Cindy’s {current} Beauty Favorites

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Hey, gals (and guys)! Remember when I promised you that beauty-faves post 2 weeks ago? Well…it’s here! I have to apologize for getting majorly distracted by family/friend time while I was away in the wild West. Toddler and baby nieces, man, they get me EVERYTIME!

But really, let’s talk about this make-up sitch…cause I love it and love talking about it…so bear with me! These are just 15 (fifteen!) of my current favorites — products I use, have used, or just discovered and love.

1. I picked up this Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda concealer palette several weeks ago and I am loving it. It contains 3 cream concealers (light, medium, and a green-tinted one for covering redness), as well as a setting powder (which I NEVER use, I’d honestly rather have another cream concealer shade for blending). I mostly use the green tinted and light concealers the most, though I appreciate the darker shade for blending and I think it will definitely come in handy this summer.

2. Urban Decay Razor Sharp Ultra Definition Finishing Powder. GUYS! THIS POWDER is amazing, despite it’s super long name. I am so-super-obsessed. It’s an HD-style (as in HDTV) finishing powder, claiming that it creates an optical illusion that hides flaws…and, I totally drank the kool-aid. Since using this, I have totally given up on foundation primers, it has a similar effect with out the weird end-of-the-day foundation slide that sometimes happens with primers.  It has a weirdo-applicator that I was okay with at first, but grew to hate, so I just popped off the top and use it as a loose powder with a brush. I use this powder on my whole face after I apply my foundation and concealer. It’s super silky, smooth, and does not leave a cakey-powder finish. It’s also great over a little BB cream to smooth things out and amp up the coverage. I will definitely be re-purchasing.

3. Again, another overwrought name, but really, Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW Brightening Makeup is my current go-to and has been for several months now (I have re-purchased it a few times). It has medium coverage and a super lightweaight feel on the skin. I love the silken texture of the liquid and it’s smooth application. As with everyone, I struggle with matching my skin tone. As an Asian/Caucasian I have yellowish undertones, some redness, some hyper-pigmentation, and I go from medium-light to bronzed depending on the season. The shade Honey…I’m so money is one of the best matches for my skin tone I have found, and it blends like a dream. Paired with the UD Razor Sharp powder and I feel pretty much as flawless as possible when I leave the house. Also, the pump-style package makes for very little waste.

4. These DreamLumi Touch Highlighting Concealers have been all over the internets recently, and I have totally jumped onto that bandwagon. I use these (I have them in Nude and Buff) exclusively around my eye area. If you have dark under eyes, these are a dream — they brighten with just a bit of highlight, without making you look crazed. PLUS they are a drugstore find and at Ulta you can often get them (and mix/match) for their Buy1Get1 50% deal they always seem to run on drugstore brands.

5. This Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Cafe Gold is SO PRETTY! It’s a gold-flecked brown eye pencil that glides perfectly AND is waterproof. They are a lot like the Urban Decay 24/7 pencils (which I also use and love), but a bit cheaper and I think the colors are a bit more restrained. I have weepy outer-eye corners, so waterproof liners are my jam and this one is definitely a keeper.

6. Another Sonia Kashuk palette, this Arch Alert Brow Kit is pretty great. Though I have super dark eyebrows, they are sparse in areas, and ladies (gents, too) your eyebrows make your face. Non-eyebrowed folks are just creepy. For an example, check out this creepshow. There are 4 shades that have a bit of a waxy texture–eliminating the need (in my opinion) for brow gel. The darkest and medium brown shades both work for me–the medium is a more everyday look, while I use the dark one for nighttime. There is also a reddish shade and a fair one for our redheaded and blonde friends. I use this palette with a short, compact bristled brush.

7. I just picked up this Smashbox Halo Highlighting wand a few weeks ago, hoping that I would get the most product from it possible, and I am loving it. I am a big fan of liquid highlighters and was using one for Stila for a while, but the packaging frustrated me — the brush doesn’t reach the bottom of the bottle, so the remaining contents get dry and goopy…not cute. This wand has a click/pump that pushes from the bottom up, lessening the waste…which I love! I have the wand in the gold color — because I LOVE gold things — though I think the pink is just as pretty. I have only been using highlighter religiously in the last 6 months or so, but I feel like it really brings something extra to the make-up party. I use it to highlight the tops of my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, my brow bones, and the cupid’s bow of my upper lip. You could use the brush on the wand, but I just use to to dot the product on my face where I want highlight and brush it out with a stiff bristled, short haired, flat brush (like the white handled one pictured above).

8. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush has been making huge waves on the internets and I couldn’t resist trying it out. I am a big fan of Tarte cosmetics and this blush does not disappoint. I purchased it in the color Natural Beauty, which is a matte rosy-red color. I call it the perfect Snow-White-Princess blush–it’s really red and rosy and pigmented and PERFECT. I love a doll-face, fairy-tale cheek on anyone and this product delivers. The color pay-off is huge — a little goes a long way and a light hand OR blending is absolutely necessary. I am a big fan of blending, so I pile it on, blend, and repeat until I like what I see. I have tried this blush in other colors and love them all just as much, but this is my absolute fave for my skin tone. My BFF has the color Blissful which is coral-y and beautiful too, and may just be next in my collection.

9. I am a huge fan of the glossy, balmy, lipsticks that are popping up all over drugstores these days. This one by Maybelline Color Whisper in Pin-Up Peach may just be my EVER-FAVE lipcolor for any and everyone. It’s creamy and light on the lip, glides on easily, and leaves behind just enough color. This particular color looks good on pretty much everyone, I could not possibly love it more. It’s the perfect sweet and vintage-y peach-pink color at a great price point.

10. & 11. Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butters are really similar to Color Whisper, but waxier. The color pay-off is similar, sheer color with a bit of pop. These shades in Sweet Tart (10.) and Cherry Tart (11.) are my favorite shades of the bunch. Sweet Tart is a sheer, creamy, bright pink — think barbie toned down a bit. Cherry Tart is a great red — my other red lipsticks are from MAC and super pigmented and opaque — this one is more sheer and you can build the color allowing you to go for a cherry-stained look or a more bold red lip.

12. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable BalmStain in Rendezvous is the first (and only?) tangerine-y color I own. I like this one because it’s definitely part of the orange lip trend, but not overly so and is a nice intro into a more bold lip look. I like the chunky crayon style and the smooth balmy texture, not to mention the sheer, fun color. I woud say that if your natural lip is fairly dark, this may not apply evenly color-wise, since it is a sheer-stain product.

13. I recently dropped my Birchbox subscription and took up with Julep Maven. I’m liking this subscription because no matter what  I get at least 2 new polishes a month…which, for me, makes it totally worth it. Plus, if I’m not feeling the boxes, I can skip that month. This Julep color in Teri is such a perfect coral cream. I love a cream polish and I am loving coral this year, so this is perfect. In the bottle, it appears a little more drab and muddy than it does on the nail, and online is seems REALLY orange. I assure you, it’s definitely a coral and definitely one that I will use all summer.

14. I got this FLO Atomizer in a Birhcbox before I cancelled and it was hands-down the best thing I got from them all year. Even though it totally looks like a vibrator (oh, I went there… because it totally does) it’s the PERFECT size to decant a sample-size of perfume and fits perfectly in any purse, plus you can clean it and fill it again with something else. I thought I actually lost this and immediately purchased a new one (Sephora brand that seems to be pretty comparable).

15. While dry shampoo is hardly a new thing, I couldn’t resist sharing this travel-size bottle of cherry scented Batiste. I find this brand to be well priced (compared to Rockaholic, which was what I used to buy), and while the scent is hardly cherry-like, I love the throw-back look of the packaging and that it’s travel sized. I have not tried any tinted dry shampoo’s, but I do have super-dark brown hair and yeah, I do get the white residue, but I just let it set/absorb for a few minutes (I usually tweeze my brows or something while I wait) and then just rub it in super fast. As someone who NEVER washes her hair consecutive days in a row (I can’t even imagine how dry my ends would be), dry shampoo is worth minimal the effort. It’s easy enough and FAR less time consuming than washing, blow-drying, flat-ironing my hair on the daily.

**HEY! Just a little disclaimer to say that none of these opinions are sponsored–I purchased all of these products with my own dollars and tested them out on my own face and head and nails, etc. Links are provided for my readers by me and are un-sponsored, so that the products mentioned are easy to find and check out. All opinions are my own. 

 

3 Pink Polishes for Valentine’s Day

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I’m not ashamed to say that I love the color pink…a lot.*

Truthfully though, I pretty much love some shade of all the colors of the rainbow. There are so many great hues out there, and my favorites are constantly shifting. BUT! it’s almost Cupid’s Birthday and there really isn’t another time of the year when pink is more appropriate…plus, you can mix it with red, which is always a winning combo with me. Below are just 3 of my favorite pink polishes. These have been in heavy rotation the last few weeks and I know I love ‘em because I keep putting them back on and just staaaaring at my nails. Keep reading for where to find them and why I love them.

This color makes me think of cherry-cream soda-fountain drinks and sweet, sweet love. It’s a bright, medium pink cream that is more on the red side. I love this color and turn to it all year, but I especially love to sport it during the weeks leading up to Valentine’s day. I also like the brush and the formula is pretty nice and doesn’t streak as much as a lot of cream polishes. {Venique-Brighten Your Day! (3 coats) the link has the worst photo ever and doesn’t do the color justice, fair warning}.

Oh, this color, it really does make me crazy. I’ve had it for a few years and bought it as a summer color, but have never managed to actually wear it before now. It’s a really shimmery, purple-pink magenta that kind of comes across malibu-barbie-esque most of the year. BUT! recently, I’ve been loving it. It totally fulfills all of my girly, valentine’s days demands of bright jewel tones and glitter and shimmer, PLUS it brings a nice spot of excitement and boldness in the late winter months. {ESSIE-Jamaica Me Crazy (2 coats),  I love it paired with the ESSIE color Splash of Grenadine

This fruit-punchy pink cream is another all-year fave. It was actually a gift from my good friend and fellow pink-polish aficionado, Megan. It’s a favorite for sandal-clad toes in the summer, but makes equal sense for Valentine’s Day. This color is super bright and super pink. It screams it and I love it…even if the AA bottles are awkward and the brush kind of sucks, the formula is nice and some even claim it’s a one-coater, but I always do 3 coats with creams to achieve maximum opacity. This color looks even better, almost juicy, with a super shiny, quality top coat (I like Seche Vite or Out the Door). {American Apparel-Angeline (3 coats)}**

*In the first photo, I am wearing AA-Angeline,  Venique-Brighten Your Day! on my ring and pointer fingers with AA-Meteor Shower on top, and Seche Vite top coat over everything.

**This is not a promotional post. All products were purchased by myself or (as noted above) friends.  All opinions above are my own and born from my crazy-nuts love of nail polish and home manicures.

Five Fall Nail Colors

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Though I love the brights and pastels I reach for in the Spring and Summer, the dark and moody colors of Fall and Winter are my jam. You might notice that there aren’t any warm, bronzed, or ruddy colors here. I do wear a lot of reds this time of year (my favorite being Big Apple Red by OPI), but I wanted to show you guys some of the other colors I wear on the regular during this season. I also didn’t include any Essie colors, though I am a fan, since I haven’t added many Fall/Winter colors to my hoard. I should note that none of these colors come from any 2012 nail color collections, these are just a select few of tried and true colors I love for these cooler months.

Anyway, about the polishes!

Left to right: Raven-Zoya, Russian Navy-OPI, Casey-Zoya, Deep Sea-M.A.C., Dree-Zoya

Raven is a slightly shimmery black. It’s not quite inky, due to the very subtle, silvery shimmer. I love this color worn alone, or layered with a gold glitter like INM Northern Lights Gold Holo Topcoat–which, together, looks like starry night skies. I like to do 3 thin coats of this color. This is, incidentally, what I have on my nails currently. I think it’s perfect for October and Halloween.

Russian Navy is a shimmery, deep navy with a purple iridescence. The color comes across more purple in the bottle and is quite navy on the nail. In my opinion OPI has the best brush and I like their formula as well. This color is opaque with two coats. It also comes in matte (which I have seen all over Pinterest) and as a gel color as well. I almost always wear this color alone with a shiny topcoat  (I like Seche Vite and Out the Door), sometimes I make it matte it with Essie’s Matte About You. Mattifying does subdue the purple tones. I could get lost in this color, it is so pretty and interesting.

Casey is one of my favorite colors of all time. It reminds me a bit of Lincoln Park After Dark and After Midnight. It’s a deep purple-red that appears nearly black (Sean says it’s just black, but he don’t know nothin’ about nails). You could call it vampy, I would call it witchy. It’s a little creamy and a little jelly. I like to do 3 thin coats of this color for ultimate opacity and I always wear it alone with a super shiny topcoat. I think that it is classic and classy while being a touch edgy.

Deep Sea is a deep, moody, green-toned teal. It has a cream finish and I love this color. It enchants me. That may be a little heavy, calling it enchanting, but I couldn’t leave the store without it. It was one of those things–I went in for foundation and left with this color. I had to have it. It reminds me of bottomless seas, wintry lakes, sea monsters, and deep woods. This color covers well enough with 2 coats, but I like to do 3. Even though I don’t always think cream finishes have the most interest (though I LOVE them), this one is interesting and even dynamic. The color sometimes comes across more teal and other times more of a dark forest color. It always looks great with a super shiny topcoat.

Dree is by and large the lightest color here. It’s an olive-y, yellow toned, army green–think camo without the mottling. I love this color because it reminds me of mossy forest floors. It has a cream finish and I like to do 3 coats for opacity. The color comes across more green/grey on the nail and more green/yellow in the bottle. I love this paired with all sorts of metallics–gold, bronze, and silvers.

**As always, all opinions are mine. I was not paid to promote these products, I just share them because I love them and I love you!