The Mask Set You Need For Radiant Skin

I’m a fan of single serving face masks. They’re great to throw in your bag while traveling, can be selected based on how your skin is behaving at any specific moment, are inexpensive, and make a great addition to any girls night in. Recently I’ve been into sheet masks, which is why I added the Sephora Collection Face Mask in Pearl and their Pearl Eye Mask to my cart when I placed my last online order. The face mask is designed to brighten up your complexion with natural-origin pearl, while the eye mask uses the same key ingredients to minimize irregularities in the eye area and illuminates the skin for eyes that appear more uniform, radiant, and fresh. The smell is a bit funky and the texture was so oily that I got really nervous, but the results were good. Also, the refreshing cooling sensation was a welcome de-stressor after a long day at work.


Touche Eclat

Did you know that one tube of Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat Highlighter is sold every 10 seconds? Yes, it’s that good. If you’re looking for a concealer that will cover everything from dark circles to blemishes, or a luminizing highlighter that’s perfect for strobing this should be your go-to. The little gold pen is a standard in every makeup artist’s kit for a reason. It melds with your skin making you look naturally perfect and well rested. Seriously, this thing is better than 8 hours of sleep (almost, ha!) for keeping you fresh faced and fancy free. I personally wear shade 2 Luminous Ivory, and tote this pen around for on the go touch ups. You simply push the black button on the bottom to release the product into the brush and swipe it on to whatever area you want to cover or highlight. Then all you have to do is lightly blend with your fingertips and you’re good to go. It’s seriously a must have.

Mascara Tips & Tricks

Mascara may well be the single most important beauty product out there. It can take you from asleep to awake and alert in two swipes. It’s an instant beauty fix and can solve so many beauty woes. It can however also be tricky, which is why I have a few tips to share with you today.

  • Don’t buy full sized. Technically you should replace your mascara every three months. It can become a breeding ground for mascara that can cause you to end up with all sorts of icky eye infections. However, full-sized tubes have enough product to last YEARS. It’s a waste of money, and potentially dangerous. Instead, I stock up on travel sized tubes. They’re often offered as gift with purchase options or fee samples. If you do happen to have to buy one, they’re usually less than $8, which makes parting with them in 90 days far less difficult.
  • Don’t pump! Pumping your mascara can lead to air build up, causing the product to dry out faster. This not only makes your product expire faster, but can also contribute to flakes that can be both irritating to the eye and unpleasant to look at. Instead, remove the wand while scraping against the side of the tube if you’re wanting more product on the applicator. Or just apply a second coat.
  • Apply your final coat on the outer third of your lashes. This gives your lashes a gorgeous arc shape that mimics falsies.
  • Use a fan brush. If you’re like me applying mascara to your lower lashes is a pain. Make it easier by using a small fan brush to apply the formula to your lashes. Simply slather the wand against the back of your hand until you have enough product to dip the brush in and go. Just remember to work quickly since most mascaras dry in 30 or so seconds. You can even use this technique to use mascara as eyeliner – if it’s a waterproof formula it won’t go ANYWHERE!
  • Use a wire comb to de-clump. If you’re using a formula that tends to clump this is the tool you need. It’s easy to use and a much better option than that safety pin you’ve been using. Try this one from Tweezerman.
  • Find a go-to formula. Here are my pictured recommendations – Stowaway Extreme Lash, Stowaway Defined Lash, Lancome Hypnose Drama, Chanel Le Volume De Chanel.

Have any more tips or tricks for mascara? Leave me a comment by clicking the link at the top of this post or filling in the comment box below!

Third Time’s the Charm

I’m sure you all remember my obsession with the Urban Decay Naked Palettes from a few months ago. Today I’m rounding out my reviews of these delightful shadows by introducing you to Naked3. While previous palettes contained nude and gold tones, this one is all about the rose. It’s got a range of pinkish shades from light and bright matte shadows that are perfect on the crease to deep and dusty plums that are great when smoking things up for a night out on the town. Here’s the rundown:

Strange – pale neutral pink matte
Dust – pale metallic pink glitter
Burnout – light pinky-peach satin
Limit – light dusty rose matte
Buzz – metallic rose glitter
Trick – light metallic pinky-copper shimmer
Nooner – medium pinky-brown matte
Liar – medium metallic mauve shimmer
Factory – pinky-brown satin
Mugshot – metallic pink-taupe shimmer
Darkside – deep taupe-mauve satin
Darkheart – smoky black matte w/rosy red micro-sparkle

My go to look is Strange on the brow bone, Limit on the lid, Trick in the crease, and I’ll add Burnout on the outer corner for special events.

What’s your favorite Naked palette? Click the comment link at the top of this post to drop me a line and let me know!

Expert Defense

Today’s post is special because it is one of the only times you will ever see me recommend a product I found at Walmart. This is primarily because going into Walmart terrifies me. It wasn’t something I grew up near, and it’s not in the best area of my current city so believe me when I say it is not a regular stop on my shopping list. Yes, Walmart freaks me out.

However, it is the one place where I am able to consistently find my favorite drugstore brand of eye cream. It’s safe to say that L’Oreal Paris Dermo Expertise Eye Defense Cream is the only reason I will venture into Wally World. It works every bit as well as more expensive brands to de-puff and get rid of dark circles and it’s also packed full of anti-aging ingredients specifically designed to for skin that is just starting to age – meaning it’s not going to be harsh and irritating. It’s fragrance free and safe for contact-wearers, and the pale pink gel is really pretty. (It’s right at home next to all my Glossier products.) The best part, in my opinion, is that I can get all these wonderful effects for a mere $12 as opposed to the $75 I’d been shelling out previously. So, for savings as big as these I’ll face my fear of Walmart and make a quick trip. Thankfully I only have to every six months or so since this gel lasts FOREVER.


Let’s talk about brand loyalty. There’s a lot out there about whether sticking to one brand of skincare or makeup products is beneficial, or if it’s a marketing ploy aimed at getting you to spend more money. I think the truth falls somewhere in between. Yes, there’s a benefit to knowing that a range of products is specifically formulated to work together – you don’t have to worry about messy and potentially dangerous ingredient reactions, you should have a lower risk of allergic reaction, and all your products will look good when displayed together on your bathroom shelf (it’s a valid reason, I promise.) But there are times when brand loyalty can go too far. You should never settle for less than stellar products simply because you like a particular brand. I personally use a myriad of brands when it comes to styling my hair, but stick to one brand, Glossier, for my skincare. Up until recently, my makeup routine consisted of a blend of multiple brands, and it still does for formal occasions or nights out. However, I’m happy to say that for day-to-day use I’ve finally found a brand that offers a high quality range of products that I can use exclusively to create my perfect daily makeup look.

I’m talking about Stowaway. This niche brand has everything you need to create a complete makeup look, and all of their products are stellar. Plus, everything they make is “right sized” meaning that it’s all designed to be used prior to expiration. Now there’s no excuse for using five year old foundation or potentially hazardous mascara! Now, for the rundown of all their products:

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When it comes to complexion, Stowaway offers a BB Cream foundation and a concealer. The Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm is the only BB Cream I’ve ever liked. It’s got a wonderfully natural dewy finish (that never looks greasy) and covers more than your average balm. Plus, it’s one of the few niche cosmetic foundations that comes in a shade pale enough for me. The Creaseless Concealer is nothing short of miraculous. The teeniest drop can cover my under-eye area and any blemishes or redness I’m dealing with. And it lasts ALL DAY LONG without fading, melting, or creasing. My skin has literally never looked more perfect.

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The next part of Stowaway’s product line is their Cheek & Lip Rouge. This is a cream blush that has a beautiful translucence and blends like a dream. When dabbed into your cheek bones it creates a beautifully natural flush that’s ridiculously pretty. When dabbed onto lips it acts as a stain that’s slightly matte. It’s truly a versatile product. It comes in 3 shades: Cantaloupe – a bright orangey coral that’s great for summer, Peony – the most beautiful popping pink that looks seriously youthful, and Burnt Rose – a deep, dusty red that’s incredibly elegant and perfect for evenings.

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When it comes to eyes, Stowaway offers eyeliner and mascara. This is why I say the brand is perfect for everyday looks, but you might want to switch it up a bit for evenings. Their Effortless Eyeliner is teeny tiny, making it perfect for tightlining. It comes in tow shades: Jet – a deep black, and Spice – a tawny brown. The liner glides on smoothly and dries to waterproof in only thirty seconds (so smudge quickly if you like a bit of smoke) making it perfect for running around in the heat of summer. My only issue with the liner is that it doesn’t apply well to the waterline, but I tend to only line a bit of my lower lashline during the day so it all works out for me.

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In terms of mascara, you have two options. Their Extreme Lash Mascara is really cool. It’s a lengthening mascara that is made without thickening fibers. This means that it defines and lifts your lashes giving you a baby-like look that’s both natural and alluring. Their Defined Lash Mascara uses massive amounts of tiny fibers to build, thicken and define individual lashes so that your lashes look plump and glamorous. It’s perfect for an understated touch of femininity.

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Last is lipstick. Stowaway’s Creme Lipstick is richly pigmented, long lasting, and intensely hydrating. The extra small size ensures that you can fit it into even the smallest even clutch so that you never have to go without a touch up. With seven colors, you’re sure to find one you love:

  • Peony: This popping pink is my absolute favorite shade that Stowaway offers. It’s bright, fresh, and makes me want to smile.
  • Scarlett: A bright orange based red that will make everyone stop and take note.
  • Fig: A deep berry that looks ultra luscious.
  • Cranberry: A vampy, blood red that is perfect for events after dark.
  • Raspberry: A darker, berry pink that’s great for brunches and afternoon shopping runs around town.
  • Muted Plum: Perfect for a natural lip look this flushed shade is my go to for the day-to-day grind.
  • Champagne: This is the only color I didn’t like, because it made me look slightly dead. It’s a true nude skin tone, but was too yellow for my skin tone. Olive toned girls will like this one though!

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So there you have it. If you want to give it a try, click here for a free mascara with your purchase of The Stowaway Kit, which includes the Radiant Complexion BB Cream, Creaseless Concealer, Cheek & Lip Rouge, Creme Lipstick, Effortless Eyeliner, and Defined Lash Mascara. Don’t forget that Stowaway also offers subscription services so you’ll never have to rush to the store for mascara again. Additionally, for those eco-conscious readers, Stowaway offers a Recycling Service that will safely dispose of your finished products AND give you $5 for every 3 products you send back for recycling! What more can you ask for?

A Perfect Fit

Two weeks ago I shared one of my favorite eyeshadow essentials with you. If you missed that post, take a minute to check it out here. Today I’m going to share a very similar product that features just a few key differences. You can never have too much of an essential after all.

Pur Mineral’s Perfect Fit Eyeshadow Trio is a must-have palette featuring three shades of shimmery smooth shadows. With five different varieties you can create a plethora of different looks ranging from natural to bold, and the small size makes them perfect to pop into a makeup bag while you’re packing for a quick getaway. Here’s the rundown of the different color options:

Classic Beauty. This palette, which is pictured above, is your go to for everyday girl-next-door beauty. It’s subtle brown tones look great on any skintone and pair well with every eye color.

Jetsetter. This is my personal favorite.. It’s bronze and gold tones are perfect for blue eyed gals who really want their eyes to pop.

Bohemian Bombshell. If you’re looking for a look that will really pop, and is a bit out there this one is for you. The green accent color in this palette makes it a bold and vibrant choice that’s great for redheads and brown eyed beauties everywhere.

Little Miss Perfect. If you’re looking for a romantic look, this one’s for you. The rose hues of this palette are perfect for an angelic look, and are especially flattering on grey eyes.

Wild Child. Like the name suggests, this palette is for the bold girls out there. If you’re wanting something that will really draw attention, a purple lid is the way to go – especially if you have hazel or green eyes. Just be prepared for people to be unable to look away.

Rock Goddess. Everyone should have a go to palette for a smokey eye look. This one fits the bill perfectly and works for every skin tone and eye color.