5 Best BB and CC Creams

BB and CC creams
L-R (Burt’s Bees BB Cream, Osmosis CC Cream, IT Cosmetics CC Cream, Erborian BB Cream.) Not pictured: Bareminerals Tinted Gel Cream.

I know I’m a beauty junkie, but I may be one of the few who really isn’t into foundation.  I don’t know what it is, but I always feel like it looks cakey and makes me look older than I am (which trust me, I DON’T need).  However, I do like something to just even out my skin tone and make the rest of my makeup look put together.  That is why I love BB and CC creams!  I find that they improve the overall appearance of my skin without feeling or looking  heavy and “made-up”.  So here’ s a round-up of  5 favorites in my collection right now!

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better ($38)- If you aren’t crazy about foundation but feel you need to use it because you need full coverage with your skin makeup, then this is definitely the product for you!  This not only color-corrects, but really has great coverage, and is available in 7 shades.  I use this on days that I may have a blemish or something extra that needs some covering.  In addition to all that, it has an SPF of 50+.  Another feature I love with the packaging of this product is that it has a pump!  A lot of BB or CC creams usually come in tubes, but I think a pump is so much easier to use.  This product was also recognized by Allure

Erborian BB Cream ($39)- This is a Korean Skin Care line and this product, similar to the IT cosmetics one, also has pretty awesome coverage!  It also has sunscreen in it (SPF 20).  This product is known for its use of ginseng which is a natural ingredient known for its moisturizing and smoothing properties.   There are only three shades available in this product and at the time I bought it only the medium shade was available so I typically use this product in the summer months when I am self-tanning and want my complexion to look a little darker.  It promises to give a non-oily, velvety finish and in my experience, it lives up to this promise.

BB and CC Creams

Osmosis CC cream  ($44)- This is the newest product in my collection.  Osmosis is a medical grade skin care line that also has makeup products that contain “good for you” ingredients.  It claims to help reduce age spots and smooth skin discoloration. It also comes with a pump in it s packaging and it promises to soften, lift and illuminate.  I’m not sure about the “lift” part, but it has a very natural finish and I do believe it blurs out flaws and does give a healthy look.  It comes in various shades, but when you initially pump it out, it looks white and then as you apply it changes to your skin tone.  This one, unlike the others, does NOT contain any SPF, so I always use another SPF when applying this.

Burt’s Bees BB Cream ($11)- This is an awesome drug store find that I literally just stumbled upon when I was shopping for something else.  I had never seen a face makeup product by this brand, which I love, so I had to check it out.  This product does not disappoint!  It has a light, comfortable feel on the skin and does a good job evening out skin tone.  It also contains an SPF of 15.  I feel good wearing this knowing that it contains more natural ingredients as well.  The shade range is also limited to light/medium or medium/dark.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream ($30) – This is another one of my favorite products!  When my skin is dryer in the winter, I like to use this for the extra hydration it provides.  It goes on nicely and is light on the skin with light coverage.  It has a wider range of shades with 30 available and has SPF 30.  It promises to blend the best of a BB and CC cream in one and I believe that it fulfulls this promise.  I use the shade Vanilla 02.   (I actually finished my tube of this which is why it is not photographed here.)

Do you like BB and CC Creams? I’d love to hear which ones are working for you right now!

10 Great Fall Lipstick Shades – Drugstore and High End

10 Best Fall Lipstick shades
Here they are – my rainbow of fall shades!

If you read my post last week, you already know that fall is my favorite season!  I’ve recently cleaned out my makeup and found all my favorite fall lipstick shades that I love to wear.  They range from drugstore to high end.  If you love mauvy-browns, rust orange and berry shades, then this is the place for you!

Maybelline Matte in “Touch of Spice” ($5.50)- The best way I can describe the color is a rosy brown.  It is so beautiful on.  It really lights up your whole face!  This is matte, so it is not shiny but it is comfortable to wear and not drying to your lips.  I also like that this formula does stay on the lips.  You will need to reapply after meals.

Colour Pop “Frick N Frack” ($6.00)- Colour Pop is a newer brand that is only available online currently (it will become available at Sephora in the near future).  They are based in CA and have great quality products at drugstore prices!  This shade is a deeper brownish-pink and a demi matte (there is a little shine).  This is their ultra satin lip formula which is my personal favorite.  Very matte lipsticks are not the most flattering on more mature lips like mine.  This is super long lasting on the lips!

Loreal Infallible Paints in “Taupeless” ($6.29)- This is the coolest toned shade in these lipsticks.  I personally gravitate more toward warm shades with my makeup but this cool toned purply-taupe is so unique and this formula is really nice to wear!  I also really like the packaging of these lipsticks – they are in a tube and have a unique shaped applicator that really conforms to the shape of your lips for easy application.

Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit in “Give Me Mocha” ($4.99)- I spoke about this lip product in a review of some Wet N Wild products and am still loving this!  This is in the warm pink-brown family, similar to the color pop “Frick N Frack” but a shade lighter.  With neutral eye shadows like browns and golds this really puts a finishing touch on a fall makeup look.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip in “Chutney” ($24.00)- This is a product I just purchased about a month ago and LOVE it.  This brand is known to use more natural ingredients in their products and this formula is so hydrating on the lips I love wearing it!  It also has long lasting wear.  The color is on the mauve side but not as brown as the other shades I’ve talked about.

fall lipstick swatches
Here are the swatches of these lipsticks in natural light. From l-r Touch of Spice, Frick N Frack, Taupeless, Give Me Mocha, Chutney, Chihuahua, Beeper, Out Loud, Lyin King, Hells Bells.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in “Chihuahua” ($21.00)- This is another mauvy tone but is cooler and more purple than the Bite Beauty product.  I love how this smells and it has a dispenser that squeezes out just the right amount of product to apply to your lip.  I like the tube packaging – it’s really easy to take with you.

Colour Pop “Beeper”  ($6.00)- This is a deeper more brownish purple shade which is great if you like a bold, dark lip.  A lot of the mauvy shades on this list are daytime wearable, but this one is a bit darker, so it’s really personal preference depending on how you like to wear your lip colors.  This is a different formula than the Frick N Frack color mentioned before.  This is a super matte formula.  It’s not my favorite formula but it does look great on and is comfortable to wear.  As I’ve mentioned, with other Colour Pop lip products, it is great quality for a great price and the colors are extremely long wearing.

Smashbox Always on Liquid Lipstick in “Out Loud” ($24.00)- This is my FAVORITE fall shade and definitely breaks the mold of the other colors in my round up.  It is a burnt orangy brown that is just stunning on the lip.  It reminds me of pumpkin spice and everything nice about fall!  It is a very wearable orange shade and it more deep than bright but is so unique I just love it!  It is a matte liquid lip so it is not shiny but is extremely long wearing.

Colour Pop in “Lyin King” ($6.00)- Now we are moving on to my berry shades which I love to wear in the fall.  This liquid lip is a bright vibrant berry shade.  If I’m feeling tired and put this color on, it immediately brightens my whole face!  With a brighter lip I like to keep things simple on my eye makeup for a quick get ready and out the door look.

Charlotte Tilbury Hell’s Bells  ($34.00)- This is the most expensive lipstick on this list.  First, the packaging is STUNNING.  It is a traditional solid lipstick in a beautiful rose gold tube, that makes you feel like a movie star just having it out on your vanity!  It is also in the berry/burgundy family but is a more matte formula.  Sometimes I prefer to use a tube of lipstick instead of a liquid lipstick so I keep this handy for those days.

Phew, that was a lot of lipsticks!  Did you see any that you like?  What are your go-to lipstick colors for the fall?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

How to Pack Make-up for Vacation: Summer Packing Series #1

What’s in my make-up bag on vacation?

Packing for any trip can be daunting, but how can you decide what make-up products are most important to bring on vacation without lugging your entire collection?  It’s important to think about the season, your destination and what you will be doing to help sort out what to bring.  Also, if you separate your products into categories as I have below, that can also help you stay on track.  I recently returned from a week at the Jersey shore, and want to share what I brought along.  It turned out to be the perfect amount of items; I didn’t forget anything and didn’t over pack!

Face

Most days I used the CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 followed by IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC cream SPF 50.  If I’m just going out to grab a coffee or for a walk and don’t want a full face of make-up, I just put on my Obagi tinted SPF 50 sunscreen lotion and go!  For more recommendations on SPF you can check out that blog post here.   For concealer, I use two – Maybelline Age Rewind and Tarte shape Tape.  The combination of these two in my undereye area is perfect!  I set the face with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye pores pressed powder.  It is very travel friendly and is great at keeping skin from looking oily and giving a flawless airbrushed look to the skin.  For bronzer I used NARS Laguna that I have in a palette with Hot Sand highlight.  The two in one is great for travel!  My favorite summer blush is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in the shade “Tipsy.”  It gives the perfect corally-peach flush and it’s goof proof!  I never can put too much on.

Eyes

I brought one eye palette, the e.l.f. Mad for Matte 2.  This is a great travel-friendly size and has all the neutral warm shades I love that can make many great summery looks!  If I was going out to dinner, I’d do a whole look with it, but for a quick look, I’d just use a little light brown color in my crease and I’d be done!  If you want to know my other e.l.f. cosmetics favorites, you can check out that post here.  The elf palette has a black and dark brown color which can be used as eyeliner, but I also threw the Estee Edit Inside Track Eye Kajal in 02 Bold Bordeaux.  This is a double ended liner with the bordeaux color on one side (beautiful for green or hazel eyes) and a cream color on the other which I use to brighten my lower water line and inner corner of the eye.  This is the quickest and easiest way to make you look awake and alert.  (Another mini palette that’s great for travel is the Tartelette tease palette.  It has six shadows and is no bigger than a credit card holder.)  For my brows, I never leave home without Anastasia’s Brow Wiz.  For mascara, I am currently loving Tarte’s Maneater.  It’s not waterproof but I usually don’t care for waterproof formulas in general.  For my other favorite mascaras, you can check out this post.

Lips

I packed a couple of neutral options and one brighter option.  Tarte has a line of lipsticks called color splash lipsticks in a gorgeous turquoise tube!  I have the colors “Daiquiri” (coral) and “Sunkissed” (neutral pinky peach).  I also have my Kokie cosmetics liquid lipstick Lip Poudre in the shade “Infamous.”  For more recommendations on Kokie cosmetics, click here.  I brought one lip pencil that works with all the shades – it’s Urban Decay’s 24/7 glide on lip pencil in the shade “Liar.”  This is the softest, smoothest pencil I have used and it really helps to keep your lipstick from fading.

Tools

Of course my beauty sponge needs to come wherever I am!  As for brushes, I try to keep that simple too.  I have some travel brushes that I have had for years, but basically bring a couple of eye brushes, one to set powder and highlight, and one for blush/bronzer.

Ready to Go!

So there you have it!  I’ve worked to streamline the basics which really had me feeling organized and prepared for anything on my beach vacation.  Stay tuned for future blogs on packing  that will include packing clothes and beach bags for vacation!   Wherever you are headed this summer, I wish you happy packing and fun adventures!

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

First Impressions of New Drugstore Makeup – Kokie Cosmetics

If you haven’t been in your local Walmart lately then you may not know that there is a new brand of makeup sold there called Kokie Cosmetics.  It can also be purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond as well as Harmon, or on their website www.kokiecosmetics.com.  I picked up some pieces from their collection and am here to share my thoughts on them for you!

About the Brand

Kokie means elephant in Korean which is why you’ll see a small elephant on all of their packaging.  The brand is headquartered in Maryland and has been around since 2015.

How cute are the stripes on this compact?

 

Liquid Cushion Foundation $15.98

This was an impressive foundation!  First, all the Kokie packaging is cool, with their signature sleek black and white stripes.  The foundation compact is no different!  It has a generous sized mirror inside, and the cushion is not too dry.  Coverage is smooth and I liked how it laid on the skin.  In general, I prefer lighter foundations, especially in the warmer weather, as I don’t want to feel like there is a ton of makeup on my skin.  It was tough for me to find a shade online; I decided to go with 30W.  It’s a little light but nothing than a little bronzer can’t fix to blend it in.

This glitter nail polish has some serious staying power.

Nail polish $4.98

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were some nail polishes available with the brand.  I picked one that is a glitter nail polish, that I use as an accent nail along with my current polish collection.  If you haven’t checked it out, I blogged about my favorite nail polishes here.  Usually glitter polishes disappoint me but this one looks nice (it is gold sparkle with some mauve flecks in it) and is wearing well (I have it on top of another polish).  Once again, the adorable black and white striped brush handle is adorable!

My new favorite liquid lip!

Lip Poudre $7.44

This is Kokie’s version of the liquid lipstick and it is awesome!  It smells nice, is long wearing and is not too drying on the lip.  I picked the color Infamous, which is a beautiful neutral mauve and I love, love it!

Matte Lipstick $5.98

This is a different lipstick formula.  It has a tube versus an applicator like the Lip Poudre.  In this formula I got the shade “Blush Beige” but it swatches more like a mauvy pink.  This formula is a bit too dry for my taste.  I know it is a matte formula which is going to have a dryer formula, but I just didn’t love the way it felt on my lips, unless I had it layered on top of a different lipstick.  The Lip Poudre was definitely more impressive to me.

I’m hoping this comes back in stock so I can try it.

Volume and Length Mascara  $7.44

I was beyond disappointed that the Volume and Length mascara was on backorder, and that Walmart canceled my order as it could not provide a date as to when the product would be available.  I heard some great things about the quality of this mascara in the beauty community, and at a price point of around $7, I wanted to test this baby out myself!  Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.  If you have tried this out, leave a comment and share with us what you thought!  As of writing this article Walmart is STILL showing this product as out of stock, as is the Kokie cosmetics website (kokiecosmetics.com.)

Overall I am really impressed with this brand.  The packaging and quality feel higher end, but the price is so affordable!  I definitely plan to pick up some more of their products to try.  Comment below if you have tried this drugstore brand.

Mascara Round Up – High End and Drugstore

I’ve pulled together a round up of some mascaras I’ve been using over the past several months, along with a “grade” of how I think they perform.  Before we begin, it’s important for you to know what I value most in a mascara, as I know for each person this may vary.  I like to get thickness and length with my mascaras, but I do not like the clumpy look.  My lashes are naturally on the longer side, so the thickness of my lashes is weighted a little more than length for me in my evaluation.  You’ll see some drugstore, more high end, and a couple in between!  Let’s get started!

 

My favorite mascara right now!

Trish McEvoy High Volume Mascara $32

This is right now my all time favorite mascara- it gets an A+!  Why?  Well there are a couple of reasons.  First, the small, thin brush (which at first I thought I would hate gives me the control I need to get fuller, long lashes without the clump.  The other reason I love it is because it is a tubing mascara, which means you remove it differently from other mascaras.  You gently saturate your lashed and then can pull off the mascara in one piece!  This formula doesn’t flake or smear on the top of your browbone and no need for a waterproof formula (which I generally hate).  I little bit of water doesn’t take it off so this is truly my go-to mascara with the summer coming.  I recently ordered a new tube and it is ready to go!

My favorite drugstore mascara – I’ve been using this for years!

Loreal Voluminous Million lashes $8.99

This is by far my favorite drug store mascara – it gets an “A!”  I love the brush size and shape and the look this gives my lashes (again not clumpy, defined full lashes).  For the price you can’t beat this deal.  Many beauty gurus rave about the Loreal Voluminous lashes, and I like that one, but for some reason prefer the million lashes formula.

This was a disappointment for me.

Maybelline Lash Sensational $6.99

I couldn’t get behind this mascara, although I had heard others say good things about it – I’d grade it a “C.”  The brush is interesting. It has the spikiness I like on other brushes but curves slightly.  I found it personally very hard to work with and the formula to be clumpy.  While some days I was happy with the look it gave me, it also hurt my lashes and performed very inconsistently.  Bottom line, I had more clumpy looks than good ones.  I would not purchase this one again.

This hourglass brush is all the rage in the beauty world but I’m just meh about it.

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara $23

This mascara is all the rage in the beauty world but I’m very “meh” about it.  Overall, I’d grade it “B-.” It has a very unique hourglass shaped brush with wispy bristles.  Again, some days I got a great look with it, but I personally found it hard to get used to controlling the brush and had some issues with clumping in the formula. I don’t hate it but I don’t think it’s the cat’s meow like some others do.  For me, there are better products out there that give me what I am looking for.

Here’s how the packaging looks – bet you can’t tell there’s 2 mascaras in there!

MAC Haute & Naughty Lash $23

This product definitely gets an “A” for innovation – there are actually two mascaras in one product.  That’s right, two brushes, two different formulas in one tube!  I actually prefer the brush and formula in with the pink handle, but I like to combine them both and can get a very nice result with that.  Using the pink product alone, I can achieve a beautiful more natural looking defined lash that I love for everyday wear.

Here’s the first brush – this is for a more dramatic look.
Here is the second brush, my personal favorite. It gives a full natural lash with no clumps.

The good news is, there are so many types of mascaras in an array of price ranges, that can give you the lash look you are seeking!  Here’s to great lashes for all of us!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

Best of Wet n Wild – Top 5 all under $6

Lately I have really been loving some great drug store products!  If you missed it you can catch the article I wrote on some of my favorite e.l.f. products, but there are some great products from Wet N Wild that I NEED to share with you!

I remember Wet N Wild from way back when I was in high school, but I don’t remember using a lot of their products or thinking they were good quality.  Today, the brand has really upped their game and the products are so affordable it is a fantastic value.  In addition, I love that everything is cruelty free.  Read on so I can tell you about my top 5 products from this brand!



Photofocus Foundation ($5.99)- I am blown away by the quality of this $5 foundation!  It promises to prevent any photo flashback, being tested under various lighting conditions with different Smartphone models.  I don’t really care about all that so much, but what I DO care about is that this goes on easily, gives a smooth semi-matte finish and has great lasting power.  I also like that it doesn’t feel heavy on my skin when I wear it.  The applicator is a spatula which I find makes application easy.  There is a great shade range selection with 20 colors to choose from (some high end foundations don’t even have that broad of a range!)  The only drawback that I’ve found with this foundation is that it does not contain an SPF so be sure to apply one separately!

Coloricon blush ($2.99) There are five colors in this blush collection and my favorite is  “Pearlescent Pink.”  This color is a beautiful peachy pink with a slight sheen.  This formula blends perfectly and gives a beautiful flush to the cheeks!   These blushes really have a generous sized pan that will last a long time for the price.  The color is very pigmented, and a little goes a long way so don’t be too heavy handed with this product!  Another nice blush color in this collection is “Apri-Cot in the Middle” which is a peachy nude also with a hint of sheen.  Ooh la la!

Color Icon Bronzer in “Ticket to Brazil” ($3.99)- This is a perfect shade for lighter skin tones and not too orangey.  There is no chunky glitter or shimmer which is something that I look for in bronzers also. The pan is a really generous size – I think it might take years to hit pan on it!  It just adds the right amount of color to give more dimension to the skin.  Another plus is that it has SPF 15.  I feel like I look relaxed, having just returned from vacation, every time I put it on!

MegaLast Liquid Catsuit lipstick ($4.99) These liquid lipsticks are a recent release from Wet N Wild that has taken the beauty community by storm.   I still cannot believe that these liquid lipsticks are $5!!  There are 13 shades ranging from your nudes to your really dark vampy shades.  “Rebel Rose” is my favorite shade – it’s a beautiful pinky brown mauve.  Another honorable mention goes to the color “Give Me Mocha,” a warm pinky brown.  The product has great staying power and does not over-dry my lips.  Note that this is a matte formula, so if you are a shiny, glossy type of girl then you probably won’t enjoy this product.  I love the packaging – you get a generous amount of product and the applicator has a little curve in it which makes it so much easier to apply on your lips.  If you are a liquid lipstick fan, then you know that these products are not forgiving and need a precise application to look good, both of which can be achieved easily with this lipstick.

Photofocus pressed powder ($4.99)- I actually purchased this is a darker skintone to use as a bronzer when I am self tanning and darker than I am now, even though it is actually a pressed powder that can be used to set foundation and concealer into place.  I really like the feel of the powder and it has a great shade selection with 8 different shades to choose from.

 

So you really have nothing to lose in trying out these products if you haven’t been using Wet N Wild.  Many drugstores and retail chains like Target carry their line and they also have their website if you like to shop from home.  Let me know what your experience has been with Wet N Wild and what products you are loving from the drugstore!

5 Best e.l.f. Products Under $10

It is so exciting to find great beauty products that work well, but it’s even MORE exciting when those products are $10 or LESS!  I’ve pulled together my 5 favorite affordable make up products by the brand e.l.f. (eyes lips face) to share with you, because who doesn’t want to save some bucks on make up?

Leave your house with a flawless face for $3!

Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 20 Sunscreen, $3

This product has well outperformed my expectations.  I use it on days when I’m running to the gym.  I can get my sun protection in, and the tint evens out my complexion.  It wears well and speeds up my morning routine.  This product would also be great for people that don’t like foundation but want to camouflage a few imperfections before heading out the door in the morning.  There are several shade selections and it is only $3.

Generous size of four great colors for your cheeks.

Powder Blush Palette $6

I am still blown away by this product.  For $6 you get four different shades of blush in generous sized pans.  I find the colors nicely pigmented and they last on my face throughout the day.  It’s great for travel and a nice way to experiment with a few different shades without breaking the bank.

Ten beautiful warm matte shades for $10.

Mad for Matte 2 Shadow Palette $10

At $10 this is the most expensive in my roundup of products, but still a fantastic value in my opinion.  There are 10 shadows in a great compact palette that are all beautiful warm tones.  If you enjoy those colors, you will not be disappointed!  There is great color pay off and I find the colors blend nicely on the lid.  This is another great travel piece as well.

Give your face a large drink of water with this sheet mask.

Hydrating Water Sheet Mask $6

We are approaching springtime, but the March wind and unpredictable weather is here, and so is my dehydrated skin.  This sheet mask is easy to use and gives my face a healthy dose of hydration and a much needed pick-me-up each time I use one.  It’s easy to use and the mess free clean up make this a no-brainer for me.  For more tips on keeping your skin hydrated, you might want to check out my previous post 7 Must-Have Products to Survive Winter Skin.

Use this nifty tool to apply jar based masks or even foundation.

Pore Refining Brush $5

While I love the sheet masks from e.l.f., as the skincare junkie I am I do have some other masks in my collection that are in a jar.  This brush is so unique and perfect for spreading those products on my skin easily.  With any products in a jar it is much more hygienic to avoid putting our fingers into the jar to avoid any contamination.  It’s rubbery texture makes it easy to wash off and it’s double ended with a small traditional brush on the other end for those smaller, hard to reach areas!

I hope these product reviews help you if you are thinking about trying the e.l.f. brand and don’t know where to begin, or if you have some products currently and are wondering which others might be good to try.  Comment below and let me know your great product finds under $10.  Happy shopping!