I'm going to be completely honest, this was supposed to be a YouTube video. I'm completely ready for YouTube, but I'm not ready FOR YouTube. I don't know if that makes sense. I tried recording my August Favorites COUNTLESS times and hated it each time. But don't you worry your pretty little heads, I will be on that damn tube of you sooner than you think. That's a promise.
So let's get into this in the order it was supposed to be in my video. May or may not be super duper long. Oops.
First things first, the amazing BlenderCleanser solid from the notorious BeautyBlender brand. I had been using the liquid and I loved it, but it was very time consuming to wash all my brushes. I did some research and found quite a few people raving about the solid. To be honest, it just seemed so much more convenient and practical with its included grid so I went out and purchased it. I found it in store at Sephora for $16. The liquid sells for $18.
The solid comes in a one ounce container and its lasted me almost two months. I purchased it at the end of July and I've used it a minimum of once a week, sometimes up to 3 times, to clean all my brushes. I'm obsessed! I love cleaning my brushes now. The time has been cut by more than half. I highly recommend this. As you can see, mine has been used generously. I'll leave the link to purchase it on Sephora here.
On that note! I was very fortunate last month to win a giveaway hosted by the amazing CosmeticsByChristina (active link) which included some amazing new brands and items!! Among all the goodies I won a very unique brush cleaner from Swirl and Sparkle. Swirl and Sparkle is an indie brand that makes handmade brush cleaners. These brush cleanses are GORGEOUS! The one sent to me was a Sugar Skull with diamonds.
What do you think? It's stunning, amirite?! I definitely will hold off on using it for as long as possible. Luckily, she also sent me one of the mini trio sampler pack of cleaners. The full size comes in one ounce containers and sell for $19.99 and the minis are 15 grams and sell for either $2.99 individually or as a trio for $7.99. The trio sampler comes in three scents: Toasted Marshmallow, Samoa Cookie, and Coconut Mandarin.
As far as quality compared to the BlenderCleanser, they're comparable! However, because I used the mini it took a little longer to clean my brushes. I cleaned a variety of brush sizes which resulted as a problem. I tried to clean my Real Technique Stippling brush and because of the size of the brush head in comparison to the mini container it took a little longer than I had hoped. Mind you, this obstacle can probably have been overcome if I had used the full sized cleaner, but I'm too damn stubborn. I almost forgot to mention, instead of the grid the BlenderCleanser has the Swirl and Sparkle come with mini scrubbing diamonds that act as a grid to clean the brushes. As you can see below they're very apparent in the full size. The red diamond like gems are the "exfoliators" in the soap.
If you're into supporting small business, I highly suggest these brush cleaners! I'll link their Etsy here so you can check them out. But if you're not ready to commit to a $20 cleaner, definitely look into the mini sampler. I'll post a full review in a separate blog.
There was no way I was going to mention a brush cleaner and not follow up with my favorite brush of the month. I ordered quite a few different brushes from Morphe and this one in particular exceeded my expectations. I had already heard great things about Morphe brushes and I was dying to try the brand for myself. I was immediately drawn to the Gun Metal series and out of the 5 brushes, the Morphe G6 has become my holy grail for a foundation brush.
This brush is a dense flat top kabuki like buffer that is most amazing for foundation. It's head is just the right size to get all angles of my face. It doesn't leave my face streaky but definitely buffs the foundation to help me get a clean looking finish. Mind you, I do tend to steer towards full coverage foundations which also helps me in that department. The bristles are synthetic which can leave your brush stained when you use some of the more pigmented products. I had a little bit of trouble get the center of my brush back to being completely white and clean looking.
The brush sells for $13.99 on the Morphe website, To my knowledge, there are only a few stores that carry Morphe products and there is only one stand alone store in California.
Next up I HAVE to mention this. As you know, I'm a lipstick fanatic. Okay okay maybe that is a bit of an understatement. I'm a lipstick junkie. Sometimes I just put on lipstick just to put on lipstick. Sometimes I even put on lipstick before bed. I know, what a weirdo. Proud of it though. ;)
It was during my random purchase of the Anastasia Beverly Hill Traveler's Palette on Sephora's website that I purchased this next item on my favorite's list. I don't even remember what I was determined to get, but I remember the purchase had to be $35 to receive the deluxe sample. I had my eye on this for months and since the palette is $30, I only needed to spend $5 more dollars. So that's how I came about to purchase the Sephora Ultimate Oil-In-Gel lipstick remover.
This changes the game, ladies and gentlemen. This has become my holy grail for lipstick removal. As a hardcore fan of liquid lipsticks, this was heaven sent to me. Every now and then I come across liquid lipsticks that tend to not budge no matter how much soap and water and makeup remover I use. One small drop on a swatch or my lips, little rub to loosen the matte lipstick, and wipe clean. Voila! Because it almost mimics the natural oils in your lips absorbed by liquid to matte lipsticks, it acts as a revival tool for your lips. I've been using this remover for about a month now and I haven't had any reactions to the formula. I love it! Highly highly recommend if you're a lipstick addict like me who sometimes runs into that stubborn lipstick. You can order it online here. I can't 100% say it's available in store because it is in the "sale" section of Sephora for MONTHS that could mean it's been phased out of stores.
I only want to mention these briefly here. Since I mentioned them in the video that was never uploaded I wanted to cover them really quick. I am constantly on the hunt for makeup removal wipes. I came across these at Walmart and I love them!
The Garnier Clean Refreshing Remover Towelettes are my current favorites for makeup removal wipes. They're refreshing and smell amazing. They don't leave my face feeling oily or dry which is definitely a plus. They sell anywhere from $3.99 to $5.99. Definitely recommend.
Now we get to the good stuff! Makeup. <3
First up, I want to talk about this eyeshadow. I feel so blessed to have met such amazing people through Instagram these last few months. I never knew I'd meet people who actually see me as inspiration. It's not always easy to find accounts to follow back on Instagram, but every now and then I'm lucky enough to find an amazing account or two that I don't hesitate to follow. I stumbled across the page of JeeJee.Makeup who featured beautiful lip swatches so of course I had to follow back. She posted an amazing dupe comparison of Mac's Whirl to Kiko Cosmetics 303 lipstick. Long story short, it was an overwhelming surprise when she offered to send me some Kiko Cosmetics to try. This is a brand I've been DYING to try since I first heard of them. Fast forward to a few weeks later and I had received my package of goodies with this gem.
I was blown away by the quality of everything she sent me, but this particular eyeshadow stood out the most. Kiko Eyeshadow in number 139. It's described on their website as "pearly salmon" which I would have to agree. It's such a gorgeous color. Not only does it make an amazing eyeshadow, but the color is PERFECT to highlight as well.
The pigmentation was off the charts. And I believe the price of these particular eye shadows sell for as low as $1.90 each!! I've used this 139 shade almost every other day since receiving it. I'm most definitely going to need a back up (or two for that price!). I do know Kiko Cosmetics only has a few stand alone stores on the East Coast and is more prominent in Europe. You can purchase their products on their website which was just recently updated for ease of use. I'll include a link to these eyeshadows here so you can have a look for yourself. They do come in 65 shades last I saw so I'll definitely pick up a few more soon.
Second makeup favorite for last month are Makeup Geek Foiled Shadows. I'm obsessed. First of all, I was always hesitant to purchase single pans of eyeshadows so when my friend and I decided to place our first MUG order, I didn't knew what to expect. We each ordered the starter kit ($49) and a Z Palette ($20) and a few foiled shadows ($9.99) to begin. Since receiving my first order, I've placed several more! My current collection of MUG Foiled Shadows includes seven of the twenty.
Aren't they beautiful!? I can't get enough. My goal isn't to own all of them because honestly there are a few shades I don't see myself using and I'd like to be somewhat practical with my eyeshadow collection. I know that's hard to believe given my lipstick collection. Hahaha. But seriously, these eyeshadows are AMAZING. Every time I've worn them I've been asked what eyeshadows I'm wearing and I can't help but go on about how much I love them. They're SO pigmented and they last all day without any fading or shifting. Like I mentioned before, they do sell for $9.99 which is about the same price as Mac individual pan eye shadows. So worth it.
I mean, LOOK AT THESE SWATCHES. This is just one swipe of the finger. I have a current obsession with Flame Thrower and Untamed. Something about those copper and golds that leave me all hearty eyed. It's no wonder these shadows HAD to be mentioned as my favorites this month.
I do think it's worth mentioning that regular MUG shadows only sell for $5.99 because one in particular has become a staple in almost all my makeup looks lately. Creme brûlée. It is the most perfect base/transitioning shade for the crease. I highly recommend this one single shadow over any others. But if you're a go big or go home kind of person, definitely pick up the starter kit because Cocoa Bear is also a must have. ;)
As a follow up to the shadows, we have my next favorite for the month of August. Yes, I briefly mentioned the Z Palette above on purpose. :)
Before actually OWNING a Z Palette I really never understood the convenience of them. I was so pleasantly surprised when I fell in love with my first palette. I loved being able to organize my shadow pans in whatever order floated my boat. I was so excited I started depotting every shadow I could that I owned. I didn't get very far though, I actually only depotted two. Oops. I really didn't know how time consuming it was! I'm learning though. As my love for single pan shadows grew, both Morphe and Makeup Geek mostly, my Z Palette came to be filled quite quickly. I ended up ordering a second one! Now I have one filled with Makeup Geek and another filled with mostly Morphe and a couple Too Faced, Mac and Sephora shadows I depotted. My MUG palette also includes one MUG blush (Honeymoon) that I'm in love with, as you can see in my yellow palette. I really think everyone should own at least one Z Palette. It really changes the way you organize your makeup shadows. Promise.
Now we get to my favorite favorites!
I have two favorites in the lipstick category. One high(ish) end and one drugstore. Let's begin.
First off, NYX Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken. This color is the perfect nude peach mauve color. I think that's how I'd describe it....? It's just a ridiculously pretty color. The formula is so much better than the soft matte cream lipsticks. It's a moussey liquid to matte texture. It doesn't come to an overwhelming dry on the lips. They are not completely transfer resistant, but the wear is long lasting. I'm such a huge fan of these cream lipsticks in general, Soft Spoken is just the perfect color.
I found this color to be VERY similar to the infamous Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita. And for a third of the price, that's a win for me. The NYX Liquid Suede sell for $6.99 on both NYX and Ulta websites. I know some people may disagree and not see them as dupes, but they're close enough for me. :)
Last but not least, I know if you follow my Snapchat and Instagram you expected this. She is my current ride or die. She's my go to. I am ridiculously in love with Veronica. Anastasia Beverly Hills Veronica, to be more specific.
This color leaves me speechless. I reach for it almost everyday. For a girl with over 200 lipsticks, this is crazy talk. But I kid you not, since I've received this color I have just fallen head over hills with it. I like to describe it as a deep mauve with just a tint of plum in some lights. If I could just say "perfect" anytime someone asked me to describe it, I would. When I originally purchased my first Anastasia Liquid lipsticks at the beginning of the year, I really liked the formula. I didn't LOVE it compared to some of the other liquid lipsticks on the market. This time around Norvina and Anastasia stepped up their game! I own five of the new shades released at the end of July and compared to the the ones I owned before, I am in love with the formula. The new lipsticks are definite more pigmented and aren't as drying. I can really go all day wearing Veronica and almost forget it's on my lips because the wear is so amazing. This definitely says a lot about the product. At times I reach for my tube and begin to reapply when I realize my lips already have lipstick. No feathering, no fading, and very very minimal transfer. If there was one lipstick I had to choose to wear all fall, it would be Veronica.
To be honest, it's almost similar to NYX Soft Spoken and KVD Lolita. It's like they had a baby!
Anastasia Beverly Hill liquid lipsticks sell for $20 and can be found online on their brand website as well as Macy's online and in store at Impulse locations. Unfortunately for me, I can only get these online. Luckily, I have yet to be disappointed. I'm STILL waiting for Veronica to restock so I can buy a backup.
So there you have it. All my favorites for the month of August. I honestly have a tendency to fall in love with any new makeup I receive, but lately I've been really latching on to certain things that just stand out to me. This month's favorites were no exception.
I included active links for everything except the Garnier wipes which can be found at any drugstore.
Next on my blog, I will be reviewing the Etsy brands Swirl and Sparkle (brush cleaner) and LonelyPlanetCo (Liquid lipstick). Both items have been sent to me without charge so I will be 100% honest. I know I covered the brush cleaner briefly here, but I would like to go more in depth with my experience with them after using them a few more times.
The end for now. K bye.