January 5, 2013

New Favorite Beauty Products

If you've read my About Me section on the blog, you'll notice that I'm a little bit obsessed with Sephora and beauty products.  The irony is that I don't wear much makeup, and I'm most comfortable dressed down in jeans and a t-shirt.

One of my favorite things about the mall near our new house is that there is a Sephora inside the JCPenny.  This is proving dangerous to me saving money.  I got a gift card for Christmas, and it has already burned a hole in my pocket.  But on the plus side, I have found some pretty amazing products.

So here are a few of the new products I've been trying out.  Also, let me confess that before any purchase, I spend hours reading the product reviews and various blog posts people make on the item.  So maybe one of you will find this helpful if you're planning a purchase.

1.  Benefit Erase Paste
This one needs a little back story.  About two weeks ago I brought Ryan to the pediatrician to get him a new allergy medication.  Ryan frequently has what they call "allergy shiners", which are purple/blue shadows under his eyes caused by allergies.  The doctor pointed this out, as they always do.  Then he turns to me and says, "oh you must have allergies too because you have the same dark shadows under your eyes, and allergies run in families."  Ummm...okay, except I do not suffer from allergies, and especially not in the winter.  When the doctor turned his back to me, I started rubbing my eyes to make sure I didn't have any running mascara.  I didn't.  And after that appointment, whenever I look in the mirror, I see the big dark bags under my eyes.  My husband jokes that it looks like I got punched in the face.  And yes, this is the same doctor that made me lose my mom-fidence.
So obviously after this realization, I knew that concealer was going to be the new must have item in my makeup bag.  After lots of research, I decided to try Erase Paste.  The description is: "A brightening camouflage for the eyes and face."  The consensus online is that this is great for around the eyes, but you'll probably want a different concealer to cover spots/blemishes.
My Thoughts: I personally love this product.  It is definitely brightening as it seems to reflect light.  For me it reflects the light away from my dark shadows, and that is exactly what I am looking for.  A little goes a long way.  It is a thick cream-like texture.  I gently dot it at the inner and outer corners under my eye and blend those dots together.  You must blend well, and remember that you don't need a lot of it.  It results in a bright, awake looking appearance.

2.  Benefit They're Real! Mascara
I've always been a drugstore mascara kind of girl....well, that is if I was wearing mascara, which didn't happen all that often.  However, recently I've joined the bandwagon on wearing it.  I was using a drugstore kind that had decent reviews.  I just wasn't seeing a payoff.  Normally I like waterproof because I tend to get smudging and running if I don't.  So I wasn't sure I'd like They're Real! because it isn't technically a waterproof.  The reviews for this mascara are very high.  For many people this is the "holy grail" mascara.  Here is the description: "A jet-black mascara that lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes for a spectacular 'out to here' look." 
My Thoughts:  The description alone leaves you with high expectations, and for me it did not disappoint.  A swipe or two of this mascara and my lashes were longer, lifted, curled, and pretty much just looked super wow!  I don't know if the brush is the magic or if it is the formula, but either way the combination is a keeper.   I saw instant payoff when I put it on.  As far as smudging goes, I haven't had a problem.  I haven't worn it on a rainy day, but I can say it is even difficult to remove.  And while that may be a problem for some, I'll gladly look for a new eye makeup remover if I get to keep these gorgeous lashes during my days.  I'm sold on this product.  
Anyone want to recommend a great eye makeup remover though?  

I still had some gift card money left, but I didn't know what I wanted.  I spent lots of time researching different options.  I've never been a fan of foundation.  I feel fake whenever I wear it.  I've tried Bare Minerals, but it makes me feel like my face is dirty.  I may be crazy, I know.  I tend to like tinted moisturizers.  Have you heard all the buzz about BB creams lately?  They are supposed to be the do everything, all in one product.  However, research will tell you that the BB creams you can buy here in the U.S. are a far cry from the original BB creams that are on the market in Asia.  Many people swear by the Asian brands, but I'm just not that courageous to order and try it.  So I decided to try this Too Faced Beauty Balm.  It is very much like a tinted moisturizer with SPF, but that is all I was really needing anyway and I knew that going in to it.  The description is: "A multi-benefit BB cream that tints, primes, nourishes, prevents, and protects skin in one easy step."  
My Thoughts:  I really like it.  People have said it is sheer coverage, but for me it is as much coverage as I like.  It has just a hint of shine to give a dewy appearance.  I've been surprised by the staying power.  What I apply in the morning is there when I am taking it off at night.  It gives my skin a flawless and even look.  As far as color it is definitely a yellow based color, which works well for me but not for everyone.  I wear the lightest shade, so if you are super pale it might be too dark for you.  Right now this is the best I've tried for lightweight coverage with staying power plus the benefits and SPF. 

This one needs no introduction.  I never tried the original Naked Palette, but I decided on the Naked2 one based on how neutral these colors were.  They say it is filled with taupe and grey-beige neutrals.  I like a very natural eye look for myself, so I thought this might be the palette for me.  
My Thoughts:  The colors are great.  I can wear them and look very natural, or someone could build them into a fantastic smokey eye.  Let me be honest here that I am not very good at applying eye make-up.  I feel like eye makeup makes me look old and kind of silly.  However, because of the beautiful simplicity of these colors it makes it easy for me to apply.  Plus it comes with a nice double ended brush.  My husband has been impressed with my eye makeup, so that says a lot.  I think this palette is good for beginners wanting a simple and natural looking eye, and could be great for more experienced makeup people looking to do a neutral smokey eye.  If you are looking for color this isn't for you though.  I'm glad I bought this because it gives me lots of choices, but as someone who doesn't do too much for eye makeup this will last forever. 

This last one is not a new one, but rather one I'm still loving.  
I blogged about this HERE.  I got the color Pink.  It is soft and natural giving the perfect flush.  I still love this blush.  It stays all day and the color is great.  I think this is a great quality at a decent price.  The packaging is cute and efficient.  It has worked nicely with the new BB Cream that I posted above, so it's still on the favorites list.  

What's on your makeup favorites list?  Anything new I should try?  


Anonymous said...

I love Erase Paste! I picked it up on a whim several years ago and I've used it ever since.

Anonymous said...

I've heard great things about the Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 palette. I am going to have to pick one up!

Monica said...

Where did you get these products?

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