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April 2014 Favorites

Spring is finally here and I’ve loved updating my current makeup and skincare routine for the new season. I also picked up some  items at IMATS New York and as birthday gifts during April, so there have been a lot of new goodies to try out this month.

For lips I’m loving the NYX Butter Gloss in “Angel Food Cake,” a warm mauvey red that gives my nature lip color the perfect boost of color and shine. I’m not a huge lipgloss fan, but this formula is extremely easy to wear and fades nicely throughout the day, rather than the gross patchy/crusty look that can get left behind when some glosses wear away. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to give the Butter Glosses a try, but now I definitely plan to add more shades to my collection.

NYX Butter Gloss in "Angel Food Cake"

NYX Butter Gloss in “Angel Food Cake”

 

On my cheeks it’s been all about a natural flush, which I’ve achieved most days using either Stila’s Convertible Color in “Gerbera” or Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “Exposed”. Gerbera is a lovely cream product meant for cheeks or lips (I have to say it’s not my favorite on the lips, but it’s beautiful as a blush), that imparts a natural coral pop when blended into the apples of my cheeks. Exposed is a rosy mauve/brown that I use as a bit of blush and contour in one and leaves me looking like I’ve spent an afternoon outside rather than indoors at a computer!

Stila Convertible Color in "Gerbera"

Stila Convertible Color in “Gerbera”

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in "Exposed"

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in “Exposed”

Tarte "Exposed", Stila "Gerbera", NYX "Angel Food Cake"

Tarte “Exposed”, Stila “Gerbera”, NYX “Angel Food Cake”

 

The brush that earns top honors this month is Sigma’s F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush brush. It’s perfect for precise application of cream or powder products and is just so damn soft, I can’t get over it. I’m a big fan of all of the Sigma brushes I’ve tried so far, but this one is definitely my favorite of the moment.

Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush brush

Sigma F15 Duo Fibre Powder/Blush brush

 

When I first tried Benefit’s They’re Real mascara last year I found the formula too wet and clumpy for my taste and barely used the tube I had received as a sample from Sephora. After receiving another sample I decided to give it a second try since it seems to be such a crowd pleaser, and boy am I glad, because this time around I’m in love. Maybe my tastes have changed or my first tube was a little off, but this month I’ve been loving They’re Real for lashes that are separated, lengthened, and thickened all at once. This has been my go-to mascara nearly every day in April, and I see a full size purchase in my future once this cute sample runs out.

Benefit They're Real mascara

Benefit They’re Real mascara

 

Last but not least, my skincare favorite this month has been Dermalogica’s Ultracalming Cleanser, which I picked up during my visit to Dermalogica Academy (check it a post about my visit here). This gentle cleanser has a combination cream/gel formula and works wonders on my dry, sensitive skin. Sadly I used up my travel sized bottle yesterday, so I’ll be saving my pennies to purchase a full size soon!

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

 

There you have my most-loved products for the month of April. Has spring finally hit where you live, and have you switched up any of your makeup, skincare, or frangrances to welcome the new season? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re loving!

-LMC ♥

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New (to me) from Laura Geller Beauty

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Laura Geller Beauty, famous for their baked and marbled color cometics, is a brand I’ve wanted to try for a while. When I saw some of their Bake Sale collection pop up on Haute Look last month I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try a variety of LG products for just $20. I don’t think this particular kit is still available, but it looks like almost all of the products can still be purchased individually on the Laura Geller website (just in case something catches your eye). Since these only came in yesterday (Haute Look shipping = ughhh) I haven’t had much time to play with everything and form a real opinion, but I wanted to share with I picked up and some first impressions.

Spackle Tinted Makeup Primer in Ethereal – This primer is oil-free and contains crushed pearl, licorice root, and nourishing botanicals to help give your complexion a bright, opulent glow. I haven’t given it a try yet, but I’m loving the pinky tone and generous size!

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Balance n Brighten SPF 15 Baked Color Correcting Foundation in Porcelain – This marbled powder combines a fair cream shade with hints of champagne and rose which results in a beautiful match for my fair complexion. I used it today to set my foundation and concealer and it gave a flawless full-coverage finish. LG says this can be used on its own as a powder foundation as well, so I’ll give that a go too and report back.

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Blush n Brighten Baked Cheek Color in Sateen Subtle Berry – Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing subtle about this blush. It’s intensly pigmented and gives off a great deal of shimmer. The shade and sparkle aren’t exactly my style, but it’s definitely a good quality blush and I would be interested in trying some of the other shades from this line.

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Left: Blush n Brighten Baked Cheek Color in Sateen Subtle Berry Middle: Balance n Brighten SPF 15 Baked Color Correcting Foundation in Porcelain Right: Spackle Tinted Makeup Primer in Ethereal

Left: Blush n Brighten Baked Cheek Color in Sateen Subtle Berry
Middle: Balance n Brighten SPF 15 Baked Color Correcting Foundation in Porcelain
Right: Spackle Tinted Makeup Primer in Ethereal

Baked Eye Pie Shadow Trio in Blueberry Muffin – This is definitely the product I was least excited about, as I’m not really a fan of baked shadows, or shadows in these type of trios, or putting anything blue on my eyes. Swatching these didn’t give me much hope either, but I’ll give them a shot!

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Baked Eye Pie Shadow Trio in Blueberry Muffin swatched dry.

Baked Eye Pie Shadow Trio in Blueberry Muffin swatched dry.

Baked Eye Pie Shadow Trio in Blueberry Muffin swatched wet.

Baked Eye Pie Shadow Trio in Blueberry Muffin swatched wet.

Double-Ended Shadow and Liner Brush – The shadow end of this brush is just average, but the liner side looks thin and sturdy which will be great for filling in my brows.

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Italian Marble Lipstick in Mixed Berry – I’ve only given this lipstick a quick test run, but I can already tell it’s not going to be a favorite. The bright berry shade is nice, but it’s packed so full of glitter it almost feels gritty on the lips- no thank you!

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Overall this kit was a great value for the price and an excellent way to test out some of Laura Geller Beauty’s most famous products. I’m excited to keep giving them a try and report back on what end up being the real standouts.  Until next time, have a lovely weekend!

-LMC ♥

Quick Tip: How To Fix Dried Out Cream Eyeshadow

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If you’re a lover of cream eyeshadows and blushes like me then you’ve probably experienced the sad situation pictured above–  you reach for a product you haven’t used in a little while, only to open it up and find it cracked, dry, and ready for the trash. Granted, there are times when makeup is past its peak and it’s time to bite the bullet, throw it in the bin, and pick up a fresh new pot. Sometimes, however, a dry, cracked product is just the result of leaving the lid a little too loose or the effect of the nasty January air. Either way, there’s a quick and easy way to bring your cream products back to life– hooray!

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All you’ll need is some saline solution and any sort of flat mixing utensil. I chose a plastic fork, but a cuticle stick or small spatula would work well too. I like using saline because I know it’s clean and safe to use around your eyes, although I’ve heard of others using distilled water or witch hazel in its place and having good results too. If there’s a different mixing medium you’ve tried and liked, leave a comment and let me know!

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Next, add a few drops of the saline solution directly to your cream shadow or blush. Less is more, so I start with 2-3 drops and then add more as needed. Once you’ve added the saline use the flat end of your mixing tool to begin stirring up the product so the liquid is totally incorporated– for me this only took about 20 seconds. When the saline is totally mixed into the cream product just spread it evenly and flatten it down. And, voila!

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You’re left with a rich, buttery cream product that goes on smoothly and is free from any nasty dry bits. Comparing this photo of my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Inked in Pink with how it looked at the start of the post you can see that the product is much smoother and the color even looks a bit brighter. When applying the product it was much easier to pick up with my brush and went on smooth and opaque, a far cry from its dry and patchy former state. Overall I’d say this is an inexpensive and easy way to revive dry cream shadows, blushes, and eyeliners. Give it a try yourself, and be sure to let me know how it worked for you!

-LMC ♥