Showing posts with label Must Have Products. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Must Have Products. Show all posts

The Best of Bobbi Brown

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The Best Makeup from Bobbi Brown

I love Bobbi Brown. As I've gotten older (yes, I'm about to turn 40, I think I likely qualify as old. Or Old-ish.) I've found that their products work even better for me. I've pulled together a list of favorites, and believe me, it was hard to pare it down this much! I was pulling stuff out of drawers and off of my vanity... so many of my daily go-to products are from Bobbi!

Bobbi Brown Must Have Products

1. Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

This is a well pigmented eyeliner, and it works really well when you smudge it right into your lash line. It stays put all day!

My favorite shade: Chocolate Truffle

2. Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

I think of this as the "original and best" gel eyeliner. I dip the Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush into the liner and then smudge it right at the base of my lashes. It creates a very defined line and it doesn't smudge.

3. Corrector
Buy it at Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

Bobbi Brown's concealer is a classic, and while I do like it, I tend to reach for the Corrector a lot more. It has a faint peach tint, just enough to cancel out my undereye circles. However, it is enough of a skin tone color that I can wear it alone, without needing to layer a regular concealer over it.

4. Skin Foundation Stick
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

This is one of my go-to products for work, I mentioned it in my 5 Makeup Basics for a Makeup Bag post. I just draw all over my face, then buff with a brush. It gives me perfect medium to full coverage concealer in about 2 minutes! I use Cool Sand as my shade, note that the Bobbi Brown site typically has the largest selection of shades.

5. Eye Shadow
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

Bobbi's shadows are just amazing. You can buy the big single pans (I recommend getting one of the empty palettes and filling it), but really I just go for the limited editions that come out in stores each season. I have found that they are beautiful colors and blend well. To get a slightly richer color, I do often use them with a glitter eyeshadow primer (the ELF one is my favorite).

Color shown: Grey

6. Smokey Eye Mascara
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

I mentioned this in my Favorite Splurge Mascaras post, this is my go-to non-waterproof mascara. It picks up every lash and keeps it looking long and curled all day long without smudging.

7. Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

This shadow stick is super easy to use, just draw it over your eye and blend with a fingertip or shadow brush. It lasts all day and takes about 30 seconds to create an eye look.

The best shades: Pink Sparkle, Truffle, Nude Beach, Goldstone

8. Blush
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

I swear I've been using the same Bobbi Brown blush in Pale Pink since October and it barely looks touched. Don't let the shocking pink fool you, this pop of color creates just the right glow and it works whether you are super pale or very dark. It really works for everyone!

9. Bronzing Powder
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

This is a very pigmented matte bronzing powder, perfect for creating a sun-kissed look. I use Elvis Duran, which is the lightest shade.

10. Extra Lip Tint
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Sephora

Confession: I now own three of these lip balms. I carry them everywhere. Here's my original Bobbi Brown Extra Lip Tint review. I wear it in Bare Pink.

11. Art Stick
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

They recently came out with a liquid version of this stick, but I prefer the original version. It's a well pigmented and easy to use lippie, it lasts for hours. My favorite shade is shown here, Dusty Pink.

12. Shimmer Brick Compact
Buy from Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Saks or Sephora

You can use it as blush or a highlighter, just vary the size of your brush to change up the application. My go-to shade is Pink Quartz, but it comes out in many different variations and some stores have exclusives.

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My Pool Beauty Must Haves

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My Pool Beauty Must Haves

Now that summer is here, we're spending a lot of time at the pool here at my house! Which means a few changes to my beauty routine. We tend to spend an hour or two in the pool in the late afternoon or early evening, rather than the full day. So, I've modified my basic every day routine with a few product swap outs that let me look like my "normal" self, but are pool friendly. I do this pretty much all summer long, since I don't always know which days we will (or won't) get in the pool. And of course there are days that the weather looks like it will be terrible on my weather app, but then it's amazing. So, I still have days where I'm in the pool, without waterproof mascara. Oops!


The main swap outs that I make for my makeup are things that run and make me look like a raccoon. I also like to still have some concealer under my eyes, since I'm on call and not always getting a lot of sleep I like to keep my undereye circles covered!

I honestly don't worry too much about my brows, I still just apply my normal stuff (usually this It Cosmetics pencil or my favorite Chanel brow powder). None of the brow products seem to run in the pool, they just fade away on their own.

For the rest of my face, I've tried a lot of different waterproof bronzers, shadows, etc. There are a few that do stay put, but I admit that I don't really feel like they're necessary. I don't expect to have a perfect face of makeup when I get out of the pool, but I do not want to look like a raccoon!

Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner (buy it at Nordstrom, Chanel, Macy's or Neiman Marcus): After trying out a ton of waterproof liners, this one is my current favorite for a traditional pencil liner. It smudges and looks just like a non-waterproof version, but it stays put longer than my previous favorite (which is pretty close and less expensive, but when you're doing this every day you want to splurge!) If you want a liquid liner, this is my favorite.

Chanel Inimitable Waterproof Mascara (get it at Nordstrom, Chanel or Macy's): Yes, I've tried all of the other waterproof mascaras. Yes, I've likely tried your favorite. Yes, I've tried them all from the drugstore. And the department store. And ULTA. And Sephora. This is the only waterproof mascara that comes close to the Chanel. Why is is so much better? All of the other waterproof mascaras manage to not melt off of my lashes, but they don't look the same after swimming. The Chanel makes my lashes look just as amazing before and after swimming! Swimming is much harder on waterproof mascara than crying at a wedding, so many of the others are great, just not my favorites for swimming. Note, you can watch the Chanel section of RueLaLa for a deal, it shows up there maybe once or twice each month.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer (from Sephora, ULTA, QVC): This is one of my favorite undereye concealers. It's also the one that stays put the best while swimming.


I pretty much gave up on trying to keep my hair dry while swimming a long time ago. Even if I'm not getting dunked, my kids splash enough that I get pretty wet. I typically just swim and do my thing, then take a shower that night before I head to bed. I use a clarifying shampoo roughly once a week, and I try to use hair masks that hydrate at least once a week as well. I'm not currently drying my hair at night, instead I'm using an air drying product and just going to bed, letting my perm leave my hair a bit wavy. If I want my hair to be curly rather than wavy, I'll dry my hair a little bit at the roots, and then put in the Sleep Styler curlers.

Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo (at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's or BirchBox): Read my full Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo review. I haven't tried this to take the green out of my daughters' blonde hair. I've tried a huge array of swimming shampoos on them, and my best results have been this shampoo.

Redken No Blow Dry Bossy Cream (buy it at ULTA or Amazon): I use about the size of a quarter. I've also had great results with this cream or this air dry mousse.

Sleep Styler (at their site or QVC): You can check out my Sleep Styler review. I mostly use the smaller size currently as my hair is a bit hard to hold curl. I've found they're a little more comfortable at night than the original size as well.


Since I'm mostly jumping in the pool without any special prep immediately before, it's important that I have a good SPF in my morning skincare routine. I aim for at least SPF 30, and I prefer SPF 50 or higher if I can find it. One the rare day that I'm not prepared for swimming (aka- I'm not wearing waterproof eye makeup), I've been really loving the Olay Daily Facials for quickly removing everything from my face and then I'll apply fresh sunscreen before heading out to the pool.

Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ (buy it at Kate Somerville, Sephora or DermStore): I love this light sunscreen alone or under makeup.


Olay Daily Facials (at Amazon or ULTA): Great for removing all of my makeup before getting in the water! Note, I do have an upcoming sponsored post on these cleansing towelettes, but I had already purchased them on my own prior to Olay asking me to post about them.

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive (buy it at Amazon or Target): This is my sunscreen of choice for my body, since others tend to flare up my eczema.


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The Beauty Spotlight Team: Helen's Skincare Picks

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Helen's Skincare Picks

Helen, from Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog, has a serious penchant for luxury skincare, but only a short list of products are ever replenished and repurchased. Here are the holiest of holy grail products that she simply cannot be without.


The Beauty Spotlight Team: Cindy from Prime Beauty's Favorites

Cindy from Prime Beauty's Favorites

Head over to Prime Beauty to see Cindy's most repurchased products! I love seeing what other beauty bloggers spend their money on, over and over!


The Beauty Spotlight Team: The Best from ColourPop

 The Best from ColourPop

We all know how much Shipra of Taneja's Bride loves ColourPop, but what are her Top 5 Favorites?


The Beauty Spotlight Team: Daydreaming Beauty's Beauty Must Haves from Repechage

 Daydreaming Beauty's Beauty Must Haves from Repechage

This week Amber from daydreaming beauty is sharing her journey in healing her persistent acne. Repechage
has been instrumental in her skin care routine. Find out her Top 5 Favorite products from this seaweed rich skin care brand.

My Must Have Mani-Pedi Items

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My Must Have Mani-Pedi Products

I don't talk about it on the blog so much, but I'm a mani-pedi girl. When I have the time (which isn't super often, given I have 2 young girls), I love to have my nails done. I don't go out for a professional mani-pedi. Instead, I do it myself at home. I like the convenience, I know where the tools have been (and how they've been cleaned) and I have polish at home that I can easily touch up with later.

I thought I would share my favorite products to use when doing an at home manicure and pedicure. The products do get swapped in and out as I try new things, but I've found that these are the tried and true. The products that I keep stashed in my office polish area, that I rebuy, and that give me the best results.

1. Cuticle Remover: Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover (available at ULTA, Amazon)
Before starting, I love to put a thin bead of this around my cuticles, move it around a bit with my fingertip. I push back my cuticles with a fingernail and then just wash my hands. It takes under a minute and makes a big difference in how my cuticles look!

Alternatives I Like:
Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover (at Nordstrom, Sephora, or Amazon)
Blue Cross Cuticle Remover (at Amazon): Note that this one isn't as fast on my hands, but I've found that it works really well on my feet! It comes in a huge bottle, and I actually will sit down in the shower and put this all over my toe nails and my heels. I push back my cuticles, use a pumice stone on my heels, and sometimes use a foot scrub all over. It makes my feet super soft without needing to do something like the baby foot peel. Which I'm not going to lie, kind of freaks me out.

2. Base Coat: Orly Bonder (at ULTA or Amazon)
I just don't even use others now. Bonder is so much better for me! I have longer lasting manicures, my nails don't get stained by polish... you get the idea.

3. Polish
I have thousands of bottles of polish. This is not an exaggeration. After all of this polish buying and wearing, I've limited myself to a few favorite brands of polish that I use. Others just don't seem to work as well.

OPI (from ULTA or Amazon), pictured in It's a Girl
Nails Inc
Chanel: Note, the wear is only about 3-5 days for this brand, but the colors are so great that I don't care. Shown in Particuliere.
China Glaze
Zoya: When I wear Zoya I need to pair with their top coat.

"Long Wearing" Formulations:
Chanel Long Wear (at Chanel or Nordstrom) with Le Gel Topcoat (at Chanel or Nordstrom)
OPI Infinite Shine (from ULTA or Amazon) with Infinite Shine 3 Gloss Top Coat (from ULTA)
CND Vinylux (at Amazon) and CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat Nail Polish (at Amazon)
Essie Gel Couture (from Amazon) and Gel Couture Top Coat (from Amazon), shown in Make the Cut

4. Top Coat
My go-to top coat is always Seche Vite (from ULTA or Amazon). It dries quickly, is thick enough to cover up imperfections in polish (but isn't so thick that it looks strange), and is super shiny. I have found that it gets thick quickly, but a few drops of any polish thinner will fix that.

If I'm using a longer lasting polish that has a top coat to make a "system", then I'll use that special top coat instead of Seche Vite.

Alternatives I Like:
Poshe (from Amazon)
Nails Inc 45 Second Top Coat (from Sephora)

5. Hand and Cuticle Cream
I have a huge collection of lotions, oils, balms... you name it and I've tried it to keep my nails and cuticles looking smooth and hydrated. No matter what product I'm using, the key really is regular use. I keep lotion in my pocket at the hospital and reapply it frequently throughout the day. We have a bottle of lotion next to the kitchen sink at home, and I even keep some on my bedside table. I apply lotion a lot, and that's really what keeps my hands soft and hydrated. My favorite hand cream for years is the Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve (from Kiehl's or Nordstrom)

6. Polish Remover
I know it dries out your nails, but I admit that I use 100% Acetone to remove my polish. Non-acetone polish removers always seem to leave just a little polish behind, or they take a very long time and I get frustrated.

For my fingernails, I prefer one of those plastic jars of remover (like this one on Amazon). I can put each finger in, swirl it around and my polish comes off right away. If I need to clean up after applying my polish I can also just use a brush dipped into the jar.

On my toes, I use an acetone nail polish pad. I prefer the Cutex pads (my faves on Amazon), which come individually packaged (making them great for travel), and are a thick felt. It doesn't take much work to remove polish with these pads.

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Things I'm Loving in 2017

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Beauty Blogger Favorites 2017

I've been a bit lax in posting here on the blog recently. I always seem to slow down in posting over the holidays, as I'm usually busy with my family, working, etc. I've also been writing a lot of posts over on eBay, watch for a post today or tomorrow sharing some of my more recent posts! You should be able to easy click over to read that content. I've also been working on a new website for my designs, you can check out the work in progress site here: Shop 15 Minutes!

In the meantime, I've been trying out a lot of new products that I haven't mentioned at all on the blog! Here's a quick round up, but don't be surprised to see many of these items show up again either in their own posts or mentioned elsewhere.

I shared this on Instagram and will need to share a full post about it soon, but I actually permed my hair this fall! Yes, full on 1980s style. Since my hair is super healthy with a thick cuticle, it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep curl all day, despite high heat and a lot of product. So, to rough up the cuticle a bit, I got a perm with the largest curlers my stylist thought would work.

It turns out that my hair is a bit wavy now when wet, but that's about it. Even if I try to style it curly, it doesn't really turn out curly at all, but I do need to make a little more effort to actually straighten it. The curls I put in now last easily all day, and usually as long as 2-3 days depending on how much hair spray I use (I'll create a post showing how I'm currently curling my hair).

In the meantime, I did buy a few news tools to help with my new increased straightening and then curling needs! All three are really speeding things up and I do like them.

1. Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler (at Amazon or ULTA): This is a paddle brush that blows hot hair. I've tried similar brushes before, but they were all rounded brush styles. Those brushes just got tangled in my long hair. This brush really does help speed up drying my hair, but it would not be able to replace an actual blow dryer for me. I've been blow drying my hair with the regular dryer at my roots, then I use this one just brushing through my hair on the lengths. If I'm really in a hurry, I'll actually use this one to brush and then still use the regular dryer also, so I'm using 2 dryers at the same time! Overall, it has speed things up over using the regular dryer alone, and my hair is smoother and straighter after using this dyer.

2. InStyler Straight Up Ceramic Straightening Brush (at ULTA or Amazon): There are a bunch of these brushes out on the market, I just happened to buy this one from ULTA. It heats up to a high temperature and straightens your hair as you (slowly, and while holding it under some tension) brush it. I do think that it helps if my hair is a bit wonky in places after drying it, but it won't replace a flat iron. I do like that it straightens my hair some without removing volume.

3. Kiss Instawave (at Amazon or ULTA): This curling iron pulls hair in to wrap it around the iron, but results in a different curl pattern than other curling irons. I've found that it's pretty easy to use and does result in long lasting curls, though the "low" heat isn't enough to work on my hair and the "high" setting is definitely damaging my hair despite many heat protectant sprays! If you're not great at curling your hair it is worth a try. Be sure to check out a few locations for the cheapest price, when I bought it on Amazon the price was almost $30 elsewhere!

4. Rodan + Fields Enhancements Lash Boost (at R+F): I've been using Revitalash for years, and have refused to try anything else. I talk about Revitalash to everyone, I don't even know how many of my friends have tried it out because of the amazing results that I've had!

Recently, I've been feeling like maybe I should try another lash serum. I'd been seeing other people's results, and mine were good but I didn't feel like they were amazing any more. I'm not sure if my lashes were just used to the product or if it wasn't as effective (I stock up yearly at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale in the summer, maybe my tubes were no longer effective because they were "old"?) So, when R+F's PR sent me a tube I decided to swap out to the new Lash Boost instead of my next tube of Revitalash. And since I couldn't find info really on how long a tube should last (it turns out 2-3 months with nightly use), I purchased a second tube to be sure I could complete my trial.

I wish I had taken good "before" pictures to show you, but swapping out to the Lash Boost has really had an amazing effect on my lashes! They are definitely longer and fuller than they were with the Revitalash. It took about 4 weeks to see a difference, and I know I'll keep using this instead of the Revitalash. If you don't have a friend who sells R+F I can share the name of my girl, she does amazing things like go into your order to add lip balm, which qualifies you for free shipping and actually brings the cost of your order down, making the lip balm free! I love that!

I've bought some new makeup items that I need to share, such as a few eye shadow palettes, blushes and lippies. But I've been really changing up and trying new things with my foundation and concealer. What I'm currently loving:

5. Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick (at Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom or Sephora): Obviously this isn't new, it's been out for forever, but I've never used it before. I just draw it randomly all over my face and then buff it around with a brush, then done! I love that it has full coverage and only takes a few seconds. I recently took it on a trip and it was super easy to travel with! I do wish there was a more hydrating version, or one with slightly less coverage. But I'll be repurchasing this one for sure.

6. Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Creme (at Sephora) and Lock-It Edge Concealer Brush (at Sephora): I had heard that this was a great alternative to Tarte's smash hit Shape Tape, which is basically forever sold out and hard to get. I did manage to get Shape Tape, but I bought the Kat Von D as well. I prefer the Kat Von D for sure. It's a medium to full pigmentation concealer, it comes in a large number of shades (more than Shape Tape), and it blends easily. I've been using the brush with it as well, which has taken a bit of getting used to as I don't usually use brushes for concealer, but the brush does really help under my eyes and around my nose. This is worth checking out for sure!

7. MAC Lipstick in Brave (at Nordstrom, MAC): This is a darker pink-nude shade, and it works for almost everyone. I've found myself using it a lot lately, I swear it will work for you too!

Didn't Live Up to the Hype
Silicone Blender: Did you hear about the new silicone pad blenders, billed as the next beautyblender sponge basically? I managed to order one (actually, I bought 2, because I was so excited to find some in stock). In theory you put the makeup on to the silicone, and apply just like a beautyblender, and it blends more flawlessly and your makeup looks perfect. I've only been able to get it to smear my makeup around, whether I'm using it for application or blending. I'm far from impressed. Pass on this one if you find it in stock.

Tarte Shape Tape: This concealer is available only from Tarte and ULTA, and it's forever sold out everywhere. They came out with some new shades on their website, but they sold out pretty quickly too. I did manage to get a hold of the color that is the best match for me, and after using it for a few days it has been relegated to the drawer of my vanity. I don't think it blends as easy as the Kat Von D, Kat is a better color match for me, and the Shape Tape did settle some into fine lines around my eyes. Overall, it's ok, but I really prefer the much easier to find in stock Kat Von D.

I Bought It, Product Sent for Revew, Affiliate Links
The only product sent from PR for review that is mentioned here is the R+F Lash Boost, which I've already repurchased. Everything else I bought with my own money.

The Beauty Spotlight Team: Top 5 from African Botanics

Top 5 from African Botanics

Helen from Lola’s Secret Beauty Blog is passionate about ultra-luxe skincare, and while it was not at all difficult to select African Botanics for her Beauty Spotlight Team Top Picks feature, it was a real challenge to narrow it down to a mere 5 favorite products from this extraordinary brand. Therefore, she decided pick her favorite anti-aging treatment products for gorgeous, healthy skin.

Check out her choices!


The Beauty Spotlight Team: Phyrra's Urban Decay Favorites

Phyrra's Urban Decay Favorites

Courtney has been Urban Decay obsessed for years. Find out what her must-have favorites are. Do you love them too?


The Beauty Spotlight Team: The Best of bareMinerals

Prime Beauty didn't have bareMinerals on her radar until the READY line launched a few years ago and now she's heads over stilettos for the brand. Read about her top picks!


The Best of Stila: My Favorites from One of My Favorite Brands

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The Best of Stila: My Favorites from One of My Favorite Brands

1. Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): I haven't bought it yet, but this looks so amazing that I had to include it! Yes, it is in my cart to buy today! Just right for your skin tone, it has shadows, and 2 blushes. There are different versions for different skin tones. Great for the gym or travel.

2. Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): These are super pigmented and lightweight, I love them! You will need the brush from Stila to get a good result, so grab one of those if you don't have it yet. Check out my Got Inked Liner Review

3. HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): Another great volumizing mascara. The mascara seems to go in and out of stock, so grab it while you can! Check out my Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara Review, and you'll find out why you also need the primer.

4. Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): I can't seem to find my review of this product, but it offers easily buildable medium to full coverage that looks natural and only takes a few minutes! It seems to sit in my drawer too much, I forget that it's there. I've pulled it out now, don't be surprised when it shows up in more posts!

5. Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): This is a pigmented blush that is very liquid, almost like water. I just pat it on my cheeks and it gives a great glow! Rosewater is my favorite, but I've gotten my friend Joyce addicted and I believe she has a couple of shades. (check out my Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush Review)

6. Nude Interlude Color Balm Lipstick (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): I have this in Meg and Sophie. It's more of a tinted balm with just the right nude shade. Perfect for swiping on your lips when you're on the go!

7. Eyes Are The Window Shadow Palette (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): I have this in both Soul (pictured) and Spirit, and I love the neutral shadows! They have just the right amount of shimmer and work great for almost any look. Check out my review and swatches of the Soul and Spirit Eyes are the Window Shadow Palettes.

8. Stay All Day Bronzer For Face & Body (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): This is a huge bronzer, and it has a great sunkissed glow. Here's my Stay All Day Bronzer Review.

9. Smudge Pot (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): It works as both a shadow and a liner, won't budge but somehow you can easily remove it.

10. Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): This is definitely the best liquid liner pen out there. I've found others that I like (L'Oreal comes to mind), but this is still the best pigmentation and it makes the crispest line.

11. Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): This is on of my go-to eye liners. I love that it is an automatic pencil (sharpening drives me batty), and has just the right amount of smudge when I run a brush over it. It lasts all day! I use Damsel most of the time, it's a dark brown that isn't quite black so it isn't harsh, but adds a lot of definition.

12. Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): Yes, it really does stick around most of the day! I apply it over moisturized lips, first around the outside edge like a liner (the foam doe foot applicator makes that easy), then 2 light layers on the inside.

13. Stay All Day 10-In-1 HD Beauty Balm
(at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): It doesn't really offer a lot of coverage, but it does some great smoothing out and making everything look better. Perfect for days you don't really want to wear makeup or to layer under other products.

14. Convertible Color (at Sephora, Nordstrom or Stila): This is a cream that works on your lips or on your cheeks. It doesn't spread as easily as the Watercolor Blush (not a surprise given the differences in consistency) so I usually apply this one with a brush. It lasts all day and is nice and glowy! My old stand by color is Lillium.

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The Best Products from Oribe

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The Best Products from Oribe
The Best Products from Oribe

Today for Makeup Wars we're sharing our favorite new brands. And while this brand isn't new (Oribe has been around for forever), I really only started using their products a few months ago and I have been OBSESSED. I buy at least 1 new product every time I'm at my salon, I buy them at Blue Mercury, I add a few things to a Neiman Marcus order... you get the idea. So far I have only really ventured into the styling products, but the samples I've tried of their shampoo/conditioner duos are amazing (and I refuse to start using them, because that would be a whole other obsession!)

Read on to see which products I'm loving, and why I keep repurchasing them.

The Best Products from ELF: Part II

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The Best Products from ELF: Part II

It's been almost 2 years since my Best Products from ELF post, and a lot has changed since then! ELF is constantly releasing new products, and while the original 14 products that I declared a "must have" are still available, there are a lot of great new products!

So, here's the best of the rest! An updated list for those of you that can't get enough ELF with the original list.

The Best of MAC: The 13 Products You Must Have!

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The Best of MAC: The 13 Products You Must Have! via @15minbeauty

1. 'Prep + Prime' Skin Refined Zone Treatment: I talk about this light lotion a lot, but it really is a mattifying wonder! You can use it under foundation or over it (really!) and it will give you a semi-matte finish.

2. Face & Body Foundation: MAC has quite a few great foundations (Studio Fix Foundation and Matchmaster Foundation are also great), but this one really is a hidden gem! It is meant to be used pretty much anywhere on your body, so it is very lightweight and lasts all day. While the coverage is light to medium, you can easily build it up where you need to.

3. 'Prep + Prime' Fix+ Finishing Mist: Fix+ is amazing stuff! You can use it over your makeup as a setting spray, it will lock all of your makeup in place all day. It's also great to wet down shadows to up their intensity or even use them as an eye liner that won't budge. When used before your makeup, it helps smooth everything for perfect foundation application.

4. 'Prep + Prime' Transparent Finishing Powder: This loose powder is super lightweight and nearly invisible on your skin. It isn't unique, Tarte, Make Up For Ever and even ELF all have similar powders.

5. 'Pro Longwear' Concealer: This lightweight concealer comes in 15 shades, is easy to blend and really will stick around all day long.

6. 'Mineralize' Skinfinish: This pressed/baked powder has a frosty finish and comes in different skin tones. It is great to use as a highlighter or a shimmery bronzer.

7. Paint Pot: The paint pots are interesting. They are creamy eye shadows that can apply with just the swipe of a finger. While a lot of the colors are very vibrant and pigmented, you can also choose a color similar to your skin tone to use as a shadow primer. Popular choices for that are Bare Study and Soft Ochre.

8. Eye Shadow: Ah, the MAC eye shadows. You can buy them in special quads and in or out of their pots. My favorites include Carbon (a true matte black that is great to use as a shadow), All That Glitters (a very pretty gold), Phloof is a great highlighter, Satin Taupe and Woodwinked are both neutrals that work for pretty much everyone.

9. Fluidline: A great gel eye liner, BlackTrack is one of those beauty must have shades! I also really love MacroViolet, a deep plum/purple color.

10. Strobe Cream: This is a lightweight priming lotion that adds radiance on days you feel less than stellar. A little goes a long way!

11. Lipstick: The best MAC lipsticks really should take up a whole series of posts. There are too many amazing shades to mention them all. There are great nude lippies (Creme D'Nude, Myth), reds (Lady Danger, Rebel, Ruby Woo) and bright pinks (the Candy Yum Yum shown here).

12. Eye Kohl: It's a basic eye pencil, but the shade Teddy is a cult favorite for a reason. This deep chocolate shade is just a little red and it adds quite a bit of depth.

13. Lip Pencil: Sometimes you need a lip pencil to use with your lipstick. Spice is "the" lip pencil color most talked about. This is a universal shade that is nude, but mauve and works for almost everyone.

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The 15 Best Products From NYX Cosmetics

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what are the best products from nyx cosmetics makeup?

I've done a lot of these lists, showing the best products (in my opinion) from different brands. My list showing the best products from ELF is one of my most popular posts.

Recently I realized that a lot of my makeup is from NYX, but I rarely talk about them! I need to change that! Watch for more reviews of their products in the future, but I thought a good place to start was to show you my favorite products from NYX. I usually buy NYX at ULTA, though I just discovered a few days ago that NYX is also available at my local Meijer, and I also order on-line when the brand is having a sale. They're a brand filled with dupes for higher priced products as well as some great problem solvers, all at a great price point!

The Best Makeup Products From NYX Cosmetics

1. NYX Studio Perfect Primer: This is pretty much a dupe for Smashbox's primer that everyone loves. They even have different versions so you can color correct. No, you won't end up with a green face, but that redness will look a lot better after the primer.

2. Powder Blush: They do make other blush formulations that are also pretty nice, I do like NYX's cream blush quite a bit, but the powder blush really is pretty amazing. There are 27 shades, most of them are matte (which is hard to find in a drugstore blush) and many of the shades are great dupes for much more expensive blushes from brands like NARS and MAC! Pinky, Pinched and Peach are frequently mentioned as favorites.

3. Wonder Pencil: Skinny like an eye liner, this is still a pretty creamy and super pigmented concealer stick. I use it mostly around my eye brow (a quick line above my brow and on the brow bone under it, blend with a finger), down the center of my nose and sometimes on the bow of my lips to make them look a bit fuller. There are 3 shades, and the darkest really isn't that dark. I sometimes will grab the darkest shade to contour down the sides of my nose very quickly.

4. Matte Bronzer: Matte bronzers are a bit easier to come by now at the lower price points, but this one is great because it comes in so many shades (the lightest one is still a bit too dark for my super pale skin, I use a VERY large brush with this one and a light hand). There's a hint of gold but no orange in sight.

5. Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation: Yes, this is a powder foundation, but when used as a powder it offers a bit of coverage (use a lighter hand if you want less coverage), but it soaks up oil like crazy! Perfect for girls that are fighting a mid-afternoon shine.

6. Concealer Jar: This concealer is a full coverage concealer that is very easy to blend for a natural finish. It comes in 8 natural skin tones with a huge range of shades. Even better, you can get it in 4 color correcting versions to cancel out your under eye circles or redness!

7. Dark Circle Concealer: Similar to the Concealer Jar, but these 4 concealers skew a bit more apricot, just enough to help cover up the dark circles under your eyes but not enough that it will look like you're wearing something not skin toned.

8. Butter Lipstick: Part balm and part lipstick, these are very hydrating lippies that offer more coverage than tinted balms. There are 22 shades, my favorite is Sweet Tart.

9. Lip Primer: I wish I had discovered this years ago! It comes in 2 shades, though I'm not sure if it matters which one you get (I'm using the darker one now). It helps make any lippie applied over the primer apply more smoothly, look better and last hours longer without touchups! I'll be picking up a few more at their next sale.

10. Xtreme Lip Cream: Super pigmented and creamy, this is more of a lipstick in a liquid form. It feels hydrating and won't look chalky!

11. Extra Creamy Round Lipstick: Quite a few of these shades are dupes for brands like MAC. They're well pigmented, feel great on your lips and have good staying power.

12. Eye & Lip Makeup Remover: I've yet to find this product in a store, I always buy one or two bottles when I order from NYX online. This remover takes off absolutely anything without an issue. No scrubbing, just a few swipes with a cotton round.

13. Eye Shadow Base: NYX makes a couple of eye shadow primers, though I can't get most of them to work as well as other brands (in other words, Too Faced Shadow Insurance is much better). I do really like the shadow base though. I use it in nude, it is super easy to dip your finger into the pot and spread across the lid. It adds coverage, so you can't see my blood vessels any more, and the staying power of the base is about 95% the time and intensity of the TFSI but for less money.

14. Eye Shadow Singles: NYX recently updated their lineup of shadows, the formula has been changed up a bit. I did like their old shadow singles, many of which were famous for being MAC dupes. I'm not sure if they still are with the formula swap. The new formula is a bit less powdery, the intensity is more... intense, and the shadows still blend very nicely. They also offer a big range of pretty shadow palettes, though I've never had as much luck with the shadows sticking around all day. Go for the singles.

15. Jumbo Eye Pencil: If you want a shadow pencil that will look great and last all day, NYX makes some great ones. Use them as a base under your powder shadows as well for an added pop of color, the Milk (white) pencil is amazing to increase the intensity of eye shadow colors.

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Makeup Wars: The Best of ELF

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The best makeup from ELF from @15MinBeauty

UPDATE 9/13/2015
I've made a new, updated companion list! New products that are must haves, since this list came out in 2013. Check out my new ELF Must Have Products!

Today for Makeup Wars we're each picking a brand and sharing our favorite, must have products from that line. This is something I've done before, my Must Have Products posts have featured Urban Decay, Too Faced, Stila and a lot of my other favorite brands. Today I wanted to highlight a much lower priced brand, I'm sharing my favorite products from ELF.

I have a new obsession with ELF. I fully admit that I recently placed an order for over $100 (yeah for money I earn blogging!) and have picked up a few other items over time as well. If you haven't seen the ELF 2013 Holiday Sets you need to run and find them at your local store. Like, now.

ELF is amazing for their prices. Almost everything is under $3, and the few items over that amount are usually well worth it. The line is huge and includes a lot of dupes for more expensive makeup items. When I was researching the line for my order, it was actually a bit hard to find lists of products that are worth picking up. So, I bought a lot of different products and you can expect a lot of much more in depth reviews soon.

In the meantime, I've made it through about 1/3 of my order (there was a lot of stuff!) and I want to share with you which products are my favorite so far! So, here's my list of the best, my favorite and definitely worth buying products from ELF! Some of these products are available at your local store (I can get ELF at Target and Walmart), but a few are online only (like the Glitter Primer. You need to place an order only to get that primer!)

1. Glitter Primer: Everyone needs a good eye shadow primer. Really, everyone. I've heard that a lot of people like ELF's regular shadow primer, but I've never really had good luck with it. But, I was really interested in trying out their Glitter Primer, and though shopping cart quirks (and buying a large set of items that contained the primer when I didn't realize that it was there), I actually ordered 3 of these primers. At first I was a bit annoyed at myself, I spent $6 on primer basically when $2 was ok just to get 1 to try it out. But, now I'm so glad I have 3 tubes of it! This stuff really is pretty amazing. It really grabs on to any loose powder and keeps it on your lid all day, whether you're wearing regular shadow or something that is a bit more, well, glittery. And it is super easy to wash off at the end of the day. You'll want to stock up once you try it!

2. Lip Exfoliator: I know it looks funny, but rather than using a more traditional brown sugar lip scrub, you can just rub this over your lips and rinse it off. It works great and I love how quick it is! I don't get scrub all over the place for once.

3. Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick: This is very similar to lip gloss sticks from brands like Clinique, Revlon and CoverGirl. Just for a lot less money.

4. Makeup Mist and Set: I've mostly been using this to spray my eye shadow brush and then help foil on a shadow, and it works really well. I need to remember to spritz it all over my face as well! My friend Phyrra wrote an amazing post about The Best Ways to Use e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist & Set. It's a great $3 dupe for MAC's Fix+ spray.

5. Shimmering Facial Whip: This highlighter is a total steal at $1, but don't use too much! It's easy to turn yourself into a shimmer ball. Just a small amount is all you really need.

6. Daily Brush Cleaner: This is basically a (good smelling) alcohol spray to put on your eye shadow brushes after you use them so you can brush off that day's color. This is something I'm horrible about remembering to do and I'm actually remembering to clean my brushes more often because of this cheap spray. It really works too.

7. High Definition Powder: This super fine powder is a great dupe for the much more expensive Make Up For Ever HD Powder. It's one of their more expensive items at $6, but it is amazing! Definitely pick some up.

8. Baked Eye Shadows: There are a few colors and they're near perfect dupes for similar shadows from Sephora. The colors are really very pretty and I'm using my set a lot already, I'll need to make a few easy look tutorials using this palette! I have it in California (here's my ELF Baked Eye Shadow in California review and swatch pictures post).

9. Eye Shadow Brush, 10. Smudge Brush and 11. Studio Contour Brush: These are all among my favorite eye shadow brushes. I have a lot of brushes, many of them are from much more expensive brands, and I seem to be reaching for the ELF brushes the most often. At $1-3 each you can easily stock up!

12. HD Blush: This cream blush is a great dupe for Make Up For Ever's HD blush, and it is so pretty and easy to use! I put a small pump on the back of my hand and apply with either my finger or a blush brush from there. It's well pigmented and blends easily to last all day.

13. Eyebrow Kit: One side is a pigmented wax, and I can apply just a little bit to get a natural look. The other side is a lighter powder that you can use over the wax, though I admit that I skip this step.

14. Matte Lip Color: Just what it sounds like, I think it is basically Stila's Convertible Color in a pencil form. I'm really loving Natural.

What are your favorite ELF products?

UPDATE 9/13/2015
I've made a new, updated companion list! New products that are must haves, since this list came out in 2013. Check out my new ELF Must Have Products!

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9 Must Have Products from Stila

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Best Makeup from Stila
I've long been a Stila fan. I love how easy so many of their products are, how long lasting they are, and that the company seems to really focus more on just being pretty than trendy. It's also a big bonus that they frequently have on-line warehouse sales so you can get great deals.

1. Stila Convertible Color (Shown in my favorite shade, Lillium): Stila bills this as a creme blush/lipstick combo. I confess that I don't get a lot of color when I use it as a lippie, so this is strictly a creme blush for me. I apply with a brush, though sometimes will feather it out a little with a fingertip. The result is a very pretty flush that lasts me all day.

2. Stila Eye Shadow (shown in Wheat, a great basic shadow for pale girls): I have a pretty big shadow collection from Stila, and I have to say that they never disappoint. They're well pigmented, blend well and last all day. I especially love that you can buy them already out of the pan and just pop them into an empty compact (which they sell pretty cheaply. But they're actually really nice compacts.)

Some of my favorite colors: Dune, Eden, Oasis, Shell, Wheat, Grace, Heather, Espresso, Java.

They also come in kind of amazing compacts. In the Garden has a great collection of tans, golds and greens which you won't find on their own. And I wait in anticipation every summer to see what they're including in their amazing travel palettes, which are small enough to travel with but big enough that they feel like a major deal (which they are!)

3. Stay All Day 10 in 1 Beauty Balm: There are more versions of this beauty balm now, but this is a definite crowd pleaser. It comes in 1 shade, but I swear it works for pretty much every skin tone, working to even things out a bit and make everything apply more smoothly.

4. Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner: I swear that liquid liner pens are a million times easier than a pot and brush. Lots of companies make these pens, but the Stila one is my favorite. It has a slightly longer tip, which makes application a bit easier (tip: apply with the pen on it's side, not the very end, for more control), and this pen seems to put down a little more product than similar pens from MAC and Milani.

5. Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (shown in Beso): Super pigmented and easy to use, this lipstick is perfect for a red lippie (my favorite is Beso), and it lasts all day.

6. Smudge Stick (shown in Damsel): Love these! They are like eye liners, but a little easier to smudge, and can easily be used all over your entire lid as shadow. They frequently come out with amazing limited edition colors (like at the holidays, their Seeing Stars set was to die for), if you see a special one you like, definitely stock up!

7. Forever Your Curl Mascara: Another mascara that I could have sworn I had reviewed but never made it to the blog. If you use a lash serum, you'll know what I mean when I say that sometimes your lashes can become resistant to curling. Apparently Latisse is especially known for this (in addition to having the lashes go all over wonky ways), and while I use Revitalash, if I go a little while without using it (maybe trying to wean myself off...) then my lashes do the same thing. It's like they are protesting the lack of Revitalash.

Anyways, about the time this curling mascara was released, I was trying to come off of the Revitalash, and my lashes were unhappy and would NOT curl. I bought about 6 different curling mascaras, and this is the only one that helped. Plus, it offered some nice length and volume. It's the only curling mascara I recommend now!

8. Lip Glaze (in Honeydew): Not sticky, a little color and I swear these things last forever. There's a lot more gloss in that pen than you realize! Sarah Lucero once told me that Grapefruit and Honeydew are the most universally flattering of the shades.

9. Smudge Crayon Waterproof Eye Color (shown in Midnight Blue): This is basically the Smudge Stick in a larger form. Again, you can smudge it and after a minute or so it "sets" so that it really doesn't move anywhere. I've worn it snorkling in Hawaii without issues. For real.

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7 Must Have Items from Too Faced

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7 Must Have Items from Too Faced via @15minbeauty
Today is the birthday of one of my favorite brands! Happy 15th Birthday Too Faced!

To celebrate, I moved up a Too Faced post I had planned for... tomorrow. Odd twist of fate, that one! Yes, I am a big Too Faced fan, their products are among my daily staples (that eye primer, the neutral eye collections, the pinky lippie that is my lips but better and I take with me everywhere). If you haven't tried them out yet, now is the time!

1. Shadow Insurance: Yes, the eye primer that is everywhere. I think most girls are either a UDPP fan or a TFSI fan, and while I like both I have to say that TFSI is a bit more versatile. Because it feels a little tacky once it sets up, it really is idea for use with loose eye shadows. It also lasts all day without creasing or fading.

2. La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream (in Honey Bear): I take this color with me everywhere. Everywhere. It is in my purse, it gets carried around in my pocket, it gets transferred to my white coat pocket at the hospital... you get the picture. I should probably buy a back up. Or 5. (See my review of Too Faced Honey Bear)

3. Air-Buffed BB Creme Complete Coverage Makeup: A cream that applies with an included brush, this BB Cream has buildable coverage and I love to use it around my nose, but over a more traditional BB cream, for a bit of very natural added coverage. (See my review of Air-Buffed BB Cream)

4. Boudoir Eyes Shadow Collection: It was a hard decision to pick between Naked Eyes and Boudoir Eyes, though I'm reaching for Boudoir a little more the last few weeks. Super versatile, this palette can create a neutral eye for work or a sultry eye for a night out. (See my review of Too Faced Boudoir Eyes)

5. Endless Summer 16+ Hour Long-Wear Bronzer: Yes, a bronzer that lasts all day, isn't orange, but is just golden enough.

6. Lip Injection Advanced Plumping System: This is the only plumping gloss that makes a difference in my thin lips, though I admit I don't use it often because the tingling can be a bit strong for me (though if I used it more I'd probably get used to it and that would no longer matter).

7. Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection: Another palette that I frequently use to create a look for work, it's a bit warmer and a bit more shimmery than the Naked & Boudoir palettes. (See my review of Too Faced Natural Eye Palette)

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6 Must Have Products: Cargo Cosmetics

Must Have Products: Cargo Cosmetics
My first experience with Cargo was probably back in college. I bought a lip gloss quad (I think from Sephora) and I swear the thing was the size of a saucer! I couldn't get my hands around it to open it really, but I remember whenever I did manage to pry that tin open, it was well worth it. The gloss was shiny with a pretty tint and subtle shimmer. It wasn't sticky and it didn't taste funny. To my 20 year old self, this was the best gloss ever! It certainly didn't hurt that the giant quad lasted me forever, I definitely got my money's worth.

Today, Cargo is so much more than lip gloss to me! Sure there are still quads (luckily they're a bit smaller so I can actually open them, though they're still big enough that you'll get a great dea), but they have great blushes, bronzers that are just the right brown and even a super volumizing mascara!

1. Beach Blush in Cable Beach: The Beach Blushes are striped in their tin with a few complimenting shades, including bronzer. The result is a very pretty glow that is perfect for summer.

2. Color Stick in Santorini: The ColorSticks really aren't too unique of a product, many companies offer similar color sticks that are meant to work on eyes, lips or face. I think the Cargo ones are a bit more pigmented than my NARS Multiples. My favorite shade is Santorini, which is actually a bit darker than they pictured here.

3. Color Palette in Vienna: The eye shadow quads are pretty large from Cargo, and Vienna is my favorite. The 3 neutrals work great together, but the dark teal color is pretty much amazing. Amazing. I have a review on this kit with a few pictures of an eye look coming up later this week. Perfect for brown eyes.

4. OneBase: This is the perfect corrector for on the go. The tube has a felt tipped wand, or you can just squirt some out. What's in there is a medium coverage foundation or it can be applied with the wand as a light-medium coverage concealer (you can layer for more coverage). Throw it in a purse or take it with you when you travel to save space in your 3-1-1 bag.

5. Lip Gloss Quad in Oceana: The famed lip gloss quad! These are really big, which means they're a great buy. I love that there are a variety of shades in each tin, but they all work together. My favorites are Oceana and Casablanca.

6. Texas Lash Mascara: Yes, some serious volume.

What have you tried from Cargo? Which shades are your favorite?

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