Maybelline #BetterSkinChallenge

*Disclaimer* This product was sent to me free for reviewing purposes–all opinions are honest and are my own.

Hi, everyone!  I’m here to give you a brief review on the Maybelline SuperStay BetterSkin foundation, which claims to improve the look and feel of your skin in just 3 weeks.  I was fortunate enough to have been sent a full bottle of this foundation to try out and see if the brand claims hold true.  Now, anyone who has ever read my blog knows that I always review honestly regardless whether the product was sent free!  For ease of reading (and writing, lol) I’ll break my post down by week:

Week 1

I found that the foundation was not a great color match for me (too light), but could be bronzed up and made to work.  The foundation definitely needs to be used with a primer (not a drugstore primer)…and it needs to be something heavy duty because the foundation wears off before the 5-hour mark even with a primer. Ugh. The coverage is light (at best) and won’t cover any really red blemishes are dark scarring.  If you’re looking to really blur/cover imperfections this is definitely not for you. Even with a mattifying powder I became really oily within a couple of hours and my skin is dry in some spots and semi-oily in others.  I’m definitely not impressed by the end of week 1.

Week 2

They told me my skin would improve and it would look and feel better.  No.  Just no.  I’m breaking out on my chin and forehead…my face is turning bright RED in places!!!!!  The entire center of my face has become a giant oil slick and where my face isn’t oily it feels like it’s burning off. I’ve tried every primer I own and can’t make this last on my face more than a few hours without looking terrible and having most of it wear off.  This foundation feels uncomfortable, doesn’t look good, and is wrecking my normally clear skin :(

Week 3

I’ve decided that after how my skin looked and felt at the end of week 2 that I just couldn’t continue to use a product that I knew was hurting my skin.  My time with this foundation has come to an end and I won’t be using it anymore.

Bottom Line

I don’t recommend this product.  It doesn’t work for my combination skin.  Maybe it works for skin that’s completely dry…I don’t know.  If your skin has any oily quality at all to it I wouldn’t recommend trying this foundation out.  If you want to see what this looked like on my skin check out my vlog. Have you tried this foundation?  If you have, please let me know what your experience has been with it.  I’m curious to know if it was similar to mine!  Thanks so much for reading!

YSL Mascara

Review: YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara

Hi, everyone! I’m here today with a quick review on the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara (retails for $30), which I received in the shade “High Density Black” compliments of Influenster and YSL for reviewing purposes.  This mascara is supposed to achieve “high volume and a dramatic false lash effect” with a non-drying formula infused with vitamin B5.  For $30 I’d hope that it would give a dramatic look!

Bottom line…this is a good mascara.  It gives a nice, dark color and it lengthens and volumizes lashes.  Does it give a false lash effect? No.  Even though it doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing falsies, this mascara is superior to any drugstore mascara that I’ve tried and it’s superior to other high-end mascaras that I’ve tried.  When I finish this tube I’ll definitely consider repurchasing!

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Single Girl’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is February 14…a day dreaded by so many single girls. You know what, though? There’s no need to fret about being single on Valentine’s Day because you can get your single friends together and have an awesome night in complete with a sweet treat, comfy clothes, and something fun to watch! Keep reading if you’d like to see my step-by-step night for a great Valentine’s Day celebration with your other single friends :)

Step 1
Call all of your friends and invite them over…comfy attire is required!

Step 2
Go to your local grocery store and pick up the following items for an easy and fun treat:
-graham crackers
-milk chocolate bars
-marshmallows
-Sterno cooking fuel (comes in a small can)
-small skewers

What treat is more fun (or tasty) than s’mores? Plus, they’re really fun to roast over the little Sterno can! My favorite thing to wash any treat down with is Diet Coke, but get whatever drink you and your friends like best.

Step 3
Pick out something fun to watch–I suggest Pitch Perfect or maybe a bunch of episodes of your a favorite season of Friends (avoid the episode when Ross and Rachel break up lol).

Step 4
Choose your favorite comfy outfit…my go-to comfy outfit is yoga pants, a high-low t-shirt from Pink, and fuzzy socks (I usually find mine at Target for $2 or $3).

Step 5
Enjoy a night of treats, laughter, relaxation, and fun with your friends!

How do you plan on celebrating Valentine’s Day? Whatever your plans are, I hope you have a great night :) Thanks for reading!

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Review: E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush

Hi, everyone! I’m coming to you today with a quick review on the very affordable E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush ($3 on http://www.eyeslipsface.com or at Target). This brush is a medium-sized brush that is perfect for getting just the right amount of your favorite blush on your cheeks. The bristles are synthetic, densely packed, and sooooo soft.

Honestly, this brush is now my favorite blush brush and I’m probably going to pick up some more brushed from the studio line to see how they perform. This powder brush is actually better than my Laura Gellar, Smashbox, and Bare Minerals brushes…no joke. And it’s only $3…yes, only $3!!!!! I definitely suggest either running out to Target to pick one up or placing an order on the E.L.F. website because you will not be disappointed!

Have you tried any of the other E.L.F. Studio brushes (the ones with black handles…the one with white handles are really hit or miss)? Let me know what your favorites are!

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First Impression: L’Oreal Brow Stylist Sculptor

Hi, everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve posted and today I’m here with a first impression on a drugstore brow pencil, the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Sculptor. I bought this at Target for $7.99. Usually, I don’t use anything but the Anastasia Brow Wiz or the IT Cosmetics Brow Power, but since I’m out of both I figured it would be a good time to try something less expensive.

The Brow Stylist Sculptor is a double ended pencil–one end is the brow color and the other end is a brow wax (I bought the brunette shade). Let’s get into my impression of this product!

The pencil’s tip isn’t as fine as the IT or Anastasia brow pencils, so you can’t get as much of a feathered application as you would with those products. That being said, the formula isn’t bad because it doesn’t drag and tug on your brow hairs. The brunette shade is darker and more warm-toned than I prefer (I like a shade more on the taupe end of the spectrum), but after I messed up my first brow I was able to get a good application on my second brow lol. The brush on the pencil cap isn’t anything I’d use because I think a spooly brush is more useful and does a better job on the brows. The part I (surprisingly) liked most was the wax end of the pencil. The wax set my brows into place neatly and didn’t cause any of the brow color to bleed off of my brows.
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Overall, this isn’t a bad product for the price and I will likely continue to use this until it’s time to buy a new pencil. It isn’t as good as the Anastasia or IT pencils, but it’s a good substitution if you want a more affordable brow product.

Products used on the rest of my face: Olay Fresh Effects BB Cream (light medium), IT Cosmetics CC+ Radiance bronzer/blush/brightening powder, Maybelline The Rocket mascara, ELF eyeshadows, and Maybelline Baby Lips (Pink Punch).

Healthy Smoothie Recipe and Magic Bullet

Hi, everyone and happy new year! I hope that 2015 brings health, happiness, and prosperity to all of my readers!!! For Christmas, I received a Magic Bullet from my brother. This is something I had been thinking about buying for a while, so I was so excited when I unwrapped it on Christmas morning. My New Year resolution is to continue to be active and to eat a more healthy diet. Today, I would like to share a recipe for a healthy meal replacement shake.

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Recipe
-1 packet of Jamie Eason chocolate whey protein
-1 cup almond milk
-1 cup kale
-1/2 apple
-1 banana
-Blend in Magic Bullet or any other blender for 30 seconds or until smooth

Please let me know if you try this recipe! Would any of you like to see more healthy smoothie recipes or healthy recipes in general? Thanks for reading :)

Holiday Card Swap

”Beauty

I participated in a Holiday Card Swap hosted by Beauty Expressions and A Deecoded Life, which entailed sending a card to the person you were matched up with by December 6 and then writing a post featuring the card you received in return. The girl with whom I was matched up and I had e-mailed to exchange addresses and also followed one another on Instagram. I mailed my card to her before December 6 and e-mailed to let her know that it had been sent, but I never heard from her again and never received a card :( Even though I didn’t receive a card I am going to complete this requisite post because I liked the questions!

1) What are your best memories about the Holidays?
-My best memories are those that include my family and the holiday traditions that y family has kept since long before I was born. I like knowing that I am doing things that people who lived long before me had also done!

2) Do you have any family traditions you like to follow over the Holiday Season?
-As I mentioned in the answer to my first question…yes, haha. My family cooks up a traditional feast of seven fish on Christmas Eve (among other traditions).

3) What’s the worst Christmas gift you’ve ever got?
-I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever gotten a bad Christmas gift because gifts come from people being loving and thoughtful.

4) What are your favourite holiday movies or books?
-Holiday Inn, White Christmas (I’m a sucker for the combo of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye), A Christmas Story, Home Alone, The Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, etc.

5) If you could ask Santa for any material present for this Christmas, what would it be?
-I don’t ever ask for any presents (never did as a child even), but I’d like Santa to bring me some new Under Armour socks lol.

So, even though I didn’t receive a card in this swap, I still received some lovely Christmas cards in the mail from friends and family to enjoy :) I hope that all of you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy spending time with your family and friends!

Mary Kay ClearProof Regimen Final Review

Hi, everyone!  I’m back today with my final review on the Mary Kay ClearProof regimen, which I’ve been using for about a month now.  Instead of writing out my review, I recorded a video–take a few minutes to check it out!  If you have any questions or you’ve tried this product out, please leave a comment :)

Week 3: Mary Kay ClearProof Regimen

Hi, everyone!  I’m back with a quick update on how my skin is doing after my third week of the Mary Kay ClearProof regimen (I received this compliments of Influenster and Mary Kay for reviewing purposes).  Last week my skin had finally recovered from the severe flaking that I suffered after the first week and I had beautifully clear skin–this week I have four small acne spots on my face.  Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions I must state that it’s that time of the month and for me to only have four small spots and not four huge cysts is a BIG deal.  Like last week, I’m still using the ClearProof regimen once a day because it’s too much on my skin to use it more than that and I’m still using my combo of the Olay Bead Me Up exfoliating wash and either the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel or Bio Oil to moisturize in the evening when I’m not using ClearProof.

As I said above, for me to only have four small acne spots during that time of the month and not four large cysts is a big deal, so I’m pleased with the results of my new skincare regimen.  I’m hoping to see more improvement as I move into my fourth week of use, which is when the best results are supposed to be seen with these skincare products. I’ll be interested to see if my small breakout fades away faster than it typically would!  Stay tuned for next week’s final installment of my ClearProof reviews :) Thanks so much for reading!

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Week 2: Mary Kay ClearProof Regimen

Disclaimer: This skincare regimen was sent to me compliments of Mary Kay and Influenster for reviewing purposes. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Thankfully, my dry skin issue has cleared up because I thought my face was going to peel off at one point! I realized that I can only use the face wash and toner once a day and that I can only use a smidgen of the acne treatment gel and only use it on an actual blemish. I’ve been washing my face at night with the ClearProof face wash, following up with the toner, and moisturizing with either Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel or Bio Oil. In the morning I wash my face with my Olay Fresh Effects Bead Me Up gentle exfoliating cleanser and moisturizer with the ClearProof moisturizer.

Other people who are more oily than I am may be able to use the regimen more than once daily, but I found that once I cut down from twice daily to once daily and switched my evening moisturizer that my problems went away. I will say, my skin is looking fantastically clear and vibrant! Stay tuned for next week’s update–thanks for reading :)