2015 Beauty Picks

You all know that this year has been my first for receiving Birchboxes and Ipsy Glam Bags. In that time I have tried a lot of products- so I thought it might be time for me to round them up and share my thoughts with you! Note that not all of these products will be ones that I have found in my birchbox/ipsy glam bag, but many of them are. I’ve learned so much since receiving my first box and bag, and this post will be a tribute to that knowledge.

Face

Moisturizer: LATHER ultra light face lotion. This product is how it’s described: ultra light. I love that it doesn’t dry my face out or make me feel stiff or like I am clogging my pores when it put it on! LATHER goes on smooth, doesn’t interfere with makeup application, and I look forward to putting in on after the shower!

Moisturizer with SPF: COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face. I fell in love with this product the second I applied it. There’s a quite lovely cooling sensation, coupled with a subtle smell of cucumber for a truly great lotion. Although my fair skin needs a higher SPF on a beach day- it’s perfect for protecting my face while reading by the pool. This is one product I may never be able to part with!

Acne Treatment: Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment. Alright- this literally works in a day or two. Apply only to the infected area after cleansing, and prepare to be amazed at how invisible or small your issue has become in just one day. There’s really nothing I can say, except that it works. However- this is a product that should only be used for those who have occasional flare ups. For example- I often rest my chin in my hands, so every week or so I’ll get a pimple or two in that area. If acne covers a greater area- this product may not work as well.

Face Scrub: Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub. It’s not tough on skin, which is important to me! I just feel so clean afterwards. Not just the “my face is no longer dirty” clean, but really deep-cleaned! The power of unclogging your pores awaits!

Face Wash: Avene Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser. I like this product for a quick face wash morning or night. It’s nothing fancy and I like that it’s soapless because it’s nice and light this way!

Face Mask: I’ll admit- I didn’t find the mask that I want to represent this year because I really haven’t tried many. One of my goals for next year is more alone/relaxation time- and mask testing will definitely be a part of that!

Makeup Remover: Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover. Tried and true and hasn’t let me down for many years! Neutrogena is pretty much always my go-to brand for the basics! This is, however, rivaled by “Yes To Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Face Wipes” because, as I am often running late or too lazy to go all the way downstairs to wash my face before bed, it both cleans and removes- so I can feel fresh in literally seconds!

Cream: Maybelline BB Skin Perfector. Love this for an everyday look. It matches my skin tone and basically just evens everything out. It’s the perfect base for more makeup, but enough that I don’t have to add more if I want a more natural look!

Powder: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder. I’m convinced that this is magical because it makes my skin look perfect. At a recent party, my grandma told me that my skin looked so good and clear- it was most definitely because of this product!

Blush: Modelco Blush Cheek Powder. It’s simple, a nice color for me, and it goes on easy. What more could you ask for in a blush?

Eyes

Cream: Purity Cosmetics 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. I never even knew I needed this until I came across it. I don’t like to drink coffee- but it’s a nice smell to have right under my eyes! It perks me up and makes my eyes look alive, which is something I often need since I am most definitely not a morning person!

Concealer: Trestique mini concealer crayon. I love this product because it’s easy to apply and isn’t too thick for the eye area like a cream or face concealer. It makes everything in and around my eyes look the same color, even when I’m tired. I use it as a base to my eyeliner and eyeshadow- though it could stand alone as an eyeshadow as well.

Eyeliner: Starlooks Luxe Long Eyeliner Pen. Wow! Even for a novice eyeliner applicator like me, this pen was so easy! All you need is a steady hand. I love that it creates a thin line so that I have all the control in the amount of liner I wear!

Eyeshadow: Maybelline “The Nudes”. I like to use tans, browns, and golds for my eyeshadow because I enjoy the natural look and I think it complements my skin tone, eyes, and hair the best, so this palette is perfect for me. It has light colors for when I don’t want to look like I’m wearing anything, and darker, shinier ones for when I do. With 12 color options- it’s basically all I need.

Mascara: Maybelline Big Eyes & W3LL People Expressionist. The first mascara I use for everyday wear because it’s water proof and doesn’t look goopy or thick when I wear it- which looks terrible on me. The second mascara has an amazing wand that separate all of my eyelashes and just works wonders for my eye makeup game. It goes on nice and thin, but still makes it’s presence known!

Lips

Balm: Be A Bombshell Cosmetics “French Kiss” lip balm. This is truly the perfect everyday lip balm. It’s subtle, but still adds a hint of color. It moisturizes and protects my lips all while enhancing my look- the perfect balm!

Gloss: Cargo Cosmetics “Anguilla” lip gloss & Hikari Cosmetics “Merlot” intense red mauve. These two colors are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but both glosses are amazing! I was never really a “gloss” girl, but I am not because of these two! They go on smooth, not sticky, and give the perfect final touch to my look!

Lipstick: Pacifica “Nudie Red” Power of Love Natural Lipstick & NYX Butter “Little Susie” Lipstick. The first lipstick is just my perfect color- it’s not glaringly obvious, but it’s definitely an upgrade from not wearing anything! I love how natural I look when I wear it- and that I can’t even tell it’s there after application! The second lipstick is smooth and creamy and perfect for when I want my lips to be the center of attention! It’s not sticky or annoying, so it has become my favorite kind!

Hair (Okay- I realize the options in this category could go on forever- so I opted to include my most-used products. Since I rarely use hairspray or volumizing spray- I chose not to include them!)

Dry Shampoo: amika Perk Up. It smells incredible and doesn’t look white when it’s sprayed on. For a girl who loves a shortcut- I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live without it!

Leave-in-Conditioner: Gorge I’ll Make You Look Amazing Daily Spray. On the back of the bottle, it asks if you believe in magic because after using this spray you will- and it’s not wrong. I have no idea how it works, but all I do is spray it on, comb my hair, and wait. Sometimes air-dry, sometimes (rarely) blow dry, and all of a sudden my hair looks incredible. I do not understand, but I know that I love it!

Salt Spray: Davines This is a Sea Salt Spray. Perfect when you’re running late or want to change it up from your usual straight-hair style. It gives body and provides huge style in seconds! Plus- it smells like vanilla!

Scent: Coach. My lovely boyfriend bought this for me last year at Christmas and I still love it and use it all the time. He likes the way it smells, and so do I- and that’s what really counts, right?

Well, I’m no expert- but this is a real girl’s honest opinion about her products and how to survive in the age of contouring when you are just getting into the beauty game! I hope this helps you find your own sense of style- or simply explore what else is out there! Keep in mind that these products all help me achieve a “natural” look. I like to appear like I’m wearing very little makeup, to trick the eye into believing it’s all natural beauty! Of course, it’s not the makeup that matters, and I don’t hide behind it, but it’s nice to know that I don’t look like I just rolled out of bed wherever I go!

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