Sudden obsession with hair color

Ok,

In case you haven’t noticed, I very much prefer natural beauty over gobs of makeup, and loads of stuff that shouldn’t be there.  Because of that I spent the first 23 years of my life with my natural hair color.  Sure I tried highlights in high school, and a red box color once, but I’ve never gone all out at the hair salon to do something drastic.  Until now.  My husband unexpectedly gave me the greenlight to try something off the wall with my hair so I went for it.

About 2 months ago I wanted purple.  My hair was virgin hair and short.  So I talked to my stylist about trying something new and she was super excited (As any stylist should be).  I came back a little while later with a moodboard to set up an appointment.

Now most folks come in to their salon with a photo, maybe two, to explain to their stylist what they are looking for but I want to encourage you to try bringing in moodboards instead.  This does 2 things.

  1. Gives your stylist a more thorough understanding of what you like about the styles
  2. Opens you up multiple ideas so you don’t walk away disappointed that you don’t look exactly like the girl in the photo.

I did this when I wanted to cut my hair.  I even took it a step farther by creating a board of things I like and one of things I didn’t like.  That may have been obsessive but I enjoyed it and my Stylist LOVED that I had lots of photos.

My Yes board was everything I’d like to see in my hair and my No board had things I didn’t want, like “this was too short” “this is too long” “what is going on her bangs?!?!”

So, naturally I’ve done this every time I come in for a change.  My purple hair was no different.  I brought in a moodboard that had lots of colors that I liked.

*Unfortunately that moodboard ended up in the recycle bin and has been lost…

And we got started! I ended up doing purple highlights instead of a full head and here’s what we ended up with!

 

Purple was fun, lots of people liked it.  And I really liked how subtle is was.  It also went PERFECT with my steampunk Halloween costume and mad hatters costume.  But I wanted more!!! After a few weeks I started brainstorming what to do next and I settled on probably the most extreme hair color out there, teal.  Thankfully I do have that moodboard to show you.

I wanted to keep the overall shade dark but it didn’t go exactly as planned.  Still I was super flexible and I thought my hair turned out awesome!!

 

So Teal was awesome and I’d love to do it again when I have long hair.  But in the process I was blonde for about 15 seconds…and I needed it.  Plus I knew my family did not approve of the teal so I decided to shoot for blonde before I went home for Christmas.  Possibly a mistake, possibly the boldest hair yet.

For anyone, like me, who isn’t familiar with removing color, it doesn’t happen in a day.  Teal definitely doesn’t come out in a day.  I went back to the salon with goals to hit blonde but we had to take a pit stop along the way.  Not what I had planned and far from what I had hoped but I’d much rather have goofy green healthy hair than super bleached blonde hair.

So I’ve been this color for 3 weeks now and have a horrid root head band but that’s ok.  I have to bear through it another 3 weeks so we can blend those roots! In the mean time I’ll be using lots of clarifying shampoo to pull as much green out as I can.  I suppose that will tell if I bleach again or let it be.

Looking back, I’m still super glad I went teal.  My game of “ring around the rainbow” should be coming to an end.  I don’t plan on putting any color in for a good long while, except toner to get to that pretty light blonde.

If anyone out there is thinking about doing a crazy color, DO IT! But going blonde afterwards wont be the easiest.  Regardless, I’ve come to know that you can do whatever you want as long as you wear it with confidence.  Rock your hair, own it, and enjoy it.

PS, I’m so in love with this cut, but I haven’t convinced the hubby yet.  If anyone ever tries it PLEASE PLEASE post it so we can see your awesomeness!

pixie

 

Creating a Gallery Wall

Dear Beloved Readers,

Today we create a gallery wall!

A very little bit of backround, my close friends obviously know I’m an interior designer so they use my skills shamelessly.  But it’s ok because I love them and my job is fun so I won’t turn down an opportunity to make their homes fantastic!

Brainstorming.

So when my best friend asked me to help her make a gallery wall, my answer was “Duh”.

Step one in our ventures was to go to Hobby Lobby.  If you are so blessed to have a Hobby Lobby close by then USE THEM! They have the cutest stuff and an entire section of the store dedicated to wall art.  We spent a good 30 minutes there just walking through the art.

We didn’t pick anything out yet because she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted or how much she wanted to spend.  So when we got home she went to hobbylobby.com and found all the pieces she loved, on sale.  We took that as a sign from God and she picked out all her pieces.  I’m very proud of her for taking the initiative and choosing her own pieces.  I just had approve them.

Assembling.

Fast forward 7 business days and all of the art peices had arrived!  They were all so cute and different and worked great with the pieces she already had.  Probably the most important thing you can do when creating a gallery wall is to have variety.  Choose pieces with different shapes, different styles, but still within a cohesive color scheme.  Her house is mostly brown, blue, and red so she chose pieces that fit into the farmhouse rustic style.

Before we even brought out the hammer, we layed out all her pieces in the floor.  It’s important to try multiple layouts, and take pictures of them, so you can decide which design to use.  The pieces will usually speak to you when they have found their place in the design.

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Layout the pieces before you think about touching a hammer and nail!

During this layout phase is also the time to think about spacing.  We started out with about 2″ of space between each piece but ended up spreading it to 3″ to fit the whole design over her sofa.

We did also add a color of paint on some of the pieces after deciding where they were going to go.

Hanging.

Hanging is where the fun/madness begins.  If you have a solid layout to begin with, hanging should be pretty painless.  Excpet for when you are OCD and have to have everything spaced exactly.  For some, command strips may be your best friend.  But because we live in military housing, there a million layers of paint and command strips just aren’t dependable.  Nails it is!

When you hang your gallery wall, start with the center piece and work out.  So we started with the large quote piece.  We centered it above the couch both horizontally and vertically.  I did raise it a few inches so nothing would be near peoples’ heads.  Once the foundation piece was in place we started spreading out.9

It really only took about 30 minutes to hang all of the pieces.  This really surprised me, but I didn’t complain.

Enjoying.

The end product is fabulous.  We are both so thrilled with how well this turned out.  BUT of course, no project is complete with a cat.  The last and most crucial step to the gallery wall process is an instagram post of your cat with the hashtag, #catswithstyle.

Did I mention he has thumbs?

October Ipsy Glam Bag Review

It’s time for our October Glam Bag Review!!!!

Alrighty friends! It is that time again.

It’s time for my Ocotber glam bag review!!!

For those of you who may not be familiar with Ipsy, Ipsy is a makeup subscription bag.  For $10 plus tax you get a really cute makeup bag with up to 5 makeup products.  Usually these are trial size but sometimes you get full size too!

his month’s theme is Black Magic, a fitting theme for halloween.  The bag is designed by a talented artist named Valfre.  The bag is a very light pink color with super fun illustrations all over that fit into the halloween theme.  The zipper is even a little ghost!  Definitely a win in my book.

Inside my bag I discovered:

-theBalm Cosmetics Hot Mama Blush

-NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Liner in Vivid Gunmetal

-Pure Brazilian Leave In Miracle spray

-Indi Beauty Buttercream Antioxidant lip scrub

-tre’StiQue Matte Lip Crayon in Florence Fig

theBalm Cosmetics: Hot Mama Blush

This product claims to be a blush and highlighter that goes on silky smooth for a long lasting formula with just the right shimmer.

I really like this product.  It’s a warm peachy tone with lots of sparkle.  Peachy tones usually look great on my skin.  I’ve used this as a blush and it gave me a warm glow on my face.  But my favorite application is actually as an eyeshadow.   This had a nice opacity and made my eyes pop!  It also stayed on all day which is super important.

The brand is cruelty free and paraben free which is icing on the cake.

A full .25 oz runs for $21 so I value my .02oz size at about $1.68.  I like the prodcut but I don’t know that I’m willing to pay $21 for it.

NYX Professional Makeup Vivid Brights Liner in Vivid Gunmetal

This product boasts a long-lasting, smudge-proof formula.  This color, Vivid Gunmetal, is a bright silver.

I’m sold on this.  I really like NYX’s eyeliner and this one is no different.  The formula goes on very fluidly and is pretty opaque.  Not only is the formula pretty good, it’s super easy to apply.

I love lining my eye with a thick silver wing and then going back over with a thin black line.  Each time I wear this style I get TONS of compliments!

I think I have a full size, valued at $7!  I’ll definitely keep NYX in mind for any fun eyeliner ventures I have in the future.  They are just so easy to apply!

Pure Brazilian Leave in Miracle Spray

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Ok, we have a spray! Honestly I haven’t used this one much.  I only wash my hair twice a week and it’s usually in the evening post-gym.  I can’t say anything bad about it but I just haven’t used it enough.  I must be more dedicated…

It’s a leave in conditioner that is meant to be applied post shampoo and conditioner. It offers silky smooth hair, repair, and hydration.

I got a 1oz sample.  The full size is 6.78 oz for $26.  So I value my sample at $3.83

Indie Beauty Buttercream Antioxidant Lip Scrub

I’m really really glad I got this in my bag.  I don’t use it too often but it’s one of those things you don’t want to be left without.

This product is super delicious tasting, exfoliating, moisturizing, and most importantly, removes lipstick stain!

One of my favorite things about this product is that I can pronounce all of the ingredients: Organic sugar, Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Beeswax, Avacado Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Buttercream flavoring, and Sweetener.  I could have done without the flavor and sweetener but overall I feel very comfortable using it.  I just rub a little bit on my lips, wash it off and whala! Refreshed lips.

I’m not sure how big my sample size is, but a full size runs 5 grams for $11.99.  I’m going to guess liberally and say mine’s worth about a $1.  I’d pay $1 for my sample.

TreStique Matte Lip Crayon in Florence Fig

Finally! My other favorite product  from this bag (other being the eyeliner) is this awesome awesome lip crayon.

This product goes on smoothly for a long lasting matte finish.

I was bummed when I saw this color because I was hoping for the dark red version that some folks got.  But guys, I have used this so many times in the last month.  It’s the absolute perfect color for my lips.  It’s very close to my natural color so I can put this on without my friends asking me why I put lipstick on to go the grocery store (Because it’s fun. That’s why.)  I have a similar color from tarte so I’ve found myself lining with this and then going over with my tarte color for a nice full coverage.

This works great by itself too. My tarte lipstick is a little pink while this color is a little more brown, if you will.  I say brown very lightly because it’s a nude color, definitely not brown!

Regardless I love this thing and hope I get more products from this brand in the future!

My “mini” crayon is .7 oz vs the full size that includes a complimenting lip balm color the same tube.  $28 for that, so mines probably good for at least $5.

Overall, I LOVED my ipsy bag.  I know I’m way behind on posting this, it happens when my day job takes over my life…

But I’m so happy with each of my products.  I value my bag at around $18 plus the bag.  Definitely a win this month Ipsy!

I know you’re ready to try Ipsy now so head on over and sign up!

Want more reviews? Follow me and check out some of my past reviews.  More are coming!!!!

Stay tuned for a DIY Makeup shelf for under $20!

Be A Bombshell Nail Polish

Hello my lovelies!

I promised you a review of the nail polish I recieved in my Ipsy bag and here it is!

babs

A subtle tribute to Harley Quinn

I’m a little picky about my nail polish for a few reasons.  Mainly, I’m so rough with my hands that most polishes are chipped and gone within 48 hours of applying.  So I rarely buy any polishes outside of my favorite Revlon collection.  BUT, the beauty of Ipsy is that I didn’t have to buy this one!

The very first thing I noticed about this polish, was that it smells very strong.  I would not paint my nails with this before any meals.  However, within a couple hours of application, the smell faded and I don’t even notice it now.  I usually paint my nails in the evening before bed anyways so it won’t be too big of a deal.

Application of this was actually a little difficult.  If you’re used to applying in thin layers, it can be a little tacky.  Actually the first coat of my middle finger looked so jagged and sticky!  So in the future I will be “dabbing” the excess paint off the brush vs “wiping” it on the side of the bottle.  Thankfully with the second coat I did use more paint and was able to fill any of the initial ridges.

babs1st
First Coat.  If you look real close you can see some streaks in the color.

The formula is pretty opaque so I probably could’ve gotten away with one coat if I had not done the thin first layer.  Two layers here did just the trick.  I have a very “Full” and VERY glossy color on my nails.

babs2nd
Second Coat, Pre clean-up

Another factor that made applying a little more difficult is the size of the brush.  It’s pretty wide compared to what I am used to.  I had a bit more difficulty painting around my nail bed, both against the cuticle and on the sides.  The results were quite messy.  The paint did clean up pretty well though, so that’s a plus.

brushsize
That slightest variation in size and stiffness had a huge impact.

I mentioned in my Ipsy review that I’m not a fan of pinks.  They are just too girly for me, usually.   I was surprised that I like this on my nails!  This color is Holy Fuschia and it’s pretty feminine so I added a simple blue/green accent on one nail.  The results yielded a subtle tribute to Harley Quinn.  I love it.

babsf
Clean-up was 95% successful.  I expect the extra to wear off soon.

I topped off all but two of my nails with my Revlon Diamond Top Coat.  This will be a good judge to show the durability of the BABS polish as well as the Revlon top coat with a different brand polish.  I’m so excited to see the results!

I will be posting a follow up to show you how long the polish lasted so follow me to get notified when it’s available!

 

First Impressions of Ipsy and September’s Glamazon Bag

The time has come!

The walrus said.

To talk of many things.

Of paint on nails

and luscious hair

And whether eyes have wings!

Ok my Pixters! It’s finally here!

My very first ipsy bag, September’s “Glamazon” glam bag arrived yesterday and boy was I thrilled!

Back “in the beginning”, I decided to try Ipsy for a number of reasons.  Long story short I wanted to try new products without having to pay out that wazoo for them.  You can read the full article here for a more in-depth background to this post:

5 reasons I’m trying Ipsy

Now on to the goodies!

Like I mentioned, my glambag arrived yesterday, but it felt like it took ages to get here.  I had read on many review comments that folks were not getting their bags until the end of the month so I was prepared to wait for it.  But I do want to elaborate on the delivery process so other new Ipsy subscribers can know what to expect.

I subscribed the last week of August so that I could get September’s bag and payment was applied promptly on September 1st.  I suppose it could be worth mentioning that the cost is $10 plus tax so a whopping $10.80 for those of us in California.  This affects my opionion of Ipsy in no way, it’s still a pretty great deal!

I checked ipsy.com after a few days and the status said “In warehouse” with an idication of expected delivery between 6th and the 10th.  Over the next few days this was pushed back to the 12th.  On the 9th, I got an email saying it had shipped.  I followed my tracking code in the email to a DHL webpage that said my package was “En Route to distribution center”.  So Ipsy doesn’t just take our bags to the post office, they use DHL to ship.  Again, after a few days DHL said expected delivery would be on the 14th.  DHL also provided a USPS tracking number which would take me to a USPS page that said the number wasn’t recognized.  I didn’t think too hard on this because I’ve had packages that never had an updated tracking number so this one could have been overlooked as well.

September 14th finally rolls around, I check my mailbox, and no package.  I was bummed but like I said, folks were getting them later than this so I decided to give it until the next Monday before I checked in with Ipsy.  That night, DHL updated saying the package had arrrived at their facility.  So maybe Ipsy’s delivery date was the date it would arrive at the DHL facility? I’m not sure if that was their intention but in the coming months I’ll try to track this pattern.  Either way this was progress and I was happy.  At least I knew it wasn’t lost!  Another thing to note, I’m pretty sure Ipsy ships out of Texas and the DHL facility that had my package was in California. According to that math, it took about a week to get from the Ipsy warehouse to DHL.  This can vary depending on where you live.

OK! I checked DHL the very next morning and it said my package had arrived at a USPS Sort facility, and soon after, my local post office.  Thankfully at this point my USPS tracking number was active, though it didn’t do me that much good because my package would be delivered the next day.

Finally, on September 16th, my ipsy bag is in the mailbox!!!  Start to finish, the delivery process was 16 days.   We can’t expect them to overnight a $10 bag can we?  I hope this can shed some light for you new Ipsy subscribers and give us realistic expectations regarding delivery.  I’d say err on the side of patience.  I’ll be mentioning deliver dates on future glam bags to identify a pattern.

Boring part over, lets get on with the bag!

glamazon2

Ipsy ships their bags in this really adorable pink bubble wrap envelope.  Pink is far from my favorite color but seeing it in the mailbox was thrilling.  Kudos to Ipsy for making their packaging cute!

Inside this cute package was, drum roll…… MY GLAMBAG!!!!

The bag is the size of an average makeup bag, not too big, not too small. Its very cute.  The design made me think of a tiki hut.  It is brown, white, and gold.  I felt the color scheme alluded to a natural fiber theme, though some describe it as more of a 70s color scheme.  Both, I think, are valid.  It definitely doesn’t feel natural though, more like a thinner vinyl.  But I like it the texture it has.  Some folks complained the bag smelled but mine is good to go.  And did I mention the cute design? The bag shows four ladies, in a sketch style, and they spell out the letters IPSY with their poses.  I thought it was creative.  The zipper and pull are gold with the Ipsy logo.  I thought I would mind the “coin shape” zipper pull but I actually think it works well with the design.

Opening the bag was definitely the best part of the exerience so far.  I got a small eyeliner, mascara, Hair mask, Nail polish, and makeup brush.  I had gone almost a month without eyeliner in hopes that I would get some in my bag and was relieved to find it.

eyeko

 

My eyeliner is EYEKO’s Eye Do Liquid Liner in Black.

It claims to “stay put” and not smudge, enhance your lashes for a longer, fuller, and stronger look, and apply easily over eye shadow.

I personally like this eyeliner.  The felt tip is my favorite shape.  I found it very easy to work with.  And the tip felt soft so it was comfortable to apply.  It flexed with my eyelid instead of pulling my skin and creating a jagged look.  The end result was a very smooth and saturated line that stays on all day.  I’m very pleased with this liner, though when I took a shower it did rub off, desipite being “waterproof”. Time will tell if this was because I rubbed too hard or it’s not as waterproof as other other liners I’ve tried.  I’ll keep you updated.

This sample is travel size being .04 oz whereas the full size comes in at .07 oz.  The full size sells for $20 on eyeko.com so I’d value my travel size at a little over $10.  That’s what I paid for the whole bag so I know I’ve got my moneys worth.  And seeing that my sample is over half of a normal size I hope that it will last a good bit of time.

Conclusion: I would by this.  It’s cheaper than my favorite Tarte liner but doesn’t appear to be perfectly waterproof.

UPDATE: Definitely not waterproof!  It will stand up against a rainy day but I won’t be wearing it to the pool.

it

Next in the bag was IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara in Super Black.

This mascara uses Biotin and collogen to strengthen and plump lashes, helps lengthen lashes, and the brush ensures maximum separation and curl.

The bottle is very cute, with a slight concave tube, but overall simple.  The simple package lets the product shine. I’ve used this several times already and it works great with my lashes.  My eyelashes are pretty long so most lengthening mascaras make them look thin.  This product however keeps them seperate and full looking. I had no clumping and the product dries with a lovely curl.  Disclaimer, I don’t need to curl my lashes so most mascaras finish with a nice curl on me anyways.

I really love the brush.  It’s very “fiberous” reminding me more of a q-tip than a applicator, but it worked great.  My eyelashes stayed seperate and I was able to apply a couple layers for a finished look.  This mascara definitely makes my lashes look more on the natural side than “gooped up with paint”.

This product was a travel size, being .17 oz.  The full size runs .304 oz with a cost of $24 so I’d estimate my product to be valued a little over $12.  Also, because it is over half of a full size, I hope it lasts a little while!

Conclusion: I like it.  It isn’t waterproof so I probably wouldn’t drop $24 on it but if you prefer non-waterproof mascaras then this is a great product!

briogeo

Up next we have the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

This product claims to use B vitamins, Algea, roseships, and argon oils to hydrate, result in less breakage, and overall help dry, brittle hair that has been treated in some way.

This comes in small tube with a clean and simple design.  It’s pink and grey and overall appealing to the eye.  The lid screws off and product squeezes out like a lotion bottle.  I’d suggest unscrewing the lid pre-shower for the first use because I found it a little cumbersom with wet hands.  Don’t take that too seriously though, I also have trouble opening water bottles…

Some of you may have gathered I have pretty short hair, hence the “Pixie” in my name, so I don’t really have a lot of breakage nor is my hair treated in any way.  But I did like how this made my hair feel.  I massaged it into my hair post-shampoo and let it sit for at least five minutes.  At least I hope it was five minutes, if not it was a very long four minutes and thirty seconds.  This product has the consistency of a conditioner and works into hair pretty easily.  My hair felt very soft and moisturized after using this and my bathroom smells like a spa.  This smells so good.

Now I only shampoo my hair every 3-4 days so this will only be used on those days and I will try to update you guys if I see any significant progress.

A full size jar of this is 80z selling for $36.  So I value my 1oz sample at $4.50.

Conclusion: I will enjoy using this while I have it.  It smells great and my hair is super soft.  But I don’t have any damage to my hair so it isn’t a product that I need.  I will keep it in mind if I grow my hair back out, otherwise I probably won’t buy it.

babs

Moving along we have nail polish!  I recieved Be A Bombshell’s Nail Polish in Holy Fuchsia

This polish comes in a very stylish glass cylindrical bottle.  The design is classy and clean.  It’s easy to open and the brush is a decent size.  A quick swatch made it clear I would only need a maximum of two thin coats with this polish.  It is pretty opaque and dries quickly.  Color wise, I’m not super huge fan of pinks, but I’m glad I now I have a fuchia in my collection for those sexy date nights with my hubby.  Two things about it though, it is very strong smelling and was a little tacky.  The smell was like fresh vinyl, very potent.  I definitely didn’t want to have my nails near my face right after applying so you should probably wait until after supper to paint them. The tackiness wasn’t too much of a problem, it settled as it dried; a clear coat would take care of any ridges that were left.

Now I am very rough with my hands, so nail polish rarely lasts longer than 48 hours on my hands.  Revlon’s Colorstay Gel Envy polish is the first polish to ever last on my nails.  So when I wear this polish I will probably use my Diamond Top Coat (part of the Gel Envy collection) with it.  I do plan on doing a review of the polish with the top coat vs without to see just how durable it is.  Follow me to get an email when I post that review!

Ipsy did send me a full size of this product valued at $6.

Conclusion: Time will tell if this is durable enough for me to buy again.  I probably wont buy this exact color but there are lots of other attractive colors in the collection.

UPDATE: Here’s my link to my Be A Bombshell Nail Polish review!

crown

My final product is Crown Brush’s Ombre Angle Brush

This brush is meant to be used in the cheek area and uses soft goat hairs for bristles.

This is an attractive and soft brush.  The handle is a matte black piece of plastic, nothing fancy but not bad at all.  There are actually grooves in the handle for your thumb and forefinger.  These are a nice touch, but don’t exactly fit my hand.  Not a big deal.  The bristles are very soft and pleasant on the face.  I look forward to using this when I get my next powder blush.  I’m currenty trying to use up a “Cream-ish” blush by Maybelinne and this brush is too soft to pick up the pigment.

I have a full size brush that retails at $7.99

Conclusion: It’s soft and nice on the face.  I can’t use it yet but plan to with my next blush.  I would suggest this to anyone looking for an inexpensive blush/highlighter/contour brush.

That wraps up all of the products I got in my first Ipsy Glambag.  Overall I’ve very happy with my bag.  I got eyeliner and mascara, which I desperately needed.  I will enjoy the hair mask while I have it and am happy to have another addition to my nail polish collection.

As an update to my previous post, 5 reasons I’m trying Ipsy , this bag fullfilled my hopes.  I got a variety of new products to try, that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise, for a great price.  Not only did I get a variety, I got products that I needed.  I know this won’t be the case every time, but as a first impression, I’m satisfied.  Three of the products were travel size, not just a measley sample size, and two were full size.  The bag was also cute.

Conclusion: Based off of my first glambag, I seriously recommend Ipsy.  Just be patient for delivery!

One other thing to note about Ipsy, as soon as you get notified your bag is ready, you can log into Ipsy and see exactly which products you will be getting.  I stumbled upon this early on so I knew exactly what was going to be in my bag over a week before it arrived.  That did ruin the suprize a bit, so I’ll probably avoid that page unless the anticiapation kills me.

All in all, I’m happy with Ipsy! I got a great first glam bag and am already excited to see next month’s theme!

Now that you’re ready to start with Ipsy (I know you want to!!!!) Head over to Ipsy and get started!  Sign up before October 1st to get the October Glam bag!

What are yall’s thoughts on this month’s glam bag?

Tarte Products that are Totally worth the Price

I’ve mentioned I’m pretty cheap when it comes to buying makeup.  However, I do take into account how products are going to affect my skin when I buy them, especially if it’s a product I will use every day.  So when I began my search for healthier makeup, Tarte was one of the first brands to catch my eye.

Tarte is by far one of my favorite brands for a number of reasons.  First, they preform great.  I have yet to try a Tarte product that I wasn’t satisfied with.  They always hold up to their 12 hour claims and just work great for my skin (normal-oily).  Secondly, they are better for you than most other brands.  Tarte proudly advertises their cosmetics formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, synthetic fragrances and gluten.  Tarte also offers cruelty free products which is icing on the cake for me.

As Tarte has moved up to my favorite brand, I’ve tried lots of their products and have compiled a short list of my favorites for you.  Keeping in mind my cheapskate attitude, I realize these are mostly “cosmetic basics” but these are the products any normal person will use on a daily basis.  I know I do and, because of that, I feel they are very worth the extra dollars.

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

Tarte Description: An oil-free, 12-hour liquid foundation formulated with Amazonian clay and non-chemical sunscreen filters.

1.7 fluid oz

$39

This foundation is hands down my all time favorite liquid foundation.  It goes on smoothly and blends beautifully.  I use the color Light-Medium Beige and usually apply it with a foundation brush.  I have found applying with a brush gives me the perfect lightweight feel that I’m looking for in a base foundation, it never looks caked on!  It covers red spots and imperfections very well while giving my face a smooth appearance. Did I mention how well it blends? I never see the dreaded foundation line with this product even though it is considered “Full Coverage”. This foundation also lives up to Tarte’s 12 Hour claims.  I rarely every need to touch up my T Zone, which is saying something.  I strongly recommend this to anyone looking for a full coverage foundation without the full coverage weight.

A more in depth review of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 is coming soon! Follow to get notified when this is available

Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation

Tarte Description: A 12-hour, full coverage weightless powder foundation

.247 oz

$36

Again, Tarte has my vote for powder foundations as well.  While this foundation is also considered “Full Coverage”, the weightless feel is what sold me.  This foundation applies smoothly and covers imperfections, but once on, it blends into my skin flawlessly.  By that I mean that no one will every look at your face and see this foundation.  It looks SOOOOO natural.  It holds up to the 12-hour claim pretty well but I have found myself touching up a little more often than with the liquid foundation.  This could be because I don’t apply it very heavily and living in the desert means sweating your makeup off before you get to your car anyways (slight exaggeration).  So I blame external factors for that one.  However, when I combine this powder foundation over Tarte’s liquid foundation, these are a power duo.  I don’t have to worry about getting oily and I have flawless skin all day.  I use the Light-Medium Nuetral shade.

Follow me and stay tuned for a full review of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation.

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

Tarte Description: A long-wearing, supremely soft blush infused with Amazonian clay harvested from the banks of the Amazon River and naturally baked by the sun.

.20 oz

$28

This blush was my very first Tarte experience, and it’s a winner in my book for sure.  I used the shade Tipsy, a bright coral color, to work with my skin tone.  It is a nice rich color, but blends out for the perfect fade.  This is the first blush I have ever used that, when applied in the morning before work, still looked great when I got off work.  It’s very opaque and you won’t need to apply layer after layer to get nice color.

The only downside to this blush is that, because it is in a cake form, if you drop it, it can break into a million pieces.  Speaking from experience, I was heartbroken to see my fantastic, but expensive, blush in pieces.  I will say I was able to squeeze a good couple of months out of it after “the incident” but I know it would have lasted a lot longer had it been in one piece.

Tartiest Double Take Eyeliner

Tarte Description: Two waterproof, liquid and pencil eyeliners in one tarteist™ tool.

.0204 oz

$24

How many times have we ever used one type of eyeliner completely before switching types? Uh, never! I rarely make it through an whole pencil liner without wanting to switch to liquid and vice versa.  Common sense would say to have both, but if you’re cheap like me then, well… You just have one at a time.  Tarte has solved that dilemma with their Tartiest Double Take Eyeliner!

This 2-in-1 liner has a pencil in one end and felt tip marker on the other.  The pencil is great.  Can’t say anything bad about it.  It’s creamy, definitely waterproof, and stays on all day.  But what really blew me away was the liquid liner side.  The felt tip was shaped perfectly for a thin to thick line and creating a wing or cat-eye was as simple as ever.  More impressive is the 100% waterproof formula.  On many occasions I wore this liner in the pool, ocean, shower, etc. and not once did it EVER run!  There were even multiple occasions where I wore it sleep and woke up looking glamorous (I know you’re not supposed to sleep in makeup, but lets be honest, who hasn’t a time or two?)  I did find I preferred the liquid to the pencil more often than not and if Tarte ever releases a liquid only version of this it will be in my hands ASAP.  I haven’t compared this liner to the Lights, Camera, Lashes liquid liner yet so if any of you have tried that one, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of it!  Please comment if you’ve tried both, I’d love to hear your experience!

Lights Camera Splashes Waterproof Mascara

Tarte Description: Dare to dip? Discover our best selling lights, camera,  lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara in a waterproof version. The same lengthening, curling, volumizing, and conditioning benefits you love in the original are in this splash proof version. Get the bombshell lashes you desire, while olive esters condition, treat and protect your lashes.

.24 oz

$21

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this product.  When I first tried the mascara, I wasn’t very fond of it.  The brush pulled a lot of product out of the bottle and seemed to “goop” onto my lashes.  I found that wiping a lot of product off as I pulled it out of the tube made a world of difference.  But while the product was new, I felt like I was wiping off so much more than I was using.

HOWEVER, this did change and over time I started loving this mascara.  Once I got the right amount of product on the brush, it really made my lashes feel fuller.  My lashes are naturally very long so most mascaras make them look thinner if they stick together.  This mascara didn’t seem to have that problem.  My lashes looked thick and long! And the waterproof claim is spot-on.  The only time my mascara ran was in the shower when I was rubbing my eyes.  The ocean and pools posed no threats to my perfect lashes.  The formula can be a little tacky at first, so you may want to give it a minute or two between coats but once it’s dry this mascara works wonderfully.

While Tarte can be fairly expensive, I have found, over and over, that they are truly a great makeup brand.  These are just a few of my favorite basic products that I use on a daily basis.  So for all you cheapskates out there, and non-cheapskates, I highly recommend these products because they work and are a lot better for you than most brands.

Try out Tarte products and I garuntee you will fall in love too!

Follow me for more in-depth makeup reviews and comment below if you’ve tried any of these products and loved (or hated) them!

5 Reasons I’m trying Ipsy

Ok, so for the past few months, have been seeing adds about all of these different beauty box subscriptions.  I may be hopping on the bandwagon a little late but I finally decided to give one a try.  My box, or bag rather, of choice is Ipsy!  While I haven’t recieved my first Ipsy Glam Bag yet, I wanted to go over a few reasons I chose to try Ipsy over the other numerous options out there.  There are several reasons, so lets get started.

1)New Makeup

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to try a subscription was because I am such a cheapskate and rarely branch out to try new products.  I’m hoping to document all of my makeup adventures here for other like minded folks to watch.  I tend to have a very simple daily makeup style and spend FOREVER trying to decide if I want to try any new products.  Not that I don’t like trying new things, because I definitely would buy so much makeup if I could!  I’m just a tightwad when it comes to anything that isn’t necessary to survive.  So I hope that Ipsy will introduce me to new styles, techniques, and overall products that I wouldn’t try otherwise.

2)Mostly Cosmetics

As of now, I’m mostly interested in trying new makeup products.  It seemed that several of the other subscriptions like Sephora Play, Birchbox, and the others included a lot more skin care and hair care over makeup products and I’m just not into that side of things right now.  I have my face wash and it suits me.  My skin is generally pretty healthy and I prefer to keep that simple.  And my pixie hair is short and takes me less than 5 minutes to fix.  Not interested in change there.

I will note that while I was filling out my Ipsy profile, skin care and hair care were definitely a part of the selection.  It just seems, from other people’s reviews, that they focus more heavily on the makeup.

3) Cost

Did I mention I’m a cheapskate? Ipsy only costs $10 a month.  I’d say I was averaging about $100 a year on makeup so this really isn’t that much more expensive.  And while I do intend to continue purchasing my absolute favorite Tarte products, I am hoping that over time Ipsy can supply my trendy eyeshadows, eyeliners, and mascaras at least.

4) I don’t need full size everything

If you are like me and stick to your simple makeup routine, you notice your makeup “expiring” before you can use it all.  I say “expire” lightly because I’ve got some eyeshadow pallettes that are older than my cat.  I just can’t use certain products fast enough to justify spending $25 per color on mulitple colors of lipstick.  So I really hope Ipsy can give me choices when I need them and savings when I don’t.

5) The Waitlist

Ok, so I’ll admit it.  I was 99% committed to trying Sephora Play before switching to Ipsy.  Their waitlist was open and I was about to sign up.  I entered my info and hit submit.  Nothing.  Nothing happened.  I clicked it again.  Still nothing.  So refreshed the page only to be redirected to the waitlist page.  They literally closed sign ups as I was signing up.  The only reason I wanted to try Sephora first was because I had friends signing up for Ipsy and I knew I could cancel Sephora and sign up with Ipsy at any time if I wanted.

Clearly it was a sign.  So I moseyed on over to my email from Ipsy saying the waitlist was open, and again, as I was signing up the waitlist closed.  It was a very frustrating moment.  Until I was directed to the “Skip the waitlist” page.  The skipping process is painless.  You just have to let them post on your facebook and send a message to at least on friend.  While I normally avoid anything posting to my personal facebook, I really wanted to get in so I could recieve September’s bag.  So I did it and Ipsy immediately congratulated me on signing up and sent me a confirmation email.

I’m very excited to give Ipsy a shot.  I really have high hopes for the subscription and can’t wait to see how it goes!

These are the main reasons why I’m choosing to give Ipsy a shot.  I do plan on doing a follow up to this post detailing the successes and disappointments of Ipsy so subscribe to get updates when that post comes through.  I also can’t wait to do my first Ipsy Glam Bag review of September’s bag and the new products I get to try!

UPDATE: My First Glam Bag review is here! Check out my First Impressions of Ipsy and September’s Glamazon Bag