Boxycharm: January 2018

Its the last day of January, so what better way to finish the first month of 2018 than with a Boxycharm review! I seriously can’t believe that January is already over. It seems like it was just yesterday I was finishing my finals and getting ready for Christmas and now I’m back in school getting ready to take some midterms. Though it was a little late this month, my Boxycharm arrived at the perfect time. I was definitely in need of a little boost to get me through the month.

If you aren’t familiar with Boxycharm, it is a monthly makeup subscription box. For just $21 a month you receive 5 full sized products. Honestly, you can’t beat that! You can check out how to sign up here.

The products

This month we received TWO palettes, a primer, eyebrow pencil, and liquid lipstick.

The first palette is the Crown Pro Glam Metals Eyeshadow Palette ($29). This palette has 9 shimmer/metallics and two mattes.

Overall, this palette is okay. Would I ever spend $29 on it? Not a chance. But I am happy to have it. The shimmers are pretty and a few are rather unique to what I already have in my collection. The mattes are really terrible. They are not pigmented at all. The palette is super cute and I will continue to use the shimmers on the lid, inner corner and lower lashline.

The second palette we received is the PUR Bronze & Brighten Cheek Palette ($34). This palette contains an Afterglow highlighter, Mineral Glow bronzer, and a new blush in the shade Blushing Glow.

All three of these products are super pigmented! Also, they all contain shimmer. The being said, I think this is a really great, versatile palette. All three shades are super creamy and would be beautiful on the eyes. I also really love using these on the face, just make sure to use a less-dense, fluffy brush. Considering I can use this on the face and eyes, I think this is a great palette for any girl on the go.

Guys, I was SO EXCITED when I say this primer in my box! I have heard so many people rave about the regular one, I couldn’t wait to try the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Luminizer Primer ($38). When putting this on the skin, it felt hydrating and sunk in without leaving a weird film. I noticed my pores looked smaller and I was definitely luminous. My foundation applied beautifully. The only thing I noticed was my foundation breaking up really badly after a few hours. I’m not sure if it was the primer or something else. I will keep trying it with other foundations and update later.

From It Cosmetics, we received the Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($24). The tip on the pencil isn’t super fine, but for me that is okay. I only have a few places I like to fill in, so I do not need anything too precise. My only problem with this product is it only comes in one shade, “universal taupe.” While this shade may work for most light skin tones, I have a feeling it would look really ashy on medium to deep skin tones.

The final item in the box was a Girlactik Matte Lip Paint in Posh ($23). I have never tried anything from Girlactik and was excited to give this a shot.

The color was really pretty, but nothing overly exciting. The formula went on smoothly and pigmented. It dried down after a couple minutes and was transfer proof. This lasted through me drinking coffee and eating. It only started to fade after I ate some greasy Mexican food. It was really comfortable to wear, though it did make my lips look a little dry. I would be open to purchasing more colors if they ever had a good sale.

final thoughts

We received three HUGE brand name products this month from PUR Cosmetics, It Cosmetics and Dr. Brandt. Overall, this month’s box had a total retail value of $148. To me, it was totally worth it! I love Boxycharm because you get to try so many brand name products for an incredible price.

What product were you most excited for this month?

xoxo

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Review: Tarte Double Duty Beauty

I am always on the hunt for something new and interesting. Makeup is supposed to be fun and exciting. Even in the midst of looking for the next new thing, I have my go-to products that I always come back to. I recently realized that a lot of these products just happen to be from the Tarte Double Duty Beauty line. My love affair first started with the Hybrid Gel Foundation. This foundation was a God send after my skin dried out from taking isotretinoin. Since then, I have tried a lot of other products and Tarte has become one of my favorite brands.

One of the most popular items from Tarte’s Double Duty Beauty line is the Shape Tape Concealer. Though it is a little pricey at $25 a tube, it is so worth it! The formula is creamy, pigmented and blendable. It is perfect for covering blemishes as well as concealing under the eyes. The only problem is that it can be a little drying under the eyes if you have dryer skin. Currently, I like to layer it with my Maybelline Age Rewind and it is the perfect combo.

I am all about products that have dual purposes because I travel so much. They just make things easier and free up space in my bag. One of the newer Tarte products is their Blush & Glow highlighter and blush duo. I love the formula of this. The products are smooth and blend easily. The blush is not too pigmented, but buildable. I love the highlighter because it gives me a glow without being sparkly or accentuating texture. Beyond that, the packaging is beautiful, sleek and compact.

To help blend out concealer and foundation, there is the Double Duty Beauty Quickie Blending Sponge. I have to say, this isn’t my favorite sponge. It is just a little too stiff for my liking. I much prefer the Eco Tools sponge.

One of my all time favorite mascaras is the Light, Camera, Lashes from Tarte. So, I was more than happy to try out their Maneater Mascara. On their website, It claims to curl, lengthen and to give lashes 23x more volume. I have to say, I think it does all of the above. I love using this because it gives me the volume I want and keeps my lashes curled all day without any smudging or flaking.

Another awesome product to travel with is the Tarte Lip Sculptor lipstick and gloss duo. I love a glossy lip. With my skin being so dry, I need as many moisturizing products as possible. I love this because the formulas are pigmented and comfortable to wear. You can layer them or wear them on their own. The lipstick is so creamy and the gloss is not too sticky. Being that they are so compact, it is a great product to keep in your purse.
A similar concept to the lip sculptor is the Tarte Lip Architect. This is perfect for the girl on the go that does not want a glossy lip. It is a cream finish and it super moisturizing. One side is a lip liner and the other is a coordinating lipstick. While I enjoy the application, these are not the longest wearing but they are very comfortable.

The final product for today is the Sweet Tarte Fragrance Rollerball. This is a nice sweet fragrance. I like to keep this roller ball in my purse to use after going to the gym.

Over the last year, Tarte has become a favorite brand. Their double duty line has so many amazing products! Right now, Ulta even has a set with the full size highlighter/blush compact, lip architect, mini mascara and roller ball perfume. The whole kit is only $36!

What are some of your favorite Tarte products?

Xoxo Sammie

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Ulta Beauty Cosmetics Part 2

I love shopping at Ulta. They are continuously adding more brands to their shelves and their rewards system is the best. I mean who doesn’t want to earn money off of their next purchase just for buying things you were going to get anyway? What a lot of people do not realize is that Ulta has their own in house brand. It ranges from makeup and skincare to hair and body products. I recently received a bunch of these products as a gift with purchase. I figured, why not make a part two to my Ulta Beauty review. You can check out part one here.


With my recent Ulta Beauty purchase, I received an eyeshadow primer, eyeshadow palette, eyeliner, mascara, face palette, lip primer, matte lip crayon and a lip gloss. Along with the makeup there was also a compact mirror, pencil sharpener and blush brush. All of these products came in a pretty purple watercolor makeup bag.


In my first Ulta Beauty Haul, we received a matte tinted primer. I loved it and still use it daily. In this bag we received the Tinted Eye Primer in Satin Blush. The tube is full sized and has a ton of product. The primer is a pink shimmer. The color is so pretty, but I would use it as a lid color or base for another pink shade. You wouldn’t be able to use this as a primer over your entire eye unless you want to look like you have pink eye.


The eyeshadow palette contains four matte shades and two shimmer. I was impressed with all of the shades, though the mattes were a little dry to the touch. The mattes included were Plum Pop, Desire, Say What and Buzzword. For the price, these blend much better than a lot of drugstore shadows. The shimmers, Sunshine and Fearless, are very pigmented and creamy. I used Say What to set my primer, Buzzword in the crease, Plum Pop on the outer corner with Fearless on the lid and Sunshine on the inner corner. I love the look as it reminded me of a sunset.


We received a pencil eye liner that is double sided. On one end is a liner in Blackout and the other end is in Plum. I am not a fan of these liners. I think they they are too stiff and not pigmented enough. That being said, I really enjoy the Ulta Beauty Gel Liners.


The final eye product is the Ulta Beauty Maximum Lashes Mascara. This mascara claims to be defining and lengthening. I already have fairly long lashes, but this product impressed me. It really helped to lengthen and define my lashes without being too wet or clumpy. It was also very black.


Along with the eyeshadow palette, there was a face palette that included a translucent powder, bronzer and highlight. The Ulta Finishing Powder in Translucent is great. I haven’t used setting powder in a while because it has been too drying. However, this one sets my concealer without making my under eyes super dry. As for the bronzer,  I usually prefer something cool toned. But, I do like the Ulta Matte Bronzer in Warm. It isn’t too orange and it blends really well. The only product I did not like in this palette is the highlighter. The Ulta Illuminator in Radiant Diamond was just too stiff and chunky for me. It was also subtle and accentuated texture. However, it can be pretty as an eyeshadow when built up and applied with a damp flat brush.


The Ulta Lip Primer claims to enhance the color of any lip product. I thought that it would act as a concealer on the lips, but it applied clear. I am not sure that it enhanced the color of my lipstick, but it was very hydrating and helped the product to go on smooth.


The final two products were both for the lips. The first is the Ulta Matte Lip Crayon in Soiree. The color is very pretty and the formula is pigmented and smooth. I found it to be comfortable to wear, but not long wearing. It is also hard to apply because the tip is so fat. Also included was the Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia. This gloss is so pretty, smooth and pigmented. It feels hydrating and looks great on the lips. I would recommend wearing this over a lip liner to keep it from feathering.


Overall, Ulta continues to surprise me. A lot of their product I have tried, I have really liked. Their eye shadows have proven blendable and pigmented while the lip products are comfortable and smooth. I am excited to see what this brand will come out with next. I have my fingers crossed for a Stila Magnificent Metals dupe.

Have you tried anything from Ulta Beauty?

Xoxo Sammie

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Wet n Wild: Midnight Mermaid

I have been obsessed with mermaids ever since I was a little girl. I can remember spending summers in our pool with my cousin playing mermaid and trying to swim like we had tails. When I first heard that Wet n Wild was releasing a mermaid collection, I knew I had to have it.


The collection has 12 items total: 4 MegaLast Metallic Liquid Catsuit Lipsticks, 4 Color Icon Metallic Liquid Eyeshadows, 3 MegaLiner Metallic Liners, and one Mermaid Highlighting Bar. The collection is limited edition and can be purchased online at Wet n Wild and Ulta as well as instore at CVS and Walgreens.


The first products are the metallic liquid lipsticks. Wet n Wild first came out with their Catsuit Liquid Lipsticks early this year. I have a full review of them here. These are part of the same line except they are a metallic matte and in more trendy colors. The first is Coral Crown which is a burnt orange metallic. Next is Harbor A Crush which is a burgundy red metallic. It is also the only shade that is not vegan. Next are the really trendy colors. Siren’s Jewel is a metallic emerald green color and Sea Seduction is a dark blue metallic. All of these shades are really beautiful and comfortable to wear. They are very pigmented and were not streaky or patchy. While the red and orange are the most wearable, I can definitely see myself wearing the blue on a girls night out. The only this is that they do slightly transfer.


I was most excited for the liquid eyeshadows. With all of the glitter, they really reminded me of the Stila Magnificent Metals and they did not disappoint. There are four different shades: Lara’s Necklace (green), Aquatic Prism (blue), Mysterious Nights (black), and Moonlight Majesty (purple). They are different colored glitter in a matching base color. However, the base color is not super opaque. These work best when placed on the top of a powder shadow. I also found that they work really well when applied with a brush, for more precision. Ther work great as glitter liner or to use as a glitter cut crease. Also, they are beautiful to use for a glittery smokey eye or to create a glitter halo effect. I think it could be fun to use for a glittery lower lash line as well. I really enjoy these and hope the Wet n Wild will add to the collection with lighter colors.


Wet n Wild has had the MegaLiners for as long as I can remember. For this collection, they decided to change it up a little. They came out with three new, limited edition metallic shades. Sea Symmetry is a beautiful green color and it is fairly pigmented. I only have to go over it once to get full opacity. Sea Dreams is a dark blue and Trident’s Shimmer is a steel grey. These are both beautiful but they take a couple of layers to get full color pay off. I really enjoy using these on their own as well as a base for the liquid eyeshadows to create a glitter liner.


The final product is the Mermaid Highlighting Bar in Midnight Moon. This product is stunning! It has the image of a mermaid tail embossed across it. The product itself it very smooth and blends out great. The color is like a gold/green with pink shimmer. It is really beautiful on paler complexions and would work on most skin tones as a great inner corner highlight.


Here are swatches of all of the products starting with the liners, lipsticks and finally the shadows.

Overall, I am very impressed with all of these products. The lipsticks are comfortable, unique and will be stunning for fall. The shadows are so much fun and a much less expensive alternative to the Stila Magnificent Metals. The liners and highlighter are a fun pop of color. I really hope that Wet n Wild continues to expand their Catsuit Liquid Lip line as well as the liquid shimmer shadows.

What trends are you most excited for as we go into fall?

Xoxo Sammie

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Top 20 Products to Control Oil and Hide Blemishes

I remember all throughout high school, I had fairly good skin. I felt comfortable with using a light mineral powder foundation and rarely broke out. Fast forward 6 years and I have the skin of a teenager. It’s gotten to the point where I’ve been considering starting Accutaine (more on that later).

Although my skin has been driving me crazy, I’ve nailed down a bunch of products to help conceal my acne and control my oils. So here it is, my Top 20 Products to Control Oil and Hide Blemishes.


Just as a disclaimer, these are all products that have worked for me personally. Remember makeup and skincare are very personal items and may work differently for everyone.

So I’m going to start my list with how I apply everything. So first step would be skin care.

These 4 items have worked miraculously for me.

1) Bosica Detoxifying Black Cleanser: this works great for detoxing my skin. I find that it really helps keep my oils and breakouts at bay without overly drying my skin.

2) Clarisonic Mia Fit: now this little brush is expensive and honestly I never considered buying one until I found a promo code. That being said, it had made such a difference. It has really helped clean out my pores and minimize the texture on my cheeks and forehead. I would discuss with a dermatologist first if you are unsure just because this may not be great for all skin types. I also prefer to use this every other day or any day that I wear makeup.

3) Boscia Deep Pore Exfoliating Peel: this is a newer product to me, but it has quickly become a staple in my beauty routine. It is a chemical peel and exfoliant and it works miracles! I only use it once or twice a week and it leaves my skin so soft and smooth. I especially like doing this the night before a special event. Just make sure not to use the clarisonic or other exfoliant the same day.

4) Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel: so I actually use this, the eye gel and the one for extra dry skin. I love this because it moisturizes my skin without making it oily or shiny. It’s also light enough to wear under makeup. I like to use the water gel in the morning and the one for extra dry skin at night.

Next we have primers:

5) ELF Blemish Control Primer: I like to use this primer on the perimeter of my face where I break out the most. I find that is just helps to control my breakouts when wearing makeup. It is not 100% necessary, but I find that it helps my skin.

6) Rimmel Stay Matte: this is the primer that I use on the majority of my face. I find it is one of the best at controlling my oils throughout the day. I apply this over my forehead, nose and chin. It keeps my skin matte and also helps my makeup to stay all day.

7) Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer: for me, this primer is a must. I use it mostly on my nose and cheek area to help fill and minimize large pores. It works best for pores if you press it in instead of rubbing it in. I also like to use this on dry patches or blemishes to help smooth them out before applying foundation. Just make sure to use sparingly as a little goes a long way.

8) L’Oréal Infallible Color Correcting Kit: this is my final step before foundation. Again, it may not be necessary for everyone but I find it helps immensely when it comes to concealing breakouts. I use the green color and apply to where ever I have breakouts or redness. The biggest thing it to make sure you blend it well. It does not take a lot to really even out your skin tone.

Next, I apply foundation and concealer.

9) Artis Oval 7: I know that this is a brush and not a product, but it has done miracles for my foundation game. This brush helps me to achieve the most full coverage look with a lot of my foundations. It really helps cover up my blemishes the most without making my makeup look cakey.

10) Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation: this stuff is amazing! It is full coverage to the max. I love using this for special occasions or when I will be taking pictures. The only downside it that it can look cakey if not applied properly. For best application, I recommend using either an Artis brush or a beauty sponge.

11) It Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact: I like this foundation for everyday where. It feels light on the skin and has buildable coverage. The best part is that this product has high SPF, skin benefits and doesn’t get overly oily throughout the day. Check out my full review here.

12) Tarte Shape Tape Concealer: after apply my foundation, I go back and spot conceal. This particular product is highly pigmented. Most of the beauty gurus like to use this under their eyes. While it is great for that, I really like to use it to further conceal blemishes.

After foundation and concealer, I would apply powders unless I am using a liquid highlighter. I find liquid highlighters do not emphasis texture as much as powers. My favorite liquid highlights are:

13) Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid: when I have a lot of texture on my skin, I prefer liquid highlights. I love this one because it is so strong, but beautiful. It looks great under powder or foundation and blends beautifully.

14) Milk Makeup Highlighter: this is similar to the Maybelline highlighter, except it is in a stick form. I like this one for a more natural highlight as it is not as metallic as the Maybelline. The best way to apply is to take some on your fingers and blend in.

After using my liquid highlight, I start applying my powder products.

15) Covergirl Outlast Finishing Powder: this is one of my favorite powers to use. I like to use the buffing technique with this powder. It sets all of my makeup, adds a little more coverage and helps mattify and control oils.

16) Kat Von D Lock-It Powder: I like to use this powder to set my whole face. I think it works best with a big, fluffy powder brush. It is also great for baking under the eyes. It helps to lock in my makeup all day.

17) Wet n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder: although this is a foundation face powder, I like to use the shade Cocoa as a bronzer. I really like this powder because it does not emphasize any of the texture I have.

18) Tony Moly Cats Wink Powder: this powder is great to carry in your purse. It is similar to a blotting powder so it can be used throughout the day. My favorite way to apply is to first use blotting papers or a paper towel to get rid of excess oils. Then, I use either the included puff applicator or a powder brush to apply to my oily areas. It helps to remattify my face and keep the oil at bay throughout the day.

My final step is to seal my makeup in with a good setting spray.

19) Makeup Revolution Oil Control Fixing Spray: this is my favorite spray. It is perfect for people who prefer a more matte finish. It sets in my makeup and helps to further control my oils. I like using this spray when I am going to have a busy day and be running around a lot.

20) Milani Make It Last Setting Spray: this spray is perfect for people who want a more natural finish. It is not overly dewy and does not make me look shiny; it just does not mattify the skin. What it does do is help all my makeup to melt into my skin and to get rid any powderiness I may have. I prefer using this if I am going to be inside all day.

So that’s it, my top 20 products to help control oil and hide blemishes. I hope you find this helpful!

Do you any products that you swear by? Leave them in the comments below!

Have a great weekend!

Sammie

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