Month: September 2013

September Favorites

As the month of September is coming to a close I’d like to share some of the beauty items I’ve been loving and using the most frequently this month. After rounding up all the products it seems I’ve been in a bit of a neutral phase, although I’m sure I’ll stray from that in October as the weather gets cooler and I bust out more of my dark vampy colors for lips and nails. Until then, here’s what’s graced my face for most of this past month:

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Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon eyeshadow trio in Enlisting For Beauty – A limited edition offering in Wet ‘n Wild’s current Tough Girl/Beauty Army collection, I can’t get enough of these gorgeous shades of brown. With two matte and one satin offering these shadows create a perfect understated eye to pair with a bold lip. What’s more, they feature the notorious high quality and saturated pigmentation we’ve come to expect from the Color Icon line of shadows.

Revlon Photoready Color Correcting Primer – I picked up this primer based on a recommendation over at Musings of a Muse and I’ve been in love with it since day one. It does a pretty good job at canceling out redness in my skin, and does an excellent job at blurring enlarged pores. It’s a little pricey for a drugstore product, so I’d recommend looking for Revlon coupons or BOGO deals before you pick it up.

Sigma Highlighting Pencil – This product is great for giving your arches a little extra oomph using the matte pink side, or giving your inner corner or waterline some sparkle with the gold shimmery side. Rich, creamy, and pigmented, this pencil goes on smoothly and stays put all day. I can’t recommend it enough!

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Airy Fairy – Frequently compared to MAC’s High Tea and Creme Cup, Airy Fair is a mauve-toned nude shade with a satin finish. Like other Rimmel Lasting Finish lipsticks, it goes on smoothly and wears well over several hours. Similar to the Wet ‘n Wild neutrals I’ve been loving, Airy Fairy is my go-to if I want to play down my lips and rock and intense eye look. It’s also perfect for casual days when I want to look put together, but not too done up.

Wet ‘n Wild Megalast Nail Color in Wet Cement – I can already tell this will be my most loved fall nail color- a smokey dark neutral, it seems to go with everything. The Megalast formula is amazing, so creamy and opaque after just one coat, and lasts for days even on my chip-prone nails. I also love the extra wide brush which makes using this polish a breeze. I’ve let my nails go naked for the past few days, but I think it’s time to do a fresh mani with Wet Cement before we head into the weekend.

Let me know in the comments section what products you’ve been loving in September!

-LMC ♥

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Weekend Wrap-up #2

I didn’t have any big plans this weekend, so I got to spend two laid back days just relaxing,  catching up on some errands, and playing Grand Theft Auto V. (Just kidding– that last one was totally the boyfriend, not me!) One project that I wanted to tackle was an update to my current makeup organization and storage. Since my collection is ever-growing (even though I’m trying to be more discerning with my purchases!) I needed more space and a better way to see everything I own so I can get the most use out of it. After a making a trip to the Container Store and re-purposing a few items around the house, I ended up with this:

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The shelving on the wall are two old L-shaped bookshelves handed down from my boyfriend’s sister. We installed them fitting into one another to give a nice wall area to showcase my nail polish, perfume, and lipglosses (these are set into old Birchbox boxes and leaning against the wall). Below I added two acrylic drawers from the Container Store which now hold my eye pencils, mascara, powders, blush, foundations, and single eyeshadows. Atop the drawers I’ve put an acrylic 24 lipstick holder (again from the Container Store) and a glass jar to hold lip pencils and liners. To the right I keep a small fan since our bedroom gets a little toasty and a large mirror I picked up on sale at Marshall’s. To the left I have my brushes in glass jars that once held candles (once the wick is gone just stick the candle in the freezer overnight, the next morning the wax will be frozen and you can pop it out cleanly with a plastic knife). In front of the brushes are my lip balm, moisturizers, primers, and setting sprays. All of this is set atop a four-drawer dresser from Ikea with a black finish.

I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of organizing your frequently used items and gazing upon them afterwards to admire your job well done. It’s the same sort of feeling I used to get in elementary school when I’d stay in from recess on a rainy day and clean out and organize my desk and school supplies. This new arrangement has also gotten most of my products out of drawers and bins where many of them sat unused, so I’m hopeful this will get me into a good habit of actually using everything I purchase and waiting to buy more until what I have is used up.

We have some fun travel plans set for next weekend, so expect  Weekend Wrap-Up #3  to be full of a bit more action and photos. Until then, I’d love to hear about your makeup storage techniques and whether you get as much pleasure as I do out of lining up all your mascara tubes in the same direction! ;)

-LMC ♥

Skincare Staples: Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleaning Balm

A few months ago I began a quest to update my skincare regime. As I’ve moved past the blemish-prone years of my teens and early twenties I thought it was time to find some products more suited to my current skin type and needs (fairly dry, sensitive, with occasional hormonal breakouts). I also decided it was high time to resist buying products based on the latest fads, or just because they smelled like pink grapefruit or came with a rubberized face squeegee.  Over the next few weeks I’d like to share some of the Skincare Staples I’ve uncovered in this quest to upgrade and streamline my skincare routine.

The first place I went to educate myself on skincare basics was Caroline Hirons, a facialist and skincare expert who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is on her website http://www.carolinehirons.com. The first piece of advice I took from Caroline was the magic power of cleansing balms, something I’d never heard of, let alone tried. Made popular through brands like Liz Earle and Emma Hardie, cleansing balms have a thick consistency reminiscent of a lip balm that you rub onto your dry face and then remove with a warm, damp washcloth.

While there are a number of cleansing balms on the market they’re mostly produced by luxury brands, and I wasn’t keen on spending upwards of $30-$100 on a type of product I’d never tried before. Then I stumbled upon Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm while perusing Target during a trip home a few months ago. Around $8 for 2.1 oz jar (including a muslin cloth) seemed much more reasonable, so I promptly scooped it up to give it a shot.

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I’ve incorporated Boots Botanics Organic Cleansing Balm into my evening skincare routine, spreading a generous amount onto my face (after removing makeup with a wipe) and massaging it into my skin. This may be a bit of an overshare, but after working it in for a few minutes I can literally see and feel the clogged pores on my nose and cheeks becoming, well, unclogged. Once I’ve properly massaged the product in for a bit (it won’t absorb, rather you’ll be left looking like you rubbed a stick of butter on your face) I dampen a muslin cloth or wash cloth with warm water and wipe the product off my face. This helps to break down and remove any access make that may have been left behind and leaves my skin feeling clean and purged without that awful tight feeling that some cleansers leave behind.

While I’m always hesitant to tout a skincare item as a miracle worker, I can definitely say this has improved the texture of my skin and left it much more hydrated in the months I’ve been using it. Even better, a little goes a long way, as you can see I’m only one quarter through the tub after a few months of daily use. I’m toying with the idea of upgrading to a high-end cleansing balm when this one runs out– currently I have my eye the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. We’ll see though, the experience I’ve had with the Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm has been great, and with its availability at Target and low price point, I may decide that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I’ll be back with more Skincare Staples I’ve been loving in the coming weeks. In the meantime, what’s your favorite item in your current skincare regime? Even though I’m currently using some great products, I always love new recommendations!

-LMC ♥