sephora

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 ♥

January 2014 Favorites

januaryfave2In most parts of the USA January has been cruel, smacking us with record snowfall and arctic vortexes that have brought screaming winds and sub-zero temperatures. With that mess going on outside, January has also been a good month to cozy up indoors and try out some new beauty items. Before the next  blizzard hits, let’s get started with my January 2014 favorites:

Alien by Thierry Mugler – I discovered Alien via my pretend internet best friend LeighAnnSays and after running through a tiny Sephora sample I knew I had to splurge on the full size. Luckily some Christmas cash came my way and gave me the perfect opportunity to pick up this gorgeous fragrance. It has notes of solar accord, jasmine sambac, cashmeran, vanilla, and transparent amber (truth: I don’t know what half of those words even mean, but Sephora tells me it’s so). Overall I’d describe it as a deep, spicy scent perfect for a winter date night. If you’re looking for something that veers from run of the mill flowery/sweet/girly scents, Alien will probably be right up your alley.

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Maybelline Master Hi-Light Hi-Lighting Bronzer (50 Light Bronze) –  Long, silly names aside, Maybelline has had some impressive Spring 2014 launches, and the Master Hi-Light range is no exception. Serving triple-duty as a blush, bronzer, and highlighter, Light Bronze is a mosaic of champagne, rose, taupe, and chocolate colored powders that when swirled together produce a lovely shimmery peachy bronze. Pretend internet BFF #2, ChelseaWears, recently raved about wearing bronzer all over her cheeks as a kind of blush/contour combo, and I figured if my pale sister can pull that off I could give it a try as well. Dusting Light Bronze all over the apples and hollows of my cheeks does a great job of warming up my face and giving it a little extra dimension, especially during these blah January days. Next time Maybelline goes on sale at the drugstore I will definitely be picking up another shade or two from this range.

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Real Techniques Buffing Brush – In the interest of pampering my skin a bit (or at least not torturing it) during this frigid winter I’ve stuck to a pretty strict BB Cream-only regimen for the past month. (I miss you, Revlon Colorstay, but I’m sure we’ll meet again when humid springtime rolls around.) At first I was applying my various BBs/tinted moisturizers with my hands, which got the job done, but still felt a little messy and unsanitary to me. Then I gave the Real Techniques Buffing Brush a shot at the job, and I haven’t looked back since. It seems to blend product seemlessly without irritating my dry skin, and is the perfect size and shape to cover large areas and get into small spots near the nose and eyes. It’s no secret that the Real Techniques line is a major hit, but I’d have to say the Buffing Brush earns top honors in my book.

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Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner (001 Black) – At a Sephora makeup class a few months back I discovered the beauty and pain of tightlining. (For those of you unaware, tightlining is the cringe-inducing practice of adding eyeliner to your upper inner lashline.) While I couldn’t deny that my tightlined  eyes looked great, the idea of sticking an eyeliner pencil so close to my eyeball made me seriously squirm. In the end it seems like this just takes patience and practice, but the key to a good tightline is also the right eyeliner. It should be fairly creamy so you’re not dragging and pulling at your delicate eyelid (typing that sentence just made me shiver), but also a product that will set to a waterproof finish so all your hard work doesn’t get blinked away in three seconds. So far I’ve found the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl eyeliner to be the best at getting the tightline job done and sticking around for hours. I prefer liquid or gel eyeliner on my upper lashline, so this really only gets used on my upper and lower waterline, but for that purpose it’s perfect.

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NYC Quick Dry Nail Polish (Grand Central Station 202) – After a glowing recommendation on Nouveau Cheap I knew I had to give NYC’s Grand Central Station a try when my Seche Vite topcoat finally devolved into goopy obsolescence. For only $1.99 this is an affordable top coat that dries almost instantly and helps my nails stay chip-free for days on end. I find it works best to reapply a top coat every 2-3 days to keep your color locked in. Of course, top coats work differently for everyone, but with Grand Central Station’s low price and availability at most drugstores, you really can’t lose by giving it a shot.

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I hope you enjoyed this roundup of the products I’ve been loving in January. Please leave a comment and let me know what have been some of your favorites from the past month! Stay warm…

-LMC ♥

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 ♥