Review: Urban Decay’s Naked Basics Palette


Urban Decay Basics

For every day wear, I really am only using a swipe of mascara to dress up my eyes. Other than that, my eyes are usually as bare as a baby’s bottom. Lets just say I like to keep it simple, and by this, I mean I am challenged at putting eye makeup on and fear that should I try, I’ll look like I took a page out of Snooki’s book for a night out at the Jersey Shore. Then I laid my eyes on Urban Decay’s Naked Basics Palette, and thought “hey, I can work with this!” None of the shades are so intense that I feel like children will confuse me for a birthday party clown, but it’s enough to add that extra pop to my eyes and show off their tint of green. I love the matte finish of these shades, too, as I DESPISE shadows with sparkle or glitter. I am SO happy I made this purchase. Every girl should have some basic shades in their beauty arsenal, and this gives you all of that in ONE convenient compact, and at $27 for 6 shades it is a total steal! Another bonus!? Its slim design makes it fit perfectly into any makeup bag at home or on the go!

My routine: Venus under the brow and in eye corner, Naked 2 on the entire lid, and Faint in lid crease. I also use a combo of Naked 2 and Faint as a brow filler.. and it’s awesome.


Review: ~H2O+ Face Oasis Cleansing Water

Cleanser, Reviews, Skincare, Uncategorized

H20 Face Oasis Cleansing Water

Sorry for the recent delinquency. I have had 3 weeks in a row of work travel and it’s definitely taken its toll… and I’m not just talking about on this blog! My skin absolutely hates flying and never fails to retaliate with a fresh batch of zits as a result, and it doesn’t help when I pack in a total frenzy (yes, of course I procrastinated until the last minute for all 3 trips) and forget my most trusted cleansers at home. For two days I didn’t even have time to pick up any cleanser so I was actually using… gasp… a hotel face bar to “wash” my face. HA! What a joke. Wash?! I felt like I had more residue on my face AFTER I washed it than before. Being the product snob that I am, and being able to take no more of this laughable excuse for a face wash, I finally made time to head to a nearby store in search of a new product to try. I mean, why go back to the same old thing when I have the perfect excuse to test something new?! 🙂 There were so many options, but I decided to try ~H2O+’s Cleansing Water. My opinion? Overall approval.Perhaps 2.5-3/5 stars, if I had to rate it on a scale. Not sure I would spend the money to get it again, though.

What it is: ~H2O+ Face Oasis Cleansing Water
Positives: Rids face of all makeup and other build-up without irritating and stripping the skin of natural oils (my skin never feels tight and dry after using, which is a must!) and vitamins help to restore and protect skin from all of those nasty environmental irritants. In other words, it’s effective and gentle. Like ketchup and mustard, this cleanser is made for sensitive skin.
Negatives: Because it literally feels like water, I have to pump what I feel like is A LOT into my hand to get enough where I feel like it’s doing the job. It doesn’t help that by the time my hand reaches my face, I feel like half of the cleanser has already made it into the sink. When something like this happens, all I can see are $$$$$. I have only had it for about a week and its nearly half gone. Tear.
Best for: all skin types
Price: $21

February Favorites

Beauty, Monthly Favorites

I have a feeling that posting my round up of monthly favorites is going to a personal favorite of mine. After all, the whole point of this blog is to share with you the products that I’ve fell in love with and have had success in using. This month I’m showcasing my favorite beauty products, all of which were new purchases made in the month of the February. The favorite of the favorites? Hands down the Smashbox blush (see #6 below). I have to say I haven’t been this excited about a blush since Nars’ cult favorite Orgasm.

February Favorites 2013

1. Hourglass Liquid Lipstick in Empress ($28)
2. Benefit High Beam Liquid Highlighter ($26)
3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Foundation ($39)
4. Benefit Hello Flawless! Powder Cover-up ($34)
5. Benefit The POREfessional Pore Minimizer ($30)
6. Smashbox Blush in Radiance ($24)
7. Too Faced Retractable Bronze-buki Brush ($34)
8. Urban Decay Chill Makeup Setting Spray ($29)

Do any of these products make an appearance in your beauty bags? What were your personal February favorites? Share in the comments!

Cc: Currently Coveting – butter LONDON Spring 2013 Collection

Cc: Currently Coveting, Nail Lacquer

butter LONDON Nail Lacquer

You may not know this, but I have a slight obsession with nail polish (“me time” almost always includes an at-home mani/pedi). Sure, my bin of polishes is already overflowing, but you can never have enough options, right?!

I recently came across the Spring 2013 Collection by butter London and WOW! My heart nearly exploded with excitement  of this perfect assortment of Easter egg colors. What can I say, I’m a sucker for pastels come the first sign of warm weather and blooming flowers. I am especially coveting the taupe-y and mint blue shades. As a Spring baby, I am thinking that these could be the perfect birthday treats to myself.

Which color is your favorite? Share in a comment!

Drugstore Finds: Face Washes by Purpose and Simple

Cleanser, Drugstore Find, Reviews, Skincare

Simple and Purpose Face Wash
A face wash or cleanser is probably the one skincare product that I never dish out the cash for. Sure, it’s one of those essentials that every girl needs in her beauty toolbox, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune to get a quality wash! Plus, skimping a little on the wash leaves extra $$ for that luscious lipstick or bombshell blush. Can you tell I’m always looking for a way to justify more beauty purchases?! Guilty as charged.

Two of my favorites at the moment are Simple’s Moisturizing Facial Wash (5 oz. for $7) and Purpose’s Gentle Cleansing Wash (12 oz. for $10). Both of these are SO gentle on my sensitive skin, but still achieve the real goal of totally eliminating dirt and even the most stubborn of makeup… and all is done without breaking the bank! If I absolutely HAD to choose just one that I could have with me should I be stranded on a deserted island, it would definitely be Simple’s Moisturizing Facial Wash, simply due to the fact that it stays true to its word of not over-drying (the first product that doesn’t leave my skin thirsty!) which is SO crucial in these awfully cold months.

Have you tried either of these products? Which is your favorite?

Jojoba Oil – The Most Kickass Eye Makeup Remover EVER

Beauty, Makeup Remover, Moisturizer, Reviews

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil Bottle Label

I have had the same bottle of Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil for probably 2 years now. I used to be so afraid of using oils since I have acne-prone, combination skin, but it was recommended to me by a friend to try jojoba to rid myself of those pesky dry patches that I would develop during the harsh winter months in Chicago, which worked, but was only used in serious times of need. Other than that, it really only came out when I ran out of hair serum and needed something to smooth frizz and fly-aways. Poor jojoba. I was just not letting it shine like the bright little star of a product that it is…

I read somewhere a few weeks that jojoba oil is a great eye makeup remover and had a total DUH moment. Why did I not just read the label on the bottle think of that before!? Where I used to only use jojoba 10 times a year, tops, I am now using it EVERY night. I dab a little bit on a q-tip or cotton ball and, in less than a minute, my mascara and eyeliner are complete goners. SO gentle and powerful (no rigorous rubbing needed!), I have deemed it the most kickass eye makeup remover ever! And for that price?! Please, it’s a no brainer!

What it is: 100% Pure Jojoba Oil
Made to: remove makeup, moisturize thirsty skin, and so much more!
Price: ~$10 or less

Have other uses for jojoba oil? Share your secrets in a comment!

Review: Boscia’s Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel

Moisturizer, Reviews, Skincare

Boscia's Revitalizing Hydration Gel

I had to make an emergency run to Ulta the other day after running out of a current favorite, Philosophy’s Take a Deep Breath oil-free gel cream moisturizer and (gasp!), they were all out. Ugh. I was somewhat haphazardly recommended Dermadoctor’s Litmus Test pH Correcting & Renewing Glycolic Acid Facial Moisturizer because, and I quote, “my friend’s sister swears by this I guess, so I don’t know, it must be good.” That should have been a red flag, but instead, I looked at the $52 price tag and went sure, I mean, if your friends sister likes it, right?! In my defense, my boyfriend and new puppy were waiting in the car after a dog store run and I was feeling the pressure to get in and out! Mistake. It’s not that I didn’t like the feel of this moisturizer at application (a common complaint I have), or that it didn’t work in giving my skin some relief from the dryness, but underneath makeup, it looked like total caca. I swear within an hour I could have filled an Olympic sized swimming pool with the amount of excess oil on my face. No good.

Deciding to be a good beauty addict, I actually did some research before making my next moisturizer purchase and saw rave reviews for Boscia’s Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel and it did NOT disappoint. I love everything about it from the fact that it’s black (how cool!), to the cooling effect that feels like heaven on my skin. I am a huge fan of gels, and this one is ultra-light, leaving behind zero residue and minimizing the look of pores. It has also been great under makeup (both liquid foundation and mineral foundation), providing enough moisture so that my skin is no longer flaky when applying foundation. That is HUGE! And while it’s not cheap, it’s not outrageous either, and we all know you can’t put a price on a pretty product.

What it is: Boscia’s Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel
Made to: deliver cooling moisture while minimizing the look of pores and brightening your complexion. Bonus – charcoal is an ingredient, helping to absorb oil and nasty toxins!
Made without: Parabens, Sulfates, Synthetic Dyes and Fragrances, and more!
Best for: all skin types
Price: $38

Cc: Currently Coveting – Raw Coconut Cream

Anti-aging, Anti-wrinkle, Beauty, Cc: Currently Coveting, Cleanser, Lotion, Makeup Remover, Moisturizer, Skincare

Doth my eyes deceive me? Could there be such a thing as the all-in-one skincare product? Well, I can tell you that if such a thing does exist, it may just be RMS Beauty’s Raw Coconut Cream. Coconut oil, the main ingredient of this all-natural, organic cream, claims to have the power to rid our skin of dirt, toxins, and bacteria, clean away even the most stubborn make-up (eyes included), and even prevent wrinkles. That’s not all, folks! Take this product to go if dry, cracked skin has got you down, because it can also be used as an all-over body moisturizer. Oh, and did I mention that RMS Beauty even claims it can be used as a natural deodorant!? WHAT!? I can’t say I’ll be personally testing that theory, but everything about this product has me DYING to get my hands on it!

Raw Coconut Cream

What it is: RMS Beauty’s Raw Coconut Cream
Made to: lift away dirt, toxins, make-up, and bacteria, provide natural anti-oxidant protection, prevent wrinkles, and moisturize skin
To use: (as a cleanser): apply a conservative amount and gently work into the skin, removing with a soft cloth
Best for: all skin types (including sensitive and acne-prone)
Price: $18

Have you tried RMS Beauty’s Raw Coconut Cream? What did you think!? If it really holds true to it’s promise, and for less than $20, this all-in-one miracle worker may just be the best product on the market right now!

Face-off: Origins’ Clear Improvement & GLAMGLOW’s Super Mud Masks

Beauty, Face-off, Mask, Reviews, Skincare

Origins and GLAMGLOW

I have honestly never been a big user of face masks. Because my skin is so sensitive, they often feel great right after the rinse, and then shortly after make my face feel so tight that I swear it’s as impossible as Nicole Kidman after botox to make any sort of facial expression. I was recently turned on to clay-based masks, an apparent ally to the sensitive-skinned, after reading a post on The Clean Beauty Blog. I decided to give Origins’ Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask a try, and I instantly fell in love! I left it on for 5 minutes, gently washed it off with warm water, and felt like my pores instantly shrunk and the redness was calmed! My skin never felt rigid or oily, which is a common complaint I have with other masks. Especially for the price, I think this is a great product to include in your beauty arsenal.

I have also had GLAMGLOW’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment on my radar for a couple weeks now, but for $69 (ouch!), I decided to try a tester before making that kind of commitment. I used it tonight for the first time and all I can say is WOW! I can see why this product has been getting so much attention from beauty guru’s and celebrities alike. Bible, within 15 minutes of washing it off, I was at my computer, credit card in hand, and ready to buy! Similar to the Origins’ Clear Improvement, my pores looked smaller, my skin tone looked brighter and more even, and it didn’t make my skin feel stretched to the point of sheer discomfort. They say you can use it for up to 20 minutes, but if you have sensitive skin like myself, I wouldn’t overdo it. Sometimes less is more ladies! My one complaint  there are small pieces of… well, I’m not exactly sure what the hell it is actually, but if you have sensitive skin, proceed with caution and very gently apply and rinse, as I could see this being an irritant. This minor issue is definitely not a deal breaker though (as I literally still sit here in awe of how amazing my skin feels right now).

What it is: Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores and GLAMGLOW’s Super-Mud Clearing Treatment
Made to: Origins’ Clear Improvement uses clay to aid in removing those icky environmental toxins that get trapped in our skin, while lecithin not only dissolves impurities, but acts as an emollient, or natural moisturizer. GLAMGLOW’s Super Mud mask works as an all-around fixer upper, whose active ingredients work to de-clog/minimize pores, remove toxins, prevent breakouts, and create a smooth, more even texture.
Best for: all skin types
Price: $23 and $69, respectively.

From the Inside Out

Anti-aging, Anti-wrinkle, Beauty, Clean Eating, Juicing, Skincare

I’ve come to realize that perfect skin is about more than just finding that pretty product. A product is going to be a lot less effective if we aren’t tackling our skincare from the inside out, and I can tell you that no one ignores this fact more than myself (my utopia involves eating french fries, popcorn, and ice cream every day and never seeing a single blemish as a result). And while I am definitely NOT an expert in nutrition (do I have to mention french fries again?), here are some simple tips I think we can all vow to follow in order to eat our way to healthy, more beautiful skin!

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that antioxidants like beta-carotene (Vitamin A), Vitamins E and C, and selenium help the skin to maintain a youthful appearance (bye-bye fine lines and wrinkles!). These can be found in foods like berries, peppers, carrots, oranges, leafy greens, pears, and beets. Because recent studies have raised concern over the safety of Vitamin supplements, I recommend going directly to the source, rather than popping the pills. Personally, I am a HUGE proponent of juicing because you can get all of these antioxidants and other beauty-enhancing minerals in one deliciously awesome drink!
  2. Drink more water. I am SO guilty on this one, being that I am one of those rare breeds who is just not impressed (cue McKayla Maroney’s meme a la the 2012 Olympics Gymnastics medal ceremony) by water, but it’s so, so simple that I want to kick myself for always complaining that my skin looks thirsty. Um, it’s probably because it IS thirsty. If you’re like me, try drinking tea, in addition to multiple glasses of clean, filtered water, to help hit the suggested quota of at least 8 glasses a day. I like Republic of Tea’s Get Gorgeous tea for clear skin or green tea.
  3. Eat more of the essential fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are responsible for healthier, stronger cell membranes, allowing them to retain moisture more efficiently. This directly translates to younger looking, more radiant skin. You can find these EFAs in salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and canola oil.

While this is in no way comprehensive, all 3 of these rules have definitely made it onto my 2013 Beauty Resolution list. So what do you think? Will 2013 be the year you start eating your way to perfect skin?

Ps. If you’re interested in learning more about how changing your diet can not only help your skin, but also add beauty to your hair and nails (not to mention better health), I recommend reading The Beauty Detox Solution by Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. It’s a definite cult-favorite… and it blew my mind.