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February 2014 Favorites

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February is finally over, and I can’t say I’m sad about it. While I did have some great times last month (including visits from a few of my favorite people), I am entirely ready for this grey dreary winter to finally end. Come on March, I’m expecting sunshine and over 30 degree temperatures, please! Since February is the shortest month I have a pretty short list of monthly favorites, so let’s get started.

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ELF Blush Brush – I’ve avoided powdering my face at all costs during this dry winter weather, but without a little setting powder on the bridge and sides of my nose my glasses are doing a slip ‘n slide by the end of the day. This pinpoint powder application has left my much-loved big and fluffy Real Techniques Blush Brush in the dust, as I’ve found the smaller ELF Blush Brush perfect for the job. Its soft synthetic bristles and tapered tip are excellent at precisely applying powder to the undereyes, spots of concealer, or in my case, right around the nose. For just $3 this is definitely a brush to add to your collection.

ELF Blush Brush

ELF Blush Brush

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof in Blonde Ambition (06) – If you haven’t tried one of Sephora’s waterproof eyeliners yet you’re seriously missing out. Available in 35 colors of the rainbow, these $10 liners go on creamy smooth and set to a waterproof finish that won’t budge. Last month I loved wearing Blonde Ambition smudged under my lower lashline as a highlight or in my waterline to brighten up my eyes.

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof in Blonde Ambition (06)

Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear Waterproof in Blonde Ambition (06)

MAC Syrup – I’ve been in a serious love affair with NARS Damage lipstick for a few years now. It’s the perfect My-Lips-But-Better color and leaves me with a slight raspberry sheen that lasts all day. Sadly though my tube of Damage is nearing its last days, and while I’ve been savoring every last application I’ve also been on the hunt for a replacement that’s a little easier on the pocketbook. Enter MAC Syrup, a cult favorite that always looked too plain in swatches and that I continued to overlook when visiting the MAC store. I finally decided to give it a try though and was pleasantly surprised to find it gave them same rosy shine as Damage- hooray! While MAC lipsticks are hardly drugstore, they’re at least a little less expensive than NARS, so I’m happy about that. With its lustre finish Syrup seems to be quite a chameleon, so definitely try it on to see how it mixes with your natural lip color and compliments your complexion, I bet you’ll fall in love too.

MAC lipstick in Syrup

MAC lipstick in Syrup

Swatches of MAC Syrup (left) and Sephora Blonde Ambition (right)

Swatches of MAC Syrup (left) and Sephora Blonde Ambition (right)

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil – I received this heat protection oil in my February Birchbox and I have been obsessed with it all month. It acts as a great barrier for my dry ends when I’m heat styling while also imparting some moisture and leaving my hair with a delicious sweet scent. I believe this is a Birchbox exclusive product, so head over to their online shop and check it out!

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

Beauty Protector Protect & Oil

There you have my little list of February favorites. If you tried any new products in February that you’re loving, leave a comment and let me know.

-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 ♥