Category: Beauty

Lancôme Mascara Primer Dupe

I am obsessed with mascara primer.  One of these magical tubes will make your eyelashes longer, more voluminous, keep your mascara from flaking and conditions your lashes.  It’s magical I tell you! I have long used both the Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL – Enhancing Mascara Base – $25.50 and the Dior Show Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer – 29.50, both I have equally loved. Although I have always found the cost offensive I just couldn’t give them up, until now.  I have discovered a dupe that is worthy of replacing both the Lancome and Dior versions…
Enter the L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara.  Like the Lancome and Dior versions, the L’Oreal formula is white which provides the perfect canvas to have any color mascara you use stand out.  All three versions have a good size mascara wand to evenly coat your lashes with, although the Dior primer has a silicone wand while the Lancome and L’Oreal brushes use the traditional wand. I am not picky when it comes to the type of wand, however if you are you might want to take this into consideration.
The other important thing to mention as I rave over the L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara that was released in June, 2016 is there are 890 reviews with a 4.6 rating on for this product.  The Lancome CILS BOOSTER XL – Enhancing Mascara Base has 169 reviews with a 4.6 rating and the Dior Show Maximizer 3D Triple Volume Plumping Lash Primer has a 4.5 star rating as well with 125 reviews. People are using this new product and raving about it compared to two tried and true versions that have been around for years.
One last thing to note, using a primer for your mascara is quick!  This extra step will generally take me around 30-60 seconds in the morning.  I apply to both eyes and then sweep my mascara right over. Some people wait, however I prefer not to because not only is it faster, but it also keeps the formula damp which for me gives a smoother application that is not rigid or too stiff.
If you love lashes as much as I do then you need to give this product a try.  If you don’t, still give it a try, it just might change the way you do your eye makeup moving forward.

Dry Shampoo Dupe – Cornstarch!

Yes, the title is true, I have found a dry shampoo dupe  – cornstarch!   I know, it’s weird…cornstarch?  This is the stuff that hangs out in my pantry and every so often I will bust it out when a recipe calls for it, but really that isn’t too often.   The thing that cornstarch is amazing at doing is absorbing oil.  Oil absorbing?  Sounds like something my dirty hair could use.  I also have to add that I in doing my fair share of research corn starch is one of the main ingredients in numerous dry shampoos on the market. Dry shampoos that are  wayyyyyyyyyyy more pricey.

Now let me back up on how this trick was first mentioned to me.  I was shoe shopping and the girl helping me was wearing this  amazing hat, which I quickly complimented her on.  She mentioned that she didn’t have time to wash her hair that day and she couldn’t find her cornstarch.  I must have given her an inquisitive look because she quickly followed up by telling me what a great alternative cornstarch was to dry shampoo.  I took note and decided to try it.  I have to say that I now almost exclusively use corn starch as my main dry shampoo source because it works crazy good.  Not to mention the price difference is an added bonus.  A container of corn starch usually runs anywhere from $3-$5 for a 16 oz container, while higher priced powder shampoos run anywhere from $20-$30 for 2-3 oz. of product.  Here are a couple of examples where corn starch is one of the primary ingredients, Alterna Cavier Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo and Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder Dry Shampoo.

Here are some of my tips on how to use this stuff.  I keep a tub of Argo cornstarch in my vanity along with my other makeup essentials.  Whenever I use it, I simply dip three fingers into the powder, shake off any extra and dab it into the roots of my hair making sure to blend it in well so you don’t see any white powder.  I continue this process until I am happy with how it looks – sometimes this is a 30 second process and other times it takes a bit longer.  It all really depends on how dirty my hair is, but don’t judge – we have all been there. 🙂

I have to admit that I was hesitant to try this since I was so in love with mainstream dry shampoos, but I highly, highly recommend that you try it.  Remember to utilize the tips noted above and hopefully you will fall in love with the results as much as I have.

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Beauty Blender Dupe

I have a love affair with my Beauty Blender.  I am always switching up my beauty products, however I rarely stray from my beloved Beauty Blender for long.  I have tried numerous imposters, but nothing has come close to this magical sponge, until now.  Beauty Blender Dupe, I have found you…

The dupe is the new H&M Precision Makeup Sponge that retails for $3.99.  The cost of a Beauty Blender is $20, making the H&M version 80% less, a HUGE savings!

The H&M Precision Makeup Sponge is identical in size to the Beauty Blender, however when dampened the H&M sponge is about 15% larger.  The actual dampened size doesn’t make a difference in the end makeup result, however I thought I would mention it.

In checking what each of the sponges was made of, the Beauty Blender states that it is made of non-latex foam while the H&M sponge is made of 100% polyurethane, which does not contain latex as well.

All in all, I would definitely give the H&M Precision Makeup Sponge a try.  Even if you hate it you are only out $4 (there is a $5.95 shipping fee, but shipping is free on H&M if you spend $50+).  I definitely think it is worth a try.  I would love to hear how you like it.

Make Up Brush Cleaning

Let’s talk makeup brush cleaning.  I have to that admit that until recently mine have been pretty gross.  An example of my short term solution has been to brush them on the back of my hand so that old shades of shadow or blush wouldn’t transfer onto whatever color combination I would apply next.  I know, disgusting.  However, I decided to make a change to this heinous habit and wanted to share my three tips to my new, hygienic brushes.

The first step is nothing news worthy, but it is simply to cleanse them with a mild cleanser.  There are numerous brands out there and Sephora offers many different high end brands which may work well, but my fave is good ole Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.  It is gentle and definitely gives my brushes a good cleanse.  Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, but definitely effective.

The second step is to soak the brushes in warm, soapy water a for several minutes.  After soaking give them a good rinse with cold water until there is no more color in the water you are rinsing the brush in.

Finally the third step is to dry them and this is where I have found the real magic.  You see I have always hated washing my brushes (aside from being lazy) is because they never held their shape or felt the same way once I washed them, until now.  Enter KLOUD City White Cosmetic Pen Sheath Make Up Bresh Netting, oh and the best part is that you get 40 for only $8.95 on Amazon.  All you do is slide these babies over your damp makeup brushes and they not only dry perfectly but the brushes hold their shape.  Voila – clean make up brushes that work like new. Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 7.18.40 PM Not only is makeup brush cleaning important in keeping blemishes away, it is also waayyyyy more sanitary.  Do you wash your makeup brushes regularly and if so what is your favorite way to wash them?  I would love to know.

Beauty Empties

I am a bit of a YouTube junkie when it comes to beauty videos.  My absolute favorite type of beauty videos to watch are those called, “empties”.  These videos consist of products that someone has used completely and they share whether or not they would purchase the product again.   What I love about these videos is I feel that you can’t really gain a complete opinion of a product unless you have used the whole item.  I find that the tell tale sign of a really good product is after using it all actually repurchasing or trying something new.

Speaking of products I love, I actually want to start another series of products I tried and hated.  But for now, these are products that I have emptied out and my take on whether or not the item is worth repurchasing.

Too Faced Primed and Poreless Skin Refining Face Primer: Potential repurchase, but I plan on trying others first. This product has a tint to it and one of the beauty gurus I follow on Instagram had a picture of her skin using only this primer and not other makeup. She stated something to the effect of, “I can’t live without this stuff.” Her skin looked gorgeous so I thought I would try it. I thought it was pretty good, however my skin looked nothing like the gal on Instagram.  Maybe it was a filter, maybe I am just old but I would not be able to wear this primer solely alone if I wanted to have flawless looking skin.

Oribe Maximizing Thickening Spray: Not repurchasing.  I thought this worked OK, but not great.  At $32 a bottle I want spectacular and I felt something equally as good could be found for quite a bit less.

Redken Heat Styling Thermo ActifNot repurchasing. This product was just OK, however I wasn’t blown away at all and felt there was no noticeable difference in the condition of my hair.

Anastasia Brow WizRepurchase.  I adore this product!  It provides perfect precision, a wide range of colors and mine always lasts me a couple of months.  For perfect brows it is definitely worth $21 and I have already repurchased this item.

NYX Cosmetics Hi Definition Photo Wand ConcealerRepurchase. I love this concealer!  It is creamy, doesn’t crease and has excellent staying power.  With a price tag of only $4.99 this is my favorite drug store concealer.

MAC Prep & Prime in Light BoostNot repurchasing.  I liked this product enough to use it up, however at $26 I felt that I should have loved it.  I found the NYX concealer referenced above to be superior to the MAC Prep & Prime.

Dior Show Maximizing Lash Plumping SerumRepurchase. I already purchased another one.  Not only does this product maximize lashes no matter what brand of mascara I use, I never have a problem with having my mascara feather of bleed.  Even though this item costs $28.5o it does last me a couple of months and I personally feel the investment is worth it.

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara: Repurchase! Of all the products listed this is my absolute favorite!  I love long lashes and this is the only mascara that never, ever transfers to my under eye area.  At $10 a tube I always have at least one tube on backup and can’t foresee not using this product in the years to come.

Do you have any items you adore and can’t live without?  If so, I would love to hear about them!