Top 15 Beauty Products of 2015, part 2

I shared this blog on Facebook and didn’t know what to expect.  The love, support, kindness, and encouragement that I received meant so very much to me!  I don’t expect this blog to be anything more than a tiny hobby for me and maybe something my family and friends will look at and smile from time to time, but y’all made me feel like a real beauty blogger and I appreciate that immensely.  Now, on to the next five in the countdown!

6.  Makeup Geek Blush in Spell bound, $9.99 at makeupgeek.com/store:  While I own my fair share of Makeup Geek’s inexpensive and generally well formulated eye shadows, this blush really earned a permanent place in my Z pallet.  The pigmentation is balanced so that it really shows up on your face yet isn’t so overly pigmented that you have to be careful when applying or if you’re ham handed, ahem, moi.  The shade is a matte (y’all know how I feel about matte) warm pink with a hint of peach that I find actually pulls quite neutral which is what truly makes it so special.  I can wear this with absolutely ANY eye look, lip color, dramatic, natural, cool or warm toned look and this blush manages to hold its own without clashing or overpowering anything else.

7. Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Pallette, $46 at Sephora.com:  These eye shadows…they make me feel really, really happy.  This pallet is filled with matte (I know, I know), neutral (yes, again) shadows that are the epitome of what high quality shadows should be-highly pigmented, rich and creamy texture, blends like a milkshake on a summer day in Savannah…hot damn, these babies are fantastic!  I mean, there’s not a dud in the bunch, from the black to rusty brown to cream to taupe to well, every single one, they are wonderful.  The only caveat I could have is that they do kick up a bit of powder, therefore there is a risk of fall out.  Get over it.  They’re worth it.

8. Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner in Blackest Black, $8.99 at milanicosmetics.com:  This liner lives up to the claims on the packaging, non-feathering, waterproof, and applies smoothly.  I also like that the felt tip nib on the pen is quite long which I find allows a bit more stability when you’re feeling a little wobbly…we’ve all been there, no shame.  The color itself is a deep, true black that I’ve found myself comparing to other, high and low-end, liquid liners, and y’all, I believe this is the blackest I’ve found.  Lasts throughout the day, doesn’t smudge, a little difficult to remove, but if you’re taking care of your skin enough to remove your make up fully, like you should, then any eye makeup remover you have on hand should be sufficient.

9. Mac Pro Longwear Concealer, $21 at maccosmetics.com: This concealer has some unique properties that I rather enjoy and have purchased numerous times throughout 2015, and 2014 for that matter.  The texture of this product is very thin and liquidy yet it provides full, and I mean full, coverage that dries down completely matte (!), and does not move.  I find that it doesn’t exacerbate any dryness but this can be tricky under the eyes as some find it too heavy since it isn’t an emollient, melt into your skin, type concealer.  Is this an everyday use product? No, but when I want to look flawless or my skin is behaving particularly hormonal, it’s a miracle.  The glass vial it comes in will shatter if you drop it on cement (what doesn’t?) and sometimes won’t let me get to the last few drops but I have and will continue to repurchase.

10. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer in Medium/Dark, $12.97 at walmart.com:  Pardon me while I catch my breath after typing that name!  Mercy!  Anyway, this bronzer has a matte finish with flecks of sparkle that don’t translate to the skin which makes it a lovely p0wder to warm up and slightly contour the perimeters of the face.  Don’t be fooled by the shade name, it’s a light, neutral toned brown with that balanced pigmentation that makes this easy to use without feeling the need to be extra careful.  For a complete, carved out, face altering contour, a la Adele and Kim K., will this work? No, but when mixed with a bit of gray based powder, like the Sephora Tranquil Colorful Contour, $15 at sephora.com, it gives me the neutral shadows in the hollows, yeah right, of my cheeks and helps to disguise a bit of my double chin, along with a few more strategic places.

Stay tuned for the final installment of this series, coming soon!

Be beautiful,

Sally Sweet 😉

 

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Top 15 Beauty Products of 2015, part 1

I can’t let an opportunity present itself and not tell you about some of my favorite makeup, hair, and skincare products from last year, and perhaps even further back.  Most of these will undoubtedly follow me into 2016 and beyond or until something even more wonderful is formulated and presented to me…one of the many things I adore about cosmetics, and life in general..there’s always something new to experience.  This list is comprised of items that I have reached for, repurchased, and enjoyed nearly daily.  Here we go!

  1.  L’oreal Infalliable Pro Matte Foundation, $12.99 at Drugstore.com:  While the shade selection is incredibly lacking, the price is great, the staying power, matte medium-buildable to full-coverage, and squeeze tube packaging are excellent.  I also find that it has a creamy texture during application that doesn’t feel overly heavy on my skin and dries down without that strange tightening sensations that I sometimes get from foundations or primers with similar claims.  I know I’m on my third or fourth bottle and usually keep a backup on hand…not something I frequently do!  If you can find a shade match, like matte coverage, and have normal to oily skin then give this a shot.
  2. RCMA No Color Loose Powder, $20 for 10 ounces at Camerareadycosmetics.com:  This is a completely colorless, odorless, diaphanous setting powder that has made baking my under eye area delightful and doesn’t alter any color or base make up products that may already be on your visage.  It leaves my face matte but not cakey, not that I have anything against piling on the cosmetics, and I use it every single day.  If you’re oily, prefer to set your make up with a powder, or bake, this is a must have.  The large size will also last you forever!  Be prepared for a learning curve on how little you need, yes, even to bake, and that it may get everywhere while you’re getting the hang of it.  Your vanity might look like it’s part of a crime scene so reassure your beau or gal that you don’t have a drug problem.
  3. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, $30 at Ulta.com:  I was never a believer in makeup setting sprays until I tried this one.  The spray itself has a light feel and barely there clean scent and the nozzle delivers a very fine mist, the perfect last step to makeup application.  It takes down the powderiness without any loss of coverage and mattness (are we beginning to see some themes here).  This truly prolongs the wear time of my makeup and I cannot go without it especially if I’m particularly oily or during the muggy Georgia summer.  Another rare item for which I purchase back-ups.
  4. NYX Cosmetics Mico Brow Pencil, $9.99 at Ulta.com:  This is a very slim twist up pencil that has taken over my brows!  I can use nothing else and, yes, have a spare on standby at all times.  The pigmentation of the pencil seems to vary from shade to shade so be aware.  I’ve never experienced longevity issues from this pencil and the price is great but I seem to go through them rather quickly, but really, have you seen my brows?  I prefer them like I prefer my coffee…bold and expressive.
  5. Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara, $2.99 (!) at Jordanacosmetics.com:  Mascara can make or break your eye look.  This mascara makes mine.  I nearly never have an issue with clumping (when I do it’s my own fault for not discarding an old tube), no flaking or smudging, doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes, isn’t a pain to remove, is super black and rich, and it delivers on it’s name.  The BEST volumizing mascara I’ve ever tried regardless of price point.  And as for lengthening?  It does a pretty impressive job of that as well, but if you feel like it’s not enough in that regard this product lends itself very well to layering with other mascaras to get the look you desire.

Look for the next installment sometime next week!  Be beautiful!

Sally Sweet 😉

 

Why I love makeup

I come from a long line of cosmetics lovers. Some of my earliest memories involve sitting on the bathroom counter watching my mom hot roller her hair, apply a full face of makeup, and dress me and herself in matching outfits, with coordinating accessories, before heading out to the park and grocery store. I was probably the only child in t-ball that had a hair bow, socks, and shoelaces to match my uniform and was told not to get dirty before beginning the game. This desire to have a put together appearance extended to seeing my dad carefully shave, apply just the right cologne (out of the many in his collection) for the occasion, and making sure his belt matched his shoes and my mom’s purse. My grandmother was the queen of turning herself out well. She’d teeter around the kitchen in three inch heels and silk ensemble while cooking a soul food feast, entertaining a houseful of company, with perfectly coiffed (read big) hair and makeup. Considering all this, how could I not love cosmetics and the artistry in showing up in a big way?!

I love the ritual of sitting at your vanity or standing over your bathroom sink and carefully applying my face for the day. I even plan what makeup I’ll be wearing the night before. I love shopping my stash and finding little gems that I’d rotated through and remembering why I love that item in the first place. I love picking out the floral and breezy body spray to wear to a picnic or the rich and sultry perfumed oil to adorn myself with for a first date. I love the glamour of gliding along the cosmetic counters at Macy’s and the adrenaline pumping thrill of stepping into a Sephora. I love finding that brand new line at the drugstore or stumbling onto some close out (but within expiration dates) makeup at Big Lots. I love the way I can transform myself when I’m feeling drab or down into something fresh and exciting. I love the feeling of power that I get applying red lipstick before walking into a job interview. I love having a great skin day (a rare occurrence, trust me) and being able to skip right past the concealer for a lightweight bb cream. Makeup lets me express the beauty that I have within myself. Makeup connects me to the women and men that have performed these rituals before me. I love makeup.

Be beautiful,

Sally Sweet 😉