January 15, 2014

Beauty Post: Beauty Favorites of 2013

Hey Guys! I hope that all of you are having a fabulous week and are staying warm. I am a bit behind with this post but I still wanted to get it up for everyone since I have been receiving great feedback from friends, family and followers regarding my posts. It makes me feel so incredibly good that I have been helpful to you regarding beauty products that you have been trying from my blog/vlog posts. I seriously can't tell you how much it means or thank you enough!!! It's so awesome!

When picking the products that I am featuring in this post I highlighted the ones that I used the most in 2013. These products are the ones I applied and used almost on a weekly if not daily basis so you can guarantee that I love them and stand behind the product. I am going to try not to elaborate too much on the products because most of these have been mentioned in previous posts. If you do see something that you want more information or feedback on please leave me a comment below or send me a message on Facebook; I will be more than happy to answer them! So, without chatting up a storm, here are my 2013 favorites.....they are in no particular order so please excuse the randomness. There are a lot of products that I am covering so as I mentioned in my video this will be a longer post than my typical ones.

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream ($12.99) - This is the most amazing BB cream that I have tried from a drugstore (I have tried 5). It's coverage can be compared to a foundation because it literally gives you medium coverage and helps conceal flaws/pigmentation. It's very moisturizing without leaving a greasy residue or shine on your face. I have used this alone and under my foundation and it works well both ways. I use the shade Light/Medium and it matches perfectly and blends out smoothly. You definitely wouldn't wear this for full coverage but just for an every day "non" makeup face this is perfect!

Revlon Colorstay Whipped ($10.97) - This is one of my favorite drug store gems! The foundation is lightweight but provides medium to full coverage. It is supposed to give you 24 hour coverage and I would have to agree that it lasts all day. I do not have a problem with this oxidizing or sweating off of my face during the summer. I use the shade 220 - Nude and I use this during the Spring and Summer only. I have very dry skin and I find that this is too drying for me during the Fall/Winter months so I have to switch foundations. However, I love this foundation and think it's great for normal to dry skin types. The only downfall with this product is the packaging because it's too bulky and hard to store.

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse ($7.97) - I must admit that I am not normally a fan of Maybelline foundations but this one blew me away. The formula is wonderful for those of you that suffer from dry, dull skin. This provides a medium to full coverage and keeps my skin feeling hydrated throughout the day. This has been a lifesaver for me during these cold months because I've really suffered from dry skin. I wear the shade 200 - Creamy Natural. When you open the package don't let the foundation in the compact scare you because it does look like a pot of grease but it doesn't appear that way on your skin.

L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother ($19.99) - This is something that you are going either love or hate. And I have had an ongoing love/hate relationship with it myself....BUT...it does work great so I wanted to include it because I have worn this a ton. I can only describe this as a type of primer but it's not really a primer because it's used to blur your imperfections on your face. This weird cream basically blurs the look of fine lines, wrinkles and pores. Amazingly, it works. When I wear this I can tell a difference and it does help minimize the appearance of my pores. I believe the reason I have this love/hate thing going on with it is due to the consistency of the formula. It's a thick paste that you have to blend into your face and it is somewhat tacky to the touch and I don't care for it. However, they do have a "Oil Free" version now that is a gel so I may try that next because I think I will like that much better.

e.l.f. High Definition Powder in Sheer ($6.00) - I am not a huge facial powder person because I do have dry skin but this is an exception. This is a great white translucent powder that helps soften the appearance of your fine lines and wrinkles. This is a "must" in the world of photography because it does help produce an airbrushed, soft finish. This is said to be a dupe for the HD powder by Makeup For Ever which is pretty pricey.

MAC Definitely Defined Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($32.99) - This is a really nice highlighter that I enjoy using during the summer when I have some sun on my skin. I have found that when I am pale I don't enjoy wearing this as much as my Fergie highlighter. This has a nice sheen that doesn't have any glitter or flecks light some highlighters. It can be a bit bold so a little really does go a long way so you can justify the price because you will hold on to this compact for a while. It does have two shades but I just swirl the two together to get a nice shade of pearly light pink. My favorite areas to use this is on my cheekbones, bridge of my nose and cupids bow. This also can be used to highlight your browbone and a nice shade of eyeshadow. Very versatile product in my opinion.

Wet n Wild Fergie Centerstage Collection "To Reflect" Shimmer Palette in Rose Champagne Glow ($5.99) - Wow. Wow. Wow. This is the most stunning highlighter that I have ever used. It floors me that this is actual made by Wet n Wild because the quality is outstanding. It's the perfect highlighter because it's not too shimmery or overpowering like the MAC can be. It provides just the right amount of highlight that looks so natural and pretty. I honestly would choose this over the MAC when it comes to repurchasing one or the other. It's finely milled, highly pigmented and the staying power is phenomenal....a must in your collection!

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Sun Stones in Light to Medium ($12.99) - Bronzers are always an iffy thing to purchase because many of them can leave you looking like a clown. I actually *hate* picking out bronzers because it's difficult to choose the right one. Luckily, you don't have that problem with the Physicians Formula Sun Stones because these are the perfect shade that provides just the right amount of sun kissed color without leaving you muddy or orange. These stones don't pack on color like a pressed powder bronzer so this is best to just use around your face for a hint of color NOT for contouring. I also like this bronzer because you don't have a ton of gold sparkle all over your face after application.

Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition in Light to Medium ($15.99) - This by far is my favorite out of the 2 bronzers I own by PF. This is the perfect color for contouring fair skin. So many bronzers are too dark and muddy on light skin and this is the perfect shade of brown. This is buildable and blends out easily with your kabuki brush. I also love the fact that there is minimal shimmer in this bronzer too. This will definitely be a bronzer that I will repurchase once I have finished this compact. The picture makes the brown look very dark but I promise you it's not -- it's the most perfect shade of "sun".

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($6.99) - Talk about a "Holy Grail" item!!! This is beyond the most FABULOUS color on the planet earth. I adore this shade by Milani and I can guarantee you that you will too. It would look amazing on any shade of skin because it's the perfect mixture of coral and pink. It is a pretty Mosaic of pinks, corals and gold shimmer but once applied it gives you the prettiest glow. It's highly pigmented, blends easily, buildable and lasts all day. It's the perfect blush. It is also said to be a dupe for Nars's "Orgasm". You need this in your life and you can thank me later! Seriously, buy this because you won't regret it.

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blusher in Pearlescent Pink ($2.99) - Once again, WnW has amazed me. This blush is so similar to the Milani shade "Luminoso" but is a tad pinker. It's more pigmented than Milani's and the staying power is insane. I also think this shade would be perfect for any skin tone because it's just so natural and pretty. I did tend to wear this shade more in the Spring and Summer because it was a bit darker than the Luminoso but I loved it just as much as the Milani. The crazy thing is the price of this blush because the quality ranks right up there with higher end blushes!

Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten ($18.00) - Another "Holy Grail" item in my collection that I use every single time I apply makeup to my face. I kid you not....every. single. time. If there were a "perfect shade" this would be it for me. I use this as an all over color because it's such a beautiful champagne color. It is the right amount of sheen without being to blingy. I even like to pack on a little more color at my brow bone and inner corners of my eyes to use as a highlighter because it does help brighten everything up. This is HIGHLY pigmented and I never have a problem with it creasing on my lids. It lasts all day long even without using a primer. I have had my pod a year and I still have at least 6-8 months of use out of it. Run to your local Sephora or Ulta and pick this up because I don't think you will regret it.

Maybelline "Bad to the Bronze" 24 Hour Color Tattoo by Eye Studio ($5.99) - These cream shadows made their debut in the drugstores this past year so naturally I had to try them. I have 5 shades in this line and the "Bad to the Bronze" was my most used this year. This is a very creamy shade that stays on your lid until you use some type of remover to take it off. I like to use this as a base color too when I am using neutral shades because it does help those colors pop. This has a lot of sheen to it so don't come near this shade if you are a matte only shadow user.

"Silent Treatment" trio by Wet n Wild ($2.99) - Love, Love, Love this trio from WnW!! Their shadows are so buttery, smooth and blendable. I own almost every trio they offer and this was the one I used the most out of all of them. It's the perfect combination of colors and I have even used them with other shadows. These are highly pigmented and these don't have a problem with creasing. I have found they do last longer with a primer than without. The only downfall about the WnW shadows is the packaging -- it's cheap but other than that you really can't complain because the quality of the product is outstanding.

"Comfort Zone" Pallet by Wet n Wild ($4.99) - This is a great natural palette that would be perfect for those who have brown, green or hazel eyes. The color pay off with these shades is unbelievable and rank up there with high end shadows such as Urban Decay (I'm not kidding). This palette does not have any matte shades; all 8 shades have sheen or shimmer. I like this palette because it's very versatile and you can make a day and night look using just this palette. The color combinations you can use are endless because they all compliment one another and you have the 8 shades to play with. Once again, the only con on this product is the cheap packaging. Be prepared to have a dusty black palette within a couple of uses.

L'Oreal 24 Hr. infalliable Eye Shadow in "Amber Rush" ($ 6.97) - Another color that I think everyone should own because it's so beautiful. I have raved about this shadow since the day I purchased it because it's gorgeous and the pigmentation is unbelievable. It's a pretty copper, rose gold shade that blends easily on your lid but stays put until you take it off. I have several shades from this line and they are all great but this was the one I used the most last year. I reached for this shade at least 2-3 times a week because I fell in love with it. This is also another shade that is high in sheen; no matte here!

Fergie Take On The Day Eyeshadow Primer "For my Primas" by WnW ($4.99) - This was the only eye shadow primer that I used this past year and that was for a reason....it was that freaking good. I could tell a major difference in my shadows when I used this because the colors were more vibrant and lasted longer on my lid. I did find that you could use too much of this which could lead to "cakiness" so a tiny dab is all you need. I have used the Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion and I feel that the Fergie does a better job for the fraction of the cost. According to their site there are 2 shades of this but the only one I have seen in stores is the nude color that dries clear. That is the one that I use daily.

Pixie Correction Concentrate in "Brightening Peach" ($12.00) - Holy Cow! This little pod of peach goodness is a lifesaver for my tired eyes. I have dark circles that are inherited and I have never been able to cover them fully until I found this at Target. If you suffer from dark circles you need to find a peach/salmon color to help mask them. This helps brighten my under eye area without caking up or creasing underneath my eyes. I have fine lines around and underneath my eyes and this does not settle in them like most concealers do. This is a very tiny pod so you can really talk yourself out of buying it for the money BUT it does last a very long time and a little goes a long way so just go for it :)

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Brightner ($7.99) - This nifty little pen is used as a treatment for dark circles but is great as a highlighter! The sponge tip makes for easy application and the nice pink shade compliments and brightens wherever applied. I have used this over my concealer without any issues but I don't feel it covers as well alone. However, using this strictly as a highlighter this is awesome! This product claims to "erase" your dark circles and I never saw them diminished but I have enjoyed using this product and will continue to repurchase it. I will tell you I have bought the concealer in this line and I prefer the brightener. The only con with this is that it seems to be used up fairly quickly.

Urban Decay "All Nighter" Makeup Setting Spray ($29.00) - I have tried to avoid the whole makeup setting spray thing but I broke down and purchased a trial version of this at Sephora a few months ago and have used it every day since. I am addicted to the stuff. I can tell a big difference when I use this because my makeup does not move -- it looks fresh all day long. I have also used this when I feel like my face needs a "pick me up"....you know, those afternoons when your face looks dull and tired. I honestly thought this was a gimmick until I personally used it and now I know otherwise. I can't wait to see how well it works this summer when it gets hotter than hell here! I'll keep you posted.

Instead of putting up all my lipsticks individually I am just going to mention them. If you are looking for a high gloss lip plumping formula try the Lip Inflation Xtreme by Sally Hanson. I use the sheer gloss as well as the shade "Sheer Bare" when I am wanting the effect of a fuller lip. This past spring my favorite color of coral was in the Color Whispers line by Maybelline called "I Crave Coral". It's almost like a sheen instead of a lipstick because it's not highly pigmented but does provide a nice pop of color to your lips. I feel like the perfect nude shade comes from Milani and it's called "Dulce Caramelo". It's ultra hydrating, pigmented with a bit of gold flecks and it smells great. I wear a nude lip at least 3-4 times a week and the Milani is the one I reach for the most. I have raved and raved about "Red Rival' from the Maybelline ColorSensational line the past few months and it's worth the hype. It's a beautiful red shade that doesn't run or feather nor does it turn pink after applying it. It's a great true red shade that should be a staple in your lipstick collection.

Finding the perfect mascara was a challenge for me up until 2013 and I discovered THREE from L'Oreal that I can not live without. All three are perfect and don't irritate my super sensitive eyes which is a huge relief! They all do something a little different but all are worth the praise because they are outstanding. The "Voluminous False Lashes" has to be my favorite out of the three and the one I use the most. It's skinny wand helps accentuate all of your lashes by separating them therefor making them look long and full. The other mascara that is newer on the market is the "Lash Out Butterfly" mascara and it lives up to it's name because the angled brush helps feather out your lashes making them appear wispy. If you want a very thick lash effect you should try the "Voluminous Million Lashes" because the thick brush helps apply a ton of product on your lashes making them full and thick. I do buy the waterproof formulas and you MUST by some type of eye makeup remover if you want to get this mascara off because once it's on it does not move -- even during a massive crying spell.

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil ($52.00) - I am currently using the travel size bottle of this (.5 fl oz for $14) and I am amazed by this product. I have seen countless videos on YouTube promoting this oil and I could never bring myself to purchase it because of the steep price. While in Sephora I noticed they do offer a travel size bottle so I picked it up and I am so glad I did. This oil is so moisturizing and has done wonders for my super dry face this winter. I apply it at night before bed because it is very greasy and by the morning it has absorbed completely leaving my face glowing and feeling incredibly nourished. Many reviews suggest using this if you do suffer from oily skin (say what?!?!) because it helps balance out the natural oils in your face leading to fewer break outs. This will be a "HG" item for me.

e.l.f. Studio Line Brushes ($3.00 and up) - I have been floored at the quality of the studio line brushes because they are amazing. I wash mine often and they are durable and I never experience bristle fall out like you typically do with cheaper brushes. These are high quality and can be compared to higher end brushes. Save yourself some money and try these because you will be happy. Check for deals on their website because they offer 50% off from time to time and you can get the entire set for less than $20 which is a steal.

Equate Oil-free Eye Makeup Remover ($3.97) - This is the Walmart version of the Neutrogena remover and I have compared the ingredients and it's the same. I like this remover because it doesn't burn my eyes and it removes all of my waterproof makeup without having to rub my lids raw. Your skin is very delicate around your eyes so tugging to remove your makeup is only going to break down the elasticity of the skin which will make fine lines and wrinkles appear faster. This says it's oil free but it does leave somewhat of an oily residue behind but I just use my makeup cleansing towelettes afterwards and it's easily removed. I prefer this Equate version over the one they have for the L'Oreal version that I used to swear by. I think it works a lot better!

Equate Makeup Remover Cleaning Towelettes ($3.48) - These towelettes are the Walmart version of the Neutrogena brand and I have enjoyed using them. I have a hard time finding towelettes that don't sting my face and eyes, smell good and don't dry out my skin. I feel like these towelettes are the best that I have found so far. They remove everything but waterproof formulas so I am pretty happy with them. I have never used the Neutrogena towelettes so I don't know if they are a great comparison but I do enjoy using them.

Viva la Juicy Perfume ($70.00 for 1.7 fl oz) - This has been my favorite scent for the past 3 years and even though I have purchased other perfumes I keep going back to this one. It's a light floral scent that lingers on your skin all day long. I often get asked what scent I am wearing when I have this on so I guess it appeals to others. I think this would be a perfect gift for a girlfriend or daughter because it's very "girly". The notes of this scent are Wild Berries, Mandarins, Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Jasmine, Amber, Caramel, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Praline. 

Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Clay Mask ($4.19) - I have been using this mask 1-2 times a week for over a year. I really enjoy this clay mask because it purges my pores without drying my skin out. After using this my face is completely clean and feels really good. When applying this be sure to only put a thin layer on because if not it will take forever for it to dry. I would also use an old wash cloth when taking the mask off because I have noticed it can stain them easily. I think this would be the perfect mask for someone that has sensitive or inflammed/irritated skin because the oatmeal is very soothing on your face. 

In my video I mentioned my favorite products from Organix. I have been using the Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner on my hair for the past year. I love the shampoo because the scent lingers long after you have washed it (like 3 days) and my hair is always soft and never weighed down. I like to use the hydrating Moroccan Argan Oil body wash in the shower and bath because it smells great and doesn't leave a film on my skin after washing it off.The scent also lingers and your body feels well hydrated after you get out of the shower. All three products are sulfate free. I am also using other items from the Organix line but I am including those in an upcoming video/blog post. 

Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($3.49) - I have tried several drugstore dry shampoo's this year and I keep coming back to this one. I love the scent because it's a nice fresh, clean scent. It doesn't leave a white powdery residue on my brunette hair when I use it. It's lightweight so it doesn't weigh your hair down and it instantly adds volume. When I use this you can't tell that I have been a day or two without a washing -- it works great! I use this right after washing my hair to add volume and texture if I am styling it to go out. This is actually one of the cheaper dry shampoo's and it works better than the pricier ones. This is a must if you suffer from oily hair or if you are active and don't have time to wash your hair after dance or the gym.
Garnier Fructis Extreme Control Anti-Humidity Hairspray ($4.19) - I am typically not a hairspray person because they always make my hair feel crunchy and gross. I picked this can up almost a year ago because the 'Anti-Humidity" part caught me eye since it is so miserably hot and sticky here. I have been pleasantly surprised with this hairspray because it doesn't make my hair sticky, crunchy or dried out. It's a nice scent that is lightweight but holds my style when I need it to. 

I believe that this wraps up all of my favorite beauty products for the year 2013! I know this blog post was extremely long so thanks for reading it! Be sure to Check out my YouTube video here. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and spread the word to your friends and family. I will be having a GIVEAWAY in the near future (possibly next week) so please stay tuned for that! Let me know if you want to see specific videos and/or blog posts in the future. I should also have another "Must or Bust" entry up by the end of next week. Until my next post, take care!! 


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