Monday, October 27, 2014

Review! | Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil

I figured since I've almost completely used up a bottle of the Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil and plan to repurchase it, it's high time I share it's wonderousness with all of you!
This cleansing oil is housed in a clear plastic bottle with a pump dispenser.  I love this because you can see exactly how much is left.  Anyone else hate opaque mystery bottles where you have no idea how much product remains...until that moment when you're pumping air with flared nostrils?  Me too!
I'll admit that I wasn't wowed by this the first time I used it.  The next time, I followed the directions to the letter ("Apply 1-2 pumps to fingertips and massage onto dry face...wet face to emulsify oil, then rinse thoroughly.") and it's been true love ever since.  I think I used too much water the first time.  Now I apply a bitsy little splash and really massage it in, and every ounce of makeup is dissolved.
My new favorite way to use it is to dispense 2 pumps into my hands, quickly massage it all over my face and closed eyelids and then hop into the shower.  I wet my hands from the shower stream and rub-a-dub-dub my face for about 20 seconds and then rinse it all off.  My skin is left feeling completely clean (no greasy residue) without any tightness.  The jojoba and macadamia oils in this cleanser leave my skin feeling soft and velvety smooth.
Makeup worn in the before pic below
Before / After
Another great use for this is as a brush cleanser booster!  I add a few pumps of this to a dish of liquid soap and my makeup brushes come clean in half the time and are left feeling nice and soft.

I'm so pleased with this cleansing oil!  It's the first one I've ever used that removes all of my makeup and hasn't caused break outs.  Don't be surprised to see this in my next monthly favorites post! :)

COST: Varies by retailer, but Target's offering it for $5.99 USD, which was the best price I found. 
WHERE TO BUY: Drugstore.comTarget, ULTA

How do you remove your makeup?  What's your favorite Garnier product?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

FIVE FAVE! | Fall Lippies

Today it finally felt like fall here in the ATL!  Jason and I booked it down to Grantville, Senoia, Griffin, and Newnan to check out a few stops along The Walking Dead tour and the weather was just gloriousness on a platter!  It was finally cool enough to wear a scarf and boots!  Halelujah!
Since it's feeling autumnal out, I figured I'd share my five fave fall lippies!  None of these are/were limited edition shades so if you see one you like, you can pick it up at your leisure.  :)
NARS Risky Business Lip Gloss: A gorgeous mauve with iridescent flecks.  Perfect for all skin tones and easy enough to apply without a mirror in hand.
Revlon Fig Jam Lip Butter: A brownish fig tinted balm.  This is another beautiful shade best suited for those who aren't ready to plunge into the world of dark lips.  A toe dip into autumn color!
Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Rich Raisin: A plum with red undertones that can be built up to medium opacity or applied sheer for a wash of plummy goodness.
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme In Your Coffee: A plum-mauve hybrid that glides on like butter, this shade is a cult favorite for a reason!
NARS Sheer Lipstick in Vendanges: A brown-tinged plum that's very comfortable to wear; it feels like a lip balm.  This is one of my all-time favorite fall colors for the past few years!  It pairs beautifully with brown or purple eyeshadows, or just a bit of black or brown eyeliner, and tons of black mascara.
What are some of your favorite fall lippies?  What's your favorite thing about autumn?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FIVE FAVE! | Ride or Die Makeup Picks

I saw this awesome post by Corinne at Necessary Nothings and it inspired me to share my picks and find out what yours are!
You have 2 minutes to grab your 5 absolute must-have makeup items before being whisked away to a secret destination.  Where are you going?!  You don't know.  The clock is ticking!

For me, the first thing I'd grab is the brilliant multi-tasker that is NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer.  It's a moisturizer!  It's got almost as much coverage as a foundation!  It's going in the bag!
On to the eyes!  I'd toss Maybelline Volum Express Pumped Up! Colossal Mascara in the bag, followed quickly by my daily must-have, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown.  To think I only just made filling in my brows part of my permanent morning routine this year is shocking to me!  How have I gone 34 years without this crucial step?!  Tick, tock!  There's no time to lament brows of days past!

Next, my fave category: blush.  Or as my husband calls it, "rouge", because he's from 1914.  For this destination unknown adventure, I'd go with my trusty steed of cheekery, Benefit Dallas.  Depending on where it's placed on the face, it could be a blush or a bronzer, and it goes with anything.  
Last but certainly not least, lips!  I'd round out my grab-n-go bag with NARS Salamanca Lip Gloss since it can be built up for a pop of color, or applied sheer for a hint of watermelon pink shine.

So, hot shot, what 5 ride or die products would make it into your getaway bag? ☺

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Loves & Lemons | September 2014

Happy Sunday, loves!  Does anyone else feel like September absolutely FLEW by?!  I remember September 1st like it was yesterday {wistful look into the distance}.  Kidding!  I'm excited to share a few of my favorite things from last month, as well as a few products that didn't knock my socks off.  Be sure to share your loves and lemons with me in the comments!

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation: This foundation is the epitome of fuss-free, buff-it-and-leave-it excellence!  I used it so much last month, and I know it will continue to be in heavy rotation this autumn. [Review here]

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes: Now that I've crossed over to the dark side of bodacious, voluminous lashes, I don't want to go back!  Whenever I use regular mascara, I'm left wanting more.  I pop on a coat or two of the Younique and it's party time at Lash Batting Palace, baby! [Review here]

Head and Shoulders Dry Scalp Care 2 in 1 Dandruff Shampoo + Conditioner with Almond Oil: This shampoo has done the impossible.  It's kept my scalp healthy, flake-free, and happy, hasn't made my roots oily, and hasn't dried out my ends.  This shampoo has been a savior!  I know I'll be repurchasing this.

Essie Go Ginza, Jenna Hipp Awards Season, & Sally Hansen Golden Rule: I almost never wear the same shade of nail polish for more than a week, much less a specific polish set, if you will, but I can't stop loving this combo platter!  I was inspired by Mary Alison / A Love Tart's Month in Nail Polish July 2014.  Check out her channel; she is the cutest, sweetest person, and I love her Chicago accent!  

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush: I don't often toss around the term game-changer, but when it comes to this brush, that's the only description that fits.  It makes applying base products an absolute cinch and gives my skin the appearance of a flawless finish.  I've used this to apply liquid and powder foundation, tinted moisturizer, bb cream, and even bronzer.  This brush is such a dream that I purchased a second one so I'd always have a clean one at the ready.  It retails for $8.99 USD at ULTA (I just found it at Walgreen's for $6.49!) which is an absolute steal!  Thank you Sam & Nic Chapman!

Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin: The first time I tried this I wasn't blown away, but I later discovered it was because I didn't use it right.  The next time, after massaging 2 pumps of the oil into my skin, I used a bit more water to really emulsify the oil and I was extremely impressed by it's powers of removal!  Every trace of black mascara, liner, and eyeshadow was gone!  I follow this up with a foaming cleanser to remove any remaining oil from my face and my skin has been very clear and balanced lately.  This oil also doubles as an amazing brush cleanser!  In a bowl, add a few pumps of the cleansing oil to your usual brush cleanser (I usually use shampoo) and swirl your brush through both before working up a lather.  You won't believe how quickly it dissolves the makeup caked onto your brushes and, as an added bonus, they're left feeling incredibly soft!

Alaffia Everyday Coconut Water Toner: I found this adorable, and very affordable, toner at Whole Foods.  Vegan!  Soy free!  Paraben-free!  Certified Fair Trade Coconuts!  OF COURSE I left with it.  It also made me smile because in elementary school, they taught us this West African greeting song that went "Fanga Alaffia, ashe, ashe" that's all about welcoming people with open hearts and friendship and the like.  Anywho, back to present-day and the toner.  Can I confirm that it hydrates while neutralizing surface impurities?  No.  I couldn't stand the smell!  I believe it's supposed to smell like coconut water and lavender, but honestly, all I could smell was this undertone of...funky.  Like the feet of a gaucho after a long day of riding and roping.  I tried to battle through it several times, but the smell was just too much.

Tom's of Maine 24 Hour Long Lasting Deodorant: I wanted to love this SO MUCH and be a green fairy of earthly wonders, but alas, no.  My armpits were not pleased.  They stayed sticky and humid ALL. DAY. LONG.  It was like my own personal tropical rain forest.  I'm used to anti-perspirants, so I expected some dampness but this was loco.  The deodorant smells amazing, but after about 5 hours, I couldn't say the same thing for myself.  It might work for those of you who don't sweat much or live in a cooler climate.  For me, I'm sticking with the APs!

What was your most-loved product last month?  Was there anything you tried that left you feeling less than thrilled?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review! | Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua & Perfection Lumiere Velvet

Hello lovelies!  Happy October 1st!  Today I thought I'd share 2 of my favorite foundations of all-time.  I've sampled the gamut of foundations over the years and have found a lot of favorites within the genre.  That being said, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Perfection Lumiere Velvet have risen to the top!  
After what seemed like years of reading rave reviews about Vitalumiere Aqua (hereinafter VLA), I finally decided to try it.  VLA is a light coverage foundation with a watery consistency (it's not called Vitalumiere AQUA for nothin'!) containing SPF 15.  This is my perfect warm-weather foundation as it feels like nothing on the skin, gives me a little SPF coverage, and looks like my skin only better.  VLA does not offer a lot of coverage so I spot-conceal blemishes where I need a little help.  I have combination-oily skin so I always set my base with a dusting of powder.  Without the setting powder, VLA dries to a dewy, natural finish.  VLA stays put all day with minimal oil break-through in the late afternoon.  Even in the heat and humidity of Puerto Rico on our honeymoon, VLA held up beautifully.  The compact plastic packaging makes it uber travel-friendly whether you're off to San Tropez or just commuting the the office.
My foundation matches are:
  • Estee Lauder Creamy Vanilla
  • Lancome Buff (N)
  • Laura Mercier Medium Ivory
  • MAC NW20-25
  • Maybelline Sandy Beige
  • NARS Santa Fe 

Chanel's 30 Beige is a great match, even though it looks a bit dark in the above arm swatch.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet (PLV) is a lightweight medium buildable foundation that dries down to a matte finish.  PLV has been my go-to when I need a bit more coverage.  It covers the sun spots and blemish scars on the sides of my face, so the coverage is definitely there.  It can be built to full coverage, but I find a single application looks beautiful on it's own.  If you have normal to dry skin, you can probably skip setting powder with this one and have a long day of shine-free happiness.  I still set this with powder because my t-zone has a mind of it's own, and I can go the entire day without re-powdering.  This is mind-blowing!  PLV also feels completely weightless on the skin.  This is my base product right-hand man whenever I'm doing a FOTD/EOTD post.  It makes the skin look like you spent a lot of time on it when, in reality, it took you 30 seconds. :)
They both come in the travel handy plastic packaging and have a beautiful light, fresh scent.  If scented base products are a no-no for you, test them at the counter first if you can.  The smell disappears completely for me once the foundations set.  Neither VLA or PLV have ever caused my skin to break out.  Both formulas need to be shaken first for the foundations to look their best on your skin.  I usually shake all of my liquid foundations before I use them so this step isn't a big deal for me.  They both have a squeeze nozzle type dispenser so controlling the amount of product per use is very simple.
Next to an iPhone 5C for size comparison
I love both of these foundation for different reasons; the Perfection Lumiere Velvet for it's flawless finish and longevity on my oily skin, and the Vitalumiere Aqua for it's ease of application and the my-skin-but-better appearance it gives.  If I could only use one for the rest of eternity, I would go with the Perfection Lumiere Velvet simply due to the higher coverage and matte finish.

PRICE: $45.00 USD

Have you tried PLV or VLA?  What is your favorite foundation at the moment?