Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2012 Besties Awards

 I came up with this catchy name for this short little series I am doing on my favorite products from 2012. There may not be something from every category, but each one of these things I have used and loved all last year. A lot of times, I get swept up in brand new products and love them to death for the first couple weeks {honeymoon phase} then they seem to fall by the wayside. Everything in the Besties Awards have been long lasting romances throughout the whole year. These are things I go back to time and time again.


Best Setting Spray
Urban Decay De-Slick: 
I have tried the All Nighter Setting Spray from Urban Decay and ELF's Setting Spray and this one was my favorite. Surprisingly, I have dry and oily skin. I found that De-Slick made my makeup last longer than any of them and gave my face a nice matte finish. I used this during the summer too and it was a life saver! Here's the full review.

Best Concealer
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Treatment:
Maybelline's concealers are a long time favorite. This concealer is perfect for underneath the eyes. It is really thin but gives full coverage and seriously brightens underneath my eyes. The only down side is that the packaging on mine is broken so I have to work at it to twist up more product. If your looking for a good concealer for both under the eyes and on dark spots/pimples, try Maybelline's 24/7 Concealer.

Best Foundation
Revlon Color Stay:
I have tried so many foundations in the past couple of years and I always end up going back to this. Nothing is as full coverage as Color Stay. When they say color stay, they mean it! It dries rather quickly so blending it right away is a must. Once it is actually set, it makes my skin look flawless and gorgeous and covers everything and will stay put all day long.



Best Highlight
ELF Radiance Enhancer in Spotlight: 
Another thing from the Holy Grail page. This is one of those highlighters that have a duo-chrome finish. I wouldn't say this is glittery, instead shimmery. When it hits the light, it really does radiate. For $3, it really doesn't get any better. The packaging is sleek, it has a brush tip applicator, and is really creamy and extremely easy to blend. Any beginner wanting to dive into the whole contour/highlight process, this would be a perfect place to start. I want to do an updated review and demo using both colors ELF has to offer on the Radiance Enhancer range. Coming Soon (: For now, grab yourself a Radiance Enhancer. You won't regret it!

Best Bronzer/Contour Powder
Laura Gellar Baked Blush n Brighten in Honey Dipped: 
I got this in my Birch Box in June of 2011 and it was the sole best thing I have ever received in any box. Even though it has shimmer in it, I find it to be the perfect contour powder for me. Any matte contour powder or bronzer I have tried just looks really tacky and muddy next to my fair skin. In the summer time, this is the perfect all over bronzer because I am a little bit darker. The powder is really nice and is easy to blend. After the 2 years I have had it, it is still my absolute favorite bronzer and I use it more than any other one I have. I have yet to even think about hitting the pan. Talk to me in 2015. Maybe I will hit pan then. Probably not. I have swatched this before here

Best Blush
YBF Golden Gleam Bronzer & Baby Pink Blush Duo: 
The bronzer side is nice, yes, but I want to pay tribute to the blush side. This is the blush I kept on going back to all year last year and will most likely continue to do so in 2013. When ever I can't make my mind up, this is my go to blush. It is such a pretty shimmery baby pink color that creates this beautiful flush on my cheeks. The phrase "lit from within" was made for this blush. I don't hear much about YBF Beauty but the company is a diamond in the rough! Check out HSN. They sell YBF (which is where I purchased it) value kits for a really good prices. Here's everything I got in my value kit when I ordered along with swatches of this duo. It's a really good blog post.

left: ybf blush/bronze duo. right: laura gellar baked blush n brighten


Best Eyeshadow
 Stila Eyeshadows
Yes, I own the Naked Palette and it's great and all, but not as great as the Stila eye shadows I own. The lighter shades in the Naked Palette aren't as pigmented as Kitten from Stila . Same thing goes for the matte shades. Stila's Kitten is my absolute favorite eye shadow in the world and thats because it doesn't take much to get pigment on my eyes. All of the Stila eye shadows I own are always so velvety, creamy and pigmented and I almost always use at least 1 of them on a daily basis. Here's a swatch I did of Kitten, Terracotta + JezebelI would gladly do a blog post on my full Stila eye shadow collection. Those swatches are old. I can do a better job! Let me know if your interested.


Best Eye Liners
Any of the Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips
I picked these because they are the only drug store eye liner I used in 2012 that stayed in my water line the whole day and kept the pigment and didn't run down my face. I actually had a lot to say about these, so check out the review I did for them a couple days ago. You can also find swatches there too.



Best Mascara
Physician's Formula Organic Wear
I did a full review complete with pictures of the brush and it on my lashes. Check it out.


Top 10 Nail Polishes and Favorite Lip Products deserve their own separate blog post. Otherwise this blog post would be way too long! It might be labeled "Bestie's Award's" and it might not be. It depends on how long it takes me to get them up (: Don't worry! It will only take a couple weeks, tops.

What was your favorite product from last year?
Would you be interested in a Stila eyeshadow collection blog post?

till next time,
Erica


Monday, January 28, 2013

2012 Bestie's: My Favorite Eye Liner

Every time I type that I feel like such a dork! Ha! Besties Awards! Im crazy.

The Bestie's Awards are everything I absolutely loved last year. I may not have something from every single category but all of these products were the cream of the crop. Today I want to talk about my favorite eye liner.

Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Eyeliner Trio $12

What I love about these and why they are the object of my eye lining affection for 2012 is that I never have to worry about them running down my face. Another problem I run into with eye liners is the fact that they just don't stay on my eyes at all, let alone run down my face. I have really watery eyes. Any other eye liner I have used will be gone within the hour when my eyes start to water. The Shimmer Strips give me the best of both worlds (no worlds?) meaning it will stay in my water line weather my eyes are watering or not and will not run down my face. 

 A few hours into my day, I will notice a little bit of the product collecting in the corners of my eyes but it is nothing I cannot fix really quick with a swipe of a little piece tissue. Sometimes I don't even bother, to be honest! I get busy throughout the day and cannot watch every move of my eye liner. With these, I never feel like I have to worry about it too much.

As for lining your lash line with these, your going to be golden all day long no matter what. That eye liner isn't going anywhere. I am not someone that really smudges out my eye liner at all but if you wanted to do that with the Shimmer Strips, you have a couple seconds before it sets. I never ever have to set the liners with any kind of powder or eyeshadow or anything. It just stays. I have put them to the test plenty of times (scratching my eyes) and it never budges. However, taking your makeup off at the end of the day with a makeup remover is easy. 

 These are twist up eye pencils. They don't need sharpened. They have a built in sharpener in the bottom of each one that I have never used before but its there is your wanting a finer point. I can't say it makes much of a difference as far as performance goes. They are just as easy to use weather that fine point is there or not.

The Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips come in a pack of 3 eye liners in different colors. They market them for different eye colors "For Blue Eyes" or "For Hazel Eyes". Even though I have brown eyes, I have tried both For Brown Eyes (comes with a black with blue glitter, a brown, + a purple) and For Blue Eyes (a black with purple glitter, a brown, + a blue).

 What you see in the pictures is the For Blue Eyes set along with the one purple eye liner from the For Brown Eyes set that I had from before.



As you can tell from the swatches, the glitter in the black one is pretty much non-existent. It is there and I can especially see it in a heavy swatch like this one, but once it is on my eyes I cannot tell that there is glitter in it. That is either a good thing or bad thing depending on preference. I personally like the fact that it is so subtle. They are nice liners for every day because it's not like bam-in-your-face glitter.

As for the pigmentation, it is really good. This isn't the blackest of black I have ever used but since it stays put all day long, I can deal with it just being black. I usually find myself going around my inner rim a couple times before I get that black-black color I am looking for. So, it is achievable! If I had to work way too hard to get any kind of black line on my inner rim, I would never consider these liners for a Besties Award. As you can see, the brown isn't so much brown as it is a bronzed shade. Just like the black, you can work it up to be a more intense brown but with the brown eye liner, it may be a little bit harder. It's funny because the brown shade is actually the lightest shade of the bunch.


Here's the bullet points:
-Twist up pencil
-Built in sharpener (I have never used)
-Stay's put in the water line
-Stay's put on the lash line, no matter how hard you rub your eyes.
-Doesn't migrate down my face
-Don't need to set with an eyeshadow
-Very little gathering of product in the outer corner
-Comes in a set of 3 for around $12
-Easy to remove with makeup remover
-Pigmentation is pretty good
-The shimmer is nonexistent on the eyes


Ok! So far, I have done:
Besties Award for Best Mascara (another Physician's Formula product too!) 

I will be back in a day or two to fill you in on the rest of everything! 
Get ready for:
 the main Besties Awards (face and the rest of the eyes) 
Besties Awards for Nail Polish 
Besties Awards for Lip Products

Before I go, I wanted to thank all of you for an awesome 2012! Things got crazy in 2012 but the one thing that is always so awesome and growing is Mind Body Beauty! I am so blown away! Thank you times a million! You guys are seriously the best people on this earth and make me so happy (:

Until Next Time
Erica


Saturday, January 26, 2013

2012 Besties: My Favorite Mascara


One of those beauty products that I tend to try out throughout the year is mascara. I almost never stick to the same one. I really love to test out different one's. I usually try out maybe 5 or 6 different kinds through out the year. Of course, 2012 was no different. I tried plenty of mascara's in 2012 and the one that always stuck out to me was:


when I am looking for a mascara, I want one that's:
Going to really get in there and volumize and lengthen. Doing just one or the other isn't good enough! Of course, with the right technique's you can get any mascara to work out to some degree, but it's nice to find one that you know you don't have to work hard at to achieve a certain look.


My lashes aren't sparse. My lashes aren't thick or anything either. I would say I have pretty normal eye lashes. I find that this mascara both lengthens and volumizes my lashes and creates the illusion of them being thicker than they really are without making them look clumped together- while it is on my lashes.
 ♥
I can't really say that I saw lash growth after a couple weeks of use or anything like that but if your looking for a really great mascara that will give you all of the above for the day or night, you've found it!
 ♥
Also, if I curl my lashes before I add mascara, it will hold my curl well. This mascara doesn't weigh down my eye lashes at all.  

When they mention 100% of people saw enhanced lahes instantly, it makes me go "hmmm." Of course you would see an enhancement instantly. That is why we all wear mascara, right? I think they are really trying to hammer in that idea of it actually growing your lashes over time. Im sorry but I just didn't see that.
What I also really love about this mascara is the fact that it doesn't make my lashes look clumpy or spidery. If you apply several coats, it's inevitable but I never find my self needing more than 2 coats. The first coat always looks pretty. The second coat is when I start to notice those lashes I didn't even know I had being brought out and lengthened.
I would call this a creamy consistency (not a wet formula).
About the brush:
The brush on this is a modern plastic one. I think I can attribute the finish of my lashes to the wand as much as the formula. It really does have a way of grabbing even the shortest, thinest eye lashes and bringing them to a new height.

*edit / disclaimer: I have had this mascara for months and months because I was planning on reviewing it but never got around to it. The pictures you see are from a couple days ago. The mascara looks a little dry on the wand, but it's not. This is just an old bottle

Here's what it looked like on my lashes. This isn't the best picture (I took it months ago!) but you can see it really lengthens and separates my lashes. In real life, it seems like I will get even more length than that. My lashes will just touch the bottom of my brows.I wasn't even going to add this picture because it doesn't do my words any justice, in my opinion. But, a picture is worth a thousand words and I figure you may benefit more from the picture than any words I can type out.




This is the only PF Mascara I have ever tried. I am wondering if the others are just as good {or better}.
 ♥
If your wanting to check this out for yourself, they sometimes have coupons stuck to the package of products. This mascara is somewhere around $10 and I paid less than $5 with a coupon and a BOGO deal.

That was for sure my favorite mascara from 2012.
Mally's Volumizing Mascara is giving Physician's Formula a run for it's money, honey!
 ♥
What was your favorite mascara in 2012?

Take Care,
Erica



Thursday, January 24, 2013

Neon, Bright Lips (Feat Maybelline Vivids)

Well, im ready for summer! Are you? This weather is killing me. It has been so cold up here in Ohio and I cannot wait until spring at least. January 1st of every year I am ready for the summer. Bring it on. I just wanna take a damn walk! That is my jam. I guess that is why the new spring trends really speak to me. If it's not warm out, we can at least pretend with bright color on our lips, right?

Neon lips seem to be the hottest trend for spring/summer 2013 

I see it in magazines, beauty blogs/vlogs, + of course on the shelf at the drugstore. The deep dark red lips of the winter? No thanks. A bright neon lipstick? I will take that any day!



Maybelline Color Sensational (New Vivids Line) in Fuchsia Fusion
The Vivids line that Maybelline just came out with all pack a punch of color. They had a neon orange, a purple, some reds, and another really pretty bright pastel pink one called Pink Pop that I must find asap. (btw, I found it and it seemed that Fuchsia Fusion and Pink Pop are  similar. Here's a comparison) I settled for Fuchsia Fusion simply because I have never seen any lipstick as bright as this one -at my local drugstore, anyways. Look at that color. That's no joke! I would call this a cool toned pink which is good for making your teeth look white. Trust me, nobody is really going to see the teeth with this color on your lips anyways! What you see is what you get on your lips here. That swatch? Is exactly what it looks like on the lips. You'll see.

So effing bright. 

I love it. 
I can't wait to pair it with a neon polish on my toes. And a neon bra under a crisp, white tank top. 

This lipstick is a cream finish and isn't really drying at all. Because it is so bright, re-applying isn't really necessary every hour. Because it is bright it seems to show wear much quicker than any other nude or everyday pink would. I do recommend prepping your lips before using this because I did notice some settling into the lines of my lips with it. I have been liking using my Sugar Fresh Lip Balm before hand. Then like 15 minutes later I will add Nyx's Dolly Pink Lip Liner around my lips and in the center. That seems to really help with keeping the color from fading into a splotchy, uneven mess.


Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick in Siren
You have seen this here before. It was my favorite bright lipstick from last summer and one of my absolute favorites for 2012 all together. (blog post to come!) It says it's a cream finish, but I find it to be just a little bit drying on my lips which are the tall tale signs of a matte finish lipstick. But, it doesn't look matte. With that factored in, im calling this a satin finish - it's in the middle of a matte and a cream. I think because it is drying on my lips, it keeps the color there longer. I don't wear a gloss over top because I don't have an orange gloss but I do like to add a clear lip balm to my purse when I wear Siren so it doesn't feel so dry. Sure, I will bring the lipstick too but I almost never find myself having to re-apply it very often at all. I would say once or twice for a night out *if that*. This one can also show a little wear throughout the day/night. Nothing you can't fix! I need to find a good orange lip liner.



Here's the swatches:
I think you can guess which is which. 


What are your favorite bright colors to wear on your lips?

Have you tried any other colors from Maybelline's Vivid's Line?

thanks for stopping by
Erica

Monday, January 21, 2013

Health Food Store Haul + Other Healthy Habits

Hi!

If your familiar with #HowtobeHappyJanuary + My New's Resolutions, then you might now I am starting my healthy lifestyle again {sigh}. I did a blog post and a video about Keeping Organized, Saving Money, + Living the Dream  including how I am going after a healthy lifestyle and staying on the right track once and for all! Don't hold me to it, but prayers would be awesome (:

So, me and Alex went to the health food store in my area. 
 They were amazing. They had a great selection of things that you could buy in travel sizes so to speak.  That way, if you actually like that particular food you can go back and purchase the big size if you thought it was worth it. That's great because some stuff is really expensive! But what really made me love that place was how helpful the girls were who worked there. When it came time to check out, They gave us a bunch of free samples too!

Before I even start, I need to confess something to you guys something.  
I usually do not like "health" food. I mean, quinoa is one of my favorite foods but as far as protein powders and things that are really, really, "healthy", I have a hard time getting into. I am just a normal girl who really enjoys unhealthy food. I am trying to find my way over to the healthy side and try new things. I have been making small changes for the past 2 years now and I have come a long way.

At the bottom, you will see a video! The video is more about each thing and more or less a haul I filmed a week or so ago. Now that I tried {almost} everything, I can give you my honest, humble opinion. Here we go :

Artisana Coconut Butter
$1.99
This was something I was so exited about! I always wanna try out coconut butter but at $20, it's too much money. Esp. if I don't even know if im going to like it! I seen they had this trial size of coconut butter with cacao and jumped on it. The directions say to "knead" the package. I am assuming that is because it needs warmed a little bit because it has coconut oil in it. Coconut oil will turn into a solid at 76 degrees and since I live in Ohio, room temp is lower then that right now. When coconut oil is solid, it is almost like it flocks together and it doesn't mesh well with other ingredients, which is what it did in this package. When I warmed it up a little bit by kneading it with my hands, it blended better and I noticed it had a more of a smoother texture. Either way I tried it, it tasted just like a Mounds Bar only a little less sweet (a Mounds bar is pretty sweet!) I really liked it. I used it on top of an apple once (yum). 

I also made Almond Joy Oatmeal once with it! 
I used Almonds, Shredded Coconut, Chocolate Chips, Coconut Oil and the sample of ArtisanaRaw Cacao Bliss Raw Chocolate Coconut Butter.



Mary's Gone Crackers 
$5
aka the only cracker you should ever eat, according to Brenda from Lean Secrets. 
By the way that girl has so many great, unique diet tips. If your looking to jump into a healthy lifestyle, Lean Secrets is a must! Anyways, about the crackers: they are actually really good! If you like sesame seeds, your going to love these. In my opinion, Sesame seeds are ok. I like the crackers better. 

What I have been loving doing with these is:
adding a Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge, then adding a piece of Chicken (or some turkey) on top of that, then finishing it off with a squirt of hot sauce. 

I need to buy another box of these soon just for that little recipe. It's so good. I can see why these are the only crackers your supposed to eat. Check out the 4 ingredients.



Spiru-Tein High Protein Energy Meal 
$2 each
 I needed non whey protein to do some baking with. I wanna make this chocolate cake so I bought a Chocolate one. The chocolate chip cookie dough was just too hard to pass up! I found a recipe using protein powder and egg whites alone to make cookies so I will be using the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough one in that. I will be posting both of these here so be on the look out for them. Otherwise, I am not a fan of protein powder. I hate the gritty texture so I figure using them with baking may be a better way to go! I will let you know!


Green Superfood: 
$1.47
Ok. I lied! Maybe I haven't tried everything yet. But, it seemed like something I could drink and I would be good until the next meal. There is nothing but good stuff in this baby. However, the lady at the Health Food Store said that this does have that gritty texture almost like protein powder but I am still willing to give this a go. I took a picture of the nutrition facts so you can see everything in it. This might be the healthiest thing ever.


Free Samples:


Stella Puppy Girl Health Food!
I am not a total snob about the things that Stella eats, honest. I just like to treat her if I can afford it + she has alopechia and needs more nutrients. Wanna now how much I paid for all 3 of these things? 88 cents!

Dog Food: 
Free
Just a sample, but Stella seemed to like it. She loves the Rachel Ray food better though!

Sam's Yam's Treats:
35 cents
 They are shaped like french fries! It came with 1 Veggie "Rawhide" and 2 Bichon "Fries". She seemed to like these too. They are all natural and are supposed to keep her teeth healthy and were a great price.

Breath-Less Fizzy: 
45 cents
When I put it in her water, she examined it and sat with nose close to the bowl for like 2 minutes. Anytime she hears a fizzy drink, she gets weirded out, so to hear something fizz in her water was strange to her. After a couple of minutes, the fizz subsided and she actually really liked the water. She was drinking it constantly which leads me to believe that it may have a taste to it but I wasn't going to taste it to find out!

Stella's Healthy Regimen
Stella has been eating a dog food made by Rachel Ray called Just 6.  
It has Just 6 Ingredients: Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, Ground Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Poultry Fat, + Natural Chicken Flavor.  
Stella loves it. The first time I gave it to her, she ate her food instead of begging off of me. Rare occurrence around here (haha!) It's around $10 for a regular sized bag. 

I also give Stella some cottage cheese along with ground flax and ground skin + coat vitamin. She has alopecia and needs the nutrient's. If you have a dog and want to treat him/her, cottage cheese and flax is perfectly healthy!


Another Healthy Tip:
I really wanted to mention this little tip I got from ABAB Coach on Youtube. I have been making these little "healthy baggies" for the week. Here, I add my days worth of vitamins in them. That way, I dont have to guess if I took my vitamins for the day. Such an easy little fun thing! 

I also like to add different things to each bag: 
green tea
a piece of chocolate
E-Boost drink 

 I like this idea because now I will know where I am at in terms of getting my days worth of health benefits + it's fun to add a little treat too! The vitamins I have in there are the ones that I really need. Do some research and see which one's you need to the most, then make your own baggies. It's fun (:
 
In my bag, I have:
Physillium Husk:
 It is just straight up fiber. Fiber is what keeps you full. You need to drink at least 8oz of water before you take this because it expands in your tummy and that is how you get full
 Milk Thistle: 
 If you drink alcohol or take any kind of pills (advil, whatever) this is good. It promotes healthy liver function
 B12:  
It gives you energy.  
 Biotin: 
Good for your skin, nails, + hair.



What's your favorite food to get at the health food store? 
What's your favorite website/blog/channel for healthy tips?

Take care
Erica

Sunday, January 13, 2013

ELF Studio Blushes


I love ELF. They are my favorite on-line store. I know that might sound crazy but seriously, I love them. Maybe it's because they are so cheap but you can really find some gems in the ELF collection. My favorite is the Studio Line products. Almost everything I have tried from the Studio line is really nice. Almost everything in the line is $3 and you can find some codes online to get some money off. I never order without one. Shipping is like $8.

I always hear about these studio blushes and I bought a couple last year and thought they were pretty nice. So, I decided to buy more. Im glad I did because I have a couple of new favorites! The Studio Line blushes come in different finishes and different colors (clearly) and im here to express my opinion on which one's are which, which are crap and which are great!

With a setting spray + a primer, these will last longer than an hour but thats about it. I find that any blush I have ever tried in my life doesn't last any longer than that (except Tarte's blush in Dollface! That will last a couple hours) In that respect, These are your average blushes as far as staying power goes.




Giddy Gold: 
One of my favorites. It is a really pretty, shimmery, gold color that I love using on it's own as a blush, highlight, and an all over bronzer all in one- one super quick look that is different! I wasn't even going to get this one but I am quite happy I did because it's like nothing else I have. The color is just gold! I love that it has shimmer, I think it plays up the bronzed look. Plus, my face has redness and this is a nice change on my face as opposed to a pink blush. I think this would be perfect for that "bronzed goddess" type of look. Once the summer hits, I think this will go hand in hand with my Radiance Enhancer from ELF called Sunrise. I will be talking about it here once summer hits.


Pink Passion: 
A bright cool toned matte pink blush. This is the only matte one of my bunch and I think because of that it is the most chalky- like very chalky! You can tell from the swatch how chalky it is + it is the most intimidating to me. Over on The Beauty Milk, Coco did a review and a FOTD using this which made me wanna try it out again and make it work for me. Maybe when I get a little more sun, it will work. Coco has a really gorgeous deep skin tone and I am quite fair. Check her out! She's so pretty and her blog is so cool!



Candid Coral: 
A shimmery coral color. Very similar to Tickled Pink although Candid Coral is a little more peach. Each name is fitting because this really has more of a peach tone to it than Tickled Pink. This has a really pretty sheen to it. I love blushes with that type of finish.

Tickled Pink: 
Almost identical to Candid Coral, although Tickled Pink is a little bit different. I would describe it as more of a pastel pink and just like Candid Coral it has a really pretty sheen.



Mellow Mauve:
 I would call this a dusty rose color. Very creative. Or we can call it mauve. Out of all the blushes, this one is the most silky. It really is gorgeous to the touch and has more of a satin finish. Another one of my favorites. Looking straight on at the blush in the pan, I see there is some shimmer particles. When I actually swatch/apply it, I don't notice any shimmer going on. In going with a satin finish on this. I am fair skinned and thought this would be too dark. Turns out, it's not! It's really pretty.



Gotta Glow
This is the highlight of the bunch. More yellow toned than pink. Let me tell you, I was the most exited about this one! I used a big round brush to apply this to my cheek bones and when I added it there, I noticed a bunch of shimmer. There is a tiny bit of duo chrome pigment (barely) but mostly all shimmer. You will be very shimmery wherever you apply this and because of that, this one will last longer on your face than any other Studio Line blush mentioned in this blog post. I can't say this is perfect for a day-to-day highlight, but maybe if you have somewhere special to go, or if your a cheerleader, this may be a good option. I love highlighters and I have never tried a real powder highlight. I have many cream highlight's and I use some eye shadow's to highlight my face from time to time, but I can't say I am over the moon about this one. May I recommend a Holy Grail Highlighter? Try the Radiance Enhancer from ELF's Studio Line. Spotlight is my absolute favorite. I love it.


Now for the Swatches:

These were all swatched once over with the exception of Gotta Glow. I wanted you to see the true pigment.

As far as the swatches go, Tickled Pink & Candid Coral are almost identical in comparison. 

I am not going to tell you which one's you should or should not get. I hope you can form your own opinion on behalf of my reviews, swatches, + pictures!

All in all, I love these blushes. I can't wait to get more! My favorites are Mellow Mauve and Giddy Gold right now. I am sure I will have other favorites out of the bunch later on.

This was a long time coming! I had a huge project on my hands for this one! Now I am back to just wearing the blushes instead of watching their every move on my face + examining each one. lol 

So, Have you guys tried any of these colors?
What about other blush colors from ELF's Studio Line? 
Which one is your favorite?
Least Favorite?

Thank you for reading!
xx
Erica 



 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Universal Nude Lip Combo

Because I am so fair skinned (esp. in the winter months!) it's hard for me to find a really great, neutral toned nude on the market. That is probably why I lean toward nude pinks but I am really glad I found something that can truly suit my skin tone. This combo is neither too dark making me just look...weird. Nor is it too light, making my lips look like straight up concealer (although I welcome that look a lot of the time!). It's really a perfect neutral, medium, nude color.



ELF Lip Stain in Heartbreaker:  
If there ever was a perfect nude lip for all skin tones, it would have to be this one. As you can see from the swatch, it does look darker next to my skin. There is a fine line for "nude" when your my color! But for me, this is a really nice, non-pink nude! I think a girl that is much darker than me could pull this off with perfection. im talking Kim Kardashian nude. I can't wait to get a tan! However, with my fair skin it looks simply subtle and weather I wanna go for a subtle eye look, dramatic eye look, heavy contour, it doesn't matter. It will look good with any thing! So any eye look, any face look, any skin tone (fair to deep!) this just might be perfect. Out of the 3, this might be the most universal of all. It is the lightest color and instead of leaning pink, it leads more towards coral. Not that it's coral by any means, but I think because it isn't just straight up brown, it is the most flattering. Not to mention, darker nudes are just awful on my lips. I hate those. 
 As far as performance, it goes on rather silky smooth. Then, just like any other lip stain, it will dry and you will feel it dry. It's the nature of a lip stain.Once you add the clear lip gloss, you will be good to go for a little while. I recommend adding it throughout the day. The actual color of the stain will fade after an hours or so (maybe even less time) if your going to use the clear gloss over top. If you don't, it will last and be dry. Guys, im not going to tell you it will last forever and a day: it won't! That is why I really like adding some sort of  pigmented moisture (aka a lipstick)

L'Oreal Fairest Nude: 
Here is the only nude lipstick I have found at the drugstore (yet) that doesn't have a pink base. I do love pink nudes, but I have so many! The scent of these L'Oreal lipstick's is like baby powder. Im not a fan of the baby powder scent but I don't really mind, just a head's up. As you can see, this is a little darker than Heartbreaker and is more of a brown nude than a coral nude. This color can get into the danger zone. Anybody lighter than me (as if there is anyone in the world that could possibly be fairer than me) this would look just brown. Not nude. For my skin tone and much darker this is a nice, natural, neutral nude lip.

ELF Studio Lip Liner in Natural: 
Just like it's lip stain counterpart, this color is perfect for any girl or any look. This is a universal lip liner which can be used with a bunch of different lip color's: Pinks, Nudes, Berries. When choosing a lip color to go with it, it's really a matter of taste. I really like using this under my pink lipstick's because it will give them a more natural, nude look. The possibilities are endless with this liner



So, there's my 2 cents.
Have you tried any of these?
Do you love them?
Hate them?
What is your skin tone?

Everyone's opinion is different! Make sure to tell us all what you think + what your favorite non-pink perfect nude lipstick color is!

thank you for reading!
Love You!

xx
Erica

Monday, January 7, 2013

Keeping Organized, Saving Money, + Living the Dream!!

There are so many mixed opinions on making resolutions at the beginning of the year. Some people think it is silly because you should be making resolutions or goals all year long. That is so true! But the point we even make resolutions is to change our lives or make them better at least. To me, it doesn't matter when you make the resolution. It's just the act of making it shows that you are committed to a certain point and make sure to always take comfort in that! Let me tell you why it is important for me to make new year's resolutions.

It's important to always stop and re-evaluate your dreams and goals! You need to have an idea of what you want in life and mapping them out is even better. Last summer I did something called a 5 year plan which calls for you to look it over every year to see what I need to do next and the progress I have made. The book Smart Women Finish Rich requires to make a list of your dreams and goals encompassing everything you want your life to be. Any type of self help book, or financial book I read this seems to be the theme. Every year, I make resolutions aka re-evalute what I want out of life. My resolutions change just as my life does. Some things that weren't so important last year, might be the most important this year. Some resolutions from last year I may have completed and I can move on to focusing on other things! It's important for me to refocus every year. To me, it doesn't much matter if it is Jan 1st or December 30th.

This year, I want to make even more progress with my goals! I want to complete all of them. Just as I was pondering my intentions for the year, I came across #HowtobeHappyJanuary on Youtube from Nikki Phillipi. She has learned a method to setting your goals and achieving them and she is teaching it to all of us! It's okay if your not into this type of stuff but I have always been a list maker & life ponderer so I love the idea! If it is something you have never really thought of before but your curious, please join us! It's going to be great!

Here's all the tool's I am using for 2013:

3 Journal's
Spiritual Journal: I write 5 things I am grateful for at least 5x a week. I also go to this website and meditate on the verse. Then, I will write about the verse and what I got out of it. Another thing I like to do is to keep a prayer tab in this journal. If I have any questions about life and I need an answer, I will write them in and then keep my eyes open for an answer in future verses or wherever I feel God is speaking to me.

Healthy Journal: Grocery list's, recipes, & and my weekly menu. I was going to track what I eat but I am doing that in the Tone It Up community + On Twitter

Finance Journal: Taking a thing or 2 from Smart Woman Finish Rich again, it is a recommendation that you track every single penny you spend for the next 7 days. At the end of the week, compare your running tab to your goals and resolutions list you made and really see if your money is funding your dreams or if it is going to useless items{ahem}. After the week is up, im keeping a month by month plan and in each month, writing down what im going to do that month and how much it's going to cost. Example: I wanna go on a shopping trip in May. It's going to cost $200. I divide 200 by the amount of weeks I have until May and I will get my total for what I should be saving week to week. Then, I add all of my weekly expenses and total them to see what I need for the week all together (grocery's, bill's, etc.) Once I have that amount, I put it in the designated slot in accordion folder #2 + I usually have some money left over to spend on whatever I want! Easy peasy. If your trying this out, leave room for each month in case you decide you want to do add something later down the road. Another tip: Write everything in pencil!

Planner & Notebook: I need to get a planner but I am telling you if you wanna simplify your life, you need one! It goes week by week with plenty of space for you to write in each day. The notebook for me is just for miscellaneous things. Blog ideas, My #HowtobeHappyJanuary stuff is in there and also my 5 Year Plan.

Bills and Mail Accordion Folder: The big one. It is for papers I get in the mail. I need to keep track of all of my bills and debts I have. Each pocket is labeled and dedicated to one company or expense. That way, if I need to know how much I have yet to pay or have paid so far, I can refer to the paper I need easily.

Goal Funding Accordion Folder: I am a server, so that means I make tips. I have a designated pocket for each bill and dream I have as well as a saving pocket. I am sure to always save at least %5 of everything I make. I used to save %20 and it became too much so I quit saving all together. Bad idea! This folder goes hand in hand with the Financial Journal.

I suggest you take the 1/2 hour and really think about what you want out of life and make it work!


There's my little tricks to staying track! It has surely evolved over the years!

How are you all keeping organzied and on track?
Anyone else doing #HowToBeHappyJanuary?

xx
Erica

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sugar, Sugar

If your anyone who frequents any type of beauty channel, blog, or you are a Beauty Insider at Sephora then I am almost positive you have seen these before. If your not, then I do recommend you sign up to become a Beauty Insider at Sephora. It's easy. Next time your in the store, tell them you want to be one and they will simply give you a rewards card. With the Beauty Insider card, you can rack up points with the things you purchased to get free stuff. Another perk is that you can get a birthday gift on or after your birthday. You don't even have to buy anything. I love that. Free stuff is always good. I don't know what 2013's gift will be, but 2012's was the Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Duo. 


For free, it is a pretty awesome deal. These aren't some dinky one time use lip balms. You get a really good amount of product in these! Take a look:

First of all the packaging is so nice. They come in nice sleek tubes: 1 rose silver & 1 red chrome type of color/finish(?)(I made those colors up!) I was impressed by the packaging. They really put thought into these baby lip balms and didn't skimp. I can really appreciate that. They smell like lemon. They have an SPF of 15. Also a plus. You don't have to think about using an SPF on your lips since it is already built in. Here's some other cool stuff in them:


"The sweetest smooch ever! This lip-loving duo nourishes, protects, and perfects your pout with a blend of skin-softenening sugar, moisturizing seed oils, and antioxidant-rich vitamins." 

Aside from the fact that you really get a lot product and they moisturize my lips really well, I wouldn't have even mentioned these here on my blog if it wasn't for the Mini Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment. It just leaves a really nice tint on your lips that doesn't even look like a tint. It looks like your natural lips which are plump, smooth, & are a nice juicy red color. For a smokey eye it would look really pretty. I really love using it throughout the day when I don't want to mess with lip gloss or lipstick but I want to look put together. It's really nice. Here's a swatch. I should have maybe swatched on my lips but that's ok! And both of those swatches are the Mini Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment.


If you missed out on 2012's birthday gift from Sephora and are thinking about buying these, the mini lip set comes around $17. Personally, I think that is just too expensive even though they are a pair of great lip balms and a tint. I would probably recommend to just buy the Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment if you were interested. If not, Maybelline's Baby Lips will give the same effect or I know Soft Lips has some great lip tints too. I am just not too sure about the SPF or any of the other added benefits being in any of the drugstore lip balms. If you get this set for free, go for it!

There's my 2 cents. 

Do you have these?
Do you think these are worth the $17 or no?

xoxo
Erica
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