Tag Archives: advice

DIY: Rose Water & Aloe Facial Mist.


Hello lovelies!

Summer has officially landed here in Ohio and I’ve already had my first awful sunburn. This brought me to my most recent DIY- rose water. I’m a frequent buyer of the cult favorite Mario Badescu Rose facial mist, but I always wondered about making my own..

Since my rose bushes were on their last legs for this bloom, I snatched up the petals and got crafty! And I loved my results! Want to make your own rose water facial mist at home? Keep reading love!


Natural glycerin is great for moisturizing the skin. Be sure to pick one that is plant based- the chemical based versions are not good for the skin. Don’t worry too much about your rose petals- mine came right off of a bush, but you can use store bought or gifted roses just the same. My bottle is actually a recycled Mario Badescu one. I reuse them all the time- they are great for alcohol and water in a kit or on a vanity at home, and are the perfect size. And the aloe vera gel is good for calming redness and refreshing thirsty skin! You will also need a small saucepan, small strainer, and a measuring cup with a pouring lip for ease. Let’s get started, shall we?



I like to gently press a spoon against the petals before straining, just to remove any last rosey goodness, lol. Look at that beautiful natural color!


You can also add a drop of your favorite essential oil or extract. Just be cautious with essential oils, as some of them can cause sun sensitivity.


(Lol at my homemade funnel)


Don’t be afraid- mist your face whenever you need a pick me up, to settle your makeup, or to cool down on a hot day! It is all natural after all!

Note: The rose scent won’t be as strong as in the MB one- but his is an added fragrance, not from the roses. The less ingredients, the better. The benefits are in the rose oils and essence 🙂

Do you have any favorite beauty DIYs? Do share! I’m always looking for new beauty crafts.

Until next time,

xx&o

Meg

Summer Beauty: Tips, tricks, & product recommendations!

Hello lovelies! I’m here to talk about one of my favorite things in life- SUMMER. I’m ready for you warm sunshine, bonfires, and vitamin D! But along with added sunshine and time outdoors come a few beauty dilemmas. Here, we’ll talk about some tips and products I recommend for a beautiful summer. Let’s get started!

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Time spent at the beach and more exposure to air can mean dry skin- especially elbows and legs! I’m loving the new fragrances at Bath & Body Works, but good ol’ Aveeno will do the job (only better, lol). Apply liberally as needed! I like to mix a little bit of highlighter in my body lotion in my hands before application to get ‘glowy’ skin. The one pictured by CK is gorgeous and works perfectly, but any liquid highlighter will work too.

Next we have the VIP- sunscreen. It is an absolute, no excuses, MUST HAVE to be applied daily, 365. The worst thing at Ulta was all the women not using suncare products. Melanoma is not a joke and doesn’t discriminate against age, race, or gender. I always choose a sport sunscreen- they tend to be waterproof, have higher spf, and come in a fine mist sprayer. The days of thick, sticky cream sunscreen are gone! And remember, you can’t overdose on sunscreen- apply between each activity, especially when the sun is highest in the sky. And don’t forget the part in your hair! Scalp sunburns really suck and then there’s horrific dandruff aftermath, just avoid that noise. To protect your beautiful hair color in the sun (bright reds!!), I recommend a cute hair scarf or sunhat. The sun’s harsh rays will suck that color out with a straw. A nice leave in conditioner spray is a good beach bag add in, in general. I recommend Soya Want it All from Big, Sexy Hair, 22 benefits plus it smells fab. Moisturize your locks to prevent dryness and breakage!

Individual tan towels (Tan Towel, Tarte Maracuja Tanning wipes, etc.) are a good way to fake that sun kissed look without orangey skin! They’re affordable and easy to use. Fake it til’ you make it honey because you’re better safe than sorry.

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Inside:

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A girl’s gotta have a pretty shimmery bronzer and a super natural blush to rock all summer long! I LOVE ‘Park Avenue Princess’ from Tarte! Gorgeous gold shimmer in a subtle, smooth, buildable bronzing powder. And the blush- ‘Prim’ is so pretty, I can’t even tell you. It was love at first swatch! These are so smooth and blend beautifully.

Fragrance, if that’s your thing, can be a fun way to switch up your summer beauty routine. I recommend citrus, woody and light floral fragrances, like Jimmy Choo ‘Blossom’ and Marc Jacobs ‘Daisy Dream’. The fragrance pictured is the Coach ‘Signature’ scent. A roller ball is a great way to take your fragrance along with you through the day, but remember heat brings out the fragrance, so less is more.

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That hot, hot, heat can mean ornery, red skin. I love Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe and Rosewater for hydration and cool relief. It smells faintly of roses and feels fantastic. Plus, it’s from a spa and retails for a very un-fancy price of $7! An absolute must have. If you need something with a little muscle, Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming Spray is magic in a bottle. We’re talking, redness gone in five minutes good.

Oooh, look! More sunscreen! 🙂 Here’s one of my favorite facial sunscreens from Boots No.7! It’s light, doesn’t make me break out, and has spf 25. I put it on before foundation or primer.

I’m one of those girls who gets oil mania every summer, so I add a cream mattifier to my routine. This one from Vichy Labs or the one by Dr. Murad are great options. It’s just added protection for my makeup and if you get oily too, try one of these babies!

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In the summer, I like to switch to a lighter foundation such as a BB or CC Cream. The coverage is so breathable and they usually have added spf along with a multitude of other skin benefits. Many brands from drugstore to high end make a version of this, so there’s something for everyone.

I absolutely cannot rave enough about the Mally Beauty Poreless Face Defender! Like I mentioned before, I get so oily- this is a clear (CLEAR!) pressed powder. It looks so gimmicky and like it wouldn’t work, but it works AMAZINGLY. It mattifies and smooths the look of makeup but is literally invisible. Makeup magic I’m telling you.

See that little Napoleon cube? That’s my bff, Color Disc in ‘Amazon Jungle.’ This color is seriously gorgeous- a warm bronzy coral pink. If that’s a thing. It makes a lovely blush and is fantastic on eyes! A great one color choice for a quick pretty eye and even better in a travel bag.

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EOS lip balms. They’re so cute and colorful you just have to. Plus, nobody wants dry, chapped lips!

Rose Salve- salve is awesome in the summer (Burt’s Bees makes a great option too!) It helps dry skin on cuticles, knees, lips, face and anywhere else! I’ve even used a little to smooth fly aways. They come in compact tins and are great for travel or in your purse.

Bulletproof shadows- got a pool party and not sure what to do about your makeup? Grab a Mally Beauty Evercolor Cream Eyeshadow stick and your shadow won’t even flinch in that chlorine. And trust me, it’ll laugh in the face of sweat too. Plus, the colors are beautiful!

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I like to keep blotting papers in my bag during the summer to help keep me shine free even when I’m sticking to the seat of my car. They’re cheap and super easy to use! These NYX ones are $5.99 but ELF makes them too and those are $1!

Base coat is super important to prevent your nails from staining in the sun. Yellow nails are no fun and distort polish colors. Don’t forget to bust out those bright and glitter polishes! A pedi is a great idea too for sandal ready toes (you can read about how to DIY one at home here).

Don’t forget some fabulous sunnies! Your eyes can burn in the sun too believe it or not! Especially light colored eyes! Get your chic on ladies!

And finally, one last treat..

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Isn’t this adorable? lol. It’s a cooling mask I got at Bath & Body Works for just $5.50! I saw it and couldn’t resist bringing it home. You pop it in the fridge and when you feel hot, have a headache, or have puffy eyes wear it for instant relief. I love these things and they feel so good!

What are your favorite summer goods? Do tell! And stay tuned for part two of this post- ‘Simple, pretty looks for Summer’.

xxx&o Meg

Let’s Talk: Foundation.

Foundation can be such a confusing part of the makeup routine and having a great base is crucial to the overall look. I’m here to help clear the air and make this whole foundation fiasco a lot easier to master and find the right products that will work for you. Let’s get started lovelies!

The first question you want to ask yourself when choosing a foundation is whether you would like a liquid, powder, or cream formula. People with dry skin would want to choose liquid or cream formulas as they are more moisturizing, where as oily skinned people would choose powder or a matte formula liquid. Some people will find it best to have both types because skin is drier in winter, but gets a little more oily in the summer. That’s how I am and I have combination skin.

The next question is what kind of coverage you’ll need. Nobody truly needs a full coverage foundation- unless you like the look of it. If you have skin issues like acne or rosacea you need the correct concealer, not a heavier foundation, but we’ll get to that part later. If you have normal to decent skin, you’ll probably have the best luck with a beauty balm (BB), color correction (CC) cream or tinted moisturizer. If you’d like something with a little more coverage, then you would choose sheer to medium coverage foundations. This is really more of a personal preference, but is a huge part of finding your holy grail.

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Both have light, breathable coverage, sunscreen, and skin benefits. Beauty balms (BB Creams) are close to tinted moisturizers and are light enough to let freckles shine through. Color correcting creams (CC Cream) are usually slightly better coverage and help create one even tone on the face. I absolutely love the products pictured, as well as IT Cosmetics CC Cream and Maybelline’s Dream BB Cream which I have used in the past.

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There are many types of foundations with different coverages. Do a little research and you can figure out the best one for you. My favorite medium to full coverage foundations are Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 hr foundation, Rimmel London Lasting Finish Foundation, L’Oreal Infallible, and IT Cosmetics CC Veil Beauty Fluid. For sheer to medium coverage I would recommend the Maybelline FitMe liquid and powder foundations, Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation, or Complexion Rescue by Bare Minerals.

+ My biggest tip is to make sure you get the proper toned foundation. Tone is what will make it match your natural skin. You can either get matched at Ulta, Sephora, etc., or figure out your skin’s undertones on your own with the vein test. If the veins on the inside of your wrist are green, you have a warm undertone. Warm toned skin is more golden in color. If the veins are blue or purple, you have cool undertones. Cool toned skin is more pink or blue in color. If your veins look blue green, then you have neutral undertones and your skin will have a little bit of both tones.

Okay, let’s cover the rest of the stuff that will help take your foundation routine to the next level. First, concealer.

If you have something you’d rather not show, concealer can be your best friend. It’s a key part to a flawless face and can even help you look more youthful and awake.

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This stuff is awesome at covering extra tough to disguise dark or reddened areas on the face. You apply it to the area, then put regular concealer over top making sure to blend out the edges. They do make products that do both color correct and match the skin like IT Cosmetics ‘Bye Bye Redness’ or NYX dark circle concealer.

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Doe foot concealer wands are fantastic for concealing the under eye and spot covering blemishes! I highly recommend them for beginners and they come in all types of coverage. Choosing a concealer that works for you is fairly easy- you already know your tone, so then you can choose light, medium, or dark. You would want concealer to be lighter under the eye area and for covering other dark areas. You would want it slightly darker for creating a shadow as you might for contouring. Some lines make choosing a matching concealer even easier by providing a coordinating shade with the foundation you match, such as Urban Decay’s Naked Skin or Maybelline FitMe. If you’re ever unsure, just grab a quick second opinion to ease your mind.

You’re definitely going to want to get a face primer too.

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Face primer helps keep foundation looking freshly applied all day. A lot of primers have skincare benefits or are made with silicone and help foundation glide onto any skin- even the driest, bumpiest of the lot. They have oil free formulas for the shiny ladies and moisturizing, nutrient rich formulas for the dry skinned ones.

Up next is powder.

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I love the satiny finish a powder leaves and there are so many varieties to choose from. I personally like translucent, but the tinted ones can be nice too. They’re a great way to buff out foundation and dissipate shine.

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Setting spray helps makeup last all day and really helps seal it all in. This is a must have in the summer and they have dewy and matte finishes available. My all time holy grail setter? The NYX Matte finish!

What about big pores and super shiny t-zones?!

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To mattify my intensely shiny forehead and nose, I like to use a cream mattifier and carry blotting papers in my purse for daytime touch ups. Blotting papers are such a cheap option and beyond handy- these creams pictured are expensive. I ordered the Vichy off Amazon forever ago and received the Becca sample when I ordered from Hautelook. I’m dreading repurchasing as I love them both, but if I can figure out a better discount option, I’ll let you know, haha. To cover large, annoying pores on my cheeks, I blend a little POREfessional or Baby Skin over my foundation on those areas. It works like a dream- but the splurge is worth it as POREfessional is a holy grail product and comes in an awesome $10 and $31 size for all budgets. I usually just grab the mini because I use it solely on my cheeks and it lasts me awhile. As you can see- I’m down to my tiniest sample and it’s almost time to repurchase this too. It’s gonna get expensive this month!

Then there’s application:

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This is purely based on preference. If you’d like a suggestion for your routine, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to offer one. I personally use my tapered fluff for my foundation, teardrop sponges for concealer, and the full powder for my setting powder.

And FINALLY:

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*** You can apply your concealer before or after foundation.

(I apply my brows and eye makeup after step 2).

And my favorite foundation tip?

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That’s all I’ve got for today! Hope this helped somewhat and please feel free to leave questions below!

xxx&o Meg

Eyeshadow Base & Eyeshadow Primer: What’s the difference?

With all the different makeup products out there, it can get a little confusing as to what each product is used for. Today I want to talk about the difference between eyeshadow primer and base, and cover the different looks you can achieve depending on the products you choose.

Eyeshadow primer keeps eyeshadow from creasing, smudging or otherwise looking terrible. It’s a must have everyday that you wear shadow. Bases enhance shadows in different ways making them look completely different than directly from the pan, over primer alone. So first prime, then add a base if desired.

Here are the types of bases typically sold:

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These are all around $7 each. They all make eyeshadow look so different! Here I have swatched for you the same two shadows (one light, one deep) over each type of base. The eyeshadows I used are from the Ulta Gilded Gold Palette ($20).

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Neutral bases usually match your skin tone. You can use a ready made neutral base, a concealer, or paint pot. They all will work in the same way.

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White bases brighten the eyeshadow and make it more true to color.

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Black bases make the colors so moody! ‘Lustre’ looks almost silver!

Try some of your tired eyeshadows with a new base color for an easy update! There are millions of combinations when you toss in a little base to the mix!

Do you ever use an eyeshadow base? What are your favorite brands?

xxx&o Meg

Let’s talk about hair.

Ohhh, hair. The virtual bane of my existence- I have fine, wavy, color treated, limp noodle hair with dry ends. And the worst part is, I bring it all upon myself bullying my locks the way I do. Well, did. That’s why I’m here- to share what I’ve done to change my hair care routine and why my hair’s been noticeably better since! Keep in mind this is all coming from the girl who loves hair cut revenge. For those of you who don’t know, hair cut revenge is where a significant other hurts, betrays, or otherwise pisses you off and you lop your hair off as revenge. I’ve done this approximately four times in my life and finally, at age 26, I can say I cut my hair because I honestly want to. So Let’s get down to business.

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I use a variety of shampoos. I like to think it keeps my hair guessing, but either way, I notice it’s much friendlier to me when I do this. Right now I switch between these three- a minty, protein shampoo, a clarifying shampoo, and a heavier moisturizing shampoo. For conditioner, I like Joico’s K-Pak line. My ends are seriously dry, so although my hair is fine, I need that extra moisture boost.

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Mousse is one of my favorite ways to boost volume right from the beginning wet dog stages. It’s not crunchy and can be used to accent loose natural waves or curls or for volume in straight hair. I like all three of these products, but Root Pump is my go to. It sprays and that’s a big bonus.

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If you want to go natural wave- I recommend curl creams. Just ask my mom, I already have gotten her hooked. They’re not crunchy, but provide soft, usually amazing smelling hold. I barely wear my hair natural with it being short right now, but I still keep something on hand for the random lazy day.

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I seriously love hair oil. It’s my best friend fighting those dry ends and keeping my hair shiny without weighing it down. I use it on both wet and dry hair and sometimes as a heat protectant before straightening or curling with heat. I think everyone should use this in some form or another.

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More conditioner- yay! These two are beyond amazing. I can’t express it enough- just get them and you’ll see. Soya is my miracle product and so, so light!

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Sometimes you feel like wearing a bouffant. When those times occur, add in one of these babies. I love all of them- I use the Keranique in place of mousse, not both. Spray Clay and Powder Play are responsible for every bang pouf I’ve sported since 2013. Also, Powder Play? Finally a powder that doesn’t discriminate against dark hair!

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Oh, the holy grail of hairstyling. So important and so many to choose from. I like to keep a variety of holds in my collection- from light to firm hold. That way, no matter what hairstyle I’m trying to do, I have my bases covered.

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Everyone likes Beach Spray. I’d diy some, but I don’t trust my hair to free spraying oil. Also, heat spray is a must. Don’t be like me and fry your ends. This is my second tube of this Alterna Root Cover. I love it and if your lazy about color like me, I know you’d like something like it too.

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Dry shampoo can truly be a lifesaver when you’re running behind. It also adds texture and volume to freshly washed hair which can be helpful for up-dos. It’s very drying and you need to add moisture to your haircare routine if you use it regularly.

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These are my four must-haves. Rat tail combs are beautiful for perfect parts and placing hair for up-dos. Wide tooth combs are perfect detanglers. Round boar brushes are the perfect blowout tool. Paddle brushes are great for most people and come in different sizes to accommodate hair length.

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Flat irons- get one with adjustable heat and ceramic plates 1.5″ or less. Unless you have super coarse or down to your knees hair. No exceptions. Curling wands are my favorite because you can get loose or tight curls just by adjusting your wrapping. Also adjustable heat. Same with the curling iron.

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If you ever get bored with your hair and don’t want to go drastic- accessorize! There are literally hundreds of options on ways to decorate your hair- from temporary color, to chains, flowers, headbands, scarves and feathers. Be creative and remember you ‘pull off’ whatever you wear out. If you like it, who cares who else does ♡

If you have any questions on these products or have tried any yourself, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

xxx&o Meg

PS. Here’s a few of the hairdo’s I’ve had over the years:

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My Favorites Series: Eyeliner Edition.

Hello loves! I’m back with the next installment of my favorite things series to talk about eyeliner. I have nearly as many liners as I do shadows and that’s saying something. Perhaps that I need rehab. Ha. I’ve gathered up my favorite products and advice to share with you here, just keep reading.

For reference I drew this handy little eye map.

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These are the typical eye lining locations without including the inner corner for those extra feline eye looks. I know some of you are thinking ‘duh’, but trust me, I get asked all the time.

Next, we’ll go through the types of liners:

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Pencils are fabulous for lining the waterline and doing basic top liner. They smudge easily and can create various types of looks! I prefer gel formulas that are waterproof because they glide on smoothly and stay through a long day. My favorite pencils are the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On pencils ($20). They don’t come with a smudger end, but q-tips work fabulously. The downside is that they need sharpened- this can lead to wasted product unless you invest in a high quality sharpener. Benefit’s is $5 and Urban Decay’s Grindhouse is $10 and they both are worth the investment, if you like pencils best.

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Chubby shadow stick liners are great options for softer looks or really high impact smudgy looks. They have a thick tip and can usually be dual purposed as shadows. Chubby Sticks are usually used in the waterline and on the upper lash line. These are my least favorite as I lean towards crisp looks. My favorite brands are the NYX Jumbo Pencils ($5) and the Too Faced 24 hr. Bulletproof Shadow Liners ($21).

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Automatic eyeliner pencils are a great option when you like pencils, but don’t want to deal with constant sharpening. They glide on smoothly and keep the fine tip via twisting the product up from the tube. These are great for tight lining the inner lash line, waterline, and upper lash line. You may be able to squeak out a wing too if you don’t want it stiletto sharp! My favorite brands of auto liners are Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof ($20), Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencil ($2), PurMinerals Eye Pencil ($16), and Urban Decay All Nighter Eye Liner ($20).

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Gel liner is one of the best ways to get top liner to be flush with your lash line! It glides on smoothly and applies easily with the brush of your choice. This type of liner can be applied any way with the correct brush and most pots come with a freebie. You get a lot of product for your money and it’s very long lasting. My favorite brands are NYX ($10) and Maybelline Eye Studio ($10). I don’t see much point in buying high end gel liners when these $10 versions work just fine and last all day long!

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Ahh, liquid liner. The toughest stuff since false lashes. These are definitely the hardest to apply because they have such a liquid consistency and you’ll need a steady hand, or plenty of practice. I’d say this type of liner comes in the most fun varieties such as bold color and glitter! These make great accents for winged liner or pretty, basic top liner. I don’t recommend these for anything but the top or under the lower lash line. You can also use the glitter liners as a glitter accent over shadow if you apply them carefully. My favorite brands are NYX ($5), Benefit ($20), and ULTA ($10).

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And finally, the best thing that has ever happened in the history of liquid liner- the liner PEN. These are my absolute holy grail eyeliner! They are a must have for graphic, crisp lines. The tips come in a variety of sizes and thickness’ for the perfect look. I use these for upper lash lining, winged liner, and under the lower lash line. You can also line your waterline if your brave and in a pinch. I highly recommend splurging on one of these- there is a total difference in cost and quality here. My favorite brands are: Lorac Pro Liquid Liner Pen ($21), Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ($21), and Urban Decay Ink for Eyes ($20).

Eye Liner Tips & Tricks:

♢ Store your liquid liners upside down to keep their nibs wet and help them last longer.

♢ White liner works great at making the eye look bigger. Try using a little in the water line or just below to create the illusion.

♢ Securely close your gel liner and try storing it upside down. Too late? Add a little bit of glycerin or eyedrops to your dried out product and mix it with a toothpick. Back to new.

♢ Out of liner? Fear not, a little matte black shadow and a wet liner brush (eyedrops!) and ta-da! Any pretty eyeshadow can be turned into liner this way. You can also use shadows to soften the look of harsh liner by blending it into the edges.

♢ Make a mistake? Use a q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover to clean it up. Concealer on a tiny brush works great too. No pandas here!

♢ The scotch tape method totally works! Put it on before you start your eyes and not only will your liner be crisp, it’ll catch a bunch of shadow fallout. Ain’t no shame in the game ladies!

♢ Pencil too hard or out of gel liner? Gently heat the tip of the pencil and use a brush to collect product directly from the pencil. Instant gel liner!

♢ Scared to tight line your inner lash line? Try adding a little pencil liner to the pad on your lash curler. When you crimp, the liner will transfer directly where you want it, no blinking or watery eyes necessary.

♢ Stuck in a liner rut? Try building your liner up for a bolder finish. Add a little glitter. Use a fun color. Stack liners for a unique layered effect.

And to get you feeling inspired:

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That’s all for now lovelies! Happy New Year! See you in 2015!

xxx&o Meg

‘My Favorites’ Series, Part One: Brow Products!

As you all know, pristine brows are my favorite. I realize that every lady is different when it comes to how much effort they’re willing to exert on brows alone, so here I want to discuss the right products for everyone and why they’re the right ones.

First, let’s talk about grooming tools:

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I’m all for the girls who are blessed with naturally beautiful, thick brows maintaining them and not much else. I am not so lucky. My favorite brand of tweezers are Tweezerman. They are a little pricey, but they come with a lifetime of free sharpening! I swear! There’s six billion varieties, so you can find just the right pair for your needs. These ones are limited edition Izaac Mizrahi and they are so cute (well, for tweezers!). I use regular Sally Hansen grooming scissors for trimming that run about $4 and are easy to find. And if you need to go the waxing route (I’m part Mexican- I need it! My brow hairs will grow clear into my hairline if I let them), Moom Organic facial wax is an awesome option at around $6. If you want to go au natural, I also recommend brow gel:

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I see very little difference between high end and drugstore quality brow gels. I have the Anastasia clear brow gel (around $15) and the ULTA clear brow gel (around $8), and they are totally the same- minus the price tag. It’s like brow hairspray and keeps all the crazies in line. Anastasia makes tinted ones if you need a little color in yours ($16). Next, let’s talk about pencils!

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Here we have a nice variety of different brow pencils that I have personally tried. Brow pencils are great options for the girl who wants to fill them in a bit, but not too much more. They apply subtly and blend easily for a natural look. The Maybelline brow pencils come in a two pack for $4! They work like every other brow pencil and you get two- shazaam. The only downfall is the pencil sized top, but if you sharpen them often, you can get super fine hair-like lines. NYX brow pencils are $5.99 and the Lorac Pro pencil is around $19. To be honest, I don’t see too much of a difference between the high end and lower end items. I also get a ton of the Anastasia brow pencils returned due to the fact they are so brittle and thin that they snap! Very heartbreaking as they are not a cheap option. Anywho, here are swatches of each pencil:

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Lorac Pro in ‘Blonde’. Ultra-fine tip! I like these better than the Anastasia ones and they look identical, other than there are less color varieties.

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NYX brow pencil in ‘Dark Brown’. It has a weird oval shaped tip, but applies just fine. Swatch these before you buy as the colors are lighter than they are on the cap. I would consider this a light brown.

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The Maybelline Brow Pencils in ‘Velvet Black’- decent value for a little price tag!

A great way to beef up the look of pencil, or another subtle way to fill in your brows is powder!

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The Urban Decay Brow Box will run around $29 and only comes in two color selections. They are both pretty warm in tone and don’t fit every skin tone. If you don’t match with these- the Anastasia brow powders are lovely and come in many shades, but don’t come with tools. The NYX brow powder duo runs $5.99 and has more variety when it comes to shade matching. I hear the case is fragile, but I baby my makeup and my case is just fine. Both kits come with wax too, which is great. ULTA makes something similar for $12 and that’s a good low end choice too. Here’s a closeup of the cute mini tools:

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And here are swatches. Urban Decay ‘Brown Sugar’ Brow Box is on the left and NYX Brow Powder in ‘Black’ is on the right:

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Next we can talk about other brow formulas: pomades and gels. These have a little bit of hold to them and are not the easiest to apply. They take some practice to get used to, but have beautiful results with no added clear gel for hold. These are for the more high maintenance brow girl.

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Here we have Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in ‘Ebony’ ($19) and NYX brow gel in ‘Black’ ($5.99). These are two totally different products that can be applied in the same way. I like them both and the colors are nearly spot on. I will say that the Anastasia comes with more color options as the rest of the NYX gels are super warm toned. Here are swatches. Anastasia is on top and NYX is on the bottom, with two swipes of each product:

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I believe we found a dupe! At least for black. And to be honest, when I cleaned these off of my hand- the NYX needed to be scrubbed and the Anastasia came off much more easily. Meaning, if you’re going swimming, reach for the NYX! lol.

Lastly, I want to cover my favorite concealers and brushes. I prefer a creamy concealer so it blends easily in such a tight area. I usually only conceal around my brows if they are freshly tweezed or waxed to help cover redness. It’s a completely optional step, unless you want those ‘Instagram brows’.

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Glamoflage is $6 at Walmart, NYX is $5.99 and doubles as under eye concealer (a great dupe for IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye) and a shadow base, and the Pop Beauty No Show Camouflage Fix Trio ($16). I find all of these products to be comparable, so there’s a little something for everyone’s pocketbook. These also all work fabulously with a small brush!

And my brushes:

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I use a domed shadow for powder, a spoolie for grooming, and a tiny angled liner for filling, which are all ELF brand and came part of a like $10 giftset. I love ELF brushes and if you haven’t tried them, they are cheap in cost and work fabulously! ($1-$3 each). The Tarte brush comes with their brow product (it’s like a pomade too and is a good product) and I like it just fine, but the angled brush is a little big for my taste. If you just fill in with powder, it’s an excellent choice because the spoolie is built in. Space saver! Here’s a comparison of the angled brush sizes:

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I’m just a victim of brow OCD- if you are too, smaller brush heads will work better.

So that’s it for brow products- stay tuned for the next post in the ‘Favorites’ series where I’ll talk all about eyeliners and how to find the perfect one for you.

xxx&o Megan