It's hard to believe the first month of 2016 is already gone. It was an amazing month, and I can't wait to see what else this year has in store. I picked up a few new products to kick off the year, and I'm so excited to share how much I'm in love with them.
I've pretty much been dying to try the Bobbi Brown Corrector since I first started getting into makeup. I don't know why it took me so long, but I finally grabbed the shade Light Bisque, and I've been very happy with the results. The peachy shade helps to cancel out the blue and purple tones under my eyes, while the medium-to-thick, yet creamy texture provides coverage and is still somewhat hydrating.
Another thing I've wanted to try for a long, long time is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder. I had so much trouble deciding between Diffused Light and Dim Light, but ultimately went for the latter. It's a luminous peachy shade, and it's so beautiful that I cannot stop using it. After applying my concealer, I'll take a big fluffy powder brush (refer to my last post to see my favorite) and dust it on my forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Sometimes I'll also grab some on a setting brush and use it to set my under eye concealer. After applying this my face is glowy, but not shiny. Absolutely perfect.
As a freebie for spending way too much money at Sephora I got the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Rollerball, which I've heard so many amazing things about. It has notes of vanilla, violet, and sandalwood, which mix together to create a gorgeous, sexy scent. It's very mysterious and perfect for a date.
Lastly I picked up an old favorite, The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter. I talked about this in a post all about my favorite coconut-scented products, which you can check out here. Aside from how fantastic it smells, this really hydrates your skin and leaves it super smooth and soft. I especially love it for the cold winter months.
What are your favorites from January?
After going to college and narrowing down my excessive makeup collection, I realized I had a lot of makeup brushes I didn't use or need. I ended up narrowing it down to a simple six that I use every day. Obviously everyone's different and likes to apply makeup in unique ways, but this has really helped me to feel like my life is less cluttered, which is something I've had issues with lately. Most of my brushes are Real Techniques, because I find that they're soft and durable while still being cheap.
1. Powder Brush
This is a great basic brush for all around powder products. I especially like it for bronzer, because the fluffiness helps to create a subtle tanned effect by blending everything out. It can be used with regular powder to set the face, but I like something else a little bit more for that (see #4). This is also great for smoothing any harsh lines with blush or contour. My powder brush of choice is the Real Techniques Powder Brush.
2. Blush Brush
For this one it might not hurt to have a second on hand, because using a clean blush brush can really help the correct color to show up on your cheeks, instead of muddying it with other shades that were previously on the brush. My personal favorite blush brush is the Real Techniques Multi Task Brush from the Travel Essentials Collection. The shape of this brush is more dense, yet still somehow fluffy, which picks up powder and blends it incredibly well. I also like how it's small, so I don't end up looking like I've been slapped in the face. This 'multi tasks' (get it?) as a bronzer or highlighter brush as well.
3. Angled Powder Brush
In order to create a contour with powder products, which is how I like to do it, this brush is key. It's thin, so it fits well into the hollows of your cheeks, it's angled, so it maneuvers easily over your face, and it's fluffy, so the powder distributes and blends perfectly. I've been using the Sephora Pro Angled Blush Brush #49 recently and it has yet to fail me.
4. Setting Brush
Instead of using a big fluffy brush for powder, I enjoy a smaller and thinner brush. I use setting powder on concentrated areas, like under my eyes and my chin, so I find that a small brush works much better. I also use tapping motions instead of blending, which doesn't disrupt the concealer underneath the powder. This brush can also be used to blend concealer or apply highlighter. My personal favorite is the Real Techniques Setting Brush.
5. Fluffy Blending Brush
I basically use one type of brush for my eyeshadow, which is a fluffy brush. It works for both blending shades on the lid and in the crease. I'd suggest having a few of these on hand, for similar reasons to having multiple blush brushes. When doing a smokey eye, it's nice to have a second clean brush for extra blending. I really love the Real Techniques Expert Crease Brush, but it's unfortunately limited edition and can only be found in this set. However, one of the most praised blending brushes is the Mac 217, so you can't go wrong with that.
6. Shader Brush
This is a bit of a bonus, because I really love doing smokey eyes and wearing eyeshadow on the lower lash line. Not everyone does this, but if you're interested, invest in one of these. The one I love is the smallest brush in the EcoTools Bamboo 5 Piece Eye Brush Set. It's the perfect size and helps create the best sultry, smokey look.
What are your essential makeup brushes?
I haven't talked about this much before, but I'm a huge fan of coconut. I love the taste and the smell, so I make an effort to use as many coconut scented products as I can. I've tried tons of different ones over the years, and have collected some favorites that deserve recognition.
The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter has been a favorite for a long time, along with The Body Shop Coconut Body Scrub. These are both such luxurious products, especially when combined. I love using the scrub to get off all the dead skin on my arms and legs, then following up with the body butter to make everything incredibly soft and smooth. The scent lingers fairly well, even more so when using the two together.
I've talked about the Mountain Ocean Skin Trip Coconut Lotion a few times before, and even did a full review of it. While it's just a regularly good moisturizer with its non-stickiness and hydrating-ness, I especially love it because it smells like fresh coconuts. I can usually still smell this on my skin hours after I apply it.
Two things I've never talked about are the Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo and the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Conditioner. I've been using the two of these for shampoo and conditioner for close to four years, and they've really never failed me. My curly hair gets very dry and the shampoo helps to lock in moisture, all while smelling like coconut. I'm pretty sure the conditioner is meant to be more of a treatment done every once in a while, but hey, it works to keep the frizz at bay and makes my curls look alright. And surprise, surprise, this one smells like coconut too. Whenever I catch a whiff of my hair on a windy day I absolutely love it.
I'm not a huge fan of body sprays, but the Victoria's Secret Coconut Passion Body Spray mixes coconut and vanilla in a gorgeous way. It's sweet and tropical, perfect for the summer. I find that this doesn't last very long, so keep that in mind if you want something to take you through the whole day.
Another scrub I'm quite fond of is the Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Scrub. This particular scent isn't as heavy on the coconut and is a little more fruity, but nevertheless I love how it smells and it's incredible at making my skin smooth, especially in the cold winter months. Plus, it's much cheaper than the Body Shop's scrubs.
One of my all time favorite body washes is the Vitabath Orchid & Coconut Body Wash. For some reason, this scent reminds me of something from my childhood, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what it is. Basically, it's warm and nice and I love it for any time of year. The Vitabath body washes are very moisturizing and have more natural ingredients, so I always feel great using them.
Something new I've been trying is the Yes to Coconut Eye Balm. I really love the idea behind this brand, where each line is named after a fruit or vegetable that represents the overall effect of that group of products, like cooling or hydrating. This one smells so great, but it's not the best eye cream I've ever tried. It provides a little extra moisture, but if you're going for a really hydrating one I'd suggest Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. Still, I'm appreciative of the scent.
Do you like coconut scented products?
A few months ago I watched the AMA's, and I couldn't help but be mesmerized by Demi Lovato's makeup both on the red carpet and during her performance. I thought this would be a perfect look to draw inspiration from for a night out. It's got emphasis on the eyes and lips, so it's definitely one to use when you're feeling adventurous. I tweaked Demi's look here and there to suit my face better, which is always something to keep in mind when copying any tutorial or celebrity's look.
I began with a clean face and applied the Clinique Superprimer Universal all over, focusing mostly on my nose, chin, and cheeks. This helps the makeup to last all night and blurs imperfections. Using the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, I covered up my dark circles, the redness around my nose, and the spots on my chin. I find this concealer so good that I don't need to use foundation, and I've been enjoying that natural look. To add a bit more coverage to my under eyes I tapped on a smidgen of the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer. To set everything I used the NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana. I like how Demi's skin wasn't too matte, so I only powdered my nose, forehead, chin, and under eyes, leaving my cheeks to be naturally glowy.
For the rest of my face, I followed Demi's simple contour and natural flush. Using the Nars Contour Powder in Paloma, I applied the shade to the hollows of my cheeks and blended out to avoid harsh lines. To keep everything looking sunny and natural, I added some of the Nars Laguna Bronzer to my forehead, temples, and lightly over my cheeks and the contoured area. I wanted a tiny bit of color on my cheeks, so I tapped on some of the Nars Blush in Robotic from the One Shocking Moment Palette. To finish off the cheeks I used Benefit High Beam on the top of my cheekbones for extra glow.
For the main attraction, Demi's smokey eyes, I primed my eyelids with the Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather in Creamy Beige. This stays on forever and is perfect for this look. Using my Lorac Pro 2 Palette, I took the shade 'lt. brown' and applied it in the crease as a transition shade. Next I patted 'black' all over my lid, making sure to have even distribution of the color. I then used a fluffy brush to blend together 'black' and 'lt. brown' in the crease, smoking everything out. If things get a little messy, it's helpful to use a q-tip to clean up the edges of the shadow. Using 'black' with a tiny bit of 'charcoal' mixed in, I shaded this on my lower lash line. To finish up the eyeshadow I added some of 'snow' to my brow bone and inner corners.
Using the L'oreal Voluminous Superstar Liquid Liner I drew a thick line on my upper lash line. To intensify everything I added some of the Makeup Forever Aqua Eyes in Matte Black to my upper and lower waterline. After curling my lashes I added tons of the Maybelline The Falsies Mascara. This look would be much better with some false lashes, but I'm kind of terrified of them, so I just stuck with the mascara. Finally, I created my own version of Demi's vampy lip by adding the Covergirl Star Wars Lipstick in 50 around the edges of my lips and blending it with the Rimmel Kate Moss Lipstick in 107.
Would you wear this bold, vampy look?