On Mondays We Mask

I love to use face masks; they are such a great way to give your skin a little extra TLC. I usually mask 3-4 times a week but I try to never miss a Monday. It’s a great way to recharge and get back into my weekday schedule. Here are the masks I’m currently using:

If you want a quick mask:

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Peter Thomas Roth- Brightening Bubbling Mask: One of the downsides to traditional masks is that they take time, most take at least five minutes. This one by PTR can be used in as little as 30 seconds which makes it great to use before you apply your makeup. It does make your skin noticeably brighter, feels super good, and adds a little extra moisture.

If you want an inexpensive mask:

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Dr. Jart+- Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay: These clay masks are only $15 each and you get 1.7 ounces, which is cheap in the mask world. Each one works on a different skin concern, I have the one for refreshing and one for moisturizing. They contain a lovely, thick mud and leave your skin feeling smooth and clean after leaving them on for 15 minutes.

If you want a sleeping mask:

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Shiseido- Ibuki Sleeping Mask– This is a gel mask which contains little micro beads of moisture. You simply apply this after cleansing and sleep in it. It is quick absorbing and oil-free so it won’t damage your bedding like other sleeping masks.

If you want a mask you can feel working:

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Peter Thomas Roth- Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: This is my favorite mask because it is very effective, but it’s not for the faint of heart. We all now that pumpkin burns when it is applied to the face (it’s a very common spa treatment) and this mask is no exception. When you first apply it you can certainly feel a burning sensation and you have to rub it to activate the exfoliation and that makes it burn more and then leave it one for 7 minutes. But the results are amazing; after just one use it reduces texture and breakouts and helps with fine lines. It also smells incredible, just like pumpkin pie, and the smell lingers in your bathroom of for a long time which is lovely.

If you want a mask for post-workout:

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Kiehl’s- Calendula & Ale Soothing Hydration Masque: One of the main ways I motivate myself to work out is by treating my post-workout shower like a mini spa. I apply this mask and lay in the hot tub for 15 minutes while it works its magic and then I take an extra long hot shower after and I always leave feeling incredible. This mask is a gel formula with an incredible herbal scent. It is soothing on a hot, sweaty face and makes my skin feel nice and clean without being tight.

If you want an all-around, universally, great mask:

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GLAMGLOW- Gravity Mud Firming Treatment : This has got to be one of the most recognizable masks on the market. This bright silver goo looks just like unicorn blood from Harry Potter. But there might actually be some magic in this jar because this stuff is so great. It helps with texture, dryness, redness, fine lines, ect. I’m fairly certain any person, with any skin type would get a benefit from this mask. If you aren’t sure where to start with masks or skincare this is  great mask to get.

And if you want to be extra:

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Dr. Dennis Gross-Pro Facial Steamer: This is by no means a must have tool. But this tiny steamer produces the most decadent, hydrating steam I’ve ever seen. In my experience using this steamer before any skincare product dramatically helps with product absorption. So in order to get the most benefit from my masks I always steam for about 5-7 minutes before I apply them.

My Favorite Kathleen Lights Collabs

img_2809It seems like every day the world of YouTube and Influencers becomes more and more complicated. With these men and women making millions and gaining significant fame. Who can you trust? Are they being paid to say this? Is this product really worth my money? But after you watch someone’s videos long enough you can tell who is really genuine and Kathleen Lights is at the top of that list in my opinion. I feel like I can really trust her options and recommendations. And while she has done sponsored videos, she is always really open and honest about them. So when she has a collaboration I usually always support her. Here are some of my favorites:

Kathleen Lights X Morphe Eyeshadow palette: As far as I can tell from Morphe’s website this palette is no longer available, it was limited edition. But it is a really great palette. You can create so many looks using just these 15 shadows. They have very little fallout and are true to color. The packaging is a little lame because it is made of cardboard and a couple of the shades are a bit dry but for only $15.00 this was a great buy.

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Colour Pop Where the Light is Four Pack: These eyeshadows are some of Colour Pop’s Super Shock Shadows and they have the most unique formula. When you touch them they are creamy but they apply more like a traditional eyeshadow and dry to a powder form. And this cream-like formula makes them extremely pigmented and beautiful. And I love the four colors Kathleen Lights chose, they all compliment each other very well. 

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Colour Pop Lippie Stix and Liner in Lumiere: The Lippie Stix are one of my favorite lip formulas. They are moisturizing and opaque. They are super creamy so are not the most long wearing but they are extremely affordable so I don’t mind reapplying. Lumiere is a beautiful dusty rose color that would look great on any skin tone. 

Who are some of your favorite YouTubers to support? What makes them your favorite?

Best in Beauty 2016!

best-in-beauty-2016-1So many amazing products came out in 2016 and I was introduced to so many great new brands. I compiled a little collection of the best of the best of 2016. These are products that really stood out to me and that I would recommend to a friend.

Face:

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Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer– This is my favorite everyday bronzer and it’s affordable (only $15)! It is very natural and illuminating. The Butter Bronzer glides on so easily and blends out beautifully.

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer– I had the hardest time finding a suitable primer for my dry skin until I found this. Most illuminating primers for dry skin are so greasy that they make you makeup slip off throughout the day. This absorbs into the skin immediately and locks in the moisture. It is expensive but the bottle is huge and glass and has a high quality pump.

Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer– I haven’t seen a Best in Beauty for 2016 that didn’t contain this product, and with good reason. Tarte totally stole the show with this concealer. It has completely replaced my holy grail Urban Decay concealer. There is an enormous color range, it has a great applicator, doesn’t crease, blends out easily, and is full coverage.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder– This under-eye setting powder is so under-hyped! It is the only powder I’ve found that completely eliminates under-eye creasing and I do notice a brightening effect.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #23– This highlighter brush has completely revolutionized my highlighter game. It is the perfect size and is super durable and high quality. Makes applying highlighter so easy.

Mac Pinch Me Blush– Ever since Fall started I have been using this non-stop, I have to practically force myself not to use it everyday. Pinch me is a dark reddish color that matches tons of lip colors. This shade adds that natural flush to the cheeks and is very bendable and easy to apply.

Eyes:

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IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Mascara– I always thought that all mascaras were created equal. They all worked really well for the first few weeks but then completely dried out. The Superhero has lasted me two months so far and is still going strong. It is incredibly volumizing and black.

tarte Tartelette in Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette– My Mom bought me this palette for Valentines day 2016 and it is still my favorite. All the colors are wearable and they are by far the easiest to blend. Plus this palette smells so good, like chocolate!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz– All Anastasia Beverly Hills products are incredible but this is my favorite. It is perfect for sparse or thick brows, comes in a variety of colors, and is easy to apply. It is so perfect and precise; there is literally nothing I would change about this product.

Hair & Body:

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Shea Moisture Jamaican Castor Oil Shampoo-I’ve been using this shampoo as my pre-poo for the last couple of months and I can definitely notice a difference in my hair. This shampoo removes the excess product buildup but is still safe for color-treated hair. My hair is left light and with more body and movement.

Stella McCartney Pop– This is such a perfect fragrance! It is not too sweet, which can sometimes smells to young, but also not too musky. Pop is perfect balanced and lasts all day.

My New Obsession | Mario Badescu Skin Care

dsc_0130Over the past week I have become completely obsessed with Mario Badescu Skin Care. I had heard about this brand a few times, mainly in some of Jaclyn Hill’s older videos, but for some reason I thought it was expensive and never really looked into it for myself. But boy was I missing out! This line is incredibly effective and reasonably priced. So far I have purchased five products, geared towards my dry winter skin, and I have yet to be disappointed. 

dsc_0135Enzyme Cleansing Gel $7.00- This is a basic gentle cleanser. It doesn’t foam up much but removes my makeup incredibly well. After using this my face feels super clean but not dry and tight. I was using a product that was three times as expensive that did not remove my makeup nearly as well. 

dsc_0137Cellufirm Drops $25.00- These drops are used similar to a serum. They are applied after cleansing but before moisturizer to provide extra moisture and elasticity. These absorb quickly and didn’t make me break out. I also like that he bottle is plastic which makes it great for travel. 

dsc_0139Protein Night Creme $22.00- This is my favorite item that I have tried so far! This creme is everything I’ve ever wanted (but couldn’t find) in a night creme. It is so thick and luxurious and leaves behind a lovely oil which is absorbed while you sleep. I would not recommend this for oily skin, but for me it is better than the $45 creme I’ve been using. 

DSC_0141.jpgDrying Lotion $17.00- This is the product that Mario Badescu is most known for but when I first saw the name “Drying Lotion” I was like hell no. But the reviews were so good that I decided to give it a try. It is a spot treatment to be applied to blemishes. I have been lucky enough to have clear skin most of my life. But recently I’ve started to get painful, stubborn, cystic acne. My blemishes  take forever to go away, are painful, and even leave behind discoloration. This lotion has defiantly been helping, I’ve seen about 50% reduction in the size of my acne bumps each night that I use this. 

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A.H.A Botanical Body Soap $8.00- I have a very hard time finding body soaps that don’t irritate my dry sensitive skin but still rinse clean and make me feel fresh. This soap has been a lifesaver. It has a light fresh scent, foams up, and rinses without stripping my skin. It is made with papaya and grapefruit extract so it removes dead skin cells naturally and gently. And you can’t beat the price!

Brand Spotlight | Charlotte Tilbury

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For me the brand Charlotte Tilbury kind of popped up out of nowhere. I had never heard of her products and suddenly every YouTube Beauty Guru was talking about how great her lipsticks are. But I love to try new brands so this intrigued me. Her products are definitely on the more expensive side, I would consider them between High-end and Designer. I purchased three products from her collection and I think they are worth the hype and the money.

dsc_0127Charlotte Tilbury ‘Filmstar Bronze & Glow’ -$68 This is my favorite product that I purchased! The packaging is so beautiful and sturdy. This compact is designed for people with fair to medium skin (they also have a medium to dark version). I have very fair skin so finding a bronzer and highlighter can sometimes be a challenge. I’ve found that cool-toned bronzers and finely milled highlighters work the best. For me, the tones in this compact are perfect. It looks so natural and not orange at all.

dsc_0126Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hot Lips’ Lipstick -$32 This lipstick in the shade Kim K. W caused a little bit of a stir on YouTube because everyone was talking about it seemingly overnight. But after using it I understand the hype. It is by far the most creamy and moisturizing lipstick I have ever used. It glides on the lips and is pigmented and glossy. Great product for the winter because you can use it all day without worrying about it drying our your lips.

dsc_0129Charlotte Tilbury ‘The Feline Flick’– $30 I prefer to use pen for my eyeliner rather than a pencil or a gel so I was very invested in this product. It is definitely the best eyeliner pen that I have every used. It is a true black, has high-quality packaging, and dries almost immediately. The pointed tip makes it so easy to apply eyeliner. You only need one layer and you have the perfect line.

 

Do Ring Lights Work?

If you have ever done research about improving the photography on your blog, YouTube Channel, or Social Media one of the first things you will learn is that lighting is one of the most important things, it’s surprising how much light is needed to make a quality image. Natural lighting is great (and free) but it isn’t always practical so buying photography lights can be a great first step. And for people who shoot portraits or film their face Ring Lights are extremely popular.

Basically a Ring Light is a ring of light on a stand that you point your camera through. It illuminates the subject’s face creating an airbrushed, almost angelic effect. It works by removing shadows that are cast on the face from overhead lighting. And as an added bonus it makes a small ring in each eye. Every big YouTuber uses a ring light. They are readily available and easy to use but they can be expensive and are bulky to store.

I recently purchased one from Amazon for $149.99 LimoStudio 18″ Ring Light. I took two pictures both with the same camera and makeup but one with my new Ring Light to see if I could tell a difference.

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~Without Ring Light~
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~With Ring Light~

In my opinion the Ring Light makes a noticeable difference. It illuminates the face and give it that professional photography look. It also displays makeup better than traditional lighting. If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures indoors of your face I would recommend investing in a ring light before any other kind of artificial lighting. 

 

Battle of the Eyeshadow OG’s | Lorac Pro vs Urban Decay Naked

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When I first got into makeup everyone and their mother raved about the Naked palettes by Urban Decay. And with good reason, they were well-made palettes which contained a range of matte and shimmer neutrals and some darker colors. The beauty of the Naked Palettes was that you could create a gorgeous eye look using only one palette. So of course over my first year of makeup I bought all four (1,2,3, and Smokey) for $54 each. 

I recently was introduced to Lorac and purchased their original Pro palette at Ulta. The colors, price, and overall feel were so similar to the Original Naked palette that I started to question if the Naked palettes are really worth the hype. 

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Top: Lorac Pro-Bottom: Naked

Naked by Urban Decay:

Pros:

  • Larger pan-size
  • Comes with a brush
  • Blendable and easy to work with

Cons:

  • Velvet lined case (looks dirty almost immediately)
  • $10 more expensive
  • Too many shimmer shades
  • Lightly pigmented 

Lorac Pro:

Pros:

  • Compact/light-weight case (great for travel)
  • Very Buttery and pigmented with zero fall out
  • Equal amounts of matte and shimmer shade

Cons:

  • Strange chemical smell
  • Small pan size (difficult to properly cover a brush)
  • Not sold at Sephora

The Winner: Lorac Pro

dsc_0012The Lorac shadows are simply better quality product for less money. They are more pigmented and buttery and overall easier to work with. You can more easily create an entire look with one palette  because it contains more of the basic matte shades that are needed. And the design of the palette itself is so much better. It is light-weight and extremely thin. The Lorac Pro is a better place to invest your money.