Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Mask Haul Review

I tried out 8 different sheet masks from our trip to Tony Moly. Check out how they worked for me.

A few weeks ago, L’advocate chic and I went to the Tony Moly store in Chinatown in New York City & I picked up a bunch of their sheet masks from the I’m Real line. Since this is a mid-week mini, I kindly compiled my thoughts and observations on each mask in a quick to read table below. I listed them in the order that I tried them out. Please note that I have combination skin with a very oily T-zone and dry patches near my nose, mouth and some places on my forehead.

I will say that I has two definite favorites from the bunch: the Tomato- Radiance and the Red Wine- Pore Care. These two will definitely be getting repurchased very soon. My runner up was the Avocado mask. I think this is a great mask to have on hand this winter to give your skin an extra boost of moisture during these  drying months.

If you are interested in purchasing these or any other of the many masks (including several others from the I’m Real line that I was unable to purchase in the haul), check out the Tony Moly website here. They are $2.99/$3.00 each. However, when we went to the Chinatown store, I caught a sale and was able to get 18 for $29.99 using the buy 10, get 8 free promotion.

Key Ingredient Use Initial thoughts Next Day
Seaweed Skin Purifying • cooling on the skin
• when I took it off my skin felt moisturized and radiant
Same day:
• my skin looked and felt absolutely fantastic
• my makeup applied really nicely except for a small area on the perimeter of my forehead which felt a little sticky
Tea Tree Skin Soothing • felt refreshing on the skin while it was on
• left my skin feeling a little tacky
• seemed to draw impurities to the surface—I ended up cleansing my face afterwards to get rid of some of that. Definitely not a mask you would want to do before going out
• blemishes shrank in size and were mostly gone
Red Wine Pore Care • cooling
• pores were noticeably smaller immediately after
• Skin looked fresh and balanced & not overly dewy but had a healthy glow–  wore this after two straight nights of Halloween makeup. Same night, right after taking off second night’s look
• skin looked fantastic
Rice Clear Skin • mask was nice and cool when I put it on so it helped tighten my pores
• skin looked bright and refreshed, but calm too
• looked like I had taken a shot of vitamins to the face
• skin continued to look bright and healthy
Pomegrante Elasticity • face felt a bit tighter & more firm
• looked more radiant
• there was not a lot of sticky serum left on my skin  like I have gotten with other masks
• did not notice a difference in my skin the next day
Tomato Radiance • smells like tea tree oil (which gave me confidence that it would clear up imprefections)
• no immediately noticeable difference
• a breakout had mostly cleared up
• skin definitely looked clearer
Avocado Nutrition smells like a sweetly scented body wash or candy Same day;
• left my skin feeling very moisturized, not at all greasy
• my makeup went on well afterwards

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Thanks for reading guys!♥

 

 

This post is not sponsored in any way. I purchased all of these items myself and any brand links are NOT affiliate links.

2017 Sephora VIB Sale Buying Guide

MY guide to the top products in every category that you should pick up during the Sephora VIB sale.

Guys….today is the day. It is the day that beauty lovers wait for every year…that our wallets wait for every year… Today starts the annual Sephora VIB sale (round 2 if you are Rouge member like mois). I am quite sure that some of you already have a list long enough to rival a child’s Christmas list, but in case you still need help narrowing it down, for everyone else who does not know where to start, I am here to help. Here are some of my MUST HAVE products that I think are absolutely worth picking up at this sale. Some of the items are splurges, while others are staples in my collection. Either way, though, who doesn’t want to save money when they can?

To make this guide a little easier to navigate, I will divide the products by use, explaining each item individually. Then, have all the items in a chart at the end of each section with the prices and whether it is limited edition or not. The prices listed are the regular prices, since the discounts vary by Insider status.

Tools

I am starting with tools because really make a difference in how your makeup applies and performs.

Two of my favorite foundation brushes are from the Sephora Collection: PRO Flawless Airbrush #56 and Classic Mini Multitasker Brush #45.5. The #56 brush is amazing and an absolute must-have for me. Since I’ve gotten it, it has been the only brush I’ve used to apply my liquid foundations; I even use it to blend in my concealer. The #45.5 brush is a travel-size version of Sephora’s Multi-tasker brush that I think is great for traveling. You really can you this brush for almost all of your face products—both powders and liquids. If you travel, or want a good brush to keep in your purse for touch-ups, this is a great option.

SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Flawless Airbrush #56 $32.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Classic Mini Multitasker Brush #45.5 $14.00

Eyes

Starting with my favorite eye shadow primer, I have to recommend the TOO FACED Shadow Insurance. Even when compared to the legendary UD primer Potion, this one comes out on top for me. Although the primer is a beige cream, unlike the Primer Potion, once applied to the eyelids, this disappears. I also think it does a much better job of not creasing throughout the day.

TOO FACED SHADOW INSURANCE

Another TOO FACED product that is my regular rotation is the Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette. This classic palette is a solid neutral palette that really works for most skin tones. As a deeper skinned woman, this palette contains my all-time favorite transition shade- Puree. Overall, this palette is so versatile and has such great colors that even though I can easily create tons of looks with it by itself, I find myself reaching for it regularly to help pull together looks using other shadow palettes.

TOO FACED SWEET PEACH

There are two limited edition, splurge palettes that I think are worth picking up during the sale (and while they are available): Marc Jacobs Beauty, The Wild One Eye-Conic Eyeshadow Palette &  SEPHORA COLLECTION, Sephora PRO Editorial Palette. Starting with the Marc Jacobs palette, since I just did an entire splurge-worthy post on it <here>. I won’t go too much into it other than saying if you want a good high-quality shadow palette that is versatile, this is a great one to get. The Editorial Palette is absolutely fantastic if you are into brightly colored eye shadows. I will admit that I do not reach for this every day, however, it an awesome pigment palette to have when you want to do some fun looks. One way you can get a lot of use from it is to use the pigments as eyeliners. Just wet a liner brush with some setting spray, and these work really well for that. It also keeps you from having to buy a ton of different liners in different colors.

Listen guys, if you are looking for a mascara that eliminates the need for falsies, the MAKEUP FOREVER Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara is it. That’s all I have to say about that—get it. Period.  It is kinda expensive for a mascara, so now is the time to get it.

MUFE excessive lash

If you are the kind of person that likes a more natural looking mascara that just slightly enhances you lashes, or if you want a great option for your lower lashes (which is what I use this for), the Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara is perfect for you. It separates and lengthens your lashes and does not transfer (which is especially critical if you use it on your lower lashes).

roller lash

I am also going to include two brow products in this section, both from Benefit Cosmetics—ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color with Brush and Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel. In general, Benefit Cosmetics has some pretty solid brow products, but these are my two current favorites. Using them together has been giving me the best brow days of my life…and that is without having to pluck, wax or thread my eyebrows.

TOO FACED Shadow Insurance $20.00
TOO FACED Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette $49.00
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY The Wild One Eye-Conic Eyeshadow Palette $99.00 LIMITED EDITION
SEPHORA COLLECTION Sephora PRO Editorial Palette $68.00 LIMITED EDITION
BENEFIT COSMETICS ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color with Brush $24.00
BENEFIT COSMETICS Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $24.00
MAKEUP FOREVER Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara $25.00
BENEFIT COSMETICS Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara $24.00

Lips

I pretty much exclusively use only one kind of lip liner: SEPHORA COLLECTION, Rouge Gel Lip Liner. These liners come in a million shades, and deliver such  intense color that I have used them with a balm and skipped the lipstick. The gel texture makes them very easy to apply. You don’t have to worry about skipping and tugging on your lips.

SEPHORA leg lip liner

One product that I know I personally want to try is the Tarte Limited-Edition Tartiest Lip Bling Top Coat – Holiday Kiss Collection. This lip topper looks like it adds the perfect amount of bling to make the lipsticks you already own holiday party-worthy.  I’m definitely going to grab this, especially since it is limited edition.

Tarte Lip bling top coat

SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Gel Lip Liner $12.00
TARTE Limited-Edition Tartiest Lip Bling Top Coat – Holiday Kiss Collection $20.00 LIMITED EDITION

Face

So… since there are QUITE A FEW face products that I love from Sephora, I’ll just group them by product category.

Primers:

Although I have several primers myself because I use them depending how I’m feeling that day, if you are looking to get a new one, I would suggest you purchase one depending on what you want your primer to do MOST of the time.

Blurring- The YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer is the best for completely blurring any imperfections and large pores on your face. There are gold flecks that are supposed to make your skin look radiant, but if you want a primer for radiance, I have a way less expensive one in this list.

YSL TOUCHE ECLAT PRIMER

Radiance- The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance makes your skin look like gold. I wore this faithfully all last winter. It added a gorgeous glow in the months where skin can easily look dry and dull. Even with my oily skin, this did not make my skin look too oily. It also kept my makeup looking great for 12+ hours per day, even after heavy gym workouts.

LAURA MERCIER RADIANCE PRIMER

Mattifying- The Givenchy Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer is fantastic. It is smooths and mattifies your skin to perfection. The only reason I prefer the Touche Eclat pirmer for daily use is because this one will clog your pores if you wear it all day, everday. I generally save it for parties or other special occasions that I really want to guarantee a matte face.

GIVENCHY MISTER MAT PRIMER

Color correcting/skin perfecting-The Stila One Step Correct primer (not to be confused with the One Step Prime primer) is a gel serum primer that color corrects and perfects you skins tone and texture over time. I used this all summer and loved it. Let me give you this word of warning, though, if you need significant color correcting, you will still need to use additional color correctors. This is for more mild color correcting.

STILA ONE STEP CORRECT

Foundations:

I give the same advice for all of the face products as I did for the primers: go with the one that best suits your needs.

Mattifying (Liquid)- The MAKEUP FOREVER Mat Velvet + mattifying foundation is a really good liquid matte foundation. It is pretty full coverage and definitely matte. Keep that in mind. Matte. Not skin-like. There is a difference that not everyone picks up on until they put on a truly matte foundation and realize that they wanted a more satin matte finish.

MUFE Mat Velvet

Mattifying (powder)-The SEPHORA COLLECTION Matte Perfection Powder Foundation is really nice and is reasonably priced, even before the discount. I have tried applying this foundation various ways, and using a damp Beauty Blender/ makeup sponge is the best way in my opinion. This is how I would get the fullest coverage.  This is one of the first products I ever hit pan with. I really do love it.

SEPHORA MATTE PERFECTION

CC cream- The IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+ is fantastic. This CC cream has just as much coverage as some foundations I have used (which is why I put it with the foundations). This was my everyday foundation all summer. Not only does it have great coverage, but it is good for your skin. I can honestly say that I saw a noticeable improvement in my skin while wearing it. There really are no negatives to this other than shade range (I wear the darkest shade…and I’m relatively light on the dark/deep foundation spectrum)… I just prefer a more matte, foundation during the winter. I know it seems backwards, but I like lighter, more fresh-faced makeup during the hotter months. Less fuss. If I want a no makeup look, this will always be my go to.

IT COSMETICS CC CREAM

Budge-proof- I have not tried this foundation for myself, but I have heard pretty great things. I want to try the ESTÉE LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup. So, I put this on the list. As I have said before, now is the perfect time to try new products since you can get them at a discount instead of paying full price.

ESTEE LAUDER DOUBLE WEAR FOUNDATION

Concealers/ Color correctors:

The SEPHORA COLLECTION Bright Future Gel Serum Concealers and Bright Future Color Correctors are fantastic. I think both of these products are on par with their higher end counterparts. For example, I own the Nars concealer that everyone loves. I think that the Sephora concealers have a lighter, gel-like texture and work just as well, if not better. I have already repurchased this several times. I have even used them in place of foundation this summer. The color correctors have a similar feel. I like the texture better than the Urban Decay correctors which feel similar. I have also repurchased these.

Contour/highlight:

I have tried several contour palettes, both high-end and drug store, cream and powder, and my favorite is the SEPHORA COLLECTION Contour Palette. This is a powder contour palette. The formula is great and blends easily. I believe there is only one palette that is supposed to work on most skin tones. I think the colors will work on most.

sephora contour palette

The BECCA, BECCA X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette is the best. The colors are gorgeous for tan to deep skin tones. I use this literally every day. I’m not a person who likes my highlight beaming to the heavens, so this palette is perfect for me as it gives a gorgeous natural glow. This palette is limited edition, so if you are interested, move quickly.

BECCA CRISSY TEIGEN

Finishing spray/powder:

Powder: No, I am not going to say everyone’s favorite translucent powder. What I am going to say is one of my current obsessions (and was featured in our October Monthly Obsessions post <here> and my OctoberGlam Bag review)- the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed™ Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder. I use this before applying liquid foundations to perfect my skins texture and provide extra matte staying power. I also use it to set my foundation. I ALSO use it to touch up my makeup throughout the day. Check out the obsessions post to get my full list of reasons as to why this is so great. Just know that it is.

IT COSMETICS PRESSED POWDER

Spray: The TOO FACED Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray is just as versatile as the IT Cosmetics pressed powder. I use it to prime my face, set my makeup AND refresh my makeup throughout the day. It is hydrating, but does not make my skin oily. It dries down quickly, and it also smells like coconut. All the thumbs up.

TOO FACED HANGOVER 3-IN-1

FACE

SEPHORA COLLECTION Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer $14.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Bright Future Color Correctors $14.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Contour Palette $28.00
MAKEUP FOREVER Mat Velvet + Mattifying Foundation $41.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Matte Perfection Powder Foundation $20.00
TOO FACED Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray $32.00
YVES SAINT LAURENT Touche Eclat Blur Primer $52.00
BECCA BECCA X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette $46.00 LIMITED EDITION
IT COSMETICS Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+ $38.00
IT COSMETICS Bye Bye Pores Pressed™ Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder $29.00
STILA One Step Correct $36.00
GIVENCHY Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer $38.00
LAURA MERCIER Foundation Primer – Radiance $38.00
ESTÉE LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup $42.00

Skin care

So I have two things on here specifically for men, both relate to grooming.

THE ART OF SHAVING, The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ is a really great kit for men with sensitive skin, or who just want the best shave they can get at home. My husband could not use razors on his face before he found this. This kit gives the guys everything necessary to get a close shave without the skin irritation and razor bumps. It comes in the full-size and travel size. I suggest either one, honestly.

THE ART OF SHAVING

I heard about the TOM FORD Conditioning Beard Oil from a popular beauty guru’s husband. Beards are itchy to the women who have bearded men. This oil softens the beard to help that out, it also acts as cologne. I plan on getting this for my hubby to try.

tom ford beard conditioning oil

The third item under my skin care list is also something that I have not tried personally yet- the Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic 6-Piece Kit. This limited edition holiday set of deluxe size masks (they look like full sized, but are not as big as the regular individual products). I have heard that the PTR masks are fantastic. I think this set is a wonderful value considering you can pay the same price for ONE of the masks regularly that you do for the set. I grabbed one last weekend in the early Rouge VIB sale. If you are not into face masks, this would make a great gift for someone who is.

PTR MASK A HOLIC

THE ART OF SHAVING The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ $120.00
PETER THOMAS ROTH Mask-A-Holic 6-Piece Kit $75.00 LIMITED EDITION
TOM FORD Conditioning Beard Oil $50.00 ONLINE ONLY

Fragrance

The last item on my list is also primarily for the guys (although there is a perfume version). Sephora released their SEPHORA FAVORITES Cologne Sampler for the holidays. It may seem pricey for a bunch of samples, but the value in this set is that once you (or the other person) picks their favorite sample, they can bring the sample (can be empty) to a Sephora store in exchange for the full size cologne for no extra cost. There are some higher-end fragrances in here, so it is definitely worth the price.

SEPHORA COLOGNE SAMPLER

SEPHORA FAVORITES Cologne Sampler $65.00 LIMITED EDITION

Well, guys, we made it to the end! Yay! I hope this guide has helped give you some direction on what you may want to purchase this year at the VIB sale. In the comments below let me know what you are thinking about buying. Do you agree with my list? Is there anything different that you are planning to purchase?

À bientôt!
♥la développeur sophistiquèe♥

BRAND PRODUCT PRICE AVAILABILITY
MUFE Mat Velvet + Mattifying Foundation $41.00
MUFE Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara $25.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Bright Future Gel Serum Concealers $14.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Bright Future Color Correctors $14.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION

Contour Palette

$28.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Rouge Gel Lip Liner $12.00
SEPHORA FAVORITES Cologne Sampler $65.00 LIMITED EDITION
SEPHORA COLLECTION Sephora PRO Editorial Palette $68.00 LIMITED EDITION
SEPHORA COLLECTION Matte Perfection Powder Foundation $20.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION PRO Flawless Airbrush #56 $32.00
SEPHORA COLLECTION Classic Mini Multitasker Brush #45.5 $14.00
TOO FACED Shadow Insurance $20.00
TOO FACED Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray $32.00
TOO FACED Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette $49.00
YVES SAINT LAURENT Touche Eclat Blur Primer $52.00
BECCA BECCA X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette $46.00 LIMITED EDITION
IT COSMETICS Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+ $38.00
IT COSMETICS Bye Bye Pores Pressed™ Poreless Finish Airbrush Pressed Powder $29.00
STILA One Step Correct $36.00
MARC JACOBS BEAUTY The Wild One Eye-Conic Eyeshadow Palette $99.00 LIMITED EDITION
GIVENCHY Mister Mat Mattifying Foundation Primer $38.00
BENEFIT COSMETICS ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color with Brush $24.00
BENEFIT COSMETICS Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $24.00
BENEFIT COSMETICS Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara $24.00
LAURA MERCIER Foundation Primer – Radiance $38.00
THE ART OF SHAVING The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave™ $120.00
TO TRY:
TARTE Limited-Edition Tartiest Lip Bling Top Coat – Holiday Kiss Collection $20.00 LIMITED EDITION
PETER THOMAS ROTH Mask-A-Holic 6-Piece Kit $75.00 LIMITED EDITION
ESTÉE LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup $42.00
TOM FORD Conditioning Beard Oil $50.00 ONLINE ONLY

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored in any way. All thoughts are my own. 

Splurge-Worthy? vol. 2: Marc Jacobs, The Wild One Eye-conic shadow palette Review

Is this eyeshadow palette worth the high price tag? Should you grab it for 20% off while you can? Check out my post to see.

Welcome back to my Splurge-worthy series in which I try out high-end products and tell you whether I think they are worth the splurge, or if you should just hold on to that hard-earned cash for another product.


So, here we are in the middle of the heavily anticipated Sephora VIB sale. Now is the perfect time to pick up the more expensive products that you may have wanted to try, but did not want to pay full price for. Since the holiday releases are also out in full effect, it makes it an even better time to grab some high-end limited-edition palettes.

With a regular retail price of $99, the Marc Jacobs Wild One, Eye-Conic  Eyeshadow Palette is one of the most expensive holiday palettes at Sephora. Curious if you should snag it at 20% off while you have the chance? Keep reading for my full review.

The palette consists of 20 Eye-Conic shadows with varying finishes. You get 8 mattes, 9 shimmer and 3 glitter shades.  Check out the swatches below.

 

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There are three things that I consider when looking at high-end palettes (really any palette): formula, color selection, and usability/versatility (meaning how much I can use this). So, that is the criteria I will use to rate this.

  1. Formula

Swatching these shadows in-store is really what sold me on them. The formula is incredibly soft and smooth. The pigment is bright, but highly blendable. Even the glitter shades (called lamé texture on the packaging) don’t feel harsh and gritty, and just glide on.

  1. Color Selection

This palette has a very pretty range of shades and textures. There are some pretty neutrals that can work at transition shades for multiple skin tones. The shimmers are gorgeous and include an amazing color-shifting one called Chameleon (appropriately named). There are two true glitter shades a pretty pink with a tangerine reflect- Hen Party, and an icy silver- Funny Bunny. The third glittery shade is not a lame texture like the other two, but it is a smooth black matte with silver glitter flecks throughout.  I cannot recall any other palette that has  this kind of combination of colors. It is a bit random—brick red, forest green, shimmery purple, tan, glitter pink, etc.—but I like it. It feels like it could be a collection of smaller more focused palettes all put together in one… which is not necessarily a bad thing.

  1. Usability/Versatility

As I said in the “Color Selection” section, this palette seems like multiple palettes in one. In my mind, that is perfect for a holiday palette. You can do such a wide variety of looks and aren’t limited to just one theme such as in almost every other palette such as one dedicated to warm tones or neutrals or just shimmers. It does not need a companion palette to create a complete, cohesive look. In fact, I have been able to make several different looks using this palette exclusively, making this an ideal palette to take when traveling. It even has a nice-sized mirror that is super clear and makes it even more convenient to use away from home.

Final Verdict:

I definitely think that this palette is Splurge-worthy. It passes all of my rating criteria, and the only negative is that you really have to make sure to tap the excess color off of your brush or you’ll have a ton of fall-out. While, yes, this is one of THE MOST EXPENSIVE of the holiday, limited-edition palettes at Sephora, it is also the most versatile. The formula is great. the shadows are easy to work with… I really can’t think of a single good reason not to like it. So, if you were on the fence about this one, go ahead and jump off on the side of purchasing it. I think it is absolutely worth the money, and since now is the time to get it for 20% off it is an even better buy.


That concludes another edition of my Splurge-worthy series. I hope my review helped you guys get a little closer to deciding whether this product is worth those hard-earned bucks.Come back this Friday for my guide for shopping the Sephora VIB sale–tips from a VIB Rouge member.♥

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored review. I purchased this palette myself (at full-price too- lol).

Surviving the Holidays: Tips for Dealing with Stress 

Here are some helpful (non-BS) tips to deal with stress and survive the holiday season (or just daily life).

img_2456

Now that Halloween is over, and it is finally November, the holiday season is upon us. With Thanksgiving only a few short weeks away, followed by the December holidays and New Year’s, we are already seeing stores packed with Christmas décor and commercials about how to host the grandest holiday dinner of them all.

For some of us, the holidays and family gatherings may be a source of stress. Especially in these tense political times, family dinners can turn into heated debates. And even if THAT is not a concern, just the sheer amount of things to do, buy and prepare is stressful in and of itself.

But still, there is no need to dread this time of year. Here are some helpful tips to deal with stress and survive the holiday season (or just daily life).

  1. Remember that whatever situation you’re dealing with is finite.

Absolutely nothing lasts forever, and certainly not that family dinner. By keeping in mind that there is a tomorrow and life will continue after whatever this stressful event is, you are providing yourself with the light at the end of the tunnel. Once you get through it, it is done.

For example, say your great-aunt is talking your head off. It maybe supppppper boring, but remember: The night will end and the talking will have ceased. Better yet, remember that your time in these moments are finite. They do not last forever and you do not get to repeat them. By thinking in that way, you find yourself being able to tolerate things that seemed like a bother and really appreciate (if not fully enjoy) the moment. Cooking that large dinner becomes less of a hassle when you realize it’s only once a year for people who you love and will gather with you just for one holiday meal. Once the dinner is done, it’s done and life goes on to something else with these moments behind you.

 

  1. Don’t get so absorbed in the details that you miss the big picture (and ruin the experience).

This is something I learned from planning my wedding. At the time I was so stressed about the tiniest things, trying to make sure everything was perfect. By the time it was all over, I had had such a blast that I totally forgot about the tiny things that did not go my way (like my ceremony décor not coming out how I wanted it). Overall, the moment was NOT ruined. I had the best night of my life, and MY GUESTS had a great time. Almost two years later and people are STILL telling us how great it was…not how the lights weren’t dimmed properly and the candles not grouped how I wanted them.

So… when it comes to your holiday events don’t get so upset or stressed by the smaller details, such as your perfectly crafted tablescape missing a votive or a burnt sweet potato pie, that it ruins your entire evening (and that of your guests because you are in a funk). Sure, you may have to run out and grab a box of Entenmann’s cookies from Rite Aid for dessert, but there’s always next year. Plus it makes for a funny story.

 

  1. Don’t craft a story in your head.

This is probably the vaguest of all my tips. Does it mean you can’t make up stories for the kids after dinner? No. Of course not. It simply means to accept things as they are, and not to create your own version of what’s  going on in your head.

One example, that I’m sure we all encounter daily, is someone cutting us off on the road. Personally, I used to get extremely angered by this. But, when you think about it, I was mad because I felt like the person was being a jerk and just zooming around recklessly for no reason. The FACT of the matter is that I had no clue what was going on in the other person’s car. They could be on their way to deal with a crisis situation of some sort. If I knew that that was the case, I wouldn’t be mad, I’d be sympathetic. But we don’t know what’s going on in someone else’s car, in other people’s heads (i.e- if someone appears to be looking at you “the wrong way”). SO, instead of working yourself up, just let it go because you truly don’t know.

Here’s another example, your Aunt Jean is thirty minutes late and is supposed to be bringing the turkey. In your mind, you start going off about how she is always late, this is inconsiderate, etc, etc. OR you either start to worry about if something happened on the road. Is she okay? Etc., etc. In both scenarios you are causing yourself more stress by trying to create a story about why she is late– BOTH of which are causing you negative emotions and stress. Instead of doing that, just acknowledge that she is late and you are not happy about it, but move on. Start a family game while you wait. Take that time to mingle with the other guests and catch up with loved ones that you haven’t seen for a while. Surely, someone has something interesting going on. If people are getting too hungry, give her a call. But the bottom line is not to make up stories about what’s going on.

 

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive statement.

If all else fails, just search for the silver lining. If you are determined to pick out three positive things about a situation you hate, you will either change your mind about you feel about it, or will amuse yourself trying to figure out the three things. In either case, your mood will lift. For example: the food sucks. Three positives (and now you’ll have to find three more positives if you find yourself in this situation): 1. But the company I am with is fantastic. 2. The tablescape is IG-worthy so I’ll have some great photo-ops. 3. Someone brought a Brown’s Shoprite sweet potato pie (if yall have never had one….go find one now).  By making a list of the positive things, you shift your focus from the negatives. You can do this for a situation, a person, pretty much anything. When you force your perspective to good, you change the way you experience the moment.


Well folks…Those are a few tips for dealing with stress from your resident secular Buddhist. lol. I wish all of you a joyful and stress-free holiday season. I hope you can make the most out of every moment. Here are some pictures from my trip to Hong Kong and Singapore last year that really taught me a lot about inner peace and changing your mindset.

 

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Ulta Lip Haul

Recently, I saw an IG Live stream from Makeup Revolution in which some of their Retro Luxe Lip Kits were being demonstrated. I was so impressed that I immediately went onto my Ulta app and ordered two of them. I also somehow ended up getting six other NYX lippies in the process. So, I figured- why not swatch them for you guys, right?

All of the items swatched below are less than $10 each. As you will see in the below pictures, some of these products are a bit better in quality than others. Some are patchy (Subversive Socialite), while others will have you beaming to the high heavens. Since this is a Midweek Mini, I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Makeup Revolution, Retro Luxe Matte Lip Kit in Vampire Night

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Makeup Revolution, Retro Luxe Gloss Lip Kit in Unicorn Dream 

 

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NYX, Liquid Suede Metallic Matte in Exposed

 

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NYX, Liquid Suede Metallic Matte in Biker Babe

 

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NYX, Liquid Suede Metallic Matte in Pure Society 

 

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NYX, Liquid Suede Metallic Matte in Buzzkill

 

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NYX, Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Subversive Socialite

 

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NYX, Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Speed of Light

 

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To keep my lips from falling off my face while trying all of these lip products, I conditioned my lips before and after with the Hey, Honey Bésame Mucho Shea Butter & Propolis Lip Balm

 

 

 

 

 


Happy Hump Day guys! 💜

October 2017 Glam Bag Review

My monthly Ipsy Glam Bag reivew. Was it worth the money? Did Ipsy get anything right? Check it out to see.

Welcome to my monthly Ipsy Glam Bag Review

(If you want an overview of how Ipsy works and how I got into it, read my first review here.)

Here are the profile settings I used for this month. There was no change from last month, but since my hair is now significantly darker I will definitely be changing my preferences for next month’s bag. If you already read last week’s post, you can just skip to the review below it.

My Current Profile Preferences

Hair Red
Eyes Brown
Comfort level with Makeup Very
Brands (that you love or are willing to try) BareMinerals, Benefit, Charlotte Tillbury, Ciaté, Clinique, Colour Pop, Dose of Colors, E.L.F., Estée Lauder, Glam Glow, Glossier., IT Cosmetics, Lime Crime, L’Oreal, Luxie, Makeup Geek, Makeup Forever, Marc Anthony, Maybelline, Milani, Nars, Nyx, Ofra, Origins, Ouai, Ahu Uemura, Smashbox, Tarte, the Balm, Tom Ford, Tony Moly, Too Faced, Trust Fund, Urban Decay, YSL
Types of Makeup Products mascara , eye shadow, eye liner, brows, lipstick, liquid lipstick, lip gloss, lip liner, primer, concealer, foundation, powder, blush, highlighter, bronzer & contour, brushes & tools
Tpyes of skincare, haircare, nailcare that you love cleanser, cleansing oil, moisturizer, sheet masks, serum, face oil, toner & mist, eye treatment, hand cream, lip balm, fragrance
Shade preference Eyeshadows: neutrals, smokey, blues, greens, plums, adventurous
Eyeliner: black, brown, plum, gold/bronze, adventurous
Lips: Berries, neutrals
Nail polish: (None)
Blush: pinks, peaches
Fragrance notes fresh, floral, gourmand, spicy
Where do you usually shop for beauty products Sephora, Ulta, Walmart, Target
Skin Concerns redness, fine lines & wrinkles, oiliness & large pores, acne & blemishes, dryness & dehydration, hyperpigmentation
Describe your hair (None)

 

Every month, Ipsy releases a new Glam Bag design. This month’s was a crimson lace-print bag with a bat zipper pull to coincide with the “Spellbound” theme for October.

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It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s not a big deal at all. It is still a nice little cosmetic bag that I can use to help organize makeup in my makeup drawers or throw it into a bigger

purse or work bag. (As you can see in the first picture, it’s in one of my drawers. It’s holding all of my individual concealers and color correctors.)

Using the above preferences, along with my reviews of my previous months’ Glam Bags, Ipsy decided to send me the following items:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion

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This eyeliner gets a solid 5 out of 5 stars from me. I am obsessed with black eyeliner. It is the one thing I feel like you can never have enough of, and this one is a must-have. The formula is smooth and creamy, so it glides on like a dream. The color is a rich black (I’ve had black liners that were not truly black in color or weren’t opaque enough), and smudges out better than any gel or pencil liner I’ve ever tried. It doesn’t slide or move around everywhere and goes only exactly where you move it. Then, once it sets (which happens quickly so do one eye at a time), it does not budge. Like… not at all—which makes it perfect to use for special events, hot days, swimming, or even just in your water line on a regular Tuesday at the office. I like this liner so much that I plan on buying the full-size, and possibly even getting it in other colors (it comes in 41 shades).

Furless Black Beauty Blending Crease Brush

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This brush is fantastic. The bristles are incredibly soft for any brush, but especially a synthetic one. They are not tightly packed, so it really just blends everything out for a gorgeous, soft diffused look. It is also cruelty free and vegan (YAY!), so you don’t have to feel bad about using it. Five stars and two thumbs up for the Furless ME3 brush.

MEECH AND MIA Loose Eyeshadow in Beige

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Of all of my many years of using eye shadows, I have never tried a loose one. I expected them to be just completely messy, and too much of a hassle to bother with. Surprisingly, this was not that. The container has a sifter in it, so you aren’t dipping your finger into a small jar full of powder. (FYI-fingers work better for application with this shadow than even a brush dampened with setting spray.)

I honestly really like this shadow. It’s not an “OMG I’m using this everyday” kind of thing, but it is nice. I don’t know that I will actively look for a loose eye shadow, but this has at least made me willing to try them if I see a color that I like. Because the formula on this one was so smooth and easy to blend, I would definitely give this brand another try. I do want to note that the color is not beige. It is the peachy color you see in the picture. I’m not sure why they named it beige, even on the eyelids it is a shimmery light-peach color.

JM Solution Water Luminous Jelly Cleanser

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I am constantly on the lookout for new skincare products, especially cleansers to help with my oily/combo, acnes-prone skin. This cleanser is really nice. It is a gel that turns to foam as you rub it between your damp palms. It isn’t overly scented, which is nice. It just has a nice, clean scent. I felt that it did a good job of cleaning my face, and even taking off the day’s makeup. My skin felt clean and cool after drying it off (the cool, tingling was surprising since I could not smell any menthol). It did feel very slightly tight, but that wore off quickly as I sat around and did some work before going to bed. It is a great way to cleanse my face of the day before putting on my serums and night creams. I definitely will be using this regularly (not daily, but a few times per week) or when my skin is being particularly annoying.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder

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Guys…….listen to me…..yes. That is all I have to say about this product—Y E S.

Well… that’s not all I have to say, but you get my sentiment. This powder is EVERYTHING. When I first looked at it, the first thing I thought (honestly) was “Did Ipsy forget I have deep skin or no?” because the powder is pure white. However, I took a deep breath and patted it gently on the parts of my face where I have pronounced pores using a sponge, and OMG I am so glad that I did. While yes, the powder is white, it is so finely milled that it doesn’t leave any more of a cast than my Laura Mercier Translucent Powder (original). I use this product in the morning to set under my eyes and over my pores and it literally makes my fine lines and large pores disappear. They really just vanish. I took this with me to work one day. It is amazing for touch ups on the go, whether your makeup is looking oily or dry, this fixes it right up. I was trying a new combination of base face makeup and it was looking dry and positively gross. I sprayed a rehydrating spray and lightly pat this powder on, and it seriously looked brand new. I love this (can you tell) and will be purchasing the full-size.


As you can see by how I ranted and raved about these products, this October’s Ipsy bag was a solid 5 out of 5 stars for me. Aside from the eye shadow, I have already started incorporating all of the items into my regular rotation. Even the shadow was a nice color and formula that is different for me, but that I can definitely see myself reaching for in the future. Good job, Ipsy. Good job.

I hope you guys enjoyed this month’s Glam Bag review! Come back on Wednesday for a mid-week bonus post.

Have a great weekend guys!♥

Face Fridays v. 1: Target Face Mask Haul featuring Que Bella

My Target face mask haul featuring the Que Bella brand of masks. Affordable and effective. See which ones I loved, and how they all worked out for me.

10_13_17 Face friday v 1

Happy Friday and welcome to my Face Fridays series! As I may have mentioned in previous posts, I have recently become obsessed with skincare. As I approach my thirties, I realize the importance of taking care of your skin before you are stuck trying to fix it. So, one Friday per month, I will dedicate a post to sharing some facial skin care products so we can all glow up together.

When I first started my skincare journey sheet masks,  a K-beauty staple, were some of the first additions to my routine. The first ones I purchased were from Ipsy, and I had no clue where to get them because no US retailers (that I was aware of at the time) sold them. So, imagine my surprise when, walking through my local Target, I stumbled upon some sheet masks. (I low-key did a dance in the aisle.) Since then, Target’s face mask selection has grown to include not only sheet masks, but also mud and peel-off mask packs. I have never tried them until this point, but in an effort to expand my skincare routine even more (especially since the cooler weather means back to the heavier makeup) I decided to give some of them a try… and not just one at a time here and there. Nope…I grabbed seven and decided to try them all over a week’s time. So here it is, my Target face mask haul featuring Que Bella brand masks.

Deep Cleansing: Aloe Vera Cream Mask

Initial thoughts: Could feel my skin really tightening while wearing the mask. Afterwards, my skin felt clean and verrrrrry dry, but looked brighter.

Next day: Surprisingly, my skin felt extremely oily. I suspect that my skin overcompensated for the dryness by producing excess oil.


Moisturizing: Gel Eye Masks

Initial thoughts: These eye masks were super easy to apply while I was getting ready for a wedding last weekend. I left them on for twenty minutes as I was getting  dressed, and as soon as I took them off, I could see that my under eye area was moisturized and plump.

Next day: I didn’t evaluate my under eye area the next day because I had been at the wedding until extremely late, but I will say that my makeup went on really nicely after using the masks. Unlike the other masks from Que Bella that I tried, this one came with three mask packs. I would definitely use these again in preparing for a big event.


Refreshing: Pomegranate Peel-off Mask

Initial thoughts: I noticed that if you put on too thick of a layer, it will don’t totally dry down properly. Taking the mask off, certain areas hurt a bit as the mask was pulling pretty firmly on my skin. After taking it off, I could clearly see that my pores were much smaller and my skin was brighter.

Next day: The irritation remained for a little while after taking the mask off, but by the next morning it was gone. My pores still looked fantastic.


Relieving: Watermelon Peel-off Mask

Initial thoughts: Smelled like candy. Unlike the pomegranate mask, this one did not hurt as much coming off. My face felt smooth and soft, and my pores looked pretty good..

Next day: My face still felt and looked as good as the previous night.


Repairing: Charcoal Mud Mask

Initial thoughts: This mask was very cooling while on and it lasted even after the mask was washed off. My skin was left tingling and refreshed, but felt a little dry.

Next day: This mask was THE most amazing of all of them. I was dealing with a terrible hormonal breakout, and this mask noticeably reduced both the size of my pores AND my breakout. My skin felt really balanced.


For my final two masks, I decided to use them together. In order to effectively use two masks at the same time and reap the benefits of both masks, you have to make sure you use masks whose effects complement each other. You wouldn’t want to use two masks that are drying because you’ll dry out your skin. If you use two moisturizing masks, your face can become oily. Also, you have to make sure to use them in the same order that you would use your non-mask skincare products. You wouldn’t put on a serum then use a cleanser. So, I used my purifying mask to cleanse my skin. Then, used a perfecting mask afterwards to balance and moisturize my face.

Purifying: Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Mud Mask

Initial thoughts: Very strong tea tree smell. After I took the mask off, I was a bit taken aback. The mask had drawn the oil from my skin to the surface, but it was left at the surface. My nose was covered in white heads, but not ones that could just be washed off. Other areas of my face were extremely dry. There were visible dry patches on areas of my face that were not usually dry.

Perfecting: Superberry Mud Mask

Initial thoughts: This mask smelled like candy-scented Play-Doh. It was a bit odd. After taking the mask off, I could feel that the tightness/dryness from the other mask was gone although the dry patched were still there. My face overall felt firm, and the whiteheads were still there.

Next day (for both masks): Some blemishes that I had been fighting to fully get rid of were gone. My skin looked balanced and the overall tone was markedly improved.


What are my overall thoughts of the Que Bella face mask line? I would definitely purchase them again. I didn’t even grab the entire line, so I would even get some of the others and try those out. I definitely want to stock up on the Charcoal masks as a great way to keep my skin under control during the Red Lady when my hormonal breakouts are in full effect. At only a couple of dollars per mask, I think these are a great value and would definitely recommend them to someone looking for some mask additions to their skincare routine. Besides the charcoal mask, my favorite was the moisturizing gel eye masks. A perfect day-off treatment to make your under eye area looking great, they were super simple and convenient and exceeded my expectations.

Do you guys have any face masks that you’re loving right now? I’d love for any suggestions on masks or other skincare products to feature in one of my next Face Fridays posts. So, comment below!

Have a great weekend!♥