Monday, October 20, 2014

Beauty Collection Clear-Out Tips & Makeup Organization

make up organization
From time to time, I like to sift through my makeup collection and toss the items that I don't find myself using anymore or products that have gone out of date. As we transition into autumn, this seemed to be as good a time as any to take care of this beauty task.

My method for approaching a beauty collection clear-out is to:

  • Judge: pick each item up one-by-one and decide how you feel about the product. Ask yourself, does this contribute to my collection? Do I like this product? Does this item mesh well with my skin?
  • Evaluate: the next step is simple. Assess the condition the product. Also, is there a usable amount of product left to justify keeping it?
  • Decide: in the last step, determine if you will keep the product or toss it. A good rule of thumb that I tell myself is "if you haven't used it in the past 9 months, you're probably not going to use it in the next 9 months."
After going through this process for each product, I'm left with a well-organized and easy to visualize makeup collection like this...

makeup organization ideas
Here, I've taken a plastic storage box that easily fits into my makeup storage drawer and placed my foundations, blushers, finishing powders and miscellaneous bulky items inside. I've also laid my coveted eyeshadow palettes in the space off to the side of the storage box so they are easily accessible. 
makeup organization idea
Lastly, I've repurposed used candle containers, cleaned them out and made them into new storage for smaller eyeshadows, mascaras, eyeliners/primers and makeup brushes. The candle containers above are from Bath & Body Works and Target.

What tips and tricks do you have for makeup collection clearouts and organization? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge

konjac sponge review

A couple of months ago, I came away from a jaunt in Sephora with the Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge. I read an article on Refinery29 earlier in the day detailing the miracles that this nifty little sponge from Japan could do for dull skin, and at the time, my skin was misbehaving with dry texture and uneven tone.

Out of the package, the konjac sponge was stiff to the touch, but became a pliable, soft cushion upon the application of water. The sponge is supposed to be hung to air dry after each use and will be rid of residual dirt or bacteria in the process. I used the sponge diligently every morning and night, but was slightly disappointed when I didn't notice any significant exfoliation of dry patches on my skin from the sponge, nor did I see a radiant or vibrant quality in my skin during the time that I used it.

Unfortunately, I'm chalking the konjac sponge up to be mostly hype. However, lucky for me, I've found the perfect addition to my skincare routine that has delivered the tangible results that I desire.

Have you tried a konjac cleansing sponge? I'd love to hear about your experience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

GLOSSYBOX: My Beauty Subscription Box Of Choice

glossybox beauty box

Beauty subscription boxes have been a part of my beauty compilation for years now. I remember hearing about the phenomenon on YouTube and thinking, "I have to get in on that!" I started out with Birchbox, which served its purpose, sending me different items to sample each month, but I found myself wanting more. In my opinion, Birchbox would simply send me different items, they didn't really seem to be items that pertained to my beauty profile, weren't very compelling products and I'd find myself disappointed with the sample sizes, so I went in search of an alternative and quickly landed with GLOSSYBOX.

GLOSSYBOX, while more expensive than Birchbox, has given me everything that I've wanted in a beauty sampling service. I receive a diverse sampling of items in substantial quantity that pertain to my specific skin needs, problem areas, hair type, etc. Also, the products that I've been sent have been bit more luxurious (understatement) than what I was used to previously, which is good news for the product junkie in me but bad news for my wallet.

Nevertheless, it's been quite refreshing and I have to admit, I always get a little giddy each month when I unwrap my latest shipment. I figured since I enjoy the contents so much, why keep it a secret? I'm going to start reviewing the products I received in my monthly boxes here on the blog so that we can all enjoy the fresh products excitement together!

I've just concluded my first six month subscription and am charging ahead into the next, but just to kick off this series, I'd like to revisit my six favorite products for my first six months as a Glossy-member!

glossybox reviews

Skin Inc. Custom Blended Serum: Serums are usually such a mystery to me, but Skin Inc.'s innovative custom blended serum allows you to create a serum specifically for your skin type, environment, stress levels, basically anything and everything that can have an effect on your delicate skin.

Bellápierre Cosmetics Vanilla Pink Super Gloss: this lip gloss is made with natural ingredients and boasts a smooth consistency that is completely absent of stickiness while providing a nourishing quality to your lips. It also smells faintly sweet and adds the slightest bit of plumping without the tingle.

Sisley Paris Black Rose Cream Mask: This could quite possibly be my favorite sample from Glossy thus far. The benefits of this 15-minute mask seem endless! It brightens, plumps and nourishes your skin in one application. I can't explain how soft and supple my skin feels after using this mask. The only downside is that it's rather pricey, so I'm sparingly using the last few bits of my sample before I have to make the decision to purchase!

Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm: I prefer to wear this lip balm during the day after using a good lip scrub. The Mojito Lip Balm lends incredible moisture and what I can only describe as high-definition gloss. I've never encountered a gloss like this before and I love it!

GLAMGLOW® Youthmud® TingleExfoliate Treatment: Okay, truth time. I'd actually tried this product before receiving it in my July box, but was completely ecstatic to have more of this fantastic product. Many people refer to this mask as a "facial in a jar" and for good reason. If you're looking for gentle exfoliation and deep pore cleansing, you'll want to pick up a jar of this, stat.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics 'Black Dahlia' Lip Tar: OCC is a brand that I've heard a lot about, but have yet to try, so finding it tucked away in my September box was nearly heart-stopping (I think I squealed). I was even more pleased when I tried the product. All you need is the tiniest speck of product and you are immediately left with a evenly pigmented, pure bold lip. Better yet, the amount of this sample that I received is enormous! As much as I love it, I seriously doubt I'll be able to make my way through an entire sample.

Those are my favorites, thus far in my six month journey with GLOSSYBOX. I'm looking forward to the next six months of goodies and I hope that you are, too! Watch this space for monthly box updates and let me know what incredible products you've discovered through monthly beauty box subscriptions.

Until next time - XO

Note: This post is NOT sponsored by GLOSSYBOX. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 13, 2014

All Hands On Deck Makeup Method

I have to be straight with you. I covet the portion of my day where I get to grab a cup of tea, blast an energetic playlist, stand in front of my mirror, wrestle with my hair and apply my makeup. It's my daily ritual for getting ready to face the world and I love it. However, there are some days when I just don't have the privilege of taking my time and I have to dash out of the door pretty fast. In those cases, rather than skipping my primping all together, I expedite the process by opting for a no-brushes make-up look.
no brushes makeup method
hands only makeup application

A no-brushes makeup look is exactly that, no brushes (with the exception of those included with certain products...I'm looking at you mascaras!). Instead of using and dirtying those makeup brushes, simply opt to use your hands. This is a fun way to change up your makeup application if you are pressed for time, don't like shelling out tons of money for makeup brushes or you just want to get back to basics. The key to making this process work for you is:

  1. Use clean hands - we don't want any breakouts!
  2. Keep it simple - don't try to do too much. My philosophy for a beautiful no-brushes makeup look is "less is more."
Simple as that. I decided to use a few easily accessible products out of my stash. My base consists of the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluid in Praline, a lightweight medium coverage foundation that leaves your skin with a silky satin finish. You can apply this foundation with a brush or just with your hands and the final product is always seamless. Next, I applied a bit of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer under my eyes and blended it in to provide a bit of brightness. I also grabbed Maybelline's Master Glaze Blush Stick in Make A Mauve for a sultry pop of color on the cheeks. 
no brushes makeup

My eyes were simple enough. I shaped my brows, as usual, with my Anastasia Brow Wiz.  Then, I followed up with Revlon's ColorStay Smoky Shadow Stick in 201 Torch. After, dabbing, blending, building and more blending, I lined my eyes with the Benefit's They're Real Push-Up Liner for slight definition before finishing up with my lash-lengthening obsession, L'Oreal's Voluminous Butterfly mascara in Midnight Black.

To conclude, I applied a bold lip, Aveda's Lipstick in Tanzanite. It's rich, buildable and tastes like blackberries...I really can't get enough of it!

There's something quite theraputic about getting out of your routine and trying something different. I hope that you give this method a try and let me know what are your favorite products to use in your brush-free makeup looks.

Until next time - XO

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nude Nail Polish For Darker Skin Tones

As summer comes to a close and we enter into the autumn months, my search for the perfect nude nail polish for my skin tone has become my primary beauty focus. I absolutely adore nude polish everytime I see it on other people, but have failed to find the perfect hue for my skin tone, until now...
nude nail polish for darker skin tones
It is no secret that I am infatuated with Sephora's Formula X nail polish line. I feel like I rave about it at least once a week to a friend, coworker or here on TCC. The line is coming dangerously close to acquiring the "holy grail" beauty item label. So unsurprisingly, I've discovered my neutral nail color within the line.
So what is this rave worthy polish? Formula X - Invincible, an opaque-application, long-lasting, clean nude with pink undertones. I felt drawn to this color for a couple of reasons, one being that it's not a nude in the sense that it completely matches my skin tone because I, personally, don't enjoy that style. And two,  the color is so fresh and versatile and perfect for autumn months when you want something simple on your nails, but can't go for a stark white shade like in the summer. 

This polish is a new favorite of mine because it also tricks the eye into elongating your fingers to make them appear slimmer, longer and more dainty. This was beneficial to me as I feel that I have quite short and stubby fingers! 
neutral nail polish for darker skin tones
In autumn, I habitually stick with deep, moody and romantic color tones, but now that I've found my perfect neutral nail color, I foresee some diversity for my nails this coming season. If you'd like to check Formula X - Invincible out for yourself, you can find it at Sephora.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Repurchases & Discoveries: Ulta Haul

This past week, I ran out of two staples in my make-up bag and knew that I would have to make a trip to Ulta soon, so I did just that. And, it should come as no surprise that while I ventured to Ulta to replace my must-have products, I stumbled across a couple of new discoveries that I couldn't leave behind. 

Ulta Haul

tarte amazonian clay foundation review

The items that I purposefully ventured into Ulta to retrieve were my Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation, which I've raved about before, and the Aveeno Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes which has been my go-to option for makeup remover for over a year. These wipes are oil-free and swiftly remove even the most waterproof of mascaras with little effort. After using the Aveeno wipes,  my skin feels calm and clean. Best yet, the air-tight packaging ensures that all of my wipes stay moist (ugh...) until the very last one! 

Ulta Haul

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector

Now onto the unfamiliar, but exciting purchases. 

I snagged my very first It Cosmetics item, the Bye Bye Under Eye Corrector. I became fascinated with this product after I repeatedly heard a favorite blogger of mine, EssieButton, sing its praises. I definitely trust her opinion, and I was right to do so. The consistency of the cream is surprisingly lightweight while simultaneously delivering natural color correction and coverage. I've only dabbled with this product for a couple of days, but I'll keep you posted on how I get along with it. 

benefit gimme brow

Finally, I picked up the Benefit Gimme Brow in an effort to find a quicker tool to get my brows done in the morning. The tinted brush-on fiber gel is delivered to your brows via a tiny spoolie, which is adorable, by the way! From my first foray with it, it gave my brows a very natural and kempt look. I could see myself getting very friendly with this product. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Head Trip Thursday: The Moschino Rucksack

Today is an exciting day and I'm so glad that you're here to join me in introducing my first recurring series on the blog, Head Trip Thursdays. Head Trip Thursdays will be a weekly post on Thursdays featuring a fashion item that I'm completely lusting after. The item, in most scenarios, will have a "when pigs fly" type of price tag association...ergo, the head trip. Together, we'll fantasize and discuss the item in question, reasons for infatuation, how to style the item and lastly, I'll share an in-real-life attainable dupe for the product. Now, let's get straight to it!

It seems that between the influx of tattered jeans and spotting celebs like Rihanna donning bucket hats, the 90s are headed this way and they want their real estate in your closet back. I've been resistant to jumping head first into the returning trends, that is until a certain throwback item repeatedly began to catch my gaze as I flitted through and my favorite fashion stalking mediums. That item is the rucksack.

I know, I know, considering that I have a certain affinity toward handbags, this isn't a shock. However, the main draw for me is the non-traditional character that rucksacks bring to your look. It's youthful, practical and effortless but in the most charming way possible. My rucksack of choice would be the Moschino Rucksack, an enticing multi-utility quilted black bag adorned with darling gold details, that would cost me about $1,745. No way would I invest that kind of money in an item that most likely wouldn't stand the test of time, however, let's fantasize that my banking account isn't a factor here...this is how I would style my beautiful bag.

Moschino Rucksack Look

This style creation totally speaks to me because it's flirty with the sleeveless crop top and pairs so well with a dainty mid-length skirt and lace pumps, but the Moschino rucksack adds that bit of unexpected edginess to the entire look. I love it! The items used to create this outfit are also really sensibly priced, with the exception of the rucksack.

If you really like this look, you can totally just swap out the designer rucksack for a more affordable version. I've spotted a rucksack that's just as alluring as Moschino's version. Zara's Quilted Rucksack, which has the spacious utility aspect that I love, detailed quilting and contrasting canvas lining. Best yet, this rucksack comes in at a feasible $69.90.

What do you think of the rucksack trend? Are you onboard or is this trendy item not high on your fashion priority list? I'd love to know what you think and please comment letting me know if you like the new series!

Until next time - XOXO