Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

I’m so excited about this Beauty Review because it involves some seriously amazing products from a seriously amazing company.

Hug Your Skin is a company on a mission to bring 100% organic European skincare to the American masses! It also has the added benefit of featuring cruelty free, vegan/vegetarian products. Oh, let’s not forget that the whole deal is owned and operated by a #GIRLBOSS which is a point that will always be celebrated as this blog supports women in business!

Now if that doesn’t make you want to know more about this awesome company and their products then I don’t know what will. Good thing I’ve got a complete run down on not one, not two, but FIVE Hug Your Skin products!

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Face Cleanser

If you’ve been around for a while then you probably already know that I categorize my skin type as dry, dry, dry. That can be especially problematic as the weather gets colder so I like to lean toward oil or cream based products. The problem with that tendency, however, is that a lot of mainstream products that cater to dry skin are just loaded down with chemicals and ingredients I don’t necessarily want to introduce into my system let alone my routine. That’s one of the big reasons why I was so happy to hear that Hug Your Skin features 100% certified organic products. This face cleanser is very balmy in texture which definitely helps my dry, weathered skin. It’s ultra nourishing but also effective at removing dirt, makeup, and impurities. This product just levels up the already amazing feeling of coming home and taking your makeup off after a hard day.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Floral Face Tonic

Now this product was probably the most interesting to me. I’m not a huge fan of toners (they tend to dry out your skin and well, I’m already there) but I am a facial spray junkie! So once I realized that this product is sort of in between a toner and a spray, minus the alcohol, I was totally on board. With rose, chamomile, and lavender it smells like a garden…but in the best way possible! I say that as someone who doesn’t usually gravitate toward florally scents. This particular scent is pure and natural nothing at all reminiscent of a crazed department store spritzer girl. I like to use this product after cleansing or whenever I need a little refreshing pickmeup.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Daily Face Oil

As a tried and true dry skin girl, I’m all about the face oils! This one just knocks it out of the park for me. It’s perfect as an everyday moisturizer (even for oilier girls!) as it protects and hydrates my skin. I also can’t get enough of the smell! It’s natural and a bit floral but more like honey than roses.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Chocolate Face Mask

Move over Cupcake face mask, there’s a new sheriff in town! I’m a face mask fanatic. If you follow me on Snapchat then you’ve probably been witness to a few #FaceMaskFridays from me. Maybe even a sneaky one that featured this Chocolate Face Mask. It’s the perfect detoxing mask that has the added benefit of having a natural exfoliant. My dry, flaky skin really appreciates that while my body, mind, and soul appreciate that delicious chocolate scent.

Beauty Review: Hug Your Skin on Magnolia Moon

Night Balm 

I saved my favorite for last. Like I said earlier, the winter weather can be brutal on skin as it is but even harsher on an already dry complexion. That’s why I love the Hug Your Skin so freaking much! I just slather my face and neck in this stuff after cleansing and head to bed. Then, bippity boppity boo, I wake up with baby soft skin! To kick my day off I go back to the  Floral Face Tonic and top things off with the Daily Face Oil for added moisture beneath my makeup.

You can check out all of these products for yourself at hugyourskin.com. Just think how perfect these products would be as a gift for any vegans or vegetarians in your life, your little sister who is just starting to experiment with makeup and skincare, or even your best friend who struggles with skin issues! There’s something for everyone right here.

xx

Merisa

 

 

The author received product in exchange for review but all views and opinions are that of the author. This post contains affiliate links.

Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht on Monogrammed Magnolias

Hello, Magnolias. I just finished reading this awesome book, Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht and the first thing I wanted to do was tell all of you how awesome it really was. That’s a sign you just can’t ignore so I decided to shout it from the rooftops of this blog instead of, you know, actual rooftops. In case you couldn’t already tell, I a lot to say when it comes to this book so let’s get to it.

Leave Your Mark

Land Your Dream Job. Kill It In Your Career. Rock Social Media.

Does anyone remember DKNY PR GIRL on Twitter? I found the anonymous, Gossip Girl-esque account back in college when I was begging to get my hands on anything and everything related to the field of public relations. DKNY PR GIRL was EVERYTHING! I remember watching the Oscars with her one year and hanging on to every fashiony tidbit she’d throw our way. All via Twitter, of course.

I think I made it through 3 or 4 chapters of this book before I opened the front page and saw the words DKNY PR GIRL emblazoned underneath the author’s name. Holy crap, I thought, “Aliza Licht is DKNY PR GIRL?!” See, I’d lost track of my Twitter friend toward the end of college and must have missed the memo but that just made me even more excited about this book, as I had taken the time to notice that the @dkny Twitter account was back to being, well, all about DKNY.

Land Your Dream Job

I like to think of this book as a dash of memoir mixed in with a whole bowl full of mentorship and a pinch of success story as Aliza takes you on this incredible journey right from the start of her career. In fact, this first section is the part of the book that makes me wish I could hope in a time machine just to throw this book onto the bed of my sophomore year dorm room. While reading, couldn’t help but think, “I wish I had this book back then.” So let me say it now, to all of you college girls out there struggling to figure it out, Aliza talks to you through this book like no mentor, advisor, or big sister I’ve ever had. She lays out exactly how she went from an aspiring plastic surgeon merit-scholar to Senior Vice President of global communications at Donna Karan International.

Those are two very different ends of the career spectrum and I know from experience that when you’re in college and faced with the pressure of exams, term papers, the look of disappointment in your mother’s eyes, and discontent in your heart it can be difficult to make a decision. That’s why I loved seeing that Aliza made it out alive. She turned her world on end and came out on the other side better than ever. That’s inspiring and girls like you and me need to see that more often.

Better than just reading about her journey and how she managed to pull off the great feat of conquering the fashion world, Aliza shares her secrets every step of the way. She covers the conundrum of how to get experience when you have no experience, the dreaded cover letter, and killing it in your first interview. There’s even awesome sidebars that allow you to take a moment to really think about what she’s telling you and how you can relate it to your own life. That’s just the first part.

Rocking Social Media

I’ve skipped over the second part, Killing It In Your Career, not because it’s less of a golden nugget than the others but because I don’t want to give everything away. Plus, absolutely everyone can stand for a little career advice. The real kicker for me at least was the final part, Rocking Social Media. It’s a bit of an eye opener really. Social media is a bigger part of our lives than most of us realize. Aliza takes us through the brilliant conception of DKNY PR GIRL in this section. We’re talking everything from the power of anonymity to the nitty gritty of skillful damage control and she handles it all while standing on that all too familiar line between graceful experience and zero chill. If you’ve ever freaked out over a project to no end only to have it go ridiculously smooth, or vice versa, then you might know what sort of balancing act I’m talking about.

Creating the Brand of You

My favorite part of the whole book, hands down! Mostly because this is the section I can relate to right now, at this very moment. Take a look around here. I’m creating something here and it’s been a long road to get here. It might not be a Twitter account with over half a million followers but it’s something and it’s me. Going through this section made me realize that I’m my own publicist, my own spin doctor, my own author, my one and only MVP. That might seem obvious to some but to me it was a huge realization because I’m actively involved in creating a brand right now. Before reading this I kept thinking of a brand as something physical but that’s not what it is at it’s core. My brand is me! It’s what I put out into the world. It’s my tweets, my Pinterest page, my smile, the way I say hello, it’s everything. It’s literally the mark I will leave on this world.

See why I’m head over heels for this book now? I give it 4 stars, meaning you should really get your copy now!

What books are you reading right now? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments or you can tweet me!

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xx

Merisa

 

Review Garnier & Simple Micellar Water

Review Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water vs Simple Cleansing Micellar Water

Hello, Magnolias.

If you’re a fan of beauty videos on YouTube then you should check out my YouTube channel here…wait no, what I really meant is…then you’ve probably heard of a little miracle worker known as Bioderma. This French micellar water makeup remover has caused some serious uproar in the beauty world over the last few years but unfortunately, it’s really hard to get your hands on if you live in the states.

Fear not, little beauty lovers, because your favorite drugstore brands have come to the rescue with their own versions and I’m here to break down the differences. The two options that have caught my eye are the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water and Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

The Basics: Price, Availability, Size

Seeing as these are both drugstore products, they’re definitely reasonable compared to the Bioderma which can rack up the dollars in shipping alone. You can pick up the Simple version for around $6 at Target while Garnier will run you a dollar or two more for more than twice the amount. The Garnier Micellar Water comes in at 13.5 fl. oz. while Simple pales in comparison with only 6.7 fl. oz. Simple claims to be the “sensitive skin experts” even though it’s product contains 15 ingredients compared to Garnier’s 7. Garnier also has a separate “sensitive skin” version, with a blue cap, which I almost think is unnecessary unless you have extremely sensitive skin. That brings me to…

The Performance

I use both of these products in the same way, on a cotton round usually to remove eye makeup or stubborn lip products before cleansing my face or as a quick refresh on no-makeup days. With that being said, I like the cap on the Simple version more because there’s less spillage when applying the product to the cotton round but I prefer the actual bottle on the Garnier version. It just feels better in my hand.

It’s probably worth the mention that I went through the entire bottle of Simple before even opening the Garnier version because before discovering Garnier, I was perfectly happy with the Simple. So let’s just get this out of the way, the Simple version did an okay job when removing eye makeup and seemed fine at getting rid of dirt and oil but the Garnier version just takes the cake. If you follow me on Snapchat (which you totally should: angelmerisa23) then you may have seen my lips transform from this to thisIn case you missed it, I was wearing Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Damned, a super dark black cherry matte lip. Prior to using the Garnier Micellar Water, I would have to go in with the Simple version on a cotton round then add a little coconut oil to clean up the clown lips left behind. Not so with Garnier, it only took one cotton round to get rid of everything. No clown lips either! It cuts right through waterproof mascara and full coverage foundations too. You get more bang for your buck AND it does an incredible job too, I can’t even imagine Bioderma doing a better job.

The Micellar Water Winner

So, bye bye, Simple, Garnier has my heart for now! What do you think? Have you tried either of these products? Have you managed to get your hands on Bioderma? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

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xx

Merisa

My 1st RocksBox Experience

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Hello, Magnolias.

Have you heard about RocksBox?

I’d seen girls talking about it here and there but wasn’t convinced, that is until @brightonabudget on Instagram (check out her blog too!)told me how RocksBox fuels her Kendra Scott addiction. Suddenly, I wanted it to fuel mine too. So I signed up!

Upon signing up I was asked to take a style survey which is usually expected when using subscription services like this one. Next up, I was given the chance to add pieces to my wish list. This was definitely the fun part!

I was so surprised to see just how much jewelry there was to choose from, plus it was pretty much Kendra Scott city. I was on Cloud 9!

After adding the pieces to my wish list, I waited (im)patiently for my first box to arrive. I’m pretty sure it took about a week give or take. If you follow me on Snapchat (angelmerisa23) then you probably saw my struggle unboxing everything. I was so surprised to find everything tucked inside such an adorable little box, all tied up with a bow! Looking back, I shouldn’t have been so surprised. I mean, it is called RocksBox, after all.

I opened the little box to find a card with my name and for some reason I always get giddy when something is personalized. Blame it on the 90s kid in me who never found anything fun with my name spelled correctly. Oh well, it was wonderful either way especially considering that the entire box was filled with personalized touches, including the jewelry.

Speaking of jewelry, let’s get on with the best part of the box. The pieces are specifically curated for you by your own personal stylist who gets a sense of what you’re looking for through both the style survey and your wish list. I was amazed at how perfect the pieces were for me. So without further ado, let’s check ’em out.

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Gorgeous! Aren’t they? I’m completely in love and could not have asked for a better first RocksBox.

Let’s take it one by one…

Necklace

Kendra Scott – Elisa Necklace in Iridescent Drusy. The drusy necklaces are what first drew me toward Kendra Scott jewelry way back when so I was most excited about trying this piece out. In the note from my stylist she mentioned that this necklace was short and she wasn’t lying. It’s almost a choker on me which makes me even more grateful for Rocksbox because now I know, while I love this style, I don’t like the length. This piece retails for $65 but RocksBox Insiders can snag it for $52.

Bracelet

Loren Hope – Alex Cuff in Lilac. I’m not normally a bracelet girl but after getting a few bracelet sets for Christmas and a new watch recently, I’m getting there. So I really enjoyed finding this piece in my box. Purple is my favorite ever and the metal cuff is adjustable, so it was pretty much perfect. The Alex Cuff retails for $68 with the Insiders’ Price bringing it to $44.

Earrings

Kendra Scott – Lee Earrings in Iridescent Drusy. When I think of Kendra Scott earrings, I think of the larger Danielle earrings. In fact, I didn’t even know KS earrings came in such a dainty size. They’re absolutely perfect! I’m so happy I was able to try these out. I’m usually a studs or nothing type of girl but these earrings are so small that they don’t feel like drop earrings at all. It’s definitely going to be hard to send these little guys back but I’m way too excited to see what comes in my next box. These earrings retails for $65 with the Insiders’ Price being $52.

Overall, I am completely over the moon with this first box and cannot wait to see what other goodies RocksBox has in store for me. By the way, I haven’t mentioned this yet, but RocksBox is $19 a month, you get 3 stylist picked jewelry pieces to keep as long as you want (you can even buy the pieces at a discount!) then return with FREE shipping both ways to receive your next box. Whew, that’s some very important info there. If I’ve left anything out feel free to ask questions in the comments.

Now here’s the extra fun part…the first 3 people to use code: MERISABFF1 when signing up for RocksBox here will get their first month FREE! That’s a killer deal so go, go, go!

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xx

Merisa

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Review: Maybelline Dream Velvet Hydrating Foundation

Beauty_Review_Maybelline_Dream_Velvet_Foundation

Hello, Magnolias.

How’s everyone handling the aftermath of #Snowzilla? It’s been days and this side of the Bluegrass state is still under about eight inches of snow. Let’s just say snow shovels are sold out everywhere.

The monster snowstorm is actually what sparked this review. I went out before the storm to stock up on food and hot chocolate when I got a little distracted by the makeup aisle. By distracted I mean I deliberately went in through the door closest to the makeup…you know, the one on the opposite side of the groceries.

I was then bombarded by “new” this, “new” that…it was insane. I managed to filter through it a bit and grabbed this little guy, Maybelline’s Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation, right before three girls with purple hair decided to just sit on the floor in the middle of the aisle to inspect some eyeliner. I know it can be a bit agonizing searching through products on the bottom rung but don’t be like those girls. Bend down, grab a few products off the rack, then have a closer look while standing at your full height. No one wants to talk about a blacklight and Walmart in the same sentence so I’ll just leave it at that.

Weathering the storm, with my groceries in tow mind you, had its fair share of boredom so it was a great time to try out this foundation and give you a full spectrum of my thoughts on it.

Packaging & Pricing

All foundation should come in a squeezy tube! There, I said it. Tubes are just so “no-hassle.” I can squeeze out the perfect amount of product on the back of my hand, right onto my brush or sponge, even directly onto my face (which I’m totally guilty of). I also like the fact that there’s no need to worry about glass breaking or product making a mess of things as long as I keep track of the lid. I think it’s fun that the packaging actually has a matte feel to it too. I see what you did there, Maybelline. As far as price goes, this product ranges anyway from around $8 (Fairly certain I paid less than 8 bucks at Walmart but they don’t have it online yet) to almost $11 at Ulta. So my advice is to compare prices at your local drugstores or use a coupon when you can.

Consistency & Wear

The actual product has a moussey texture which fits in perfectly with Maybelline’s signature whipped products. Now let’s touch on that whole hydrating but matte deal. As a dry skin girl, I am all about hydrating products but the idea of matte, especially in the winter, sort of scares me a bit so putting the two of them together is oddly intriguing. Definitely worth a try, right?

I’ve tried applying this product with both a brush and a sponge and I have to say the brush is where it’s at. Which is odd, considering that Maybelline is marketing their new Dream Blender Sponge and this foundation as the perfect pairing. Maybe it was just my sponge (though I doubt it) but the product seemed to just gunk up when I attempted to blend it out. Using a brush was a different story entirely. I could really feel the hydrating effect of the foundation when blending it into my skin with the brush. It was almost like a cooling sensation but without the weird chemically feeling, more like a splash of natural cold spring water. That’s pretty much heaven to dry skin.

The matte texture is kinda crazy too. My skin really did feel like velvet. Even after a whole day of wear. However, one of the problems I had with the foundation is that it’s not necessarily buildable. With that being said, I do believe it’s a medium to full coverage foundation without feeling too heavy but I like my foundation leaning more on the full coverage side so I went in with my usual concealer. That didn’t go so well. Things started moving around and bunching up as I was blending. I don’t want to sound like I’m making excuses but I really want to take the blame for that one. See, I sorta got distracted by my Netflix binge of Reign while doing my makeup and went straight into my normal “concealer all over” routine. That wasn’t really necessary. Sure, those under eye bags (the Netflix binge can take the blame for that one too) needed to be covered but I didn’t really need the whole center of the forehead, down the nose, chin, and jawline deal.

I eventually got things under control but that brings me to another issue. The color selection. What is the deal with all the pink? Every shade from Nude to Porcelain came off as a hue meant for a Steel Magnolias wedding. I understand that there are some fair skinned girls out there with pink undertones but not enough that the five lightest shades have to be Valentine’s ready. So, shade matching is a little hard, especially in the drugstore when there are no testers and you don’t want to ruin products for the next gal by opening five different tubes. I grabbed one I thought was close and it was just that, close enough to work with.

Overall

With all that being said, I enjoy using this foundation especially considering that it’s a texture I’m comfortable with but not used to wearing. It’s nice to mix things up every once in a while. Also, it doesn’t hurt that it’s the same amount of product for about 1/4 of the price of some of my favorite high-end foundations. You can’t really complain there. If you’re curious about this whole soft-matte yet hydrating deal then I say you should definitely give this foundation a try. I’d skip the sponge if I were you but to each her own.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried out this product? Got a foundation recommendation? Let me know in the comments or tweet me!

Also, I just started a Valentine’s Day themed group board on Pinterest. You should go follow me there, check out the board, and you can follow the directions in the board’s description if you’d like to contribute.

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xx

Merisa

Favorite Beauty Products of 2015

Favorite_Beauty_Products_of_2015

Hello, Magnolias.

One of my unspoken goals of 2016 is to actually bring back more beauty related posts, so I thought I’d get the ball rolling with a look back at my favorite beauty products of 2015.

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– Primer –

I didn’t actually use a primer for the majority of the year but I did enjoy using the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water while I had it. So much so that I actually repurchased it after Christmas. I even have a full review you can check out here.

– Foundation –

Too Faced Born this Way Foundation…hands down! I used this foundation for most of the year and actually just only started using another recently because the shade I have is a little too dark for me now. It’s still amazing thought and I miss it.

– Concealer –

Just like last year, the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Concealer is my top concealer. I’d even go so far as to say this is actually a holy grail product. I just love how it’s so blendable and easy to apply.

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– Powder –

Coty Air Spun Powder is amazing for the few occasions that I wear powder like that time I tried “baking.” It smells nice, practically melts into my skin, and doesn’t leave me cakey. I also really liked learning about vintage Coty from Lisa Eldridge this year.

– Blush –

I actually have two in this category, the first is BECCA Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle in Fig/Opal which is an incredible cream blush mixed with BECCA’s classic Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector all in one. I love with color for my fairer winter skin and the lovely shimmer is a fun touch. My second favorite blush is Too Faced Love Flush Blush in Justify My Love. It’s just a great pink that’s perfect for any skin tone.

– Highlighter –

Hands down, it’s BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Champagne Pop. I mean, have you seen it? It’s pretty much the only highlighter I use and after seeing a ton of beauty girls on YouTube break their’s I protect mine like a child.

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– Eyeshadow –

It’s hard to narrow down an eyeshadow favorite for the whole year but if I had to choose it would be Stila’s Kitten simply because of the versatility. A great allover shimmery, pale gold shadow that works as an even better highlighter shade.

– Liner –

I am oh so happy to tell you that my favorite eyeliner of the year is a life changer and it only costs $3. Yep, that’s right only 3 bucks. The e.l.f. Cream Eyeliner is the best potted eyeliner I’ve ever used. It’s surprisingly easy to apply, the blackest black, and has yet to dry out. Winning all around.

– Mascara –

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is probably my favorite mascara of life actually. It’s pretty much ruined me when it comes to mascara, no other even compares now. It’s that good.

– Brows –

I picked up the NYX Micro Brow Pencil after running out of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and I have to say I prefer the NYX version simply because of the price point. It’s half the price of the Brow Wiz which means I don’t have to worry about shelling out 20 bucks every time I run out. However, every time I got into Ulta they are always sold out of my shade (Ash Brown, btw) so I’ve been using NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade as a substitute in the meantime.

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– Lips –

This was a doozy and I’m honestly surprised I was able to narrow things down to a top 5.

Essence Nude Longlasting Lipstick in Cool Nude – I’m just going to get this out of the way first…this lipstick is only $2.99. Even better than the price is the actual formulation. So smooth and long lasting while filling my need for a great dark, pinky nude.

Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless  – Let me start off my saying that I believe they actually discontinued this shade right after I bought it and I’m pretty upset about that fact because I can’t find it anywhere now. It’s such a fun purple shade that I love wearing out in the evenings (or in fun selfies) and it’s the first purple lipstick to not make my teeth look yellow. Score!

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft – When I want really long lasting matte lips, I head straight for Kat Von D and this little studded lipstick does not disappoint. I love the smooth application and the trendy grey toned pinky brown shade.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipstick in Melted Nude – My go-to for a nude liquid lip. I love that it’s not a full matte finish that nourishing on my lips and the nude color has a hint of pinky brown (notice a trend?) so that it doesn’t give me concealer lips.

NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencil in Cruella – If you managed to snag the Sephora Beauty Insiders birthday gift in 2015 then you probably know the wonder that is Cruella. It’s just the perfect, long lasting red lip and I am so obsessed that the full size version is patiently waiting in my online cart ready to be purchased. Sephora really knew what they were doing there.

What are some of your beauty favorites from 2015? Let me know in comments below or tweet me! Oh, and be sure to follow me on Snapchat (angelmerisa23) for more behind the scenes looks and peeks at my beauty favorites for 2016!

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xx

Merisa

 

 

Review: Tarte Cosmetics Tartelette in Bloom Palette

Tartelette_In_Bloom_Palette_Review

Hello, Magnolias

It has been a hot minute since I did a proper beauty review and I was so mesmerized by this little gem in Sephora that I picked it up while trudging through the after-Christmas sales at the mall just so I could share it with y’all. Well, not just for that reason but it certainly helped swing the odds in favor of purchasing it.

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Allow me to introduce you to the Tartelette In Bloom Palette by Tarte Cosmetics. This is the company’s second Tartelette palette but unlike its all matte predecessor, this palette features the addition of 3 shimmery “luster” shades. Personally, I love the packaging. I think the ombre flower petal front and shiny gold casing is great even though if it doesn’t feel as sturdy as, say a NARS palette. The upside is not having to deal with grubby matte packaging but the shiny plastic is a fingerprint haven so no need to be too picky here. While we’re touching on packaging I just want to say that I like the name and the whole floral motif but it’s a little misleading when it comes to shadows. When I think “In Bloom,” I don’t necessarily think of neutrals, which is the focus of this palette. Oh well, there’s more pressing matters at hand. What’s inside for example…

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The large mirror is such a dream which actually came as a surprise seeing as I’m the girl who rolls her eyes when beauty gurus talk about a missing mirror lowering the value of a palette. Uh, one less piece of glass I don’t have to worry about shattering into a million little pieces? Yes, please! Not in this case though. My bedroom goes through a serious natural light deficit this time of year so carrying this guy to the window and not having to worry about propping up a mirror to do my eyeshadow is actual heaven. I even love the added touch of the logo on the mirror. Classy move, Tarte.

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Let’s get to the good stuff, the actual shadows. I have never, ever, ever went to swatch an eyeshadow with my finger and been so blown away as I have been with these shadows. I guess it helps to say that this is actually my first experience with Tarte shadows but from this experience alone, I’m a fan. They are so buttery and soft without feeling crumbly or dusty in the least. I suppose the premise of Amazonian clay had me expecting a hard, dried out shadow but that in no way describes these shades. I could just lightly touch a shadow and leave my fingerprint behind, that might not seem like much but I was impressed. From there I swatched the shades across my hand and continued to be blown away. With one pass of my finger, I had crisp and bold shadows just screaming for a fluffy blending brush to top them off. I immediately started dreaming up looks from all matte everyday to sparkly glam fit for New Year. (PS: Comment below if you’d like to see a NYE tutorial with this palette!)

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From the top left across: Charmer (off white), Jetsetter (warm taupe), Rocker (shimmering taupe), Smokeshow (black brown), Flower Child (peachy nude), Smarty Pants (tan), Firecracker (bronze copper), Activist (dark brown), Funny Girl (champagne), Sweetheart (peach), Rebel (chestnut brown), Leader (aubergine)

While the shadows are great on their own, their names really got me. There’s just something about a shadow that goes by “activist” that spoke to me. The palette is divided into what seems like four grouped columns from left to right: bases, crease, accents, and definers. The first column features the lightest shades and a bomb shell sparkler in funny girl that I can already tell is going to be a fast favorite.

I have to admit that the matte crease shades are what initially drew me in and they continue to every time I open the palette. I can’t wait to try out sweetheart in a warmed up crease, it’s giving me serious Jaclyn Hill vibes. The accent row could also be the fun row as it features two shimmers in rocker and firecracker and a super warm matte called rebel. Last but not least is the smokey eye motherload, the matte definers. These are the shades I had to scrub off my hand after swatching and probably the shades that are going to get the most wear as liners.

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In case you couldn’t tell by all the heart eye emoji worthy gushing I’ve been doing throughout this whole review, I’m pretty in love with this palette and don’t have much negative to say aside from the fact that the shadows can get a little powdery if you go into the pan too aggressively (like me) but none of that transferred to my face as fallout so at the end of the day even that wasn’t a negative.

This palette goes for $45 but compared to others at $58 and up, I was left feeling like I snagged a bargain. The high quality of the shadows definitely lessens that blow as well.

What do you think about this palette? Have you tried it? Do you have the original Tartelette? Know of something better? Be sure to let me know in the comments below or tweet me.

xx

Merisa

Sephora Face & Sleeping Masks Review

Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask Pearl Sleeping Mask
Hello, Magnolias.

I don’t know if you know, but I am a huge face mask fan. I just think there’s something luxurious and spa-like about slathering on a mask and doing something extra special for your skin. Also, I do not discriminate. Clay, peel-off, overnight, sheet…I’m game for a good mask no mater what kind.

In fact, it was the variety of masks offered that first drew me to the Sephora Collection Face Masks. There’s 8 sheet masks in total ranging from perfecting pearl to anit-aging lingzhi. While I’m fascinated by pretty much all of them I decided to try out the Green Tea Mask first as it’s meant to have anti-blemish properties.

Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask Pearl Sleeping Mask
The second thing about the mask that caught my interest was the fun and simple packaging. The mask comes wrapped up in a little packet that’s tucked into a flat little pocket. I love the packaging so much that I’ve actually repurposed it by cutting off the flap and taping the pocket to the inside cover of my notebook, it keeps my bookmarks and smaller notes handy.

Now on to the actual mask, I don’t have any pictures because, let’s face it, sheet masks are definitely not the most attractive things in the world and I figured I would spare us both the visual heartache but once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. I do want to note that the the actual sheet is made out of thick, quality fabric and that all the cut out are appropriate except for the nose part. I just wish the nose cut out allowed more of the fabric and ultimately the mask to cover the skin around my nose which can be problematic.

Sephora Green Tea Sheet Mask
Just like the back of the packaging says, you unfold the mask (which was a little complicated but once you get all the cutouts in order, you’re golden); apply the mask; wait 15 minutes then remove the sheet and gently massage the left over product into your skin. I loved not having to rinse the mask off afterward and was happy to find that it didn’t leave my skin sticky or anything. As for how it promises to leave your skin, I’m fairly dry so my skin didn’t feel any more matte than usual but I did see an improvement as far as blemishes go.

Overall, I think this mask was super fun, easy to use, enjoyable, and I actually saw some action after use which is not something that can be said about many masks. The $6 price tag is a little bit much for a one time use mask but I’ve definitely seen ones for much more and Sephora actually has a buy 4 get 1 free offer using the code MASKLOVE that helps.

Now for a completely different type of mask…

Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask
Keeping with the no need to rinse trend, the Sephora Collection Sleeping Masks are just as fun if not more. The same 8 flavors scents types of masks are offered in this version which could make for a fun double dose of treatment but I decided to mix and match and went with the perfecting and brightening Pearl Sleeping Mask.

The packaging is really fairly simple with these masks, you just pull the little pot out of the cardboard packing, peel back the foil seal, and apply the mask. However, the 0.27 fl. oz. of mask in each pot is actually suitable for more than one use so be careful. Unfortunately the foil isn’t resealable so you should actually be extra careful when storing so your mask doesn’t dry out or spill.

Sephora Pearl Sleeping Mask

I’ve already used this particular mask twice and there seems to be enough product for two more application so that’s an incredible FOUR uses! At $4 a pop that’s a pretty great deal, especially for a Sephora product. I love the gel-cream texture, it’s a really relaxing addition to my night-time skin care routine and I think it’ll do great chilled in the fridge.

I feel like the product really sinks into my skin overnight and I never worry about it getting on my pillow cases or bedding. Overall, it’s just a fun experience, like a mask should be. I’ll definitely be repurchasing these masks. Who knows, I might try and test ’em all.

Have you tried the Sephora Collection masks? What are your thoughts? Which are your favorites?

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xx

Merisa

Review: L’Oreal Miss Manga Rock Mascara

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Hello, Magnolias!

I hope you are having a fantastic Friday. I’ve been doing some serious thinking about my budget lately and that has led to reevaluating everything from my meals to my mascara. Yes, even my mascara.

I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I used a drugstore mascara (I now remember, it was when the CoverGirl LashBlast in the purple tube first came out) and that just didn’t make sense to me. Sure, I love my Too Faced but paying 23 bucks a tube is the definition of a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.

Seeing as I recently ran out of that very mascara, I decided to pick up a new drugstore version when I was in Ulta last. That’s how I acquired the new L’Oreal Miss Manga Rock mascara. Well, I couldn’t just pick up a brand new product without letting y’all know how I felt about it.

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For starters, I love the packaging! If I’m being honest, and I most definitely am, it’s what drew me in. Even the actual cardboard packaging it came in was adorable (unfortunately my sister managed to throw it away before I could snap a pic. #bloggerstruggles) with a little manga panda demonstrating the effect of the product. I just love it all around.

Now, back to that whole being honest thing. When you first approach the product, the wand looks scary, like medieval torture device scary. However, when handled with the appropriate amount of caution there is a whole world of lash amazingness at your doorstep.

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Let me say that this mascara is a little different than most I have tried. It blatantly states right on the packaging that it will give you “explosive volume & rebellious spikes.” What other mascara do you know that promises spikey lashes? Not many that I can think of but I like it. It’s different but in a fun way.

Something else worth mentioning is that this particular mascara has a certain level of difficulty attached to it. It promises volume, however, it’s a little tricky to achieve full volume without making the lashes appear clumpy. Then again, I think that has a lot to do with the wetness of the formula. I think all those issues will be greatly reduced after it dries out just a tad, so no real worries.

As far as the wear time goes, my contacts make my eyes so dry lately that by the time 10 pm rolled around I was begging to get this stuff off my eyes. Definitely not the mascara’s fault though. I haven’t experienced any flaking or transfer but I have noticed that it can’t hold a curl to save it’s little manga panda life. Still, not a problem for me especially with an under $8 price tag (under $7 if you shop Target).

One great thing I have noticed is the ease at which this mascara washes off. For instance, when it took off my makeup last night I just used a makeup remover wipe. I looked in the mirror after taking everything off just to make sure I didn’t have anything left under my eyes and I was a little taken aback at the fact that I had zero mascara on my lashes/face at all. That’s a rarity for me. Especially when just using a remover wipe.

All in all, I think this is a really fun mascara to have around and while I manage to wear it everyday that might not be for every. I like the spikey look and the clumpiness to a degree, so in my opinion it’s definitely worth a shot.

Have you tried this mascara? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or click through my social media links below.

**UPDATE**

I hate to say this, because I really did enjoy this mascara but it ended up being such a fail product for me. About 2 or 3 weeks after writing this review, I went to grab my mascara from my drawer and found that the rubber ring around the opening of the mascara had gotten stuck in the top. I tried to fix it, work around it, everything just ended up being a disaster. I had to throw it out. Such a waste.r Maybe it was just mine but I thought I’d update you all anyway. Let me know if any of you had a similar issue.

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xx

Merisa

Review: Smashbox Primer Water

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Hello, Magnolias!

It’s about high time we have another review on here that isn’t a foundation so let’s all say thanks to Sandy from Lippie Obsession for suggesting I do a review of the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water from my latest collective haul.

I’ve been using this product for a while now and thought I would go ahead and do a proper, full review for y’all so let’s get to it.

Price

As you can probably tell from the picture above, I have the travel size bottle which is 1 oz. You know how it goes with those little minis they put in the aisle of bankruptcy by the register, when I saw this little guy I just had to give it a try. This size retails for $16 while the larger, 3.9 oz. bottle comes in at $32. You get more product for your money with the larger size but I still like to try out travel sizes before dropping that much cash on a product I know nothing about.

Packaging

I really like the packaging of this product, the bottle is made out of that heavy plastic that makes you think it’s actually glass for a split second. The cap snaps on for a secure closure but also opens easily so that you’re not struggling to get it off. All in all, it feels like quality in your hands, even for a travel size, which is incredible.

Application

In order to apply the product you just spray it on your face prior to makeup application, like the reverse of a setting spray. The directions say “Hold bottle 8″-10″ away from face and mist evenly.” The spray is a fine mist but a lot of product comes out with each spray. However,  I don’t always feel like I can get an even coverage without doing a ton of sprays. I’ve noticed that sometimes the nozzle can twist a bit in your hand which, if you’re not careful, can led to wasting product. I usually find myself patting the product into my skin before it dries then fanning my face to help it along a bit, especially if I’m in a rush.

How it Wears

 I’ve been wearing this as my only primer since I got it and it’s worked really well for me so far but I thought I would put it to the test and wear it on only one half of my face before applying a foundation that I’m familiar with. I chose the Maybelline Fit Me Foundation (full review here) because I know how it wears with and without primer which will allow me to better test the longevity of this primer water.

Like I said, I sprayed the product on only one side of my face by covering up the other half with a sheet of paper then spraying. After I let the primer water settle a bit on that one side I went right into my makeup routine so the other half of my face was bare under the makeup, aside from my moisturizer of course.

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I just went about my day, out to dinner with my momma, and blogged a little when I got back home before checking on the makeup situation again. That was around 8 or 9 pm.

Let’s talk about the non-primed side first:

There was like zero makeup on my cheek and believe me I piled the concealer on. Also, I got really oily around my nose and noticed a little foundation had gathered around the curve of my nose. Not cute.

Now, the primer side didn’t seem all that different at first glance but I did notice that there wasn’t any makeup gathering around my nose. I didn’t really notice any oil on this side of my face either. In my opinion, this cheek looks better as far as blemish cover-up goes so I’m going to take that as a sign that more makeup is actually staying put for longer on the primed side.

Overall, I think this is an easy to use and fun product to try out. I’m not too hot on the price point though, so I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing it immediately but I do like it as a primer. The bottle actually says you can use it as a setting spray or refresher to “wake up your makeup.” I haven’t tried it over my makeup yet but I’ll keep you all updated if and when I do.

Have any of you tried this product before? Let me know what you think of it in the comments.

Got any other suggestions for reviews? Let me know in the comments or find me using my social media links below.

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xx

Merisa