Can’t Live Without Makeup: Daily Essentials

This Summer was filled with back to back commitments.  I’ve managed to fill in every spare second with visits with close friends and trying out new local restaurants.  What I haven’t been great with, however, is ear-marked!  No worries though, long flights and non wi-fi locations have left me with piles of magazines with turned down pages and as we head to Fall, I’ll be preparing posts in advance to be sure you’re getting your daily fill!

All the travel also forced me to minimize my daily essentials to only what I absolutely need, which is always a challenge for me.  I listed below some of my favorite products, and although I definitely like to switch things up, I know I’ll be ok if these items are packed in my purse!

Can’t Live Without Makeup (in order of how I apply):

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream $38

Smashbox Photofinish Luminizing Facial Primer $38

Laura Mercier Moisture Supreme Foundation $43

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit $33

*I like how this one has two colors – not all skin tone is the same and it’s also useful when you’ve gotten some Sun or in my case a faux tan 😉

Korres Wild Rose Mineral Foundation $28

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights $30

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush $25

Stila Eyeshadow Trio $28

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner $15

Benefit Cosmetics BADgal Lash Mascara $19

LORAC Cream Lipstick $19

Tory Burch Dash Large Brigitte Cosmetic Case $75

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My Last BeautyBox5 Review

That’s right.  I threw in the towel.  Not because I think BeautyBox5 is bad, but like I’ve said before, I definitely think it is important to test out different beauty subscriptions so you can find the right one for you (we all have different needs and preferences… and this one just isn’t exactly my style.  So from now on, I’ll only receive monthly boxes from Birchbox, Glossy Box and Test Tube.

It’s actually funny that my last BeautyBox5 was my favorite.  It featured some great products, but nothing that compared to what the others were sending (for me), so I decided to stick to my gut and respectfully discontinue my subscription.

June BeautyBox5 Review:
*in order of best to worst

Everyday Minerals Blush in ‘Girl Friday’ $6.99/mini jar (received full size) – There’s no doubt I have a thing for blush.  What I love even more is layering different colors.  Powders make this really easy.  The ‘Girl Friday’ color is really nice because it’s a little deeper than my normal range of colors that I buy, which makes accomplishing a more dramatic look easier.  Everyday Minerals is a company I’ve liked for a while now.  They have beautiful colors and they are light enough where you can play with them and not look crazy, but instead layer for a darker color, giving you more control.

The All Natural Face Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow in Just Peachy $3.99/5 gram jar (received full size) – I definitely unfairly pre-judged this one.  I’ve had really bad experiences with vegan cosmetics before where I’ve seriously felt like I was using something so ridiculous like grains of salt on my eyelids and have even broken out from a similar product, BUT I have to say I love this color and I’ve been using it daily.  The color is very subtle and layers really nicely.  It’s the perfect symmetry of orange and pink, which was missing from my collection and will be very useful for Summer.  I’ve even been using it on my cheeks!

Comodynes Easy Peeling New Face Effect $12.99/8 sheets (received 1 sheet) – I was really intrigued with this and have actually decided I would buy this again.  I love exfoliating and appreciate the soft skin it leaves behind.  What I don’t like about exfoliating is that often times it’s really messy.  Because this is a sheet that you rub over your face, it eliminates the mess, which is great!  What I will say about this is that it is really rough.  It felt very abrasive, which I couldn’t decide if I loved (because it was doing its’ job) or hated (because it kind of hurt).  My skin did feel really soft though about 15 minutes after use, so I’m eager to see what would happen if I used it weekly… it was hard to judge with just 1 sheet.

Blinc Eyeliner $25/.21 oz (received small sample tube) – The positives of this eyeliner are that it definitely lasts a long time and goes on dark, but there are a few reasons I wouldn’t buy this product again.  For one thing, you have to be patient when you apply it.  Wait for it to dry or else you’ll undoubtedly make a mess of your makeup, which is probably more an issue on my part leaving only the very least amount of time to apply makeup in the morning and even 30 extra seconds seems impossible.  Also, the brush is very flexible.  When I’m putting on dark liquid liner, it’s helpful to have a stronger wand that won’t accidentally flop over and create a vertical line making you look ridiculous and usually causing you to start your eye makeup all over again.  Lastly, and this one isn’t necessarily 100% negative, when you do take it off, it almost peels off in little pieces, much like paint.  The reason this bothers me is that I inevitably miss some in the inner part of my eye and wake up with stringy black leftover makeup in my eyes, which is not the way I like to start my day.

Blum Naturals Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues $3.90/50 sheets (received full size) – I’m pretty sure the last time I used an oil absorbing sheet was in high school when Jennifer Love Hewitt was doing the Neutrogena commercials and those little blue oil sheets seemed cool.  Although I admit I initially bought them purely because I had a serious obsession with the movie Can’t Hardly Wait, what I loved about them (although kinda gross) was that there was visual confirmation that they were working.  The oil became apparent as you slid it across your face and it felt like it was working.  This product doesn’t do that.  For me, it just felt like I was rubbing tissue paper all over my face, but it could just be the fact that I don’t have particularly oily skin (I actually am usually looking to help with dryness).

 

June Birchbox Review

Birchbox is definitely one of my favorite beauty subscriptions (although I recently got the news that my first Glossybox will be coming this month – so excited!).  I think you definitely have to do your research when deciding which mailers are right for you and maybe even test out a few for a couple months to get a feel for what kinds of brands the company works with and what types of products you’ll be sent.

For June’s box, I received a variety of different products that I’m using more than any other samples I’ve gotten in the past.  I reviewed them below in preferential order.

June Birchbox:

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner ($16.57/full size, received full size) –  LOVE this liner.  It’s incredibly thin and easy to apply.  Ideal for achieving cat eye looks as the incredibly fine point allows you to really focus on being precise.  I will absolutely buy this again.

          

theBalm Cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen ($17/.3 fl oz, received .04 fl oz) – Like a lot of lip/cheek stains, this product is water based and just gives you a little hint of color.  I like it, but more often prefer a more saturated look.  I do use it to layer on a pigmented blush however, and really like to use it on my lips for days I just want a little color.  If you are nervous about wearing a bright red lipstick, but want to test out the look, this would be a great gateway.

Cynthia Rowley Dress Up Band Aids ($5/pack of 20, received full size) –  I’ll admit I considered knicking my legs while shaving just so I could use one of these.  I love the faux section and lace patterns and think this is such a fun alternative to a normally boring product.  I ended up just sporting one on my finger a couple days ago covering up a perfectly fine pointer.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream ($16/1.25, received .1 fl oz) –  This product out of Japan is really effective.  It’s ultra-healing and rejuvenating formula contains camphor, vitamin B2 and vitamin E making it ideal for dry skin, calluses, cracks, burns, scars, etc.  I have a horrible habit of biting my nails so I have been putting this on my cuticles every night and can really tell a difference.  Definitely a good thing to have around.

                   

Melvita Rose Floral Water ($18.80/6.76 fl oz, received .95 fl oz) –  I have mixed feeling about these toner/refresher sprays.  They definitely rejuvenate the face and set nicely before moisturizing, however I’ve never been too keen on spending my money on a product that is essentially just a glorified water.  The sample is nice, however, and it is an organic product, but I’ve been using it all week and find the benefit is mostly just from the refreshing feeling you get when applied.

      

John Varvatos Star USA Eae de Toilette ($55/1.7 fl oz, received .04 fl oz) – Birchbox threw in this extra sample for the boys, promoting their BirchMan launch just in time for Father’s Day.  I was pleasantly surprised by this scent.  It’s masculine and rustic, but not too strong.  Definitely a good gift, especially for a guy who doesn’t usually wear cologne and wants to try something more subtle and across the board attractive.