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A Beauty Blog offering makeup reviews, beauty reviews, and makeup news. The place for Beauty Addicts to get their fix!

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    When I sneak peeked the new IT Cosmetics Superhero Eye Transforming Anti-Aging Super Palette ($42) on Instagram the other day I was under the impression that it was launching in August, but surprise! It's available now at Ulta.com.

    I'm getting a really Kat Von D sort of vibe from the packaging and the colors are gorgeous! 

    Here's the official description: 

    Transform your eyes with this must-have, universally flattering, game-changing palette featuring 12 all-new Superhero-inspired shades. Developed with plastic surgeons, each anti-aging, ultra-luxe shadow is formulated with hydrolyzed collagen, silk, peptides and antioxidants, plus innovative Superhero Pigment Power Technology for super smooth, super skin-loving, super saturated shades that last from day to night! Experience your flawless Superhero Nudes, Superhero Neutrals and Superhero Liners, as well as your groundbreaking Superhero Eye Foundation Eyeshadow Base shades in three super wearable colors that are perfect for all skin tones!

    • First-Ever Breakthrough Innovation! Superhero Eye Foundation Eyeshadows (the larger three top shades) color correct, neutralize and smooth for perfectly prepped lids! Wear alone or as your all-over base color.
    • Superhero Nudes (three left-hand shadows) give you a flawlessly gorgeous, "no-makeup" look! Wear alone or with other shadows.
    • Superhero Neutrals (three middle shades) complement the twinkle in your eyes and make your eye color come alive! Wear alone or as your contour crease color.
    • Superhero Liners (three right-hand shades) are super-intensely pigmented for beautiful definition! Wear wet or dry, as your eyeliner or contour crease color.

    Key Benefits:
    • 12 all-new, must-have Superhero-inspired shades, perfect for all skin tones!
    • Superhero Pigment Power Technology for super saturated, velvety, skin-loving color that lasts.
    • Revolutionary Superhero Eye Foundation Eyeshadows color correct, neutralize and smooth lids.
    • Easy how-to guide gives you the power to create limitless eye looks, from natural to classic to smokey.
    • Anti-aging peptides, antioxidants, silk and hydrolyzed collagen.

    I can't wait to try this palette! What about you guys? 

    Grab yours now at Ulta.com
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    I love wearing BB Creams in the Summertime...I rarely find myself reaching for heavier foundations unless I'm going to an event or a wedding and want to look really flawless. They're just too heavy and when the weather is humid, the last thing I want is to feel like I have a mask on my face.

    This summer, I've been trying out three new BB Creams and they're all very different from each other. So I thought I'd do a comparison post because no matter what your skin type, one of these will likely work for you.

    Let's take a look!

    CoverGirl Clean Matte BB Cream ($8.49)- As dry-skinned gal, I was prepared to totally hate this one. Most matte formulas tend to cake up and accentuate my pores and fine lines, so I try to avoid anything with the word "matte" in it. That being said, a lot of you have been asking me to review this product so I purchased it...but didn't have high hopes. I have to say, I'm extremely impressed!

    It provides light coverage that can be built up to medium very easily and it disappears into my skin with a very natural finish, not the powdery one that a lot of matte products have. In fact, once it sets, I don't feel anything on my face at all...there's no sticky or tacky feeling and no dryness. It's also incredibly long lasting! 9-10 hours later, my skin still looked great, which is really amazing for a BB Cream. If you're oily, it's hard for me to say whether this will control oil (because my skin is pretty much devoid of it) but I can tell you that it gives a true matte finish, unlike other matte products that end up looking more satin.

    bh Cosmetics Forever Nude Illuminating BB Cream ($9.50)- Where the Cover Girl Clean Matte is meant for oily skin, the bh Cosmetics Forever Nude Illuminating BB Cream is meant for drier skin types. It contains skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to help minimize fine lines and plump up the skin. It also contains illuminating properties that don't appear glittery or shimmery, just give a lit-from-within glow. Out of the three formulas in this post, this one is the sheerest, but it can still be built up to almost medium-coverage if you add a second layer. I love the way my skin looks in this and have probably worn this one the most this summer. Even when I'm having a not-so-great skin day, adding a little concealer on my trouble areas (under eyes and around nose) make up for the lighter coverage. This one has the shortest wear time at about 7 hours or so unless I set it with powder or use a primer underneath.

    Circa Beauty Color Balance BB Cream ($14)- I picked this up at Walgreens a few months ago and was really impressed for a couple of reasons. First of all, the coverage is amazing for a BB Cream and not at all what I was expecting. I can liken it to IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream in terms of coverage...it's a solid medium out of the tube and can be built up for even more coverage. It dries down to a beautiful satin finish and blends seamlessly into the skin with no sticky or dewy feeling. I reach for this one when I need the coverage of a foundation with the lightweight feel of a BB Cream. It also has great wear time at 8-9 hours!


    In the swatches, you can really see how the finishes differ. The CoverGirl Clean Matte doesn't have any shine, while the bh Cosmetics Illuminating BB has the dewiest finish and the Circa Color Balance falls in between the two.
    Also you can kind of see the coverage levels, with the bh Cosmetics being a bit more sheer, the Circa having the heaviest coverage, with the Cover Girl Clean Matte in between.

    As far as colors go, the CoverGirl and bh Cosmetics are in the shade Light, while the Circa one is in Light Medium (it's a little too dark on me and next time I will get Light).
    So just to sum up...

    CoverGirl Clean Matte

    • Finish- Matte
    • Coverage- Sheer to Medium
    • Great for- Normal to Oily skin types
    • Wear time- 9-10 hours
    • Finish- Dewy
    • Coverage- Sheer
    • Great for- Normal to Dry skin types
    • Wear time- 6-7 hours
    • Finish- Satin
    • Coverage- Medium to Full
    • Great for- All skin types
    • Wear time- 8-9 hours
    Overall, I'm enjoying all of these formulas for different reasons! Have you tried any of these yet, and if not, what's your favorite BB Cream?

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  • 07/21/16--06:44: Sephora Play! July Unboxing
  • My Sephora Play! box arrived the other day and a few minutes later, I posted a photo of the contents to Instagram. Right away, I started getting comments from followers that had gotten a different box and I was surprised because so far, the Sephora Play! boxes have all been the same. 

    Then I remembered that when I first signed up, I filled out a profile that asked about my skincare concerns and skin type as well as hair care concerns, so  guess it was always safe to assume that Sephora would start to vary the boxes based on people's answers. 

    It appears that there was a "dry skin" box and an "oily skin" box. The dry skin box that I received has Benefit's Dew The Hoola, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer, and First Aid Beauty's Face Cleanser, while the oily skin box contained Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer, First Aid Deep Cleanser with Red Clay, and Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer. The other three items were the same. 

    Here's my full box contents: 

    First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (1 oz. sample) I love First Aid's Ultra Repair Cream so I'm excited to try this cleanser! It claims to be packed with antioxidants and pH balanced to be gentle yet effective at removing makeup.

    Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (.25 oz. sample)This is the first primer I ever tried back when they first hit the market and I used to use it religiously. Since then, I've tried SO many different primers, I'm looking forward to trying this one again and comparing it to some of the newer formulas I've been using. 

    Benefit Dew The Hoola (.16 oz. sample) This is a matte liquid bronzer which I don't have a lot of experience with (I normally use powder bronzers) so it'll be interesting to play around with this one. I'm a huge fan of the powder version of Hoola because it's the perfect bronze...not orange at all, and I'm hoping the color of this lives up to the original.

    Ouai Wave Spray- (1.7oz. sample) I was about to buy this and I'm so glad I didn't, because this is a really generous sized sample! I'm always looking for ways to air-dry my hair in the summer and I'm definitely going to try spraying this on damp hair and putting my hair up in bantu knots (thanks for the suggestion guys!). 

    Beautyblender Blotterazzi (1 sponge) This is essentially reusable blotting "paper" made out of the BeautyBlender sponge material. You can carry it with you and blot away oil on the go, then just wash it and reuse it! The regular size is $20 for 2 sponges, so this one is worth the $10 price of the Sephora Play box. 

    Nest Citrine Perfume (1 vial) I admit, I sprayed this as soon as I opened the box. I love Nest fragrances and this one is no exception...it's very fresh and clean with a bit of citrus. It's perfect for summer! On the Sephora website, it's described as "bright, refreshing, & sparkling" with notes of Lemon Blossom, Lotus Flower, Freesia, Dew Drop Accord, and Precious Woods. 

    Overall, I'm very happy with this month's box! I have to say, this is the first subscription box that has had three good months in a row...it's definitely worth the $10 to me. 

    To sign up, please visit Sephora.com

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    I got my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale haul this week, and believe it or not, I only bought one beauty product...the Lorac Refined Romance Palette ($18). There are a lot of great beauty deals to be had, but I blew the majority of my budget on my wardrobe...there are SO many cute fall clothes and shoes out right now (and fall is my favorite season to buy clothes, hands down). Still, if I had to buy one beauty item, I'm so glad I chose this...at $18, it's a steal! 

    Let's take a look...
    The packaging is beautiful with floral artwork that reminds me a lot of Nest fragrances...it's very different from the plain, solid-colored packaging of the Pro and Unzipped palettes. It also doesn't have that soft, rubbery finish on the outside that the Pro palettes have...it's more of a glossy cardboard. Inside, there's a full-size mirror, six eyeshadows, two highlighters, and a blush.

    The palette doesn't have the shade names written on it anywhere, but according to the Nordstrom website, the shades are as follows:


    • Ivory Shimmer
    • Gold Shimmer
    • Burgundy/Brown Shimmer
    • Light Rose/Taupe Matte
    • Light Purple Shimmer
    • Burgundy/Brown Matte
    Face Powders: 
    • Cream Shimmer
    • Light Pink Shimmer
    • Rose Matte Blush

    The palette is the same size as the Pro Palettes, but contains fewer shades (the Pro palettes have 16 eyeshadows) so the pans are larger. There are four shimmer eyeshadows and two mattes. The two highlighters are shimmery (but not chunky) and the rosy blush is a beautiful matte shade.

    I want to mention that this palette is made in China and in the past, they haven't been the same standard of quality as the US-made Lorac palettes. However, this one is everything I would expect from Lorac...the shades are highly pigmented, soft and easy to pick up. They go on beautifully and I really feel like you're getting a $40+ palette for $18.

    These swatches are on bare skin, no primer and the matte shades are as intense and pigmented as the shimmer shades. 
    Overall, the Lorac Refined Romance palette is a steal at $18. I have so many eyeshadow palettes and have been gravitating toward face palettes lately so that I can have more shades at hand either while I'm traveling, or when I don't have a lot of time to get ready in the morning and don't want to have to think too hard about what blush to pair with my eyeshadows.

    This is a limited edition, Nordstrom exclusive so don't wait if you're thinking about getting this one. It's definitely worth the money and will take you from the summer right into the fall/winter season with beautiful neutral shades. 

    Grab yours now at Nordstrom.com

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    Head on over to Ulta.com today to score some great 50% off deals, including Tarte's new Tartiest Lash Paint, Lorac's Front of the Line Pro Liquid Eyeliner, Butter London nail products and more! Plus, there's a great deal on the Clarisonic Mia 2 Party Skin system for $30 off the regular price.

    These deals are good until Sunday, but they may sell out before then so if you're interested in any of these products, I wouldn't wait too long! 

    Grab yours in store now or at Ulta.com

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    When I discover a brand I'm passionate about, I want to shout it from the rooftops, and that's exactly how I feel about Lalicious. They have the most luxurious bath & body products I have ever tried and I'm completely obsessed! My dry skin looks so much better since I started using this line...it actually has a real glow (which I could never get before unless I used a product with shimmer in it).  The scents are also to-die-for! I had been using the Sugar Coconut and Vanilla & Brown Sugar Scents for a while but have always wanted to try Sugar Kiss (their most popular scent- it reminds me a little of Pink Sugar...yum!). Lalicious generously offered to send me all of their products in the Sugar Kiss scent and they sent me another set to give away to one lucky reader (see the bottom of this post to enter).

    Let's take a look at each product:

    Whipped Sugar Scrub ($35 for 16 oz. , $9.50 for a 2 oz. tub)
    Lalicious started with their iconic scrub...it has a fluffy whipped texture that's really unique! The founder of the line wanted to create something that was effective and moisturizing, without the oily mess of traditional scrubs. I'm completely hooked on the texture...it's easy to scoop out and has the perfect amount of grittiness to get the job done well. After rinsing, my skin feels like velvet and I don't even feel like I need to use a body moisturizer afterwards (although I do anyway!). The ingredient list is short and sweet with nothing but great stuff for your skin:

    Sucrose (Cane Sugar), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Honey (Mel).

    * Just a note about ordering...I first ordered this scrub from Ulta.com and when it arrived it was packed down and harder to scoop out. It still works the same but I didn't even realize it was supposed to have a fluffy texture until I received the products straight from Lalicious. I'm wondering if they sit in Ulta's warehouse too long, they get harder over time? Either way, if you plan to order the scrub, I recommend getting it straight through the Lalicious website. They also have smaller 2 oz. tubs for $9.50 so you can try it first without the commitment!

    One of my readers recommended this to me a few months ago, and as soon as I tried it, I knew I would never go back to shower gel. I had tried oil cleansers in the past, but was disappointed because they were runny and didn't lather up at all, so I still felt like I had to use soap afterwards to get clean. This one is completely different! It starts out very thick and rich and when you massage it into damp skin, it turns into this plush, milky lather that gets you clean while moisturizing at the same time. I look forward to using this every day...especially because the scents just make your whole bathroom smell so good while you're using it. You can also use it as a bubble bath! 

    It contains grapeseed oil, plus specialized sugar molecules and probiotics to provide anti-inflammatory benefits! 

    Water (Aqua), Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Cocamide MIPA, Sodium Benzoate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Biosaccharide Gum-1, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Alpha-Gucan Oligosaccharide, Polymnia Sonchifolia Root Juice, Maltodextrin, Lactobacillus, Phenoxyethanol.
    Lalicious Shower Oil & Bubble Bath
    The Oil ($28 for 4 oz. or $12 for a .34 oz travel pump)
    This is the only Lalicious product that comes in just one scent but it's heavenly! When I first got this last week, I just couldn't stop smelling it...it's warm and sweet (but not sticky sweet or juvenile) and it smells tropical without smelling like suntan lotion (the official notes are Peach Nectar, Coconut Milk, and Creamy Musks). If there was a perfume in this scent, I would be first in line to buy it!

    It's thick and rich, and I love putting it on right out of the shower while my skin is still damp to lock in moisture. It contains Coconut Oil, Marula Oil, and Macadamia Nut Oil, plus a blend of plant extracts and it makes my skin glow! You can also use it before shampooing as a hair & scalp treatment, a bath oil, or a shave oil.

    Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Ubuntu Marula Virgin Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Garcinia Mangostana (Mangosteen) Pell Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Leaf Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Primula Veris (Primrose) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil.

    Lalicious The Oil
    Hydrating Body Butter ($26.50 for 8 oz.) 
    This body butter is thick and rich, yet it melts right into your skin and disappears quickly without leaving you feeling greasy. I love putting this on before I get into bed! I might be weird, but I love putting on lotions that smell great before I get into bed and then fall asleep breathing in the scent...mmm! This contains Shea Butter, Safflower Oil, Aloe, and vitamin E to nourish and protect your skin.

    Water (Aqua), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycol Stearate, Dimethicone, Fragrance (Parfum), Polysorbate 60, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide.

    Lalicious Hydrating Body Butter

    Weightless Hand Cream ($18)
    This hand cream is truly weightless, just like it's name! It sinks in immediately, so I love using it throughout the day knowing that I won't be putting greasy fingerprints all over everything. It contains Mango Butter and Milk Thistle to seal in moisture and it makes your hands feel so soft! I have one in my bag and one on my nightstand and have been using it religiously.

    Water(Aqua), Mangifera Indica Seed Butter, Sodium Carboxymethyl, Starch Glyceryl Stearate, Fragrance (Parfum), Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Lecithin, Silybum Marianum, Ethyl Ester, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
    Lalicious Weightless Hand Cream
    Lip Butter ($18 for .20 oz.)
    This lip butter has a firmer texture so it's not greasy or sticky. It makes your lips feel moist and soft with a hint of shine...it's perfect alone or under lip products since it's not super glossy. It contains Shea Butter, Jojoba, and Soy to nourish and protect your lips. Mine look and feel so much softer after using this the past week!

    Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Vegetable Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Polyglycerides, C15-23 Alkane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Oilvate, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Red 40 (CI 16035), Fragrance (Parfum
    Lalicious Lip Butter
    Lalicious has several different scents to try, but I can give you my impressions of the ones I've tried so far...

    Sugar Kiss (Citrus, Rose, and Vanilla)- This is warm and sweet and reminds me a bit of Pink Sugar perfume. This is probably my favorite and the products are strongly scented so I can smell it throughout the day when I'm wearing it.

    Sugar Coconut (fresh coconut)- This is a straight up sweet coconut milk scent...there's no suntan lotion vibe here. If you love coconut, you'll want to try this one! This is the first scent I tried and I'm still in love with it...I would say it's a little more subtle than the Sugar Kiss scent.

    Brown Sugar Vanilla (vanilla & caramel)- This has a sweet, toasted, burnt sugar scent...so delicious! It's the warmest scent of the ones I've tried and smells good enough to eat.

    Sugar Lavender (sweet lavender blossoms)- This isn't a medicinal-smelling lavender...it has a sugary sweetness that is rounded out by the soothing lavender. It's a beautiful blend and smells similar to Sugar Kiss (at least to my nose), with a twist of lavender.


    Ok, is your mouth watering yet?  It's giveaway time! One grand prize winner will receive the entire Sugar Kiss collection plus The Oil in full sizes (worth $153.50), courtesy of Lalicious. I also went ahead and purchased two 2 oz. scrubs in the Sugar Lavender and Sugar Coffee (smells just like coffee!) scents to give away- see them in the photo below. I will choose (at random) one person to win the Sugar Lavender scrub, and one person to win the Sugar Coffee scrub. So there will be a total of three winners! Enter Below and Good Luck to All!

    Lalicious Sugar Kiss Set

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    Hey guys! I'm in the latest issue of Women's World magazine (on newsstands now) talking all about bronzers and how to get a sun-kissed glow. I can't tell you how excited I get when I see my name in a magazine...it's totally surreal!
    Anyway, next time you're at the grocery store, definitely check it out! :)

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    The Tarte Cosmetics Friends & Family sale is here, and you can save 30% on most things (there are a few exclusions) using the code FRIENDS. I've been adding things to my cart, waiting for the next sale and I'm excited that it's finally here!

    • First, I wasn't sure I wanted the new Kiss & Blush Cream Cheek & Lip Paletteuntil I saw it at Sephora the other day. Swatching these highly pigmented (and non-greasy) cream formulas put me over the edge. I almost bought it, but I'm glad I didn't because I'll save $12.60 buying it during the sale today. 
    • Next, I've been really into BB Creams with a little illumination in them lately (like the BH Cosmetics one I just talked about the other day), so I decided to try the Amazonian Clay BB Illuminating Moisturizer. It's not a new product (it's actually on sale too!), but it has almost 5 star reviews, so I'm willing to give it a shot! 
    • I've been wanting to try the Glossy Lip Paint ever since it came out. I'm not a fan of mattes (total gloss girl here!) so this sounds right up my alley...and the colors are gorgeous. 
    • Finally...can you believe I don't own the Showstopper Palette yet? I've been wanting to add this to my collection for a while and was just waiting for a sale. I bought the Rainforest After Dark palette during the last 30% off sale and I love it so much especially for fall, so this is the more subtle, daytime (summery) version. 

    I was able to get everything here for under $100 ($90.30 to be exact!), which is a savings of $38.70. Don't forget to use code FRIENDS during checkout!

    What are you getting during the Tarte Friends & Family sale? I'd love to hear about it!

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    Wet n Wild is one of my favorite drugstore brands because they offer great quality and some of the lowest prices. They were the first makeup brand I tried back in the late '80's and I've been using them ever since. Recently, Wet n Wild sent me a big box of products to try and it filled in a lot of the gaps in my collection...then I realized that I had enough products to create an entire look from one brand, from primer to mascara!

    So I decided to do a natural, everyday look and I applied my makeup the way that I would wear it out of the house. Unfortunately, when you photograph makeup, it tends to disappear so if you want it to show up in pictures, you really have to pile it on heavily. I didn't want to overdo it because I still wanted to look like me, so it might be hard to see the actual colors on my skin. I'll swatch the shades I used down below so you can see the shades better. 
    1. I started with the Coverall Primer ($4.99). This primer is a white creamy gel-type formula rather than the clear silicone type. It makes my skin feel so smooth once it sets. I just apply it all over, even my eyelids and let it set for a few minutes before applying foundation. 

    2. Next, I applied the Coverall Cream Foundation $3.99 in Light. This medium-to full coverage foundation is thicker than a lot of other foundations and has a satin-matte finish. Since I have dry skin, I applied it with a damp BeautyBlender to give it a little more dewiness. I love how flawlessly it covers...I can compare it to much more expensive formulas and it's hard to believe it's only $3.99! The only thing is, this foundation runs dark, so the light is a little too deep for me. Next time I'm at Rite Aid I'll grab a lighter shade.

    3. I applied theIllumi-Naughty Highlighting & Concealing Pen ($4.99) in the shade Ivory Into You under my eyes, between my brows (blending up into my forehead a little), around my nose and lips. It's really lightweight and gives good coverage, plus it brightens and adds glow without adding shimmer...love it! 

    4. Then I went in with the 10-Pan Studio Eyeshadow Palette ($6.99) in Coming in Latte. I used the 6th shade (a taupe matte brown) in my crease, the 5th shade (a shimmery bronze) on my lid concentrating on the outer half and blending across and the 4th shade (a shimmery copper bronze) to brighten the center of my lids a little bit. 

    5. Since I was going for a natural look (and it's super hot outside and my liner always melts), I skipped eyeliner and went straight for mascara. I used the Max Volume Plus Mascara ($4.99). This formula really plumps up my lashes and I love the brush...it gives you thicker lashes without the clumps. 

    6. Now that my foundation has set, I went in with the Megaglo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche($4.99). I used the highlight shade (which is matte) to set the concealer under my eyes and to further brighten the area a bit. Then I used the contour shade under my cheekbones. I love how soft and blendable this powder is and the colors are perfect for fair to light skintones like mine. I don't contour very often so I didn't want to invest in an expensive contouring kit...this one is a great, affordable alternative!

    7. On my cheeks, I used the Coloricon Blush in Rose Champagne ($2.99). I love how soft and buttery these are and this shade is one of my favorites! It's the perfect dusty rose with gold shimmer. 

    8. Last, but not least, I'm wearing the Megalast Lip Color ($1.99) in Bare It All. First of all, this color is the perfect peachy nude. Second, this lipstick is super pigmented and doesn't move...I don't need to use a lip liner and it stays within my lip line. Also, the finish is semi-matte and when I first applied it there was a little bit of drag and I was worried about it being too dry. Then I rubbed my lips together and it sort of melted into my lips and took on a very creamy feel. I topped it with a little bit of clear lip balm for a bit of shine (I find it makes my lips look a little plumper) and it stayed for hours! I need this in more colors for sure, especially since it's 2 bucks...crazy! 

    All of the products I used add up to around $35, which is amazing and I got great results from everything. I can't wait to play some more and create some bolder looks next time!

    What are your favorite Wet n Wild products? 

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    The Sephora Colorful Eyeshadow Vintage Filter Palette ($28) caught my attention while I was browsing around Sephora last week. Do I really need another eyeshadow palette? Nope! But I just couldn't resist these vintage-inspired shades...I don't have anything like this in my collection and the packaging is beautiful. Let's take a look!

    This palette has a vintage-style photo on the front that's underneath a layer of clear plastic (the rest of the palette is made out of sturdy plastic as well). It gives the photo a more dimensional effect and it's really unique compared to all of the palettes I have.
    On the back, the shades are listed as well as a description. The shades with hearts next to them are existing Sephora Colorful Eyeshadows (singles) and the rest are brand new to this palette.

    Inside, there are ten eyeshadows and a large, full-sized mirror. Two of the shadows are larger than the others and these would be your shimmer and matte highlight/browbone shades. 

    The shades are inspired by that dreamy, low-contrast look that old photos have. There are both warm and cool tones here, as well as matte and shimmer shades. The shimmers have a very subtle, refined shimmer to them...no chunky glitter here.

    If you're looking for heavily pigmented eyeshadows, you won't find it in this palette. A few of them are, but the majority are soft and sheer...yet very buildable. 

    I know quite a few people who prefer eyeshadows that go on as a sheer wash and can be built up to their liking so if that's you, you'll really like this one! I would definitely suggest using primer with these to make them last longer though...without it, they tend to fade fast. The good news is, these shades blend well and look great on the eyes, so I can't complain too much. 

    These swatches are two swipes on bare skin (no primer) so if you are wearing primer, they'll be a bit more intense in one swipe. They all feel very soft with the exception of Cashmere Coat, which is a bit dry and less pigmented than the others. Also, Antiqued goes on a bit patchy even though it has a soft texture.
    Overall, if you like these soft, dreamy shades and don't mind building up the color a bit, this is a nice little palette to try. There are also two other versions on the Sephora website, Sunbleached Filter and Overcast Filter (just a heads up, there are quite a few negative reviews of the Sunbleached one because it has so many light shades it doesn't show up on lighter skin tones).

    You can find the Vintage Filter Palette at Sephora.com

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    I must be crazy. I just paid $22 for a tinted lip balm when I have a bunch of perfectly good ones at home. Still, I couldn't resist the packaging of the new Estee Edit CocoBalm, as well as the coconut scent (because if I could just smell coconuts 24/7 that would be awesome). 
    CocoBalm is part of the new younger, hipper line of Estee Lauder called The Estee Edit that launched this past Spring. A lot of the products have really cute packaging but these in particular made me do a double take and say, "what is that?" 
    Turns out, it's a coconut oil-infused lip balm that comes in five different shades. It has a coconut scent and claims to "melt onto lips to moisturize and coat on vibrant color". 
    At first glance, I thought it was a pot but then I realized that it has a little cap that you twist and it pops right off. A lot of the reviews on Sephora's website say that people had a hard time prying the cap off with their nails since it's too small to grip and pull off. But you don't have to do that at all...I found that just twisting it slightly to the side makes it pop right off easily.

    My issue is with the applicator. It's tiny! You can't really cover your lips without multiple swipes and it's made out of a harder plastic so it doesn't feel nice when you're using it to spread the balm around. So I end up resorting to using my fingers to swipe it from the applicator and then apply it to my lips which can get a bit messy.

    The packaging is unique in that the bubble in the center is soft and squishy. You just squeeze it to make the balm come out of the applicator. It's definitely cute...no question about that! I just have to wonder how well it'll work once the balm gets down near the bottom. I have a feeling it'll get stuck in there with no way out.
    I got the shade Coco Berry and I love the color...it's such a pretty sheer pink. The formula feels on the thicker side (but not as thick as the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask if you've tried that one). It definitely makes my lips feel very hydrated, but it also feels a little sticky. This isn't the kind of balm that sinks in and leaves your lips feeling soft and silky (like Maybelline Baby Lips, for example)...you can definitely feel this one sitting on top until it wears off. 

    Here it is on me...it's a very subtle and soft shade and just gave my lips a boost of color.

    Overall, I think I got carried away with the cool packaging on this one but I have to ask myself if I would buy this balm if it came in an ordinary jar? Probably not. It definitely moisturizes, but not any more than some other lip balms I have at home. One of my favorites (and the most hydrating in my collection) is the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed which ends up being a similar color on my lips anyway. On a budget, I really like the Circa Beauty Lip Butters (they come in stick form) for a hint of tint and tons of hydration. 

    If you'd like to try The Estee Edit CocoBalm, you can grab it now at Sephora.com and Sephora stores. 

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    I just got the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Kiss & Blush Cream Cheek & Lip Palette from the Tarte friends and family sale and I wanted to hurry and get a first impression/swatch post up before the sale ends tomorrow in case any of you guys were curious about buying it!

    This palette costs $42 but you can get it for $29.40 with code FNFat tartecosmetics.com through tomorrow, 7/27.

    Let's take a look!
    This palette is really gorgeous in person- it's bright pink with gold and lavender sand dollars printed on the front. The back and inside of the palette is a shiny gold plastic and the pans are arranged in a circle with a highlighter in the center.
    It's the same size and setup as the Tartiest Contour Palette and the Wipeout Color Correcting Palette. I don't have either one of those, but for reference, here it is next to the Rainforest of the Sea Eyeshadow Palette and the Tartelette in Bloom palette. It's actually quite large and holds a lot of product!

    Inside, there's a large mirror, five cream blush/lipsticks, and one cream highlight. There's a plastic sheet that comes inside the palette that has the shade names on it, so they aren't printed anywhere inside. I wonder why Tarte decided not to put them in the palette like they did with the Rainforest Eyeshadow Palette? It's nice to be able to see the shade names at a glance without having to hang on to that plastic sheet.
    This palette has a beautiful range of shades, including pink, nude, peach, mauve, and berry, plus a pearl highlighter. I'm normally not a fan of products that claim to be used on both lips and cheeks. Usually they work fine for my cheeks but have a strange dry texture when applied to the lips.

    So of course, I applied one of the shades to my lips first, expecting to hate it and move on to my cheeks, but I was completely surprised by it! The texture is soft, creamy and silky and it felt really nice on my lips...like a moisturizing lipstick. Plus it gave amazing coverage...these are highly pigmented. They have a beautiful satin finish, which will satisfy those of you who don't like glosses and also those of you who aren't crazy about mattes.
    Because they felt so emollient on my lips, I expected them to feel greasy on my cheeks but again, this palette totally surprised me! I swirled my finger around in the pan and went to dab it on my cheeks and my skin just started to suck it right in. So I had to work very quickly to blend it out before it dried. A minute later, I could run my fingers over my cheek and not even feel like I put anything on them (note...I have dry skin. If you're oily, you may have a different experience). I also love that these don't contain any shimmer (but you can use the highlight shade to add it if you want to). They look very natural on the skin once they're blended out and don't accentuate your pores.

    The only exception was the highlight shade, Cloud 9. For some reason, that did feel a little greasy on my cheeks. But to be fair, it may be because I put a lot of it on...I had trouble getting it to show up on my skin tone, plus it's more sheer than the blushes. I think deeper skin tones will be able to use less and maybe then it won't feel as greasy as it did on me.

    You can see in the swatches how pigmented these are in one swipe! I'm absolutely loving the color selection...you have more neutral shades, a fun pink shade, and a dramatic evening shade.
    Overall, the Tarte Kiss & Blush Cream palette is really impressing me so far! I applied the shade Butterflies to my lips and cheeks at 4pm and it's now 10pm and they're both still going strong (the color stained my lips but I can't feel it on them anymore).

    If you're thinking about getting this palette, grab it now while the Tarte 30% off sale is still going on (use code FNF). 

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    The best $4.49 I've spent in quite a while was on the new Essence Pure Nude Highlighter. I picked it up during a recent Ulta haul as an impulse buy..I wasn't expecting much but figured it would be fun to try, especially since it was so inexpensive. I just didn't expect it to be so beautiful!

    Let's take a look...
    The Essence Pure Nude Highlighter comes in one shade called Be My Highlight. It's a baked formula that claims to be ultrasmooth (so true!). Packaging-wise, it's nothing too special...there's no mirror, no applicator. It's pretty simple and the compact it comes in is sturdy enough. Honestly, it's what's inside that counts here, people!
    When I first got this home, I was a little disappointed that it didn't look "shiny" enough to be a highlighter. It looked more satin-finish, like a face powder would be. Turns out, when you apply it to your face, it has the perfect amount of sheen to it. It's not an in-your-face highlight and it doesn't have visible shimmer particles. But when you dip your brush into this ultra-smooth powder and smooth it across your cheekbones, it just lights them up with the most beautiful, natural-looking glow. 

    These photos will never do this highlighter justice...heck, swatching doesn't even do it justice. I have the worst time trying to photograph highlighters...they just never come out looking like they should! But trust me when I say this goes on SO beautifully. It's very close to my skin tone which is usually the kiss of death for me because they don't show up. I'm always trying to find highlighters that are lighter than my skin to make them pop (not an easy task since I'm so pale) but in this case, I like that it blends in because all you see is the sheen from it, rather than the product itself. Basically, my skin just looks like it's glowing.

    Here, I wanted to compare the color to some other popular highlighters so you can get a feel for what it looks like. It does have a little bit of pink in it and also some gold. It's not as pink as Wet n Wild's Precious Petals, and is just a little more golden (and less peachy) than Becca's Champagne Pop although it's pretty close to that (with less shimmer). It leans more golden than Becca's Opal but not as pure gold as The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer since it does have that little bit of pink to it.
    Overall, this is one highlighter that is not to be missed! It's less than $5 and the baked formula is so silky smooth with great pigmentation. If you love a more natural highlight, you'll LOVE Essence Pure Nude.

    Grab yours now at Ulta.com

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    **Update- This deal is expiring in a few days!**

    I was recently introduced to a fantastic new online shop called BeautyKind. They're a prestige beauty retailer that allows women to buy the brands they love for the same prices they would pay elsewhere , while supporting the cause of their choice. Here's how it works:

    1. Choose a charity...they have hundreds to choose from such as the American Cancer Society, Ninja Paws Animal Rescue, Soles for Souls, Habitat for Humanity and so much more!

    2. Shop! There are so many amazing brands to choose from including Bliss, Laura Geller, Butter London, Ahava, Fekkai, GlamGlow, Jouer, Lipstick Queen, Ren Skincare, T3 and lots more.

    3. Save! BeautyKind has generously given me gift codes especially for my readers to use where you'll get $50 off a $75 purchase. This only applies to new customers. Once you use the code once, it can't be used again. Use code BudgetBeauty at checkout.

    4. 5% of your purchase will go toward the cause you chose!

    In case you're curious, here's what I ended up getting with my first order (it's what you see in the photo above)...

    Lalicious Sugar Coconut Body Butter ($26.50)

    Butter London Nail Lacquer in KIP($15)

    Cailyn O! Wow Brush($28)

    Laura Geller Baked Gelato Illuminizer in Gilded Honey ($26)

    I also highly recommend Butter London Lippy Liquid Lipstick (I love the shade Toff, which is a beautiful mauve color). I also love Lipstick Queen's Frog Prince lipstick (see my review here) and Laura Geller's Baked Blushes and Spackle Primer are fantastic as well!

    I can't wait until my order arrives and I couldn't wait to share BeautyKind and this amazing deal with you!

    Don't forget to use code BudgetBeauty- it's good until July 31, 2016 so please share it with your friends! 

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  • 07/28/16--07:33: Instagram Round-Up
  • It's been a crazy summer so far...we've been going on vacation, weekend trips, visiting friends & family, etc. and I haven't had a lot of extra time to post everything I want to the blog. But I do post a lot on Instagram because it's quick, easy, and I can do it from my phone no matter where I am.

    Here are some recent posts that I've been wanting to share here on the blog, but didn't have the chance until now...

    • Check out this sneak peek of new flower blushes from bh Cosmetics...aren't they so pretty? They're not out yet, but I'll definitely let you know when they launch! 

    • The new bh Cosmetics Bliss Lash Mascara ($6) and Satin Bronzers ($7) are now live on their website! I love the rose gold packaging on these and those satin bronzers look really pretty...I have my eye on that lightest rosy bronze shade!  

    • bh Cosmetics is also releasing some metallic liquid lipsticks soon...I saw these swatches on snapchat and they look really pretty! 

    • On L'oreal's Snapchat, I saw these new highlighters that will be coming out for Fall 2016. They look a lot like the ones that launched last year (those were called True Match Lumi and these are called True Match Highlight). I wonder if they reformulated since the previous ones were really glittery and not too smooth. Hmm...

    • The Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lips have arrived and I re-posted some swatches from @trendmood1. It's funny how the first photo got almost twice as many likes as the second one! Seems like everyone is all about the nudes lately. :) 

    I spotted the new Jordana Cosmetics Lip Lights at Kmart last week. These have been on their website for a while but this is the first I've seen them in-store.

    I saw this amazing sneak peek on beautylogicblog's Snapchat...The Balm Cosmetics will be offering a set of 6 Meet Matt(e) Hughes mini liquid lipsticks on Amazon for Holiday 2016. It'll be $25 and will be available in September!

    Here's another Sneak Peek from @jerrodblandino, the creator of Too Faced Cosmetics. It looks like there will be a Sweet Peach Glow palette coming late this year (November or December) for Spring 2016. I'm not sure if this will be highlighters, or highlighters and blush, but I'm guessing we'll start to see sneak peeks of the inside very soon. I'll keep you posted!

    Also, I reposted this great swatch photo from @vanedb of the new Maybelline Color Jolts with the Too Faced Melted lipsticks...it's incredible how many dupes there are! By the way, if you love dupes, you should definitely follow @vanedb...she posts a lot of them and they're always fantastic!

    Finally, I reposted this great Makeup Revolution dupe for one of the shades in the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit. Makeup Revolution's Golden Lights Vivid Baked Highlighter ($6 at Ulta) is an almost spot-on dupe for the Marshmallow shade in the ABH kit.

    That's it for now! If you'd like to see even more Budget Beauty Blog updates, don't forget to follow me on Instagram! In addition to the posts I talked about here, I also post my "Makeup of the Day" pretty often as well as favorite products and more store sightings. 

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    City Color Cosmetics is having a fantastic sale right now, which includes (my personal fave) the Be Matte Blushes for only $2.49 each!

    Several colors are sold out, but you here are my swatches of the shades currently available:

    So head on over to the City Color sale page to get 50% off a variety of City Color products.

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  • 07/11/16--07:49: New Pixi Beauty at Target

  • New Pixi Beauty products have just hit the Target website and I'm so excited for all of them, especially the Glow Tonic pads that are perfect for summer travel! Let's take a look...

    MultiBalm ($12)-These chubby sticks can be used on lips and cheeks and have a cream-to-powder formula that's enriched with shea butter, aloe, and rosehip oil. They come in five shades...Baby Petal (nude), Sheer Sculpt (brown), Soft Strawberry (red), Watermelon Veil (pink), and Wild Rose (rose).

    Lower Lash Mascara ($11)-This mascara has a super slim brush to grab every lash and a water-resistant formula keeps smudges at bay. It contains Vitamin E and Panthenol to condition lashes and is great for sensitive and watery eyes. I already love and use Maybelline Lash Discovery, which is a lot cheaper than this one, but the mascara junkie in me wonders if this will make my lashes look different in some way. Sigh...I may have to get it and find out. ;)

    Pixi Lip Lift Max (new shades) $14-  In addition to the original Lip Lift Max (which was a translucent shade) there are now two new colors, Honey Sheen and Sheer Rose. This gloss contains peptides to plump your lips and a cooling minty flavor. I know quite a few people who love the original Lip Lift Max but I never tried it for two reasons:  I've already been blessed with naturally full lips and also because minty-flavored lip products tend to dry my lips out. Still, I know a few people that will be really excited that this formula now comes in different shades!
    Pixi Glow Tonic-to-Go Pads ($18 for 60 ct)- I'm super excited for these because I love Pixi's Glow Tonic and these pads are their travel-friendly sister! There are 60 pads in this jar, so it'll last two months (if you're using it once a day) and each one is pre-soaked with Glow Tonic. No more lugging around the bottle and cotton pads...just throw this jar in your travel bag and you're good to go!
    Best of Bright Discovery Kit ($22)-If you haven't tried Pixi's Glow Tonic or Glow Mud yet, this kit is the perfect way to try the Glow Mud Cleanser (one of my favorites), the cult-classic Glow Tonic, and the Glow Mud Mask. If you're already a fan like I am, this kit is also great for travel so you don't have to bring the full sizes on vacation with you.

    Do you have any of these on your wishlist?

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    If you don't already own the Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, now's your chance to grab it at 50% off!
    Ulta stores and Ulta.com are offering this beauty steal for today (July 30) only or while supplies last, plus you'll get free shipping on your entire order as long as you get the Naked Smoky palette.

    Happy shopping!

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    I recently picked up two Palladio Crushed Metallic Shadows ($5.99) at Ulta and I will definitely be back for more! They remind me a lot of the City Color Shimmer Shadows and the Kat Von D Metal Crush eyeshadows...they're highly pigmented and although they're a powder, they have a creamy, almost bouncy texture.
    They come packaged in cute little round compacts and you can see the color through the lid. On the back of the palette, there's a label with the name of the shade and the ingredients. Also, I should mention that these are made in Canada, not China (I know a lot of people who refuse to buy products made in China).
    Stellar is a beautiful metallic taupe-y brown and Supernova is a deep burgundy red. They swatch beautifully, one swipe gives intense color with almost no fallout. When it comes to metallic shadows, I don't usually do complicated eye looks...I  just swipe on one color all over the lid. This means that most of the time, I just use my finger. However, I did test these out using a brush and they pick up well and apply nicely that way too.

    One swipe of each, no primer
    Overall, these are a great budget-friendly find and I'm excited to try more products from Palladio! What about you, have you tried these yet?

    Grab them now at Ulta.com

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    If you're a fan of the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment like I am, you'll probably be excited to know that a new version has just launched called Sugar Cream Lip Treatment ($24).  It claims to have a "cushiony" texture and "marries the benefits of lip color and skincare to deliver a soft, modern glow."

    The formula contains sugar, Vitamins E & C, plus a blend of oils to provide six hour moisture while coating the lips with liquid color.

    I just picked one up in the color Blush and can't wait to try it out! What do you think? Are you a fan of Fresh Lip products?

    Grab one now at Sephora.com

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