Review: E.l.f. Zit Zapper

Hello Lovelies :),
I hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend! I celebrated my friend Liz’s bday this past Friday, spent yesterday recovering (fishbowl drinks…so delish, but they come with a side of regret the next day lol), and today I’m being lazy with the bf– getting ready to FINALLY watch the last episode of True Blood.
If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know I LOVE e.l.f. products, they’re amazingly affordable and some of them are really really great quality. A while back, my sister told me she’d picked up the Zit Zapper roller at Target and absolutely loved it so I thought I’d give it a try. This stuff works! If I have a pimple or zit, I just use the little roller ball after washing my face at night; when I get up the next day, my blemishes are visibly smaller and less red. I’ve also started using it under my makeup, applying it right after moisturizer for daytime treatment.
I really love the scent too, it smells kind of like minty tea to me. The e.l.f website lists Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Oil, Witch Hazel, and Camphor as the main ingredients. I haven’t experienced any dryness or flaking from using this product, even when I’ve used it a few times a day.
This has become a staple in my kit and I carry it around with me to treat those random blemishes that show up out of nowhere in the middle of the day. At just $1 a tube at Target or on the e.l.f. website, you really can’t go wrong.

Have you tried Zit Zapper? What’s your favorite quickie blemish treatment?

<3V

Bronzer Basics

Hello Beauties :),

I hope you’re all having a good Monday! I got a text from my bff a little while ago, letting me know she had just landed after being in Italy for a month. I haven’t seen her for five weeks so I took tomorrow off for a bff day that includes Target roaming, mani/pedis, and having a huge meal at In-N-Out burger. Can’t wait!

Earlier today, I was on Facebook and one of my high school friends posted this:

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LOL, I know I’ve picked products up before and felt the same way. I asked her what she bought, and she said it was the Mineralize Skinfinish in Gold Deposit to use as a bronzer, but didn’t know how to use it. I’m putting this post together for Tracy and all of the newbie bronzer users. Trust me, it took a while for me to embrace bronzer and get it just right. Here’s a face chart I drew guidelines on for where bronzer goes:

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I’ve tried all kinds of different application methods, but applying the bronzer in the shape of a three has been the one that provides the best and most natural looking results for me. To start off, you need a good brush. For a lighter application, I use the e.l.f. complexion brush; the bristles are really soft and fluffy, so it doesn’t pick up a ton of product. Swirl the brush in the bronzer, lightly tap off the excess, and start buffing the product into your skin in about one to two inch swirls. Here are some pointers:

-Blend, blend, blend your heart out! The worst thing you can do with bronzer is apply it in one sweep and then just let it sit on top of your skin. You have to blend away the lines of demarcation so it looks natural and warms up to your skin.

-Do not apply bronzer all over your face unless you’re a pro. This creates a dirty/ruddy looking complexion that flatters no one. Sparkly bronzers are especially bad in this case, they’ll make you look shiny. Try to follow the three shape to start off and go from there as you get more comfortable. Example of bad all over bronzer below:

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-Don’t use a product more than two…maybe three shades darker than your skin tone (I say three for those of us that have been out and tanned everywhere except our face lol). You’re not trying to change your skin color completely and this wont look natural at all. You want this to look like sunkissed color, not fake.

-Once you learn to gauge the amount of product you need, try a flat top brush like the e.l.f. powder brush for application. This brush blends like a dream, but can be iffy for blush/bronzer application if you’re new or heavy handed.

-Remember to start off with a little bit of product. You can always add more and it’s easier than having to wash your face and start all over again.

-Make sure you blend the product well along your hairline, ears, and neck…you don’t want to be two-toned.

-If you got a little excited with the bronzer and need to tone it down, you can buff some of it away with a clean brush and some powder in your natural skin tone. Remember to blend like crazy!

-If in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask me for anymore pointers. You can email me at nessalovesmakeup@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you asap.

I hope this has been at least a little bit helpful, Tracy!

What tips do you have for bronzer application?

<3V

UD All Nighter Setting Spray Review

Hello Beauties!
I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend :). I’m loving this summer weather; the blue skies and warm temperatures make me so happy. Honestly, I don’t even have to go anywhere, I’m perfectly content with reading a good book outside while drinking iced tea (or a margarita). The downside to all of this heat is that my makeup can go from perfect to hot mess in a minute if I don’t set it with anything.
A few months back, I bought Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray at Ulta for $29. While pricey, I decided to pick it up since I was going to be doing makeup for a few friends and didn’t want them to have to worry about touch-ups. I set their makeup at about 11 am and followed up at 11 pm to see how it was holding up; their makeup had not moved or faded all day. Since then, I’ve used this whenever I go out and whenever friends have asked me to doll them up.
This setting spray has not let me down at all! I’ve gone out for cocktails and dancing all night with friends, come home, and woken up with my shadow and foundation still in tact. While I don’t recommend sleeping with a full face of makeup on, it really shows this stuff’s staying power.
The only downside to All Nighter is that it doesn’t help control oil very well, but a few blotting papers in your clutch/evening bag can take care of that.

*Random beauty tip: When you don’t have blotting papers on hand, you can always blot with the matte side of a clean toilet seat cover. Not sure where I picked this up, but it works and has saved me from crazy shiny face on many occasions.

Overall, I absolutely love this product, and would recommend it to anyone. I plan on picking up the De-Slick version asap to test its oil controlling power.

Have you tried any settings sprays? Tell me about them, I’d love to try different ones :).

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the fireworks!

<3V

June Favorites

PhotobucketThis is how the bestie and I spent last Friday night, along with watching Mermaids. Therapy at its best!

Okay. I think I have my makeup mojo back. I’m finally feeling inspired, creative, and colorful again :). I think it may have been the new lipstick I bought that kick started my brain up again lol. Here’s to new makeup and the power it can have! Check out some of my favorites from the past couple of weeks:

PhotobucketPhotobucket Crosswires lipstick from MAC. I’m CRAZY about this color right now, it’s the most perfect/flattering coral I’ve ever seen. I can dab it on for a light stain or apply it from the tube for a bold pop of wearable color. My tan younger sister tried it on and it looked great on her too. Try it the next time you’re at a MAC counter :).

Photobucket Can’t get enough Zoya polish in my life. This is the best nail polish I’ve ever used; not only are the colors beautiful, but the wear time on these babies is amazing. I’ve had the same shade of hot pink on my nails since Sunday with hardly a chip. Worth the $8 price tag.

PhotobucketPhotobucket Personal Style blush from MAC. This is from the All Ages, All Races, All Sexes collection from last year. It had been sitting in my makeup drawers for almost a year and I decided to give it a go two weeks ago. It’s a beautiful rosy brown that gives me a little bit of a flushed/tan look that glows. I’m really pale, and very happy that doesn’t get ruddy/orange on me. Perfect for contouring too. I’ve been wearing this every day.

PhotobucketSmashbox Fusion Eye & Cheek in On in 5. Awesome bronzer that looks really natural and blends like a dream. I haven’t tried it as eyeshadow yet, but I’m sure the colors would pop beautifully.

PhotobucketIvory soap. So simple, so affordable (3 bars for $1), and so effective at removing makeup without irritating my sensitive skin. It’s the only soap that removes every stitch of makeup from my face without having to scrub hard or go over it twice. Can’t see myself not using it, ever.

What are some of your favorite products right now?

<3V

A Haul and a Review

Awwww. Just sending some cuteness your way!

Happy Thursday Dolls!
I needed some retail therapy and hit up Ulta for a beauty fix, here’s the little haul:
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-Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Gel-Cream $7.99.
-Sally Hansen Mega Shine Topcoat (still a favorite!) $6.99.
-Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets $4.99.
-Zoya polish in Dita $7.

The item I was most excited about is the Garnier Gel-Cream. I’d received a few samples in the magazines I’d subscribed to and loved how quickly the gel absorbed, how light it felt, and that it didn’t make my skin oily. During the summer, my skin tends to go into oil production overdrive, but I don’t like to go without moisturizer, so this is perfect. The cream smells fresh, but the scent isn’t overwhelming and it dissipates almost immediately after it absorbs. So far, my skin hasn’t flipped out on me, but I’ll keep you all updated with any changes. Have you tried it?
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One more day until Friday!

<3V

Primer Primer (BFF Guest Post)

Daydreaming of being on this beach with a good book and a good drink.

Happy Saturday, Dolls! Sorry for the slacking, I’ve been studying my butt off for a test I had and working on some projects. Here’s a guest post by my beautiful best friend, Shannon. Enjoy!

Primer Primer

Ok, so textbooks aren’t called ‘primers’ anymore (and this post is far from a textbook) but it made for a nice title. Don’t judge.

I’ve got two primers to review today: a save and a splurge.

SAVE: I ordered e.l.f.’s mineral primer about six weeks ago because Miss Vanessa turned me on to their super affordable products and I thought, “Why not? It’s $3.” When I first used it, the pump wasn’t very forgiving so the product shot all over my hand. And surprisingly, it was runny not creamy like other primers I’ve used.

Click the picture to purchase.

Once I got the primer off my hand and onto my face, it felt slick and oily, and took a while to rub in and absorb (probably because one full pump is entirely too much primer for one face). But when it was rubbed in, it left a powdery-feeling finish. Very clean, very even. After a few uses, the pump became a little worn-in and I could better control how much primer was actually dispensed. By using less, it didn’t feel as oily as the first use and I fell in love.

Fast forward three weeks and I run out of primer. With no warning. The pump just kind of spurted the remaining primer onto my fingers tips and that was it. Less than a month’s worth of use.

Overall, I like e.l.f.’s product. It gave an even base and didn’t cause any break outs. It really did give results that Smashbox’s photo finish primer gives, but my mini tube of Smashbox lasted much longer than three weeks.

I would recommend e.l.f.’s mineral primer – it’s inexpensive, it works, but you’ll be making quite a few trips to the store/internet.

SPLURGE: Fortunately, I wasn’t out of primer for long. Shortly after running out, I made a trip to Sephora to pick up MUFE Matte Velvet foundation (that Vanessa also recommended). My rewards card with them gave me the opportunity to pick a freebie and one option was Dr. Brandt’s Pore-No-More Anti-aging Mattefying Lotion. I grabbed it thinking, “Anti-aging? Might as well be pro-active…”

Click the picture to purchase.

It’s AWESOME. Just a little goes a long way – it’s more creamy than e.l.f.’s primer without being oily or heavy. I’ve really noticed that it reduced the appearance of my pores. AND it also reduces fine lines and wrinkles! It gives a great, clean-feeling finish and a great base for make-up. I LOVE it! However, it runs $60 a 1.7 oz. tube. …yikes.

I would recommend Dr. Brandt’s mattefying lotion – if you have money to burn. It’s lasted me longer than three weeks, but I haven’t used it everyday.

<3Shannon

Beauty on a Budget: What Would You Do?

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Happy Wednesday, Beauties!

How are all of you today? The weather in Southern California is kind of all over the place. The winds by my work are so strong that they almost knocked me flat on my butt this morning; I just keep reminding myself that we’re actually pretty blessed because we aren’t buried in snow or ice. It still wasn’t fun to walk into the office with my hair teased to high heaven by the winds. I’m combing out the knots in between typing lol.

On to more important things!

I decided to put this post up because I wanted different views on something that I’ve been fighting with myself about. A few weeks ago, I was watching on of Tiffany’s favorites videos and she mentioned how much she loved Origins VitaZing moisturizer because she used it almost as a foundation and hadn’t had any issues with it making her break out. I’ve used the Aveeno calming moisturizer because my skin can get red with certain chemicals and loved that it took the redness away, but didn’t love that it didn’t control oil very well. While walking around Macy’s a few days after that, I picked up a decent sized sample of VitaZing to try out and used it for two weeks.

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Well, as luck would have it, I’m hooked, so I picked up another sample that will last me about a week and a half. This stuff is so awesome! It moisturizes just enough, doesn’t make me break out, controls shine, has a slight tint to it that gives me an amazing glow, and holds my Mineralize Skinfinish in place all day. So, you’re reading this thinking, “What’s the problem, Nessa?”

The problem is that it’s $35 and I’ve never spent that much on moisturizer. I’m on a budget while I pay off my car/credit card and save up to move out so that is A LOT for me to spend on one thing. I keep going back and fourth because I’ve never loved a moisturizer so much and my skin has never looked this good before (I’ve gotten a ton of complements :-)). The bottle will last about 6 months or so with daily use, which is how long my current moisturizer lasts (at half the cost). Pretty much the only bad side to this situation is that it costs $35 and that I’m scared I won’t be able to afford it once I move out and be miserable. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it would suck.

What do you think? I’d love to get your opinions!


<3V