Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top 3 Cleansers

The lazy really comes out of me when it comes to skincare lately. I know, I know. It's important. I'm all about ease when it comes to my routine and there are a few cleansers I constantly reach for to get the makeup off and my face clean. 

The REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk ($28) is my go to cleanser when I'm looking for something really light and gentle to soothe any angry skin I might be having. I also like to use it after I use the Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Balm ($28.50) to make sure everything is off my face. I've written a full review about this fantastic product before so be sure to check it out for more details. It's definitely my favorite to take off makeup with. It gets everything off. Amazing.

If I want to mix things up I go back to my first ever cleanser, the Body Shop's Vitamin C Facial Cleansing Polish ($16.50). Only a touch more abrasive on the skin than the other two, I like this one to really get into my skin and clear out my pores. It smells fresh and I always feel great after using this. It makes me want to do the full skincare routine if that makes sense because I enjoy using it so much.

What are your favorite cleansers?

xoxo Kayla

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mini Reviews #2

It's been ages since my first "mini reviews" post. Just goes to show how terrible I am at using up the samples I eagerly click on during the online checkout process. I love the idea of samples, but they never seem to budge from the sample bin. Anyone else with me on this? I can't be alone...

I've managed to finish up a handful of samples in the past couple of months and wanted to share with you mini reviews on what I thought about them. They're obviously not full, set-in-stone reviews as I've only used a sample's worth, but by the end of a sample I usually have a pretty good sense of a product.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Cream (full size $17) sadly disappointed me. I love the toner from the Vitamin E line, but this cream felt sticky on the skin and didn't sink in well. It did provide a decent amount of hydration and moisture once it did finally settle in, but in the mornings I don't have that much time to wait around for a cream to get its stuff together and sink in.

I finished up three mascaras and I wasn't crazy about any of them. The Buxom Lash Mascara (full size $19), the Two Face Lashgasm Mascara (full size $21), and the Mary Kay Lash Love Mascara (full size $15) all just more or less coated my lashes. There was some length added, but no volume and definitely no wow factor. It's got me wondering if I just can't work with mascara samples. I've never had a sample that's blown me away and had me running out to buy a full size. 

I also used up a sample of the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in "St Moritz" (full size $42). I would mix this with my "Finland" shade to get the perfect match for my skin tone. I've since purchased a full size of "St. Moritz" and have been mixing and matching ever since. I love having the ability to blend the perfect shade no matter how pale or tan I happen to be. Plus it fixed my silly mistake in buying "Finland" which is just way too light for me.

Let's hope the next mini review isn't months from now and I start making a dent in my sample box. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could do with all of them? Have you used up any samples recently?

xoxo Kayla

Sunday, August 17, 2014

This Week's Most Loved #35

I've been all about the plums and violets lately and have been completely obsessed with my new Tarte Rainforest After Dark Limited Edition Colored Clay Eye and Cheek Palette (phew) ($38). A full review with look photos is in the works, but this palette has stolen my heart. The purple shades are so wearable and the blush is light but provides a nice flush to the cheeks. The packaging is spot on and the looks are endless. 

Another Tarte love this week is the Tarte Clean Slate Flawless 12-hr Brightening Face Primer ($30). It's silicon free so there isn't that feeling of a weird film left on the skin. It sinks in nicely and helps keep foundations looking freshly applied. I don't think it surpasses the Stila One Step Correct primer, but it's a close second.

One of the only hair products to every actually do something to my hair is the Big Sexy Hair Get Layered (full size $17.95). I spray a bit of this around the crown of my head and massage it in with my fingers. It adds a nice bit of volume to my hair without weighing it down or making it feel greasy. It doesn't last ages, but the fact that it does anything at all makes me a happy camper.

What products have you been loving this week?

xoxo Kayla

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Saving on Beauty

Beauty blogging is not a cheap hobby. It's easy to fall for product hype and become a makeup hoarder. If you're finding that you're spending just too much money on beauty products, here are a few tips and tricks to save money on beauty.

Probably the money saving trick I use most often, coupons can really help you keep some dollars in your wallet. Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works are the two stores I get coupons for the most and they're definitely the best. My favorites are the coupons where there is no purchase necessary to get a free pair of underwear or a travel size lotion. Just make sure you keep your blinders on when going into the stores for your free items and don't let their clever "get you in the store" tactics to work! Ulta also gives out a $3.50 coupon off a $10 purchase, but only use it if you really need something, not as an excuse to go buy things.

Unsubscribe from Store Emails
Store emails are my weakness. Multiple times a day I get emails from tons of different stores raving about new products I have to try. Unsubscribing from them has definitely saved me money. Out of sight out of mind, right?

Wait for Sales
Sephora and Ulta will always have sales. Trust me. They have their big 10% and 20% off sales every year. The trick is to hold out for them. You'll be able to buy the products you love but used up at a discounted price. It may not seem like much, but saving 10% can really add up if you're a makeup fiend like myself.

Makeup Swap with Friends
Definitely something I want to do more, but one of the best ways to get "new" products and get rid of products you aren't crazy about is doing swaps with friends. If you're concerned about not having anything new to talk about on your blog of feel like you just keep talking about the same products, makeup swapping is a great way to get new to you products and add something new to your blog. No spending required.

You know that bin filled with samples you received from online orders and trips to your favorite beauty stores? USE THEM. I'm notorious for just throwing products into a bin and never touching them again. It's a treasure trove for new products to try, blog about, and curb your appetite to buy things. You can also go to stores like Sephora and Ulta and ask for a sample of a product you're interested in buying. That way you can give it a go and really see if it's something you want to spend your money on.

Ultimately it's important for you to decide if you really need something or not. The best way to save money is to not spend it (duh), but if you're like me and just can't resist, these are a few good ways to not go broke in the process.

How do you save on beauty?

xoxo Kayla

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Fall Edit

I dare say I think fall/autumn is my favorite season. There's just something about it. It's the fresh doughnuts from the cider mills to be honest, but I love the beauty trends and the crisp air. With fall closer than we all like to admit and classes about to pick up again (I'm about to start graduate school, yikes), here are some of my fall beauty picks.

I'm quite the fan of deep rose shades in the fall so naturally I'm starting to gravitate towards Rimmel's Lasting Finish Pro Nail Polish in "Hot Cocoa" ($6) and Kiko's Rock Attraction Blush in "06 Visionary Sienna" (€6). Basically the identical shade in two different products. Rimmel Lasting Finish polishes are incredibly impressive for staying power and have a sizable brush that makes even coats a breeze. The Kiko blush is not only beautiful in pan but looks fantastic on the cheeks for a deeper flush.

For eyes I'm breaking out theBalm's NUDE'tude Palette ($36) once again. I love using the darker side of this palette in the fall because they're more autumn feeling, but also still wearable. My favorites are "Seductive," "Silly," and "Sexy". Blended together they create a beautiful smokey eye that even light-handed eye shadow appliers like myself won't feel weird wearing.

Fall screams berry lip colors and I'm sure my Revlon Lip Butter in "Berry Smoothie" ($8.49) will be seeing a lot of lip time in the upcoming months. It's fuss free, has a lot of color payoff, and is moisturizing. Everything you want when the winds start to pick up and the workload increases.

What are your go to products for fall?

xoxo Kayla

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Think Pink

Although I claim I'm not one who gravitates towards pink, I do have quite the pink theme going in my makeup stash. Sometimes if I'm feeling a little girly and want to mix things up I'll reach for a few pink toned goodies.

Probably the pinkest thing I own is Essie's "The Girls are Out" ($8.50). I bought a full collection one season and this bright baby came along with it. I definitely wouldn't have bought it on its own, but I'm more than happy to have it in my collection now. It's hot, hot pink with silver micro-glitter flicked throughout. It makes me look tanner when I wear it, so I definitely should splash this on my nails as soon as possible.

For eye shadows I really enjoy throwing in some pink every now and again. My running favorite is the Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal in "Inked in Pink" ($6.99). It's a sheer, almost silver pink that is incredibly quick to just wash over the lids and be on my way. If I want a little more definition I'll put a darker mauve pink or a brown in the outside corners, but more often or not I wear this alone. I've also been obsessed with my Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows (€6,90) in "35 Rosa Calypso Perlato" and "36 Malva Dorato". A light pink and a mauve pink, these two eye shadow sticks are the perfect duo for a look slightly out of my comfort zone. Incredibly easy to use and blends like a dream too.

For blush if I want something extra pink I always seem to gravitate towards Elf's "Tickled Pink" Blush ($3). It provides just the right amount of color without being too much, but if you aren't careful you could accidentally pack a lot of this blush on. Elf blushes are surprisingly good for the money and they really help to round out my blush collection with colors like "Tickled Pink" I don't wear too often, without costing me too much.

I'm definitely not one for a pink lip, but sometimes I have those moments where I just want to rock it. When those rare times arise I reach for Revlon's "Gentlemen Prefer Pink" ($4.97) or the NYX Butter Gloss in "Vanilla Cream Pie" ($4.99). They are both very sheer so the pink doesn't look too unnatural but it can also be built up if I'm feeling really crazy.

What are some of your favorite pink beauty products?

xoxo Kayla

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Exploring Tarte

I've wanted to explore Tarte more for quite a while, but everything seemed just a little too pricey. Tarte's 30% off sale was just the right amount of persuasion for me to start piling things into my shopping cart. The first thing that I popped in there without thought was the Lights, Camera, Splashes Mascara ($20). I've heard great things about Tarte mascaras and this one is waterproof! The packaging is beautiful and makes me feel fancy.

Since I'm almost out of my Stila One Step Correct primer and am not looking forward to paying $36 to get a new one, I decided to give the Clean Slate Flawless 12-hr Brightening Primer ($30). So far I've really been enjoying it. I love the fact that it doesn't feel satiny or have that silicone feeling on the skin. It has an interesting scent but isn't anything unbearable. A full review is in the works!

Finally I've had the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Concealer ($21) on my wishlist for ages and couldn't leave it behind. I'm pretty sure Tarte is working this product out of their lineup, but I wanted it regardless. It's definitely the heaviest concealer I've used and can come in handy on bad skin days. I'd be sure to pick it up if you've had your eye on it. I also selected a sample of the Double Detox Facial Mask (full size $38) at checkout.

I'm excited to dive into Tarte and really get a sense of the brand. Their blushes are to die for, but we'll see how other products compare! Let me know if there is anything specific you'd like a full review on!

What products have you tried from Tarte?

xoxo Kayla