Archive for April, 2018

I’m feeling rather bleh tonight for a myriad of reasons, so sorry this isn’t super inspired or involved. I’m not a huge blush person as my skin is pretty textured and I think blush makes it look worse; however, I have a few anyways because I think they are pretty.

My two current favorites are Wet n Wild in Mellow Wine and Benefit in Galifornia. I have had the WnW one for a while now…at least a year. It has been my go to since I bought it. It was only $4.99 and it’s a pretty…well, mellow wine shade! The name is pretty dead on haha. I purchased a trial size Galifornia at least a month ago now and I find that I’m reaching for it when I want to wear something on my cheeks. It’s a light, warm/golden pink color.

I see WnW is coming out with a new line for spring–i think it’s called Flight of Fancy? At any rate, I saw a blush in the set that I want to grab, so I’m excited for that to debut.

Favorite colors of blush?

And I will apologize once again for the pictures…I might have to get a new phone 🙄

-AV (avlovesmakeup on Instagram)

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So I have kind of gone over this before, but I think it’s an important topic that took me a long time to realize was important. I have always loved makeup but I have up until about 2 years ago hated my skin. I had so much trouble with it and wore some makeup to try and cover it up but also felt I couldn’t wear other makeup because it didn’t “work” on me. The problem was that I didn’t understand skin care and primers. Plus when I was younger there just wasn’t the huge range of selection we now have.

At any rate, to get that YouTube/Instagram perfect look, you have to have healthy, clean skin and most people need good primers.

What I use for skin care:

My current go-to face cleanser is Philosophy’s Purity. It is a little expensive but I got a small bottle that came with Micellar water for $15 and it’s lasted me a few months.

My current go-to moisturizer is Clinique’s 72 hour surge. This is definitely pricey. I have been buying the tiny jar for $12 and it lasts about a month. I love it though. It’s not greasy and it’s brought life back to my skin after I went through a crazy dry spell.

My go-to exfoliator is E.L.F brand! I actually really love this. It is not too rough and it hasn’t irritated my skin. And it’s definitely affordable.

I use the cleanser 5 times a week, with the exfoliator the other two nights, and the moisturizer every night.

I am currently trying this new lip scrub and like it so far–Beauty Treats in Dark Cherry. It was I believe $2 on the Hush app. And my lips are always so dry that I use good old Vaseline of them at least every night, if not several times a day.

Makeup remover is also important. You need to completely remove your makeup every night. I actually use Pond’s brand which is probably like, so old school. My mother always had this haha. It’s like $7 but it lasts me seriously forever. Like a year.

Finally, the primers. My favorites should be no surprise haha. I love Urban Decay. I wish I got paid every time I recommended them! Their eyeshadow primer is my holy Grail product. My shadows last at least 10 hours without creasing (I’m not out in 100 degree weather all day or anything crazy). I like the original the best but their Minor Sin shade is nice if you like a color to your primer. I also love their Optical Illusion pore filler/face primer. I was lamenting before that nothing helped my pores but lately I really think it’s been helping! I take a small tab, really pat it into my pores, and then blend out the rest. They are both pricey of course but I use such a small amount of both that they last awhile!

What are your favorite skin care or primer products? Gotta lay that base! 🙂

Im sorry the picture is so dark!! My phone sucks.

-AV (Instagram avlovesmakeup)

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I know I’m late to this party. I wanted the Take Me Back to Brazil palette when it first debuted but put it off…and it literally sold out when I finally went to purchase it. Then I lamented for longer than I should have haha. But it restocked! So I went for it.

If I remember correctly, it was only $16.99 on their website. Not one to like paying for shipping, I ordered brushes and setting spray to get up to $50 (free shipping). It wasn’t a complete whim though. I actually only have one set of brushes that I ordered from Amazon forever ago and then some singles I’ve picked up from ELF along the way. It was time to try new brushes.

The Palette: I was first drawn to this because I had no other colorful palettes at that time. Now I have a few. So did it stack up? Short answer: yes. I was scared at first because I hated the swatches. However, with eye primer and using brushes, the pigmentation came to life. There was no fallout. You can build the colors up and blend. Also, compared to my other colorful palettes, it just wins all around in range and price. I have the UD Kaleidoscope Dreams palette which has 1/3 of the amount and was originally over double the price. Then I have Bad Habit’s After Shock palette which is only $10 but only has 9 shadows. You get the colors of the rainbow in 3 shades each and then some with this.

If you want color, get this! Also the packaging is nice, and while it’s obviously a bigger palette, it is nice and slim.

The brushes: so far I am enjoying them. I got a pink set that came in a really nice, sturdy case. I also bought some random extras of shapes I thought I would use the most. They seem to pick up the shadows well and they are soft but aren’t shedding so far. They were all super reasonably priced. I love UD but I just can’t bring myself to pay $25/brush when I got a whole set for $15-20 and it’s working well so far.

I got a setting spray too but I have not tried it yet! It seemed like it had a forceful spray lol.

Anyone else a fan? I will definitely try more BH in the future!


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I know this is like a “knock off” palette but it’s soooo good! So I purchased from the Hush app again. I got Bad Habit’s After Shock palette. I already have their After Dark one and love it, so I decided to try another. This is $10. I just can’t even. Like $10. I l-o-v-e this.

One, the packaging is phenomenal. It comes in a box that is shiny and bright. The palette looks the same and is about the size of my open hand from wrist to fingertips. It’s sturdy and stays closed from magnets. There is a mirror in it.

The colors are beautiful. They are pigmented and they feel soft and creamy. So far they blend well ( I have only tried blending the mattes so far). I got some on my brush, tapped it off, and it still was like, whoa color. Keep in mind my phone sucks and the colors are more amazing in person.

There are three shimmers: BPM (purple), Lightshow (dark blue), and Drop (teal). Then the rest are mattes: Sensation (pink), Chaser (orange), Electronica (yellow), Plur (deep blue-green), Tingle (pink), and Surge (red).

I also purchased BH Cosmetics’s Take me to Brazil, so I will be curious to see how they compare (it hasn’t arrived yet). Obviously one has more colors, but for the price, I would recommend this to anyone who loves colorful makeup!

I have hooded eyelids so when I’m not posing with my eyebrows up and eyes dropped, it looks kind of like a normal, every day look. Right?? 😁


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So I’m just doing a quick review today. I had a long weekend of a baby who I can’t decide is badly teething, rejecting whole milk, has a touch of the stomach flu, or all three. Ug.

Anyways, to brighten my day I am unbrightening my skin! -kinda. I bought Wet n Wild’s Mattifying Powder (in Matte about You…I’m not sure if they just named it or if there are other “shades”? I would think not but you never know. I only saw this one at the store) back before I realized my skin was going to be crazy dry for a long time. So it’s just been sitting there for months. However, it seems with the cold, dry winter slowly leaving, some life is coming back to my poor skin. At the end of the day it’s not oily exactly, but there’s some shine to it. So I broke this baby out.

I’m pretty sure it was $4.99. It’s a pretty big pan size. I swirl my brush around, tap it off, then lightly dust it over my face. I have used it only about five-seven times but I really like it so far. It seems to take away the shine without making my face look dry. And maybe it’s my imagination but I think it makes my skin feel nice! I’ve use it on top of foundation and also with with nothing else on. It seems to do well either way.

Anyone else use this? Anyone with super oily skin? Does it hold up?


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I know I’ve posted about this before, but I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember. I was the 10 year old who wouldn’t ask for anything for Christmas because I knew my parents were struggling with money and I was worried about them paying bills. I had anxiety over my looks, my weight, my friends, school, home…everything. It got worse as I got older and learned there was more to be anxious about. Jobs, bills…let’s be real, it’s pretty endless what you can be stressed and/or anxious over. Turn on the news. That will give anyone anxiety 🙄

I think since I had anxiety from such a young age, and part of my anxiety was self consciousness (and I didn’t want people noticing me or paying specific attention to me), I have what I have heard called “high functioning anxiety.” 99% of the people I know have no idea how anxious I am. Some have expressed disbelief when I list the different anxieties I have.

I do have good days and of course bad days. Some days I put off phone calls or leaving the house because I can’t deal with it that day. Other days I manage to go to the store by myself (that’s an extremely good day). Some days I lay in bed and cry because I’m so scared someone is going to break into our house and murder us (seriously…that is an actual fear I have).

My husband…he is so supportive but I don’t think he’s ever had anxiety. I can see it in his face that he just doesn’t understand. He supports me well though, for not understanding.

If you have anxiety…do what you can when you can. If you can’t leave the house that day…try again tomorrow. Celebrate small victories. Be nice to yourself. If you know someone with anxiety…just be there for them. Do what you can to help ease their anxiety.



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So I got Ipsy a couple of years ago when I first got into makeup. I ended up not knowing how to use or what to do with a lot of products so I ended up cancelling it. However, I was at a place where I wanted to try it again, so signed back up.

First, I love the bag. Like the actual bag. It is very pretty to me and I will definitely use it. I remember not liking a lot of the bags I got before, so I’m happy this was my first one.

I only used each product once as I got this yesterday, but here are my initial thoughts:

Ciate London Starstruck double-sided eyeliner: I like the actual eyeliner. I’m not 100% what to do with the other side, which is a star stamp. But the liner is a solid black and it glides on easily. It is a felt

Paula Dorf Cosmetics, bronzer on Bora Bora– so far I love this. It is sooo smooth and soft feeling. The color may be a tad dark for me, but it will work if the sun ever comes out 🙄

Ruby Eyeshadow Blending Brush–seems pretty good! It’s soft and hasn’t shed yet.

Purifect by Symphony Beauty Micellar cleansing water in coconut–i have never used Micellar water before but it felt nice and it had a pleasant, light coconut smell. I will keep trying it.

H2O+ Beauty moisturizer–i was excited to try this and was immediately disappointed. I wasn’t crazy about how it felt on my hands so I didn’t try it on my face yet. It felt kind of greasy, and I have such “funny” or sensitive skin that I am a little wary of greasy feeling products.

I have never heard of any of these brands, so if anyone has any good or bad experiences, let me know!


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Guys…we all have those moments where we see, hear, or read something and go, ohhhhhhhhhh i-am-an-idiot. Right? So let’s just get this out of the way. I don’t pretend to be a makeup guru, and good thing, because I’m obviously not.

So when I learned you could use setting sprays to make your eyeshadows “pop,”….I was spraying the brush and then putting the eyeshadow on and then not really seeing good results. Like it kind of worked but I was blaming my brushes.

Then I was like, maybe I need a high end setting spray. I only had a Milani one and I didn’t even really like it on my face to be honest. So I was reading about MAC spray and learned that I was doing it backward! Oops 🤷 The spray directions on the website said put the eyeshadow on your brush, then spray, then apply.

Wow, that made a difference! 🤦

So I’m revisiting ABH’s Prism palette and learning that the shimmer shades are not terrible. I’m playing around with it again and will probably do a revisit post on that. They definitely work better when I use the spray correctly.

Anyone have any 🤦 moments? I’m sure I have more haha!


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So if you haven’t read my complaints on my skin before, here’s the long story short: I had terrible acne with oily skin from age like 11 to 23, then mildly bad breakouts with very oily skin from 23 until 29, then I got pregnant and had beautiful, beautiful skin that was more on the dry side. After all of the hormones went away, I thought I would get my oily skin back. Nope! It became as dry as the Sahara but…I still have my large pores. Go figure. I hardly breakout though, so I’m trying to not complain and just find products that work.

So as I’m navigating through dewey foundations and BB creams and tossing my oil-free matte stuff…I started looking at pore filling primers. I have tried: Ulta brand, Urban Decay, and finally Benefit. I actually don’t mind the Ulta one. I got a sample and it does “blur” my pores. However, I wore my UD Optical Illusion on one side of my face today and my Benefit Porefessional on the other side. That cost about the same I believe. I have the full size UD and it was $32 or $34. I then bought a trial or mini size of the Benefit and it was either $12 or $15…so the full size might be a tad cheaper than UD.

You get a lot of product in my opinion. I use very little because I just need it for the tops of my cheeks by my nose and going under my eye, where my pores are largest. I put a little on my finger, swish it across the area, pat it in really well, and then blend out the excess.

Both felt nice and lightweight. Neither were tacky or anything. Benefit looked brown but blended completely clear. UD looks like a light pink and does make my skin look lighter but I wouldn’t say it left a pink color. I think the UD feels silkier; however, I think both made my foundation go on more smoothly.

I wore the BB Cream over top (Nyx brand). You could definitely still see my pores. So it’s a little disappointing. I will say though it blurs them out a little and does fill in some of them. If your pores aren’t as bad, I’m sure you would love either. Also I do think they make my foundation last longer, so there’s that. I say I thought they were very equal in performance. I had UD on my right side (side with my nose piercings).

Any other pore filling suggestions??


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Ulta was doing buy three get one free on their sample sized products, so two of the products I chose were Benefit’s Hoola bronzer and Benefit’s Galifornia blush. For being samples, they were still either $12 or $15 a piece. I looked up the full size products and I couldn’t find that exact blush, but the bronzer and other blushes were $29 on Ulta. As someone who doesn’t typically wear blush and who doesn’t always wear bronzer, that’s a little pricey. Buutt…

Packaging is cute. I like it. Both open up and had a tiny little brush inside. I think they should have nixed the brush and taken a dollar off of the price. I used other brushes to apply.

The bronzer is matte. The blush looked matte but it also looked like it had a tiny bit of a sparkle to it. When I swatched them, I liked the colors, but I wasn’t blown away.

However, I put them on and really liked them. Then today I took my time and applied primer, foundation, and then both products and I loved them, especially the blush. They blended easily. I’m not sure why I was like, not impressed thinking they are so subtle, because I like my blush especially to be subtle. I think I look weird with a burst of bright color on my cheeks!

I think they gave me a healthy glow. I really need a new camera because this one just doesn’t do the colors justice. It was noticable without being in your face. I like my eyeshadows in your face but nothing else really haha.

I would buy these again! If I was short on cash and could only get one, I would pick the blush. Anyone else in love with these?


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