Essence Camouflage + Matt Concealer

Claims
–Waterproof
–Matte
–Won’t crease or settle into lines
–Conceal under eye circles and darkness
–Cover up tattoos

Price
–$3.99 at Ulta, essencemakeup.com

Shade Range
–3
–My shade: 10 Light Rose

Pros
–Affordable
–Cruelty free
–Paraben free
–Smells good
–Works with corrector and powder
–Full coverage
–Minimal creasing

Cons
–Availability
–Shade range

Final Thoughts
I love the price and the coverage, but the shade range is total CRAP. The lightest shade is a little too dark for me. I mixed a little Magic Star concealer in to brighten and make it work. It does not cover tattoos so if that’s important to you, keep looking. There’s no shade match for me, but I do like the formula so it’s not a total flop.

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Duped or Duped? Finishing Sprays

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MAC PREP+PRIMER FIX+ FINISHING MIST

Claims–Instant boost of hydration :: refresh & set makeup :: packed with vitamins & minerals :: moisturizes, soothe, and enhance complexion

Price (Full Size, 3.4 oz)–$27 at Ulta, Nordstrom, maccosmetics.com
Price (Mini Size, 1.0)–$14 at Ulta, Nordstrom, maccosmetics.com

Scent Selection–4 (original, coconut, rose, lavender)

Pros–Dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested :: LOVE the original scent :: works with powder products to intensify color payoff :: settles powder look & fuses with skin for a more natural look :: good ingredients :: hydration for dry skin

Cons–Expensive :: Not cruelty free :: Mister/spray can be heavy sometimes :: accessibility

Final Thoughts–MAC Fix+ is the answer to almost all problems…dry skin, shadows that aren’t pigmented enough, powder that got cakey, a broken arm, etc. I’ts a must have for me and I product I use daily. I even keep a mini bottle in my desk drawer at work. I’ve gone through so many bottles of this and continue to repurchase it.


ESSENCE KEEP IT PERFECT! MAKEUP FIXING SPRAY

Claims–Acts as a protective layer & prolongs the wear of your makeup :: not sticky

Price–$4.99 at essencemakeup.com for 1.69 oz

Pros–Affordable :: small, compact bottle :: cruelty free :: vegan :: good mister :: settles powder :: works well with my dry skin :: perfect finishing step for makeup :: works with powder products to intensify color payoff

Cons–Availability/accessibility, online only!

Final Thoughts–This is the perfect last step to settle and set everything for a less powdery look. Great to use as a refresher throughout the day as well.


These products are total dupes. They have similar ingredients and do the same thing. The only major difference is the price, obviously. There’s just something about Fix+ that draws me in. I’ve used and repurchased both of these. The Essence is a great, budget friendly option, but if you want to splurge, give the MAC a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in either one.

dupes

You see other dupes posts here and here.

Product 411

So far we’ve covered skin types and ingredients and now we’re diving into products before we move onto routines.

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What does each product do? How do I know which products I need? Keep reading to have all of your questions answered,

Makeup Remover

Cleanser

Exfoliator

  • Removes built-up skin for clear, renewed, smoother, and younger-looking skin
  • Physical
  • Chemical
    • Diminish the appearance of wrinkles and improve the look of plumpness and firmness
    • Certain formulas can minimize pores
    • Clarify dull, uneven skin tone; smooth rough, bumpy skin; unclog pores; increase hydration
    • Formulated as Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
    • AHA
      • Better for dry skin and advanced signs of aging
      • Improves moisture content for extra smoothness
      • Exfoliate the surface of the skin
    • BHA
      • Better for oily skin with clogged pores
      • Skin-calming and hydrating
      • Relieve clogged pores and white bumps
    • My skin doesn’t respond to chemical exfoliants. I used the beloved Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid religiously for months and saw no changes.
    • I keep my skin clear and my acne at bay with physical exfoliants. I use a more intense scrub, the dr. Brandt, once a week and a gentle one, the Hydro Boost, daily. If I don’t use the Hydro Boost, I mix in the Bare Minerals in whatever cleanser I’m using.
  • Generally, you use exfoliators one or two times a week, but frequency depends on your skin.

Toner

Essence

  • Lightweight, hydrating liquid to help prepare the skin for moisturizer
  • Primes the skin to absorb serums and moisturizers
  • Don’t apply with a cotton round, pat into the skin with your hands
  • I’ve never used an essence so I don’t have on to recommend, but my friend Christine recommends the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Antioxidant Essence. She has awesome recommendations so check out her blog!

Serum

Eye Cream

Moisturizer

Facial Oil

  • Good to use if you have dry, dehydrated skin and moisturizer just isn’t enough. Also good to use for seasonal dryness.
  • Conflicting opinions on whether or not to apply before and after moisturizer. I’ve done both, up to you. You can also mix it in with your moisturizer.
  • Help to lock moisture in
  • Try to avoid fragrance oils
  • Recommended oils–coconut, jojoba, grape seed, rose hip, argan
  • I got a rose hip oil at TJ Maxx for $5 and it does the job. As long as it’s 100% pure, you’re good. No need to spend a lot of money on oils.
  • I can tell a big difference in my skin when I use an oil at night. When I wake up, my skin feels so hydrated and plump.
  • Drugstore/Affordable: The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
  • High End: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

SPF

Masks

  • Supporting role in a skincare routine
  • Clay 
    • Absorbent
    • Draw out debris from clogged pores
    • Leaves skin matte, but not dried out
    • Temporarily tightening
    • Apply after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine
    • Apply, let dry, rinse off
    • Don’t use more than twice a week
    • Drugstore: LOreal Clear & Comfort
    • High End: GlamGlow Supermud
  • Peel Off
    • Remove a thin layer of dead surface skin
    • Leave skin feeling soft and smooth
    • Don’t over use or it will dry out your skin
    • Apply after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine
    • Apply, let dry, peel off
    • Drugstore: Aveeno Pre-Tox
    • High End: GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming
  • Sheet 
    • Part of Korean skincare
    • Saturated with skincare ingredients that you leave on for 10-20 minutes to allow the ingredients to soak into your skin
    • Massage remaining product into the skin
    • I don’t know that sheet masks have a lot of skincare benefits, but they’re a great way to relax and they leave my skin so soft. I stick mine in the refrigerator before I apply it and it feels amazing.
    • Drugstore: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrogel Mask
    • I don’t have a high end recommendation because these aren’t something to spluge on.

Tools

  • Jade Roller
    • Smooth stone, cool feeling
    • Best benefit: reduce puffiness
    • Jade itself does not have any specific, special properties that benefit the skin
    • I got mine at TJ Maxx for $10ish, no need to spend a lot on these. Amazon has good ones too.
    • TJ Maxx, Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta
  • Konjac Sponge
    • Cleansing exfoliator made from konjac root
    • Very gentle and safe to use on sensitive skin
    • Works to gently exfoliate and cleanse better than just using your hands alone
    • Toss after a month, not self-cleaning or anti-bacterial
    • Different colors signify different active ingredients i.e. red sponge has red clay
    • 100% biodegradable
    • ecotools, Boscia, Julep
  • Sonic Cleansing Brush
    • Leaves skin soft, smooth, and CLEAN
    • Allows dead skin cells to exfoliate faster
    • Remover oil and debris that are clogging pores
    • Cleans deeper into pores than your hands/fingers can
    • Overuse can disrupt skin’s pH, irritate, and cause redness and inflammation
    • Skin issues like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis–be careful not to use a brush head that’s too rough
    • Clarisonic, Foreo, PMD, elf
      • The rubber bristle ones like the Foreo, PMD, and elf work better for my skin. I have a love the elf. I haven’t used it because the battery died and I’ve been too lazy to change it. #honest
  • Manual Cleansing Brush
    • Don’t need to use every day, could lead to over exfoliation
    • Stimulate circulation, removes dead skin
    • Cleanse deeper than just your hands/fingers
    • Sephora, BareMinerals
  • I had a Clarisonic, but the brush heads were just too rough for my sensitive skin. Yes, even the sensitive skin brush head. I’ve had better luck with manual brushes, but I don’t use

Now that we’ve covered products and tools, let’s move on to what order you apply all of the aforementioned.

As I said earlier, I don’t use an essence, but if you want to, you use it after toner. I also added in exfoliator after cleanser since you only use it a few times a week.

Mascara Monday: Benefit Roller Lash

Claims
–Grabs, separates, lifts, and curls
–Holds curl for 12 hours
–Water resistant
–Lash conditioning ingredients
–Easy to remove

Price
–$25 full size
–$13 mini
Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom, benefitcosmetics.com

Shade Range
–2 :: Black and brown

Pros
–Cute packaging
–Holds a curl
–Separates
–Lengthens
–Mini option to testing/travel

Cons
–Not cruelty free
–Expensive

Final Thoughts
I LOVE this mascara and it one of my favorites. The only downside is that it doesn’t add much volume. However, I usually pair it with a more volumizing mascara like the Too Faced Better Than Sex or the Lancome Monsieur Big anyway. I’ve never paid full price for it, it’s usually part of one of the 21 Days of Beauty sales that Ulta has in the spring and fall. However, this is one prestige mascaras that I would pay full price for though.

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I used the Essence Lash Primer with the Roller Lash

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Beauty Bite: New + Review

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There are some new products I’ve purchased in the last few months that I wanted to share, but didn’t want to do a separate post on.

Colour Pop Jelly Much Shadow
–Shade: We Jammin
–Price: $8
–Cruelty free
–Love the shade. It’s a bright, white gold that’s very metallic and vibrant
–I usually layer a powder shadow over a cream like this, but you’ve got to wait for it to dry if you want to do that. I don’t have to patience to wait because it does take a little while so I recommend using this alone.
–I like to use it to brighten up the inner corner.
LIKE but don’t love

Colour Pop Creme Gel Colour
–Shade: Call Me
–Price: $6
–Cruelty free
–Creamy, easy to apply, and stays in place
LOVE

Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer
–Price: $4.99
–Cruelty free
–Smells good
–Works just as well as my beloved LOreal and it’s cheaper
–Added volume
LOVE

Colour Pop Brow Boss Pencil
–Shade: Taupe
–Price: $5
–Cruelty free
–Has a spoolie on the end which is a major plus
–Small tip allows for easy control and precision
LOVE

Wet n Wild Liquid Matte Creme Eyeshadow 
–Shade: Camel Back
–Price: $5
–Cruelty free
–Reminded me of the MAC Paint Pot in Soft Ochre
–Can wear alone or use as a primer, I used it as a primer
–Dried down matte and shadow blended easily on top of it with no creasing!
LOVE

Colour Pop Supernova Shadow
–Shade: Constellation
–Price: $7
–Cruelty free
–Patchy AF when worn alone
–Dries down
–Would work better as a base or topper. I don’t recommend wearing alone.
LIKE but don’t love

Becca Mineral Blush
–Shade: Flowerchild
–Price: $32 (got mine half price!)
–Cruelty free
–Pigmented AF! Use a light hand
–Love the color and the luminous finish
LOVE

Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer
–Price: $5.99
–Cruelty free
–The consistency is too thick to me.
–Works fine, but I prefer a more thin, lightweight primer.
–Glow, yes :: pore minimizing, no
NOPE (for me, but not a bad product)

NYX Foil Play Cream Eye Shadow
–Shade: Beauty Buzz
–Price: $5.99
–Cruelty free
–You HAVE to apply this with your finger and I hate using my fingers to apply makeup
–Very foiled and metallic
–Work best alone, powder shadows don’t blend or sit well on top
NOPE (for me, but not a bad product)

Essence Color Correcting Liquid Concealer
–Shade: Pastel Pink
–Price: $3.99
–Cruelty free
–Not much coverage or pigmentation, very thin
–My dark circles need more coverage than what this gives
NOPE

Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter
–Price: $28
–Cruelty free
–Works for fair skin
–Pretty packaging and presentation
–Not as blinding as I thought, but it’s still really pretty
LOVE

Tarte Hamptons Weekender Contour Palette
–Price: $19 (I got it for $10)
–Cruelty free
–SO pigmented so use a light hand
–Perfect size for travel, but the pans are big enough to get your brush in
LOVE

June Favorites

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Charlotte Tilbury Marie Antoinette + Essence All I Need
I don’t wear eye shadow very often, but once I saw Jade share this Charlotte Tilbury cream shadow, I had to have it. I am in love with the shade! Since it’s a pretty penny, I want to be sure and use it and get my moneys worth. You could wear it alone, but I always put a powder shadow over a cream. $35 cream with a $2 powder, it’s called balance, friends.

Chanel Rouge Allure 91 Seduisante Lipstick
I went to NYC the last weekend in May for my BFFs wedding. I decided to pick this up at the airport to commemorate my trip. I love the idea of a memory being tied to a certain lipstick. For the past few years, I’ve bought myself a high end/luxury lipstick for my birthday. Each time I reach for that shade, I remember my birthday and different events from that year. Now, every time I reach for this GORGEOUS Chanel shade, I’ll remember my best friend’s wedding.

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Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter
I got a sample of this at Target and fell in love with the scent. I don’t like the feeling of lotion because so many are so greasy and just sit on my skin rather than sink in. Fortunately, this one doesn’t do that. It absorbs quickly, hydrates, doesn’t leave a greasy feeling, and it smells so. dang. good.

Soap & Glory Scrub of Your Life
I got this in my Target Beauty Box in May and even though I haven’t used it up yet, I already bought a back up. There was a gift set on sale that came with the scrub and the body butter and I couldn’t resist.

LOreal Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair & Protect Balm + Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo
I only wash my hair once a week, usually on Sunday. I don’t use dry shampoo till about Thursday and if I have weekend plans, I will wash it on Friday or Saturday. I always get asked how I only wash my hair once a week. I’m very lucky and my hair just doesn’t get oily easily. The other trick is the aforementioned combo. I use this conditioning mask and leave it on about 20 minutes. I rinse it out and then use the Neutrogena shampoo. The mask/balm hydrates my hair and makes it soft and shiny and the Neutrogena gets any residue left behind from the mask and other hair products. Another bonus, they’re both at the drugstore and super affordable.

Fair Skin Friday: Brightening Powders

When I first started watching YouTube and getting into makeup, banana powder was every where. Of course, I wanted to try the trend too, but there were NO shades that were light enough for me. The purpose of banana powder is to brighten, the shades I tried darkened or just blended in with my skin.

Thankfully, the makeup industry is getting more inclusive from fair to deep and there are finally some great products on the market that are great to brighten up the under eye area if you have fair skin.

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Makeup Revolution Ghost Baking Powder
–$8 @ Ulta (Ulta exclusive) for 1.47 oz
–Flashes back, no good for photos
–Cruelty free
–Pure white, makes under eye SUPER bright

Essence Brighten Up! Banana Powder
–$4.99 @ Ulta for 0.31 oz
–No flashback
–Cruelty free

J Cat Luxe Pro Powder in Porcelain
–$6.99 @ Ulta (online only) for 1.5 oz
–No flashback

NYX HD Banana Powder (not pictured)
–$9.99 @ Ulta for 0.28 oz
–Cruelty free
–No flashback

Since some of these have flashback and others don’t, I took an empty powder jar and made my own mixture. I mixed the Makeup Revolution, J Cat, and I scraped some from the pan of the Essence powder. I get the benefit of all 3 and no flashback. The Ghost powder is what flashes back the worst so I used the least amount of it.

There are few others that I haven’t tried, but are on my list. They are…
MAC Emphasize
Ben Nye Cameo
KKW Beauty


Other Fair Skin Friday posts…
Bronzers
Concealers