Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Makeup Wars: Anastasia's Maya Mia Palette Review, Swatches and Look

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Maya Mia Palette Review, Swatches and Look

Today I have a very special Makeup Wars for you! Anastasia has just released their Maya Mia palette, created with YouTube Beauty Guru, Maya Mia. It was just released a few days ago, and they've shared the palette with a few of the girls in Makeup Wars to create looks of our own!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Maya Mia Palette Review, Swatches and Look

The palette comes with 10 shades, a combination of neutrals and a few fun colors thrown in. Most of the neutrals are on the warmer side, and the colors are mostly matte. Glisten is a shimmer, there's a little shimmer in Aqua and Fresh Peach, though I would call them more of a satin finish.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Maya Mia Palette Swatch Pictures

When using these shadows, I did think that they were pretty powdery. This is something that I've noticed with Anastasia shadows in the past, though it is a little more prominent with their mattes, and that's most of this palette. I recommend using a "stickier" primer under these shadows. I had good results with my Too Faced Shadow Insurance, which has a bit more grab than my usual NYX Shadow Base. (Note, I swatched the shadows above on my arm without any primer.)

I found that using the "grabby" primer helped quite a bit with the intensity of the shadows. I haven't tried using them wet, though that is also an option, you could also use a NYX Milk Shadow Pencil under the shadow in make it more vibrant.

Everyday Maya Mia Palette Look Tutorial

I decided to go for a pretty subtle look with the palette. Many of the neutrals are a bit warm on me (hence, I skipped over those peaches, but they're very pretty!), and the Aqua has been calling my name since I first saw pics of the palette!

I wore this look yesterday, which was a pretty quiet day for me. I did some stuff at home, had a doctor's appointment and ran to my favorite grocery store (Whole Foods) for pizza dough. So, I didn't want to be crazy colorful, but a little hint of fun color was fine with me! In person the Aqua was a little more apparent, I got compliments on the little accent color everywhere I went.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Maya Mia Palette Tutorial

This look only took a few minutes. I started by prepping my eye lid with Too Faced's Shadow Insurance. I then used a large fluff brush to spread Warm Taupe all over my lid, up to my crease. I wanted the color to be a little lighter than in the pan, a light application was all I needed for the look I wanted. Then I grabbed a little of the Vanilla shade and spread it on my browbone and crease area as a bit of an accent. I do usually put a darker color in my crease, but I'd had a rough night of sleep the night before (see those bags? I blame being 7 months pregnant!) and I thought a lighter look would be better.

To add the Aqua accent, I used a stiff angled liner brush to apply the color along the lash line, it is thicker at the outer corner than the inner corner. Finally, I lined my eyes with a black liner directly in the lash line, and used the Deep Brown over the liner to "set" it for longer wear. I avoided anything on my lower lash line due to those circles and bags I mentioned, I wanted to lighten up my eye area overall and look more awake!

How would you use this palette?

Anastasia Beverly Hills
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top 10 Tuesday: My 10 Best Makeup Brushes

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My 10 Best Makeup Brushes via

Today for Top 10 Tuesday the bloggers are sharing their favorite makeup brushes. I've shared some of my favorites in the past, over on eBay and Babble mostly (including the favorite makeup brushes of makeup artists).

I thought to switch things up a little bit today I'd share my favorites that together can create an entire makeup kit's worth of brushes. I was a little bit surprised, I think of myself as a cheap makeup brush girl, but that seems to mostly hold true for my eye brushes. I use a lot of ELF brushes. But, once you expand out to the face, I seem to reach mostly for higher end. The good news is that these brushes can last for a really long time if you care for them properly!

My 10 Best Makeup Brushes via


1. IT Cosmetics Dual Airbrush Foundation Concealer Brush: This brush is super soft and the bristles are very dense. I use it for applying product and blending it.

2. Clinique Blush Brush: I've had this brush, or something so similar that I can't tell the difference, since 1995. Really. The same brush. Mine is just now starting to shed and look a little less than great, so I'll be buying a new one soon. 19 years is pretty good for a makeup brush! I love that this is just the right size for getting blush on to the apples of my cheeks. No other brush has ever worked as well for me.

3. IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Flat Top Buffing Foundation Brush: This is great for foundation, but I mostly use it to apply translucent powder and then buff it in to my skin.

4. Urban Decay Naked Flushed Double-Ended Brush: This brush isn't very big, it's actually just the right size to use with the new Urban Decay Flush Palettes. I like to use the flat side to pick up the highlighter and apply it to the upper cheekbone while the angled side is what I use with the bronzer to apply a light contour under my cheekbones and around my temples.

5. BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge Applicator: Not a brush, but kind of the same because it applies/blends makeup, right? I really love my BeautyBlender. I use it every day to blend my makeup, it works best with bouncing it on your skin.


6. e.l.f. Essential Eye Shadow Brush: I own about 7 of this brush, it's my basic brush for applying shadow all over my lid.

7. e.l.f. Studio Contour Brush: The perfect size/shape for applying shadow into my crease.

8. NARS #45 Smudge Brush: In an effort to replace my beloved Sonia Kashuk smudge brush (the exact brush I loved was changed and then discontinued), I've looked at basically every smudge brush out there and this one from NARS is the closest. The bristles are dense and fairly stiff, the brush is a bit thicker as well. It's great for smudging the liner in my upper lash line.

9. e.l.f. Essential Smudge Brush: This smudge brush is a bit more flexible, I like it for smudging shadows (instead of liners). It's perfect for when I've applied a little shadow over a liner and need to blend it out a little.

10. Laura Mercier Smudge Brush: This brush is smaller than it looks, it's actually the perfect small size for adding a little extra pop of color under my lower lash line!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Over on Babble

New posts are up over on Babble! Things have been crazy for the last week (I worked a lot, thank goodness I have an amazing husband who picks up my slack like crazy), so I'm working on posts for the rest of the week right now. But, in the meantime check out these posts on Babble that I haven't had time to share yet.

Optical Illusions 101: Highlighting and Contouring Tips from the Pros

7 Things to Know About Cellulite (Including How to Get Rid of It)

The Best of MAC: The 13 Products You Must Have!

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The Best of MAC: The 13 Products You Must Have! via @15minbeauty

1. 'Prep + Prime' Skin Refined Zone Treatment: I talk about this light lotion a lot, but it really is a mattifying wonder! You can use it under foundation or over it (really!) and it will give you a semi-matte finish.

2. Face & Body Foundation: MAC has quite a few great foundations (Studio Fix Foundation and Matchmaster Foundation are also great), but this one really is a hidden gem! It is meant to be used pretty much anywhere on your body, so it is very lightweight and lasts all day. While the coverage is light to medium, you can easily build it up where you need to.

3. 'Prep + Prime' Fix+ Finishing Mist: Fix+ is amazing stuff! You can use it over your makeup as a setting spray, it will lock all of your makeup in place all day. It's also great to wet down shadows to up their intensity or even use them as an eye liner that won't budge. When used before your makeup, it helps smooth everything for perfect foundation application.

4. 'Prep + Prime' Transparent Finishing Powder: This loose powder is super lightweight and nearly invisible on your skin. It isn't unique, Tarte, Make Up For Ever and even ELF all have similar powders.

5. 'Pro Longwear' Concealer: This lightweight concealer comes in 15 shades, is easy to blend and really will stick around all day long.

6. 'Mineralize' Skinfinish: This pressed/baked powder has a frosty finish and comes in different skin tones. It is great to use as a highlighter or a shimmery bronzer.

7. Paint Pot: The paint pots are interesting. They are creamy eye shadows that can apply with just the swipe of a finger. While a lot of the colors are very vibrant and pigmented, you can also choose a color similar to your skin tone to use as a shadow primer. Popular choices for that are Bare Study and Soft Ochre.

8. Eye Shadow: Ah, the MAC eye shadows. You can buy them in special quads and in or out of their pots. My favorites include Carbon (a true matte black that is great to use as a shadow), All That Glitters (a very pretty gold), Phloof is a great highlighter, Satin Taupe and Woodwinked are both neutrals that work for pretty much everyone.

9. Fluidline: A great gel eye liner, BlackTrack is one of those beauty must have shades! I also really love MacroViolet, a deep plum/purple color.

10. Strobe Cream: This is a lightweight priming lotion that adds radiance on days you feel less than stellar. A little goes a long way!

11. Lipstick: The best MAC lipsticks really should take up a whole series of posts. There are too many amazing shades to mention them all. There are great nude lippies (Creme D'Nude, Myth), reds (Lady Danger, Rebel, Ruby Woo) and bright pinks (the Candy Yum Yum shown here).

12. Eye Kohl: It's a basic eye pencil, but the shade Teddy is a cult favorite for a reason. This deep chocolate shade is just a little red and it adds quite a bit of depth.

13. Lip Pencil: Sometimes you need a lip pencil to use with your lipstick. Spice is "the" lip pencil color most talked about. This is a universal shade that is nude, but mauve and works for almost everyone.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Favorite Under Eye Concealers

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Favorite Concealers

It's my turn to share a beauty collection with the rest of The Beauty Spotlight Team, and today in honor of my lack of sleep, I'm selecting my concealers. It is a bit scary how many concealers I own, I really didn't realize the true number (pretty close to 30) until putting together this post!

So, after much debate, here are my 10 favorites. Mostly super highly pigmented, because that's how I roll. (And you would too if you were 7 months pregnant, had a 3 year old and also got phone calls all night long from work.)

My Favorite Under Eye Concealers

1. Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil: Check out my review. This is really pigmented, creamy and you just need to draw it on and blend. It covers anything you would ever need covered.

2. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye: Check out my review. Also very pigmented, but this concealer is a bit thick, so I usually mix it into other products or dilute it with a bit of eye cream. It won't crease after using it all day long and covers up everything!

3. Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer: Check out my review. Super easy to blend and it comes in a ton of shades, I liked this one so much that it delayed finishing my concealer review series a few years ago! I just wanted to use Full Cover every day.

4. Smashbox High Definition Concealer: I haven't reviewed this one yet, I bought it about 2 months ago and I've found it to be very similar to the MUFE Full Cover, but slightly more pigmented.

5. Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer: Check out my review. Also very pigmented, lots of different depth and tone options, it blends really easily as well.

6. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes: Another concealer that I bought a few months ago and still need to review, this one is a bit lighter in coverage (I'd consider it a 6 or 7 on a scale up to 10), but it is so hydrating that it is also like an eye cream. It is really great on days that I haven't gotten much sleep and have bigger bags under my eyes, it will not sink into any little areas.

7. Amazing Cosmetics Amazing Concealer: I keep mentioning this concealer but I don't have a full post devoted to it! I've bought it 4 times now, and yes, it really is worth that high price tag. I think it is a little less pigmented than the IT Cosmetics, but easier to blend in seamlessly.

8. CoverGirl TruBlend Fixstick Concealer: I know I have a review around here somewhere, I just can't find it! This is pretty similar to the Urban Decay concealer stick, but a little less pigmented. It blends in flawlessly with just a few pats of your finger, which I love! It is great for using to contour.

9. Dermablend Quick Fix Concealer: Really easy to use, this stick is very pigmented and won't budge.

10. NYX Dark Circle Concealer: This has a little bit of a peach leaning, so it helps color correct under eye circles while covering them up!

What are your favorite concealers? I'm always looking for a new one!

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