Updates!

Hey everyone! I haven’t forgotten about this blog. I quite miss it! However, my lovely camera died. I also just underwent a huge move across the the US to New Orleans, LA, so I don’t quite have enough money to buy a new one. I’m putting aside $20 a month, so I think I’ll have one by this summer, but in the mean time I suppose I’ll continue doing product reviews and whatnot.

Does anyone have any good camera suggestions? If I’m going to buy a new camera, I’m going to save up for a pretty good one. xox

-Lizzie

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How to: Afford Makeup and Build Your Collection! A Guide for Beginners.

How To Afford Makeup and Build Your Collection: a guide for beginners

This is a topic near and dear to my heart, indeed. Here are a few things you should know about me: I hardly ever buy any beauty products at full price unless it’s something I set aside money for, or really, really need (read: facial cleaner, toner, moisturizer, etc.) This post will cover a variety of money saving tips I’ve accumulated over the years alongside my ever-growing makeup collection.

1: Pick one loyalty program and try to buy the majority of items at that store. For me, this is CVS. If you purchase makeup, you’ll automatically be added to the “Beauty Club” which gives you $5 in extra bucks per every $50 you spend. Remember to use your CVS card with every purchase so you’ll be credited for your purchases. If you don’t have a CVS in your area I’m sure other drugstores offer similar programs as a means of making themselves appealing to customers and attracting business.

2.) Become a walking dictionary of retail values and sales prices. One store might sell an item for a few dollars less than another. Obviously, weight the pros and cons of purchasing something where a loyalty program exists, and purchasing the same item where one doesn’t for cheaper. If you’re going to purchase, say, a hairdryer, which is $49.99 at Target and $52 at CVS, go with CVS as the coupons you’ll gain from Beauty Club and your overall monthly spending will likely more than make up for the difference between the two prices. However, if it’s a much smaller item such as a nail varnish, the difference between paying $2.99 at Target and $3.99 at CVS is a lot more of the total cost, and an extra dollar at CVS won’t really make or break your monthly savings.

3.) Make sure you’re getting all the coupons you can! If you sign up for emails from CVS.com, they’ll send you coupons through your email which you can either print out, or send directly to your CVS card. Often these coupons can be combines with other ones, and may or may not be applicable to items which are already on sale.

4.) If you have a % off coupon that won’t expire for a while, think about doing your monthly shopping in one fell swoop rather than wasting the coupon on one or two items. Always make sure to look at the dates on the coupons and plan in advance. Conversely, if you know you’re not going to need a larger drugstore trip until after the coupon expires, do spend it on what you need rather than letting it sit in some corner of your apartment, home, or handbag until it’s forgotten.

5.) Browse the drugstore often! Sometimes specific brands (Physicians Formula comes to mind) will have sales. Also, if the company attaches a coupon right on to the product’s packaging, that can almost always be used at the register in combination with the drugstore’s own sale.

6.) Always use common sense when making a purchase, and become skilled at quickly adding up totals and calculating savings in your head so you won’t be taken by surprise by a higher-than-expected total.

7.) As tacky as Black Friday sales can be, do check to see if your favorite companies are having online events. “Cyber Monday” is a newer, and far improved alternative to standing in line Friday morning with a crowd of terrifying, rabid shoppers. Plan your online purchases around sales. Make a habit of checking websites around each holiday for free shipping or site-wide savings. Also, make sure to like (or at least check) companies’ social media pages because they’ll sometimes have “fan only” sales that won’t be advertised outside of their fan pages.

8.) Assess where most of your excess spending is going, then create some sort of budget for yourself. It doesn’t need to too strict or formal, but if you have some idea of how much you’re willing to spend on cosmetics per month you’ll have an easier time prioritizing your purchases and making sure you don’t go over your allotted amount. Be realistic about your priorities. If you’re going to be spending over your budget every month then that isn’t a realistic budget. Personally I’d rather have a higher budget that I aim to spend under than a lower one I go over every month. That’s just me, though! Another tip: Keep track of what you’re saving, not just what you’re spending, and make the budget apply to how much you would have spent had you paid full price. That way you’ll be more inclined to be sale-savvy, and you’ll get into the habit of keeping track of your spending. (And you’ll realize just how much you can save per month if you make an effort to learn the ins and outs of royalty programs, etc.)

9.) I’m not even sure this needs to be said, but… don’t spend money you wouldn’t spend otherwise just because there’s a sale! (Do, however, wait to purchase the things you want until there’s a sale going on, as mentioned in tip 7.)

10.) Gain familiarity with makeup through internet browsing. We live in exciting, digital times. Take advantage of this! Learn everything you can about products you’re interested in prior to purchasing them. Become a more discerning critic of cosmetic quality, and familiarize yourself with the outlandish claims and marketing gimmicks cosmetic companies sometimes employ before making a purchase so you won’t spend money on something that doesn’t actually perform up to your expectations. Also: Read reviews online before buying anything! If you have a smart phone, don’t be afraid to pull up a product reviewing website such as makeupalley.com while in the makeup aisle if you encounter a product you’re not yet acquainted with.

Do you have any tips of your own? Comment!

Quick Look: Shimmering Purples and Silvers ft. Shiro Cosmetics + Too Faced Cosmetics

silver and purple eye makeup Quick Look: Shimmering Purples and Silvers ft. Shiro Cosmetics + Too Faced Cosmetics

Complete Product Listing:

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden

Equivalent Exchange, from the Fullmetal Collection by Shiro Cosmetics (lid)

The eyeliner component of this look is actually just more Equivalent Exchange over a black base (Nuance by Salma Hayek Lasting Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black) which really brings out the silver and blue tones.

Alkahestry, from the Fullmetal Collection by Shiro Cosmetics (inner corner, applied over NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk)

Candied Violet from the Chocolate Bar Eye Palette from Too Faced (subtle crease, outer corner of lid)

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara in Black

Quick Look: Shimmering Purples and Silvers ft. Shiro Cosmetics + Too Faced Cosmetics

Review: Freeman Coffee & Chai Energizing Paper Eye Mask

freeman coffee and chai paper maskHi everyone! It’s been a while since I reviewed anything, but I promise you I’ll be doing more of that this month. Yesterday I tried out this Coffee & Chai Energizing Paper Eye Mask from Freeman.

What caught my eye: Coffee and chai are two of my favorite drinks, as well as scents. I also have genetically inherited dark circles and am prone to some under eye puffiness, especially during allergy season. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with caffeinated eye products in the past, so I’m always excited to try new ones.

Scent: Not what I expected. The product doesn’t smell like coffee or chai, but instead has one of those pleasant, but non-discernible beauty product scents. I’m guessing the strong scents of coffee and chai might not have been ideal for a sensitive area such as the under eye region, so this doesn’t particularly bother me. Also, those who aren’t fans of strong, food inspired scents in cosmetics need not fear, for they are absent from this.

Texture: A fine paper mask fully saturated in a light serum. It should be noted that, as you might expect, the position of the mask’s eye holes won’t work for everyone. This shouldn’t pose any major problems, as it’s easy to cut the mask in such a way that it can be comfortably repositioned on the face.

Feeling on skin: Very light, and didn’t leave a film on my skin! The product specifies that after 5-10 minutes, the mask can be removed, but the serum left behind shouldn’t be rinsed off. While the mask was on my face it produced a lovely cooling sensation, but it wasn’t intense enough to be uncomfortable, or irritate my sensitive skin.

Result: The skin under my eyes was noticeably less puffy, and felt tightened and lifted. Also, this product was gentle enough that it didn’t make my eyes sting, which is always important! I would definitely recommend this, and will probably purchase it again. 🙂

 

How To: Green + Gold Smokey Eye

green and gold smokey eye

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green and gold smokey eye

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Step-by-step instructions to accompany the photos above:

1. Prime your eyelids. I used a light layer of my usual Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden followed by NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean blended out over the lid, and concentrated just above my upper lash line.

2. Apply a green eyeshadow all over the lid, and blend out into the crease. I used the green color from the Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon 5 Pan Eyeshadow Palette in Art in the Streets. The black base from the previous step transforms this color into a much deeper, more intense green than it’s appeared in some of my previous looks it’s been featured in.

3. Take a matte, medium brown yellow-based eyeshadow and blend out the edge of the green eyeshadow, bringing the brown color slightly into the crease. I used Milk Chocolate from The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette from Too Faced.

4. Go in with a dark brown eyeshadow and define the outer corner of your eyelid. I made a soft line running between the corner of my upper lash line and the outermost corner of my eyeshadow, and then swept the remaining product on my brush into the crease to create a slight sideways v shape. I used Triple Fudge from The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette from Too Faced.

5. Define the upper lash line with a black gel liner.

6. Carefully pat a pigmented gold eyeshadow, such as Creme Brulee from The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette from Too Faced, over the gel liner you applied in the previous step. I allowed a very small portion of the gel liner to peak out from behind the gold in order to create a better defined look.

7. Lightly sweep a warm, red-based brown eyeshadow beneath the lower lash line. I used Amaretto from The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette from Too Faced.

8. Line the waterline with a brown eyeliner in a shade similar to the eyeshadow used in the previous step. Next, apply your mascara of choice. I used Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara in Black.

9. This step is optional. I like how this look works both with and without an inner corner highlight. However, I ended going with Champagne Truffle from The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette from Too Faced.

How To: Purple, Gold and Blue Eyeshadow Look

purple gold and blue eyeshadow look using wet n wild maldives sky palette bare minerals and meow cosmetics

purple gold and blue eyeshadow look using wet n wild maldives sky palette bare minerals and meow cosmetics1. Prime eyes in accordance with your eye priming preferences. I like to use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Eden, then apply NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk as an eyeshadow base.

2. Apply a muted gold eyeshadow, such as Meow Cosmetics IdealEyes Purrrl Shadow in Purrrsnickety, across the lid.

3. Apply a purple eyeshadow to the crease, and blend out onto the lower half of the brow bone. I used the purple color from Wet ‘n Wild’s Fergie Eye Shadow Palette in Maldives Sky.

4. I wanted to tone down the look a little, so I swept Love Each Other Cosmetics eyeshadow in the shade Perp, which is a cool purple color, across the crease and blended it out in all directions using a large blending brush. Because this eyeshadow is matte, it also toned down this look’s overall shimmer factor.

5. I used gorgeous gold eyeshadow from Bare Minerals to bring back the original intensity of the gold color, concentrating only on the lid. I believe this specific eyeshadow is discontinued, but any true gold shade would work just as well.

6. Finally, things begin to get interesting! I took Meow Cosmetics’ Feliner Mineral Liner Shadow in the shade Cat O’ Nine Tails and worked it across the upper lash line, winging it out ever so slightly. Apply it to the outer lower corner of the eye, as well, and work any excess product across the lower lash line.

7. Line your waterline with your eyeliner of choice. I used Nuance by Salma Hayek Lasting Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black.

8. Apply a royal blue eyshadow beneath the lower lash line, all the way from the outer to the inner corner. I used the blue color from the Wet ‘n Wild’s Fergie Eye Shadow Palette in Maldives Sky. Next, go ahead use a black liquid eyeliner to define your wings.

9. Apply mascara, and voilà! You’re done. I used Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara in Black.