For later

OK there is a story behind this two pictures. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress lately so I haven’t felt or looked my best. Today I couldn’t sit still thinking about going to work because I couldn’t stand how ugly I looked or useless I am.

I took these pictures because I want to be able to look back at them at a later time and call myself on my bullshit. Right now I just can’t but I can say: Here is what I look like today and I’m going to work like this.

And that’s enough for right now. Please let me know if you have any tips for when you feel like this!

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Cheapest of Cheap Makeup that Actually Works Well

This post is for all of you (like me) who are on a major budget and just need great quality items at a super low cost. I’m not just talking drug store, but here I tried to compile the cheapest of the drug store without skimping on quality at all. This post was inspired by the super awesome Wet N Wild Megaglow highlighters (which honestly work better than most high end ones) so let’s get into it. Everything here is under 10 US dollars. I won’t do a full face of makeup here because I don’t have a full set of super cheap products I would recommend, but I’ll add some options at the end that I am interested in trying and have been recommended by other people.

Foundation: I don’t often wear foundation and the ones I do own are from the drugstore, but they’re not what I would call cheap. However, Maybelline’s Dream BB Cream is a great option that I have packed in my “I need to get ready in the car but still look good” makeup bag. It has SPF 30 and it’s rated 5 stars on Paula’s Choice so I’d recommend trying it out if you’re not a high coverage girl.

Concealer: Definitely the Wet n Wild’s photo focus concealer. I’m not a big fan of the foundation, but the concealer covers my spots well and stays on. Plus I think it was around 3 or 4 dollars. Works better than a lot of more expensive drug store concealers I’ve tried.

Brow Product: Hands down Elf’s brow pencil in Neutral Brown. It was only two dollars and I use it nearly everyday. A great product.

Eye Shadow Primer: Seriously try Essence’s Intensity eye shadow primer or go ahead  and use your concealer for the cheapest option. However, I use Milani’s eye shadow primer everyday and it’s the best option hands down, drugstore or otherwise.

Eyeshadows: The cheapest options that are seriously good are Wet n Wild’s eyeshadow trios. My favorites are Walking on Eggshells and Silent Treatment. I get compliments every time I wear them (especially Silent Treatment with some liquid eyeliner) and they’re highly pigmented and super easy to blend. These trios seriously impress me and they cost 3 dollars so you can’t go wrong.

Lips: NYX, Wet n Wild, and Elf own this category. I love NYX’s soft matte lip creams, their butter lipsticks, and their creamy extra round lipsticks. Their matte lipsticks are also great for the most part (Aria, a color I was super excited about, gave me a hard time). Wet n Wild has the best and cheapest liquid lipsticks you can buy, along with really great gel lipliners and gel lip balms that I really like. However, Elf has the cheapest actual lipsticks that I would recommend. Try their Velvet Matte lipsticks, their lip oils, or their Mineral Rich Lipsticks. Great quality and color pay off for 3-6 dollars.

Brushes: Definitely Elf and Wet n Wild. Those brushes have never let me down and have never shed. They’re also super easy to clean. I highly recommend all of these.

Highlighters: Okay, this is the section I am most excited about and the section that inspired this post. Yesterday I was lucky enough to finally find the Wet n Wild Mega Glow highlighters at a Rite Aid near me and I picked up the shades Royal Calyx and Blossom Glow. They’re beautiful. I’m going to insert two pictures of my face with the highlighter on (ignore the rest of my makeup). 

Color me seriously impressed (BTW I’m wearing Royal Calyx in the photos).

One other super great highlighter option is Essence’s Pure Nude Highlighter. That shit is beautiful and everyday friendly.

Now to the products I’ve heard great things about and am interested in trying:

You might have noticed that I didn’t have mascara or powder on this list. Well, I’m super interested in trying Essence’s Lash Princess mascra, which is cheap and supposed to be the excellent. I’m also interested in trying Essence’s little All Matte powder and their Mosaic color correcting powder.

Wet n Wild’s Lash Renagade Mascra, their photo focus powder, and their felt tip pen eyeliner are all super cheap and supposed to be great.

Last but not least, Elfs Bare Serum Foundation sounds right up my alley and is something really cheap for the girls out there that would like a little more coverage.

As far as super cheap blushes and bronzer from the drug store go, you’ll have to comment and let me know because I’m not aware of anything that is both majorly cheap and of great quality.

Thanks for reading and let me know some of your favorite options.

 

I’m a bit exhausted with makeup

Wearing makeup used to be many things for me. At first, when I started wearing it, it was just concealer. Then I got into the heavy black eyeliner on some days and years later in college, I had a love affair with lipstick that is still ongoing. In between then I learned how to do a lot of different eye shadow looks but that my thing was always complexion–it couldn’t be too heavy but I needed spot concealer for my spots and discoloration.

Makeup became fun for me around the time I started to have really serious struggles with OCD and I needed something artistic to help me feel good about myself. I created many different eye looks and had a lot of fun playing with my look without attaching it to who I was as a person.

When makeup became less fun was when I started to have skin issues. I recently identified the problem (hormonal birth control) but it’s going to take a bit for my body to regulate itself out and for me to feel comfortable with myself again.

Now, at this present moment in time, I’ve lost a lot of enthusiasm for makeup. I dislike feeling the need to wear it. I hate how my skin looks, but I still hate the feel of foundation so I stick to my tinted moisturizer and concealer.

Now I just want to feel good about myself and my skin. I’m tired of eye shadow and makeup all the time. I just want skincare and comfortability. To look like me but a bit better. To be travel friendly and really low maintenance with my makeup use for the most part. I’m just tired of trying to make myself feel better using the external. I want to feel good and have a happy relationship with myself.

This post isn’t to shame anyone. I myself still wear makeup, but right now it feels out of need, like someone is going to spit at me on the street if they see how ugly I look without it. And that’s not a pleasant way to feel about something I until recently, enjoyed so much.

Below I inserted pictures of me on a bad skin day with makeup on and one without makeup. One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I hope to be happier with the picture on the right. Until then, I’m going to try to trudge out of this funk.

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High-end Haul/ Review

Okay let’s get started here! I’ve purchased a lot of makeup over the past few months that I was away and I’ve had the ability to test it all out and really form my impressions. I’ll do this by brand.

MAC:

I purchased two MAC lipsticks after I got a sample of Velvet Teddy (the lipstick I’ve always wanted from MAC) and Diva. Since both of the lipstick looked good on me I decided to purchase them both and I can’t say that I’ve been happier with the colors. Diva is this excellent burgundy that is so flattering, especially in these months and Velvet Teddy is the nude lipstick I’ve always dreamed about. One compliant that I do have is that both lipsticks are drying but if you prep your lips before hand it’s not a big deal and the colors stay all day without a replication needed. They  also smell fantastic. I highly recommend this two colors.

Stila:

I got a sample from Sephora of their Stay All Day Matte Liquid lipsticks and I couldn’t be happier with the formula or the color in Baci. It’s a grey pinkish nude color and I never would have picked it for myself but it is beautiful. The formula is fairly nondrying and stays on beautifully.

Hourglass:

I tried a sample of their Lip Stylo in the shade Peacemaker and the formula in many ways is the exact opposite of the Stila one… it’s not as full color and the formula is creamy rather than matte but I am extremely happy with this formula and color. It matches my lips so well, appears very natural all while making my lips look fuller and healthier. Go Hourglass! Now I just wish the brand wasn’t so darned expensive because I adore their products.

SEPHORA FAVORITES
Instant Texture Dry Styling Spray Collection:

This collection is really great for short wavy hair like mine. Honestly nothing much to say here. Just that the effect is subtle with some of the products and the Verb Sea Salt spray isn’t my favorite Sea Salt Spray (that mantle belongs to a drug store hair product from the Not Your Mother’s line) but it’s good and it smells like the sea. The stand out product in this box has to be the Drybar Triple Sec 3-in-1 because of it’s delicious smell but I noticed the most results from the IGK Beach Club Texture Spray (even if it did make my hair a little stiff it added a nice gritty texture that is so great for hair with waves and layers).

Clinique:

I was looking for a mask that I could use to help my oily skin mattify a little bit and I found that with the CLINIQUE Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask. It’s very basic but it works extremely well and it actually helps get rid of my acne faster! I’m a big fan of this mask and I think Clinique is often looked over skincare wise but this mask wasn’t too expensive, you get a ton of product, and it doesn’t have an harsh ingredients. Definitely something I will repurchase if I ever should run out. 

Drunk Elephant:

Their Vitamin C serum is a holy grail product for me. It’s already started to get rid of my hormonal acne marks that I got from having an IUD. This product is expensive as all hell but it works like no other. It works better than the Glossier Super Glow Serum (which I admittedly liked). If you’re looking to spend on skin care, really consider this but make sure you wear sunscreen with Vitamin C products.

Anastasia Beverly Hills:

I know the Subculture pallet got a lot of hate but I actually really like it. It’s not a love of mine like the Modern Renaissance palette is but the color scheme is like nothing I have in my collection and I can create beautiful cool and warm looks. The green/ blue shades are lovely and the glitter shades are best applied patted on with your finger or with a dense brush. Two warnings I have for the shades: Dawn is quite a bit powdery but it’s still very workable and the shade Edge oxidizes to a darker brown/ yellow than what you see in the pan. Also keep in mind that these are basically pressed pigments so the palette could have a little bit of a learning curve if you don’t have a light hand. Just be gentle and you will come up with something beautiful. Below is a slightly smudged out look I got using the palette. It’s not my best, but it’s definitely smokey and I’m   quite happy. What doesn’t pick up in the picture is the beautiful gold that I pressed on my lids. I clearly just need a better camera!

Also don’t forget that I have a YouTube Makeup channel now. Here’s the link to my latest gradient lip tutorial: Sunset Gradient Lip Tutorial

June: New Findings and Favorites

June has been a trying month and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I’m happy (though somewhat nostalgic since it’s the first month since I’ve received my BA) that this month is coming to a close. Here are my favorite things from this month that helped keep me sane.

Recipes:

My go to cookie recipe for whenever I’m in a bad mood (that’s when I bake) is this Soft Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe. The taste of these cookies make me feel like I’ve done something right in my life. I feel like a baking god even though all I do is follow the recipe. If 24 cookies is too much for you, halve the recipe or freeze/ refrigerate some of the dough.

Alternatively, since I’m a vegetarian I eat a lot of alternative protein sources like tofu. This Crispy Tofu Recipe leads to wonderful tasting tofu (I know, that’s an oxymoron for a lot of people) that can be combined with many-a-dish for a satisfying meat free meal. You can even make tacos with these tofu bits.

Clothing:

I’m waiting on a clothing haul I ordered but my current favorite item that I wear everyday is this Floppy Sun Hat from Amazon in the color beige. I’m serious about my sun protection and this hat makes me feel more secure walking around outside after my sunscreen has doubtlessly worn off (because if I’m wearing makeup I find it hard to reapply every two hours as directed).

Beverages:

This one is simple: Polar water. Get it in your favorite flavor from Walmart, grocery stores, etc and rejoice in water that tastes almost like soda but has zero calories. This might be the lazy person’s approach to getting enough water, but it has made my water drinking go up exponentially. My favorite flavors are the limited addition Strawberry Sunrise and Pineapple Grapefruit.

Media:

I’m used to reading 200+ books a year but this year got off to a shaky start with numerous health problems, stresses, etc. so I haven’t read a lot at all. However, I started reading again because I was able to find a new combined addition of a series from one of my favorite authors N.K. Jemisin, called The Dreamblood Duology. She’s an awesome sci-fi writer who is really expanding the genre as far as inclusivity, quality, and world-building goes. The last book in her The Broken Earth trilogy, The Stone Sky is coming out in August and I couldn’t be more excited.

As far as TV goes, I recently watched the Handmaid’s Tale and the second season of Sense8. Both were fantastic. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the few TV shows/ movies that I felt added to it’s source material instead of detracting from it and it explored dystopian terror in the way that I feel is highly relevant to America’s current political atmosphere (despite the fact that the book was written in the 80s, though the show was altered to take place in modern times).

Sense8 was just a wonderful, highly dynamic show to watch. The relationships, depiction of people from all different races, walks of life, and sexualities gave me a feeling a hope while I watched it. It was also a sci-fi show, which made it extra enjoyable for me. Thankfully, even though the show got canceled, it’s coming back for a feature length movie.

Beauty:

I haven’t been wearing that many products this month, and definitely not many new ones. My go-tos have been mainly lip products because my lips are so chapped during the summer months.

Fresh’s Lip Treatment SPF in Berry and Jack Black’s SPF Lip Balm have been my two spf lip balms, my choice varying on whether or not I want some tint or a clear balm for underneath makeup. Smith’s Mocha Rose  is my favorite all-round lip balm because it smells so good.

My newest lipstick that I’d been coveting for awhile and finally purchased is Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Dragonfruit because I love the name and the beautiful, summery, magenta/violet color for the warm months.

My favorite eye product in recent memory (that seriously packs a punch) is  Stilla’s Magnificent Metals Liquid Eyeshadow in Diamond Dust. It’s a lovely product that makes my eyes sparkle to the high heavens and I’ve never worn anything that got me more compliments on my eye look (I usually pair it with shadows from The Modern Renaissance Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills but it can definitely be worn alone). Just make sure you use glitter glue. All of the shades in this line are amazing and I’m looking to purchase Sunset Cove in the near future to create a perfect mermaid eye.

Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle was a graduation gift and it’s my favorite fragrance of all time. To me it smells like a french bakery. I can’t get enough of it. I keep it on my new vanity in view of my bed so I can stare at the bottle.

I’ve found my favorite Etsy shop called the Tattoorary which makes a whole bunch of beautiful temporary tattoos in various prints/ patterns and designs. My current favorite is this vintage floral design which looks very similar to something I want permanently tattooed on me in the near future. Right now I’m ordering these to figure out where I might want something permanently placed, if I truly like the idea of ink on my body, and simply to have fun.

That about wraps it up. What were your favorite products/ items over the past couple of months?