My skincare routine is extremely minimal. I barely ever wash my face with any time of face wash or cleanser. My skin is extremely sensitive as well so most cleansers tend to do more damage than anything else. So I am typically not excited when Ipsy sends me anything to do with cleansers for facial cleaners. The Brighten Up! was surprisingly gentle for an exfoliating cleanser and it also didn’t smell awful which is a major plus. This gentleness I attribute to it being natural, paraben free, and vegan and BONUS it is not tested on animals.

Final Verdict: A must try!

Vasanti Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser

Vasanti Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser

OFRA Cosmetics – Bliss Eyeshadow
ofracosmetics.com

Full Size Retail Cost: $10

Dear Ipsy: Please no more nude eyeshadows. Sincerely, Kassandra. 

Anyway like all my shimmery nude shadows this Bliss shadow from OFRA is just as beautiful and long lasting as the next. It was nice to receive such a large sample (even though I have enough shimmery nudes to last me a lifetime) and the shimmer really is lovely. The shadow is also marketed as a highlighter which is what I ended up testing it as because it goes beautifully with my favorite bronzer.

Final Verdict: Worth the price, OFRA has several other beautiful shades so check them out!

OFRA Cosmetics Bliss Eyeshadow

OFRA Cosmetics Bliss Eyeshadow

Bliss Eyeshadow Swatch

Bliss Eyeshadow Swatch

5 Beauty Products I Can’t Stop Buying

Over the last four or five years my makeup collection has grown, especially during this past year. Though with all the new additions I find there are some products that I just can’t let go of. These are the products that if discontinued would drive me to tears.
Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Mousse – 200 Creamy Natural Foundation
This has been my foundation for the last eight years. Lately I have been finding it harder and harder to find which has me panicking a bit. For me foundation has always been a way to even my skin tone and cover up the occasional blemish. The Dream Smooth Mousse is perfect because it goes on light and smooth and doesn’t clog my pores.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Moussea

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion – Original
This is the only eye shadow primer I use. And if I could get everyone in the world to purchase it I would. I love the formula, it never creases and the 24-hour wear it promotes is completely legit. Urban Decay recently updated the packaging and applicator. I have not had to purchase a new bottle yet but have tried out the applicator in store and I am not a huge fan. I prefer and am used to applying my primer with the original squeeze application and my fingers. It will be hard to get used to the new applicators. The .33 oz retails for $20 and is totally worth every penny.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion

Sephora 24hr Waterproof Colorful Eyeliner – Black Lace
I remember going to purchase a replacement and accidentally buying the non-waterproof and the applicator is different so I freaked out thinking Sephora had changed their applicator. That is when I realized I was hooked. If you have ever attempted to apply liquid eyeliner than you understand why I had a meltdown. Once you learn how to apply with a specific applicator it is very hard to learn any other way. The 24hr waterproof eyeliner is amazing. It is fast drying when applying and lasts all day, but not really 24hrs. The best part is that removal is so easy all I have to use in a makeup remover wipe. No waterproof remover needed. It comes off in almost a stretchy glue like consistency. Which is why I don’t really refer to it as 24hr wear cause if you rub those eyes or jump in a pool that stuff is coming off. This product retails at $12 and lasts for at least 3 months which is a total bargain.

Sephora 24hr Waterproof Colorful Eyeliner

Sephora 24hr Waterproof Colorful Eyeliner

Benefit Watt’s Up Soft Focus Highlighter
I got hooked on this highlighter after I received it as a free sample from Sephora a few years ago. I managed to get buy for a couple years on two samples but then came the point when my samples ran out and there was no new one to replace them. I will be honest $30 is a lot to spend on a highlighter especially for me as I only use it on my under eye/cheekbone area but I figured it would last awhile. While I love the formula and the shade I wish the retail version came in a couple of sizes as I find it hard to use the large .33 oz stick on small areas of my face. This product only comes in a .33 oz (unless you are lucky enough to get a sample) and retails for $30.

Benefit Watt's Up Soft Focus Highlighter

Benefit Watt’s Up Soft Focus Highlighter

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick – N9
This obession also is due to a free Sephora sample. I do not remember why I received it but as soon as I put it on I knew it was MY everyday shade. It was like MUFE had created the shade just for my lips. It also helped that the formula was extremely moisturizing and of course its MUFE which means its instantly amazing. The only thing I would say is that it is not a long-lasting formula. That is reserved for the Aqua Rouge lippies that I love to wear matte. Those never come off! Anyway MUFE is my favorite brand so I am glad the have my favorite lipstick and I will buy this shade forever! As long as they let me.

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick

June Ipsy Glam Bag

Ipsy June Glam Bag Review

IT Cosmetics – Mini Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil

Full Size Retail Cost: $24

This brow pencil was the breakout star of my June Glam Bag. To be honest when I saw that it was a ‘universal’ eyebrow pencil I was extremely skeptical but IT Cosmetics hit it out of the park with this baby. The shape of the product is an oval so I find it easier to cover the larger spaces of my eyebrow while also being able to get detailed lines along the edges. The applicator even comes with a brush on one side. I have been an Anastasia Beverly Hills customer since I discovered eyebrow filling but I may be switching teams.

Final Verdict: Go out and buy this product now!

Smashbox Cosmetics – Travel Size Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Full Size Retail Cost: $36 (1oz)

This was an exciting addition to my bag this month since this is a primer that I already had in my collection. I swear by it. I do not use a primer every day as I don’t wear a lot of foundation to work. This is my primer when I have a special occasion or a night on the town. With this primer a little goes a long way and leaves your face feeling like a rose petal.

Final Verdict: Totally worth the splurge.

BioRepublic SkinCare – Sheet Mask Trio
Retail Cost – $4.99 ea

Before this month I had never heard of BioRepublic SkinCare and the only sheet mask I had used was the Green Tea mask from Sephora. I received the Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Fiber Mask, Cucumber Breeze Soothing Fiber Mask, and Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask. While I think these masks are great I couldn’t really feel a difference between the Sephora brand sheet masks so these were just an ok product for me.

Final Verdict: Definitely worth a try.

Formula X – Mini Power Source nail color
Full Size Retail Cost: $10.50 – $12.50

Nail polish is always a tough sell for me since I am a total OPI snob. My mom being a nail tech for many years made me this way. This was not my first time trying Formula X nail polish so I was ready. The polish stays on for up to 7 days when using a base coat and top coat. The shade I received was a typical summer pink which I was definitely into. What I like most about these mini Formula X polishes is that they are great to travel with.

Final Verdict: Definitely worth a try but be sure to use a base and top coat.

tre’StiQue – Mini Shadow Crayon
Full Size Retail Cost – $26

This was my first introduction to tre’StiQue products and I love that is was a shadow crayon. I subscribe to Ipsy so that it will take me out of my comfort zone. I am a big powder shadow user and avoid any types of crayons or wet shadows. The tre’StiQue mini shadow crayon definitely changed my mind. It has a smooth application, crease-less wear and the packaging is just too adorable! I receive the shade Marimoto Pink Pearl (nude pink shimmer).

Final Verdict: Definitely worth purchasing.

June Ipsy Glam Bag Details

Top left to right: tre’StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon, Formula X Mini Power Source nail color, IT Cosmetics Mini Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil, Smashbox Cosmetics Travel Size Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and bottom row: BioRepublic SkinCare Sheet Mask Trio

Beauty Before Brunch | Sephora Event

As a VIB Rouge rewards member I received an invite to the Beauty Before Brunch event this past Sunday at Sephora. This was the first event I was eligible for and the first one I have attended.

Purchased Items

  • Sephora Green Tea Mask
  • Peter Thomas Roth Mini Masks
  • Tarte “the sculptor” face contour stick in “Park Ave Princess”
  • Tarte “Amazonian clay” concealer in “fair-light”
  • Sephora Collection waterproof liquid liner in “Black Lace”
Purchased Items | Sephora

Purchased Items | Sephora

Gifts/Samples

  • Living Proof night cap overnight perfector
  • Clarins Shaping Facial Lift
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara (100 rewards points)
  • Tarte Flush cheek stain (gift after purchasing two Tarte products)
Samples/Gifts | Sephora

Samples/Gifts | Sephora

VIB Rouge Gift Bag

  • Fold-over Sephora pouch
  • Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume sample
  • Formula X Nail polish in “Paramount” (full size)
  • BUXOM Lip Cream in “Pink Lady” sample
  • Benefit Puff Off sample
  • Shiseido Ultimune sample
  • Caviar Repair Instant Recover Shampoo & Conditioner sample
  • Nude Omega treatment milk sample
VIB Rouge Gift | Sephora

VIB Rouge Gift | Sephora

As a new VIB Rouge member I was not sure what to expect as I had read reviews from other members that said Sephora events rarely happened and when they did they were disappointing. The Sephora I attended for this event was in Sarasota, FL at the new UTC Sarasota Mall. This mall opened back in October so it is still in its first year.

While the event was lovely and I received several sample gifts as well as the VIB Rouge gift bag. I felt a bit like the mini-makeovers and help I received was geared too much towards getting me to make a purchase. As a VIB member I have obviously spent a significant amount of money at Sephora. So I would really like to see the event be geared towards teaching me new beauty techniques, thanking me for my continued support of their store, etc. It felt more like I was at one of those at home jewelry parties that shove overpriced products down your throat while telling you how philantrophic the company is. That was my only suggestion but the event was fun, the associates were very friendly and welcoming. I cannot wait for the next event.