Friday, August 28, 2015

New Adventures in Lashes: Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara and Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer

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Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara and Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer Review

I've made no secret of my love of all things lashes. I'm a big fan of long and lush lashes, but I hate, hate, hate falsies. I think they are a major pain and I refuse to use them. So, I'm always on the hunt for new and exciting mascaras! When Stila released their HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara and Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer, I was pretty excited! I love Stila, and with product names like that, you know that I was all over these products.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara and Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer Review

The primer is unlike any lash primer that I've used before! First, it is brown. I'm not sure why, but almost all lash primers are white, so to have a primer that is a darker color is very refreshing! It contains 2 different shapes of fibers, and applies just like a regular mascara. The fibers do make it a bit prone to clumping, so you'll want to keep a lash comb handy. Once applied, my lashes don't look fuzzy, instead they're thicker and longer, and... brownish-tan.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara and Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer Review

The shape of the mascara wand is designed to grab each and every lash, applying mascara to all of them for a fuller look. When applied over the primer I do think it can get a little clumpy, but alone I had no issues at all.

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara and Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer Review

While the mascara alone gives me some great length and good volume, the 2 combined is all kinds of amazing! They don't smudge, or flake off and the curl of my lashes lasts all day long!

Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

You can buy Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer and HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara from Stila.

I completed the look with their new La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush and Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner, check out my full Get Inked Review.

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Playing Up Your Eyes: Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

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Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

Liquid cushion makeup has been a big hit lately with foundation, and Stila has brought it to eye liner! Their new Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner is a super pigmented liquid, it comes in a cushion that when pressed will release just the right amount of product. I strongly recommend using it with the La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush, which is perfect for getting an even line of eye liner.

Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

The eye liner comes in 6 different colors, and Stila sent me 3 to play with, though I admit that I'll be picking up the other 3 soon!

Available shades:
• Smoky Quartz Ink
• Black Obsidian Ink
• Amethyst Ink
• Copper Ink
• Blue Sapphire Ink
• Garnet Ink

Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

My favorite is the Smoky Quartz, which looks like a rich brown until you get closer up, or the liner catches the light. Then it becomes obvious that it has a lot more depth than a typical brown. Here's a peek at it in slightly different lights so you can get a better idea. The pictures don't quite capture how pretty it is!

Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

The liner is very easy to apply, but I can't imagine doing this without the La Quill brush! Yes, the brush comes with a cool quill cover, but you can easily remove it for a simple eye liner brush. It comes with a long top to protect the brush, which is quite a bit heavier than it looks! I do think the added weight makes the brush easier to use, you hold it like an ink pen and it is surprisingly easy to get exactly the right line.

I am not great at precision liner looks (there's a reason I use my smudge brush every day over my liner), and even I can do this! Just tap the brush onto the liner pot sponge and you'll grab just the right amount of liner. Then draw it on your eye. The liner goes on very easily, no skipped spots, and it is super lightweight and dries almost immediately.

Yes, it really is that easy!

Stila's Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner and La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush

You can buy La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush and Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner from Stila. I completed the look with their new Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer and HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara, check out my full Stila Extreme Lash review!

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Every Day Favorites: What Made The Vanity Counter

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Makeup Vanity Organization

Recently, my vanity under went a pretty big purge/reorganization. After years of being covered (and I really mean covered) in products that were in the process of being tested, my favorite items, and just random makeup that needed to be put away... I finally spent an entire day purging makeup out of my vanity. I gave stuff away, I donated and I threw a bunch in the trash. I bought all new organizers for my drawers and even my vanity. I feel like a grown up!

Makeup Vanity Organization

You can see in the background my Luxe Acrylic Modular System from The Container Store, which has some of my frequently used (but not necessarily every day) items. But more important is that Large Acrylic Tray (also from The Container Store) in the center, it holds the products that I reach for every day, or close enough that putting them away in a drawer is just silly.

I've really changed up my makeup routine over the last few months, so I thought this was a perfect time to show you what I've been up to! Most of what I've been using lately is on the more expensive side (yes, even for me, a doctor!), so I'll share some drugstore alternatives for each step in a few days.

Best BB and CC Cream splurges

• Yves Saint Laurent Top Secrets BB Cream Skintone Perfector in Clear (from Nordstrom, Sephora or YSL Beauty)
• Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Fluid in 10 (from Chanel or Nordstrom)
• Bobbi Brown CC Cream SPF 35 in Blushed Nude (buy it at Bobbi Brown, Sephora, or Nordstrom)
• Face Stockholm Corrective Concealer (at DermStore or Face Stockholm)
• Clarins Instant Concealer in 01 (at Nordstrom or Clarins)
• Too Faced La Créme Lip Balm in Like Buttah! (at Too Faced)

Lately I've been layering lightweight BB Creams for the perfect complexion. I start with the YSL BB Cream as soon as I dry off my face. I need to seal in the moisture, and if I wait a few minutes, my skin is dry and unhappy. So, I smear a bit of the YSL all over my face, I don't even blend it. It has just a little bit of coverage, which is just perfect for me right now. My only issue is that the shade a perfect match for my skin is called Clear. Really. That gives me a bit of a complex. I also swipe on a bit of a hydrating lip balm at this step, lately I've been using the Too Faced La Créme.

where to apply concealer
I've also been trying out the Chanel, which is a huge deal for me. I only own a few Chanel items, and it feels like a dramatic splurge to have a Chanel BB Cream. It is very similar to the YSL, with just a little less coverage, but it is a bit more moisturizing, which my combination skin doesn't need in the summer. Since taking this picture I've placed the tube in my vanity, but I'll be trying it again later this fall.

When I come back to my skin, usually after doing my eye makeup, I apply a very small amount of a roughly 60/40 mix of the Bobbi Brown CC Cream and the Clarins concealer to my face. I concentrate on the center of my face and blend it out. My CC Cream is a very light pink with a touch of shimmer, so it really just highlights the center of my face and dilutes the concealer a bit, which is there for more coverage. I then add a very light layer of concealer to the areas in my picture to the right. I apply under my eyes in an inverted triangle, a little in the inner corner of my eye, and then a super light layer in the center of my forehead, down my nose and on my chin. I blend all of this with light bounces of my BeautyBlender sponge.

One note about the Face Stockholm corrector. My green tinted (redness) corrector hangs out in the tray all the time, I also have a peach tinted (undereye darkness) corrector. I don't use these correctors every day, though I use the redness one about 50% of the time depending on how my skin looks each day. I do dab a little onto the area needing correcting with a fingertip, usually after the YSL BB Cream.

The best face setting powders

• Yves Saint Laurent Radiant Pressed Powder Compact (at Sephora, YSL Beauty or Nordstrom)
• Urban Decay Naked Skin Ultra Definition Powder Foundation (buy it from Nordstrom, Sephora or Urban Decay)
• Cover FX Matte Setting Powder (at Sephora)

Once I've applied my final concealer, I need to set it all with powder! I usually have 3 out at any given time. Yes, 3 (thought somehow the Cover FX missed being in the pic here...)

In my heart, I'm a pressed powder girl. I like that they aren't messy and are very easy to use. When I need a little extra coverage I reach for the UD Powder Foundation, otherwise I've been using the YSL. The YSL is a big splurge, though it lasts forever (I have been using that compact for over a year), and it is really hard to find in my shade now, so I won't be able to repurchase. It's very finely milled and I can't see it on my skin at all, so I'm still searching for it!

I've been trying out the Baking Concealer Method, after being asked about it by a lot of people. I'm using the Cover FX powder to set it, and while it does seem to work, it's very tricky and I do not think it's a good idea for anyone with any dryness or fine lines or wrinkles. I'll write a full post sometime soon hopefully with an alternate method.

eye makeup basics

• MAC Brun Eye Shadow (at MAC or Nordstrom)
• Eye Lash Curler, Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler pictured (at Sephora) or Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler is my favorite (at Sephora or Barneys New York)
• NYX Eye Shadow Base (at NYX or ULTA)
• ELF Glitter Primer (at ELF)
• Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (at Bobbi Brown or Nordstrom)

When I get to my eyes, I start by prepping my lid. I have very fair skin, so I have a lot of visible blood vessels. If I don't cover them up, my shadow looks... less than good. So, I need a primer or concealer with good coverage. That means I always start with the NYX Shadow Base, I just pat it on with a fingertip. If I am using a glittery/powdery shadow (or a Bobbi Brown shadow that I need to increase the pigmentation of), then I'll pat a little of the ELF Glitter Primer on over it. Then I'm ready for shadow and liner! I use different products all the time for those steps, so I don't keep them out on my counter.

Once my eyes have on shadow and liner, I do my lashes. I always, always, always curl them first! And I do think a good lash curler is well worth the splurge. I've had cheap ones grab on to my lashes and pull them out. And the curl doesn't last as long. So, buy a good curler! I have my Tweezerman pictured here, which was my favorite for years, but I recently discovered the Relevée Curler (see my Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler review) and I've been using that exclusively. It isn't in this picture because it was in my office that day, getting pictures taken for the review post.

I'm reaching for the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara pretty much every day! My lashes are very long right now due to Revitalash, so I need a mascara brush that is pretty stiff and will pick up all of my individual lashes to add some volume. The Bobbi Brown is working really, really well for me right now! I have a back up in my drawer waiting for me, I don't want to run out!

Finally, I need to do my brows. While a pencil is fast and I do sometimes reach for one (usually the IT Cosmetics Your Brows But Better Brow Power Skinny Pencil), lately I've been using MAC Brun shadow with a short, stiff brush.

What Order?

I alluded to it a little bit above, but I don't always apply these items in the same order. I know I'll have a few questions about it, so I thought I'd just explain exactly what order I apply items in!

Usually, as I get out of the shower my hair is wet. I apply a little eye cream (not pictured here, it lives with my night skin care at my sink area), then wander over to my vanity area. I smear on some of the YSL BB Cream and apply the Too Faced lip balm, then go back to my sink area where I apply styling products and dry my hair. That usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

When I make it back to my vanity area, about 75% of the time I proceed to do the rest of my face in the order above. I apply Face Stockholm corrector if I need it, the Bobbi Brown CC Cream and Clarins Concealer mixture and then just concealer. I grab a blush (I use a lot of different ones, so nothing specific is mentioned here), and I usually apply a little blush, set it all with a powder, then a tiny bit more blush on top. I've found that layering my blush like this helps set it for all day! I've also been experimenting with some other all over powders and such for brightening/adding some vibrancy, but nothing has made it to the every day rotation, so those will be in their own posts sometime. Then I proceed to do my eyes and brows. I grab a lippie on my way out of the door.

I sometimes will remember that really, you're "supposed" to do your eyes before your face, so if you get any fall out from shadows then you can easily clean it off of your cheeks before you've finished your face makeup. I only do that about 25% of the time, and really that's only on days that I'm planning to do a darker eye. For every day, I'm using lighter shades that don't have much fall out so it doesn't matter.

I've found that keeping my normal products in this tray cuts down on my makeup time! This whole makeup routine takes me a little under 10 minutes.

I'll share some lower priced/drugstore alternatives soon!

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