The Products I’ve Been Using for my Flick

Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer

I love the formula for the Marc Jacobs Highliners, but I don’t line my waterline often, so I’ve been using this liner in a bit of a different way.

I’ve been using this pencil-gel hybrid as my winged liner by pairing it with a gel liner brush. I first draw the pencil directly onto my lid in a thin (as thin as I can get it) line at the base of my lashes. Then I smooth it out with the liner brush (make the liner thicker at the outer edge of your eye if your’e into that cat eye thing).

Then I add a bit more liner dabbed on my outer corner (you can skip this next step for a classic, clean liner look with just a line across the lash line that gets a bit thicker at the outer corner). I use my liner brush then to work the product I’ve added to my outer corner into a wing (I use my brush like a liquid liner pen, pull out a line and then drag the product back to your lash line to create a triangle and fill in). It works really beautifully with this liner since the creamy formula is easy to work with, like a gel (but mega long wearing). I use the Make Up For Ever 250 liner brush.

If you guys want to see this eyeliner application technique in action, let me know, I’ll do a video on it. The internet at my hotel isn’t all that great, so I haven’t been uploading videos (its fantastically slow to upload), but I’ll see if I can whip something quick up.

What do you guys think? Have you ever tried this technique for winged liner?

The Two New Skincare Products That Have Saved my Skin – Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip and Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel

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Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel and Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

 

Heres the deal, with the prospect of leaving a job, city, and the coworkers/friends I loved for a new life on the other side of America, I kinda of freaked out (kind of is the wrong term, I totally freaked out). I didn’t sleep for a while from the stress, and the details and insanity of moving across the country in a week didn’t really help (I arrived in Seattle the night before I began working a whopping week since my last day at work back in Philly).

This past month has been a roller coaster of emotions, with the big hitters being stress, sadness, and excitement. I’ve been bouncing between the real sadness of leaving some amazing people (I still get in a real brood about it sometimes) to the excitement of a new job with new amazing people (really, they are awesome). The emotion that I had when I wasn’t excited or sad, was stress. I needed a place to live, my car arrived with rock chips from shipping and needs the whole front repainted, the constant worry my makeup is all broken in a box in storage, etc. (you get the gist).

The reason I’m filling you in on the insanity that has been my last month is because all of this stress showed on my face. I can honestly say I have never broken out more severely in my life. I was doing a good 30-40 active acne spots at the same time (there are no pictures of this because while I try not to feel bad about myself when I have acne, this time I really just felt crummy. I hated my skin, and I am only human, so sometimes I feel crummy because my skin isn’t doing well). My skin was a hot mess. I changed up my skincare to add in some products I have heard amazing things about because, quite frankly, I needed the help.

I changed my cleanser out for the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser, and I have to say, its amazing. The clay really cleans out my pores without drying out my skin. I use two pumps of this either on my Clairsonic or with just my hands. On damp skin it foams a bit, but not too much, and feels really soothing and lovely on the skin. The best part is the results are stellar. My acne has calmed, and I’m back down to my (now appreciated and beloved) average of 5 or so spots (thank goodness). I wanted to wait until I’d used it some to review it, and its actually still a bit early since I’ve only been using it a month now. But I’ve seen a real change in my skin clarity (so I really wanted to tell you guys). A great cleanser is the core to any skin care routine, so while this is a real splurge, if you have trouble skin, it could help.

I also started doing an acid tone every night after I cleanse. I decided to go with another (sadly) pricy item since I have heard great things (and I needed/still need great). The Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels are little pre-packaged peels. You use Step 1 (which is a pre-soaked pad) all over your face first, wait two minutes, and then use Step 2 all over (this is another pre-soaked pad). These peels brighten and even you skin tone like nothing else I have ever used. The luminosity these gave my skin made me want to go out without foundation on (but with all my acne still going, so I did use foundation) because the clear areas of my face just looked so darn good. These are also really helping now that my acne has passed and my face is covered in hyper pigmentation. These also really help to smooth out the texture of acne on the skin, so its easier to cover with concealer (they flatten spots, whoo!). Step 1 has salicylic acid in it and Step 2 has retinol as an ingredient (both among many other amazing ingredients), and my skin loves both. These are truly effective and I don’t think I can be without them. I use the Original Formula, which is a good strength for me. I’m not ready for the Extra Strength ones (yet, haha).

The rest of my skin care routine is the same, I still use a retinoid at night and Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation moisturizer in the morning.

You can get Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peels for $88 (for the 30 peel pack, I use these every night so that lasts 30 days) online and at Sephora. You can also get the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser for $45 online and at Sephora.

The rundown: A+ all around, two big thumbs up, LOVE IT

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is Raunchy but Fabulous

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Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

I’v heard all the great reviews of this, so I wanted to give it a shot. I recently spent some time with a travel makeup bag, and this mini was my lash go-to.

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Lashes with Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

 

I found that like most mascaras, I prefer this after its been opened for a few days. I like thicker formulas, and this needed some time to get really great. I can say, that after a few uses this gets fabulous. Its very volumizing and I love the giant brush. I find that this mascara is mostly volumizing but I do get some length out of it as well. Its a great mascara if you love dramatic lashes, because the effect is definitely not subtle. I don’t get flaking or smudging with this mascara either, so its a breeze to wear. The one tip I have is, this can clump up so I like to use long strokes instead of the zig-zag kind.

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that brush though

 

The one gripe I have is actually the hourglass shaped brush (I feel like its kind of a gimmick). The thicker end makes it very hard to get the wand into the inner part of my eye. I mean, I don’t know if the hourglass shape really contributes to the volumizing effect (I usually get lots of volume from big, natural bristle brushes like this one) but I just prefer differently shaped brushes (like scooped or just tapered).

I really love the big, bold, bedroom lashes this mascara delivers. I would buy a full size tube, its a great formula with a giant brush (my favorite mascara combo). You can get this mascara at Sephora, Ulta, and online for $23 (full tube).

The rundown: A

 

 

Formula X Pyrotechnic Polish is Fiery and Bright

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Formula X Pyrotechnic

Its my birthday this Thursday (just setting this up, nothing big going on for my birthday or anything) so I wanted to wear a polish this week that was bright and happy. Confident and bold, but classic.

So I went with a bright red (of course). Pyrotechnic is a true red, reminiscent of a firetruck, it announces your hands to the world with a bang. I really love the cream finish and the long lasting wear (5 days using Formula X The System for base and top coat). I feel like such a broken record, but the Formula X formula just hasn’t let me down yet, I love it.

If you love a polish that makes a statement, this one is loud (and I love it). You can get Pyrotechnic at Sephora and online for $10.50.

The rundown: A

 

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Redness Correcting Primer Rocks My Socks

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Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer in Redness Correcting

When the new Make Up For Ever Step 1 primers came out, I didn’t know which one to pick. They really rocked out and came out with 10 different primers based on various skin concerns. I, like most people probably, have more than one skin concern (and I generally just want to try all the makeup, beauty blogger problems) so this made for a bit of an internal dilemma. I ended up with the Redness Correcting Primer since I do deal with a good bit of redness (and I didn’t want to try the mattifying primer since my skin has been dryer since I started using retinoid, but thats usually my go-to).

I’ve been using this primer for about three weeks now, and I really like it. I don’t really see the redness correction part, once I blend this into the skin it just kind of disappears and leaves no color on the skin. Which is a good thing, but I don’t see a reduction in redness.  I don’t really mind, since I love how this primer performs in every other aspect. I just wanted to let you know, maybe if you have a little redness this will help, but my skin is pretty red.

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MUFE Step 1 Redness Correcting Primer Swatched (not blended in) on my NC/NW20 Skin

 

 

This prolongs the wear of my makeup, keeping my oily areas less oily and my drier skin more hydrated. Its great at balancing out my skin (I get dryness in some areas since I started using a prescription retinoid daily). I love how it both absorbs oil and hydrates, which is an impressive combination. This primer contains dimethicone (which is a silicone based polymer, the “cone” on the end of ingredients tells you if there is silicone in the chemical structure), so it smooths and fills in over texture in my skin, which looks great, let me tell you. I always get nervous about primers with silicones since they can clog pores and cause breakouts and I am acne prone. I haven’t seen any breakouts since I’ve been using this (except for my normal hormonal acne, which is frustrating, but nothing new).

I really love this primer, it works, and works well (just be aware, if you have acne prone skin or sensitive skin, there is silicone in this one). I think I might try the Yellow Primer for radiance or maybe the Smoothing one next. The fun thing with these is you can try out various ones to see which suits your skin needs best. I kind of want to try mixing in the new Cover FX Custom Cover Drops with these (once I find a Sephora with my shade in stock, I hate that, why is your shade always out of stock!?). You can get 1 oz (same size as a foundation) of these primers (select the Skin Equalizer that best suits your skin) at Sephora, online, and at Make Up For Ever for $36.

The rundown: A+

 

 

Laura Mercier Ritual Bronzer is Baked Blushy-Bronzey Goodness

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Laura Mercier Ritual Baked Blush Bronze

I have been hearing raves about Laura Mercier Ritual bronzer since last summer when it took beauty bloggers by storm. Thankfully Laura Mercier heard all the love and brought it back this summer. Of course I grabbed one (bronzers are my current product obsession, and all these summer collections are enabling me).

I love this. I’m really not doing much lead in lately, but honestly, why not get to the point? Regardless, this stuff is beautiful on the skin! It is a bit of a dark shade for my light skin, so I apply it with a thinner density brush like the Wayne Goss 14 (you can also use a fan brush, which is such an underrated brush, seriously guys). Sheering this out with the right brush makes it easier to blend on my skin tone. It keeps it from going patchy or getting too full-on.

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Bronzer Swatches from the Left: NARS Laguna, Laura Mercier Ritual, Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light

 

I dust this all over my face for a good bronze (I swirl my brush over the whole product). Then I hit the pinker area on my Ritual (all of these have a different marbling, so they will vary in color makeup, I like that mine has a more pink and more bronze areas so I can customize) and dust that over my cheeks for blush. Its so beautiful, you get a healthy and sun kissed glow. Ritual has some shimmer to it (again, this can vary) but its a more subtle sheen than the other bronzers I usually use (like NARS Laguna and Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light). It also has pink and red undertones from the blush veins, which makes it a very natural bronzer (since when you get a tan it has a red tone to it).

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Wearing Ritual only for Color on my Skin

I find after an eight hour day this can fade some on my cheeks, but it doesn’t go patchy. I really do enjoy this still, and to prolong the wear I use a setting spray. But alone, only about eight hours. For other fair skinned girls (or guys) I would highly suggest a light hand with this, its pigmented and dark, so when I apply too much it doesn’t blend well and looks muddy on me. Just a heads up.

You can get this bronzer online, at Sephora, and at Laura Mercier counters this summer (hopefully it doesn’t go away again, but you never know, so I would grab one if it looks up your street) for $36.

The rundown: A

 

 

Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palette in Infinity

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Hourglass Modernist Palette in Infinity

I finally caved. After all the good and bad reviews about the Hourglass eyeshadow palettes (this product seems quite polarizing) and for a long time I just stayed away, but I got curious recently and grabbed one.

Now, I’m just going to cut to the chase, this palette is going back to Sephora. I don’t usually post about products I haven’t enjoyed here on the blog, I thought it was better to be silent than negative. But recently I have been enjoying posts and videos online that cover both likes and dislikes, I think its more informative for readers (so here we go). Don’t let my opinion sway yours if you have this palette and love it. Please keep loving it! I wish it worked for me. But thankfully we are all different and different things work for each of us.

But for me, this palette was a bust. Let me just say, its beautifully pigmented and blends nicely. Plus the palette is stunning visually. Here are my problems though.

First of all, these shadows are crazy powdery, worse than the Lorac Pro shadows (which drove me nuts). I get fall out like crazy when applying, and the palette gets super dirty and dusty. Thats the kind of stuff that drives me nuts since I like no fuss, no muss shadows, and these are not.

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Hourglass Infinity Palette Swatched on my NC/NW20 Skin

 

Second of all, I have very oily eyelids. I know I do. Because of that I use NARS Smudge Proof Shadow Base everyday (honestly, everyday). The NARS Smudge Proof Shadow Base has never let my shadows crease, smudge, or budge. No matter what shadow I use, that stuff wears like iron on my lids. These shadows, over the amazing NARS Smudge Proof Shadow Base (which always works for me), broke up and actually disappeared in my crease after four or five hours. I’m not talking about creasing here, I had bare patches on my eyes, no matter what shade in this palette I use. Every time I used this palette I had the same result. I just can’t have makeup that doesn’t last all day on me. Long lasting makeup is one of my musts, I look for it in every product I use.

I really wanted to love this, but between the fallout and the fact that these shadows disappear from my lids, this guy is going back. Please let me know if you have tried these and what your experience was, and also let me know if you are interested in reviews on products I don’t necessarily enjoy.

You can get this palette at Sephora, Hourglass and online for $58 (and for that price, come on now).

The rundown: D (I really love Hourglass products though! Grab the blush, bronzer, setting powder, or brow pencil for some really great products.)