Ipsy vs. Birchbox – January 2015

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What I Received for Christmas

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Five Best Facial Moisturizers for Dry Winter Skin

With the temperatures dropping to under 20 degrees these past few days,  skin can become very dry and scaly. I know my skin has become extremely dry over the past few weeks. Is your skin itchy and cracking? You probably have dry skin. Below are the best five facial moisturizers for dry winter skin, according to me:

1. Ideal Moisture Dry Skin Day Lotion SPF 25 by Loreal.

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This an oil-free lotion that works to deeply nourish dry skin. It is infused with the antioxidant Vitamin E and lightweight hydrating ingredients for moisture that feels clean & barely there. I use this everyday under makeup and alone. This has been my skin savior. I highly recommend. You will not be disappointed.

2. Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

 

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Though this is an oil and not your typical moisturizer, this is amazing. After one use I saw dramatic results. I use this every night before I go to bed and wake up with soft smooth skin. This is stuff is seriously AMAZING!!

3. Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

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I have tried countless tinted moisturizers and BB creams and most did not moisturize my skin enough. I have tried drugstore to high end and did not have any luck until I decided to give Tarte a try. For me, it’s perfect medium coverage, glides on beautifully – and matches my skin tone nicely. What’s even better is that is made without unnecessary chemicals and still provides sun protection.

4. Lush – Enzymion Moisturizer

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My face is predominantly oily in my T-zone. This is an incredible blend of astringent citrus fruits which mop up excess oils and literally cleanses my face of dead skin and debris built up throughout the day.  Even under make-up this works amazing. I love this so much, I have signed-up for the auto reFRESH program through the Lush Website. If you have an oily T-Zone you need to try this stuff.

5. Garnier Moister Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream

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This moisturizer is so light that it feels like I don’t have any on, but at the same time, it moisturizes so incredibly well! This leaves no greasy residue and no added shine. This is just as good as Clinique Moisture Gel except much cheaper, can’t get better than that!

 

Spring Makeup Must Haves – 2014

I am so excited for spring and summer! Spring means bright colors, new cloths, and new make-up! I recently picked-up a few new make-up products for spring/summer that I am obsessed with.

Eyes:

Too Faced A La Mode Eyes: $36.00 at Ulta – I am so excited for this eye shadow palette. The colors are amazing and so perfect for spring/summer. I see this becoming my go-to spring/summer palette.

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Bronzer:

Too faced Bonjour Soleil Summer Bronzing Wardrobe: $44.00 at Ulta – The packaging is so perfect for the spring/summer. This palette contains the only bronzers I’ll need for summer. This is a total must have. Perfect for traveling.

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Face:

Benefit Cosmetics Big Easy: $38.00 at Ulta – I have to admit, I was skeptical about buying this product, but thought I would give it a try. This will be great for those hot days when I do not want to wear foundation, but still need coverage. I think this will be perfect for traveling and running around this summer.

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Blush:

Clinique Cheek Pop in the color Ginger Pop: $21.00 at Sephora – These Clinique blushes come in the prettiest packaging. These are very pigmented and are gorgeous on the skin. This color is perfect for the spring/summer months.

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Lips:

Mac Lipstick in the color Myth: $16.00 at Mac – I love a nude lip, and this has to be my all time favorite nude lipstick. Nothing compares! This is the lipstick I can’t get enough of.

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Highlighter:

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in the color Moonstone: $38.00 at Sephora – This highlighter gives the skin a beautiful glow. I use this on the top of my cheek bones to get a super beautiful glow.  This is perfect for the spring/summer months.

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Mascara:

TARTE Lights, Camera, Splashes! Waterproof Mascara: $19.00 at Sephora – This mascara is perfect for those hot sweaty days, days spent at the beach, and summer vacations. I love this mascara!

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My 2014 Beauty Travel Essentials

When determining what should go into my essential travel beauty kit, I looked for items that can be doubled up and items that can be brought in my carry-on bag. When making your essential travel beauty kit, try to keep it as simple as possible. Why? The less room your beauty products take-up, the more room for shoes!

Makeup/Makeup Tools

Lorac PRO to Go Eye/Cheek Palette: $38.00 at Lorac Website – This palette is perfect for travel as it has eye shadows, blush, bronzer, and a highlight all in one. This folds up like an accordion, so it doesn’t take up much room, and provides endless amount of looks.

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Sigma Travel Kit – Make Me Crazy: $75.00 at Sigma Website – These are the perfect brushes for travel. They are exactly like their mother brushes, they just have shorter handles, which make them take up less room in your bag. These are a definitely a must for the frequency traveler.

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Mac Pro Longwear Concealer: $19.00 at Mac Website – This is seriously the best concealer on the market. I have tried so many concealers from drug store to high-end and nothing compares. I cannot live without it.

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Mac Prep & Prime Highlighter: $25.00 at Mac Website – This works wonders under my under eyes. I work a lot, this highlighter makes me look awake and renewed. This is another product I cannot live without.

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Revlon Color Stay Whipped Creme Makeup: $13.00 at Ulta – This is my holy grail foundation. I have tried many different foundations but keep coming back to this one. This makes my skin look flawless. Even at the end of a long workday my skin looks flawless.

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Benefit Cosmetics You Go Gals: $18.00 at Sephora – This has the perfect travel size of my favorite benefit products. These can be carried in my carry-on bag, which is perfect for the red eye flights in which I apply my make-up in the morning.

s1553643-main-heroBenefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara: $10.00 at Sephora – This is the perfect size for travel. It can be taken in your carry on luggage bag and in your purse when you are on the go. This is my favorite mascara of the moment, so I totally have to take it with me.

2242743Makeup Forever Mist & Fix: $12.00 at Sephora – This is one of my favorite makeup setting sprays. This is a great size to travel with as it can be taken in your carry-on bag or in your cosmetic bag.

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Skincare:

JOSIE MARAN Argan Love Your Skin: Cleanse & Nourish To Go Duo: $18.00 at Sephora – Since using these products my skin has been incredible. Just because I am traveling, doesn’t mean I should let my skin care routine laps. This is the perfect travel size for me.

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: $12.00 at Sephora – This is my favorite lotion. Especially being in a plane, this will ensure I will be hydrated and refreshed for my entire trip.

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My 2014 February Favorites

Below are the products I have reached for over and over again in the month of February. These are my 2014 February favorites!

Hair

  • Batiste Dry Shampoo in the sent Wild – $7.99 at Ulta – I cannot say enough of about this product, it is a total hair saver. This keeps my hair looking fresh and full of volume. A total must have!

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  • Salon Grafix ChromaLogica Luxe Lather Shampoo and Conditioner – $1.99 at Ulta – I decided to try a new shampoo and conditioner this month. This has done wonders for my hair. My hair is much softer and shinier. I love this stuff, though I could live without the smell.

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  • Beauty Protector Protect & Oil Skin – $25.95 from Birchbox – I received this oil in my February Birchbox and have been using it ever since. This smells amazing and has done wonders for my hair. It has made my hair super shiny and smooth. I love this!! It has done 10X’s more for my hair than any other oil I have used.

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Skin

  • Clarisonic Deep Pore Brush Head – $27.00 at Clarisonic Website – I started using my Clarisonic Mia 2 last year (best purchase I have ever made) and have seen dramatic improvements in my skin. I was using the sensative brush head, but decided to give the deep pore brush head a try. I have to say, this brush head has made my pores visably smaller and clearer. This is definitely my new go to Clarisonic brush head.

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  • Bath and Body Works Shower Gel in the sent Paris Amour  – $12.50 at Bath and Body Works Website – I love the smell of this shower gel, it’s amazing! Enough said.

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Make-Up

  • Maybelline Dreeam Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer in the color Ivory – $7.99 at Ulta – This reminded my of the Mac Prep & Prime Highlighter, so I thought I would give it a try. This works great under my eyes and the other areas on my face I highlight. I still like the Mac Prep & Prime product better, but this is a good substitute.

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  • Lorac Pro Palette – $42.00 at Ulta – Everyone on YouTube has been raving about this palette, so I finally gave in and purchased it. I have to say, all the hype is warranted. This palette is a total must have!

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  • Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition “Classic Chic” 4 pc Brush Set – $21.00 at Target – I saw this on clearance at Target and picked it up. I have to say, these brushes are amazing, they are super soft and blend amazingly. I use Real Technique brushes usually, but I can see myself purchasing more of these brushes!

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  • Mac Magnetic Nude Extra Dimension Skin Finish in the color superb – $30.00 at Macys – This is such an amazing highlighter. I use this everyday to highlight the tops of my cheeks and all the other places I love to highlight. This seems to sell out the minute it is put back on the shelves, and now I know why, it’s amazing!

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My Top 2 Must have Blushes

I’m always buying and trying out new make-up products. Lately I have been buying blush after blush after blush, trying to find colors that will look perfect for the spring and summer. I have come across a few that I am still trying out, but I have yet to find a new blush that compares to one of my top 3 below:

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in the color Natural Beauty – $26 at Ulta – Known for it’s easy application and long-lasting formula, this blush is perfect for everyday use.

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the Balm Hot Mama Shadow and Blush all in one – $20.00 on the Balm Website  – This is an amazing colour and has the best texture. This looks flawless on the skin and looks very natural. I love the subtle shimmer that highlights the cheekbones. This is a must have for Spring!

thebalm_hotmamablushshadow_900x900Mac Powder Blush in Melba – $21.00 on the Mac Website – This is my favorite all time blush from MAC. It is a mid-tone warm peach, matte. This looks absolutely fantastic on my skintone and gives me a warm, peachy flush. I was surprised because in the pan, the blush just looks like a neutral peach and doesn’t really appear to be anything special. I love this, so try it if you have a warm, pale skin tone like I do.

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The Top 3 Eye Shadow Palettes Everyone Should Own

There are so many eye shadow palettes on the market that it can be overwhelming to decode on which ones to invest in. Eyeshadow palettes are the heart and soul of any makeup collection. With the right ones, so many gorgeous and unique looks can be created. Find the right palette of colors to suit your personality, and wear it with pride! Below are the three palettes I turn to day-after-day:

  • NUDE ‘ tude by the Balm cosmetics – $36.00 at Nordstrom – This is such an amazing palette. It consists of 12 beautiful nude shadows that can be applied naturally for a lighter eye shadow look or layered to make a great smokey eye. The wide range of shadow colors give you light highlighters as well as brazen bold shades that work to add definition and emphasis to your lids. This is the palette I turn to almost every day, it is definitely worth the money.

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  • Urban Decay Naked 3 – $52.00 at Ulta – This palette contains 12 nicely pigmented, rosy-themed eye shadows that I love! This is another palette I reach for on a daily basis as I can wear these shades alone for a less dramatic look or blend them together for a more dramatic smokey eye. Totally love!

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  • Makeup Forever’s Technicolor Palette – $45 at Sephora – This is for the girl that wants to be daring. I do believe that everyone should have at least ONE crazy palette in their collection, just to inspire them to be adventurous every once in a while. Yes, the colors are bright, and yes people may stare. But you’re gorgeous, your beauty should be enjoyed. If you don’t yet have a palette at least somewhat similar to this, then this is my challenge to you: buy it, and wear a look from it once a week.

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Free 14 Piece Ulta Gift

I was so excited when I received an email from Ulta informing me that they are giving away a free 14 piece gift when you spend $19.50 or more on Ulta products. The gift comes in a cool little make-up bag (available in two colors). I chose the color Lili which is an aqua blue type shade. Below is what came in my bag:

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  1. Cosmetic Bag – Available in two colors color 2 colors
  2. Ulta Blush – In the color Sweet Cheeks
  3. 30% off Coupon for an Ulta Skincare Purchase – Valid 3/30/14-5/24/14
  4. Ulta Super Shinny Lip Butter – In the color Vienna (this is full size)
  5. Ulta Voluptuous Volume Volume Mascara – In the color Jet Black (this is full size)
  6. Ulta Contour Blush Brush
  7. Ulta Eye Shadow Brush
  8. Ulta Sponge Tip Brush
  9. Ulta Dramatic Eyeshadow Quad – In the colors Iceland, Twilight, Lock & Key, and After Hours
  10. Ulta Chic Eyeshadow Quad – In the colors, Sahara Sand, Sunkissed, Mosaic, Glittering Sand
  11. Ulta Classic Eyeshadow Quad – In the colors, Seashell, In the Buff, Silk, and Social Climber
  12. Ulta Super Shiny Lip Gloss – In the color #17 Illusion
  13. Ulta Professional Flawless Prime
  14. Ulta Dual Ended Eye Liner – In the colors Deep Brown and Black
  15. Ulta Nail Lacquer – In the color Fuchsiamania

Be sure to get your free gift at Ulta while supplies last

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Birchbox February 2014

I recently signed up for Birchbox, a monthly subscription service in which you receive monthly deliveries of high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands. It is a good way to discover and try new products before you purchase them. This month Birchbox teamed with US Weekly to create the theme “Step & Repeat.” I have to say, I am a bit disappointed in this box, I am hoping next month is better. Below are the items I received.

February Birchbox 2014

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Cynthia Rowley Beauty – Liquid Liner in Black Ink: Full Size is $18 - Ultraprecise, smudgeproof liner from the designer’s just launched makeup line.

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Beauty Protector – Protect & Oil: Full Size is $21.95 – This hair oil defends against UV rays, heat, and breakage.

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Juicy Couture – Couture La La Malibu: Full Size is $52-72 – This is a breezy SoCal inspired sent that mingles sparkling mandarin with pink sugar.

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Ayers – Bar Soap in Patagonia: Full Size is $10.00 – This is an all-natural soap that softens and hydrates with jasmine, lavender, yang-ylang, and fir.

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Lifestyle Extra: Ahmad Tea London: Full Size is $7.00 – This tea brand is a Buckingham Palace approved British brand.

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If you want more information or to sign-up for Birchbox use this link.

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