July Favorites

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Barrington St. Anne Tote from Zia Boutique
I got this tote for my birthday and I LOVE it. I’ve been wanting one for a while, but couldn’t decide exactly which one and I couldn’t justify the splurge. My friend, Zelle, owns Zia Boutique and carries this line. She ran a special deal on them right before my birthday so the timing was perfect. I highly recommend checking out Barrington totes and contacting Zia. They can get you any bag and combination that you want!

–Swell Pink Topaz 16-Ounce Insulated Traveler Bottle–
I got this during the Nordstrom sale and it is the perfect size. I have 2 bigger size bottles, but I wanted one I could toss in my purse or work bag that wouldn’t take up so much space. I’ve been trying to drink more water and I like my water REALLY cold and this keeps it cold for so long. This color is sold out, but I linked the same bottle in a different color.

–YSL Rouge Volupte Shine #44–
Each year for my birthday, I treat myself to a high end lipstick and this is the shade I chose to mark my 27th year. I don’t usually love nude lipsticks, but this one is so pretty. It’s very shiny and sheer. It gives just enough color, but isn’t too much or drying at all. I’ve been using almost every day. If you’re looking for a great, staple nude and wanting to treat yourself, you can’t go wrong with this one.

–Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cooling Gel Scrub–
I use a gentle exfoliator daily and it really helps keep my skin clear and clean. I love Neutrogena products and when I ran out of my Hydro Boost Scrub, I picked this one up to try. It leaves my skin feeling so clean and smooth without feeling stripped or dry. I also love the cooling effect.

Too Faced Hangover Rx Setting Spray
I wanted to try this as soon as it came out, but didn’t want to spend $32 on the full size in case I didn’t like it. I recently discovered they had a mini version so I grabbed it. It has the same coconut scent as the primer and it is so refreshing. I really like this and it helps my makeup settle and set. I got the primer and spray set during the Nordstrom sale for such a deal.

Catrice Prime & Fine Smoothing Refiner
I did a full review on this last week, you can view here, so I’m not going to go into much detail. Just know that it’s the best pore filling primer on the planet and it’s uber cheap. I can’t say enough good things about it.

beautyblender
This dang sponge. Y’all, I haven’t bought a beautyblender in years because I hate paying $20 for a freaking sponge. I’ve found several other beauty sponges that work just as well and are a fraction of the cost. My coworker brought me hers to see if I could get it really clean and I forgot how soft they were. I came home and ordered one and now I’m backto being hooked. UGH. Thank goodness there was a deal during the Nordstrom Sale and I was able to get a few more for less than the normal price. It’s a product I love to hate and hate to love.

–Apple Watch (Series 1) 42 mm–
I treated myself to an Apple watch for Christmas. I got the Series 1 38 mm and I loved it. I’ve gotten very attached and reliant on my Apple Watch. My coworker also got one and got the bigger size and I regretted getting the smaller one. My BFF told me she wanted to get one so I told her to get the bigger one, I’d pay the difference, and we’d switch. I love the bigger screen so much more.

NYX Moody + Buxom Dolly
I’ve been loving this lip combo this month. I’ve been on the liquid lipstick train for a while, but recently I’ve been loving glossy, shiny lips. These 2 pair so well together and give you the perfect, neutral lip.

Kendra Scott Megan Ring
I love that Kendra Scott gives you half off an item (in store) during your birthday month. I went in to get a pair of stud earrings, but this gem caught my eye as soon as I walked in the store and I had to have it. I LOVE turquoise and this is such a statement piece.

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point Markers
I will never not get excited about school supplies. I love colored pens, markers, notebooks, and the like. Office Depot had this set of 24 Sharpies for $10. I had to have it and I regret nothing.

We got to see my people so many times this month which I loved! Are they not just the cutest family?! I love how in love Will & Kate are and how they look at each other. You can look at them and just tell they love each which warms my stone cold heart. The whole world is looking at them and they’re only looking at each other. It’s precious.

My favorite verse and Instagram for the month.

Catrice Prime & Fine Smoothing Refiner

Claims
–Makes pores disappear
–Fills fine lines
–Leaves skin feeling silky
–Smooth texture
–Easy to blend

Price
–$6.49 for 0.49 oz @ Ulta

Pros
–Affordable
–Cruelty free
–Does what it claims
–Don’t need much product
–Best pore filler I’ve ever used

Cons
–Ulta exclusive

Final Verdict
This is a new can’t live without it product for me. I’ve tried tons of pore fillers and blurring primers and while I’ve found some good ones, this one is the best by far!

How I Use It
1) I start by taking a really small amount and pushing it into my skin
2) Then I blend it in using clockwise and counter clockwise motions
3) I set it with a TINY bit of It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Powder to get a blurred, airbrushed finish before going in with my foundation

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Before :: Just primer :: Primer + Powder

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My 2 Cents on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Warning this post contains both truth and sarcasm.

1)  Some of the deals are not that impressive. Yes, saving some money is better than paying full price but we’re not talking about half price Birkins here.

2) A good portion of the clothing and shoes are fall pieces even though the sale happens in the summer. I get you want to buy and showcase what you’ve purchased, but it is 90+ degrees in the South. Wearing a poncho and sandals is ridiculous as is suede OTK boots and shorts. If it wasn’t for this sale, you would never pair such together. Own it. In your caption say, I know shorts and suede OTK don’t go together on a hot July day, but the boots are cute and on sale. I’m much more likely to buy something from your link if you’re honest.

3) Sales such as this sure bring out the greed in folks.

4) You know half these bloggers go buy all this stuff and go do these dressing room try ons and return and/or don’t purchase a dang on thing, they just want to go link stuff so you will swipe/click. They want that engagement!

5) I’ve seen several posts with 5+ bags and the back of an SUV filled to the brim with NSale loot. Even if I had endless funds, I still couldn’t fill up the back of an SUV with stuff. There wasn’t that much stuff I wanted.

6) I think the items included this year were just meh. I got a few things, but overall I was super underwhelmed.

7) The sale went live at 3 am EST and folks set their alarms to be first. Unless Jesus Christ or Christian Louboutin walks into my room, I ain’t getting up at 3 am for no-damn-body. Even then, I’m going to need to see at 3 forms of proper identification.

8) Some of the stuff wasn’t that expensive to start with and some of it is still expensive AF on sale. For example, I bought 2 t-shirts that were $11.90 each. After the sale, they will be $17. Not exactly the deal of the century, I could still buy the shirt at $17. My life has not worsened nor improved over $5.10.

9) While everyone is just losing their mind over this sale, there are still other more pressing matters going on in the world i.e. famine, war, natural disasters, and hopefully some good things too. The world doesn’t stop turning. Also, there are literally thousands of cute dogs on Instagram. How are you so wrapped in up in shopping when there are pup pics to view?!

10) At the end of the day, it’s just stuff. I personally waste money on stupid stuff I do not need on the regular, but I’m trying to better about it. Shopping this sale and using that blogger’s links isn’t going to solve world hunger, part the Red Sea, or end the war. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype, but I suggest taking a step back before making a purchase. Do you need it? Will you wear it? Do you already have pieces in your closet that it will work with? These are just a few questions to ask yourself.

 Not all bloggers go bonkers over this so I’m not grouping everyone together, it’s just the name of the game. I will say, I did see some great, helpful posts that were straight to the point i.e. here’s what I wanted, here’s what I bought, here’s what I recommend, etc. I’m down for that. Give me some suggestions and send me on my way. Don’t clog up my Instagram for 2+ weeks. I have other things I need to see on my feed, reference #9.

While I stand by all of this and its truth, this is meant to be funny. I didn’t write it to offend you and 3 generations of your people. No need to get your panties in a knot! And, if you did, I hear Nordstrom has a deal on panties right now 😉

Mascara Monday: CoverGirl Total Tease

 

Claims
–Full, voluminous look
–Dark, defined lashes
–Tease clumpy lashes away
–Boost volume & define shape
–Separation

Price
–$8.99 @ Ulta
–$5.99 @ Target
–$7.94 @ Wal Mart
–9.79 @ Walgreens

Shade Range
–3
–Waterproof option

Pros
–Affordable
–Cute packaging
–Waterproof option
–Lengthens
–Separates
–No smudging or flaking
–Love the little comb at the end

Cons
–Not cruelty free
–Not very voluminous

Final Verdict
–This does a great job of lengthening and separating, but doesn’t give much volume.
–The weird comb on the end allows you to coat each lash.
–I didn’t think I would like this because the wand is so different, but I was really surprised.
–This is a plastic bristle wand so if you prefer natural bristles, this isn’t for you!
–It’s easy to walk by because it looks different than other mascara, but I recommend giving it a try.

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Fair Skin Friday: Contour

Why contour?
Contouring creates a shadow to define or reshape different parts of the face i.e. cheek bones, forehead, nose.

How do you pick a contour shade?
Contour shades should always be MATTE and more cool toned. You should pick a contour shade that is a few shades darker than your skin tone.

Can I just use bronzer?
This is a toss up. It really depends on the tones of your bronzer. A contour that is too warm will tend to look muddy. Bronzer is used to warm up the face and like I said earlier, you want your contour to be more cool toned. However, when I’m in a rush, but still want to define my check bones and nose a little bit, I will grab my Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Light Bronze, but I use a light hand.

Do I need to buy a kit?
I personally think contour kits are a waste of money. The kits usually have 6 or so different shades and usually you just need 2 shades, a highlight & a contour. It’s cheaper to just buy 2 singles that you will actually use than buy a kit with extra shades you don’t need and won’t use.

Now, onto the best contour shades & products for us fair skinned gals.

 

–Makeup Geek Contour Powder Single in Breakup, $10 {why can I not find this online?}
Kat Von D Singles in Shadowplay, $16
NYX Powder Contour Single in Sienna, $4.99
Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Contour in Light, $44

Physicians Formula Bronze Boost Contour Palette in Sculpting (Matte), $7.99
NYX 3 Steps to Sculpt in Fair, $11.99
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche, $4.99
Catrice Prime & Fine Professional Contouring Palette in Ashy Radiance, $7.99

cream

Benefit Hoola Quickie Contour Stick, $28
Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation Stick in Fawn, $25
Ofra Skin Sculpting Wand in Dust, $11
Fenty Beauty Match Stix in Amber, $25
Kat Von D Creme Single in Spice, $16
NYX Cream Highlight & Contour Palette in Light, $14.99

To me, powder is the product to start with. It’s easier to blend and work with and more natural. I only do cream contouring for a night out or special occasion. Ain’t no body got time for that every day! If you’re new to contouring, the Urban Decay Shape Shifter Palette ($42) in Light to Medium has creams and powders so you can play around and figure out which works best for you.

My favorite brushes for powder contouring are the Black Radiance Sculpting Brush ($4.99) and the Real Techniques Contour Brush ($10.79 on SALE!). I got the Black Radiance brush at Walgreens and unfortunately, the Real Techniques brush only comes in a kit, but you can find it at Ulta or Target. If I’m using a cream contour, I use the Colour Pop Flat Angled Contour Brush or a damp beauty sponge.

Any other contour questions? Leave them for me in the comments!

Revel Nail Dip Powder Kit Review

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Why dip powder?
–No UV light
–Can do at home, no salon visits
–Non-toxic, no odor
–Durable
–Crack & chip resistant
–2-4 min dry time
–Manicure doesn’t long
–Easy to remove
–Lasts longer, 3-4 weeks
–Can do on your natural nails whether they’re long or short, can also do with a tip

Why Revel?
–Affordable
–Awesome reward system
–TONS of color options
–User friendly: good directions & tutorials

I purchased the Dip Powder Starter Kit for $49.99 which includes
–Step 1 Probase
–Step 2 Activator
–Step 3 Finish Gel
–Brush softener
–2 oz dip powder jar, shade of your choice

Powder Options & Price
–280 colors: nude to black and everything in between
–Mood changers
–Sun changing colors
–Glitter
–0.5 oz jar $7.99
–1.0 oz for $14.99
–2.0 oz for $24.99

The 0.5 oz jar is PLENTY unless you find a color you really love and will use a lot. I got a 2.0 oz jar and I’m pretty sure it will last a lifetime.

I got a soft, light pink so I can paint over it. I have horrible natural nails and the dip powder provides a nice base. If you do use regular nail polish over top, be sure to remove it with NON-ACETONE remover.

These products are so easy to use. I watched the video tutorials before getting started and that really helped. The first time I did it, it was too thick, but I’ve gotten better. You will need a buffer and nail file to smooth out the nail.

Removal
–Soak off with ACETONE
–Dip cotton ball/round in acetone, place on nail, wrap nail in tin foil, wait 10 minutes, and remove foil. Test one nail first to make sure the acetone has broken down the product and you can get it off easily. If not, let them soak a little longer.
–May need a cuticle tool to scrape off the excess product

Will this damage your nails?
Yes. Any sort of acrylic, gel, dip powder, etc. will damage your natural nail.

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My mom’s longer, natural nails
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My short, natural nails
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My nails with a tip and powder

This post is not sponsored. I paid for all of the products myself. If you are interested in purchasing you can use my link and I will receive points, but no commission. 

I tried to answer the most common questions, but if you have any others, leave them in the comments and I will get back to you!