BLUSHIN’ BABE

I’ll admit that up until a few months ago, one of the items you’d never find in my makeup arsenal was blush. I was actually afraid of it — I thought I’d look like a clown because I’m so pale, I didn’t know how to apply it, I didn’t know what color to choose or what kind was best (cream? powder? so many choices!) so I just avoided it altogether.

I also felt like because my skin has naturally pink undertones (and I tend to blush on my own A LOT thanks to never-ending shyness and social anxiety) so I figured, why make my cheeks even redder than they are already?!

But I can admit when I’m wrong and in this case, I was so wrong. A makeup artist convinced me that blush is a crucial part of the makeup process and now I see how right she was.

First things first, there are so many shades of blush and many of them look great on all skin tones (really, I swear!) and the great thing about blush is, you can control how much color you get. If all you want is a little swath of color, a light brushstroke is all you need. For a more dramatic look, you can build up the color quite easily.

This Marie Claire tutorial shows the best placement for blush in an easy-to-follow image, seen here.

The two blushes I use most often are Milani Cosmetics‘ Baked Blush in Luminoso (a luminous peachy pink) and Sisley‘s Phyto-Blush Eclat in Peach. The Milani offers a brighter pop of color for days when I want (or need) a brighter look, and Sisley is great for a light, healthy flush of color. Milani is inexpensive at $8.95 and can be found at major drugstores. Sisley’s is much more expensive, clocking in at $88.

Now that I’ve jumped on the blush bandwagon, I cannot believe I ever went a day without it. I seriously won’t leave the house without blush on and am embarrassed I was so afraid of it for so long. I look like a zombie without some blush! It’s the perfect topper to give skin a warm, beautiful glow, no matter the season or reason.

xo A

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BLUSHIN’ BABE

REVIEW: Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara

If I were stranded on a desert island and could only bring a few things with me, I’m pretty sure mascara would be one of them. I’m obsessed with it. There is nothing cooler than seeing your eyes pop with the flick of a wand. It’s an every day staple and gives every look that needed finishing touch — from the smokiest eye to no makeup at all. It’s truly the greatest makeup product — so easy to use and looks great on everyone.

I’m not loyal to any one specific mascara, but over the years have found my go-to brand is Maybelline. I’ve tried higher end brands, from Dior to Sephora, and none do as good a job as Maybelline. That pink and green tube is ubiquitous to beauty lovers and there’s a reason a new tube is sold every 1.7 seconds (OMG!) — it’s the best of the best. Because of that, I make a beeline for the Maybelline section when I’m running low on mascara.

The latest one I’m loving is Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara. At first, I was skeptical of the need for an ‘upper’ and ‘lower’ lash mascara, but now I’m hooked. As someone who rarely ever used mascara on my lower lashes (I always felt it was too raccoon-y with eyeliner), I’m now convinced. The two separate tubes are genius and I especially like the one for the lower lashes. It’s not at all clumpy and gives a hint of color to the lower lashes, so they’re a bit more defined. 

The top lashes are also voluminous and fluffy without flaking or smudging, which is perfect for a dramatic eye look or a more natural one. I use Blackest Black and do several coats, like I do with all mascara. I like my lashes to really pop.

The mascara is obviously inexpensive and can be found at national drugstores and beauty chains. My only gripe is that I feel you may get a little less product due to the upper and lower lashes having separate wands and tubes, but I’m not complaining. In my glammed up eyes, Maybelline has done it again!

xo A

REVIEW: Maybelline Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara

MY FAVORITE BB CREAM

I’m a firm believer in mixing high and low when it comes to beauty products — sure, luxury brands are great, but why spend more money just for the name on the bottle if you don’t have to? Plenty of drugstore brands are amazing in their own way and should be lauded as such.

I had jumped on the BB/CC cream bandwagon a few years ago when they became super hot, and never found one I liked enough. I found CC creams were great for evening my color, but didn’t offer enough coverage. I found BB creams that were too thick and goopy. Would I ever find a happy medium?!

Very happy to report that I found the PERFECT BB cream for me right at CVS. It’s by Garnier and it’s called the Miracle Skin Perfector Daily Anti-Acne BB Cream. Yes, the name is long but the results are WORTH IT. I was skeptical because it only comes in two shades (light/medium and medium/deep) since I am so fair, and I’m always a little skeptical of makeup that claims to clear acne — after all, doesn’t makeup tend to aggravate acne, not help it?

This has become my every day “can’t even leave the house without it on” BB cream. It magically fits my skin tone (in light/medium) while giving me a healthy, slightly noticeable glow. It goes on evenly, and is thick enough for great coverage but not too thick. It also smells amazing.

I apply it all over my face and neck after cleansing but before any other makeup. It’s a great primer for other makeup, and my bronzer, blush, and eye makeup adheres beautifully to it. It’s super hydrating so my skin feels great to the touch and the 2% salicyclic acid truly does help with acne. My skin has never been better.

My only gripe is the coverage is a little light, so for deeper marks/blemishes, you still need a concealer on top of it. Otherwise, this is my go-to BB cream and great for girls who don’t want to bother with heavy foundation.

How do you feel about BB creams? Love ’em or leave ’em?

xo A

MY FAVORITE BB CREAM