product: dr. brandt cc glow with signature ruby crystal (light to medium) $39
uses: apply this lightweight color correcting cream to brighten, hydrate, & even out skin tone.
verdict: i prefer to use multi-tasking products. the less i have to buy & apply, the better. this product is supposed to have everything i need. it promises to prime, provide light coverage, supply vitamin c, anti-age, & illuminate. i had purchased this because i received a sample from sephora & i was impressed with how my skin glowed. well, the sample was a fluke. the product comes out of the tube very watery & shaking before application doesn’t solve the matter. also, i found myself using a lot of product to get that ‘light coverage’. no matter how much product i used though, i was still not glowing. another fault with this product is that it only comes in two shades: light to medium, & ‘natural’ (the natural looks pretty orange to me). there is no option for any women of color. shame on them! 2 out of 5 stars
product:diorshow iconic waterproof mascara $29
uses: diorshow iconic aims to curl & separate every lash for a “fanned out” look
verdict: i didn’t like this mascara at first–but then i realized i just needed a couple more coats. now i am completely obsessed. the ingenious wand separates & coats each individual lash so with each coat my eyelashes become more & more luscious. the curling effect is pretty spectacular as well. my only complaint is that i need at least 3 or 4 coats to get the look this mascara promises. i believe this will be my new go to dior mascara. 5 out of 5
product: the volume mascara from kevyn aucoin $28
uses: the product claims to add volume & length to every lash with its innovative formula & skinny brush.
verdict: i am so excited! i found a new favorite mascara! this is the best mascara i’ve ever used. i only need one coat–the skinny brush touches every single lash–& instantly my eyelashes are a mile high & oh so dark & luscious. i was worried at first to try this mascara because it’s not waterproof, which i always prefer since i like to use oils on my face, but the volume mascara stayed put. not a single smudge (except for when i was stuck outside in a blizzard, but no non-waterproof mascara can survive that!) over time the mascara gets a bit clumpy with application, but that perfect little brush separates them easily. 4 out of 5 stars
product: diorshow blackout waterproof mascara $25
uses: this mascara promises to give what any woman would want: thick, long, & shiny black lashes.
verdict: the black is black. its like a shiny black lacquer coating that forms over your lashes. only one coat is necessary, and when it dries…the result is pretty fantastic. diorshow blackout is the original diorshow (my favorite mascara) on steroids. there are some cons, however: the application can be a bit clumpy sometimes–thankfully the skinny brush has well-spaced bristles to help you work out the kinks. it takes longer to apply than other mascaras because of this. also it may claim to be waterproof, but i noticed some smudging underneath my eyes throughout the day–however this only happened if i put face oil on my face. if i used a day cream instead, there wasn’t a smear to be found. because of the clumping & smudging this mascara unfortunately cannot be perfect. 4 out of 5 stars
beauty tip: always use an eyelash primer before mascara. here is why:some brands protect & nourish your lashes, while other brands elongate your lash for the mascara. primers also help mascara apply easier, & help your mascara stay in place throughout the day. i’m currently in the search for the perfect one, but my fave for now is diorshow maximizer.
best mascara: diorshow waterproof black 090 $25 best eyelash primer: diorshow maximizer lash plumping serum $28 best eyeshadow primer: too-faced shadow insurance $20 best eyelash curler: shu umera eyelash curler $21 best eyeliner: bobbie brown long wear gel eyeliner $23 best brows: also winner of “product i can’t leave the house without” anastasia tinted brow gel (espresso) $18 best highlighter: benefit watt’s up! mini $8 best eyeshadow brushes: eco tools brush set $9
they’re all mac–because i won’t settle for anything less: best gold: amber lights best for a little drama in your everyday: folie best brown: mulch best on the town: antiqued
best natural: sephora cocoa 21
also winner of “product i can’t leave the house without”
best powder blush: nars blush in orgasm $24 best cheek stain: tarte cheek stain in flush $30 best foundation: chanel perfection lumiere long-wear flawless fluid sunscreen make-up broad spectrum spf 15 $55 best loose powder: josie maran argan matchmaker powder foundation spf 20 $34
best cleanser: josie maran argan cleansing oil $32 best exfoliator: st. ives fresh skin apricot scrub $4 best anti-ager: skin ceuticals retinol 1.0 $60 best moisturizer & eye make-up remover: also winner of “the best multi-tasker” award: vitamin e oil $8
best healing: burt’s bees lip balm $4 best everyday lip gloss: also winner of “product i can’t leave the house without” award dior addict lip glow $31 best lip stain: (i don’t do lipsticks b/c they look too unnatural on my thin smackers) tarte lip surgence matte lip tint in fiery $24 best tinted lip moisturizer: fresh sugar rose tinted lip treatment spf 15 $23
best moisturizer: organic coconut oil $8 best sunscreen: the naked bee 70% organic vitamin c enriched moisturizing sunscreen spf 30 $12 best firming moisturizer: vichy laboratories destock stomach firming & refining treatment $38 best self-tanner: jergens natural glow (i like the one with sunscreen) $9
best conditioner: organix renewing moroccan argan oil conditioner $8 best dry shampoo: nexxus youth renewal dry shampoo $15 best shampoo: aveda smooth infusion shampoo $7-$63 best styling product: tresemme tres two hairspray $5
best color enhancer: aveda hair care enrich color pure plant shampoos & conditioners $18-$32 best hair mask:amika nourishing hair mask-sea buckthorn berry with argan oil $28 best for on the go: kms free shape quick blow dry $15 best hairdryer: t3 featherweight luxe 2i $250 (i don’t have one, but since its dry is more healthful than air drying…i’ll have to save up)
beauty product of the year:
lilash purified eyelash serum $80-$140
beauty tip of the year: use oils! you’re skin will love you. i personally favor: vitamin e, k, c, argan & coconut. they’re cheap too & can be a facial moisturizer, body lotion, eye make-up remover, & can even replace mascara for a more natural look. bring a bottle of one of these oils when traveling so your bag of toiletries is lighter!
product: benefit they’re real! mascara, $23
uses: to lengthen, volumize, curl, and darken eyelashes
verdict: okay. let me just say this: i am a COMPLETE mascara snob. complete… WHY? because i was cursed with skimpy, stubby, & sad eyelashes. i have tried basically all of the mascaras on the market–yes, i did say all. diorshow is my absolute fave, but this one is pretty good…i’m actually very impressed. i like the novel wand shape & how the non-waterproof formula stays put. plus, you don’t need an eyelash curler! 4 out of 5
beauty tip: wait a few minutes before you apply your second coat of mascara to lashes. after i apply my first coat, i busy myself with another part of my routine then come back several minutes later for the second coat. this way the first coat has time to dry so when the second coat is applied your eyelashes are darkened & defined easier–and therefore you use less product!
product: josie maran argan matchmaker powder foundation spf 20, $34
uses: a light dusting on the t-zone instantly conceals redness & shine
verdict: i don’t like to wear face make-up, but with argan oil and spf i feel i am nourishing & protecting my skin with this powder. it conceals perfectly, & blends flawlessly so i look like i’m not wearing any make-up! i can work up to 16 hour days sometimes & it seems to stay put pretty well! it will not conceal zits or dark spots though–you’ll need something liquidy for that… 4 out of 5!
beauty tip: if you drop your compact, just glue the powder pieces together back in it with a little rubbing alcohol, let dry for 30 and, voila! almost good as new!
product: benefit‘s watt’s up highlighter, sample size (lasts forever) $8
uses: to highlight under brow arch–can also be used on the face
verdict: this product is now a mainstay in my make-up bag. it is the perfect champagne color, blends easily, & does its job without fail! 5 out of 5!
beauty tip: i like to put a little bit of highlighter in the corners of my eyes near the nasal bridge–it really makes your eyes pop!