Sephora Sale: Holiday Bonus Beauty Insider Event!

It’s the best time of year… the Sephora Holiday Bonus Beauty Insider Event is starting this weekend!! Unlock up to 20% off your favorite beauty, hair, and skincare products if you’re a Beauty Insider! You can easily sign up, and will get instant access to shop on designated weekends depending on your membership level! Not a Sephora Beauty Insider Member? No fear…. you can sign up for free online and join today to get 15–20% off purchases!

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First Access • October 26–29 + November 2–5
Sephora Rouge members get two weekends to shop top holiday beauty finds at a whopping 20% off with code ROUGEBONUS! (minimum spend of $1000 to reach this level).

Next Wave • November 9–12
All VIB members will receive access to shop holiday event products at 20% off with code VIBBONUS! ($350 minimum spend to reach this level).

Final Pool • November 16–19
Beauty Insider Members will be able to shop the holiday event at 15% off with code BIBONUS!

All my Favorite products are linked below! I love this sale for skincare products especially – it’s not everyday when your favorite skincare lines, makeup, and hair products all go on sale…. so it’s the best time to stock up for the holidays! Prep your winter skin, get some gifts purchased for family and friends, and the best time to stock up on sample kits to try out some new products! HOOORAY!

All Eyes on YOU!

Anyone who knows me knows my love for makeup, more specifically eye shadows, basically came from the womb! I spent countless hours in the bathroom with my sister growing up – watching her put on her makeup, and learning all the tricks and techniques! There was no you tube or fun tutorial videos, so we basically learned how to do our makeup ourselves! Both of us were dancers, so we always did fun makeup for recitals and shows, and just kept learning new ways of shading and blending as we grew up. It’s about the one thing we shared nicely in our younger teen days – clothes was a different story, ha! We prob should have just realized we could double our wardrobe by sharing… looking back it makes me laugh!

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Sharing my favorite eye shadow pallets that I use daily below! First and most importantly you MUST invest in an eye base! I’ve linked my favorite one below. Eye base is similar to a concealer, but goes on the base of your eyelid and helps your color stay on all day, stay in place and not end up in your crease, and also really makes the color and pigment of your eye shadow pop! If I forget to put this on in the am, my eye shadow ends right up in my crease -BOO!

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Going to start with highlighters! I always wear a highlighter right under my eyebrow. I prefer to use one with a little shimmer because I feel it stays on better – but the two best I’ve found that are very pigmented and last are by MAC. One is called Phloof! which is a very light soft pink!, and the other is Nylon which is more of a yellow/white base. Both are great and go with may different color pallets! In the photo below… my eye make-up has been on for over 9 hours with no touch ups! No creasing – and my eyeliner is still very black!

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Now to the pallets – I love all golds, browns, and purples. Occasionally I rock some green – but I stick to these three because they go with everything you wear, and they also bring out the hazel in my eyes! This Tarte Pallet I love because of all the different coppers and golds in it – and the darkest shade in the pallet is a deep purple! Heaven! They stay on well and add such a great highlight to your eyes. I like to dab a little of the love color under my eye in the corner too for a little extra sparkle, and any of these gold shades do the trick as well!

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These MAC pallets are legit my fav find! I love MAV and it’s been my go to brand for eye shadows since I can remember! So many different shades and hues, shinny or matte, cream or powder – they have it all! These pallets are on sale right now for $33 which is a STEAL for how many colors you get and for how long they last you. I’ve had my one for months and barely made a dent! They are both loaded with the colors I love, and the bigger color is a highlighter for your cheeks! I got the Nordy Girl pallet from the #nsale, so I snagged these two as soon as they went on sale this week! The Queen Supreme is really pigmented and shimmery so it’s great for a night out and has so many perfect fall colors! The Basic Bitch pallet is more matte and darker plums. So great for creating that perfect smokey eye! There are neutral colors in this pallet too that are perfect for everyday use!

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This pallet I just snagged from Ulta Beauty – of course went in there for one thing and came out with $100 worth of stuff! Whoops. Anyways, this is all my favorite colors in one place. Rich plum hues and a little sparkle! AMEN. If you have hazel eyes, plums and purples really bring out the green in your eyes! The glare and the whiplash are so perfect for the base and crease – and I use night fever in the corners to give a little highlight to the corners!

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This is another amazing sale find from MAC – it’s the Aliyah collection and has 9 different shades in this pallet. They’re beautiful! The one thing I love about pallets is how great they are to travel with. Digging through a makeup bag to find one individual shade can be so annoying, so this gives you the benefit of having them all together in one spot. Bring one or two on your trip and you’ve got an array of colors to choose from, less mess, and conveniently in one spot! Plus they’re all shaded to work with each other and create a beautiful work of art on your eye!

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For eyeliner I live and breathe by the MAC gel pot liner. It’s the best. It stays on all day, it’s waterproof but washes off easily with soap and water, and your eyeshadow does not get stuck in it or cloud the color in any way. You do need an eyeliner brush to use it, which I also get from MAC. I think this is so much easier to apply than liquid liner. You have a a little more control and can make the line as thick or thin as you want with little effort. I love the Blacktrack, and the Lowlights colors. One is black, and the other dark brown!

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I do not wear fake lashes on a regular basis (sometimes for special events or a big photo shoot) – they’re naturally just long, and depending on the type of fake lash – you can barely see them under my own lashes! First world problems! Mascara I swear by is Voluminous! I love how black it is – never looks grey, and it adds so much volume and length to my lashes without the clumping. AMEN. I don’t remember ever using another mascara since I started wearing makeup. Forever client! I also got a MAC mascara in one of my eyeshadow pallets. It’s pretty good too!

 

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I don’t wear foundation – ever. The less on my face the better. I think this is part of the reason my skin has stayed so clear for so long. I also have oily skin, so I want it to be able to breathe and not have a lot of base on it. I use a Covergirl powder that I swear by. If they ever stop making it I might cry! It’s a mineral powder, but it’s so velvety smooth and covers so well for a powder. This a a little conceler go a long way! Both are linked below and under $10! Whoop Whoop!

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Shop away!!

#Nsale Beauty Favs

Make up can definitely get pricy when you like certain brands… so when the Nordstrom sale went up – I immediately went to the beauty section to look at all the skincare and makeup! What’s great about this sale is the sets you can get. Brands don’t typically sell a set of lipsticks, or eyeshadows specifically for a sale – but they do for Nordstrom!

I am all about #affordablestyle, and this definitely applies to most of my choices for fashion, makeup, and skincare. I love getting fun eyeshadows and testing out new products, but also am very mindful of keeping my over the counter staples in my bag as a balancing act. If a product is rated well and also helps solve a problem for me, my skin, or my makeup routine – I will splurge!

My beauty finds are below! Love that MAC made lip kits, eye pallets that include a mascara and eyeliner, and a lot of other brands did the same with mixing eyeshadows with cheek colors in the same pallet. So convenient and you have one pallet to carry – not a bunch of individual products in lots of colors! See below for all my favorites and best deals!

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This MAC pink lip kit is awesome! IT comes with a darker matte pink that has slight brown undertones, a bright lighter pink that has some shimmer, and then a light pink gloss that has great coverage! All of them are great on their own, or if you combine them! $36.50 for all three!

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This Laura Mercier pallet is so pretty in person! Three amazing cheek colors –  a shimmer coral pink, a matte rose pink, and a matte light bronzer. The rest are mixes of really pretty matte and shimmer shadows that are shades of browns and plums. Perfect for everyday wear and all skin tones! $75.00 but you get a lot of product!

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This NARS pallet is also gorgeous! Amazing bold cheek blush that also comes with a highlighter! They compliment each so well! The other four colors are shades of browns with grey neutral undertones. These will really stand out against the cheek colors and can be blended well together for a natural look, or a smokey eye! $49.00!

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This pallet is by far my favorite purchase! All the eyeshadows are metallic so they shimmer and bounce off so much light on your eyes! I’ve already gotten compliments from coworkers that my makeup looks “great”and have used it twice! I’ll call that a WIN! The cheek color is so pretty and the perfect highlight to any bronzer. The eye colors are in the same neutral/bronze family… but also have a muted silver, a beautiful light sage green, a purple/brown, and then a dark brown that’s almost a black to create a smokey look. It’s literally all my favorite colors in one pallet! Bonus (in case you need more reasons to buy this) … it comes with a full mascara and eyeliner! $44.50.

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How cute are these brushes? Light pink and all the best ones you need to create the perfect smokey or natural look on your eyes. Only $30 and this is a great brand for brushes.

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You can never have enough lip glosses… and these are four of the best colors for summer and fall. These glide on like a lip gloss, but cover like a lipstick. Love them! Perfect shades of pinks that look good with every skin tone and whatever you’re wearing!

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I’m always skeptical of brow kits, only because I have never really fell in love with one myself. This is a great option at a great price! Comes in three shades and is really easy to apply. You can coat the hairs with the brow gel, and then shape and create a more defined shape with the pencil. For $28 this is a great buy!

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More lip kits from MAC! This is the same as the pink trio – but in nudes! Both the lipsticks have a pink/nude undertone, while the gloss is the perfect shade of light nude. Goes on thick and gives coverage for hours! $36.50 for all three!

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Another amazing MAC lip kit! These minis are all matte’s and a great array of shades. The red is amazing! It’s hard to find a perfect red – but this one takes the cake! $32.50 for six really cute small lipsticks that are perfect for a night out when you have a tiny bag!

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My love for this lotion is real. It’s silky smooth, light, but lasts all day. Also gives your skin a slight glow – without looking like a shimmer. Not sure how it does that but its so pretty! It’s definitely expensive – $75 normal price for this huge bottle. However this is on sale for $52 and will last FOREVER.

You will not be disappointed!

New Beauty Product Review

In the past couple months I’ve been getting some new beauty products – and wanted to share my own thoughts and give you an honest review! Some of these products were referrals from other bloggers I follow, and some were my own finds by researching what is out there for the type of make-up/skincare I was looking for. I recently stumbled across a website called Beauty Pedia – and this is honestly the BEST site to use if you’re looking to try something new for yourself. Sometimes its hard to rely on a random recommendation, or a post where someone is saying “this is great, OMG the best, buy it!” Then you spend $40 on a new foundation that might not honestly work for you the same way. What Beauty Pedia does – is completely breaks the product down from performance, the honesty behind the claims the brand is making, how well it works, some of the side effects, and background information on the company that produces the product. This was HUGE for me. I have combination skin – its a little oily, but also has dry spots. I wouldn’t consider my skin sensitive, however it can get irritated easily if there are a lot of dyes or perfumes or certain chemicals that are known to cause irritation.

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Beauty Pedia lets you search in so many different ways. You can choose the product category – then sort by price, by rating, by brand, and when the product was last rated in terms of the date of review. This is so helpful! I personally check the rating first, and then narrow down the best options for my skin, all while being mindful of the price. Obviously you want a five star, but the reasoning for it getting a four may not be of a concern for you – so really read why they give it the score they do to determine whether or not that matters to you. Not every product is on here, and by no means is this the beauty bible you need to live by, but it is such a great guide when looking for something new.

I do not wear a ton of face makeup. I’ve always just felt like the more was on my face, the heavier it felt and then I was constantly fighting oil and breakouts. This could be a combination of not using the right products, maturity of my skin, and my daily routine – but either way, the lighter the better. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE makeup – give me all the eyeshadows and I am one happy girl! I realized however, that I was constantly just buying the same things over and over again because that’s what I’ve always done, and turns out that wasn’t working too well for me!

Last summer I switched over to Tula products for my daily skincare routine. I honestly saw a difference in my skin after the first week. You can read my Daily Skincare Routine post from last week for my journey in finding this brand! This is what jump started my pursuit of new products to enhance my beauty routine. Your skin and face are in front of everyone all day long, so you might as well put your best face forward, am I right? Got new everyday lotion, some exfoliators, serums and oils, etc. Things I always stayed away from because I thought they would irritate my skin… and always assumed oils would make my skin oilier. Oil actually cuts oil… craziness! I’m so glad I did some more research!

I’ve also recently fell in love with some Kiehl’s products for my daily skincare routine. Not all of them have fantastic ratings, (not everything is rated on this site FYI), but they seem to work well for my skin, and can be mixed well with my Tula products without irritation.

Anyways, enough of my rambling on and on… let’s get to the reviews and the good stuff, and unfortunately not so great on things I was hoping would work!

Tula – So my daily routine always includes Tula. They also have some Kefir products which are a milk oil base and are super hydrating. I have the cleanser and the moisture repair pressed serum. The cleanser pumps out liquidy, and then just melts into a moisturizing milk. It takes off makeup just on it’s own without water, and leaves your skin feeling so smooth and refreshed. I keep this in my shower and use it in the morning! I still love the Tula face cleanser better for removing the day from my skin, but this cleanser is also great when your face is already clean and you just need to hydrate! The pressed oil is just amazing. It’s similar in consistency to a soft coconut oil, and just soaks completely into your skin for instant hydration. It goes smooth and after a minute or two does not look greasy at all. I like to use this if my skin is feeling extra dry, or I see areas that may be a little irritated from makeup or lots of stress on my skin… and it works miracles. Highly recommend. They made a new mask for this line – and I am definitely going to try that next!

 

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Kiehls Micro-dermabrasion  – This is a brand I just recently added into my routine about a two months ago. They have been around forever and are known for using natural and safe ingredients. It does say they test on animals – however this is only because they sell outside of the US to other countries that mandate animal testing. So in the US they do not, which is why it states “not tested on animals unless otherwise required by law”. Not sure if that is important to you or not, but that is why some products use that statement on their packaging. Not all their products are rated very well on Beauty Pedia – but again, if they are working for your skin, then go for it! The microdermabrasion scrub is by far my favorite investment. It’s affordable and comes in a generous size. You have to be careful with scrubs and their ingredients. You want it to really remove and polish, without making micro cuts in your skin. The scrubs that have larger chunks in them can actually make tiny abrasions in your skin and will get irritated and inflamed. OUCH! This scrub is super fine, and does a great job of removing dirt, dry skin, flaky skin, and works for all skin types. I use it twice a week, sometimes three, and its wonderful. Little bit goes a long way and it does not dry out my skin at all- so it’s a great investment.

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil –  You can combine this into your moisturizer, add it to any of their masks, use it alone… and it repairs your skin overnight! Kind of like a revival during your sleep! I was sold because I had a patch of irritation around my nose for about three months. I tried everything and nothing helped cure this area – until this oil. It just calms your skin and adds so much moisture. Its good for all skin types, and just repairs and evens skin tone and texture while you sleep. I use about 4 drops a night, and this little bottle is still almost full after a month – it will last forever and is only $47!

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Kiehl’s Buttersticks –  I’ve also got a couple of their tinted lippies- they’re great! SPF 25 tinted chap stick is basically what they are. Adds a pop of color, but really hydrates and keeps your lips moisturized. I don’t wear a ton of makeup to work everyday (like to let my skin breathe here and there) – and these are a great option to add just a tint of color. I have the touch of berry and the simply rose and I love them! They look like a lipstick in the tube, but they go on sheer.

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Glam Glow Fizzy Lip and  Lip Balm treatment – Chapped lips were literally my arch nemesis this winter. OMG it was the worst its ever been… and didn’t help that Chicago winters are 8 months out of the year, ha! I was hoping this duo was going to cure my lip blues… but I honestly am indifferent. The scrub is not bad – tastes good and when you add water to it, it bubbles and fizzes on your mouth. Not sure what’s in there, but it’s kinda fun! However if you’re lips are hurting – you don’t really need to add some fizz. The balm is actually SUPER jelly and amazing when you put it on, however I felt like I had to apply a lot, and while it feels good right when you put it on… I’m not sure it helped heal anything. The packaging is so cute and fun… but goes to show that not everything pretty and pink is really worth the mula – $20/each. I will continue to use it because I don’t feel like it’s making my symptoms worse, but I most likely will not re-buy.

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Daily Concepts Hair Towel – so this little towel helps speed dry your hair! My hair is shorter and doesn’t take too long to dry, but I wish i had this when my hair was longer. It does a great job of taking out a TON of moisture! Also helps reduce frizz and cuts down on dry time.

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Briogeo Hair Mask – I got this hair mask in my fabfitfun box, and while I’m not wowed beyond belief, it’s not terrible either. When I think hair mask, I think of like an old Herbal Essences commercial with the amazing voluminous nourished hair that is super shiny, and I’m dancing in a field of flowers rejoicing in the wonderfulness of my new conditioned hair…. too much? Ha! Well this didn’t bring me to that field of flowers, but it didn’t make my hair worse. At the moment I am indifferent, but I am going to keep using it and keep it on a little longer to see if that makes a difference, because it does have good consumer reviews. Not sure I would spend my own money on this, however the FabFitFun box was only $29 with code YAY if you’ve never ordered one before… so I am glad I got to try it this way rather than spend the full price on this one item.

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Marrakesh Argan & Hemp Oil Therapy – so this also came in my fabfitfun box and I’m so glad it did! It’s super thick and smells amazing – kind of like oatmeal and cocounuts. My ends are typically very dry compared to the roots of my hair, so I actually put this on when my hair is dry – and it adds a ton of shine and moisture and smells amazing. It soaks in nicely after a minute or two, and I was able to style my hair and seal my ends. I really like it and will definitely get this again when I run out! Also works well if you put it on your hair while it’s wet before styling. Only around $20 in most stores.

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Philosophy “Love Swept” spray – I got this new perfume in a mini size just to keep in my purse. It’s such a light and refreshing floral scent. There are definitely days at work where I am running around, in and out of the manufacturing plant, doing R&D work in the kitchen – and I NEED a spritz here and there to mask the smell of stress. This one is great and really affordable! It’s only $20 and the scent lasts all day. I’ve gotten so many compliments on it recently… it’s always nice when people think you smell great as opposed to a sweaty hot mess (which is how I feel most days lately).

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Tarte Eye Shadow Pallet – AMEN to this pallet! This was also a fabfitfun item, but I found it at Ulta for $30, and will definitely buy this when it runs out or at least another pallet in the Tarte family. This one is all gold, pink, and bronze tones that are perfect for summer. The one darker color is like a plum/brown shade – which I love because I have hazel eyes, so the plum color really makes them pop! I’ve been using this all week and they stay on nicely and hold their color without fading throughout the day. LOVE me some eye shadows! Considering the whole box was only $29.99 – I would have been happy just receiving this one item!

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Clarins Eye base – on the topic of eye shadow…. where has eye base been all my life? Why did no one tell me how amazing it is? Essentially its like a concealer for your lid, that holds your eye shadow in place so it wont crease. It also makes the color of your eye shadow really pop – and stays in place all day. I don’t know how I never knew of this product, because my shadow ALWAYS ended up in the crease of my eye. I just assumed it was because I have oily skin… nope, just not using this amazing base. I was told by a few people this was the best, and it’s $26 dollars and I am a forever customer. Helpful hint, it does work the best if your lid is free of any product. So in the morning I try and put my eye cream just underneath my eyes and not on my lid… this way it works the best for me.

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Bobbi Brown “Peace, Love, Beach” shadows – there are three pallets in this little series, and I opted for the Beach combination. They’re great! I randomly read somewhere that adding a tiny of copper to underneath your eyelid makes you look less tired… not sure if that is true, but I love the little glimmer it adds to my everyday makeup routine. Plus I’m usually always tired so it can’t hurt right? These shadows are very pigmented and just make your eyes so shinny and beautiful. I love them. I think I can probably find something similar at a lower price point next time, as this pallet was $30 for only three colors.

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St. Tropez Instant Self Tanner – After countless positive things other bloggers were saying about this self tanner – I bit the bullet and purchased. I got the Instant tan for $40. Instructions say to use a mitt for application, and leave on different lengths of time depending on the color you want to achieve. It definitely works, and stays on for a long time! AMEN. It’s a mouse/foam, so once you pump it into the mit, it spreads on evenly and rubs in nicely to your skin. I don’t love how it looks on my hands and feet. Those are the two hardest parts of the body to apply self tanner to, but this brand seems to stick in weird places and gives me a little uneven color. I’ve tried avoiding my hands and then combining some of the tanner into lotion – then putting that on my hands and feet, but that didn’t seem to help either! Could completely be user error – I mean I am new to self tanner in general, ha. However I do love how it looks on the rest of my body. Not orange, and lasts for 3-4 days. It does rub off a little before you rinse off, so my advise would be to wear loose baggy clothing and long sleeve top to sit around in after you apply so it does not get on your furniture, blankets, sheets etc.

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St. Moriz Self Tanner – This is a much more affordable self tanner and also is a foam – so its super easy to apply with a mitt as well. $10-13!! This does not last as long as the St. Tropez, however it looks much better on my hands and feet for whatever reason. I did a combo of the two the last time I applied and did not experience the hand/feet struggle! Hooray! It does stay on for a day or two – so if you don’t mind applying more frequently… this is a great option and price!

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Free people sleeping mask – So I’ve never used a sleeping mask, but there are definitely nights were I have a hard time falling asleep. Other nights… I’m out in about 3 seconds! This mask has a little weight to it, which helps just put the right amount of pressure on your lids to keep them closed and put you into sleep mode! Still getting used to having something around my head while sleeping – but getting over that each night I use it.

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Super Goop Unseen Sunscreen – ladies, this is the HOLY GRAIL of sunscreen to wear under your makeup. It’s literally a primer, and yes – it’s called unseen because it goes on matte and clear. Has no white residue whatsoever. It also acts as a moisturizer and helps fill in the lines and imperfections in your skin (like a primer is supposed to do), and helps your makeup application look flawless. Cannot say enough good things. It’s safe for any skin type and can be used by itself just as a sunscreen! It is $40, but that’s similar cost to any other primer, and this one is packed with sunscreen protection and other awesome nutrients for your skin. Job well done, Supergoop!

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Super Goop Acai Fusion Lip Balm – now this is a lip product that actually heals AND is loaded with essential sunscreens. Forever customer. Smells great, goes on shinny and sheer, protects, and heals! $9.50.

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Ok – more to come later as I continue to try new things… please send your recommendations below for products you love! Anything hair, nails, skincare, beauty I am all about!

 

My GO-TO Bargain Beauty Buys

Always in my Makeup Bag… and all under $20.00!

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Powder –  Covergirl TruBlend PressedPowder. This powder is velvety smooth and delivers long-lasting coverage without feeling heavy. It gives your skin a natural look and blends easily with any skin tone. I’ve used this for years and I love it! Bonus – it’s only $8!

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Concealer – Maybelline Better Skin Super Stay Concealer – this concealer is amazing. It’s lightweight, but gives excellent all day medium coverage for dark under eye circles. It’s not drying, nor does it create an oily feeling on your skin. Can easily be applied with the application tip – or with a beauty blender sponge. It’s fragrance free for sensitive skin, and doesn’t crease or look cakey! Bonus – only $6-8!

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Bronzer – Bahama Mama is my go to for bronzer. It only comes in one shade – however it goes on light and blends well with any skin tone to give a natural tan look. Stays on all day, and gives your skin a nice summer glow. Only $20!

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Mascara – I’ve used L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara since I started wearing makeup! I naturally have long and thick lashes (hooray!) so this mascara is perfect for me. Adds volume and lengthens perfectly without clumping. It comes in a few shades, but I get the carbon black. Super pigmented black that doesn’t have a grey tint to it. Bonus – only $6!

Brow Gel – I have two I love that are around the same price point! The reason I use a gel as opposed to a pencil is I just feel it allows me to apply it evenly in the shape I want, with a more natural look. MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Gel in the brown ebony shade. My hair is naturally dark, so this shade is great and matches well. It’s waterproof, but washes off easily with soap. Wunder2 Wonder Brow Eyegel in the Black/Brown shade. I will admit some of the adds for this product on social media are intimidating, however it does work really well and will basically stay put through a hurricane! Definitely better waterproof power than the MAC gel,  but both are great options, come in multiple shades, and are the same price! Only $20.

Lip Gloss

Lip Gloss – I think I have over 30 lip glosses – and most of them fall into the pink-coral-red family. My current favorite is the Clinique Marimekko Pop Splash in the Juicy Apple color. It’s a sheer red that has a slight pink tint – the perfect color for spring and summer! Only $18.50.