As you may have probably seen, I always tell you to use Ebates and get you some cashback for your online purchases. I don't think you realize how awesome of a thing this is. So I'm gonna break it down for you. Hopefully, it'll be short and sweet and easy to understand.
1st: THIS DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING! Not a dime. Not one red cent. You can join it fo free. If you aren't into it, then no big deal.
2nd: You make money based on going through Ebates activating a shopping trip that has a percentage cash back, (ie: Sephora is sometimes 8% cash back) then it sends you to the site and you just complete your checkout. So lets say Sephora is 8% cash back and you spend $50 as your subtotal, so that's $4 cash back. Now I realized that's not a lot. However, if you are like me and do 90% of your shopping online, it makes a lot of cash back or at least some. You have to at least have $25 in cash back from purchases to get your quarterly check. Which is like May then August, so on so forth. Just as an example. If you don't have it, then it will roll over to the next check until you do have $25 in cash back.
3rd: You can refer people and get more money back. Like right now it's refer 2 people and get $50. In order for the referral to work they have to use YOUR referral link to set their own account up and then spend $25 at least. If you have referrals but don't have your $25 cash back from purchases you won't get a check for that quarter. Which sucks, and I found that out the hard way.
4th: Tons of stores are on Ebates like: Sephora, Ulta, Motives Cosmetics, Kate Spade, HSN, Overstock, J. Crew, American Eagle, so on so forth. Cash back always varies from store to store but sometimes they have double cash back which is cool. I try to use Ebates as much as I can but it's easy to forget to activate your shopping trip so I downloaded the Ebates "button" for my chrome bar which pops up how much cash back that site offers and I can activate it right then while I'm on whatever site. I also have the Ebates app for when I'm shopping on my phone.
So far I've made close to $200 which isn't a ton, but it's something. Only about 2 referrals in there, maybe three. My theory is: if you're going to be ordering online anyways why not get cash back for your purchase. They can send you a check through the mail or deposit it into your PayPal account, which ever you prefer. It's easy to keep up with how much you've made or what your cash back was for certain shopping trips. They also offer coupons and what not for whatever site you're on, if there is any.
So there you go. I hope that was helpful. Here's the link to sign up for it and Happy Shopping!!
Lately I'm sure you've heard people in the makeup community talking about the L'Oreal Pro Glow Foundation. It's kinda hard to find but I got mine off Ulta. So this is coming off the heels of their super popular and well loved Pro Matte foundation. It's $12.99 and comes in 12 shades. The good thing about drugstore foundation is that there is usually a sale or a coupon you can use. When I bought mine it was buy one get one 50% off. Ulta always has a code for their "drugstore" stuff if you spend $15 you get $3.50 off or that's how mine worked. It used to be $10 but they bumped it up to $15 it seems. You ain't fooling no one Ulta we see you. The code out right now that does actually work on a $10 purchase supposedly is "308920". I think the L'Oreal site has coupons you can print off, and check your local papers or Walgreens for coupons as well. Also while ordering online be sure to use Ebates and get you some cash back for your purchase.
I got shade 204 which is the 4th shade but still pretty light but works really well. I actually prefer lighter shades because I know I can use bronzer to make them match my neck but I can keep the center of my face lighter, if that makes sense. It's a medium coverage foundation. It wears really well, it has a nice finish, it's not overly luminous. It says the finish is actually radiant. It's not overly dewy, it's just slightly dewy in my opinion. So I feel like it's a really nice finish that a lot of skin types can wear and it's not heavy on the face which most medium coverage foundations aren't. I don't feel as if it's super transferable or like it's just sitting on top of the skin. I actually wore it with a oil mattifying primer the first day because it was 96 degrees and I was going to be outside for several hours in full face makeup and it didn't get dewy AT ALL. That's my first tip: wear a primer. Any primer, just something. I've used a mattifying one and a smoothing one and they both worked great. I tried it with no primer, and it didn't seem to work as well.
Here's the swatch of shade 202. It's actually much more neutral based and not as warm as this picture. I swatched it quite heavy so that it would be more opaque. Which I feel like this could be built up for more coverage IF you wanted more.
This picture is of me with nothing on at all on the top left, then bottom left it's the Pro Glow Foundation by itself, and finally the big picture is full makeup including concealer under the eyes. The primer I used with this was a smoothing one. It left my skin a bit more luminous than the mattifying primer I'd used a few days before. Even though it is more luminous, I don't find that I have to powder it or use oil absorbing sheets to get rid of any excess oil. That is AWESOME.
I'd also like to say this does oxidize a bit. It come out as more of a yellow based foundation and then oxidizes into a neutral cooler toned base. Normally I don't like cooler toned bases but this is a neutral one that doesn't pull pink so I'm actually fine with this. I didn't build the coverage on this I just left it as is on the first application and I applied it with a flat top kabuki from Sigma. I wouldn't use a damp sponge with this personally ONLY because I think it would sheer it out even more by adding in more moisture so I don't feel like that would be the way to go. Then again it's all personal preference so do whatever you like. There are no rules.
I do powder my face with this by using the Algenist Color Correcting powder. Not a ton, just a dusting on my face with a big fluffy brush. I do this so that my bronzer goes on smoother and doesn't get patchy. I find that it's kinda needful with this foundation.
This was the first day I wore it. It was 96 degrees out and I had to go to a birthday party that was going to be outside mainly. I used MUFE Mattifying primer and UD All Nighter setting spray. It was pretty matte the entire day and it stayed on really really well. It looked amazing as well.
This picture I used the MUFE Smoothing Primer and no setting spray or highlight. Just powder and bronzer an blush. It still stayed on really well. It's supposed to be 24 hour wear but come on, who wears foundation for 24 hours solid????? Not many.
So that's that. I really like this foundation. It's not something I'm gonna use when I'm having a bad skin day but it is a lovely foundation when you want to look a bit more natural. So I find for summer it's really pleasant because it just adds to the glow the skin already has in the summer.
So I know this is a bit out of the ordinary, but I've gotten a lot of questions lately about building up a blog or social media, followers, likes, etc etc. I don't consider myself a "pro" or anything but this blog is coming up on 300k total views (200k in less than a year) and my Instagram has grown a bit after I really put my mind to it, I thought why not tell you what I do to keep gaining ground and what I have done in the past that has worked for me. Hopefully, it might be helpful to some of you. Now I know that there are way more successful blogs out there that probably get more than 300k hits a day, so don't think that I'm conceited or gloating, I'm just answering questions.
I'm gonna start by saying that I prayed a lot about starting this path and I prayed for direction and guidance. If I'm being 100% honest with you then I have to tell you that was the first thing I done. I still pray about this everyday, for new opportunities, new connections, help with my creativity and still praying for guidance. It was my first step and my most important step and I fully give the credit to the man upstairs. So just so you know, just so I'm bring honest and true to me, I prayed. I prayed a lot.
First I'm gonna tell you: If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either. That's my main motto. You have to believe that you can accomplish your goals before your dreams start coming true. It's fairy tale-ish but it's true none the less. If you have low self esteem, or rude and hateful comments get to you....you might want to try something with less exposure. People are mean. They just are. I honestly think that %30-40% (at least) of social media is just trolls and people with a chip on their shoulder. These are the people that want to bring you down because something is wrong in their life or they just don't want you to succeed. Because yes....there are people who don't want you to do well in life. So if you can't handle that, then you're gonna need to re-evaluate some things about this certain endeavor. While having confidence is step 1, you have to adapt a business mentality as well. Sometimes you have to say "no" to people maybe even people that you love or think a lot of, sometimes you have to have boundaries, sometimes you have to keep everything to yourself until it's time to talk about it so that no one will take your ideas. Not everyone is your friend in business and you need to look out for yourself first and your best interests. I honestly don't tell hardly anyone, anything about companies I may work with, things lined up that are super exciting for the future, or anything remotely important to my business. For one, you don't need their approval or opinion and two, sometimes people will get in your head and make you second guess yourself and intentionally or unintentionally break your confidence.
Second: Be consistent in your posting of blog posts, pics, engage in comments fairly quick and "like" and comment on other people's stuff as well. Make some friends. I've found some awesome people I consider friends through this. It's been really nice having them to talk to as well for recommendations on products or dealing with rude comments. So make you out a list of how many blog posts or videos you're gonna do a week and STAY CONSISTENT. Make it a priority. I stick to about 2 blog posts a week and try to do a makeup look at least 4 times a week for Instagram and sometimes on Twitter. Now I know a lot say they don't "have time", that's fine. Work out what's best for you. Whether it's once a week or 5 times a week, just get into a routine. Be ready to hustle too. There are nights, like tonight, that I'm up until 2 am working on business stuff. Whether it's blogging, answering emails, taking product photos, making notes, signing up for platforms and campaigns to be a part of or whatever. I work for HOURS everyday, to try and make this dream a reality and sadly, people will never understand that. It's not easy, it may look easy but it's not. Not that it isn't fun for the most part but a lot of hard work will go unnoticed. I will say as far as how much you post, the more you post the more exposure you get. So if you're posting once a week you aren't making near the impression as the person posting 5-6 days a week.
Third: Quality content. Especially for photos, try your hardest to get the best pictures of your makeup, outfit, or whatever. A grainy photo will never compare to a clear and detailed photo. The more mega pixels the better and lighting is key. If all you have is an iPhone or Samsung then use the front camera not the self facing camera (front has more mega pixels) and get a mirror so you can see yourself in the screen. It took me a long time to figure out how to get good photos. I use a lot of natural light so there's certain times that are best for photos. Usually early morning or mid afternoon. Over cast days are always really good for pictures of makeup and such. I always take pictures by a window and with a back ground that doesn't have much going on. Like a curtain background that you can buy, a plain wall, or something outside. You don't want the background to draw attention away from what you want people to focus on. Plus a cluttered background or a busy background looks unprofessional sometimes and a bit too casual and personal. For product pictures, a white background is your best friend.....even if it's just a piece of poster board. Take lots of photos as well. That goes for everything. Not just one or two. You take tons and then go through and see which looks the best. Obviously there are cameras out there that are amazing for this stuff, like Canon and Sony. There's even "selfie" cameras that everyone uses right now, or at least you see a lot of big names using them. They make the best but they are not cheap, however they are an investment. If you're super serious about this then I say invest in one when you can. If you are unsure as to how you'll like it then I'd work at getting great photos with my phone or whatever camera I had and finding the best lighting and background and do that until I decided if I wanted to continue to pursue this path.
Fourth: Join programs, platforms, giveaways, campaigns, etc etc : This one is what will get you your exposure, followers, and get your name out there. Being re-posted from a big account especially a company is always great but those don't happen all the time, especially when you're just starting out. Hook up with a loop giveaway if you can, there's usually a certain amount of $$ you have to send in, but if it has awesome stuff in it then that's great. You get followers, you get to have fun, and you get to make someones day. You will lose followers of course but you usually keep about half depending on how big the loop is. Try getting on platforms for "influencers" that connect you to brands. I just googled platforms for "beauty influencers" and started signing up on as many as I could. All the ones I joined were free. Some were an application process, so you had to be accepted and no you won't be accepted to all of them but rejection is part of it. Be as active in your genre's community as you possibly can. Join programs, seminars, mailing lists, newsletters, so on and so forth and engage with your community. You'll find friends and build connections that may help you later on. Besides that, Instagram won't be this big of a deal forever.
Fifth: Be as active as you can be on social media. From Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Periscope be as active as possible. I really enjoy Snapchat because it gives you a chance to show people your personality. Which Instagram doesn't really convey. Twitter is easy and quick to answer questions or ask questions or just talk in general, while still being able to upload content and tag companies. Instagram is probably your biggest resource. Like I said before, quality photos people, quality photos, it's a learning curve. I sat down, researched and worked out algorithms for myself. It was just trial and error of the best posting times to get seen by more people, the best hashtag links, what got more likes versus what didn't. It was a year long process that I still work on and tweak because I'm not a professional and I don't want you to think I've got it all figured out because I don't. So I recommend doing that yourself. Research the most used hashtags for different genres, be sure to tag companies in pictures, comments, and also hashtag the company as well. Figure out your best posting times for example: lunch breaks, afternoon when people are home from work, Sunday afternoons, etc etc. It takes time and patience and a lot of work to figure out how to start growing. Sometimes you grow rapidly, then it stops for a few days and then picks back up. It's ever changing. Being consistent though will always help you.
Sixth: Don't assume that you "know it all". That's a big mistake, when you think that you've conquered your craft. You'll never full conquer it, you'll just get better at it. There are always new things to learn. Especially in makeup, new trends and tricks are popping up everywhere all the time. Also get out of your comfort zone. No one wants to see the same thing every single day. Yes you may have a week or two or even a month when you don't do anything super creative and that's fine but don't get comfortable there. Step out and try to recreate something, or take pictures in a different way from odd angles or in fun or cool surroundings. Keep yourself open to new things and look to find inspiration in everything you can. One of my biggest pet peeves, as a subscriber to Youtube channels or what have you, is when I see the same natural/neutral makeup EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. There's nothing wrong with that makeup, I love that makeup, but I'm not going to watch those videos or check out that post because it's not new content for that person or that account no matter how good it was executed, it holds no interest for me.
Seventh: Work with ALL brands. Including "indie" brands. Especially "indie brands". You will find some hidden gems in the makeup world AND you'll have better shots at being "re-posted" possibly by them. I'm not saying buy things that aren't FDA approved or anything, I'm just saying smaller brands see more than big brands do because they don't have as many people tagging them usually.
So that's pretty much the jist. Guidance (whether from a higher power or something else), research, consistency in posting, and quality content, those are the best tips I can give and those are things that I've seen results from. I hope this was helpful and didn't sound like I "knew it all" or anything. I'm just telling you what works for me. Good luck!!
**The picture above is the product picture from Sephora.**
So Urban Decay just re-done ALL their lipsticks. A couple months ago they clearanced out their Revolution lipsticks and even the Gwen Stefani lipsticks. I got several of those that were on clearance. They've now realeased 100 lipsticks in new packaging. That's right 100 shades. 20 shades are exclusive to Sephora, some are old favorites and some are brand spankin' new, I want to think they re-formulated but all I can find is that they just upgraded the packaging.
There are 6 finishes:
4 Shimmer finish
15 High Shine Finish
14 Metallic Finish
34 Satin Finish
Now some of these are broken down into Comfort Matte, Mega Matte, Cream, Sheer and Sheer Shimmer. I swatched 24 of the most popular shades and I find that the formula, for example on shades Naked and Stark Naked, is not very different from the ones I have in those same shades. I feel the same about the Sheer Anarchy shade. It feels and seems the same as the older one. My favorite formulas are the Comfort Mattes and the Creams. The Mega Mattes are super pigmented but a bit too dry for my liking on some of them. The Metallized formula I'm just not a fan of either because metallic is not my favorite finish. There is one Sheer that I do kinda like which is Snitch.
So my faves are:
Menace: Comfort Matte
Backtalk: Comfort Matte
So here's the complete list with what finish they are and what finish Sephora has them as:
Sheer Anarchy - Sheer, High Shine Finish
Jilted - Cream, Satin Finish
Firebird - Cream, Satin Finish
Psycho - Comfort Matte, Matte Finish
Disturbed - Comfort Matte, Matte Finish
Manic - Cream, Satin Finish
Gash - Cream, Satin Finish
EZ - Cream, Satin Finish
714 - Mega Matte, Matte Finish
Snitch - Sheer, High Shine Finish
Naked - Cream, Satin Finish
Conspiracy - Metallized, Metallic Finish
Backtalk - Comfort Matte, Matte Finish
Rapture - Cream, Satin Finish
Stark Naked - Comfort Matte, Matte
Amulet - Metallized, Metallic Finish
ZZ - Cream, Satin Finish
Gubby - Metallized, Metallic Finish
Seismic - Sheer Shimmer, Shimmer Finish
Menace - Comfort Matte, Matte Finish
Pandemonium - Mega Matte, Matte Finish
Big Bang - Metallized, Metallic Finish
There are a few misses for me, which are:
For one reason or another, either color or application I just couldn't make those shades work for me.
These are $17 a piece. Most are super nice. You have 100 shades to choose from and 6 different finishes as I said above. These are available at Sephora, Ulta, and the Urban Decay website of course.
Promos for Sephora:
Deluxe Size of Too Faced Sun Bunny bronzer w/ $25 purchase: INSTABRONZE
7 day sample set of Ole Henrickson 3 little wonders set w/ $25 purchase: GLOWING
Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil w/ $25 purchase: INSTASMOOTH
As always use Ebates and get you some cash back if you're shopping online. It costs you nothing to sign up or to shop through them. It only gives you a percentage of your subtotal back to you. A check is sent out quarterly or transferred to your Pay Pal.
It's time for another Sephora Play! box. This month's box was awesome for one reason and one reason only. Which we will get into. If you don't know Sephora has started a beauty subscription service for 6 deluxe samples ranging from hair to fragrance to makeup. It's $10 a month. There used to be a waiting list that you had to sign up on. I'm not sure if that's still the case but I'll leave the link here, where you can get information and sign up for it. Always keep in mind that these are all brands that Sephora carries and they are deluxe samples not full sized. Also keep in mind that you get a card every month that you can present in store only and get 50 extra beauty points on your purchase.
So in this box you get:
Bare Minerals Bare Skin Sheer Sun
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Bumble and Bumble Bb Don't Blow It
Becca Backlight Priming Filter
Tarte Tartegaurd 30
Tocca Eau de Parfum in Florence
Here's my thoughts right off hand:
Bare Minerals Bare Skin Sheer Sun serum bronzer. This is like a liquid bronzer that can be added to, on top of or under foundation. Or you can wear it on its own. Liquid bronzers and bronzer oils are super popular this year. I've not tried Bare Minerals that much but I really like this. It's versatile and it's an awesome shade. It's not crazy intense and it doesn't seem to have any noticeable shimmer in it. I think this a great "beginner" liquid bronzer if you're unsure about how you would like it. You could find a way to use it so that it wouldn't go to waste and it's not too intense. So I like this.
Benefit They're Real Mascara. I am the only person in the world that doesn't like this mascara. I give every single one I get to my mom.
Bumble and Bumble Don't Blow It Hair Styler. "Great hair without heat or hassle" I don't know about this. So far it's not done anything for me.
Becca Backlighting Primer Filter. THIS WAS WHAT WON THE BOX. This is a really good sized sample and it's so talked about. A very well loved primer that sells out all the time. This feels amazing and it feels so hydrating as well as just being gorgeous on the skin. I was SO pumped when I seen this.
Tarte Tarteguard 30. This is a 30 spf sunscreen that I keep in my bag for the pool or vacation where I know I'm gonna be getting some sun. I love actually that it's a smaller size. I ALWAYS use spf on my face and I don't go below 30 spf. It also smells freaking amazing.
Tocca Florence. As you know I'm picky with fragrance. This one I actually like. It's very different for me though. It smells muskier but still fresh and feminine. The notes according to Sephora are: Italian Bergamot, Grapefruit Leaves, Green Pear, Apple, Ivory Gardenia, Crushed Violet Petals, Jasmine, Tuberose, Blue Iris, Blonde Wood, White Musk.
So that's it. Some really good hits and very few misses.
As you may or may not know, I moonlight as a mermaid. So I have to keep my blue and teal tinted locks fresh. Therefore, watching Marlena from Makeup Geek TV on youtube in one of her "Current Obsessions" videos, I seen her talking about the oVertone weekly treatment. Which is a conditioner that deposits hair color as well as hyrdrates it. It is not "hair dye" it is full on "color depositing conditioner". From the oVertone website it says: "They are designed to gradually replace the color you lose every time you wash your hair, so your color is perfect every single day, whether you were in a salon four days ago or four months ago." They literally have EVERY color of the rainbow. Pink, Yellow, Teal, several shades of Blue, etc etc. I got "Extreme Blue". This stuff is royal blue as soon as you open it up. There are some things you should know though.
You have to wear gloves to apply this or you will stain your hands.
Also be careful when applying it, because it will also stain your shower or tub lol (mine is)
I clipped my hair up so it wouldn't stain my shoulders and back.
This has to absorb in the hair for 10-15 minutes, then you can wash it out (with warm water I might add)
These are pigmented conditioners but with no harmful chemicals
The color in them are "semi-permanent"
There is Pastel, Vibrant, and Extreme lines
Pastel is 20% of color
Vibrant is 60% color
Extreme is 100% color for super bright color
The things I really dig is that:
A) it's a very nice conditioner and my hair feels amazing.
B) it does deposit color FOR SURE.
C) this is a weekly treatment so you literally get to "refresh" and deposit your color on a weekly basis.
D) If you aren't into the intense weekly treatment, which is more pigment and more hydration, they also offer daily conditioners. Which is more mild and deposits less pigment into the hair while still being hydrating. I'm viewing it as more as a maintenance for your current color.
These are GREAT conditioners on their own. I mean really impressive. As far as color depositing goes or a color change I really recommend doing that in a salon first and then using these to help maintain and give it a kick. You could technically dye your hair with this I guess but if you aren't super blonde you'd need to bleach your hair and I only advise professionals when you need to lighten your hair. You won't need to "dye" your hair as much if you use these. Which is awesome and healthier for your beautiful locks.
The price point for these products are fair in my opinion.
Daily Conditioners are $17 and $18 depending on the line you get
Go Deep Weekly Treatments are $28-$29
Complete Systems are $45-$47
Also if you are just wanting to try these they offer trial sizes for $8 for 2oz. There are 21 vegan colors total, I believe.
This was after the first use of the Go Deep Weekly Treatment in Extreme Blue. As you can see my hair is a steel blue and bright blue mixed from mid shaft and down. I thoroughly, love this stuff. It makes life so much easier, especially when you don't have time to get your color retouched every 4-6wks, or if you just hate waiting an hour or two for your hair to get finished at the salon.
So I talked with oVertone about some questions I had and they were super helpful.
1st: they totally recommend you seeking out a stylist first if you want a dramatic change like brown to light pink for example. Then using their products to boost or maintain your hair. Even though you can "dye" your hair with their products. Toning is a big thing to consider as well so never hurts to ask a professional.
2nd: you can use the daily conditioner everyday as well as the weekly treatment once a week together. You can even mix shades like using the Go Deep as your base color and then a daily conditioner in another shade for a splash of color in a different hue. You can even use one conditioner color one day and another color the next. Very versatile.
3rd: they recommend sulfate free shampoos as far as what shampoo you use. (The one I use is AMIKA COLOR PHERFECTION SHAMPOO. It's sulfate free.)
They have a blog as well with AWESOME posts and really informative and helpful information so I'm gonna link it here it's really in depth and answers pretty much any questions or concerns you may have.
These pics above are from the oVertone website, they're swatches of extreme blue Go Deep. The pictures below are just different pictures of my hair since using the Go Deep Weekly Treatment. Keep in mind my hair is like a bolyage/ombre style where the bottom pieces were lightened by a professional first and then colored blue. This is helping maintain my blue shades and it's doing a damn good job at it.
Benefit was perhaps the Mayflower of brow products....they've had the Brow
Bar at Ulta locations for years plus the old school compact brow duo with tweezers and brush, so on so forth. They're fixing to release some new brow products on the 24th, one of which we're going to talk about today. The KA-BROW! Cream Gel Eyebrow Color, mine is in shade 5, is a cool "pomade-ish" type and brush all in one.
This is water proof, smudge proof, and buildable color that is extremely long wearing. My brush I don't particularly care for, but I think it's just mine. So I don't think it's every brush. Even though if you didn't like your brush you could easily use an angled brush of your own. As far as I can tell they basically are truly smudge proof (cause I tried messing them up before this), and the consistency is thinner than ABH dipbrow, I personally think. It's lighter feeling as well and maybe a bit more dry than other cream brow products. It's a bit easier to sculpt the brow and work with if perhaps you are intimidated by dipbrow, because this can be built up so it doesn't have to be a ton of color right off the bat which makes an ombre brow, for one example, very easy.
The only thing I can say aside from the type of brush I have with mine, is that I find it harder to get product onto my brush. Only because this is a cream-gel formula, which is a little different from other brow formulas I've used. Not just ABH, but Colour Pop also has a cream brow color as well. It's not extremely hard or annoying it's just something that I've noticed. Like I said though it's a blessing in disguise because it's so buildable that it makes ombre brows, filling in, and also sculpting easier to do and more natural, and also see what you're doing before it's too late and you look like a sharpie attacked your face.
So like I said this is releasing on the 24th in Sephora and Ulta with other brow products like a new shade in GimmeBrow, an angled brow pencil, the ka-BROW!, a 3d brow highlight, and about 3 or more other brow products. It's $24 and has 6 shades that are literally named "shade 1, 2, 3, etc etc". Packaging is beautiful, in general I really do like it and if you want to try "sculpting" a brow, I would point you in this direction.
So like I said I have shade 5, which I have super dark hair. There is a shade darker than mine though actually which I can appreciate.
So here are some promos for Sephora:
Free Becca mini of pressed or liquid Opal skin perfector code: "INSTAGLOW" w/ $25 purchase
Free book of the new Urban Decay Vice Lipstick samples total 24 shades code: "UDVICES"
Pick 3 FREE Minis code: "GIVEGET"
Free Benefit Ka-Brow! sample code: "KABROWPOW"
Ulta has a gift with purchase for Benefit which is a 4 pc gift set (automatically added to your cart) with a Benefit purchase over $45. Which is going to last until the 25th of June. (the brow products release the 24th)
Also don't forget to use Ebates and get you some cash back if you're ordering online for Sephora or Ulta either one. Right now (as of today) Sephora's cash back is 8% and Ulta is 3%.
So summer always brings about new skin care products as well as new makeup. Lots of times it's products that will protect you from sun damage and to wear outside (ie: Supergoop which was popular last year) but this year I was pleasantly surprised at how many just over all hydrating products and sprays that were released. I mean, most of them are fighting anti-aging which can be accelerated by constant exposure to UVA rays, while UVB rays cause burning and increased chances of skin cancer. Both are still not good for your skin which is why you need protection from that, but we all know that we need to protect our skin and this year products were released to help you maintain and take care of your skin. I appreciate all those though, prevention, protection, and maintenance. After all our skin is the only skin we ever get and our best beauty secret we have is a good base to work with.
So this new guy is the Korres Golden Krocus Elixir. It's good for all skin types and it's main target is fine lines and anti-aging. This is a serum and it's price tag is $98, which is a lot. I've used this several times and I'm not impressed with it to be honest but to be fair I don't have a ton of fine lines. It feels nice but it has a lot of golden shimmer in it and that's pretty noticeable on the skin. Which looks cool but also not what I'm looking for because when it comes to skin care I think of "clean" skin I don't want shimmer added for luminosity. Know what I mean? That's just my thoughts on that though. So for this I say pass for right now.
This is Farmacy Skin Dew. It's a hydrating mist and setting spray. I actually love this. It's SUPER hydrating though. So bear that in mind. It feels so nice on the skin. I actually have used it on my bare skin and also to set my makeup and even though it is very hydrating with a heavy spritz it actually did set my makeup and not make it overly dewy. So this is $44, it has glycerin in it as well as "Echinacea GreenEnvy™" which according to Sephora: "is a unique, patent-protected variant of echinacea purpurea that contains the highest known concentration of cichoric acid, which helps protect the skin by inhibiting the enzymes that break down collagen. Cichoric acid also normalizes the skin pigmentation process to promote a more evenly toned complexion. Horsetail juice—a natural extract of the perennial horsetail herb that contains vitamin C, tannins, and mineral salts—helps freshen and tone the skin while providing both antioxidant and skin soothing benefits." It's also naturally derived ingredients and not tested on animals, which I'm a big fan of Farmacy as a company anyway.
This little jewel is the Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. It's a super gentle exfoliator that is water activated. It's best for Normal to Combination skin. This softens, exfoliates, and conditions the skin. If you have sensitive skin when it comes to exfoliators, I would recommend this. It's very subtle but it works really well so you know you're not damaging or breaking the skin by being to rough. This is $15-$65. You can try the .35oz for $15 to see if you like it or go for the 2.1oz for $65.
This is the Drunk Elephant B Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel. This has "An antiaging vitamin B5 gel that replenishes, brightens, and improves the appearance of skin texture and tone while delivering intense moisture."
This is a really nice gel and super hydrating and good for all skin types. This is $52 for 1.69oz. That's still a lot of money so unless you're super dry or having some aging issues, I might would pass on this one as well. Even though I do like it. I prefer to spend money on my base like I always say, but I would prefer to spend it on a moisturizing cream or something else like a sleeping facial. That's just me though.
This lovely thing is the Foreo Luna Play. It's a $39 "starter" basically. That's how I look at it. It's small and is good for 100 uses. I got this to just test it out to see if I: A) liked it and B) would use it every day. I tend to be someone who gets a month in and then stops using something. So this was perfect in case that happened. It doesn't have the expensive price tag and then if you do like it you can invest $99-$199 for the bigger options. This is quite small but it still works amazingly well. You use it 15 seconds on one section for a total of one minute on your face. I can honestly tell you this is amazing. My skin has never felt this smooth. My texture issues are massively reduced and I can't get over how nice my skin looks and feels and that was after the first time I used it. Still the same amazing results. It's good for all skin types, water proof and comes in 7 different colors, Plus you get 100 uses out of this because it is not rechargeable like the others. Out of everything, this is what I would get my hands down. That is if you don't already have it or something similar.
**update on the Luna Play. Mine stopped working a little over a month. It didn't last the 100 uses. It may have lasted 15-20 uses. So even though I'm super impressed with Foreo in general and I have ordered a bigger one that is rechargeable, that has better reviews, I did return the Luna Play to Sephora because it quit after a month and less than 25 uses. Which is only a quarter of the uses it was said to have. Also, check out Kathleen Lights video of a Luna 2 vs a WAY cheaper dupe from Amazon which is called the Solo Mio. It's super helpful. There are other options as well on Amazon that are even cheaper. So while I totally loved the Luna Play, it didn't last as long as it was supposed to so thus, I no longer recommend getting it.
Some of these are available as deluxe samples or just samples if there are any left
Code "Future" to choose one skin care deluxe sample with $25 purchase (what's left of them)
Code "Immortal" to choose 1 of 3 skin care minis with $25 purchase
Code "UMBRIAN" for Fresh Toning Mini with $25 purchase
Code "INEXCESS" for MUFE Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara with $25 purchase
As always use Ebates and get you some cash back. It costs nothing to sign up and it won't ever cost you any money, it only gets you money.
**these pictures are from the Sephora website obviously.
This is the Violet Voss Drenched Metal palette. They previously released the Holy Grail palette which was all warm shades, this palette followed shortly there after and they just recently done a collab with influencer Laura Lee. So as I have a ton of warm shades I wanted the one with more variety of color, not just bright colors but different colors. This one has some odd shades in it and I love that about it.
My chief complaint is that there is only 2 real matte shades in this palette of 20 shadows. Luckily one matte shade is a peach shade which is my go to for a transition shade. The other is a basic black that is a bit dry to me and not the darkest black I've ever tried, but it still works. Most of the shades are gorgeous. I'm especially partial to Huntress and Frisky. "I'm So Fancy" is beautiful but I found it harder to work with. It was almost foiled in texture so I tried applying it with my finger and a brush and it wasn't as vibrant as I wanted it to be. It showed up well enough but not what I expected. Same with Dark Desires it doesn't show up as vibrant on the skin as it does in the pan. It's still very pretty though. Like I said, this has a variety of colors in it and I love that. Some are a bit similar in tone so they don't look extremely different to each other. It tends to be the more neutral shades that are similar to each other. A few shades anyway.
The things that I love about this is even though the packaging is cardboard and simple, I really like it because it's super thin, light, and easy to carry. Also it has 20 good size shades to it. Which is awesome and most or at least 80% of the palette is super pigmented and good quality. The only other bummer is this palette is in the $50 range. While I think this is a good palette and yes you get 20 shades, I feel for the packaging, and some of the shades being very similar to each other or harder to work with, $50 seems a bit much. I would've like to have seen this $35-$40 maybe. That's just me though. Like I said the 20 shades is very hard to beat. Violet Voss is such an affordable brand though, I guess that's why this price tag is hard to digest for me. That's just my thoughts though. You could feel completely different and that's fine.
The swatches above are the 1st two rows in the palette. All swatches has only 1 swipe.
So from left to right:
Poppin - a really gorgeous pale pink and gold duo chrome. Has to be built up though.
Kisses - pale pink champagne shimmer which is very pigmented. A bit darker than Poppin.
Confession- dead on dupe for the Mai Tai duo chrome from Makeup Geek. I love it.
Crushed It - Rose Gold shimmer. Very pigmented.
Secret - matte peach with some brown tones. A bit darker than Peach Smoothie from MUG.
I'm So Fancy - a foiled type aqua green shade. It was hard to work with in my opinion.
Mermaid Vixen - Silvery muted blue green. Not as pigmented as others.
Grunge - Golden Taupe Brown shimmer
Mink - Warm medium brown shimmer. Very close to Crushed It.
Squad Goals - a cantaloupe melon shade shimmer
This is the two bottom rows of the palette.
Left to right swatches:
Frisky - Royal Blue almost foiled. Not as shimmery as the others. I love this shade.
Dark Desires - Royal Purple but it really is a lighter shade when applied. I have a hard time with this one.
Slaycation - Blue Brown much like Blue Brown pigment from MAC and Insomnia from MUG
Come Thru - Pale Yellow Gold shimmer
Livin - Copper shimmer. I love this shade as well
Shade - Strong Silver with a taupe-purple undertone. Very pigmented.
Bliss - Golden Olive Green. Really pigmented. Really cool and different.
Huntress - Dark Coppery Brown. I love this shade.
Forbidden - Raspberry/Cranberry shimmer. Not dark like a burgundy a true cranberry shade.
Midnight Tryst - Matte black. Pretty dry and not the darkest black I've ever seen.
In this picture I'm using Confession on the majority of the lid. I'm So Fancy as outer shade initially and then Frisky is covering it up for the most part because it wasn't working well for me. I used Dark Desires for the purple cast you see in the crease above the navy shade. Secret is in the crease for transition since it's the only matte shade. I also used Frisky and I'm So Fancy on the tail of the brow because I have teal and blue in my hair and I thought it would be fun to add it to my brows.
In this pic I'm actually only using about 3 shades. It's Secret in the crease, Bliss on the majority of the lid and Huntress on the outer corner and lower lash line. I really loved this combo. Bliss is a cool olive toned shade, very different and pairs up nicely with the copper in Huntress.
In this pic I'm using Shade on the outer corner. Livin is in the center and Poppin on the inner corner and inner part of the lid. Secret is in the crease and Midnight Tryst is used to deepen the outer corner. This is much prettier in person and pictures don't really capture all the colors.
So that's my thoughts on this palette. Overall it's really good. Some of the shades are not as good as the others but that happens a lot with palettes. This has a lot of different and cool colors that you do not see very much at all in palettes, which is one thing I love because the looks you could do are endless with this.
So as the whole makeup universe knows..... Jaclyn Hill has blessed us with another collab with Becca Cosmetics. This time they went hard in the paint folks. They introduced the whole Champagne Collection where the two palettes will be limited edition for sure but the shimmering skin liquid, and poured skin perfector of Champagne Pop will be in the permanent line.
So I already have Champagne Pop so I didn't get the face palette. I got the eye palette. I had never tried Becca eye shadows and this was a perfect time. I got mine at Sephora the link is here.
So you have 5 shades. Two are shimmery almost foiled type and the other three are really good neutral-warm matte shades. On first glance it's obviously beautiful, the perfect neutral-warm everyday palette. Perfect for nearly everyone. On first impression of swatching them, the matte shades were drier than what I expected. The shimmers were insanely pigmented. I was really afraid that the mattes weren't going to hold their pigment but they did a really good job.
So this was the look I done. I wanted it to be a "halo" eye with a bright inner corner, but it didn't really go that way. I don't know what happened. This is where I get into my only, very minor, issue. The darkest shade which is a cool toned dark brown I wish was either a little darker or a bit more pigmented. What I'm saying is, it wasn't "dark" enough to make the halo pop. The other matte shades were fantastic in the crease. They were SO blendable and awesome. The shimmers actually surprised me too. I applied Champagne Toast first and it was shimmery and great but it blended in with the dark shade Bordeaux. So what I had to do to make this pop was put Chardonnay underneath and then add Champagne Toast to make it pop against Bordeaux. I know that Champagne Toast is "the shade Jaclyn Hill created" and you can tell it's awesomely golden but also rose gold as well. It's really beautiful and pictures don't do it justice. To me it looks really yellow in tone in a picture like a yellow gold but in person you really see how different it actually is. My favorite shade is Chardonnay I mix it with Champagne Pop actually for extra highlight. It's in the inner corner as well. Cognac is my favorite matte shade. I buff this in the crease like it's a party and I'm bringing the cake friends....it's an AWESOME warm brown.
So overall I think this is a really nice palette. It comes back in stock on June 16th I believe. Maybe sooner for the eye palette but the face palette is going to be June 16th as of now and it will be in stores. This is a neutral-warm palette so bear that in mind if you don't care for those colors. It's the same price as all their other palettes which is $40 for 5 good size shadows. The packaging is BEAUTIFUL though on this particular palette. Basically, here's what it boils down to....this is limited edition with limited edition shades you have until the 16th to think on whether or not you want it because after that it's gone for good. In general I don't buy much limited edition stuff thanks to MAC because if I love it I can never get it again but this palette is something that you could find similar shades once your done with it. I really do think it's a great everyday palette to have. It will obviously be beautiful among your makeup and stand out. If you aren't for the price tag then I will direct you to Jaclyn's video of her "go-to" palette or "favorite shadows" palette where you will find similar shades that are less expensive like Makeup Geek and MAC pans that are $6 a shadow but when you divide this up it's $8 a shadow so that's less expensive than a ABH shadow. It's all in how you look at it, do you love it as a whole or for one shade?
Sephora promos as of right now:
12 free samples for skin hair and face with $25 purchase. Code: "oasis"
Free Lancome mask mini with $25 purchase. Code: "meltmask"
Code "Future" for what's left of some skin serums and facial sprays
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cream Mini with $25 purchase. Code: "goatmilk"
Choose 1 of 3 skin care minis with $25 purchase. Code: "immortal"
If you're going to buy from Sephora online then get you some cash back by signing up for Ebates. It's free, it never costs you anything to use Ebates.
**update: According to Jaclyn Hill's snapchat, they aren't going to restock this palette because these are a different formula and not what they normally put out...long story short they used a different lab and basically this didn't turn out to be what they wanted or what they have had in the past and especially not what Jaclyn Hill wanted as far as an eye palette. Which is understandable, while this is a good palette it's not what I expected from Becca but because I had never tried Becca shadows I didn't know what to expect. I'm truly glad that Jaclyn Hill addressed it herself. Which is why I'm updating this post to let you know it's not going to be coming back and to those of you who have it and do not like it you can get a full refund for it. I'm not going to say that it's terrible by any means, it's just not what you expect from Becca and they know that which is why they're doing the best they can to remedy the situation. I encourage you to watch Jaclyn Hill's snapchat and get the full story though. Also....be kind. That is all.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.