My Top Contouring Picks

Damn girl.

Contouring products are everywhere — it wasn’t just a 2014 trend! It seems like every beauty brand has their own contour/highlight duo or palette. How do you know which ones to try? If you’re like me, you want to try EVERY product out there. Unfortunately, that would make my wallet cry. I can’t claim to have tried every product, but out of the many I own and have played with, these are my favorite products that grace my face almost every day.

tarte the sculptor contouring face slenderizer in park avenue princess

This is $24 well spent. I’ve been using the same product for months and it barely looks like I’ve made a dent in it. tarte always wins at industry trends, and the sculptor take sthe cake in contouring sticks. The color is so beautiful on my skin — not too bronze, not too taupe. It has a very subtle shimmer and blends so easily. I sometimes use the slenderizer brush that tarte released at the same time, but I mostly use my Real Techniques sponge. Applying and blending the cream in is seriously foolpoof.

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Conceal in Light

 Since I purchased this little gem last month, I haven’t used any other concealer to hide dark spots, under eye circles, and to highlight my face. The texture is so silky, but not so creamy that it doesn’t make me look like an oil slick. I squeeze a blob of product on the back of my hand, and apply it with a skinny, flat concealer brush, and blend with my sponge. Plus, if I covered up the label, you wouldn’t be able to guess that it only costs about 8 bucks.

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Glow

The color name “Glow” is so accurate for this blush! At first, when I dot it on your cheeks, it looks so bright and almost neon. It blends so smoothly and seamlessly into my skin, and looks like a natural flush. $6 is an outrageous price, especially considering that it compares to higher-end makeup, like stila Convertible Color.

tarte Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer in park avenue princess

Another park avenue princess favorite! I can’t get enough of this iconic tarte shade. After I have completely blended in my contour cream, concealer, and blush, I sweep this highlighting bronzer on my cheekbones. I then use my concealer and flat brush again to draw a line under the bronzer, and blend. My cheekbones look flawlessly sculpted like Angelina Jolie as Maleficent. Okay…maybe not that sculpted.


What are your favorites?

Continue Reading

Beauty By The Ounce: Lip and Cheek Stains

Recently, I had a conversation with my mother about how much money women spend on cosmetic products. We, as beauty consumers, often overlook the ratio of cost to product. We may elect to spend less money upfront, but in return are getting much less product. For this study, I analyzed the cost to product ratio of lip and cheek stain hybrid products. The list is in order of the least to greatest cost per ounce. Keep in mind that all products are not the same formula or type of formula, but produce similar results, which is why I chose to compare their cost to product ratio.


Sephora Collection Colorful Cheek Ink Gel – .67 oz for $14 – $20.89/oz

NYX Cream Blush – .23 oz for $6.99 – $30.39/oz

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Cheek Flush – .16 oz for $6.99 = $43.69/oz

tarte cheek stain – 0.5 oz for $30 = $60/oz

Benefit Benetint Lip & Cheek Stan – .40 oz for $30 = $75/oz

Clinique Chubby Stick Cream Colour Balm – .22 oz for $22 – $100/oz

Becca Beach Tint – .24 oz for $25 – $104.17/oz

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Cheek Gelee – .18 oz for $22 – $122.22/oz

Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip and Cheek Color – 0.2 oz for $29 – $145/oz

Stila Convertible Color – .15 oz for $25 – $166.57/oz

Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks – .13 oz for $29 – $223.08/oz

MAC Casual Color – 0.08 oz for $22 – $275/oz


The price difference between the first and last product is astronomical! As consumers, it’s important to see how much money are are spending, and in turn, how much value we are giving to a specific product.

Continue Reading

Review: tarte LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss in Energy Noir

I’ve been obsessing over tarte Fall 2015 Energy Noir collection for quite some time. I’m a huge fan of the company and lust over every new item they launch, especially the new lip colors in this collection. My favorite piece from this limited edition launch is the tarte LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss in Energy Noir.

Here’s what tarte has to say about the product:

Image from
Image from

“Channel your unique “energy noir” with the newest skintuitive™ shade to join tarte’s energy family for a mega-watt pout in your own custom pop of sheer berry. Powered by tarte’s proprietary skintuitive™ technology, the high-performance formula responds to lips’ natural energy and pH to deliver an exclusive berry shade that’s all your own. Like a drink of water for your lips, the hydrating, antioxidant-infused formula helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while it wraps lips in moisture, shine and a sheer berry hue that pairs perfectly with the coordinating LipSurgence™ lip tint in energy noir.”

This gloss is a sort of sequel to tarte’s original Skintuitive lipgloss. The color adjusts to your own pH leaving each wearer with a unique color. In energy noir, the color is a versatile berry. It starts off as a a sheer gray tone and within 30 seconds transforms into a beautiful berry-pink. It’s so natural and chic looking. The gloss also smells divine, sort of like creme brulee!

The packaging is a beautiful light plum color with tarte’s signature metallic cap. The gloss applies with an interestingly shaped, sponge-tipped wand, but it glides on my lips so smoothly.

Layered on my lips
Layered on my lips

I’ve been experimenting with layering this gloss over other lip colors. My favorite combination is Benefit Benetint to stain my lips and then a coat of the gloss over it. It adds more color but still offers that chic flush.

This is a must-have for the season, or really for anytime. It will set you back $19. It’s available at Sephora, Ulta, and on tarte’s website.

What do you think of the pH technology in tarte’s Skintuitive collection?

Continue Reading

New! MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation SPF 30

 Have you heard the news? MAC has a new foundation for Fall 2015! I saw it on their website a few days ago and started happy dancing in my mind. I was still in bed, after all.

Introducing MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation SPF 30!

image from

MAC describes this new gem as:

Introducing an innovative foundation that delivers colour in an ultra-fluid, elastic gel- serum formula. With a virtually weightless feel, this hydrating formula is extraordinarily comfortable, lasting for hours. With stay-true colour and sheer medium buildable coverage, it softly blurs imperfections such as pores and fine lines. The unique dropper provides you with a drop of perfection. Use the new 196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush for a naturally flawless finish.

Oooo! A new brush too! As if I need any more brushes. (Or foundation, for that matter.)

I’m excited for the foundation, and so is my combination-oily skin. I’m constantly testing out and researching new foundations that could both hydrate and keep my shiny skin at least somewhat matte.

This type of foundation formula certainly isn’t new. I’ve been seeing “water” foundations for some time now, but even more so recently. Tarte has it’s new Rainforest of The Sea Foundation (available at QVC only right now), and Smashbox has its Camera Ready BB Water Foundation. I haven’t tried either of these out, but as a MAC foundation fan, I may have to dole out the $33.

There are 25 shades, both NC and NW. Wait a second… where are the shades for the neutral toned guys and gals? I wear N3 in Face and Body and assume I might need the same shade in Waterweight, but I won’t know until I stop by the counter later this week. On that note, I wonder how the formula will compare to my beloved Face and Body Foundation. Though F&B is marketed as a sheer, natural finish, I have a feeling they may be similar.

What do you think about this new foundation? Have you tried any water based foundations before?

Continue Reading

Clay Is Not Just For Art Class

I remember my first day of preschool. I remember molding animals out of blue-colored clay. I remember the chalky texture and how it would get stuck under my finger nails. That was the same reason I hated the purple clay included in the Cranium game. After playing a few rounds, I’d have to go wash my hands and scrape the stuff off my skin. Now, I want the stuff on my skin, but in a very different form. Clays in cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reasons, too.

Kaolin clay is probably the most common used clay in cosmetics. Kaolin, also known as China clay, has been used in porcelain and china for years, and is what gives paper it’s whiteness. It’s rich in the nutrient kaolinite, its namesake, and offers skin many benefits. According to Lush, kaolin clay exfoliates the skin and removes dead cells from the surface. I have found kaolin clay to mattify my combination-oily skin. Lush uses kaolin clay in a lot of their face masks, cleansers, dusting powders, and even soap. Try Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin cleanser. It’s ideal for all skin types and is very soothing. Glamglow also has several mud mask treatment (though it’s a total splurge) that will leave your skin clear and clean! I’ve only used a sample of the original mask, but I loved it.

image from


Perhaps Tarte’s claim-to-fame is their use of Amazonian clay, which I’ve recently learned is also kaolin clay. According to the brand’s website, Amazonian clay is the ultimate gift of nature. The clay reduces surface oil, nourishes and hydrates skin, and improve the appearance of skin clarity and texture. Tarte has so many products that use this clay, which is sustainably harvested from the Amazon’s river basin. I first started using Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation in 2012 and have been a fan of their whole clay line since. I can’t recommend this foundation enough for all skintypes. I wear shade fair-light neutral. I can also recommend their Amazonian Clay 12-Hour blushes and Gifted, their Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. I feel so good about wearing this line.


tarte gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. image from

Rose clay, or pink kaolin clay, is fairly less common in cosmetics than it’s grayish counterpart. The pink tint comes from its high iron-oxide content. It’s a mild dusty rose-colored clay, and is ideal for sensitive or dry skin. I’ve been using Lush’s Rosy Cheeks face mask to sooth my skin after spending a lot of time outside this summer. The mask’s first ingredient is rose clay! I found this mask to leave my face demi-matte and GLOWING! It feels tight on the face at first, but a little bit of warm water fixes that. Another mask to try is Origins Original Skin TM Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay.

Lush’s Rosy Cheeks face mask. image from,en_US,pd.html

The last type of clay we’ll talk about is rhassoul mud. This Moroccan mud is so jam-packed with nutrients. Moroccan women have been harnessing its power for centuries. According to Lush, rhassoul mud has both foaming and de-greasing qualities, which are ideal for oily skintypes. It also draws impurities out of the skin, which everyone can cheer about. Lush’s Cupcake face mask was originally formulated for oily and breakout prone teen skin, but anyone wanted to calm down shiny skin will benefit. Rhassoul mud has even been shown to ease upset stomachs (though you shouldn’t eat your face mask, even if it does smell like chocolate cake).


Lush’s Cupcake Fresh Face Mask. image from,en_US,pd.html

Brittany Hoops Signature

Have you tried any amazing clay cosmetic products or tried any of my recommendations?

Continue Reading