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Celebration Makeup: My 23rd Birthday

Beauty

Photo by: Alexandra Folino

23. It’s not the biggest landmark birthday by any means. But for some reason I felt like this birthday marked a big change for me. Let’s start by saying: I’ve never felt a deep connection with my astrological sign. I know the idea of astrology can be a rather divisive topic, and I even have to say that I myself don’t necessarily believe in it either. But when everyone else has pulled out their zodiac signs and moon signs and what not, I’ve never been able to relate.

You see, I’m not really a leo. Sure, I can have a dramatic flair from time to time, and I’d like to consider myself a leader. But outwardly confidant, dominating, blunt, spontaneous, and egotistical? Not so much. Despite my prior feelings, somehow the past year has made me grow stronger in the positive aspects of this astrological sign — and I’d like to say I’m now a stronger, more vibrant person. And with that, I’ve become someone who’s not afraid to rock a bright, fun eye look. Even yellow.

So that’s exactly what I did for my birthday makeup look this year. Below, check out how I achieved this bright and sunny eye look in a few very simple steps.

Before getting to the eye makeup, I did my usual face makeup: Too Faced Born This Way foundation, a little Nars concealer on some blemishes, Glossier Cloud Paint cream blush in Beam, Urban Decay Naked Skin cream highlighter, and NYX Micro Brow Pencil.

To prep the eyes, I went over the entire lid with a taupe. Next: with a windshield wiper motion, I gradually began to deepen my crease with a warm caramel brown. Then, I packed on a bright, matte yellow all over the lid, again gradually building up color until it was to my liking. With a clean brush, I blended, blended, blended to make the crease and yellow lid transition smoothly. I then grabbed a little bit of the taupe and caramel color, together, and placed that under the eye with a pencil brush. To finish the eyes, I popped a sparkly, champagne color on the inner corners and blended into the yellow (ever so slightly).

To finish the look, I added a thin line of MUFE brown Aqua XL liner and Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir mascara on top and bottom. Et, voila. That’s it! Sure it’s not the craziest most glam look in the history of birthday makeup, but I’d like to say I’ve become someone more comfortable with flaunting a bright yellow eyeshadow. And for someone who loves the color yellow as much as I do, that’s a pretty exciting thing to say. So here’s to 23: may this year bring me even more confidence, so I can play around even more with my makeup. What’s next? Glitter tears? Black lipstick? We’ll just have to wait and see 😉

June & July Beauty Favorites 2017

Beauty

This summer has been so promising in the beauty front. Maybe it’s all the new launches that have been popping up from brand to brand, but I have a feeling it’s something more: Despite throwing the occasional morning tantrum when I can’t find anything to wear in a sea of clothing, I honestly think I have a newfound self-confidence that has helped me blossom in the beauty realm. This year, I’m not afraid to flaunt my natural hair texture: it’s wavy, it’s messy, it’s slightly frizzy, and, you know what, I love it. I’m no longer trying to fight it. I’m also not looking to hide my natural beauty with too many products. It’s summer, and the less product there is to melt off my face, the better. That’s why I’ve taken the time to simplify my morning makeup routine and go for more easy products that don’t take too much time and enhance my natural features. Summer is all about embracing your natural glow, right?

Bumble and bumble Don’t Blow It (H)air Styler for Thick Hair

Last summer, I decided to put away my hot tools until the weather cooled down. And this year, as soon as the days got longer and the temperature remained stagnant in the 80s, I knew I had to do it again. In fact, I’ve only used a hot tool on my hair twice in the past two months: once to add very sparse curls when I went out for my best friend’s bday party and the other time to test a product for work. Otherwise, I like to stick to my daily no-heat hair routine, and this product is definitely what helps my hair look more like a subtle bed head rather than a complete frizzy mess. A long time ago, I tried this product in the original formula for fine hair, but it’s really not that effective for someone with thick wavy frizz. This thick formula is SO much better (and you can betcha I’ll be picking it up once I finish this bottle). I like to distribute it from mid-shaft through the ends after my deep conditioner and before my mousse. Curious about my hair routine? Hopefully a more detailed post will be coming very soon!

Flower Beauty Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette

I cannot (will not) put down this highlighting palette. I’ve tried so hard to go back to my other favorite highlights, but I can’t. NOTHING COMPARES. The palette features three shades: a blue-toned pink, a champagne and a light yellow-gold. And while all three colors are endlessly gorgeous, I have to say that the champagne is my HG highlight for summer. Did I mention it’s less than $15 at Walmart. This palette is so underrated, I cannot even begin to explain my love. Just try ripping this palette out of my hands. I dare you.

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo in Bad To The Bronze

I’m ridiculously late to the game with this one. I’ve heard YouTubers, bloggers, Instagrammers, and friends rave about this eyeshadow (in this specific shade) for way too long. But finally, I decided to jump the gun and just buy it. I was having a moment of weakness in the beauty section at Target, and I ended up buying too many things I didn’t need. But this eyeshadow was the best of the lot. If you’re looking for a subtle eyeshadow that you can literally dab on and go, this is your one, true love. It’s nicely pigmented so you can add on a single dab for something barely-there, or you can pack it on for an intense bronze smoky eye. This shadow does no wrong. And it’s been so great for summer days when I don’t have to patience to do too much eyeshadow (ie every day).

Glossier Cloud Pint in Puff

I was SO skeptical about this blush when it first launched. I thought it was such a rip off for the size of the product. And I had tried so many cream blushes that I thought it would just be like every single other one out there. Boy was I wrong. This blush will last you FOREVER. It’s so incredibly opaque — all you need is a single dot of blush for each check. It blends out flawlessly with fingers or a beautyblender. And, in all honesty, I can’t imagine using any other blush during the summer. I even wear it to the beach or on low-key days with only BB cream.

April & May Beauty Favorites 2017

Beauty, Skincare

Phew! It’s been a crazy past few months. It’s been so crazy, in fact, that I forgot to write a monthly favorites for April! Oops. To make up for my lack of monthly favorites during April, I’m combing April and May for aa huge spring favorites post. And unlike my other monthly favorites, the following products have been carefully curated and much loved this spring (so much in fact, I have to refrain from sounding overly sing songy). Proceed reading with caution, some of these beauty products might be the best of the best (and you might not want to go back to your old standbys ever again).

Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash

I’m on a constant search to find a cleanser that is gentle enough for my sensitive, dry skin yet powerful enough to remove my makeup. I’ve searched tirelessly, and yes I’ve tried all the brands you’re probably thinking of: Simple, FAB, Burt’s Bees, you name it. It’s not that these cleansers are bad necessarily, it’s just that they’re not the best thing I’ve ever used. But this one, this hidden gem, might just be the closest I’ll get. I got this deluxe sample in my Sephora Play, and I didn’t think anything of it. But after using it daily for a few weeks now, I’m happy to say that this cleanser is amazing. The formula is gel at first, but when you suds it with water it foams up on the face nicely. It’s very gentle and non-irritating which my skin loves, but it also takes off basically everything but a little bit of left over mascara. Color me impressed.

Belif Hungarian Water Essence

This is another goodie found amid Sephora Play. I really like essences, and I enjoy their weightless feel, but sometimes I wonder if it’s even making a difference. This essence has helped to change my POV. I feel completely different if washed my face and not followed up with this essence. It is very hydrating, like water (as the name aptly says), and it provides the most wonderful base for my serum. 100% worth it.

Tatcha The Water Cream

I think I might have an addiction to face lotions and face creams. At one point in time, I most likely have 10 different lotions and creams to choose from. I’m not complaining in any way, but it does get hard to formulate a concrete opinion when there are so many options. This cream is, hands down, one of the best I’ve ever used. It ranks up there with my First Aid Beauty cream, and that’s high praise. What makes this so unique is it’s consistency: it’s a cream, but it’s not too thick. It’s watery, so it gets absorbed fairly quickly (which is ideal for spring time). At the same time, it leaves behind a very faint scent. It’s no wonder this is the #1 best seller right now at Sephora. It’s phenomenal, and I highly recommend to any skin type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner

I’d heard rumor that this eyeliner was good, but I didn’t image it was this good. This eyeliner blows other liquid felt-tipped liners out of the water. I first heard about the liner a couple months ago when Estee Lalonde talked about picking one up when she was in Japan. Estee happened to pick up the pencil version pf the liner. But when I was at Disney World Epcot earlier this spring , I found the Dolly Wink felt tip in Epcot Japan. TBH, I’m sort of obsessed with Japanese beauty right now (but more on that later – hint, hint, nudge). Since that day — literally — I haven’t stopped wearing it. This. Eyeliner. Is. The. Shit. Unlike other felt-tipped liners I’ve used and struggled with in the past, this liner applies in one flawless swipe, the pigment is true black, and it stays puts all day.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Lip Shine

I’m unsure why other companies don’t put Hyaluronic Acid in more beauty products. I think Neutrogena is onto something with this product. Unlike most glosses or lip toppers that feel sticky and heavy, this gloss is light weight. For someone like me who doesn’t wear lip glosses every single day, it’s ideal. I love having this in my bag at all times (similar to the Korres Lip Butter Gloss), because it’s an extremely sheer rose color that just adds the slightest something something. I’m also a huge fan of the applicator: it’s a large oval that makes it easier to cover more surface area quicker.