Current Favorites – March 2017

I’m not very good about doing consistent monthly favorites posts like other beauty content creators out there. Um, my bad? I just don’t try that many things every single month that I’d be able to have a whole list every month. Also, the beginnings and very end of the month are always very busy for me at work, so I don’t always have time to really give it some thought.

Anywho, here’s a few things I have been loving on lately, both in February and so far in March. I got a really nasty cold at the end of February, and some of these were just lifesavers that have helped me with that, since everyone knows being sick does GREAT things for your skin, right? ;) There’s a definite theme with these favorites: hydration. Being sick had me at lizard status.

Complexion-wise, I’ve been trying a lot of different foundations lately. Or rather, re-trying. I spent a lot of time earlier this year going through my foundation stash, which resulted in me wanting to try out a lot of foundations I hadn’t worn in a while. I also tried out the It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact serum foundation, which I will have a full review on soon. However, when I got sick, my skin around my nose and upper lip was so dry and raw from being rubbed with tissues that no foundation went on comfortably (or attractively, I might add). I found one combination that worked enough to get me through the reptilian stage…

Trusty MAC Studio Fix powder (I wear shades N3 and NW10…wearing N3 in the pic above) and Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer (I wear shade 2, which has been discontinued ūüė≠). I use about a grain of rice size amount of concealer to spot conceal areas I need to, and then just go over everything with a light application of the MAC powder. The powder has a lot of coverage, and it sat okay on my super dry skin without looking (t00) scaly. Then I just wear a really natural looking blush that kind of matches the redness in my nose so it looks like maybe I just have a little color vs. a bright red clown nose. My blush colors of choice are Urban Decay Afterglow blush in Video or Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon blush in Ros√© Champagne for something with more of a sheen. I’m wearing Video in the pic above.

Since being sick includes a lot of breathing through your mouth (cute, huh), that means dry lips! I’ve been kind of needing a break from all of the popular matte lips lately anyway, but that whole situation forced me to avoid them. For about a week straight I think I only wore lip balm. My lip balm of choice is Epic Blend. I like their Hemp and More Moisture formulas. For products with a little more color, I’ve been wearing my Vasanti Cosmetics tinted lip balm that I have loved for years. Unfortunately they’ve completely redone the line and I can’t recommend the new ones because I haven’t tried them. I also still use my It Cosmetics lip treatment quite frequently. It’s half gone. Eep!

Skincare-wise I have spent a lot of time slathering myself in moisturizer lately. I’ve been using a combo of Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum topped with It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream. The rich cream combined with the extra hydrating serum have made it just a little easier to turn my lizard skin nose back into a regular person nose. ūüźĹ

Other than that, I’ve really been spending a lot of time just shopping through my stash and trying out a lot of various things, so no other true¬†favorites¬†to report at the moment. But I’m always curious to know what you guys have been loving, so let me know!

MAC Nasty Gal Collection 2014 – #MACxNastyGal

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This collab between MAC Cosmetics and Nasty Gal launches December 4th at MAC locations in North America (as well as online). It’s a small capsule collection with just 4 items.

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MAC Lipstick – $16.00 USD / $19.00 CAD

Stunner – clean red (matte)

Runner – burgundy (matte)

Gunner – deep purple (matte)

Studio Nail Lacquer – $12.00 USD / $14.00 CAD

Flaming Rose – true red (creme)

Miley Cyrus for MAC Viva Glam 2015

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It’s official: the new face of MAC’s Viva Glam campaign for 2015 is none other than Miley Cyrus! For those of you unfamiliar with Viva Glam, it is a series of lipsticks and lip glosses released to benefit the MAC World AIDS Fund. The best part of the Viva Glam campaign is that¬†every cent¬†of the selling price of Viva Glam items goes to helping women and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Unlike other charity makeup items that donate only 1-5%, MAC really puts its money up for the cause. True story, MAC Viva Glam V is one of my favorite lip colors of all time.

This release includes 2 items – a lipstick and a lip gloss. I’m really interested in that lipstick! How do they look to you?

MAC Viva Glam Miley launches January 2015 at all MAC stores, counters, and online.

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MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lip Glass –¬†hot pink with sparkling pearl¬†– $15.00 USD / $18.00 CAD

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MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus Lipstick – hot pink (Amplified formula) – $16.00 USD / $19.00 CAD

MAC Smoky Black Friday 2014 – #MACCosmetics Collection Details & Info

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MAC Smoky Black Friday Collection – Nov. 21 & 28

Hautecore lipstick (Black Matte) – Brazil-only exclusive (repromote)

Smoky Black Friday Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow – (white silver, cool silver, black) US-only exclusive

This collection will be online only, and only available to the U.S. and Brazil. MAC PRO discount is available on these items, as there will not be special packaging. Normally this would be one to wake up early for (or stay up late, depending on your preference), but I give this one a massive pass. VPF eye shadows have not been reviewed very well, and the shades for this one aren’t very unique. Only hardcore collectors need to take note.

 

 

MAC Matchmaster Concealer – Fall 2014 #MACCosmetics

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Picking up where the MAC Matchmaster Foundation left off, the new Matchmaster Concealer utilizes the same Shade Intelligence Technology. This technology utilizes breakthrough pigment technology to create a fully personalized, subtle satin finish. The concealer contains Vitamin E that conditions as the concealer reduces the appearance of under eye circles, dark spots, discolorations, fine lines, and wrinkles. This stick concealer launches in 12 shades with ‘color-true’ coverage for up to eight hours. Added to the permanent collection.

Matchmaster Concealer – $21.00 US / $25.00 CAD

1.0, 1,5, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0

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MAC Artificially Wild Collection – Fall 2014 #MACCosmetics

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MAC Artificially Wild is a collection based on varying nudes in different finishes and camouflage-inspired shades. The collection launches September 4th at all MAC locations in North America. Limited edition.

Lipstick – $16.00 US/$19.00 CAD

Siss – muted golden beige (satin) – permanent
Yash – deep neutral (matte) – permanent
Icon – frosted neutral beige (frost) – repromote
Shitake – deep brown glaze (glaze) – repromote
Photo – golden brown (satin) – permanent

Lipglass – $15.00 US/$18.00 CAD

Obviously Bare – light cream grey nude
De-Nude – dirty golden beige
Spite – muted plum taupe brown – permanent
Explicit – golden bronze with icy silver shimmer – permanent

Lip Pencil – $16.00 US/$19.00 CAD

Oak – soft beige brown – permanent
Stone – muted greyish taupe brown – permanent
Cork – muted golden brown – permanent

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Eye Shadow – $16.00 US/$19.00 CAD

Artificial Earth – soft mauve nude (satin)
Stony – soft grey concrete (satin)
Marsh – soft dirty olive green (satin)
Natural Wilderness – dirty mustard golden nude (satin)

Cream Colour Base – $21.00 US/$25.00 CAD

Shell – soft pink beige with shimmer – repromote
Breaking Ground – light iridescent mauve
Au Nature – dirty mustard olive

Powder Blush – $22.00 US/$26.00 CAD

Taupe – soft beige brown (matte) – repromote
Next to Skin – soft beige (matte)
Pink Cult – mid-tone dirty neutral pink (matte) – repromote

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MAC Studio Sculpt Expansion for Fall 2014 #MACCosmetics

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Fall 2014 introduces an expansion of the MAC Cosmetics Studio Sculpt line, bringing two new products for eyes and face. Available in September 4th at all MAC locations, added to the permanent range.

Studio Sculpt Defining Powder
Provides sheer coverage with barely-there finish, immediately correcting uneven tones, leaving skin smooth and sculpted without looking powdery or cakey. 

$32.00 – 8 shades available

Light
Light Plus
Medium
Medium Plus
Medium Dark
Medium Deep
Dark
Dark Deep

Studio Sculpt Superblack Lash
Achieves the ultimate in sculpted lashes, now in a deep, rich shade of carbon black. 

$17.00 – 1 shade

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Fall 2014 Makeup Trends from #MACCosmetics

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Recently I had the pleasure of attending MAC’s A/W 2014 Trends presentation up in LA. I got to hear about the 4 main trends for the A/W (that’s Autumn/Winter for you non-fashiony peeps) from 4 mega-talented MAC Senior Artists.

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Off-Color presented by Cynthia Rivas

The Off-Color trend is a deconstructed take on colors found naturally occurring in your complexion. The same shades we found in summer makeups are still there, but in a more muted way. The focus is generally on the eye or the lip (sometimes both). The skin is as natural as possible. For a more natural look, Cynthia suggested applying bold colors with a fluffier brush to diffuse color onto the lips.

Try it! To get the diffused color look on the lips, try a fluffy eye brush like the MAC 239 Eye Shader Brush instead of a traditional lip brush.

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Streamlined presented by John Stapleton

Streamlined is a trend John describes as a return to 90s grunge but in a sophisticated way. Brows are bold and defined, even a bit tomboyish. Liner pops with unusual shapes and surprising colors. Picture a brown or grey smoky eye with a pop of yellow liner underneath or up top. For a more wearable look, John suggests smoking out your eye look with navy instead of the usual black. While black is always on trend, navy actually makes the whites of your eyes look brighter.

Try it! In the look John was creating above, he used MAC Fluidline in Black Ivy.

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On Reflection presented by Gregory Arlt

Now we’re talking! Gregory presented a look that is all about adding pops of shine to an otherwise matte face. He created an ‘ombre of shine’ by giving his model a bit of a glossy eye with more subtle shine to highlight her face. If you’ve ever tried the glossy eye look you know they look incredible, but last about 3 minutes before they need serious attention. If I were going to try this look “in real life” I’d opt for highlights on the face and an uber glossy lip– quite a bit more manageable for touch-ups.

Try it! Gregory used two MAC texture products, their Mixing Medium Shine, and Clear Gloss LipMix. He also used two shades (Grey Matter & Toasted Chestnut) from the Fall Trend Forecast Eye Palette.

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Unprocessed presented by Caroline Donnelly

Unprocessed is a celebration of a subject’s natural beauty. It’s natural, but not¬†nude¬†makeup. The colors are pulled from the natural undertones in the skin. Foundation is as sheer as you can get away with, and only used where necessary (so yes, bust out your MAC Face & Body – it’s that kind of look!). The blush Caroline applied with a 188 Duo Fibre brush for a very natural, diffused application. She also applied it slightly lower, to look like a child’s cheeks as she put it. Rather than apply a lip color, she actually just¬†removed¬†excess foundation from the model’s lips and let her natural lip color be the lipstick. If you don’t naturally have pigmented lips, a lip color in a shade to a natural lip pigmentation patted on could substitute. The brows, like the rest of the face in this look, are groomed but not overly so. They’re left a bit bushier, perhaps just a bit of gel on to keep them in place.

Try it!¬†Caroline used a 188 Duo Fibre brush on her model’s cheeks.

What do you think? Are any of these trends intriguing to you?

Top 10 MAC Products You Should Try (At Least Once!)

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Often I am asked questions like “what’s good from _insert brand here_?” or “is _brand name_ the best?”. I always tell them there’s good and bad products from every brand. But then the follow-up question is what are the¬†good¬†things to try? With those questions in mind, here are my top 10 MAC products you should try.

1. Cremesheen Lipstick in Modesty

Modesty¬†is one of those super easy to wear, never fail colors. It’s a my lips but better nude (MAC says “muted neutral pink”). Great for job interviews or to pair with a smoky eye.

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2. Brush #217

The #217 brush is a white goat filbert brush and absolutely one of my most-used makeup brushes. It’s just the perfect size and shape for sweeping color over the lids. I love it so much I have 2. It¬†is¬†a total bitch to keep clean, though!

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3. Fix+

Fix+ is a product beloved by the masses¬†and misunderstood by about as many. It’s a mist charged up with caffeine, glycerin, cucumber, and other skin-friendly ingredients. It works well to refresh your skin throughout the day. I also like to use it to “super charge” my moisturizer – spritz it on and massage the moisturizer in on top of it while your skin is still wet for an extra boost. It can also be used to spray down powder to make it meld with the skin better and faster.

4. Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul

The combination of the semi-translucent mineralize blush formula and its buildable nature with the perfectly toned beige of this blush make for¬†the¬†perfect¬†nude cheek. It has a warm gold pearl that goes on soft and pretty– not garish or overly shiny! I’ve yet to see this blush fail anyone.

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5. Pigments

Pigments are just that – loose concentrated pigments. They have a ton of different uses. Vanilla makes a great highlight (for eyes, cheeks, anywhere really). There are tons of great eye color shades. Others can be mixed with lip colors for really cool effects, too. Melon looks great on the cheeks, eyes, or lips. Tan or Naked pigment can even be mixed in with a body lotion for a gleaming, glowy effect on your skin.

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6. Cleanse-Off Oil

Don’t be scurred to put this oil on your face; it’s one of the good guys! Start with dry skin and hands, and massage a couple pumps of this oil cleanser into your skin. The cleansing oil will dissolve the makeup and melt it off as you watch. Then rinse with water to let it emulsify and rinse clean. It’s 100% free of any mineral oil. There’s no residue, either. Yay! Bonus: there’s also Cleanse-Off Oil Tranquil for especially dry or sensitive skin. I want to try that one when I finish my bottle.

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7. Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

I swear the first time I used the first release of volcanic ash exfoliator, a choir of angels sang at me in the shower. Okay maybe not, but I friggin¬†love¬†this scrub. If you’re having a breakout anywhere on your face or body, it does a great job of scrubbing away while drying up any over zealous oil production and nipping that nasty zit in the bud. But not just for acne sufferers, I use the VAE even when I’m not having skin problems. It’s just a darn good exfoliator too. It gets any yuck outta your pores and leaves your skin baby-butt smooth.

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8. 209 Eyeliner Brush

If you want to draw an uber-fine line with a teensy brush that not only has a fine tip, but¬†holds its shape,¬†you’ll fall in love with the 209. It’s SUPER tiny, but doesn’t splay out or fatten up after you use it. It stays sleek and teensy tiny. If you have smaller eyes and/or just want to be able to do a very thin line, you’ll fall in love.

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9. Fast Response Eye Cream

If you need to de-puff and wake up your eye area in a hurry, Fast Response lives up to its name. It has caffeine for an extra perk-up. If you need an extra boost of moisture to your lips, try Fast Response to plump up lines and moisten lips, too.

10. Eyeshadow in Patina

I hear more buzz about colors like All That Glitters, or Naked Lunch, or a plethora of other colors. But trust me, the one everyone needs to try is Patina. MAC describes Patina as “taupe brown with gold pearl”. TAUPE. PEARL. Duh. You need to try it at least once.

Have you tried any of these MAC products? What’s on your “must-try” list?

10 Lipstick Formulas You Should Try

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I’ve been really into trying different lipstick formulas lately and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite formulas! If you haven’t tried these yet, you should!

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