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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monthly Favorites (+UNFavorites): April 2015

1.) RCMA foundation/concealer palettes - These are amazing & help conserve so much space in my kit. Very little product goes a long way, the coverage is flawless & they require little touch-up after initial application. They're formulated without perfumes, animal extracts, mineral oils or lanolin and are super long lasting. If you're a non MUA, you can still purchase either samples or larger pots of your desired shade(s), so I encourage checking out their website.

2.) Dove Go Fresh body wash in Nectarine & White Ginger - I've already re-purchased this stuff. It smells really yummy but not overpowering and the formula is moisturizing. I use it to shave my legs with too. Win win.

3.) Milani Coming Up Roses powder blushes - I'll admit, I was drawn to these because they looked so pretty in the pan, but I actually really love them. I've had good luck with Milani blushes in general (their baked powder blush in Dolce Pink is my HG) so I ended up buying all four. I think my favorite might be Tea Rose, though.

4.) CoverGirl Smoochies lip gloss in #535 Make It Sparkle - These remind me of something I would have used to death in high school. The whole candy colored line is fun to look at and #535 is really cute, moisturizing and non-sticky (which is what I appreciate most). The color is pretty much completely sheer on my lips, but I love glosses in a squeezy tube. It's great for every day touch ups in the car or adding a little moisture and sheen to a drying lipstick.

5.) Tonymoly Hello Bunny solid perfume in PomPom Green Tea (Coco Floral was a close second) - There's just something about Korean cosmetics that speaks to me. Again, the packaging is something that my inner twelve year old squeals over. I love carrying this little perfume solid in my makeup bag because I never worry about any glass shattering or liquid spilling. The scent is a really pretty mixture of lotus flowers and green tea. It smells light, fresh and clean. I picked mine up at Urban Outfitters and can't wait to go back there to try more products from this company. & yes - they are all equally as cute as this one!

6.) Nivea Energy Fresh deodorant spray in Lemongrass - Deodorant sprays are becoming more and more popular lately, I've noticed. I definitely prefer the scents and varieties that the European versions have to offer, though. I picked this one up in the cosmetic section of a Polish market & I like it a lot. The scent is really nice and seems to linger all day and well, the product does what it's supposed to.

7.) Simple Cleansing micellar water - I love this stuff, plainly put. It removes makeup really well.
I actually wrote a very detailed post about this product and micellar waters in general below! Please refer to it for any questions you may have about this product.

I also wanted to include one MISS from the past month which, needless to say, is a product I wouldn't repurchase...The Ulta brand brush cleaner! I hate using this stuff because it takes a lot of product to clean each brush. I also don't think it does that good of a job cleansing them to begin with.
It foams a ton and I HATE the smell (which THANKFULLY doesn't linger too much). I'm determined to use this stuff out to get my money's worth, but I've already repurchased a huge bottle of Cinema Secrets brush cleaner to avoid buying these small crappy ones again.

Joanna xo

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Beauty Spotlight: Royal & Langnickel Professional Makeup Brushes

I wanted to share one of my favorite brush brands today - Royal & Langnickel. If you're a makeup artist looking for awesome professional brushes for your kit or just trying to decide on the best ones for personal use, this company has got you covered.

My most recent purchase from R&L was this 13 piece yellow & blue Love is...Hopeful brush kit. As usual, I was not disappointed. The brushes are beautiful, soft, well made & come with a gorgeous blue carrying case which opens up and converts into two brush holders (which is awesome for travel or professional use). If blue & yellow don't tickle your fancy, you can also get kits like this one in other colors too. I assure you, there's something for everyone. You can also purchase individual brushes & the selection is amazing.

I received my order in record time & will definitely be buying another set of these in the near future. I think they also make a wonderful gift because they're just so pretty to look at! My pro discount is definitely an added bonus, but I'd have bought them without it because they always have weekly specials & amazing deals.

I also received a free gift with my purchase, which I included a photo of below. It's a red & black makeup bag with two compartments, brush slots & a mirror. It's just the right size for my purse & to carry around my essentials.

Joanna xo

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Let's talk about MICELLAR WATERS! Everything you NEED to know & more...

Let me start off by saying that I am thrilled to see more micellar waters available for purchase in the US! I recently spotted Simple's version of micellar water at Target & knew I had to give it a try.

But before I go any further, I realize you may be asking yourself... 

What the heck is micellar water, anyway?

Micellar waters originated in France and are soap free cleansing waters containing micelle molecules, which are made up of fatty acid esters. Esters comprise most naturally occurring fats and oils. These tiny oil molecules are essentially suspended in soft water.

So uh, what are they used for, exactly?

When you use a micellar water on a cotton pad, the micelles are attracted to the impurities in the skin & effectively draw them out & dissolve them without drying or leaving behind any chemical residue.
Micellar waters wont smear makeup around like a traditional makeup wipe, either. Instead, they more thoroughly pick up what other methods of cleansing and makeup removal leave behind. Most micellar waters also remove eye makeup like a dream & contain other beneficial skin boosting ingredients (such as vitamins) which moisturize & soothe.

Another bonus? Many brands opt for fragrance free versions, which are ideal for sensitive skin & use around the eyes. You wont experience any stinging, burning or skin tightness when using them. Instead, they are incredibly refreshing & gentle.

Also, they require no rinsing, so they're great for taking off makeup at the end of a long day & perfect for travel.

Lastly, micellar water can be used on a q-tip to correct makeup mistakes made during everyday application, which makes it a staple in my makeup kit.

Are they for everyone?

Yep! Because they're so gentle, micellar waters are great for all skin types (even acne prone).

I sometimes use them on clients to prep their skin for makeup, particularly if they are quite oily. Now, if you tend to have very oily skin, you may need an additional cleanser at some point. 

Help! I want some, where can I get it?!

Now, the first micellar water I ever tried was Bioderma, a cult favorite used by makeup artists & models behind the scenes for years. I will say, it's a truly amazing product & I highly recommend it. When I first discovered it years ago, it wasn't as readily available as it is now and it was pricier. Now, you can easily order it online (I usually order through Amazon or other beauty sites which offer a MUA discount).

Fortunately for me, many Polish stores & pharmacies in my area stock some amazing beauty products (including micellar waters by great brands like AA, Vichy, Ziaja, Perfecta & Soraya). These European products give you plenty of high quality options to choose from so, if you're from Chicago (like me), you can get your hands on them pretty easily! If you aren't, you can also order them online here. Oh, you're welcome. :)

But wait! You've got even more options!

As I mentioned at the top of this post, I recently noticed that Simple has come up with their own micellar water (available now at Target) so I decided to give it a try. Long story short, it's pretty awesome. I like to pour some on a cotton pad and gently press it onto my lids to remove shadow & mascara. I then take a fresh cotton pad to sweep all over my face to remove the rest of my makeup. You can also use it to refresh skin prior to makeup application.


Let's not beat around the bush...You need some micellar water in your life!

Joanna xo

Monday, April 20, 2015

Suck My...Kiss...*barf*

By now, I think most of us are catching on to the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge phenomenon (search the hashtag kyliejennerlipchallenge on IG at your own risk) taking the internet by storm. I've always thought that full/pouty lips were attractive and all, but from what I've seen lately, this beauty trend has crossed over into downright insane territory.

I'm aware that the quest for the perfect pout has become an obsession lately (what with companies cashing in and selling lip plumpers in the form of glorified suction cups) but the photos & videos I've seen online are still pretty staggering. Young girls have been taking matters into their own hands and using makeshift lip plumping tools (i.e. shot glasses/bottles) to get the coveted look of the moment...The result is usually a badly bruised, over inflated & heavily regretted mess...Let's be real, your lips are gonna look like a baboon's ass...

While I usually support anything that pokes fun at the Kardashian/Jenner clan & the obvious enhancements they seem to deny, this trend is just completely unfortunate. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't find it absolutely hilarious, though...

That being said...I wish people would stop letting one or two trends completely dominate their beauty routines & dictate how they should look...Hop off IG & wear what looks best ON YOU...Alright, off my soap box...Take a look at the ridiculousness below!

Go to the link below for more laughs!! & please, say NO to this trend. Work what ya got, ladies...& gents!

Click me!

Joanna xo

Friday, April 17, 2015

What's On My Face?

I wanted to do a quick little update on today's makeup. Here's what I usually wear when I'm on the go & need to be ready on the quick!

1.) Eucerin Q10 Anti Wrinkle moisturizer
2.) CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous foundation
3.) Lorac TANtalizer bronzer/highlighter duo
4.) Chanel Illusion D'Ombre cream shadow in Emerveille 
5.) Maybelline Great Lash mascara
6.) Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in Boy

The brushes pictured are Sigma & Real Techniques.

Joanna xo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Let's take a trip down memory lane...

I was sitting around today after cleaning some makeup brushes & stuffing them back into my kit when I remembered my beloved old Caboodles makeup case & the start of my love of all things beauty-related. Ahh, I still remember all of the Bonne Bell Lip Smackers & glittery Naturistics lip glosses I crammed inside of that clunky old thing...I outgrew it quickly, but it served me well! To my surprise, a quick Google search actually produced a photo of the very case I had. Man, I sort of wish I had held on to it...
I remember having to update my makeup storage situation when the little closure broke. Anyway, I used to put it on my vanity in the morning, open it up & use the mirror inside to apply my makeup before school. A coat of mascara, bit of blush & a translucent nude or pink gloss did the trick back then...Until I discovered lip liners the next year, that is...

At the time that my mom bought it for me, I considered it a big purchase. Hey, twenty five bucks was a big deal to an 11 year old...Anyhow, I suppose I've been feeling more inspired and thankful than ever these days, which explains this wave of nostalgia. I recently invested in updating my case/product hoard & couldn't be more ecstatic to be working more. I feel like I'm starting over & I've finally gotten where I needed to be. Here's to new beginnings, I guess!

I'm really looking forward to posting more this week, maintaining my Facebook page & getting my website sorted out...'Til then, here are a few of my coveted products from when I was a pre-teen, just for shits & giggles. If you were a 90's girl like me, you can probably relate.

1.) Bonne Bell Lip Smackers - I still use the Dr. Pepper flavored one all the time...Oh, who am I kidding? I still own a ton of these...

2.) Naturistics Roll-On Lip Gloss in Vanilla

3.) Bonne Bell Body Glitter - I remember not knowing what the hell to do with this stuff but I had this exact tube (and several others) back in the day. I remember smearing it on my cheekbones and sometimes applying it to my shoulders. Hey, Britney Spears did it, so it must have been right...

4.) Bath & Body Works glittery hand sanitizers - Man oh man, these were all the rage back in middle school. Everyone had their favorite scent. Mine was Freesia...

5.) Any blue eye shadow...& lots of it!

6.) Butterfly clips & plastic barrettes!

7.) Bonne Bell Bottled Emotions perfumes

8.) Bon Bons nail polishes - We loved them because they were so tiny & cute!

9.) CoverGirl Lip Slicks - I still use my old favorite (in Demure) today...

10.) Revlon Street Wear line of products - I totally remember the polishes & lipsticks!

& last but not least, my signature scent in middle school...Davidoff's Cool Water for women...

Joanna xo

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Monthly Favorites: March

1.) Nivea Extended Moisture Body Lotion - I've been a fan of Nivea lotions and creams for years, but this one in particular has been a staple of mine lately. It absorbs quickly, effectively relieves dry skin and has a nice light scent. I slather this on after every shower and it never irritates my skin, even after I shave.

2.) Real Techniques (foundation & blush) brushes - I added these to my kit last month & I love them. The foundation brush is awesome for applying cream/liquid products and makes it super easy to blend them out. I've used the blush brush for both blush + bronzer & was really impressed as well. Clients kept raving about how soft these felt, so I bought them for myself too!

3.) Thierry Mugler Alien perfume - I've enjoyed this perfume for quite some time but rekindled my love for it this past month. I don't know if I could adequately describe the scent even if I tried, (so I wont bother) but I'd definitely recommend giving it a sniff. I think it's sexy & sophisticated. I found several samples of this in my stash & have been wearing them to death, so I finally decided to bite the bullet and invest in a full bottle (which is beautiful in itself) once they run out.

4.) L'Oreal Infallible Gel Lacquer eyeliner - Awesome liner...smooth & easy application...great pigmentation. It comes with a brush but I prefer using my own (thin angled) brush to apply it. Stays put throughout the day. Love it. Case closed.


5.) Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquers - I scored a couple of these glosses during a buy one get one 50% off sale & think they're pretty great. The packaging is cute and features a mirrored tip with a little gem on top (ooh shiny things!). The glosses themselves are pigmented, multi dimensional & sparkly. I particularly like them because they aren't sticky & look amazing over loads of lip liners and lipsticks. My 2 favorites have been Pink Diamond (metallic, frosty pink) & Amber (coppery-neutral with shimmer).

Joanna xo