March 2017 ipsy Glam Bag

Finally! My March ipsy glam bag has arrived and I am absolutely LOVING what’s inside. Let’s backtrack for a second. I’ve written about ipsy glam bags before – when I first subscribed to them. Well, I’m quite the skeptic so the fact that I’ve continued my subscription this long is amazing!

When I learned that the March theme seemed to be more along the neutral side, I was excited. While I love to play with crazy colors, my day-to-day look is pretty neutral and muted. Let’s dive right in to what I received today.

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First off, the card that came with this ipsy glam bag is super cute. The front says “you are beautiful” while the back of the card says “Pretty is as pretty does. Share this card with someone who could use a little love.” Oh how I love ipsy.

Starting from left to right, I received the City Color Photo Chic Dark Spot Correct, a mini tartiest lip paint in the color ‘delish’ (a deep brown rust color, swatched below), dls (dirty little secret) blush in the color kitty pink (a very muted baby pink), Milk-to-Foam Coconut Milk pure mild cleanser, and last but not least, an Elizabeth Mott blending brush.

Here is the blush and lip paint swatched:

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As you can see, the blush is a really muted baby pink. I might be a little too dark for it to show up properly, but it’s worth giving a try.

The reason why I’ve been an avid ipsy subscriber for almost a year is because it allows me the luxury of testing products before purchasing the full size. Upon signing up, you’ll fill out a personal makeup style survey and tell ipsy which brands you’d like to try. Then for $11 per month, you get a cute little makeup bag (that you get to keep!) and customized samples based on your survey.

I cannot say enough great things about ipsy! Click here to give them a try.

Do you already receive ipsy glam bags? I’d love to know what you received in yours this month!

xoxo,

Leigh

 

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Review: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

When it comes to eye makeup that eyeliner on your eyelid makes the rest of your look pop; apply a little mascara and you’re set. For me, applying eyeliner on my lid is a hassle. I used to use the same pencil on my waterline on my lid and it looked faded and grey (I was using a black pencil). Then I switched to liquid eyeliner, and while I used MAC’s Liquidlast Liner, it was still difficult for me to apply, even with the tiny brush at the end.

Then Veronica recommended I try Smashbox’s Limitless Liquid Eyeliner pen and that worked better than the liquidlast liner. However, I was still having trouble. One eye would have thicker eyeliner than the other or I’d mess up one eye and have to start over again.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.47.09 PM copySince I want to practice my cat eyeliner technique, I wanted to use a product that was really forgiving. After watching countless reviews on YouTube, the common denominator amongst most of them was the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. So I headed to Sephora.com and placed my order for the gel eyeliner and the appropriate brush to apply it with.

I have to say, I am really digging how this eyeliner looks. It is highly pigmented (a little goes a long way) and with the brush, I feel like I have way more control over the application than I did with the Smashbox liner. I haven’t tried the cat eye yet, but I will be this weekend, for sure. The wonderful thing about gel eyeliner is that if you mess up, a damp q-tip goes fixes the mistake. I haven’t had to remove my eye makeup and redo everything to get that perfect shape. Tip: if you’re new to gel eyeliner, create a line of dots close to your lash line and connect them for that flawless look. If you mess up, that’s okay. Just “erase” with a q-tip. 

Here’s a photo my look today. If you like my video, be sure to follow me on Snapchat (leighleigh915) to see the video of this look and more makeup (and every day life) stuff.

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My look today:

Foundation: Too Faced Born this Way in warm nude.

Concealer:  it Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye

Eyes: 

Urban Decay 24/7 black eyeliner pencil (on waterline)

• Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in black ink on lid

• No eyeshadow

Benefit They’re Real mascara

Lips:

Too Faced Perfect Lips Liner in pink/neutral pink

Too Faced La Matte lipstick in Sorry, Not Sorry

Do you have a favorite gel eyeliner? I’d love to know which brand you use. Comment below.

xoxo,

Leigh

 

April Ipsy Glam Bag

It has arrived. My first-ever Ipsy glam bag arrived at the office on Wednesday and I am excited to share what products I received.

Well, let me backtrack for a minute. I am normally the kind of girl that hates subscription services. The longest I ever stuck with was Rocksbox because it’s jewelry I could wear and give back if I didn’t like it (I did purchase a cute pair of earrings from them). So when I heard that I could get over $50 worth of full-size samples for $11 per month, I was a little skeptical. I read about it, took the style quiz and then busted out my debit card and signed up, and I do have to say that the products I received are pretty awesome. I have yet to really try them all, but I wanted to show you what I got.

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The theme for April’s glam bag  was “The Dreamers.” Ipsy wanted to provide products that allows people to create multiple different looks including, ultra glam, natural and high fashion. Here’s what I was given in my glam bag:

  1. Probelle Nail Lacquer in “In Or Out.” It’s not really my color for nails, but I will be sure to bring this polish to my next pedi appointment, because it’ll look fierce on my toes.
  2. Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Tapered Highlighter Brush #522. I have never really tried using highlighter, so there’s no time like the present to try it. Next time I go to Ulta I’ll be sure to pick some up (see what I got from my last Ulta Beauty haul).
  3. Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask. I haven’t done a face mask in such a long time and I think with spring here and summer approaching, it’s time to exfoliate my skin so I’m really excited to try the mask over the weekend.
  4. tarte cosmetics LipSurgence lip creme in wonder. I love love LOVE tarte cosmetics. I don’t have a lot of their products, but what I do have, I consider a luxury. I am also a fan of shades of pink and red for my lips, so I’m excited to try this over the weekend, especially since I’m obsessed with matte finish lipsticks right now.
  5. Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Eyeshadow Palette. First off, who doesn’t love neapolitan ice cream (you know, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate combo)? Second, I love eyeshadow palettes. If you look at my makeup drawer, guaranteed you’ll find over five different palettes that I use regularly for my eyes. These three colors are some of my favorite and I can’t wait to come up with a smokey eye, natural looking and a glam look with these.
  6. You get a makeup bag every month and who doesn’t love that for travel?

For only $11 this is such a bargain. I love that Ispy chooses products that are good for you and the environment. Almost all of my products are paraben and cruelty free, so that makes me feel even better about the subscription.

Sign up today and receive fabulous products every month.

xoxo,

Leigh

 

Beauty Haul from Ulta

It’s that time of year again. Going through my current makeup caboodle and seeing what’s old enough to toss and what I should keep. After doing just that, I realized that I need to stock up on a few things. So, I told my wonderful husband and he agreed to pay for my next beauty haul, because he’s just that amazing.

Lately, I have been obsessed with Too Faced products (specifically their Born This Way foundation) and instead of purchasing online, I googled to see which beauty store, Sephora or Ulta, had the most of their products. While it was about even, I ended up going to Ulta to purchase my latest beauty products.

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From left to right:

  1. it Cosmetics Cheek Blush Brush. The MAC blush brush that I was using was about 10 years old, so it was definitely time for a new one.
  2. it Cosmetics Concealer Brush. When I don’t have my beauty blender (or sponge) handy, this concealer brush will suffice.
  3. Too Faced Primed, Powerless, Pure (oil free). I always love a good primer and since I moisturize my face prior to putting on my primer, I needed one that’s oil free. Also, it’s good for sensitive skin, which I have, as well. I haven’t used this one yet, but I’m excited to.
  4. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Warm Nude. Need I say more? I love this foundation. It goes on light and still gives full coverage.
  5. Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette. I’m really excited to try this palette. While I do have more drastic eyeshadows at home, I do love an au natural palette to play with.
  6. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Ulta doesn’t carry the Beauty Blender, but this does the same thing. This morning, I put on my foundation flawlessly. The pointed tip allows for easy coverage on those hard-to-cover creases near your nose and laugh lines. Once I applied my concealer, I again used the complexion sponge to mix everything together and it works wonderfully. Easy to clean, too.
  7. Too Faced LA Matte Lipstick in Bachelorette. My normal lip routine consists of a non-matte lipstick, followed by a gloss of a similar color, so when Too Faced announced this matte lipstick, I had to give it a try. I bought my first color in bachelorette, which is a subtle watermelon pink, perfect for spring. So far, I have no complaints (I’m wearing it today) and it seems to be keeping my lips hydrated which is always a plus in my book.
  8. it Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube (concealer and brightener in light/medium). I normally go for the bareMinerals powder concealer, but I decided to give this a try since I use a liquid foundation. Today was my first day using it and I have to say I love it! The coverage is great and it really eliminates the under eye puffiness that comes from lack of sleep or stress. I haven’t tried the brightener, but I’m excited to put that near my eyes, forehead, nose and chin to really give my face a little extra highlight.

Okay, I do have to say that I’m obsessed with Too Faced’s packaging… Am I right?

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What are your favorite products to get at Sephora or Ulta? Have you tried these yet? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,

Leigh

Ballerina (or Coffin) Style Nails

When it comes to my nails, I’m pretty picky. I have been getting acrylic nails since my banking days (we’re talking 2009) and while I give my natural nails time to breathe yearly, I always go back to acrylics and never really branch out of my comfort zone: square nails, pink and white powder with a bit of glitter. It takes a lot for me to work up the courage to try something new. Even though I know it’s not permanent (if I hate it, I can always go back and ask my nail tech to fix it), I research extensively before finally branching out and changing up my nail look.

After perusing Instagram (I follow a lot of nail techs, but my favorites are ElectaArt and LindseyDivaNails) and searching “nail art” on Pinterest, I discovered the new hot trend of ballerina (or coffin) nails showing up in my search. Think of it as an oval shape with the ends squared off. I saw wonderful designs and beautiful gel colors (shiny and matte) being used on this style of nail and I felt like it was time for a change.

I waited a few weeks, asked around for people’s opinion on the style of nail, headed to my local nail salon (NJ Nails Spa in Novato) and finally changed it up this last weekend. I went from my normal pink and whites to ballerina style, pastely purple nails. At first, when my nail tech started shaping my nails differently, I was a little apprehensive, but when the final look came to fruition, I was ecstatic. I think I have found a new nail style that I’ll stick with for years on end.

Here’s a side-by-side of the two nail shapes. Which do you think is better? Leave your comment below.

Nails

xoxo,

Leigh

In-flight Essentials

My husband and I are leaving for New Zealand soon (eeeee so excited!) and have an almost 16 hour flight ahead of us. Though I’m super pumped for the trip, the impending long flight ahead always looms over me.

After our trip to Greece last year, I picked up some helpful tricks for making a long flight bearable. Beyond the typical comforts like wearing loose clothing (my go-to outfit is: yoga pants, t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, tennis shoes, and compression socks – yes I totally rock these), there are several small personal care items you can pack that make a world of a difference. I just throw the below items into a small ziploc baggie, put it in the seat pocket during the flight, and can instantly find anything I might need in flight.

in flight essentials

  1. Make-up remover wipes – On long flights I usually fly makeup-free, but even so, I like to “wash” my face at least once or twice during a flight. These easy to use towelettes remove travel grime and just makes it feel less yucky to not have showered in so long.
  2. Facial mist – It’s like pressing an instant refresh button with every spray. I can’t get enough of this Evian facial mist on flights and spray it whenever I’m feeling dry.
  3. Moisture-rich hand lotion – As you’ve seen from previous posts, I love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. But what makes it great for flights is the barely-there scent (so you don’t overpower seat mates) and it’s rich formula that will keep you moisturized for hours.
  4. Disposable tooth brushes – I don’t think anyone should go 16+ hours without brushing their teeth, and these disposable brushes make it easy to do in-flight – no sink or water required.
  5. Luxurious face lotion – Travel is the perfect time to break out those samples you have squirreled away. I love Caudalie’s Premier Cru The Cream, and this tiny sample is perfect for one or two lotion applications.
  6. Lip balm – Another favorite, this Vaseline lip therapy is ideal for dry climates and will keep you lips moisturized for hours.
  7. Earplugs – Seal out the sound of crying babies or snoring neighbors and get some shut-eye.
  8. Zinc lozenges – Zinc is said to help prevent and shorten colds. Who knows if that’s actually true, but at least if your mouth feels dry it’s something to suck on, and can possibly help keep you healthy amid a plane full of germs.
  9. An extra hair rubber band – An obvious one, but no one likes to get stuck without a hair tie when you want to throw your hair up in a ponytail or bun.
  10. Advil – I take one to reduce swelling on flights, and also good to have on hand for headaches or any other aches you might develop from sitting for so long.
  11. Hand sanitizer – Kind of a no-brainer, but definitely keep this on hand and apply liberally whenever you may have come in contact with germs.

What do you bring on long flights to make the experience more comfortable? Did I miss any of your must-pack items?

xoxo,
Veronica

Ipsy Glam Bag

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courtesy of ipsy.com

I am always in search of new makeup, especially eyeshadows, lipsticks and glosses, blushes, mascara and the occasional liquid eyeliner. Being the Virgo that I am, I do extensive research before forking over a substantial amount of cash for a new makeup product by a top notch cosmetic line. If I had it my way, every product would be available in sample form and I could try things out and see if they work for me.

That being said, last Friday night, an old colleague of mine from my retail branch banking days told me about the San Mateo-based company, Ipsy. I had never heard of Ipsy, but she said that it’s similar to Birchbox, and you get to keep these cute little makeup bags along with your samples, for only $11 per month ($10 for the samples/bag and $1 for tax). Before even paying for your first glam bag, you go through a whole questionnaire about your skin tone, eye color and complexion, along with what brands you like and products you may use and other important makeup and beauty questions.

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courtesy of ipsy.com

I’ve looked through past glam bags and they’re all fabulous. Each bag is catered to your specific profile, so no one bag is the same. I haven’t received my first bag yet, but I will be sure to review the products once I get it (should be around mid-April). You can earn points to redeem more products and enter giveaways, as well.

You can learn more about Ipsy and sign up here.

Do you subscribe to a different glam box? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,

Leigh

M•A•C Select Rewards Program

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Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

I have been using and wearing makeup since I was 12. My go-to at the time? The Wet ‘n’ Wild collection from my local Rite Aid. Once I turned 16, I got a job, and while I didn’t have any bills to pay, all the money I earned went straight impulse buys. That’s when I really started experimenting with pigments, shadows and blushes with none other than M∙A∙C Cosmetics.

For a long time their “rewards” program was exchanging six empty bottles (foundation, primer, eyeshadows, lip glosses, etc.) for a new lipstick of your choice. So when I was perusing the beauty section of PopSugar yesterday and came upon the M∙A∙C Select Rewards Program, my eyes lit up. A lot of beauty stores provide a rewards service already (think Sephora or Ulta), so it’s nice to see a cosmetic line that isn’t necessarily carried in those beauty stores providing a rewards program for their loyal clientele.

Here are the basics:

There are three tiers: Seduced, Devoted, Obsessed and each provide a certain amount of perks. You start out in the seduced category and the more you spend with M∙A∙C, the quicker you climb up to the obsessed status.

Perks:

Seduced

  • Exclusive limited-edition products
  • Annual gift just for M∙A∙C Seduced members
  • Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker Expanded
  • Convenient Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker
  • Product samples at checkout
  • Complimentary standard shipping

Devoted (spend $150 [on qualifying purchases] to become Devoted)

  • Exclusive limited-edition products
  • Exclusive anniversary gift for Devoted members
  • Early access on selected collections
  • Enhanced product samples online
  • Back-to-M∙A∙C expanded
  • Convenient Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker
  • Complimentary express makeup application
  • Complimentary 2-Day shipping (with $50 purchase)

Obsessed (spend $500 [on qualifying purchases] to become Obsessed)

  • Exclusive limited-edition products
  • Deluxe anniversary gift for Obsessed members
  • Be the first to shop selected collections
  • Enhanced product samples online
  • Complimentary 2-Day shipping (with $50 purchase)
  • Access new products before anyone else
  • Back-to-M∙A∙C expanded
  • Convenient Back-to-M∙A∙C tracker
  • Two complimentary makeup applications

I can’t wait to replenish and add more M∙A∙C eyeshadow palettes, glosses and blushes to my collection to reap these benefits.

Will you be signing up for the select rewards program?

xoxo,

Leigh

 

Simple Makeup

During the winter months it’s hard for me to get up early enough to apply full makeup. By full make up I mean adding the glittery eyeshadow and a great lip color. My skin needs constant hydration and applying full makeup every day then taking it off with makeup remover each night dries out my skin. My solution is a simple winter makeup routine. Here’s my routine:

Night before:

I am obsessed with the Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream by bareMinerals. After a shower or washing my face I apply this generously on my face and neck before bed and let it sink into my pores while sleeping. I wake up without dry skin. I can’t forget to mention that it smells wonderful.

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Morning:

While I moisturize with a butter/oil based moisturizer, I tend to wash with an oil-free face wash because my face will remain oily otherwise. I use Clean & Clear Morning Burst facial cleanser. It really does wake my skin up. Here are my next steps for my simple makeup routine:

  1. Urban Decay’s B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray
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  2. Urban Decay’s Pore Perfecting Primer
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  3. Too Faced Born This Way foundation in warm nude
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  4. Urban Decay 24/7 Black Velvet eyeliner
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  5. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara
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And there you have it. My simple makeup routine! It takes me about 10 minutes to apply which is great when I’m running late in the morning.

Did I miss one of your favorite products? Let me know!

xoxo,

Leigh

Favorite Drugstore Finds

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I tend to stick to specialty store brands when it comes to makeup and skincare, but I love the drugstore for everyday hair and body products. I have several that I’ve used religiously for years now, and wanted to share my favorite finds with you. Trust me, they work!

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Vaseline Lip Therapy (Cocoa Butter Mini) – This has to be my favorite hands down. I have several stored around the house, and really can’t live without it. The tiny Vaseline pot is comes in is adorably small, and it will keep your lips moisturized for hours. I always put it on before bed, and I wake up with it still on.

Garnier cleansing towelettes

Garnier SkinActive Refreshing Remover Cleansing Towelettes – I use this on nights I’m too tired to wash my face, and nightly to remove eye/face makeup before I wash my face. It’s also perfect to use during long flights to refresh and “wash” your face. The formula is infused with grape water extract to revitalize skin for a healthy glow.

Palmers cocoa butterPalmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula (Body Lotion) – A deeply hydrating moisturizer with a soft cocoa butter scent (my husband says it makes me smell like chocolate). I slather it on before bed and use it after showering in the morning. Because it’s inexpensive, I don’t feel bad about using a lot of it, and I love that the scent is so light (perfect for the workplace if you don’t want to offend anyone with a heavy scented lotion).

Neutrogena shampooNeutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo – If you tend to use lots of styling products or dry shampoo, you’ll want to get a bottle of this. I couldn’t figure out why my hair seemed so dull and hard to style, and after attempting solutions like washing it twice and deep conditioning, I decided maybe it was due to product residue. I saw this in the shampoo aisle, and all I can say is WOW! It leaves hair squeaky-clean, and restores bounce and life to lifeless hair. It’s super-effective, so I only use it once every couple of weeks when it starts to feel like it needs it. Be careful though if you have colored hair as it may strip out the color.

Psssst! dry shampoopsssst! Instant Dry Shampoo – I have brown hair, so finding a good dry shampoo is always a challenge. Most dry shampoos leave behind a white residue that makes it look like brunettes are going grey at an early age. This “true original” dry shampoo doesn’t leave that white residue, and keeps my hair looking

Elnett Satin Hairspray (Extra Strong Hold Unscented) – The hairspray that lots of stylists swear by, and for good reason. This will hold style all day long (it held my normally straight hair in curls throughout my entire wedding day)! I prefer the unscented version so that the smell doesn’t overpower my perfume (who wants to smell like hairspray?). I started using this years and year ago and will never switch to anything else.

What are your favorite drugstore products? Any good ones that I missed?

xoxo,
Veronica