September 2, 2018

Products I Have Been Loving

Guys, I don't know when it happened but I am obsessed with makeup lately. Remember when you got your first high end makeup purchase and didn't know what to do with yourself?? That's me 247 lately discovering new brands, re-discovering old, and making wish lists upon wish lists full of makeup I need to add to my collection! 

With Labor Day and a change to Sephora's reward system- we have some good makeup sales we have to talk about real quick! Sephora added a third (!!!) VIB sale to their roster to celebrate the fact that rouge can now trade in their points for $100 gift cards towards another purchase (!!!). In addition, both VIB and rouge now get to trade in their points for full-sized items as well in the rewards bazaar! Great things are coming and if you're not already a beauty insider, I would sign up! You automatically get the free birthday gift (no purchase required) but if you love makeup and trying out new things... your points stack up fast! The sale ends tomorrow 9/3 though, so I'd stock up STAT. The codes can be used online only once, but can be redeemed in store multiple times! 

Beauty Insider: YESINSIDER

These are my current obsessions, products I have been trying out lately that have really made the cut. Slowly transitioning into my must-have pile with each use. I can't wait to share them with you and hear your thoughts on the products. If you've tried them, like them, hate them, and what other products you recommend for me to try! 

I know that Kat Von D herself is a pretty hot subject right now, but speaking on the quality of the product only- I truly can't find a contour product out there that I love more. I actually picked this up at TJ Maxx around this time last year, and I can't wait to use it all and have an excuse to buy the refillable one from Sephora. It's smooth, buttery, bendable, but not so highly pigmented that it's an accident waiting to happen. They're build-able shades with the right hue to not leave your face muddy. I personally use the second and last shades and I love the highlight powders equally. It's a great palette to bring with you on vacation because any thing you need is right there, even a bronzer shade for a quick eye look! I agree her personal choices are crazy but the girl KNOWS her bronzer. Don't try me hahahah. 
I realize how extra this truly makes me look, but to be honest I don't care. This product speaks for itself in application. The second you try it out, you won't look back to the other holy grail products you once used. I love using this at night as my moisturizer, or as a primer if I'm doing the bare minimum or just staying home and maybe leaving the house for a grocery store trip. My skin instantly looked better within two days of trying Tatcha products. It's expensive, but truly worth it.
I was mesmerized the second I saw youtube beauty guru's trying this out (I think one of the first I saw was Rain Daisy) that I knew I needed to add to my cart. Since receiving the product, I haven't used any other concealer. First of all, the product you get is INSANE! You practically get double other concealers for a single dollar more. The product is super full coverage, easy to blend out, and a little goes a long way! You're basically getting a foundation for the price of concealer. It's made for multi-uses, so you can use it as a concealer, highlight, contour, or foundation (especially on those days you just dap a little concealer and call it a day). I actually plan on getting it in my exact shade for those kinds of days as well as a few shades darker and try to contour as well. It's versatile, a bang for your buck, and I truly love Too Faced products- I've never been disappointed for the most part (other than Better Than Sex). 
Oh My Goodness, this is hands down the only lip balm I would keep if I had to make the decision. It simply enhances your natural lip color for a 'your color but better' kind of look. My go-to for basically every day. I love this with brows and a little mascara. 
One of my best friends swears by Cover FX and to be honest, I never really understood the hype (and definitely didn't think cream foundation would work in my favor) so when they came out with the liquid foundation this spring, I did it. I've truly never felt more beautiful when it comes to foundation, it glides on beautifully. I will be honest, I've only ever used a sponge but I just bought the tarte foundation brush and I can't wait to try it out with this foundation. If you were to splurge on a single makeup product, I do think it should be your foundation and with price tags like $120+... I think $44 is pretty reasonable! 
Remember all the Modern Renaissance hype? Your mom, your neighbor, heck even your dog was so onboard with that palette, so when the Soft Glam came out this spring... I jumped at the chance of getting it during the last VIB sale. 
I will give the disclaimer that fall out doesn't bother me much, especially since I'm not a smoky eye or dark shadow kind of gal. I also typically don't really wear shadow (I know, I know) so when I do... I apply first before anything else. 
For Norvina, I fell in love the second they announced the palette. If I could go back to the LU days and talk about my perfect palette- that would be it! Purple colors are so gorgeous with brown eyes, and I like that I can take the palette and have everything I need eye wise. (In fact my first ever shadow was a single shadow from MAC in a vibrant purple color... and yes I literally ONLY had that for years lolol).
Soft Glam is versatile but has so many feminine choices in it! I love making "sunset" looking eyes with it. I think they're great for everyday and going all out for special occasions as well. Hands down, I'm now an ABH shadow palette fan! 
I love this sponge for makeup, it's giant so really gets the job done fast and gets to the point. I have to admit I was watching instastories and this girl said that the only sponge that works is the beauty blender and I was tempted to message her and say girl you gotta try the real techniques body sponge then! That's how much I believe in this product. 
I mentioned earlier that Better Than Sex had kind of disappointed me, and I truly believe that's because this product exists. The brush and packaging are similar, and are often compared as dupes for one another. I think my lashes look longer and more voluminous with Lash Paradise. I've actually bought this product twice and will be buying for a third soon. If you're looking for a good drugstore mascara, this is it (!!!).
This was my first actual brow product that I ever bought, coming back to this pencil- I forgot how easy yet good this made my brows look. I'm not one to be skilled in that department but I feel like I can fake it til I make it when it comes to this product. 
I love Sun Bum! I've been a fan of their chapstick for years. I use their coconut one every single night with my night time routine. They're hydrating, smooth, don't dry out to where your lips feel like you need it every second. and they come in so many flavors! I like to keep the mango one in my wallet for when I need to grab a chapstick on the go.
RIP to one of the best palettes ever. My first high-end eye shadow palette was the OG Naked Palette from Urban Decay. My mother had it shipped to my house as a surprise and I couldn't get enough. It's one of the few palettes I've hit pan in and have completely wiped evidence of product haha. Sidecar is my OG and to be honest, I bought another one when they announced it was being discontinued so that I could have that color forever. It's just a good everyday palette. Go grab it from any UD retailer NOW- for $27.00 you just can't beat it. You need it, and if you have it- you need another haha.

What are some products you've been loving lately? I would love to stock up and try some more haha. 


March 18, 2018

How To Receive Free Products Without Being A Blogger

If you ever need to get a hold of me, there's a good chance i'm in the makeup section of any store. My obsession meets new heights each day but you know how it goes- you love what you love. It's funny, I always thought I was so much more into fashion growing up... my best friend Abigail had the makeup guru locked down. So much that if I ever wanted to look cute, she was the one I went to. I remember her pulling out her collection of MAC makeup, and me being in awe because I knew notihng.

I'm embarrassed y'all but when I first wore makeup my Clinique powder foundation had AWFUL flashback, I wore way too much dollar store eyeliner (brown too!), and would frequent dollar tree for their flashiest, sparkly LA Colors gold shadow with a built in brush. One out of ten was about where I laid on the makeup skill scale.

Now you can typically find me doing my makeup with youtube tutorials going on in the background as I try super hard to look like I somewhat know what I'm doing. Over my last few years of being obsessed I've picked up a few tricks here and there for growing your collection for a fraction of the cost! In some instances dare I say FREE makeup (!!!) and yes even YOU can too.

So grab your wine, a notepad, and lets freshen up that face with a little setting powder (cheers to all my oily friends out there)... my only request is that if you have a tip or trick I didn't mention- leave it below in a comment and share babe!

1. Get Rewarded For Your Obsession
Quick guys, grab your phones and open your app store because you won't want to miss these! I have found two apps that help reward me with my shopping/window shopping obsession and there is absolutely NO hidden catch! 

-Shopkick.  This is actually a fairly old app that has been around for a while so if you're savvy when it comes to saving money... you may already know this one. I just recently started using it this fall. Since 2009, you have been able to be rewarded for something as simple as doing your daily Walmart stop (shout out to my bf who loves Walmart more than I love broadway)!  Through shopkick you earn points towards gift cards (I use mine for Sephora because #obsessed) in a few ways: by simply walking into the store, for scanning products found around the store, and for buying items. I even got my bf hooked on it and we typically spend Sundays going to all our favorite stores and scanning objects for fun! Stores that you can receive points from include: Target, Walmart, Food Lion, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, etc. 

Within the first two months of using the app, I received $30 to spend at Sephora. As a total, I have gotten up to $60 just for spending too much money at TJ Maxx and walking through Target daily (things I did with no profit before!) 

-Influenster. This is my holy grail when it comes to free products. The concept is simple, the more you review products the better chance you have of being sent similar products to test out and review! As someone with a passion for beauty (and obviously a blog) I had many different products that I had tried out and that I had on hand. It took a little while and a ton of reviewing to get the "Beauty Junkie badge" but since then I have gotten a new product almost every month! I typically take a night once a month to round up 5-10 products I've tried out (or haven't reviewed yet) recently and give my honest review on them. 

2. TJ Maxx and Marshalls is where it's at! 
My biggest life regret, other than never going after my dream of becoming a real life Disney princess, is that I never knew the gold mine that is TJ Maxx. I always would walk up and down their home décor isles day dreaming of what it's like to own and furnish a stylish house. Their beauty section, however, I would barely bat an eye.

Here's why their beauty section should be on your radar: typically when a company repackages, revamps their formula, or discontinues a product... the leftover is sent to these companies to distribute. They are your number one stop for sometimes up to 75% off of regular price products you can find in places like Ulta and Sephora. This also can ease your mind from worries that these products are counterfeit, the only "bad" thing about them is their formula may be getting a new face lift in weeks/months to come.

Want to call my bluff? That's fine, take sometime to search TJ Maxx Beauty Hauls on youtube, not only are they incredibly entertaining... you'll find yourself craving to make a trip and see what goodies you can come out with! I've found Buxom, Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, MAC, Too Faced, Smashbox, etc. They're relevant products too: like the Shade and Light Palette ($20), ABH Contour Palette, and Casey Holmes' Smashbox Collab ($15) that came out just last year!

Google is your best friend when it comes to being skeptical about certain products. You can double check on the specific product name, model, etc. You'll find many NARS products listed and still available through Nordstrom, that are discontinued yet you can find currently in store.

The only reason you would ever find counterfeit products sold is because they were falsely returned and then somehow found their way back on the shelf. If you feel as though a product looks off, then use your own discernment. Stick with your gut, but don't think they all are fakes.

My best tip would be to check and check often. I like to think I catch so many good deals BECAUSE I typically and check it out at least once a week. Yeah, some days it will feel like you're wasting your time but trust me: when you spot a Too Faced Cocoa Foundation Compact, Smashbox contour pencils, a NARS concealer for only $10, and ABH liquid lips you'll be glad you're obsessive checking payed off.

You can always get an idea by checking out what they have available online as well, while you can't search for a specific brand... you can roam until you notice something packaged v similar to NARS ;) Don't be fooled though, the goodies are found INSIDE the store.

Sephora actually offers pretty good deals! Granted a lot of the deals are because products may be discontinued or they're trying to clean stock... but if you're skeptical about TJ Maxx and the authenticity and can't move past it then this is for you! Each week, they have between 3-6 products specific to that week on sale and then you can find other products they have a discount on as well! Typically, while supplies last you can find these products have the same sale price in store once you get to checkout as well.

While, I admit I have never actually purchased anything from the sale section... I watched it often. I've seen products such as BECCA highlighters (yes, even Champagne Pop) for $19 and Cover FX contour palette for $20some. I typically use the sale section to search for certain products I may have found in TJ Maxx. Such as the Kat Von D concealer or shade and light contour brush (all can be found on sale on their site as well as in TJ Maxx for an ever bigger discount).

If you're weary about the authenticity of a product here!

This is hands down my favorite tip! When I realized there was a way to get free shipping no matter the price of the product I had to share it with all my friends. I annoying texted in all caps to my besties (shout out to Crissy and Lauren) because FREE SHIP is a seriously thing (!!!)

When it comes to Sephora's Weekly Wow or wanting to try out a product, it's hard when you can't find it in your local Sephora (or it's an hour away if you're like me) and you feel like it's a waste to pay for shipping. I can't count the countless times you end up adding stuff in your cart you didn't really need or the amount of times me and my mom would chip in so that the shipping minimum was reached.

With the new shopping app Dote, there are countless stores you can order from and get free shipping no matter the price. This is a great tool if you want to buy from the Sephora sale page but aren't stocking up! While you get free shipping on your first order, specific stores have free shipping period without the minimum: SEPHORA is one of them (!!!)

You can even use the code: FIQ4 when you log on and get free $5 towards your next purchase (!!!). (There are always tons of codes out there for $5 off your Sephora order!!)

These are my tips and tricks for how I've substantially grown my own makeup collection in the last few years. I hope these help you build your own and again, feel free to share your own tips and tricks about discounts and such. We are all makeup loving gurus trying to help each other :)



February 7, 2018

My Skincare Routine + Journey

**This post is in collaboration with VIIcode**

True confidence lies in being happy in your own skin, and with the rise of social media... it's not always easy to do. I find myself thinking I'm having a good skin day and the next thing you know, then I'm scrolling through instagram judging every minor "flaw" that I see in the mirror. Finding the right skincare routine is tricky, takes time, and is a lot of trial and effort. However, it's rewarding when something finally clicks and you can work it into your life.

If you knew me growing up, you'll know I struggled with terrible acne growing up. I even have some scarring left on my skin. Being comfortable in your own skin was such a foreign concept to me until a couple years ago, and even then it was typically when I had a tan to cover all my "flaws." I'll be the first to admit, that mindset doesn't go away and I am still struggling with wanting to have an all year-round tan to feel good about myself. However, my current skincare routine is helping tremendously with the doubts that creep in.

One of those products I'd like to single out exclusively is the VIIcode Oxygen Eye Cream. It's main focus is to treat under-eye circles and wrinkles, and you know the age old saying "it's never to early to think about skincare." As my favorite blogger Taylor Morgan tweeted the other day,  "Do you know what's extremely flattering as you get older? When people think you've had Botox." With an age old formula from 255 years ago developed by Dr. Bryn Victor for Napoleon's Josephine, you'll feel as though you're getting the royal treatment.  The ingredients include many natural elements such as Evening Primrose, Avocado, Elderberry, and Chamomilla Recutita.

My current routine:


1. Cleanse face with Clean and Clear Morning Burst- another one of my favorites for years is the L'Oreal Paris go 360 clean.

2. I love using the Good Things Deep Pore Cleanser + Toner before doing any makeup (if I choose to that day). I've only ever been able to pick this up at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. 

3. I love using the Garnier Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer, I think it smells fresh and is a good way to start the day. 

1. I repeat steps 1 and 2 from earlier during and after the shower.

2. On certain days I love a good face mask (which I do between cleansing and the toner), my favorite go-to is the Lush Cup O' Coffee (if you've followed me for a while you know I'll never love anything more) when I feel like I need a small boost- I reach for Karina's Clarifying+ Face Mask.

3. I then go to treat my under eyes with VIIcode Oxygen Eye Cream, their crescent shaped activation strip glides easy around the yes to smooth the product and refresh the eye area. I then use the strip to gently dab the eye cream and let it soak into my skin. 

4. Lastly, I moisturize with the H2O+ Beauty Oasis Hydrating Treatment

I currently love using the eye cream, I've seen small results so far and I can't wait to continue using it and seeing real results in the next few months. 

What are some of your skincare favorites? I'm a sucker for all thinks dainty and good for you...

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