skincare reviews

July Beauty Favorites - 2017:

 

"If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires."

- Horace Traubel

 

 

 

Hello darlings!

Here are my July beauty favorites! These are the makeup and skincare products I have been loving lately.

 

I struggled a lot with my skin the past few months so I didn't wear makeup as much as I usually do; I've found a few skincare products that saved my skin so let's talk about those first:

 

Drunk Elephant is a brand that I've quickly fallen in love with these past few months. They pride themselves on minimal, non-toxic ingredients and are said to be safe for even the most sensitive of skin. Their bright packaging is what first caught my eye when I found them in Sephora and their story is what made me try them. I'm so glad I did because I've been loving quite a few of their products! They are pricey so I'm slowly adding to my collection.

The C-Firma Day Serum ($80) is a Vitamin C serum made to brighten and firm as well as help with signs of photoaging. I tried this because I'm starting to see more and more sun damage pop up on my skin and I'd like to fade those spots as much as possible! This is a light-weight serum that absorbs quickly into the skin. It does have a funny little smell (not chemically) but that doesn't bother me much. It goes away once you've massaged it into the skin.

Although I haven't been using this long enough to say that I've seen amazing changes or anything... I've been enjoying it! I will update you guys as I continue using it.


Next up are two products from Dr. Jart. These were sent to me by the company (for PR unboxings follow my snapchat: @themakeupaffair) and they must have gotten the Bat Signal letting them know I needed them because I was recovering from yet another allergic reaction when these arrived and within two days, my skin was no longer dry, flaky and irritated! I was instantly hooked.

I am in NO WAY shape or form being paid to say that! I truly mean it.

Dr Jart Ultimate Hydro Gel review

Ultimate Hydro Gel ($39) is a gel moisturizer that is said to brighten and deliver long-lasting moisture. I can't agree with this more! I layered this on the areas that I had flaking, dry skin and let it just sit and soak in... As soon as it did soak in, I added another layer. This made such a huge difference! It's the only moisturizer right now that is helping calm that irritation down. Thank Goodness!

Dr Jart favorites

It has a seal to help keep the product contained as well as a little spatula so you don't have to stick your fingers in the product. It helps to keep it sanitary!

Dr Jart Ultimate Hydro Gel

You can probably tell that I've already put quite a dent in this! It's a gel based moisturizer so a little bit goes a long way and it absorbs quickly into the skin.

My other favorite from Dr Jart is the eye gel that is also part of this Hydro Gel line:

Dr Jart Hydro Soothe Eye Gel review

The Hydro Soothe eye gel ($42) became a quick favorite because of that gel formula! I'm very prone to milia on my eyes and cheeks and this is one of the only eye creams I've been able to use that doesn't cause them!

Hallelujah!!!

Dr Jart Hydro Soothe Eye gel

This also absorbs really quickly! If you have super dry under-eyes, this may not be enough moisture for you as it is super lightweight and not one of those thicker, more emollient eye creams you may be used to.


On to the makeup! :)

 

Benefit Brow product favorites

Benefit's brow products..... HOW have I never tried these before?!? I am obsessed!!! I will forever grab these before Anastasia's brow products from now on. They are that good. I'm trying out a few of their other brow products as well but these four are my current obsessions.

3D Browtones ($24) - This is an interesting product. It's a brow gel but it is meant to highlight areas of your brows. You want to pick up the shade that is slightly lighter than your brows and it will soften the look of darker brows or enhance lighter brows by adding dimension. I've been loving using this in the inner portion of my brows to keep that feathery, lighter look and to keep the inner portion from looking too harsh.

Ka-Brow ($24) - If you've ever used Anastasia's Dip Brow, this is pretty much Benefit's version of that... But in my opinion, it's better and easier to use. They describe it as a cream-gel and I think that's a perfect description. That stem coming out from the top of the jar is a small angled brush, I don't use it but it's actually pretty good quality! If you'd tried Dip Brow and struggled with it or completely hated it, try this! It's SO easy to use.

Gimme Brow ($24) - This has been a staple in my routine for years. It is a brow gel with microfibers that helps to add not only color to your brows but the fibers fill in sparser areas. It's just perfection. I love to use this on full-glam days all the way to no-makeup days. This helps to add texture back to your brows after filling them in. And on days when I wear no makeup, I like to throw this on to quickly fill my brows in without them looking too made up!

Precisely, My Brow Pencil ($24) - This is your Brow Wiz dupe! Dual ended, product on one side and spoolie on the other. This formula is incredible! It's not too dry, not too creamy. It lasts all day! It's the perfect brow pencil.


Next up are a few products from bareMinerals. I will start by saying that I haven't had the best experience with their products. Most were fails for me in the past but these are some new products they've recently released and oh my goodness, I am in love! These are phenomenal!!

bareMinerals Combo Control Primer review.JPG

bareMinerals Combo Control Primer ($26) - I haven't been able to find a primer I've loved in a while. I've been testing out a few and they've just been okay. So when I first tried this, I wasn't expecting much... After trying for the past few weeks, I love it!! I tried it with foundations that have been breaking down quickly on me and I've seen a huge difference in how long they wear now. It controls my oils but doesn't accentuate dry patches like some combo primers have done to me in the past. It's a milky formula but feels almost like a moisturizer once you apply it and it absorbs really quickly.

bareMinerals Bare Pro Full Coverage Foundation review

Barepro Liquid Foundation ($34) - This foundation.... Man, was this a pleasant surprise. I absolutely hated the Pure Brightening Serum foundation so I was nervous to try this... But I love it! There are 30 shades available with varying undertones (THANK YOU BAREMINERALS!!!!). These two shades are Dawn and Champagne, both yellow undertones. I mix both for a perfect match because I am almost never one shade!

The claims:

  • Full coverage
  • Papaya Enzymes improves the appearance of skin texture over time.
  • 24-hour breathable coverage
  • MineralLock Technology that blends mineral pigments with natural lipids in the skin to lock in transfer-resistant coverage
  • Bamboo Stem extract for naturally matte, soft focus finish
  • Heat, humidity, water and sweat resistant
  • SPF 20

This foundation reminds me of MAC Pro Longwear concealer... If you're familiar with the texture of that concealer, it's super similar to this. It's full coverage, apply a very light layer to start with because it's very easy to go overboard and turn into a total cake face! The finish is matte but I can see why they say it has a soft focus finish because it's not totally flat. I will be testing it more to see if it transfers or not but so far, I'm loving it! It wears all day so I've been choosing this one for work quite often.

bareMinerals Barepro foundation

It comes with a pump that locks; awwwww yeah!!!!

 

bareMinerals Contour Palette review

Barepro Contour Face-Shaping Powder Trio ($34) - Another product I was pleasantly surprised by! These powders are super creamy and blendable. I've not only been using them to contour but I've also loved using them as eyeshadows!

bareMinerals Contour Palette Tan to Dark

This is the Tan to Dark palette. For contouring, I can pretty much only use the darkest shade. The middle one is too orange for my skin tone and the highlight shade is too dark so those two I use for eyeshadows.

bareminerals powder shaping trio review

These are so easily blendable! I'll be picking up the lighter palette next.


Those are my favorites from July! Let us know your current favorites in the comments below!!

 

xoxo.

 

 

FTC: Some of these products were sent to me by the company. All opinions are my own.

Update: Where I've been & I'M BACK!

 

"They will insult you, hurt you, defeat you, betray you, injure you, set you aflame and watch you burn.

But they will not, shall not, cannot destroy you.

Because you, like Rome, were built on ashes, and you, like a phoenix know how to rise and resurrect."

- Nikita Gil

 

 

 

 

Hey guys! I can't remember the last time I posted consistently on this blog. Life has been so up and down; around and around... And each time I think things will settle down, the Universe laughs at me and throws another curve-ball. But now I think, I hope, that I will be back to posting regularly. And on that note, I wanted to update you on what's been happening in my life and what's been holding so much of my time and attention..

In my last favorites post I mentioned that I would be renting a room in a local salon, starting my own business.... It took about a month or so to get that up and running... And within about another month or two, it all came crashing down. My entire business was packed up in boxes and moved to my basement... Put on hold. I posted a video about what happened on my facebook page; I will link that here if you'd like to watch it. Unfortunately, things fell apart. It wasn't the right place for me.

Long story short, I was back to square one... Figuring out where to go and what to do.

Thankfully, this post is to show what I've been doing all this time. My new project. My new space. I'm quite happy with how it is turning out and I am thankful to say that it is not only a space to take clients once again, but it's also a space where I can film and blog. It is bright and airy, cozy and perfect for what I need right now.

Here are some before and after photos:

This is the back porch of my home. I was not crazy about taking clients at the house but it's just another step in my long journey. A little backstory on this space, both of my parents smoke. And instead of smoking in the house, this is where they would. It smelled strongly of it and literally everything was covered in dust and a film from all of the smoke over the years.

Smoking.jpg

Nasty....

to say the least.

It took me two weeks to deep clean this room once it was completely empty. I washed the walls, ceiling and floors with dish soap and vinegar - twice. After deep cleaning, I primed the walls, baseboards, ceiling and doors with Killz Primer (also, twice)... This 100% got rid of the smoke smell, thank God!

 

 

 

Priming took another week or two because the walls are this weird textured wood. So wherever the primer didn't fill, it turned an offwhite-ish color. It was a nightmare!

After priming, I painted the walls and ceiling white; the doors a grey color.

I should also add that I did almost all of this by myself. My boyfriend helped with the first layer of primer and then at the end with hanging fabric, which I'll show in a second... So this is also why it took so long. I was so incredibly sick of painting at the end of this!!!

 

So the fabric... I had this vision of flowy white sheer fabric all over the walls and ceiling. Maybe lights hanging behind, but that is still a little undecided. So I went with Tulle (Thank you Sarah for your help!) and my boyfriend and I went to Home Depot to get everything we'd need to hang it all. PVC pipes and flanges to attach to the wall. This part I didn't document because frankly, I was so over it.. I just wanted the room finished!

 

 

Here is the after! The ceiling isn't finished... I was very wrong on the amount of fabric I needed. I originally thought I'd need maybe 50 yards... HA! It has taken around 120.... I was way off! So that extra fabric is on it's way. I will post photos of the ceiling once it's done! I also ordered some lights to possibly hang on the walls or maybe the ceiling.

But anyways, here she is!!!

Studio - After 2.jpg

I still have a bit of organizing to do but this is it so far! I'm very happy with how it turned out and I'm so glad to be back!!!

 

She's officially open and ready for business! If you're in Buffalo and would like to book an appointment, click that menu bar and head over to the - book an appointment - page! I have my menu as well as multiple ways to contact me!

 

I've missed you guys very much. I'm sorry for so many delays but I promise that my heart is still in it.... I'm back :)

If you've stuck around, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!

New posts coming soon!

xoxo.