Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Beauty Favorites / January

Hi again! We're into a brand new year, and I'm itching to try something new on the blog.

So, confession: In 2014 I got waaay into YouTube beauty channels. I love watching other girls do their makeup and try new products. I love learning about new techniques, methods and tools. It's an admittedly frivolous pastime but one that I love. I think it might be because motherhood is pretty messy and unglamorous most of the time, and learning about/experimenting with a little makeup makes me "feel like a woman" again. *Wink.*

Second confession: don't even THINK about seeing me with my own YouTube channel because (other than being incurably awkward and unphotogenic) up until a few years ago I used zero make up and am afraid I will never catch up to the wisdom of girls now 15 years my junior. I experiment in baby steps, and still feel like I'm most likely doing everything wrong, but it's FUN you guys, and I like to talk about it. So, I'm going to try to do a post about makeup and what I've found that works for me once a month this year. Because there's something about frivolous, girly topics that are just good for the soul (amen?)

Third confession: I'm desperately seeking a diversion from reality while my whole family battles a most awful stomach bug. What is it about stomach bugs and January? It's becoming a weird family tradition for us. After almost a week now, I feel like we're NEVER getting over this one. Sigh...

So January. After an indulgent December, going into January my skin and hair feel dehydrated and lackluster. Besides eating more greens, less sugar, and drinking tons of water - I've found a few other tools to get my hair and skin looking fresh and healthy.

I read about the Alfaparf Milano serum on A Cup of Jo and it has been a miracle product for me. A tiny bit of this stuff goes a long way, and leaves a weightless gloss to my frizzy/flyaway hair. It also smells like the best thing ever

I've tried several different root lifters over the last two years, while dealing with a couple of annoying rounds of postpartum hair loss (the WORST.) I really like this Big Sexy Hair Root Pump. It gives a lot of lift, and best of all it lasts over a period of 2-3 days. (I try to not wash my hair more than 2 or 3 times a week in the winter.) 

The L'oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer has been another great winter trick. I have been putting this on after I wash and moisturize my face, focusing mostly on under my eyes, my cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and jawline. It gives your skin a shimmery glow that looks kind of crazy on its own, but when you layer your foundation or BB cream on top of it, suddenly your skin looks dewy and fresh. Bonus - it's a primer, and makes your foundation look so much more smooth and even.

Usually I stay away from foundation. My number one makeup philosophy (whoa, that sounds serious,) is that it has to look natural and I find that foundations always feel too heavy and look too cake-y. I much prefer BB cream (Maybelline's is my tried-and-true-always-go-back-to-it favorite.) But one day Target was out of my BB cream (sob) and I picked this Almay foundation up instead. It has turned out to be a great winter makeup because it's really hydrating without being too greasy, and it really does match my skin color perfectly. If you like a dewy look, this is a good foundation to try.

Blush scares me (bronzer scares me even more, but that's another story for another day.) I have a really round face and it's always been hard for me to know where to apply blush. Factor in the confusion of brushes and application techniques and I've found I've pretty much always left blush out of my makeup bag. Then I found these Maybelline Master Glaze sticks and they have been a game changer. I have a nude colored one and a light pink one. I like to swipe the nude one on right under my cheek bones and blend in up and towards my temples. It gives a subtle contoured look that still appears natural. I apply the pink one lightly on the apples of my cheeks and it gives a natural, just-in-out-of-the-cold kind of look. These blush sticks are creamy, not powdery, and blend in really nicely with a (clean!) finger - no brushes needed. 

This might sound weird, but I don't really mind having a little tiny bit of darkness under my eyes - I don't know, it just makes my face feel more natural. So I've never been into under eye concealer. In 2014, however, it became clear that I needed something under my eyes - chalk it up to getting older or the number of my children, but I looked exhausted all the time. This CC cream is wonderful. It's a metal roller applicator, which feels cold and soothing under tired eyes. The formula is lightweight, not cake-y, and is still sheer enough to look natural. I recommend it to allll the tired mothers.

Maybe you've picked up on this already, but I'm a drugstore makeup kind of girl. I just can't justify spending money on higher brand makeup right now, especially since I don't really know what the heck I'm doing anyway. I made an exception this Christmas, when I took myself to Sephora and bought a very extravagant...drumroll...eyebrow pencil. A what? Yes, you read that right. 2014 was the year of the eyebrows, wasn't it? I feel like all the beauty bloggers and vloggers beat that point to death last year, and maybe it was for good reason? I really like a strong brow. I've always thought my eyebrows were pretty strong on their own but after seeing so many tutorials on filling them in and the difference it makes, I wanted to try an eyebrow pencil. The problem was that most drugstore brow pencils are too reddish. They didn't look natural on me. I read really great reviews on the Anastasia Brow Wiz and can honestly say now that, for me, it was worth the price. It matches my color perfectly, and the pencil point is so fine, when you apply it really looks like you're adding hair to your brows. I think it makes a big difference to my face when I fill my brows in a bit and I'm really happy with this purchase.

My last January favorite is Maybelline's Color Tattoo eyeshadow in the shade "Bad to the Bronze." This product comes in a little pot, and the formula is very creamy rather than powdery. I blend it all over my eyelid with my ring finger and when I'm done, it seriously looks like I spent 10 minutes working on my eyes. It's so easy, and the color is so neutral/natural with just the right amount of shimmer - perfect for every day and occasion. It's my favorite. 

Well, that was fun (for me!) :) What girly, make-up-y things are you loving this month? Spill the deets!


  1. So I have a rounder face, too, and I've found that as far as blush application goes, applying it from the apple of my cheek to (lighter as you go) right up towards my temple and hairline looks the most flattering and natural. It emphasizes my nonexistent cheekbones a bit, and keeps my face from looking rounder. :) But man, blush application is so confusing. Sigh.
    And I'm so with you on being a drugstore makeup girl! Especially things like lipstick, where it rubs off within an hour anyway; I can't justify spending more than $20 on something like that. Well, even more than $10. I've been wanting to try those color tattoo shadows, and now I might have to!
    Also, I agree about the little bit of darkness under the eyes; I feel like having some sort of natural color show through around the eyes (and all over the face) just feels more natural and looks better.
    One of my favorite things right now is e.l.f.'s HD blush -- a tiny bit goes a LONG way, and it's in cream form so it applies really nicely either with your fingers or with a brush. And the biggest bonus is that it's only $3. Which, for my budget, is pretty awesome.

    1. Hi Kristina! I will have to look for that e.l.f. blush next time I get myself to Target! I'm constantly surprised how good most e.l.f. makeup is for the ridiculously cheap prices! Xx

  2. I looove when you post about makeup! You always use stuff I can actually afford. 😁 I use Maybelline's bb cream all the time now after you posted about it ages ago. Is pretty awesome. Might have to try the color tattoo stuff now - the name always put me off.
    My new favorite makeup item would have to be Burt's Bees lip crayon. It's the easiest lip color I've ever worn! And, you know, it's Burt's Bees.... 😁

  3. Laura, I have tried one Burt's Bees crayon (Niagra...something?) and I agree - gorgeous, natural color! So wearable. Unfortunately my crayon got into the hands of one of my children and we'll just say it was ruined beyond repair. :(


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