January Birchbox Unboxing

So I decided that I was going to subscribe to something new because I found myself down a subscription box after unsubscribing from Marvel Collector Corps and I have been seeing this one online for such a long time now. 

I want to pause a moment before I go on with my unboxing and review, I had a comment on my Marvel Collector Corps box that I have since deleted because I found it very triggering. It started out with “you people wouldn’t be happy if they hung you with a new rope” I have been thinking about that exact line for over a month now. With that being said, I understand that everyone on the internet is entitled to their own opinion, I use a platform to talk about my opinions all the time. That was not my issue with this comment, first of all you should never knowingly go on someone’s blog, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or any other social media platform and tell them that they wouldn’t be happy even being hanged with a new rope, there is a line there that is crossed the moment you make that suggestion. I shared my displeasure and disappointment with a box and a service and everyone’s experience may be different but malice filled comments like that aren’t welcome. 

The internet allows people this false sense of anonymity, it allows people to think that they can say hateful things or mean things and not make the person on the other side of the screen feel something about it. Even if you copy and paste a comment over and over onto multiple blogs or comment sections hoping to get a rise out of one person, for that person to comment back and start something; that’s just not right. We don’t need drama, we don’t need to be at each other’s throats all the time to get a reason to say something to someone because you don’t agree with them. We are allowed to have our opinions and guess what, we don’t have to agree at all that is the beauty of free will. 

Now away from the heavy stuff because I do not want to pollute my 2019 with negativity. 

I was expecting a little box to show up in my mailbox, it was a bubble envelope with a small box in it and within the small box was the actual Birchbox, it was a lot of packaging. Because I subscribed in January I got a bonus and it was on the outside of the box in the bubble envelope, making it necessary to have an extra layer of packaging. 

The box was super cute though and I absolutely love it. 

Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara 

            This was the bonus for my January subscription and I have been seeing this product online for months now. Benefit Roller Lash is one of my all-time favorite mascara’s and I am hoping that when I actually get to play with this product in the future I feel the same way I do about Roller Lash. The packaging on it is crazy though, super cool.

MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream in Pinklite

            I think this is the first MAC product that I have ever owned, MAC is one of those brands that I would see walking through department stores and everyone always looked so professional and knew how to apply makeup so beautifully. From everything I have heard about the brand I am super excited to use this. It is an iridescent pink and it is actually a really pretty shade. According to the pamphlet it is green tea and vitamin infused so that means not only is it pretty but it is actually also good for your skin. I love multi-duty beauty products. 

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner

            I got this product in my July ipsy Glam Bag and I am still no better at eyeliner, it has a really nice formula and is really pigmented but I still think that eyeliner is still a thing that I need to work on; like majorly work on. I cannot do a wing to save my life, it ends up wonky and stupid looking. My cat eye turns quickly into a raccoon the next morning after going out the night before, it’s a mess. Liquid eyeliner is like my White Whale; I may never be successful with it but I will continue to try. 

Stila HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara

            I used Stila back in the day but it’s been a minute since I have used anything from the brand. I love mascara because honestly with how often you are supposed to throw away your mascara there is almost no point in buying a full sized product so having a trial or travel sized can make it a little easier to keep yourself honest and not keep a mascara for years on end; which I am for sure guilty of. It has a nice formula from the one time I have used it so far, I wanted to see what it did to my eyelashes and I am excited to wear it for a full day and see if it holds up. 

Winky Lux Strobing Balm in Radiant Pink

            A brand I have heard of and have been meaning to try, it is a beautiful color and the pigment is amazing with such a creamy formula. I am such a huge fan of highlighters and I think this is the first cream highlight that I have ever gotten. I swatched it and was absolutely in love with it. I am really looking forward to having a reason to wear this everywhere on my face. 

Minu Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Serum

            The conditioner and the serum according to my insert pamphlet were bonuses but it is really nice to have the whole set to see how it works with my hair. I do color my hair, that’s not even a secret, I have for several years now and this shampoo is supposed to be safe on color and I am always looking for good shampoo that doesn’t strip my color out quicker than I want it to. The formula actually seems to be preserve color which is even more exciting. I have never used a hair serum but I am looking forward to trying it out.

            Like ipsy this box gets better and better as you review your products so they can get more in your head and learn your beauty and skin care preferences so I am excited to see how this evolves as the months go on. 

First impression: I like it so far and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next month. It may be kind of similar to ipsy but I really like both formats. If I would start getting a lot of duplicates then I would have to make some concessions on which one is more worth it but for now, I am just excited to see what I get next month.

            Do you subscribe? Any beauty tips? 

            -MJ 

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Blush, Bronzer, Contour, and Highlighter Round Up

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Well here we are again with another makeup related post, some of my favorite posts to be honest because I get to go through my collection and actually look through what I have. I have discovered new favorites as I go through the posts like this and it has for sure made me realize that some of my collection has the potential to be retired because of age or condition. I have mostly purged my collection, there was a trend on YouTube of “doing my makeup with products I don’t like” and it made me go through and get rid of some things that I either haven’t used in a long time or really just didn’t like because of quality. My makeup collection at the moment seems to be a nice balance of quantity and quality though I don’t need to buy anymore for a long time, does that mean I won’t? No, it just means that I will think about my purchases a little bit more before I walk into Ulta and start singing “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Because let’s be real if it was socially acceptable, I probably would.

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The Blushes:

  1. Too Faced-Love Flush in Baby Love

This was my first high end blush, I want not really a wearer of blush until a few years ago, this is in my Makeup Bag Essentials so I have talked about it before but it is a softer pink and it goes on really well with not a lot of effort, it is a little dusty, particles do tend to fly more with this one when it comes out of the pan than some of the others that I have had in the past but it is still one of my favorites for many reasons, the color, the pigment (light without being overbearing), the packaging, and even the design on the blush pan itself. (so much attention to detail)

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills-Blush Trio in Pink Passion

Now I got this one this month because I needed more blush. (I didn’t but I did) You are actually going to see this later in the month in my October Beauty Haul post so spoilers I guess. One deeper pink, one pastel pink, and one dusty pink make up this palette and I must say all of the colors are nice. Anastasia is a newer brand for me to get into. My first Anastasia product was the Prism eyeshadow palette and I have loved the quality ever since.

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The Bronzers:

Just a lovely army of one here.

  1. Benefit-Hoola

I got this as a sample and for the summer it is amazing, I think in the winter I would switch to Hoola Lite to be honest because for the most part I am very pale and if I am going for a natural look there is a good chance I am not going to bronze very much. I got really tan this summer from being outside so when I did wear makeup I did need to bronze and somedays it just feels nice to have a little bit of bronze. This was a sample I got a few months ago, check the April Beauty Haul post or my Makeup Bag Essential’s post for all the rest of my thoughts on this product.

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The Contour Kits:

Something I realized when I was taking pictures for this post; I sure do have a lot of contour palettes for someone who doesn’t contour much. I started buying the palettes when that over exaggerated contouring was popular because everyone was doing it. Now as soon as I started trying to figure out how to do it a more natural contour look came around and I found that I preferred that. I still want to try that “clown” contouring trend from a few years ago but let’s be honest in my opinion some of that was just for clicks on social media and on YouTube. It looked fun but not something that you would ever really want to do in a regular everyday makeup routine, unless you want to spend three hours doing your makeup and I know very few people in their real lives who have time to do that.

  1. NYX- Highlight and Contour Pro Palette

This was my first contour palette because of its price point. It is a solely powder based product which for the most part I love; I haven’t really experimented much with crème products even though I have a few but I feel those are more in my higher end brands like the other two in this section. I will definitely say that this product has a great range of shades for multiple skin tones even though I have a very fair complexion so some of the shades aren’t for me but having more comprehensive shades in this palette is great.

  1. Tarte Tartist Pro Glow

I got this in my summer fabfitfun box and I have only used it a handful of times but I have gotten some good results. I am still working on being able to “chisel” my face like I am made of marble. Maybe I just wish that I had higher cheek bones, maybe that’s it. I love all of Tarte’s products that I have tried and this is no different. It is a mix of powder and crème shades and it great. Like the rest of Tarte’s clay based products it smells amazing! I like the more natural scent then a chemical scent that some companies end up having when they try to make things smell good. (Too Faced can pull that off too, their peach scented things actually smell like peach.)

  1. Urban Decay- Naked Skin Shapeshifter in Light-Medium Shift

I can say so much about this palette I got it in March, check the haul post. I really like that it is half crème and half powder, it comes in a nice slim package, and it has a mirror on both sides, like a mirror sandwich. I haven’t used this one as much as I should but I love the Naked Skin line from Urban Decay, it is the only concealer that I use and I love that too.

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The Highlighters:

  1. Becca- Shimmer Skin Perfector in Opal

This was a sample that I also got in March because it was an email blast and I love those for samples because sometimes you don’t want to buy a full sized product because you don’t know if you are going to like it. I love this one it is a great highlight when I am going for a subtler highlight and that is most of the time. It’s a great shade and I have used it on multiple occasions when I want to shine just a little brighter.

  1. Morphe- High Impact Highlighter in Extra

I got this in August, again you can read about it more in my August Beauty Haul post. I love the color and Morphe to me always has really good stuff at a really fair price point. It has a high end feel and effect without the high end price tag and that is something for me that is really important. I love my higher end brands don’t get me wrong but if I can find a great product for under $10 that is a huge thing. I need to use it more, that’s the bottom line.

  1. Urban Decay-After Glow Highlighter Palette

This was my first highlight palette and is my go to for a lot of things, like one of the products that is ever present in my makeup bag. I love having four shades to play with where the colors are rather unique and can be used for various looks and layer amazingly. Urban Decay seems to never disappoint (at least for me) with their products and packaging and this palette is just another example of that.

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills- Aurora Glow Kit

Last one! This palette has some really unique colors but I haven’t really gotten to play with it much because I got it in July and I haven’t been wearing like any makeup since then. I have swatched all of the colors and they are a little dramatic and sometimes you need to switch things up and have a more dramatic look. Again Anastasia tends to be the brand that is one of my go to brands when it comes to more daring things.

Well there it is, the round up. I have linked what feels like half of my blog posts into this post because I feel like that is what a round up is for in a way. These views are all my own. I hope you guys all enjoyed the post since I took like a week hiatus to write it.

What are some off your favorite bronzers, blushes, highlighters, and contour items? Let me know in the comments below, is there anything that I should try or should avoid?

-MJ

MJ’s Makeup Bag Essentials

I feel like every time I turn around I am purchasing something new to put in my makeup bag, but I am thinking of these products specifically that I take with me to special events or make sure I have with me on vacation.

Some of the brands of products may change depending on what I have at my disposal at the time but for the most part my makeup bag essentials stay pretty constant.

Now I also call this my “wedding bag” makeup, this is my normal routine when it comes to going to a wedding. There may be some variance when it comes to what eyeshadow palette I take because I am an eyeshadow palette hoarder and I have a problem. This is also true with lipstick because lipstick colors really depend on what season it is. Spring is light colors or subdued nudes, summer tends to be brighter colors or more pink nudes, fall tends to be deeper colors and a mix of metallic shades, as does winter but winter also tends to circle back to the more subdued nude shades. This is all for me, this is how my lipstick palette shifts through the seasons.

 

 

I am going to divide this into two sections; Section 1: Tools and Section 2: Productions.

Let’s dive right in, shall we!

Here is an overall shot of all of the products that are actually in my bag.:

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Section 1:

I don’t actually use many tools if we are honest because I don’t wear all that much makeup, granted when I have to go to an event I do wear a considerable amount of product on my face and I can’t wait to scrape it off at the end of the night.

 

Foundation Brushes: Now I have found recently (since I took this picture) I have been using a silicone beauty blender to put my foundation on. I purchased the applicator at Ulta and it was their brand so it wasn’t that expensive and I am not wasting any product when it comes to applying my foundation. I also tend to favor the paddle brush (I have also heard it called a mermaid brush) when it comes to applying my foundation because I find that it applies more evenly than it does with a flat brush.

 

Concealer Brushes: Again I started this post over a month ago and then I had some more products added to my arsenal, my normal go to for concealer is the ELF concealer brush but I got the Vasanti concealer buffer brush in my April ipsy Glam Bag and I have been using that exclusively since then. I do prefer a round tipped brush when it comes to concealer application because it provides a better blending ability.

 

Eyebrow Brush: Now I have only been filling my eyebrows in for about a two and a half years or so, I was watching a YouTube video and the person said that they didn’t understand why people didn’t fill in their eyebrows and I had never thought about that possibility before so I started to do it. I have gotten considerably better since then. I use the it cosmetics number 12 brush which can be either and eyeliner or eyebrow brush. (I don’t wear eyeliner anymore, I haven’t since I used to wear too much in middle school.) I find that it picks product up well and allows for precise movement through the eyebrow itself while still allowing it to be easily shaped. I have used the brush that comes provided in my eyebrow product and it’s just too small to handle so I prefer having a standard sized brush for application.

 

Cheek Brush: I didn’t really start my foray into cheek products (blush, bronzer, highlighter, etc.) until about a year ago because I prefer looking like I have never seen the sun in my life. Like if I go outside I am going to burst into flames or I will be so blindingly pale that people will have to look away from me for fear of burning out their retina’s. (Y’all can’t see me but I am laughing right now.) I bought this brush because I had purchased Real Techniques brushes in the past and they have never disappointed me. This instapop cheek brush was no different. Highlighter has become a standard in my makeup bag, I also carry blush to special events and since very recently bronzer as well. I like the angle on the brush for going over different contours of the cheek and it provides relatively even coverage where you need it.

 

Eyeshadow Brush: The eyeshadow palette in this post has a brush with it but some of my palettes didn’t come with a brush so I tend to carry an eyeshadow brush for that specific reason. I tend to reach for my Lorac Cosmetics double ended brush, one end has a very fluffy brush and the other a more densely packed smaller more circular brush. I use the fluffier end for most of my eyelid and use the smaller end for under the eye and the inner corner. I really like having a dual ended brush instead of carrying around a number of brushes because my makeup bag is already bulky enough.

 

Section 2:

This will be in order of application rather than just a list like the tools.

Primer: First and foremost, I always start with a primer, I have a red complexion because I have rosacea which is a dermatological condition that makes your skin complexion much more red so I have to wear a green tinted primer. I live in this primer whenever I have to look nice for something. I used Smashbox for years but I found that NYX for me also does the job even if the coverage isn’t as complete.

 

Foundation: Now my foundation rotates to be honest, sometimes I don’t want to spend $40 on foundation but I find that my skin also doesn’t react as adversely with more expensive foundation than it does with more inexpensive brands. I have sensitive skin so I have to be so careful with what I put on it. Currently I use the Urban Decay All-Nighter (Waterproof Longwear Liquid) Foundation in the shade 0.5 (That is the lightest color it comes in and I still think it’s still just a little too dark for my actual skin tone.) It covers really well though and I am in love with it.

 

Concealer: This is the only concealer that I have ever used and that is the Urban Decay Naked Skin (Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer) in the shade Fair Neutral. It provides enough color that I don’t use blush and stuff, which is not a good excuse not to use blush and bronzer because I look a little dead if I go without something on my cheeks. It’s easily blendable and it provides pretty solid coverage for long term wear.

 

Eyebrows: Again, this is the only product I have used on my brows in recent memory, when I first started filling in my eyebrows I used ELF’s eyebrow gel and I switched to Rimmel well over a year ago, pictured in the spread is my new one (which I still haven’t opened) because my other one is down to the pan in some places but I don’t want to throw away the rest of the product. I find that I prefer using the gel to the powder in my eyebrows so I have found that Rimmel’s Brow This Way in medium brown is perfect for my needs and my brow color.

 

Cheeks:

  • Highlighter: This is a staple in my normal routine because it provides just enough color that it does the job I want it to. I use the Urban Decay After Glow palette and I think this is the original After Glow and I almost bought the other palette but decided on this one and I haven’t looked back. Highlighter is a pretty new concept to me even though I have always liked how it looked.

 

  • Blush: So blush is something I wear rarely because I always have red cheeks and I don’t want to emphasis that when I am wearing a full face of makeup. I do use very light colored blush when I do wear it and I normally reach for my Too Faced Love Flush (long lasting 16-hour blush) in the shade Baby Love. It’s not a pigmented and for me that is something amazing because it still has a nice color and provides a rosy tint without being overbearing. Whenever I see overbearing blush all I can think of is a little one who gets into their mother’s makeup and has a grand old time.

 

  • Bronzer: Bronzer is something that I have worn only a few times but I tend to (and it’s not pictured here) to use the Hoola bronzer from benefit. This is a super recent thing for me, if you read my April Beauty Haul then you know that I got it last month and I have been using it ever since. It provides just enough color that I don’t shine in the light with how pale I am.

 

Eyes:

They are going to get their own section because this is where I spend most of my time when I do any makeup application.

  • Eyeshadow Primer: Now I only use eyeshadow primer when I have the need to wear eyeshadow in a long wear fashion but for the most part I use Lorac Cosmetics Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer and I love it. I wore it to a wedding recently and my eyeshadow was on lock from about 1PM to midnight and I was very pleased with it. No smudging, no cracking, no nothing and I was very happy with it.

 

  • Eyeshadow: Now my palette changes depending on the season as well but there is a good chance that the palette I have in my bag is all neutral colors because normally to weddings you don’t want to look too crazy when it comes to makeup. The wedding I went to in late April I wore a Lilly Pulitzer outfit and it’s loud enough that I wanted to do a very understated makeup look and I was very pleased with it overall. The palette pictured is the Urban Decay Smoky palette which is one of my absolute staples when it comes to a look. My Tartist Pro palette is another, if you read my Top 5 Eyeshadow Palette’s post this is not news to you. When you are going to a formal event you don’t want to look like it is just a stop off before you go out to a club so neutral for me is a must when it comes to eyeshadow.

 

  • Mascara: Now When I travel and I don’t check a bag (aka I am driving, not flying) I bring two mascara’s I normally take my Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara and it is my absolute go to when it comes to mascara, I cannot tell you how many times I have reached for other mascara’s and I find myself coming back to this one. I always bring a second tube of mascara with me because it is habit and I tend to gravitate toward my Roller Lash from benefit. I also in recent memory have carried around NYX’s Worth the Hype because it is a much less expensive alternative to some of the other one’s that I have used. Both provide length and volume and they both came with me to the wedding.

 

Lips: Final thing, now like I said above my lipstick color palette changes with the seasons, normally in my bag (depending on the season) is a nude shade that goes with the feel of the season, a full color liquid lip that also goes with the season and normally a metallic shade. Because who doesn’t love a little bit of drama in the makeup bag and also allows some versatility in case you have to attend a second event or something that you didn’t plan in your original look, like going to an after party or club or bar.

What are the essentials in your makeup bag?

-MJ

April Beauty Haul

This month was kind of sparse on buying any new beauty products just because I have gone a little bit overboard in months past and I don’t need more makeup I just want more makeup. Sometimes self-restraint is good because we can’t always have everything that we want.

Really the only reason that I went into Ulta this month was because I had one of those email blast coupons for a sample of something that I have wanted to try for a while and that was the Hoola bronzer from benefit. Now normally I don’t wear a bronzer because I want to look like a vampire; like I have never seen the sun in my life. Though maybe this summer if I am spending time outside I will want to look a little bronzed over my very porcelain skin tone.

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Now this is my birthday month so I decided to buy myself a gift, last year it was the naked Smoky and Naked 3 palettes, this year it was the Tarte Be a Mermaid & Make Waves palette. If you have read any of my other makeup posts you know that I am a sucker for good packaging and I really like Tarte as a brand. These shades are very highly pigmented and many of them are warm neutrals but there are three pretty crazy colors and they are pretty nice. An almost iridescent or multi-chrome feeling purple called “bubbles” a deep blue called “lagoon” and an iridescent green called “splash”. I am looking forward to using these shades in different looks. I mean the palette looks like a seashell, I have never been one of those girls who want to be a mermaid but I love the idea of using mythical creatures as inspiration for palettes and makeup collections. I also love how tarte’s palette’s smell, they always smell good, I guess that’s the clay they use.

I went into Marshall’s really early in the month and I have been seeing brush cleaning mats all over recently and I thought “I want to try one” so I grabbed on that looks like a cactus and I have used it a few times now, I really like it. It gets my brushes really clean and I don’t have to stand there with my hands under the water so they don’t get all pruned.

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I also bought a few more lipsticks, I have a problem but again all of them were NYX. I accidently bought a duplicate of one of the cosmic metals lip crèmes because I forgot I had one but it’s okay. I got three new for my collection. If you watched or read my ipsy glam bag opening, then you know that I got a NYX lipstick in there as well. Ulta was also running a promotion to get a free matte lip kit when you spent a certain amount in NYX products and if I even look at the brand case I will walk away with things that I do not need.

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  1. I have been seeing this online for like a month or so and that was the NYX powder puff lippie in the color “squad goals”. I have not swatched this yet because I didn’t want to have the powder puff ruined before I actually wanted to use it. The color I am really hoping looks as good as it did on the display.
  2. Last month I saw that they had come out with a Duo chromatic shimmer lip gloss, normally I am not a fan of lip gloss (not since I was in middle/high school) but I really wanted to try this I grabbed a tube in the color “Booming”, it is a pink and white chromatic iridescent shift. It looked very much like something that you would wear to a festival or a rave. It will take a certain look or maybe used as a lip topper for another color just to add some shine.
  3. The next was the Slip Tease full color lip oil in the color “Coy” it’s very pink but I really like it, it actually looks really pretty with the chromatic color I mentioned above. I hadn’t seen this product so I decided that I wanted to try it and see how I felt about it. I normally am not one for lip oil but I am here to give it a try.
  4. Next, I have been seeing this online for like a month or so and that was the NYX powder puff lippie in the color “squad goals”. I have not swatched this yet because I didn’t want to have the powder puff ruined before I actually wanted to use it. The color I am really hoping looks as good as it did on the display.
  5. Finally, in the lipstick department I grabbed a soft metallic lip cream from NYX in the color “Rome”. It is much more of a fall color than I was expecting but I am excited for it. It’s a deep color and it will take a certain look to look amazing and I am looking forward to figuring that look out.

I went into Sephora this month with one goal and that was to buy the daytime SPF companion of my Murad skin perfecting lotion. That I will get into in my April Favorites next week or the week after but I got the skin perfecting lotion in my fitfabfun box and loved it so much I went and purchased the Murad Oil Control Mattifier as well. Already a huge fan of it because I have been spending so much time in the sun.

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Did you buy any new products last month?

-MJ