Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Holiday Makeup Look!

I had two Christmas parties on the same day, and this is the look I chose for the occasion.  It's a classic red lip and winged liner, with a pop of gold on the lids.  It was quite simple to create, and I was happy with the final result.  Here is a list of the products I used.....

Face Products

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer

Mac Pro Long Wear Foundation - NW25

Mac Pro Long Wear Concealer - NW20

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser - Brightener

NYX Radiant Finishing Powder - Brighten (used over highlighted/concealed areas)

ELF High Definition Powder (used on the rest of my face)

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer (contour under cheekbones, sides of forehead, sides of nose, and jawline)

Milani Baked Blush - Red Vino (on the backs of the cheeks)

MAC Powder Blush - Prism (on the apples of the cheeks)

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer (highlight tops of cheekbones, center of forehead, bridge of nose, and chin)

Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liner - Red Diva

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick - Cherries In The Snow

Eye Products

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer

Lorac Pro Palette

L'Oreal Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner - Black

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara - Black

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara - Black

Anastasia Brow Pomade - Dark Brown

After priming the lids, I used white as the brow bone highlight.

Taupe was blended into the crease as a transition color.  I love this color, and use it often.

I used a small pencil brush and applied gold to the inner 1/3 and outer 1/3 of my lid, leaving the center of my lid with no product.  

I used a flat shadow brush, that I wetted with setting spray, and applied champagne to the center of the lid.

I blended a small amount of sable to the outer crease.

For the upper lash line, I went with a black liner that I winged out.

For the bottom lash line, I used the small pencil brush and applied the gold shadow as a liner.  I used the champagne color in the inner corner and bottom of the inner lash line for a nice highlight.

To finish this look, I applied two - three coats of the Tarte mascara, followed by two coats of the cover girl.  I did one coat of the cover girl on the bottom lashes.

If you are trying to decide on a look for the holidays, I hope this was helpful.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will answer them ASAP.  I wish you  a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My Fall Favorites!!

It has been a few months since I have done a favorites post.  I have tried many new products, so my list is fairly long.  I also have some hair, fashion, and lifestyle favorites that I didn't include, because I didn't want the post to be too long.  If you are interested in seeing those, please let me know, and I will get to work on that.  So, here is what I have been loving and using nonstop over the past few months!

Mac Blush - Prism:  Believe it or not, this is my first Mac blush.  I've always been more of a drugstore girl, but I am branching out.  I didn't have a certain blush in mind when I went in, but knew I wanted a neutral color for fall/winter that would go with any look.  I have quite a few plums, so I decided on prism.  As soon as I put it on, I loved it!  It is such a great shade, neutral but not too pink or brown.  I think this would be flattering on anyone with a light to medium skin tone.  If you are darker it may not show up too much.  I had never heard of this blush before, and I have to say I am surprised!  The MUA said it was pretty popular, but it doesn't seem to be talked about.  It is a matte shade, and isn't too pigmented, but is definitely buildable.  I am very happy with my purchase, and have worn prism everyday that I have worn makeup..This blush retails for $22.

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer - NW20:  I have heard of this concealer for years!  Everyone on youtube uses it and loves it.  So, I finally decided to try it.  Lately, I have noticed that my under eyes are looking more blue than usual, and I have this little vein under my left eye that seems to be more noticeable.  As soon as the makeup artist applied it to one eye, I saw a HUGE difference!!  Seeing it side by side, next to my other concealer quickly puts things into perspective.  She did both eyes, because I couldn't walk around uneven, and I knew I had to have that concealer!!  I have worn it everyday that I have worn makeup, so I have had time to test it.  It lasts ALL DAY, and doesn't budge or crease into your fine lines.  My mom also bought it, and loves it as well.  I did go a shade lighter with my concealer, which I always do, because I like to have a highlighted look under my eyes and the center of my face.  I would recommend this to EVERYONE.  If you don't have it, you need it!!  This concealer retails for $20.

Mac Pro Longwear Foundation - NW25:  After wearing my concealer for a few days, I had to go back to buy the foundation.  My mom already purchased the foundation, I saw the difference on her, and knew I would love it.  From my previous visit, the MUA told me I would be a NW25, so I went and got my color without even trying it.  The shade matched perfectly, and it was everything I expected.  It has a natural finish to it, not too matte but, not dewey either.  It does not have a heavy or thick consistency at all.  It is thin and lightweight.  It covers completely, yet gives such a natural look to your skin.  You don't have to worry about a cake face or looking too made up.  It has a medium, but buildable coverage.  I am very happy, and have no complaints.  I have worn this everyday that I have worn makeup.  I honestly can't imagine liking another foundation or concealer better than the Pro Longwear.  I think this foundation would be great on all skin types.  It retails for $32, which for a higher end foundation is a great price!

Mac Lip Pencil - Whirl:  This is a great neutral color that is darker than a nude, but not too dark.  MAC has great quality, and this is no different.  I included this in my 90's/Kylie Jenner Inspired Lip post.  You can pair it will all of those shades.  I like to line and fill my lip in with the pencil.  It really helps to prolong my lipstick.  This pencil retails for $16.  I know it is pricey, especially compared to drugstore products, but if you consider the quality and the size of the lip pencil, I do think it is worth it.

Urban Decay Naked Basics 2 Palette - I have been wearing this palette nonstop since purchasing it!  I have nothing else like it in my collection.  If you would like to see a complete review of this palette, including looks that I created, Click Here!

Anastasia Brow Dip Pomade - Dark Brown:  Another product that I have used nonstop since it's purchase.  I love it!  This product does give the look of a more dramatic brow, so it may not be an everyday product for you, but it is fabulous and will change your entire look!  If you would like to see a complete review, Click Here!

Black Radiance Blush - Toasted Almond:  This is my first Black Radiance blush purchase.  I found this brand at Meijer.  I was looking for a deeper fall blush, and thought it would be perfect.  It is so pigmented, and gives me the deeper color I was looking for.  I would definitely purchase these again, and to make them even better, they retail for only $2.99!!  I like to pair this blush with my Mac Prism blush.  I put this deeper shade towards the back of my cheeks, blending towards my hairline.  Then, I put whirl on the apples.  I love using two blushes, because of the dimension it gives my face.

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush - Deep Bronze:  I have talked about these on my blog before.  These are a two-in-one product that is of great quality at your local drugstore.  There are 6 colors in all, I own four.  This fall I have been wearing the deep bronze and mauve.  After contouring, I apply these to the cheeks for a blush and highlighter.  These definitely have a sheen, so if matte is what you are looking for, these are not for you.  I do see more of a sheen than a sparkle though when I wear these.  They are a great everyday product that pulls double duty.  They retail for around $9.99.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer - I love this contour, and it is the only one that I have been using for months!  I got this as one of my points perks at Sephora, so this is the sample size, and I still haven't hit pan on it.  First of all, it smells like chocolate, but more than that it just looks beautiful.  There is no shimmer or sparkle, so it is great as a contour.  I also don't find it to be too dark or muddy looking for my skin tone.  It blends flawlessly.  I apply this bronzer under my cheekbones, temples, perimeter of forehead, sides of my nose, jawline, and under my neck.  Once this sample runs out, I will definitely be purchasing the full size!

NYX Radiant Finishing Powder - Brighten:  This is a new NYX product for me, and of course I'm in love!  I found this at Target for $8.99.  It does exactly what it says it does....brightens and finishes.  I apply this over the areas that I use my lighter concealer, which is under my eyes, down the center of my nose, chin, and center of my forehead.  The powder sets the concealer and gives it an extra brightening effect.  I just swirl my brush over all of the colors, and tap off the excess.  The white shade does have shimmer in it, but it doesn't look sparkly on my face.  I am so glad I found this product.  I was using the ELF under eye setting powder, which I did like, but this one is a lot better.

Jordana 12 Hour Made To Lash Eyeshadow Pencil - Continuous Almond:  I had heard some good things about these pencils, so I picked one up.  I use this as a base/primer for my eyeshadows.  It prolongs the wear and prevents creasing of my eyeshadows.  It is very pigmented, matte, and waterproof.  It is a cream formula that I blend out with my fingers.  It will set pretty quickly, so blend immediately after applying.  You can find Jordana at Walgreens.  I got this shadow pencil for only $1.99!

L'Oreal Million Lashes Excess Mascara - I have always loved the L'Oreal Million Lashes Mascara, so I tried this one.  It is great also, it just has a smaller, longer brush, which I find is easier to work with, especially in the inner corners.  I like to use 2 mascaras.  I usually use 2 coats of my first mascara, and one or two coats of my second.

Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara - This is an old faithful for me.  This is one of the best that Cover Girl has to offer!  I love to use this as a second mascara, because it is so good at separating the lashes and keeping them from being clumpy.  If you don't want spidery lashes, you will love this one!

This is a FOTD I posted yesterday.  I wanted to include these pics, because I am wearing most of my favorites here.  This look includes Mac Pro Longwear Foundation and concealer, NYX Radiant Finishing Powder, Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush, Mac Blush - Prism, Jordana Eyeshadow Pencil, Urban Decay Naked Basics 2, Anastasia Brow Pomade, L'Oreal Million Lashes Excess Mascara, Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara, and Mac Lip Pencil in Whirl. 

I also used some new rollers that I am really loving, to achieve this hair.  If you would like a review and pictorial, please let me know in the comments section.

I hope everyone is having a great week!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quote Of The Week

When a man gives his opinion, he is a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch. - Bette Davis

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Trend - 90's/Kylie Jenner Inspired Lip Colors

The lip trend for this fall has been a matte 90's or Kylie Jenner inspired lip color.  You see it everywhere!!  So, I though that I would look into my collection, most of which are recent purchases because I have also been buying those types of colors lately, and let you know what I have been wearing.  All but one are drugstore, so they will be easier to find and budget friendly!

Milani Color Statement Lipstick - Pretty Natural

I love these lipsticks, and I have never bought a color that I didn't like.  They are comfortable, creamy, and smell great!  You can find them at CVS, Walgreens, and Meijer.

NYX - Soft Matte Lip Cream - Stockholm

This color applies with a doe foot applicator like a gloss, but is matte like a lipstick.  It is comfortable and not drying.  It also lasts a good while once applied.  You can find NYX at Ulta, Meijer, and many Target stores.

NYX Lip Smacking Fun Colors - 565
(round lipstick)

I really love this color, but I can't take credit for picking it out.  I got this last year in my Ipsy Bag.  Another great formula from NYX!

Milani Color Statement Lipstick - Teddy Bare

Another new fall color for me.  I went to MAC to try Velvet Teddy, but found that they look so similar that there was no sense in buying the MAC color.  If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, this is a great one!

Jordana Lipstick - Taupe

I found this color online on another beauty blog.  She recommended this color for the new fall trend.  I always buy Jordana at Walgreens, but mine doesn't carry their lipsticks, so I ordered it online.  It was a steal for $2 - $3!  This matte color is a dryer formula than the other colors, so I would recommend applying a balm underneath it.

Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Lipstick - Touch Of Spice

Maybelline recently came out with this line of matte colors.  These are the exact same amazing formula as the entire color sensational line, except for the matte finish.  These are not drying, but moisturizing and comfortable.  I fell in love with this color after seeing many beauty vloggers wearing it.  I had to go try it myself!

NYX Lip Smacking Fun Colors Lipstick - Thalia Thalia
(round lipstick)

I have known about this color for a long time, but just recently purchased it because I loved how it looked.  It is flattering on everyone that I have seen wear it.  It's the same incredible NYX formula that is so comfortable and moisturizing.

MAC Lip Pencil - Whirl

I have read that this is the actual lip color that Kylie Jenner has worn in some of her recent popular photos.  I got this color because I do love it, but also because it can be worn with all of the colors in this post.  It is very versatile!  I have nothing over it in this picture.  It is just the pencil.  MAC lip liners are more expensive than the drugstore alternatives, but they have a wide selection of colors, they last all day, and it would take a forever to use up the entire pencil.

So, these are my picks for this years fall trend.  If you have been on the search yourself, I hope you found a color here that will work for you.  If you have found any great colors yourself, please leave them in the comments section.  I hope everyone has a great week!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Tips For Growing Out Your Hair

Before I started my blog, I had very short hair.  I have had short hair most of my adult life. I cut it at 16, and I kept it short until I decided to start growing it out a few years ago.  It is so hard to grow your hair out when it is a super short cut.  It can get so frustrating, and many people end up just cutting it again, because it looks so horrible in that in between stage.  So, I would like to share with you what I did to get me through that awkward stage, and how I kept my hair healthy and growing as fast as possible.

1.  Don't Stop Getting Haircuts! - There are a few reasons for this.  1) if you have super short hair like I did, you have to get it cut regularly to keep from getting a mullet.  I let my top and sides grow while keeping the back short.  This gave me a style while growing it out, so I didn't chop it.  2)  It keeps your hair from getting split ends and looking damaged once it is longer.  I have never been someone who fantasizes about having long hair, even though I am enjoying my longer length now, but I do know women who want long hair at all costs.  Even if it means it is dry, damaged, and split.  As long as it is long they are happy.  I just don't see the point in having long hair if it looks like that.

2.  Use Quality Products! - Not all products are equal, especially when it come to shampoo and conditioner.  I was never big on professional products, until my hair started getting longer.  Not everything I have is professional, but at least half is.  The biggest difference I found in my hair is when I started using Wen Conditioning Cleanser.  I started using it over 2 years ago, and instantly saw a difference and so did other people.  My hair just looked shinier, healthier, less frizzy, and had more body.  I also use their hair mask, styling creme, volumizing spray, and replenishing treatment mist.  If I had to, I could give up some of the products, but never the cleansing conditioner.  I'm not saying you have to use Wen.  Not everyone likes it, but you do need to find a quality shampoo and conditioner.  If you are interested in Wen, you can always buy it on QVC or www.qvc.com.  They have easy pays, which makes it more affordable and many times they do auto-delivery.  They also have packages that include extra products like some I mentioned.  Sephora sells Wen Cleansing Conditioner, but you may not find a lot of the other Wen products.  QVC also has a 30 day money back guarantee.

3.  Take Supplements! - The entire time I was growing my hair out, I took biotin and iron.  I can honestly say that both have helped my hair to grow and keep it healthy in the process.  If you are a vegetarian or vegan, the iron is especially important for you.

4.  Don't Wash Your Hair Too Much! - When my hair was really short, I washed it almost everyday.  I used sticky pomades and when I woke up in the morning it was unmanageable.  Since my hair has been longer, I only wash it twice a week.  Now, I don't fix my hair everyday.  I am a SAHM and also care for my elderly grandparents, so my day consists of cleaning, cooking laundry, running errands, etc.  Plus, I work out a lot.  I know, glamorous right?!!  Anyways, I don't put on makeup or do my hair probably 4 - 5 days a week.  So, I put it up and don't worry too much about washing.  The natural oils in your scalp help to protect and moisturize your hair.  You don't want to strip these out.  In between washings, I use dry shampoo.  It really helps to eliminate greasiness.  Now because I don't style my hair most days, I do not get a lot of product build up.  Depending on how much product you use and how oily your hair is, you may not be able to only wash twice a week, but wash as little as possible.

5.  Use As Little Heat As Possible! - Since I don't style my hair most days, I simply wash it and let it air dry.  I rarely use a straight iron on it either.  When I do style it it is mostly with my hair dryer.  I do use a heat protectant to try to limit the damage done.  Yesterday, I ordered a professional T3 blow dryer, which should also help with damage, but I have yet to test it out.  Maybe that could be an upcoming review post!

6.  Use A Hair Mask! - I started using these a little over 2 years ago when I started using Wen.  I do it anywhere from 2-4 times a month.  I try to do it once a week, but I miss a few.  Sometimes, I just do a five minute mask in the shower, but most of the time I leave it on overnight and rinse it out the next day.  I love the way it conditions my hair and makes it feel so smooth and healthy.  I mostly use a Wen mask, but I also have a L'Oreal one that I use in the shower.

These are my hair tips, and what I used and still follow to this day.  I hope this has been helpful, and if you have any tips of your own, I would love to hear them!!

Here is a progression of where my hair started to where it is now.  Before my blog, I never took selfies, so all my pics are with my family.

So as you can see, no matter what stage my hair was at in the growing out process, I kept a definite style to it.  Had I not done that and just let it grow, I would have quickly chopped it off.  Maintaining a style is the best advice I have to get your hair to the length you want.

Nails Of The Week

OPI - Bogota Blackberry

Last week, I found these rhinestones at icing for only $4.99.

I applied them with the pointed end of my nail stick, and topped with 2 coats of a clear top coat.  A very easy addition to make your nails just a little fancier :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quote Of The Week

Be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of someone else. - Judy Garland

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review - Urban Decay Naked Basics 2!

I recently made this purchase, and have used it pretty much everyday that I have worn makeup.  I bought mine at Ulta.  It retails for $29, but if you have the monthly Ulta coupon for $3.50 off, it's an even better value!

The packaging is small and sleek, which makes it easy for travel or to throw in your bag.  It easily fits in the palm of my hand.  It does come with a convenient full size mirror as well.  

Color swatches from top to bottom - skimp, stark, frisk, cover (my favorite), primal, and undone.

There are 6 new shades, ranging from a light skin tone color to a darker charcoal gray.  All are completely matte, except for the first color.  It has a slight sheen, like a satin finish, which works great in the inner corner or as a brow highlight.  These shadows have the same quality that you have come to know from Urban Decay.  The colors are very buttery, soft, and easy to blend.  They may have a slight fall out, if you don't tap your brush, but that too is typical of an UD shadow.  This palette lends itself toward more cool neutral shades, which is why I purchased this palette and not the first naked basics.  I have few cool shades in my collection and a lot of warm.  This palette has given me everything I need for a cooler toned look.  It is great on it's own or to enhance a more cool toned shimmery eye look.  

Here are a few looks that I have recently worn....

For this look, I added a black gel liner to the top and used shadow as liner for the bottom lashes.

For this look I used all shadows, no liner. 

My overall thoughts on this palette is that it has exceptional quality, is a great value, and is perfect for anyone looking to add some cool toned neutrals to their collection.  It is a palette that easily lends itself to daytime and evening looks, that is also great for travel.  I am very happy with my purchase!

I hope you found this review helpful.  Have a great week!

                                                                                                      -XOXO Monique

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nails Of The Week

O.P.I. - Barefoot In Barcelona 

I love this color and think it is the perfect nude.  It was hard to find, but I finally found it at Ulta!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade Review!

I had seen a lot of tutorials using this product and loved the look it was giving, so I had to try it for myself!  The pomade comes in 5 colors....blonde, auburn, chocolate, dark brown, and ebony.  I chose dark brown for myself.  I do have blue black hair, but prefer to go a shade or two lighter for my brows to avoid them looking like they have been drawn in with a sharpie.  The rule of thumb is if you have dark hair go one to two shades lighter.  If you have light hair go one to two shades darker, but of course everyone likes their brows a certain way, so go with what works best for you.

Most beauty girls that I watch change their brow routines fairly often, and I have to say I have as well.  I find new techniques or products that I like and make changes.  My brow routine is completely different now than it was a year ago, and it shows!

Here is a pic of my old brows.....

Here is a pic of my brows now......

Now, I do recognize that my photography skills have greatly improved, but so have my brows and it is all because of this product.

I have very few holy grail products, but this is definitely one that I would not be able to live without!  It has completely changed my brow game.  In the photo about I used only the dip brow pomade and nothing else.  Sometimes I do use another product, it just depends on the look I am going for.  

I was a little concerned about working with a brow pomade, because I had never used a product like this.  Just let me say that a little goes a long way!  It has the consistency of a gel liner.  I use an angled brow brush to apply and brush through with a brow spooly.  This product does set, but I find that I have plenty of time to work with it, and yes, it is WATERPROOF!!  Hallelujah, no more looking in the mirror to find your brow is sliding off of your face!!

I think there is a bit of a learning curve with this product, and it will take a few times to really find your technique, simply because there isn't another product of its kind out there, but once you do, I am certain that you will be happy with the result.  You can find Anastasia Beverly Hills products at Ulta and Sephora.  It retails for $18, and does not come with an applicator.  Anastasia does sell a double ended brow brush and spooly in one if you are interested.  I have been using what I already have in my collection.  If you have been on the fence about this product, I hope my review helps.  If you would like to see my exact brow routine, please comment below and I will get that together for you!  I hope everyone has had a great weekend!!
                                                                                                                -XOXO Monique

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quote Of The Week

Accept who you are, and revel in it. - Mitch Albom "Tuesdays With Morrie"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My August Favorites!!

This month is a variety of products.  I have beauty, lifestyle, and fashion items, because that's what I have been using the most of!

-  The Lorac Pro Palette:  This has quickly become my favorite palette that I own!  I have used it everyday that I have worn makeup.  If you are looking for a great, high quality palette, with shimmers and mattes, you should seriously consider this one!  If you would like to see my full review and looks, Click Here!

-  Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade:  This product has single handedly changed my brow routine.  It is essentially 3 products in one!  I used to use a pencil, shadow, and setting gel.  Now I only use the dip brow pomade.  This has quickly become a holy grail product for me.  It has a gel/mouse type of texture, so a little goes a long way.  It sets pretty quickly and once it does, it does not budge!!  It is also waterproof.  Have you ever seen someone whose eye brow is sliding or smudged down their face?  This will NOT happen with this product!  It comes in five colors...blonde, auburn, chocolate, dark brown, and ebony.  I use dark brown and it goes great with my blue black hair color.  I love this product so much that I have told all my beauty friends and family about it.  My mom recently bought it, and she loves it as well.

-  O.P.I. Nail Polish - Lincoln Park After Dark:  I love my dark polishes, and this is a new one for me.  OPI has a great, long lasting formula that doesn't disappoint.  This is a great fall/winter shade.  With these dark colors just make sure you have a clear base coat, otherwise you will get dark staining on your nails.

-  Apple Cider Vinegar:  This has actually been a life changer for me.  I take ACV twice a day, everyday.  To see my Health Tip Of The Week, and all of ACV's benefits Click Here!

-  Floral Fringe Kimono:  This is my very first kimono, and I love it!!  These have recently started trending, and I can see why.  They are lightweight, comfortable, a transition piece, and soooo cute!  I first saw this one on Target's website, and then found it in store.

-  Barnes & Noble Messenger Bag:  I wasn't out looking for a bag, but am so happy I stumbled upon it.  I had just purchased my husband the same type of bag at Men's Warehouse for $100, and he likes mine better!  I purchased it in gray and brown.  I have been carrying these so much, because my daily routine has changed, so I am away from my house a lot more.  I can carry my Mac Book, and iPad, along with my wallet, planner, notebook, magazines, etc.  It also has a slide pocket for your cellphone and pens.  There is also an inside zipper where I keep beauty essentials and stevia for my tea. On the outside of the back there is a large zipper.  I bought this for only $29.99!  If you have the Barnes & Noble rewards card, you will get an extra 10% off.

*The lining inside the gray bag is turquoise.

-  Harney & Sons GreenTea With Coconut, Ginger and Vanilla (green tea with a thai twist):  I ordered this tea at Starbucks one evening, and had to purchase a tin of it.  It is unlike anything I have tried or seen in the grocery stores.  It is light, yet flavorful.  I love to have this late morning/early afternoon if I need a few minute break in my routine.  It is more expensive than what you would buy at the grocery ($10.95 for 30), but definitely worth it for us tea lovers!!