Everyday Look – UDXGWEN

If you share similar traditions to mine, the holiday season is just about to wrap up with Three Kings Day tomorrow. I know that most of my makeup loving friends received (or could’nt wait and ran out and bought) the ultra fabulous Urban Decay UDXGWEN palette as a gift over the holiday season. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of new beauty products but often let them sit because we don’t know how to use them. Fortunately the UDXGWEN palette isn’t makeup rocket science. The palette is pretty neutral friendly. While I am normally all about simple “everday” beauty, I do like glitz and glam up my everyday looks every once in a while. I’m not going to bore you with the basics. I created a face chart for my current basic everyday look. I am going to give you tips on how to take my everyday look into the glam zone. This amplified look is perfect for running errands, lunch with the girls, a day at the office or a trip to the mall or a romantic date.

everyday beautyblog everyday glam products

Now that we have our basic everyday look to of the way let me give you some tips on how I turn this from boring everyday to “everyday glam”.

everyday beauty blog everyday glam face chart

Add Some Super Shimmer/Glitter – I know, I know glitter isn’t technically for everyday but just the tiniest amount of a light neutral glitter liner or glitter based shadow can add a slight pop to a neutral eye. My favorite place to add this is to the inner corner of the eye. It brings just the right amount of light to the eye without looking too overdone. In the face chart the lid color I used is very shimmery but you can still add more.

Switch Up the Lip Products – Swapping out your “My Lips But Better” shades for a holiday inspired red, berry or  even a brown can amp up your everyday looks without being too overdone. I want to say that switching up your lips is the easiest way to play with your everyday looks.

Plum/Mauve Blush – I love plum and mauve blushes SO much! And the winter time is one of the best seasons to wear them. Just a little bit of plum/mauve blush on the apples of your cheeks give that pretty sugar plum fairy flush.

Smoke Out Your Liner – Adding smoky liner is another easy way to make your everyday beauty look a little extra special. And it’s easy! With a brush or even a cotton swab you are going to lightly smudge some eye shadow into your upper and lower lash lines.

everyday glam everyday beauty blog everyday glam everyday beauty blog

You can use one or all of the tips above to transition your everyday beauty looks to one that is a bit more glam and a little less “natural”. Why not try to glam it up for yourself and ring in the new year feeling good on the outside.

Happy New Year!

Ashley

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Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water Review

Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water is a new release to their permanent line of products. There are a total of eight shades currently available.  Each jar contains 1 fl. oz  and retails for $42.00. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water can be found at Smashbox retailers nationwide.

What the brand says:

“What it is:
A sheer-to-medium BB water with a liquid-silk texture that delivers multiple benefits in just one drop.

What it is formulated to do:
– Oil-free formulation with built-in primer water technology that creates a liquid silk-consistency to glide easily onto your face and moves with the skin
– Features SPF 30 sun protection
– Comes in eight shades

This multitasking BB water with SPF 30 is an ultra-hydrating and oil-free formula that creates a sheer, radiant finish that lasts all day. It delivers a demi-matte complexion that’s never flat, creating a natural-looking canvas, and it minimizes the look of fine lines, pores, and blemishes. This unique BB water allows you to build coverage and does not cause any drying, cracking, or caking during wear.”

My take on Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water is this: it’s pretty damn good! Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water is one of the new “serum type” foundations. The formula is very thin and has a slightly water-like feel to it. You absolutely have to apply this product with your fingers. Initial application yields a beautiful, natural sheer to light coverage finish that catches the light in all the right places. You can build coverage and cover minor imperfections by layering the product.

smashbox camera ready bb water swatch

The formula of Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water is fabulous! It didn’t dry my skin out and actually wore very well even on the drier patches of my skin. My skin felt hydrated through out the day. On its own Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water wears for about 6-8 hours before you’ll notice some slight wear. You can extend wear time buy using this product with a primer and setting with a powder. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water works very well with their Photo Filter Powder Foundation.

While I find the Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water fabulous, there are some downsides to it. At $42 for 1 fl. oz it is quite expensive. I also don’t like that the formula does not play well with brushes and sponges. I tried a few application options (other than fingers) and the results all pretty much stunk. If you’re not a fan of using your fingers to apply your base, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water is not for you.

If you’re in the market for a product that will enhance your own skin, yielding a beautiful, natural finish that looks like your skin? Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water is for you! Have you tried this product yet? Are you a fan of serum foundations? Let me know in the comments below.

XOXO

Ashley

September 2015 Favorites

DISCLAIMER: Some of the products mentioned in this post were provided for consideration. Please note that all opinions are my own and I have not been monetarily compensated for any product placement, mentions, etc. To see my full Disclosure Policy please click here.

ebblog sept 2015 main

Heeeeeey! Long time no post right? I took an over extended break for personal reasons. Happy to report that I should be back and ready to lend my voice to all things beauty. It’s been an odd month weather wise here in Chicago because we haven’t really begun to transition to the fall yet. We actually still have some very summer like weather here so I haven’t had to break out my usual “transition to fall” beauty goodies, had a pumpkin spiced anything or put my crock pot stew recipes to the test yet. With our unusual weather I have found that my September 2015 Favorites really reflect what I have been using for most of the summer.

ebblog sept 2015 makeup faves

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Twice Baked – I’ve always been advocate of using “color” (meaning not black!) eyeliner. While Urban Decay’s line of pencil eyeliners boasts an impressive array of shades, it’s Twice Baked that’s been my jam! Twice Baked is the perfect shade of dark brown with just a hint of shimmer and slightly coppery micro glitter. I reeeeeeally wish this wasn’t a limited edition item that is no longer available but there are plenty of brown liners on the market at all price points.

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Saddle – An oldie but goodie! Saddle is my everything: brows, liner, crease, sheer wash of smokey color on my eyes. It’s so important to have a good selection of “basic” shadows that can be used in a variety of ways. Saddle is just my makeup “bae”. I can’t live without it and it’s lasted me FOREVER.

INGLOT YSM Cream Foundation – When I came back from Mexico last month I had actually tanned quite a bit and I found myself needing a foundation that was just a little bit darker. Thankfully I had makeup ESP and brought this little powerhouse with me to Mexico. INGLOT’s YSM Cream Foundation is amazing! The coverage on it’s own is medium to full but what I have been doing with it is mixing it with other products to sheer it out some since I do not need that kind of coverage everyday. YSM wears for hours, looks like skin and just photographs beautifully! It’s also not as expensive as some of it’s higher end cousins.

MAC Cinderella Stroke of Midnight Palette – A MAC Palette full of best selling neutrals and a blackened purple? Toss in really cute packaging and how could this not be a favorite? I’m admittedly not one who buys into the MAC Limited Edition collections that are released weekly (or it seems that way!) but I actually stayed up all night to order this palette because I loved everything about the Stroke of Midnight palette. All of the shades in this palette are perfect: blend well, pigmented and long lasting. . If you missed out on the palette five of the six shades are permanent. Stroke of Midnight is the lone limited edition shade.

Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation – I use Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation on the days when I want to head out the door and I only have 5 minutes to get my face together OR to set my foundation/concealer. This powder when applied alone with a powder brush is enough to really just pull my face together. Over a foundation and concealer it works to set everything in place and to slightly color correct. Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation also adjusted to my recently tanned skin very well. For all my dry skinned ladies out there, this powder does NOT cling to your dry patches. There are a variety of ways to use the Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation (it comes with a double sided sponge, can be used wet or dry, etc) and several marketing claims I have yet to test so I may do a full review on this product in the future.

Tweetermen Slant Tweezers – Who doesn’t love a hot pink tweezer? Whenever I get asked: What is one beauty routine you do daily? My answer is ALWAYS: brows! Brows can seriously make or break your ENTIRE face. Yes, your brows are THAT serious! To keep your brows in tip top shape I recommend a great pair of tweezers and you can never go wrong with Tweezerman. Free sharpening for life? Yes please! I actually have two pairs so when I do send them away to get sharpened, I always have a spare at home with me.

ebblog sept 2015 hair favorites

Redken Color Extend Magentics Shampoo – I have a love/hate relationship with sulfate free shampoos. I love that they don’t dry my fragile tresses out but I hate that my hair never feels or looks clean after using them. That all changed this past summer when I purchased Redken’s Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo. This sulfate free, color safe shampoo just really, really works! It cleanses my hair, gives my hair body and doesn’t dry my hair out. I would use this shampoo even if I wasn’t coloring my hair that’s how good it is.

Simon & Tom Moroccan Treatment – I don’t know why but my hair cannot handle straight up oil of any kind. Believe me, I have tried them all. It’s almost like my hair needs that dose of silicone to make a difference and I am fine with that. Enter Simon & Tom Moroccan treatment which has seriously saved my ends as of late. Now, I do not use this serum all over my hair. I apply this serum on the ends of my hair before I go to sleep and when I get up in the morning my hair just looks and feel better.

Those were my favorite makeup and hair products for September 2015. What were you enjoying this month and made your September 2015 Favorites? let me know in the comments section below.

XOXO

Ashley

DISCLAIMER: Some of the products mentioned in this post were provided for consideration. Please note that all opinions are my own and I have not been monetarily compensated for any product placement, mentions, etc. To see my full Disclosure Policy please click here.

bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

main bare minerals complexion rescue

 

bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream is a new addition to the bare Minerals line. Each tube of product contains 1.18 fl. oz. of product and retails for $29.00. There are ten shades available in the bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. This new product is available at all bare Mineral retailers, stand alone and online. Here’s the official 411 from bare Minerals:

What it is:
A versatile gel cream that combines skincare benefits and naturally radiant coverage in one.

What it is formulated to do:
– Mineral-based formulation that combines the best of a BB, a CC, and a tinted moisturizer to provide increased skin hydration after just one week
– Features SPF 30 sun protection
– Comes in 10 shades

This versatile cream achieves dewy, sheer-to-medium coverage to give skin a radiant, soft, and smooth-looking appearance. Formulated with mineral electrolytes to help energize skin, it’s also infused with marine botanicals to help replenish dry skin. It contains heart-leaf globe daisy, an antioxidant, which aids in protecting against environmental stressors—improving the appearance of skin while keeping it hydrated.

Can it be? A product that actually can back up it’s claims! YAAAAAS honey! bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream has quickly become a MUST have in my daily beauty routine. This extremely long wearing skin care meets foundation hybrid is the bee’s knees! bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream provides sheer to light/medium coverage depending on the skin issues you’re dealing with. I find I get the perfect amount of overall coverage for daily wear with one application.  I haven’t tried to build up this product because if I want to amp up my look I’ll use concealer on the areas that are a problem for me to avoid possible caking associated with “building” foundation type products. bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream wears flawlessly for me all day without settling into fine lines, clinging to dry patches, fading or rubbing off. I almost want to say my skin looks better the longer I am wearing it which sounds insane. It’s lightweight and breathable. Also, the SPF built into the formula doesn’t throw white cast in photos. A HUGE bonus for moi!

 

bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in Opal

bare Minerals Complexion Rescue in Opal

 

The packaging claims that after a continuous seven days of wear you’ll see some improvements in your skin’s hydration and I have to say that for me this is completely true. During my testing phase (as a foundation alternative) I noticed my skin was nicely hydrated even during the cold snap we have experienced here in Chicago. It played well with my existing skin care routine which is a plus for me.  And when I discontinued daily use as a foundation to see if I was just nuts, I did notice my skin was drier and was definitely on the duller side.

 

ebblog apena complexion rescue

This photo is taken after 12 hours of wear NO touch ups. I applied at noon and this photo was taken at 1:30 AM.

 

bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream can be tricky to work with. It is a gel based product and it dries down very quickly. The package directions state to apply with your fingers (even though a new brush was released and marketed with this) and I would say that applying with a brush for a formula of this type is better. I even avoid placing it on my hand to apply from, I use a Make Up For Ever  metal mixing tray to apply from. I do my face in areas: nose, forehead, chin, left cheek and right cheek using a flat kabuki face brush. That method worked best for me with bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream.

Skin care and coverage in one? Wha what!  bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream has become a fixture in my daily beauty routine. I can’t wait to see how this performs in the warmer months. Have you tried bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream yet?

X’s & O’s

Ashley

Everyday Beauty Blog: Best of Beauty 2014!

ebblog best of 2014

Can you believe that 2014 is ALMOST over? This year really has just gone by super fast for me. Well, I’ll take that back… The last couple of months have gone by fast! I’m not going to lie, the beginning of the year was not the best for me, but I persevered and I am in a much better place now. For me 2014 was filled with beauty busts but the beauty champs reigned supreme for me. In lieu of a “December 2014” favorites, let’s take a look back at some of my absolutely FAVORITE products of 2014. Introducing: Everyday Beauty Blog Best of 2014!

tf melted best of 2014 ebblog

5.) Too Faced Melted Liquified Lipsticks ($21.00 each) – When I reviewed these fabulous liquid lippies I raved about the wear time, how they felt on my lips, the packaging ,etc. and I ragged about the shade selection. I am happy to report that Too Faced has added quite a few new shades and the line stands at a whopping 18 shades in under a year. That’s how you know a product is great: rapid line expansion. The Too Faced Melted line sports an impressive shade selection that even features a new vampy bluish, purple shade shade: Melted Villain, which is new for their Spring 2015 collection. The Too Faced Melteds are my pick for Best of Beauty 2014 Lippie!

ebblog best of 2014

4.) DermOrganic Shine Spray Therapy ($19.99) – I literally just received this product two weeks ago and this leave in spray is hands down the absolute BEST I have ever tried. It is one of the few products that actually does everything it claims to: seals the cuticle, provides heat protections, adds softness and shine, etc. If you try anything from DermOrganic snag this. My hair is ridiculously shiny, soft and manageable now that I am using it. It also has a very sweet, almost candy like fragrance that I love. The DermOrganic Shin Spray Therapy is a must have, Best of Beauty 2014 Hair Product!

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3.) Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadows/Blushes (Price varies starting at $21.00) – 2014 saw a TON of eyeshadow releases but my pick for shadows of the year goes to Make Up For Ever and their relaunched line of powder shadows and blushes. There is an INSANE amount of shades and finishes. The quality is there on 95% of the Artist Shadows/Primer. Can’t commit to a few full sized colors? Nab the Make Up For Ever Artists’ Shadow Palette. It’s a great starting point to get you hooked on the rest of the line! The Make Up For Ever Artist Eyeshadows earned Best of Beauty 2014 Eyeshadows!

ebblog best of 2014 t3

2.) T3 Single Pass Compact Iron ($79.00) – I spent most of 2013 and 3/4’s of 2014 searching high and low, far and wide, for the best flat iron for my tresses. And I finally found it in late August! The T3 Single Pass Compact Iron is everything  need to tame my locks and get them pin straight. Combined with the DermOrganic Shine Spray Therapy, I am flaunting shiny, straight hair for days on days. I use the T3 Single Pass Compact Iron more than any other beauty tool I own earning it Best of Beauty 2014 Beauty Tool.

ebblog best of 2014 bobbi brown

1.) Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick ($44.00) – How could this awesome foundation stick not be number one? Reformulated and relaunched for Spring 2014, Bobbi Brown’s Skin Foundation Stick is EVERYTHING you want in a foundation. It wears phenomenally on it’s own, plays well with primers and powders, covers well and it looks like skin. If you have to tried this yet, you have to for 2015. This power house foundation has been a recurring favorite for me since I purchased it. Was there ever any real clear cut winner for me this year? The Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick is definitely Best of Beauty 2014 for me.

I am looking forward to 2015 for SO many reasons: fabulous new beauty products, wonderful opportunities and of course our TWINS! Happy New Year my dear readers. I hope and pray that 2015 is a happy, prosperous and joyous year for all!

X’s & O’s

Ashley

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