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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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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 ♥