Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What I've been loving: Becca Mineral Blush in 'Flowerchild'

I am utterly drawn to BECCA's line of powder products. From their highlighters to their blushes, I think they KILL it with their powder game. During these warm summer months I've been wearing nothing but my blushes in Snapdragon and Tigerlily, and though those are both beautiful, they are both decently bright colors. I decided to snatch up an additional blush from BECCA in a slightly more muted tone.
BECCA's mineral blush in 'Flowerchild' is a pale pink color that is described as a 'peachy pink with golden highlights.' Peaches are my kryptonite so it is no wonder this bad boy made its way into my collection.
One of my favorite thing about BECCA is their packaging. The packaging is sturdy and looks like a petite UFO. Brown rubber makes up most of the compact with a sturdy metallic top. A tiny mirror is inside for application on the go.
The blush is soft to the touch almost to a fault- a simple tap of your brush will give you the perfect amount of color to sweep on your cheeks. These blushes blend beautifully as well with a powder blush or beauty blender.
bottom L: Flowerchild, Center top: Tigerlily, Bottom Right: Snapdragon
 Here is this Mineral Blush compared to my luminous flush mineral blushes from Becca.
L to R: Flowerchild, Tigerlily, Snapdragon
This blush is actually quite similar to Snapdragon--a tad less bright with a bit more peach to it rather than coral. I don't think owning both is necessary and I think I will be reaching toward Flowerchild more than I will reach for Snapdragon. Tigerlily reigns supreme as my favorite of the bunch, though.

You can purchase this product from Sephora HERE!
$32 for 5.6g of product.

xxSJ

Check out my reviews of other Becca products:
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Luminous Blush in Tigerlily and Snapdragon
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in 'Rose Gold'

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in 'Moonlight'

What's the best way to test out strange products? By doing it for free of course. I've seen many a Youtuber and Insta-rammer-jammer rave about these Enhancer Drops by Cover FX but whenever I see/hear/witness influencers going on and on about a product, you have to wonder--is this a great product for the purpose of camera ready makeup (which I certainly don't need), or is this a great product because it makes you look great in person? Ionno.
When I saw that these drops in the most talked about shade 'Moonlight' were on Sephora's Rewards Bazaar for a whopping 100pts, I snatched em up right quick.
For a 100 point perk I am pleasantly surprised that this packaging is a mini version of the full size product complete with a cute little dropper top. The dropper pipette is glass so mind yourself when handling this little guy.
Just one drop of this is super intense. The product description of this color describes it as imparting a 'soft silver glow.'
I wouldn't necessarily call the glow from this soft, at least not when swatched as intensely as I have it on my hand! This stuff is discoball level highlight if you applied it directly to your skin.
Above is the product applied gently mixed in with my foundation as well as spot applied to my nose, cheekbones, cupids bow, and collarbone. It provides an elegant glow when applied gently that I actually really enjoy. Beware though, the following day after applying this to just my collarbone I had sparkle ALL over my chest. I was glittering like one of those damn Twilight vampires. Its fine...just being a majestic unicorn over here.

This product is a whopping $42 for 0.5 oz of product....to break it down for you that means that the tiny bottle I got as a 100pt perk from Sephora was worth $7.98 for 0.095oz of product. This is expensive!

I think I'll definitely finish this little bottle but I don't think I would shell out the cash for a full size. I can achieve the same effect with my powder highlighters I already own.

xxSJ

You can purchase this product from Sephora HERE!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Physician's Formula Butter Bronzer

 "If you like pina coladas.....and gettin' caught in the rain." This bronzer by Physician's Formula has completely made my summer. Not only is it light enough for my snow white skin and is fool proof to apply, but it smells like summer--kind of a savory coconut flavored sunscreen. I personally love it but it for sure has a decidedly smelly smell.
 The bronzer is housed in this cute colorful compact with a wave pattern sculpted into the powder. The powder is super soft to the touch and the perfect amount lands on your brush with a simple swirl.
 There is a powder brush (which I personally have not used and can not attest to!) housed underneath along with a simple mirror. I have never opened this in the months that I have used this product.
Bonus points for the orange croc in the bottom of this picture
The color is...not what I expected swatched. On my face it looks like a really nice neutral brown a la Benefit Hoola but a bit lighter. Obviously on my inner wrist the color is quite sandy but it really does look lovely on my skin.

This bronzer supposedly 'softens and moisturizes the skin' because of its ingredients. I don't know about that but it certainly gives a lovely lit from within glow. It can be found at Ulta, most drugstores, and even on Amazon for about $10 depending on the day!

This bronzer is really lovely and I will probably repurchase it. It does not double as a contour shade, however!

xxSJ

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette: Swatches and Review

Urban Decay has released yet another palette in their now infamous 'Naked' line of products. This palette, titled 'Naked Heat' boasts flaming oranges, burnt reds, and ashy purples to fall in line with the warm toned trend.
 The packaging mimics its predecessor: the Naked Smoky palette--a nice hard and practical plastic which is easy to clean with a magnetic closure for a satisfying 'snap!' upon closing.
This palette comes housed in a cardboard which slides out to emulate a match box with an image inside revealing an inspiration for the palette's color theory:
 And then we get to the palette itself. The name Naked Heat is stamped on the plastic in a shiny gold. This scratches off easily, but otherwise the pretty plastic is easy to wipe clean and is sturdy for travel. There is really nice plastic detailing housed under the lettering along with warm colors mirroring the shadows housed inside. All in all, a very aesthetically pleasing palette!
 And now for the colors! Like the burning match series of images inside the packaging, the colors get darker in shade as your eye goes from left to right. There are a nice mix of satins, mattes, and shimmers with enough hues for a complete eye look.
 The shadows are all quite smooth with little powdery kick up. The only color I had to work slightly hard to swatch is 'Lumbre,' but after I've used and worked with the color a bit and gotten the first layer of hard compacted pigment out of the way, the color is easier to work with.
 The matte red and purple with deep warm browns were really what drew me into this palette. Orangey tones are complementary to blue eyes so I knew this palette would really compliment me without leaning tooooo red or pink giving me the appearance of illness or a bad case of conjunctivitis.
And here we are all swatched. Something I will say about this palette is it is very easy to go VERY orange with your eye look the second you pop any of the shimmers onto your lid. While this makes a very pretty look (Lumbre spread all over the lid and buffed out and blown out into the crease is the perfect one stop shop eye look) I'd caution someone looking for a nice nude look to steer away from this palette. The darker mattes are very pigmented and buildable and blendable. While not creamy smooth like how some prefer, I think this makes them easier to blend without getting too muddy. Caution with the mattes: overblending can cause them to not be easily distinguishable from one another so take care. The lightest shade Ounce is a brilliantly pigmented wash of satin and I think a real standout in this palette. The lighter mattes (He Devil, Chaser, Sauced, and Low Blow) are warm toned and I think a nice addition to anyone without a hugely substantial warm eyeshadow collection. I've really enjoyed this palette thus far.

If you are okay with experimenting and trying something a little different than your typical neutral brown look, this is one step away from a plain neutral eye while still remaining in the realm of work place appropriate.
Stay to the far left and right for your more neutral eye looks and then dip into the middle area to spice it up (or should I say, HEAT things up?....someone please stop me.).

This palette can be found on Sephora's web sitedirect from Urban Decayand from Ulta!
The palette is sold for $54 for 12 shades at 0.6oz of product total.

Let me know your thoughts on this nice addition to the Naked line!

xxSJ

Naked 3 Review

Friday, July 14, 2017

Lorac Pro 3 Palette Review

I asked for the Lorac Pro 3 this Christmas and was so excited to find it waiting for me under my Christmas tree! I feel like this palette got practically zero attention when it first came out which surprised me given the popularity of the Lorac Pro 1 and 2 and the Mega Pros.
I only have one other Lorac palette (my beloved 'Unzipped' palette, check my review out HERE!), but was seriously drawn to the Pro 3 because of its beautiful range of neutrals, particularly that gorgeous sandy color, 'Terracotta.' As a student Physical Therapist, my makeup looks at work stay nice and neutral, so I was craving another palette with pretty light neutrals while being a little less basic than my Naked palette.
The Lorac Pro palettes come in a super thin and sleek cardboard packaging lined with a matte soft touch finish. I love the feel of this thing and I like how no frills the packaging is (no wasted space of a brush holder!). The mirror on the inside is not full size, but I rarely use mirrors inside palettes anyway (except for the AMAZING Stila Eyes are the Window Palette). 
The top row of this palette is composed of all matte colors while the bottom row is all shimmers. Lorac wins for the most original shade names ever including 'Pink Nude,' 'Dk. Brown,' and 'Jet Black.' Hey, no judgement here. I appreciate simplicity.  Let me just say that I feel really inspired to do my makeup when I open this palette up. I love that there are multiple options for an all over base color with a ton of options for a crease and transition color. I could do a super warm eye look using clay and terracotta or a cooler look using cool taupe. The shimmer colors also present me with a ton of possibilities for my lid, inner corner, and options to smudge on my lash line.
I'm sorry to say that there are some misses within this palette. I don't like the consistency of the white color 'Blanc' all that much as I find it quite chalky. 'Canvas' and 'Pink Nude' also take a while to build up, but I think the payoff is worth it. The other mattes are easy to work with and leave a fantastic payoff behind. I find these colors are easy to blend and use and the color I was most excited about, 'Terracotta,' is the perfect shade of baby poop brown that I've been searching for. It might not sound that appealing to put on your face, but this color is incredibly flattering for many different eye looks.
Above are the shimmers in the bottom row of the palette and they are beautiful. The biggest miss in this palette is the color 'Medallion,' third color in the bottom row (third from the bottom in this picture). It is a chunky, glittery mess and I'm unsure if I'll be able to make it work on the lid. The deeper shades (upper 4 in the top picture) are truly standouts in texture, pigmentation, and blendability.

After using this palette for about 3 weeks, I've noticed that it can be a bit messy and powdery. You'll have to tap your brush off a bit when dipping into the colors as they are quite finely milled and powdery.  I'll also mention to be careful about layering these shadows on top of each other too much. I have an 11 hour work day and by the end, my shadows have creased a bit on the lid (even over eyeshadow primer). Otherwise, this palette has provided me with exactly what I wanted for my day to day makeup looks while working in a Physical Therapy clinic. I'm inspired in the morning to use this eyeshadow look to create as fun a look I can while still remaining in the neutral and professional zone. I would also recommend this palette for travel due to its fantastic array of colors and sleek packaging.

This palette costs $44 for 12 shadows (0.32g of product total) and includes an eyeshadow primer, and you can find it at Ulta, some Kohl's, and online at Amazon HERE!

What is your favorite Lorac palette?

xxSJ

Sunday, July 9, 2017

My Picks: MAC Buy 2 Get 1 Free Lipsticks- Barbeque, Coral Bliss, and Mehr

L to R: Barbeque, Coral Bliss, Mehr
 MAC giving away product for free?? Must be dreamin' amiright? No need to pinch yourself, ladies and gents. MAC recently ran a superb special where you could buy any 2 lip products and get a third lippie free. I took advantage of this deal and got three lipsticks I have had my eye on for a bit.
 I chose 'Coral Bliss,' a pinkier leaning cremesheen formula, 'Barbecue,' a matte red with bright orange undertones, and 'Mehr,' a matte mauve a la Kylie Jenner lip craze.
All of these colors have quickly moved into my summertime rotation with Coral Bliss being my go to for an easy and bright lip look that goes with any outfit or makeup. Thanks to my friend from PT school Virginia for drawing my attention to this shade! Mehr will transition with ease into the cooler months and Barbeque will be reserved for when I want that stand out pout.

xxSJ

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Budget and Waistline Friendly Freezable Breakfast Sandwiches

 I feel like I'm always short on time in the morning by about 10 minutes. I rarely have time to cook breakfast so have recently been resorting to pre-packaged, microwavable breakfast sandwiches. These sandwiches have kept me full and focused during my busy work day and have pretty great macros now that I'm calorie counting again, but I can't help but think I can make a similar sandwich with better macros and perhaps for a cheaper price.
 Here are the sandwiches I speak of. They are usually about $5.29 all the way up to $5.99 for a box of 4 depending on if you have a coupon or not. That breaks down to $1.32 per sandwich at the cheapest or $1.49 at their highest. I calculated the cost of all the ingredients I used to make my sandwiches and mine are $1.49 each with no coupons used. So these sandwiches are similarly priced, so how bout those macros?
 Above are the nutrition labels for the Special K and the Jimmy Dean sandwiches. The biggest items I wanted to improve upon were protein, fat, and sodium levels. Below is the macronutrient breakdown for my homemade sandwiches:
My made from scratch sandwich is similar calorie-wise but packs in an additional whopping 10g of protein per sandwich! My sandwich also decreased the fat content by a smidgen as well as sugar. The carbs for my sandwich are reasonable. Unfortunately the sodium level is still quite high. I suppose that comes with the territory of a breakfast sandwich!

Here's how I made mine!

Ingredients:
-6 large eggs
-1 and 1/2 C eggwhite
-8 strips Turkey bacon
-8 english muffins
-8 slices of low fat cheese of your choice (I used low fat swiss!)
-seasonings to taste (I used a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper)

-Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
-Microwave or pan fry your bacon according to the package instructions
-slice/tear bacon up into bite size pieces
-in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, seasoning, and bacon
-pour your mixture in a heavily greased or pammed baking dish and bake for ~20 minutes. The edges of the egg should start to brown and lift away from the edges. A knife or fork piercing the center should come out clean.
-toast your english muffins
-when egg mixture has cooled to just above room temp, slice it into the amount of pieces you'd like to use per sandwich (I initially divided my eggs up into 8 pieces like in the photo below but immediately realized that was going to be way too big. I ended up cutting each section in half again).
-Assemble your creations! I ended up putting down a square of egg, a 1/2 slice of cheese and repeat to make a little egg and cheese tower. It looks more voluminous and more filling!
-let your sandwiches cool to room temperature before wrapping them in foil or sealing them in ziploc bags to put in the freezer. Make sure to date them. They should keep for about a month in the freezer. 
To reheat:
wrap your frozen sandwich in a paper towel and heat at 30% for 90 seconds. Flip the sandwich over and heat again at 100% power for 1 minute.


These sandwiches are very delicious and hit the spot during a busy morning!

Try them yourself and let me know how they taste!

xxSJ