Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Radiant Orchid Beauty Favorites

Watch my Radiant Orchid favorites HERE and please subscribe while you're there! :)

I purchased these products (with the exception of the MAC blush) at my local drugstores. Prices will vary slightly depending on which drugstore you choose. 

Essie Polish | Play Date | $8.50 at Essie

Cheaper Alternative: Wet n Wild Megalast Polish | On A Trip | $1.99 at CVS

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow | Burst Into Bloom | $6.99 at Amazon

Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eyeliner | Purple Shock | $5.42 at Amazon

MAC Blush | Breath of Plum | $21.00 at MAC Cosmetics

Revlon Lip Butter | Gumdrop | $5.55 at Amazon

Maybelline Color Whisper | Oh La Lilac | $4.97 at Amazon

Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipstick | Divine | $5.99 at Amazon

Milani Lip Intense Liquid Color | Violet Addict | $6.49 at Milani

Maybelline Color Elixir | Vision in Violet | $6.85 at Amazon

What are your favorite Radiant Orchid products?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

e.l.f. Cosmetics Full Face Tutorial

Click HERE to watch my first One Brand Tutorial using all e.l.f. Cosmetics! I wanted to a very affordable look that anyone could achieve - no matter your level of skill or size of your wallet! Everyone loves a good smokey eye and nude lip, and anyone can pull it off! Here are my thoughts on some of the best and worst of e.l.f. cosmetics. :)

Products used in this tutorial can be purchased at Target, Walgreens, at eyeslipsface.com.

e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation in shade Sand - $6
I purchased this foundation specifically for this tutorial with absolutely no idea what to expect. My first impression? The packaging is phenomenal. It's in a glass container and has a pump. (Why can't all foundations come with a pump? Is it really too much to ask?!) I got the second to the lightest color, but the color runs very yellow. Super yellow. The product says oil free, so I was worried it would be way too dry for me. For a product that says it's free of oil (or any product for that matter), this foundation leaves a very dewy finish. If you have oily skin, this product is not for you! I didn't set it with powder, and I actually felt that I was getting way too shiny... and that never happens to me! This product does oxidize as well, so keep that in mind when picking a shade (go lighter than you think you will need). Overall, this product is not bad. I can make it work. However, I would prefer to spend a few more dollars and get a lower maintenance foundation.

e.l.f Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter - $3
I remember using this product when it first came out. Maybe it worked for me back then because I didn't have much to conceal, but I was shocked when I recently picked up another one for this tutorial. The highlighter is laughable. It's stark white and impossible to use, even on my fair skin. I don't know a single soul who could make it work. The concealer itself is okay. If you're young and don't have dark circles to conceal but are looking to brighten your under eye area, this could definitely work. If you're like me and need to conceal, the thin and very liquid texture of this product is not going to cut it. There are far better drugstore options in my opinion.

e.l.f. Studio HD Blush in Headliner - $3
e.l.f. has been known for some great blushers, so I was very intrigued when I saw their HD blush while I was meandering through the cosmetic aisle in Walgreens. The pigmentation in this product is no joke. You can go from a nice rosy flush to full on clown in a quick second. This blush must be very gently applied (a little goes a looong way) and gives a nice glowy finish. Although it can be rather patchy and difficult to blend, overall I think this is a nice product. There aren't a lot of similar products to be found at the drugstore. I still prefer my other e.l.f. blush featured in my February Favorites.

e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Medium - $3
If you are a big eyebrow person, I think this is a great kit, especially for the price. However, I rarely find myself reaching for the gel part of the duo. The powder is decent, but if you have any eyeshadow that works well, I would skip out on the $3. Don't get me wrong, I do like this product and use it on occasion, I just don't find it to be a necessity.

e.l.f. Clear Brow and Lash Gel - $1
I won't ramble on about this product, because if you've seen any of my videos, you know that I love this stuff. It holds my brows in place without leaving me feeling like my brow hairs are glued to my face. It's certainly not the best brow gel on the market, but it gets the job done. And it's one dollar. Need I say more?

e.l.f. Studio Blush/Bronzer Duo in St. Lucia - $3
I have loved this product for years. I think this and their studio blushes are my favorite e.l.f. products. I have featured it in favorites before, and it continues to be a favorite.

e.l.f. Eyelid Primer - $1
This is a great drugstore primer. I have extremely oily eyelids and will probably be a MAC Painterly girl until the day I die, but I honestly have to say this stuff is good and can contend even with my oily lids. It reminds me a lot of Too Faced's Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay's Primer Potions, but for a teeny fraction of the cost!

e.l.f Volumizing Mascara - $2
I have to say I had little expectations of this $2 mascara. It claims to be volumizing... yeah, not so much. And it's not really lengthening, so I was ready to toss it. I must say though, I was pleasantly surprised at the affect it gave my lower lashes. On days when I wear less makeup, I usually don't coat my lower lashes at all because they often look too dramatic. This mascara gives them great definition without being too much. I am definitely keeping this little guy in my day-to-day routine!

e.l.f. Custom Eye Shadows in Moondust and Ivory - $1 each
While I don't reach for these shadows in my Custom Eye Compact very often, I must say they are surprisingly pigmented and creamy. The Ivory shade can be somewhat chalky, but I am pretty impressed with the quality considering the cheap price.

e.l.f. Studio Baked Eyeshadow in Bark - $3
I love the color of this shadow especially when paired with the black liner as demonstrated in my video, but the texture of this shadow is pretty awful. It's super dry, chalky, and almost uncomfortable to wear. I would definitely skip out on this formula and stick with the $1 single shadows.

e.l.f. Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - $2
I can't even describe how much I loathe this product. The formula is nothing special (not even waterproof) but the pen applicator is so stiff. It's difficult to apply and it actually tugs at my skin! Ouch. No, just... no.

e.l.f. Studio Matte Lip Color in Natural - $3
I have been loving this lip pen since last summer. It's a perfect nude color with just enough pink. I do feel I need to apply a gloss or balm on top to keep it from getting too dry. This product is definitely a win for me!

e.l.f. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm in Nice and Natural - $3
This is a great lip balm to top over any lip product. It's a very complimentary natural color, it smells good, and it's not too sticky. My only complain is the giant tub it comes in. Not very practical to throw in your bag. But still, it's a great product.

e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set Spray - $6
You'll see in my video that I only used this product to dampen my brush to make the mineral eyeshadow more metallic. In my opinion, that's the only thing this product is good for. It's way too sticky, and I don't notice a difference in the way it makes my makeup look or last. I would pass on this guy...

The total cost for these products?! $41 (unless you don't count the spray, in which case it's $35!!) That just goes to show you can still look good using affordable products and make them work, even if they aren't the best products on the market.

Would you be interested in seeing a blog post dedicated to all my favorite e.l.f. products? Comment telling my your favorite e.l.f. items!!


Monday, March 3, 2014

February Favorites

It's that time again! Monthly Faves! I filmed my February Favorites video yesterday, not realizing that my camera was out of focus the whole time! Ugh. Sooo, this blog is dedicated to all the stand-out products that I could not stop using for the month of February! And I am still using most, if not all, of my January Faves. You can watch that video here.

Mario Badescu Ceramide Herbal Eye Cream, $18 at Ulta

I had been on the hunt for a new eye cream for some time. I had heard so many wonderful things about this line, so I was dying to try one of the eye creams. I decided to go with this one because it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (never too early to start!) and leave a youthful glow around the eye area. It's super moisturizing but not greasy. It's practically non-fragrant, if anything it just smells clean. I love smelly goodness (you know what I mean) as much as the next gal, but I can be sensitive to strong smells, so when I'm going to bed at night I definitely prefer the clean scent over anything else. If you are on the market for a new eye cream or any skincare product for that matter, I highly recommend the Mario Badescu line!

Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten, $18 at Ulta

Kitten is Stila's award-winning eyeshadow, and now I know why! I've debated on this shadow for a long time. I originally thought the color was nothing special. I have so many nude/champagne colors, so how could this one be any different? Well, it is! The formula is so smooth and creamy. It literally feels like butter! This eyeshadow can also double as a brow bone or cheek bone highlight. If you have been on the fence about whether or not to get this eyeshadow, stop what you are doing and GO GET IT! One word of caution, one of the reasons this shadow is so amazing is that it is so finely milled. That means if you drop this shadow, even from a foot above ground, it will shatter everywhere! Just be extremely careful. This product is worth every penny! I can't say enough good things about it (obviously!). 

MAC Eyeshadow in Brown Script, $15 at MAC 

Brown Script is a stunningly unique, burnt brown with a hint of orange that will look great on all eye colors, but it will especially amazing on blue eyes. Although this is a matte shade, it is very creamy and blendable. This is a perfect transition color or you can you use it all over the lid and through the crease as I did in my GRWM here. Warm shadows are so flattering and this one in particular is so versatile. I have found myself reaching for it all month!

Elf Studio Blush in Mellow Mauve, $3 at ELF (I bought mine at Target for the same price)

This blush is a beautiful every day color. It has the perfect hint of pink (but not overpowering) to give the most natural flush. I've heard others complain that it doesn't last long on them. While it's not the most long-wearing, it does last through my work day, which is all I really want from a day-to-day product. And it's $3. You really can't beat that the price! I've used it my last couple videos, including my Valentine's tutorial here

NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna, $38 at Sephora

I finally understand what all the hype is about. Although this bronzer swatches with tiny golden flecks, don't be scared! The slight shimmer (which cannot be detected on the face when applied with a large powder brush) gives more of a satin finish making it super easy to blend. It's versatile enough to give a sun-kissed effect or to sculpt your cheekbones and contours of your face. While the ELF version may be often referred to as a dupe for Laguna, there is definitely a difference in quality. If you have the extra cash, I'd recommend Laguna for sure!

Essence Match 2 Cover Cream Concealer, $3.49 at Ulta

This concealer was my savior this month when I had a rare hormonal breakout. The breakout came out of nowhere while I was out and about. I stopped by Ulta and snatched this baby up to hopefully mask the awful blemishes. Is this the best concealer I've ever used? No. But, it gets the job done and it's the perfect size to throw in your purse to reapply as needed. I also used the lighter shade to brighten up the undereye area if I started looking tired throughout the day. The only drawback is this is the only shade. If you're outside of the NC/NW 15-30ish range, you probably want to skip out on this product. 

NYX Butter Lipstick in Fun Size, $5.99 at Ulta 

I am a huge fan of NYX lippies, so of course my interest was peaked when they released their new Butter Lipsticks. My Ulta was very picked over, so this was the only shade that was super appealing to me. I love the formula; it's super moisturizing and gives a nice wash of color. I have really enjoyed pairing it with my next favorite... Can't wait to pick up more shades!

NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair, $4.99 at Ulta

If you have watched any of my previous videos, you know I am not the biggest lip gloss fan. I heard that the Butter Glosses were amazing, so I had to try one myself. I am officially obsessed! It smells so sweet and delicious, and it looks good on top of any nude or pink lipstick. The best part? It goes on sooo smoothly! It feels so comfortable on the lips, not sticky like some drugstore glosses. I've been pairing it often with MAC's Creme Cup. It's the perfect soft, nudey-pink. I can't wait to try other shades!

Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown, $21 at Sephora (also available at Ulta)

I have never been a huge believer in brow products. If you've seen any of my videos, you will know I used to use eyeshadows to fill in my brows. Occasionally, I would use the Rimmel London Professional Eyebrow Pencils in Hazel and Dark Brown. While those are fine, there is no comparison to Anastasia's Brow Wiz. This pencil is seriously life-changing! It's a double-ended product with a handy-dandy spoolie on one end. The pencil is so tiny that it effortlessly mocks the effect of tiny hairs. It's so easy to fill in any sparse areas for a natural brow or define the edges for a more dramatic look. I love this product and will definitely be trying some of her other brow products (I have my eye on the dipbrow). 

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish in In Prompt Blue, (price varies) at Target or any drugstore

I have been eyeing Essie's Butler Please for quite some time, but I just haven't been impressed with Essie's formula. What do you think? This color is a nearly exact dupe (from what I can tell in the bottle) and it is gorgeous! It goes on so smoothly and pigmented. I used two coats and a top coat. My only complaint? It is not long-wearing. At all. You can see that after 48 hours, there is already substantial chipping. Is Butler Please worth the $8.50? Let me know what you think? I still love the color!!

L'Oreal Volume Filler Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner, Volume Filler, & Boost It High Lift Creation Spray, (price varies) at Target (usually the cheaper option) or any drugstore

This line is made specifically for thin, fine hair (yes, please!) so obviously I wanted to try every product I could find. The shampoo & conditioner claim to give you the feeling of 2x more hair. Hate to burst your bubble, but not so much. It is somewhat volumizing, especially when you use the volume filler. The box comes with three volume filler tubes to use in combination with the conditioner once a week for three weeks. It says to mix the entire tube with conditioner, but I have found that it's too much for my hair length. I use half of the tube one day and the other half the next. The conditioner is super lightweight so as not to weigh down your hair, so you'll definitely need to deep condition once or twice a week to make sure to rehydrate your hair. 

The Boost It High Lift Creation Spray is supposed to give instant lift and fullness, while giving the backcombing (teasing) effect without actually having to backcomb. While it does give volume, I still find that I need to tease my crown area to achieve the lift I want. This is a great affordable option to my CHI Magnified Volume Finishing Spray that I featured in my January Favorites.

Overall, I'm really enjoying the line (at least these products), and the added volume I get, especially from the Boost It spray. 

What have you been loving this month?