From The Bottom Of My Makeup Bag

from Anastasia to Zoya and back again
I am loving Influenster so much! This is the best Vox Box I’ve gotten! I already gave the lotion to my husband and the Kisses to my coworkers. #sharethelove #JAdoreVoxBox #Influenster

I am loving Influenster so much! This is the best Vox Box I’ve gotten! I already gave the lotion to my husband and the Kisses to my coworkers. #sharethelove #JAdoreVoxBox #Influenster

This week’s mask is the Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Mask. It smells…awful. I mean, it smells like chocolate, so it’s not false advertising, but I happen to think that chocolate is a horrible smell for skin. If you like chocolate smelling products, like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, you will love this. It’s supposed to be moisturizing, and my skin definitely needs that. I tend to go for moisturizing masks rather than anything that says “purifying” or “exfoliating”, though I must admit, Montagne Jeunesse has a charcoal mask I am desperate to try. The mask is a thick mud/clay texture, and the directions say to put it on the face and neck (there is more than enough for a thick layer on the entire area, but I rarely apply masks to my neck), wait 5-10 minutes for it to dry, then rinse with a washcloth and warm water.  This stuff was a little tricky to get off! I am quite fair and for a few scary minutes, I thought it had stained my face a brownish color. After a few more passes with the washcloth, it all came off. I then followed up with my vitamin C serum from Aloe Source, which smells a bit like oranges…so now I smell like one of those chocolate oranges people eat at Christmas. Great.  I must admit, my skin does feel very soft after using this product! Got to give credit where it’s due.
These masks retail for around one dollar, and I buy them at Walmart. They are sold in single use packets, but I could definitely get another use out of this one if I put the remainder in a small Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.  I’m not really a fan of the smell, so I don’t know if I’ll go to that much effort to preserve the remaining product. Maybe I will. Waste not, want not.

This week’s mask is the Montagne Jeunesse Chocolate Mask. It smells…awful. I mean, it smells like chocolate, so it’s not false advertising, but I happen to think that chocolate is a horrible smell for skin. If you like chocolate smelling products, like the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, you will love this. It’s supposed to be moisturizing, and my skin definitely needs that. I tend to go for moisturizing masks rather than anything that says “purifying” or “exfoliating”, though I must admit, Montagne Jeunesse has a charcoal mask I am desperate to try. The mask is a thick mud/clay texture, and the directions say to put it on the face and neck (there is more than enough for a thick layer on the entire area, but I rarely apply masks to my neck), wait 5-10 minutes for it to dry, then rinse with a washcloth and warm water.  This stuff was a little tricky to get off! I am quite fair and for a few scary minutes, I thought it had stained my face a brownish color. After a few more passes with the washcloth, it all came off. I then followed up with my vitamin C serum from Aloe Source, which smells a bit like oranges…so now I smell like one of those chocolate oranges people eat at Christmas. Great.  I must admit, my skin does feel very soft after using this product! Got to give credit where it’s due.

These masks retail for around one dollar, and I buy them at Walmart. They are sold in single use packets, but I could definitely get another use out of this one if I put the remainder in a small Tupperware or a Ziploc bag.  I’m not really a fan of the smell, so I don’t know if I’ll go to that much effort to preserve the remaining product. Maybe I will. Waste not, want not.

My Essentials Basket

This is what I call my “essentials” basket. When you have as much makeup as I do, it’s important to have a space to put the things you use on a daily basis so that they are easily accessible. I have a full time job and a toddler, and I get up at 6:15 every day. I’m not looking to spend a long time hunting for my concealer or eyebrow pencil, especially if I’m running on not enough sleep (usually due to said toddler). While I may change my eyeshadow color or my lipstick on a whim, there are other parts of my getting ready routine that are the same on a day-to-day basis. Here is a picture of my everyday basket, which I keep just to the left side of my makeup mirror:

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In my basket, I keep my serum primer, my skin and under eye hydrating primers, my Benefit Porefessional (I have large pores on the apples of my cheeks only), MAC and Maybelline concealers, foundation, loose powder, Make Up For Ever sculpting blush (number 16) Anastasia Brow Wiz, Benefit gimme brow, Too Faced Shadow Insurance, and Benefit They’re Real mascara.

Having these items in one place allows me to wake up, stumble into the shower, and be halfway ready by the time I realize I’m fully awake. If I had to search around for everything in the morning, I may end up at work looking like a crazy person!

If you had an essentials basket, what would you put in it? If you already have one, what are your must-have items?

Oh, MAC…

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I went back to MAC on Saturday and swapped out the foundation and Mineralize Skinfinish that I got last Friday. The products I was “matched” for were way too dark. I also felt that the Skinfinish was too shiny and made my pores look large, while the foundation didn’t provide the coverage I asked for. My dark spots and old scars are not very extreme, but they still showed through the foundation. I swapped the Studio Sculpt foundation in NW20 for Studio Fix Fluid in NW13 and the Mineralize Skinfinish in Light Plus for Mineralize Foundation Loose in Extra Light. I kept the concealer, as I felt that it was a good color match for my skin. 

The verdict? MUCH BETTER! I no longer have the dreaded orange “neck line”. Shudder. Proof that even the professionals get it wrong sometimes, and it always pays to keep your receipt, especially when buying foundation! I had coworkers tell me that my foundation was too dark, something a makeup lover NEVER wants to hear! Makeup 101, do not wear foundation too dark or too light for your skin! Luckily, I only looked like an amateur for a week, and now I’m back to rocking the correct color for my oh-so-fair skin tone. 

Side note: I hated the smell of the Studio Sculpt foundation. It smelled like maple syrup to me and made me grossed out every time I put it on. The smell faded quickly on the skin, but man…not my favorite scent in the world (I’m not a huge maple fan). I didn’t think that was fair to include in my review of the product, since it’s not a lingering scent, so I just put it here instead.

Second side note: When we got to the car, I told my husband that the girl who helped me the second time at MAC had a lot of makeup on (serious pancake/stage makeup type of foundation). He looked confused and said, “They ALL had a lot of makeup on.” It made me laugh. The girls at MAC do pile it on…all in the name of business, I suppose.

Valentine’s Day manicure: White Matter as a base, Flashy on the thumb, Eureka on the forefinger and middle finger, Brazen on the ring finger and pinkie, Meteoric as a top coat. Zoya speed dry drops on top.

Valentine’s Day manicure: White Matter as a base, Flashy on the thumb, Eureka on the forefinger and middle finger, Brazen on the ring finger and pinkie, Meteoric as a top coat. Zoya speed dry drops on top.

Happy Saturday everyone! I’m taking a trip to MAC to exchange my foundation. It’s too yellow! What are you doing today? Eyes are Urban Decay Naked3 palette and Benefit They’re Real mascara, lips are MAC Up The Amp. Cheeks are Tarte holiday Off The Cuff palette. Skin is MAC way to damn yellow foundation (haha) and mineralize skinfinish

Happy Saturday everyone! I’m taking a trip to MAC to exchange my foundation. It’s too yellow! What are you doing today? Eyes are Urban Decay Naked3 palette and Benefit They’re Real mascara, lips are MAC Up The Amp. Cheeks are Tarte holiday Off The Cuff palette. Skin is MAC way to damn yellow foundation (haha) and mineralize skinfinish

Wearing some Twisted Sistah glitter by Lit Cosmetics to celebrate Friday! I can’t wait for the weekend.

Wearing some Twisted Sistah glitter by Lit Cosmetics to celebrate Friday! I can’t wait for the weekend.

How do you like to unwind after a long day?

How do you like to unwind after a long day?

Happy Monday, indeed! I hope everyone is having a nice start to the week. :) I am loving Makeup Geek’s Utopia pigment today. So sparkly!

Happy Monday, indeed! I hope everyone is having a nice start to the week. :) I am loving Makeup Geek’s Utopia pigment today. So sparkly!

Friday Night MAC and Sephora Haul

I had some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket (or purse, whichever), so I decided to head to the mall last night to kick start my weekend with some retail therapy.  I got some really interesting goodies to try out!

For my face, I got Select Cover-Up concealer in NW20, Studio Sculpt Foundation in NC20, and Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus.  Although I’ve been a fan of MAC for about half of my life at this point, I’ve never tried any of these products!  I’m especially excited for the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.

Okay, okay, so I have to admit that part of this Prep + Prime (shockingly expensive) splurge was because the bottles are SPARKLY!  MAC is speaking right to my soul with the packaging on their Prep + Prime line.  Stunning!  In all seriousness, I have extremely dry, thirsty skin, and when Heather, who helped me out at MAC, put these products on half of my face, I noticed the amazing blurring effect that I have been dying to achieve.  The lines and pores of my skin were almost invisible.  She also advised me to stop using a physical exfoliator every day (2x/week at the most for skin types like mine) and to toss my toner.  Damn this dry winter!

The Vibrancy Eye Primer is for the dry under eye area, and the Moisture Infusion is for the rest of the face.  I’m not a fan of the dewy look so many people seem to desire, but I also don’t want to look like a pancake face.  The combination of these products plus the aforementioned new face products should provide me with more of a satiny finish.  I think that should be the perfect balance between too matte and that shiny oily looking “healthy glow” crap people are always going on about.

No trip to MAC is complete without at least one completely illogical purchase, right?  When I saw the new Viva Glam Rihanna lipstick, I was like…meh.  It’s just too shiny and old lady like for me.  I had high hopes as I have seen it look absolutely stunning on a few YouTube makeup gurus, but it just isn’t going to work for me.  I did, however, LOVE the Viva Glam Rihanna lipglass.  It is so beautiful and will look fantastic over any red or pink lipstick!  I am a sucker for bright, blue based reds and pinks, and I think that this lipglass will be the most lovely compliment to my collection.  I wore it alone last night and it is semi-sheer, sparkly, and a total eye catcher that way as well.

Last but not least, I had to pop into Sephora to replace my cleanser and toner (the evil evil exfoliating and drying routine!) with something more gentle.  My MAC consultant wanted me to buy a few more products, but my wallet was smoking by that point and I decided to cash out there in favor of returning to my old favorite, Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple cleanser.  This product is as gentle as a newborn lamb, plus it smells very natural and it gets all my makeup off without leaving my skin feeling tight.  I think Heather would approve.

My Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara has officially kicked the bucket and I must say, though I loved it at first (see my random babble about it on this blog), it got dry and clumpy (see: shitty) SO quickly!  Nuh-uh.  No thanks, Too Faced.  I went back to Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara, and I’m hoping it is as good as I remember it being.

That’s all for now, I’ll check back in with you guys really soon.  

random note: when I was checking out at the MAC register, the girl working there kept raving about what a great job Heather did and how beautiful my eyeshadow looked.  I didn’t see a reason to contradict her and tell her that Heather only did my foundation, so I smiled and made non-committal “Yeah, she was great” responses.  When she said for a third or fourth time how great my eyeshadow was, I had to tell her that I did my own eye makeup, not Heather.  It wasn’t even MAC eyeshadow, I used all drugstore products yesterday!  She laughed and told me that it still looked fantastic.  I have to admit, I was a bit proud of myself after that. ;)