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LMC HEARTS: Best of 2013

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Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that you wrapped up 2013 with a fantastic holiday season and are excited for what 2014 will bring. Before we get too far into the new year  I’d like to share a recap of the beauty items I’ve discovered or continued to love over the past year…

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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. I haven’t tried many high end primers, but at the drugstore this is definitely my favorite.

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Dr. Jart Premium Beauty Balm – If you’ve been left unsatisfied by drugstore BB creams, definitely give a higher end Asian version a shot. I am continually impressed by the coverage and staying power of Dr. Jart’s Premium Beauty Balm, and will definitely purchase a full size tube once this deluxe sample runs out. (Although a little goes such a long way, that won’t be for a while!)

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Beauty Blender – I was hesitant to splurge on the Beauty Blender, as paying almost $20 for a sponge seemed outrageous to me. However, I’ve yet to find a method of applying foundation and concealer that leaves my face looking as flawless as this little pink sponge. The trick is to soak it in water before use so it doesn’t soak up any excess foundation and imparts some hydration into your skin at the same time. (Sorry for the lack of photo, but I figured no one wanted to see my dirty, soon to be replaced Beauty Blender!) 

Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer – I fell in love with this heavy duty concealer when it was first released, but then forgot about it for some unknown reason. I’m so happy to have rediscovered it in 2013, as it pairs perfectly with the Beauty Blender to give full flawless coverage to any trouble areas.

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Maybelline Color Tattoos – Available at most US drugstores, and coming in at a price between $6 to $8, the Maybelline Color Tattoos are a versatile product that should make an appearance in anyone’s makeup collection. Their uses are truly endless– they can be layered under shadow for a long-wearing base, concentrated at the upper or lower lash line as a liner, or packed on the lid and blended out as the perfect one color smokey eye. Click here to see the colors currently in my collection.

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Lorac Pro Palette – The Lorac Pro Palette has shown up on almost every Best of 2013 post or video I’ve seen so far. Its combination of shimmery and matte shades in both neutral and jewel tones just can’t be beat. I’ve already hit pan on Cream, and am nearly there on Mauve as well– the two colors that make up my go to “no makeup” eye makeup look. If you’re looking to invest in a palette, Lorac Pro gets my highest recommendation for value and quality.

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Sigma Brow 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.

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Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara – If you’re looking for a dry mascara with a natural brush that gives your lashes beautiful volume and length, you’ve got to try Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes. I was practically scraping the last bits out of my first tube and was thrilled to pick up a mini replacement in Sephora’s Black Friday sale. I prefer wispy lashes over thick spidery eyes, and if that’s your game check out LCL.

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Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains – The original drugstore chubby lip crayon, you really can’t beat the Revlon Balm Stains. They’ve come out with Lacquer and Matte versions recently (see the shades I picked up here), but I have to say the original Balm Stains are still #1 in my heart for their smooth application and impressive staining power.

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Wet ‘n Wild Megalast Nail Polish – 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. Huge thanks to LeighAnnSays on YouTube for introducing me to these awesome polishes!

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Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream – This multi-tasking creamy oil has been a lifesaver for me during the cold and dry winter months. I apply it to flaky areas of my face and under my eyes before bed and wake up with beautifully hydrated skin. Bonus- this is another deluxe size sample that has lasted absolutely forever, so I imagine the full size would keep you going for years!

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Glam Glow Youthmud Tinglexfoliant Treatment – Yes, it’s true, I’ve fallen into the Glam Glow hype. I didn’t want to jump on the bandwagon for a $70 face mask, but it’s just so damn good. It’s a great exfoliator and contains some sort of unicorn magic that draws any oil and impurities right out of your pores– you’ll be able to see it happening as the mask dries. (Gross, but cool!) I’d recommend springing for the mini jar if you’re on the fence, but in my opinion the full size is totally worth it.

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I hope you enjoyed this recap of my most loved products from 2013. If there’s something you’ve been obsessed with this past year please leave a comment and let me know! Here’s to an exciting, eventful, and beautiful 2014!

-LMC ♥

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Fall Empties Week- Makeup

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Welcome to the final post in this Fall’s Empties Week. Let’s get to the good stuff today– makeup!

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Elf Small Stipple Brush – This was a great stippling brush for applying cream blush or highlighter, but as you can see the ferrule detached itself from the handle. For $3 I can’t complain too much about the quality, and I will likely pick up another in the future.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla – I got a sample of this concealer from Sephora after hearing rave reviews, but unfortunately I didn’t feel it lived up to the hype. Maybe I need to give it a longer try (this sample just lasted 2 applications), but it didn’t seem as hydrating or full-coverage as I was expecting.

Maybelline Falsies Mascara (waterproof) – This mascara did a good job adding volume and length to my lashes. I have a pretty big backlog of mascaras I plan to test out first, but once I run out my stash I would give Falsies another go.

Sula Beauty Cream Eyeshadow – My local Duane Reade was clearing out their Sula Beauty products, so I picked up this cream shadow to see how it compared to the Maybelline Color Tattoos. It fell hopelessly short, showing up sheer and patchy on my eyes and creasing after only an hour. I can see why they were getting rid of this at 75% off!

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – This setting spray does an excellent job of locking my foundation in place and taking away the look of any excess powder. Currently I’m testing out the NYX setting spray, and while it’s good, I still think All Nighter is #1. I will definitely pick up another bottle the next time I’m at Nordstrom Rack or there’s an Urban Decay sale on Haute Look.

Rimmel London Stay Matte Powder in Translucent – I’m still on the quest for a perfect translucent setting powder, but Rimmel Stay Matte is the best I’ve come across so far. It also adds a bit of extra coverage which is great when layering it over a light coverage BB cream or tinted moisturizer. This is probably the fourth compact I’ve gone through, and I will continue to repurchase until something beats it!

ELF Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick – ELF products can definitely be hit or miss, but with their $1-$3 price tag it doesn’t hurt to try out a new offering even if it ends up being a dud. Unfortunately this was the case with their Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick, which creased almost immediately and slid and transferred all over my (non-oily) lids. Perhaps combined with a heavy duty eye primer you could make this work, but I’ll go back to shadow sticks that can really hold up, like the Jordana 12-hour Shadow Pencils (they’re awesome!)

Generic Makeup Sponge – Unfortunately I can’t remember the brand of this sponge, but it’s clearly a generic drugstore knock off of the Beauty Blender. I only included it so I could have another chance to say home AMAZING the Beauty Blender is, and that it is entirely worth the $20 price tag. I have yet to find a drugstore version that applies my foundation so seamlessly, although I have heard good things about the new Real Techniques sponge– maybe I’ll give that a try next.

Sonia Kashuk Lash Brush – This lash/brow grooming brush worked well for about 6 months, but then the bristles started coming out. Normally I can handle the bit of shedding that can come with inexpensive  brushes, but when a rough bristle comes out in my eye when I’m combing my lashes, that’s unacceptable!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek at my recycling pile during Fall Empties Week. If it has inspired you to clear out or use up some of your stash leave a comment to let me know! Have a great weekend…

-LMC ♥

What’s In My Travel Makeup Bag

I left bright and early Saturday morning for a week-long business trip, so sadly there isn’t much excitement to share in a Weekend Wrap-up this week. Rather, since I’m traveling, I thought I’d share the items that made it into my travel makeup bag. I’d say there’s a good mix of old favorites and new products I’m trying out. Most were selected because they’re either easy to travel with, good for natural (work day) makeup looks, or because I couldn’t go seven whole days without them– or a combination of all three. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on any of these products I’d be happy to do an in-depth review, just leave me a comment and let me know!

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Face: NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray, Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Concealer (Light), Revlon ColorStay foundation (110 Ivory), Maybelline Dream Lumi highlighting concealer (Radiant), Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Primer, NXY blush (Taupe), & Revlon Photoready cream blush (Coral Reef)

Eyes: Maybelline The Rocket mascara (Black waterproof), Maybelline Great Lash mascara (Clear), Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow (Nude Pink- limited edition), Lorac Unzipped eyeshadow palette, Jordana Fabuliner eyeliner (Black), & Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal eyeliner (Black)

Lips: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain (Honey) & L’oreal Le Matte lipcolor (Matte For Me- limited edition)

Tools: Real Techniques Stippling Brush, Sigma Large Angled Contour Brush (F40), Sigma Large Powder Brush (F30), Sigma Tapered Blending Brush (E40), Rite Aid Renewal Eyeshadow Brush, Sigma Small Angle Brush (E65), Eyelash curler (not sure the brand, but it’s from the drugstore) & a Beauty Blender

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my travel makeup bag and that your week is off to a great start!

-LMC ♥