My #1 Foundation: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation

Foundation is a very personal beauty item.  Therefore, think about your skin needs as you read my ravings about my current foundation of choice.

Anywayyy, my #1 foundation over the past few months has been Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation (SPF 15). What a mouthful.

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Besides the long name, this foundation rocks. It provides very good coverage, but does not feel heavy at all. When I originally read the name of this foundation I figured it would be thick and gloopy. However, the opposite is true! It almost has a whipped mouse-like texture. It’s definitely doesn’t have a true “liquid” foundation consistency.

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Somehow this light texture provides excellent coverage over redness and blemishes. It evens everything out beautifully. Whenever I am having a particularly horrendous skin day, I know everything will be okay when I pull this little tube out of my makeup bag. If I get compliments on my skin, you can bet I’m wearing this foundation.

I blended the foundation onto the back of my hand.

I blended the foundation onto the back of my hand.

I blend this foundation in with a Real Techniques Buffing Brush (from the Core Collection). The combination of these two items makes applying this foundation foolproof. A little goes a long way.

I wear the shade Fair Beige, which is meant for fair skin with pink undertones. As a side note, I have oily skin that is slightly combination since I get dryness around blemishes and on my cheeks (from acne treatments).

As for the 12-hour claim, I would say it depends. Sometimes this foundation lasts beautifully for 12+ hours, but some days it doesn’t quite make the 12 hour mark. It all depends on what I’m doing that day, my environment, and the amount of times I retouch with setting powder.

I also love the packaging. The cap doesn’t come loose in my makeup bag and I love that it is a squeeze tube. It keeps things hygenic. I hate when you have to pour foundations out on your hand.

Bottom line, if you are in need of a foundation that provides medium-full coverage I would give this Tarte foundation a go. Let me know if you like it!

It costs $38 for 1.7 fl. oz.

-Madge

Hair Refresher: Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

I wash my hair everyday, but I still fall victim to oily and greasy roots.

The summer heat means I have to battle with sweaty hair more often than usual. My close companion has been Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo.

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This budget buy has adorable packaging and really works.  I give the can a good shake and then spray it onto sections of my roots around my face. A fine powder is sprayed out that makes your hair visibly lighter, even when I brush it through. I love this because I have highlighted hair, but it might not be ideal for those with dark hair.

It is quite scented, which isn’t fabulous, but the smell isn’t that offensive and fades so it’s not a deal breaker. The scent smells like powder mixed with zest and (fake) citrus.

However, I love Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo because it’s affordable (around $6), sprays a fine powder, lightens my roots, and makes my hair look less oily and limp.

Do you use dry shampoo?

-Madge

Easy, Sheer Color & Glow

As summer has been rolling in I have definitely noticed which products are light and easy to use for sheer washes of color and glow. I gathered my top 5 standouts that I consider my ultimate products for simple, light, and effective makeup.

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Even with a little extra summer beauty sleep I’m not immune to dark circles. This Maybelline concealer is so easy to apply under your eyes.  You just twist, dab, and blend with the domed applicator. It’s such a light formula, but it brightens up your circles and makes you look more fresh-faced. It also doesn’t get annoyingly creasy like other brightening concealers I’ve tried.

This highlighter is one of the most natural I’ve tried. It’s a smooth formula that you can apply and dab in with your finger tips. It gives a sheeny glow and doesn’t look glittery or obvious on the skin at all. I apply this on my cheekbones and down the center of my nose for an effortless glow.

This is a new product from Josie Maran that I adore. It’s rather interesting in that it has a layer of pigments on the bottom of the jar and a layer of oils and water on the top. I shake it up and then use the doe-foot applicator to apply the liquid shadow. It easily blends with your fingers and provides a wash of easy color on your lids. It takes a long while for the formula to crease – bonus! I have “rio de rose gold,” which is a rose gold/amber color that’s perfect for the warmer weather.

This is the coolest blush ever! It’s a bouncy gel-like formula that feels cool and refreshing to touch and apply. It’s perfect for somebody that isn’t used to blush because it’s impossible to apply too much. By nature, it’s sheer and hydrating so it won’t look heavy or cakey. I have the mini version from Sephora in the color Poppy Paradise (a warm toned hot pink).

This is the perfect summer lip product. It is a sheer balm that changes color once you apply it to your lips. It creates a flush of bright, sheer pink. It’s hydrating and has SPF10 to protect your lips.

So those are my top 5 products for effective, light makeup! Whether you are concealing your dark circles or adding color to your cheeks, lips, or eyes, these products are light, smooth, and easy to apply. You will forget you have any makeup on when you are wearing these makeup bits! Give them a try and let me know how they go!

I would also love to know what your favorite products are for light makeup!

-Madge

 

 

 

June Favorites!

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Check out my June beauty favorites!

Products Mentioned:

Thanks for stopping by!

 -Madge

3 Bright Lipsticks for Summer

Summer is the season to take makeup risks and make things bright and fun! Lipstick is the easiest way to change up an otherwise normal look.

The following three lipsticks are in my rotation for when I feel like sporting a “loud mouth.”

Vibrant Mandarin lightly tapped onto my lips

Vibrant Mandarin lightly tapped onto my lips

I am obsessed with the shade Vibrant Mandarin. This color is somewhat of a shade shifter on me.  When I use it strongly, it looks orange-red. When I use it lightly, it looks coral. It’s a stunner both ways. The versatility of Vibrant Mandarin means I can work this into my routine more often than your average bright lipstick. I can wear it full-on and bold for a shout of opaque color, or I can dab it on over a lip balm for a beautiful kiss of sheer, but bright color (see the picture above for the sheer/coral look). The Color Sensational Vivids range has a bunch of different bright colors to choose from if orange-red/coral isn’t your thing. The formulation of the line is very nice. It almost feels like a gel lipstick texture, which I prefer over a traditional lipstick texture.

Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Aurora

Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer in Aurora

 

This is the most budget-friendly of my three picks, but the pigmentation is unbelievable. Seriously. One swipe of the doe foot applicator and you have opaque, glossy color. The shade Aurora is bright and bold, but not so bright that it’s hard to wear. Aurora is pink with hints of coral and watermelon. If you want an even brighter pink shade, go for Stellar. Overall, the entire Show Off Lip Lacquer line is a winner and I would 100% recommend taking a peek at these next time you are in the drugstore.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in Corail Incandescent

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in Corail Incandescent

This is the luxury option. If you are a lipstick addict and love to splurge on beautiful colors, textures, and packaging, this will be your newest obsession. First of all, the gold packaging of the YSL lipsticks is on point. Second of all, the texture of the Rouge Volupté Shines is unreal (to see my original review of this lipstick and more praise, click here). Anyway, back to the color, that’s what you’re here for right? Corail Incandescent is a seriously bright coral. The lipstick is just shy of opaque so the brightness isn’t overwhelming. It’s just all around gorgeous, but I’m sucker for corals so I may be biased. :)

Try out a bright lipstick while you can get away with it my friends…summer always flies by!

-Madge 

 

Clinique: My Current Complexion Crush

Clinique is my current complexion crush.  This is a big deal for me because I have oily skin and I am constantly battling blemishes. A winning combo that makes my complexion appear smoother and more even? I could not be more grateful!

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The combo that has been tickling my fancy has been the Clinique Age Defense BB Cream (SPF30) and the Clinique Almost Powder Makeup (SPF 15).

First, I apply and blend the Clinique Age Defense BB Cream with my fingers.  The BB Cream in Shade 01 is the perfect color match for me so it makes things extra easy. This BB Cream evens out my skin and provides a very natural finish. It honestly looks like skin. The SPF30 is nice for the summer months as well. I have a more detailed review of this BB Cream here.

Next, I take a Real Techniques Powder Brush and apply the Clinique Almost Powder Makeup all over my face. The powder comes with a little foam disc, but I prefer to use a brush. In high school I used to use this in place of foundation, but now I use it as a setting powder.  It gives me an extra little bit of coverage and smoothness. The powder disappears into my skin as I sweep it on. Again, the skin looks very natural with these two products layered. Nothing looks too heavy or cakey.

Finally, I finish off my base by applying various concealers depending on what I’m trying to hide.

That’s it! That’s my current complexion routine. It keeps things fresh and protected under the hot sun.

What’s your summer base routine?

-Madge

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes

Cleaning your makeup brushes is an annoying, but necessary part of a beauty gal’s life.

Whether you are changing your look and removing pigment, or it’s about time your brushes get a good scrubbing, you want your brushes to be squeaky clean!

I clean my brushes using Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap in the Peppermint Castille Liquid Soap variety. I wet the tip of my brushes, put a drop or two of the soap in my palm, and swirl my damp brushes in the soap. I go through this process 2 or 3 times until the brushes rinse clean.

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Dr. Bronner’s Soaps are fair trade and organic, which is always a nice bonus. You can use these soaps for a variety of purposes, including for shampoo and body wash if you are in a pinch.

When I run out of my peppermint soap (which won’t be for years at this rate), I plan on buying the Unscented Baby-Mild version because I’m not always crazy about my brushes smelling like makeup mixed with mint.

However, I totally recommend Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. It’s affordable and it gets all the grime out of your brushes. I’ve seen Dr. Bronner’s products at Whole Foods and Target.

How do you clean your brushes?

-Madge

Madge’s Most Wanted: Lip Balm Edition

My lips are always a bit dry and chapped even though I am diligent about applying a soothing balm at night and applying a balm each morning before a lip color. Alas, I yearn for those expensive balms and treatments that are the stuff of legend. Below I have listed my top 4 most wanted lip balms. If only…

4. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy ($25)

My Momma has this and I am always stealing it when I’m home. It’s a clear balm in a tube that can easily be layered under a lipstick or gloss. It goes on super smooth and feels nice on your lips.

3. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm ($19)

I keep hearing lip junkies rave about this matte balm. Yes, I said matte. It sounds perfect to layer underneath matte lip colors or to use at night when you don’t want your lips to feel greasy.

2. Christian Dior Créme de Rose ($27)

I mean, do I even need to say more? It’s a fancy, nourishing Dior lip balm that’s smells like a bouquet of roses. Yum.

1. BY TERRY Baume de Rose SPF 15 ($59)

My #1 pick obviously has to be this baby. BY TERRY makes the mother of all lip treatments. I have never used this, but I’m certain the moment it touched my lips the angels in heaven would sing. I’m certain.

So those are Madge’s top 4 most wanted lip balms. What is your most wanted lip balm/treatment?

-Madge

Summer Makeup with a Twist

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So we all know what “summer makeup” looks like. Your skin is bronze, your eyes are gold or bronze, and you look healthy. Yesterday I realized that I accidentally did a twist on the usual summer makeup that everyone is starting to sport.

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Base: I kept my base light and sheer since it was humid. I opted for Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme in 001 and lightly spritzed my skin with the Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.  I used a mixture of Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (Fair) and Maybelline Fit Me Concealer (15 Fair) to conceal blemishes and under my eyes.  Then I gave my skin a peachy-bronze glow by using Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips in Waikiki Strip. I applied this bronzer/glowy powder heavily along my cheeks and lightly along my chin, nose, temples, and forehead.

Brows: It was business as usual with my brows. I combed through them with a spoolie, filled in sparse areas using the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Dark, and set them with a clear brow gel (Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel).


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Eyes: Here’s where the twist comes in! As usual, I applied my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (original) all over my lids. I opted for my new L’Oréal Paris 24HR Infallible Eye Shadow in Amber Rush. This is an ultra shimmery amber color that looks beautiful when matched with glowing skin. Opting for amber rather than a gold or bronze instantly changes things up.  Next, I blended a little of the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips into my crease, up towards my brow bone, and underneath my eye.  Then I applied Urban Decay eyeshadow in Venus (from the Naked Basics Palette) under my eyebrow and in the inner corner of my eyes. I used a bright, royal blue liner along my upper lash line. I used the Sephora Waterproof Eyeliner 24HR Waterproof in 06 Pool Party. The warm colors on the skin and eyes paired with the cool color of the liner makes the liner seriously pop. Finally, I curled my lashes and applied a hefty coat of Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Mascara in Excessive Black.

Lips: With the focus on my eyes and skin, I kept things simple and went for Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Let’s Get Naked (love the cheeky name!).

That’s it! The eyes give you that fresh twist on the otherwise classic summer look. Give it a try and tweet me pictures (@madgeonmakeup)!

-Madge

May Favorites!

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but here are my May Favorites! I decided just to do a post this month instead of a video.

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Here we go!

It’s a great everyday peachy-pink lipstick! See my original post on this lipstick here.

Vibrant Mandarin is a super bright orangey-red that is surprisingly versatile! You can wear it full on or dab it over a lip balm for a sheer, but bright kiss of color.

My first YSL lipstick is a bright coral lipstick that is super comfortable on the lips! The formula is unparalleled! See my original post on this lipstick here.

The MAC 217 is the one brush every woman should own. it blends eyeshadows beautifully, especially in the crease.

This brush works in my makeup like no other. It’s so quick and easy to dab this brush in my foundation of choice and use circular motions to buff it in seamlessly.

I finally found this blush after looking in drugstores for ages! It gives a nice peachy glow to the cheeks.

I had forgotten how nice this BB cream is. Shade 01 is pale and pink enough for me. I can work it in with my hands and gives a natural finish with an SPF of 30. See my original post on this product here.

What was your #1 May favorite?

-Madge

My First MAC Lipstick: Peach Blossom

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MAC Peach Blossom

Earlier this month I bought my first MAC lipstick! I wanted an everyday shade that I could throw on with any kind of makeup look. I decided I wanted to get a nude-pink-peach lipstick that enhanced my lip shade.

After doing a ridiculous amount of research I decided I wanted to check out Patisserie, Creme Cup, and Peach Blossom. I thought I was definitely going to get Patisserie because I love how it looks on Vivianna and Lily Pebbles. However, after trying each on, I knew that Peach Blossom had to come home with me. It’s the perfect peachy-pink for me. The color is very close to my natural lip color and pulls together my everyday look.

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Peach Blossom is a cremesheen formula.  Cremesheen lipsticks are on the sheer, creamy, and moist side, which is perfect for everyday! Peach Blossom has a slight shimmer to it, but nothing noticeable (trust me, I wouldn’t love it if my lips looked like a disco ball). The very fine shimmer honestly just makes your lips look moist.

So far I use this lipstick all the time and I am very happy about my first MAC lipstick purchase! Peach Blossom was one of two lip colors I brought on a recent trip to NYC.

MAC lipsticks are $16 each.

What was your first MAC lipstick purchase?

My First Luxury Lipstick: YSL Rouge Volupté Shine

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Sound the alarms! I bought my first luxury lipstick! I was in Sephora with the intention of spending a gift card on concealer, a necessary and responsible purchase, but as I was perusing the stands of makeup I picked up a YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick and swatched it. I think I actually said, “Oh my God,” and then immediately ran over to the nearest mirror to sanitize the lipstick and try it on.

It glided on so smoothly. Honestly, I have never tried another lipstick or solid balm that went on so easily. It did not pull or tug on my lips at all.  My lips instantly felt moisturized and they looked healthy. The texture and formula gets an A+.

The YSL Rouge Volupté Shines leave a glossy sheen that eventually wears away to leave a stain-like effect.  This range of lipsticks aren’t completely opaque.  I can still see my lips barely peeking through the color, which I actually prefer to a full-on lipstick. For me, lipsticks that are just shy of opaque are easier to wear on a daily basis.

I tried on an array of coral and peach shades and settled on shade 12, Corail Incandescent. It is the brightest coral that the range has to offer and I think it is the perfect “summer bright.”

12 Corail Incandescent

Due to the fact that these lipsticks are so moisturizing and have a sheen, they don’t last as long as a matte lipstick, but I have been happy with the moderate staying power. I don’t mind whipping out the luxe gold packaging and touching up the center of my lips every so often. Again, look at that packaging…it screams luxury.

Did I mention the lipstick smells divine?

Okay…here’s the catch…each tube will cost you $35. Crazy, I know. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to cough up the cash had I not had a gift card. Thanks again to my sissy who gave me a Sephora gift card for my birthday! :)

Have you tried the YSL Rouge Volupté Shines?

 

Whose blogs am I reading?

Below I have listed the tabs that are always waiting for me underneath my browser bar. I have bookmarked the blogs of some of my favorite beauty bloggers. Each of the girls I listed below is young, unique, beautiful, and posts frequently! I love watching these girls because they all happen to know each other and are frequently collaborating on posts and videos, which is super entertaining and fun. Check out their blogs and YouTube channels! They have great recommendations and honest reviews on products.

Lily Pebbles

Vivianna Does Makeup

Liana Beauty

Essie Button

Fleur de Force

Whose on your daily reading docket?

-Madge

Summer Beauty Staples

It’s finally getting warm here in Boston, so I figured it was about time I put together a list of the beauty products that are sure to be staples for me as summer rolls around.

Products Mentioned:

Dior Diorskin Nude BB Creme (001)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Benefit Dallas
Milani Baked Blush (Corallina)
NYX Butter Gloss (Peach Cobbler)
L’Oréal Paris Colour Caresse by Colour Riche (Sunset Angora)
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color (Dark)
Ricky’s NYC (Rickycare Classic Square Brush)

Thanks for stopping by!

-Madge

(More) Group Gift Ideas for a Beauty Guru

So you already have a “spendy” group gift idea for a beauty guru, but what about a cute, affordable group gift?

Custom Nail Polish Bundle

If one of your favorite chicas is constantly sporting a different colored polish on her toes or tips, then get a group together and head out to the drugstore.  You can each pick out a polish that you think your girl will like, that reminds you of her, or just one that seems on trend (because a beauty guru is always on trend).  Personally, I love Essie, OPI, and Sally Hansen polishes.  You can each write a cute note about why you picked out the shade just for her. If you want to get really fancy, you can each buy a balloon that matches your polish shade and attach the bottle to the bottom of the balloon (kind of like a balloon weight). This colorful bunch of balloons and nail polishes will surely brighten her day and fill her with warm fuzzies.

Custom MAC Eyeshadow Palette 

I’m willing to guess that if your friend is a beauty guru, she loves MAC eyeshadows. You can trot over to a MAC counter or go online and create a custom eyeshadow palette for her. The empty 4 slot eyeshadow trays are $8 and each color to fill it is $10 ($48 in total).  You could decide on the eyeshadows a few ways. You could each pick a shade (this might get dicey…), you could go to a MAC counter and ask a makeup artist for suggestions (be sure to describe the kind of makeup your friend wears, her skin tone, and what shades are customer favorites), or you could research online and look at expensive palettes (eh em…Chanel, Dior, Tom Ford,  etc.) and try to copy the shades these brands naturally group together. If possible, I would recommend going to a MAC counter or store in person so that you can get your swatch on and possibly pick up a lipstick or lipgloss as an extra beauty bit that compliments the palette you create. Word of advice…you might want to secretly take a snoop through her makeup stash (pretend you are borrowing something for a night out) and take a peak at what MAC eyeshadows she already has.

Oh! Guess what? CVS and MAC take returns within a certain time period. If she hates the color nail polishes or eyeshadows you got, no worries! She can return them and pick out her own.

I hope these ideas were helpful! I’m sure whatever you plan to get your bffl will be lovely and thoughtful. Happy shopping!

-Madge 

April Favorites!

In my video below I chat about my favorite beauty products for the month of April! I promise I’m not as awkward as I look in the thumbnail! :)

Products mentioned:

L’Oréal Paris True Match Foundation (W1)
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Cream Concealer (Fair)
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color (Dark)
Urban Decay Primer Potion (Original)
Urban Decay NAKED Palette (Toasted)

Thanks for stopping by!

-Madge

Group Gift Idea for a Beauty Guru

So one of your dearest friends has a birthday coming up (or is graduating from school or got accepted to law/medical/graduate school or just got a new job or just got engaged…you get the idea). What should your tight-knit group of friends get her? If she’s obsessed with beauty, then I have a killer idea for you.

If you aren’t a beauty fanatic, then you may have never heard of Charlotte Tilbury. She’s a makeup artist and makeup designer based in Britain. Her makeup is GORGEOUS. The packaging is luxe and almost every product she makes is spot on.

If you really do love the girl in question and have a gaggle of friends that are willing to pitch in to the gift fund, then you should get this beauty girl a Gift Box from Charlotte Tilbury. Each box has a theme based on a “look.” There are 10 looks in total to choose from. Each box is different and contains a different combination of products and shades designed to help you achieve the look in question. You and your friends can decide which look represents your bestie and surprise the pants off her when you give her the gift box.

Personally, I think The Dolce Vita Gift Box, The Uptown Girl Gift Box, and The Vintage Vamp Gift Box are very intriguing.

Beware…these gift boxes are very pricey (they run between 145-165 Euros/$201-$228). If this gift idea is out of reach for your group of friends, I will be posting more affordable ideas soon. Stay posted!

What gift ideas do you have for a beauty guru?

-Madge

 

*This is not a sponsored post.

The Dynamite Blush & Lipstick Combo

Sometimes you find a makeup pairing that just works. You know that miracle moment when you look in the mirror after you’ve finished your makeup and you know you’ve somehow nailed it?

This is what happens when I pair cult product Nars Blush in Orgasm ($30) with L’Oréal Paris Colour Caresse by Colour Riche Vibrant Lip Color in Sunset Angora ($9-$10).

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Something about the peachy-pinky-golden tones of Orgasm Blush meshes well with the pink-coral lipstick.

This dynamite combo leaves me looking fresh and healthy, without looking overdone. The subtle sheen of the blush gives me a glow and the lipstick warms up my complexion. Love it.

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What’s your favorite blush & lipstick combo?

-Madge

The Best Lipgloss of All Time

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss

Natural and Beige

Natural and Beige

If you haven’t bought this lip gloss yet, then what have you been doing?! Don’t even finish reading this post just go buy it already! I kid, I kid…please keep reading then go buy it.

I featured the NYX Mega Shine Lip Glosses in my March Favorites video a few weeks ago and I’m still so in love that I had to dedicate a full post to it.

This is my favorite lip gloss of all time. I went through a crazy lip gloss phase in middle school, but completely stopped wearing it in high school and college. I was over the whole “hair sticking to your lips” ordeal.  However, I gave these a go after so many bloggers had been raving about the quality of NYX lip glosses. I figured I could give glosses one last chance.

Thank GOD I did.

The NYX Mega Shine Lip Glosses have a beautiful formulation. They aren’t sticky at all, feel moisturizing, and fade naturally on your lips. They almost feel like a balm! In my opinion, the texture is much better than the NYX Butter Glosses, which feel a bit thick and sticky on my lips.

Anyway, the color “Beige” is my favorite. It’s a gorgeous soft, but bright pink (definitely not beige or nude). It’s so hard to describe because it perks up your lips with a pop of color, but also is natural and sheer enough that your lips won’t be the centerpiece of your makeup look. This shade doesn’t have any shimmer (yay!) and has the perfect amount of pigment for a gloss that you throw on throughout the day. There is no crazy maintenance with this baby. Just swipe it on and let it do its thing.

I also have the shade “Natural,” which is a nudey-pinky-tan color that is also shimmer-free.  This shade is more opaque than beige. I pair this gloss with a smokey eye in order to prevent color overload from happening on my face.

The best part is the price of these puppies. These glosses are only about $5-$6 at drugstores. That’s on the cheaper end of drugstore lip glosses, trust me!

These are available on the NYX website and at CVS.

What’s your Holy Grail lip product?

-Madge

The Red Lip That Won’t Budge

Sephora Cream Lip Stain

Thank God Sephora stared shipping to the UK. If it hadn’t, Amelia Liana of Liana Beauty wouldn’t have blogged about the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red. To see her original post, click here.

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My Take:

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Holy cow. This stuff works.

I picked up the Cream Lip Stain from Sephora this week during the VIB sale. At $13, it’s pricier than drugstore lip products, but the quality is fan-freaking-tastic.

It’s important to note that this has the look of an opaque lipstick even though it’s marketed as a “cream stain.”

The color is a deeper red than I’m used to wearing (I usually go for orangey reds), but the matte texture is so flattering and cool. The sophisticated color and finish makes it feel super glamorous and grown-up.  It barely feels like you have anything on your lips. It’s not super drying or flakey like most matte lipsticks.

It comes in a slim tube with a doe foot applicator. You only need to use one coat for full-on color. It lasts forever and doesn’t move outside where you apply it. To really test this product I didn’t use a lip liner and painted on a pout that went outside my natural lip line. The results were flawless.

I even did the “kiss test” and kissed the back of my hand periodically throughout the night. Nothing was left on my hand at first. After a few hours, a teeny tiny bit of the stain would come off on my hand (nothing to be worked up about).

All in all, if you need a bold, red lip that will last for hours for a big event or a night out, go for this baby. Seriously, it is unbelievable.

-Madge

 

March Favorites!

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Watch my video below to hear all about my favorite products from March!

Favorites:

NYX Mega Shine Lipgloss in Beige and Natural

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation

NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural and Boho Chic

Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in r.s.v.p. (sparkling champagne)

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

Philosophy Pure Grace Spray Mini 

Thanks for stopping by!

-Madge

Simple, Spring Makeup

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It’s almost April! Spring is around the corner so I have begrudgingly put away my dark, vampy lipsticks. I have been opting for lighter looks that focus on healthy looking skin, glossy, pink lips, and natural eyes.  Below, I have detailed the products and steps I went through to create this light look.

Base:

Brows:

Cheeks:

Lips

Eyes

Give this easy, light, spring makeup a try! You can’t really screw it up I promise! If you want to see more of the looks I wear, follow my Instagram.

-Madge

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is coming up! Prepare for it now so you aren’t stuck the day before with no present and no ideas!

To give you some food for thought, I talked to my Mom about her favorite skincare and makeup products. Once she finds a product she likes, she is generally pretty loyal to it. Here are my Momma’s top picks for skincare and makeup! Enjoy!

My mom swears by her “Génifique.”  She says she sees a definite difference in her skin when she uses Génifique religously, versus if she falls off her skincare routine.  She uses both the Face Concentrate and the Eye Concentrate morning and night.  This is a pricey skincare investment, but it might be a nice way to treat your mom to luxury skincare.  The Face Concentrate ranges between $84-$134 (1.0 oz.-2.5 0z.) and the Eye Concentrate is $65 (0.5 oz.).

This hand cream has been kicking around our house for as long as I can remember. It smells beautiful and makes your hands feel silky.  The cream does take a while to soak into your skin, but once it does, your hands feel brand-new.  My mom has tried other hand creams, but this is her go-to favorite. This cream costs between $8-$30 depending on which size you purchase. It can be purchased online or at Crabtree & Evelyn stores.

Black Honey is my mom’s signature lip shade.  Clinique makes a range of Black Honey lip and makeup products, but my Mom’s favorite is the Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss, a tinted lipgloss.  Black Honey is a deep, raisin shade.  It is a thick formula that hangs around for a while and really does moisturize.  You can buy this at Sephora and it costs $15 for a 0.5 oz. tube.

These Lid Smoothies are a quick and easy way to apply a wash of color over your eyes. My Mom prefers a “no makeup” makeup look and these little tubes fit the bill. They have a metal applicator to smooth the product over your lids and then you blend the product with your fingers.  I have very oily eyelids so these tend to crease on me, but my Mom has drier skin and they wear nicely on her.  She has the shades Seventh Heaven, Cashew Later, and Impromt-Blue.  Each tube costs $19.50 and you can buy these online or at Clinique counters.

My Mom loves these lip balms and so do I! They feel so smooth and moisturizing on the lips.  The Lip Treatments come in a range of shades and the Advanced Therapy version is clear.  My mom uses the Advanced Therapy before bed and before applying lipstick and lip glosses. She wears the tinted Lip Treatments on their own.  She owns the shades Rosé and Passion.  The Lip Treatments cost $22.50 each and the Advanced Therapy version costs $25. You can buy these at Fresh stores, at Sephora, or online.

Hope these Mother’s Day gift ideas help you to pamper your mom on her day!

-Madge

The Easy, Affordable Bronze Eye

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Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow – 25 Bad to the Bronze ($7-$9)

  • You NEED this eyeshadow. It’s a beautiful bronze/brown/shimmery color that can be lightly swept over the lid or built up for drama. It lasts forever and can easily be applied and blended out with your finger. After you apply it to the top of your lid, put a little on your ring finger and smudge the color under your eye.  I recommend starting at the outer corner of your eye and drag it halfway (stop under your pupil). Easy peasy!

Almay Intense I-Color Liquid Eyeliner – Brown Topaz ($7-$8)

  • I have been using this liquid eyeliner since high school.  If applied on bare lids it doesn’t stick around very long, but if applied on top of an eyeshadow (especially one as long-wearing as the Color Tattoos) it won’t budge.  Apply a thin line across your top lash line.  If you want to be fancy, then you can flick out the line slightly at the outer corner of your eye.  This color is slightly darker than the eyeshadow so it just adds some definition to your eye and makes your lashes look fuller.  Nothing overly dark or dramatic.

L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara – Blackest Black ($7-$8)

  • This mascara works and is affordable. Take the wand out of the tube and wipe off any excess product.  Start at the root of your lashes and wiggle the brush back and forth two or three times before sweeping the brush up and over your lashes.

DONE. Throwing these products on is so easy and quick. Obviously, you have the option to blend the eyeshadow into your crease with a brush (may I suggest a MAC 217 Blending Brush) or curl your lashes before mascara (I use a Japonesque Power Eyelash Curler), but for ease and affordability, I suggest you follow the steps above.

Give it a whirl and make sure to tweet me (@madgeonmakeup) pictures of your results!

-Madge

Spring Break Beauty Haul

For me, spring break has been all about hitting local beauty hotspots.  I guess I’m slightly different than the typical college student that jets off to Florida or Puerto Rico for break.  I made sure I visited the places I don’t get to frequent when I am at school in Boston, such as Target and Ulta.  I picked up a bunch of items that I am very excited to integrate into my makeup and beauty routines.

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Ulta Freebies : I picked up these three products for free as part of the Ulta Points/Rewards System. Yay!

I picked this light grey, shimmery nail color because I knew I had too many pink and red nail polishes waiting for me at home.  I had seen a few beauty bloggers sporting grey nails and thought I would give it a shot.  I’m not overly impressed with this color since it is very sheer.  However, I can’t really complain because it was free.

I have been waiting to own the Ralph Lauren scent “Ralph” for YEARS. It is light, floral, fruity, and fresh.  It smells delicious.  The fragrance’s notes include Apple Tree Leaves, Yellow Freesia, Italian Mandarin, Japanese Loquat, Osmanthus, Magnolia, Linden Blossom Flower, Purple Freesia, Boronia, Musk 2000, and White Orris.  It does smell a little “young,” but I really do love this scent.  My Ulta Points allowed me to get a 0.25 oz rollerball, which is so handy for throwing in a bag.

I picked up this adorable 0.5 oz spray bottle because my sister and my mom had recently bought the rollerball version.  It is a simple fragrance, but sometimes that’s just what you need.  It smells clean and fresh. I like it because it is not overpowering.  It just makes you smell freshly bathed.  Sephora describes this fragrance as “a clean, transparent blend of fresh blossoms and cool greens, laced with sensual, frosty musk.”  I imagine spritzing this on between classes or after a sweaty workout when I am feeling a bit yucky. This little bottle is also perfect for keeping in a bag or in your desk at work.

Ulta: The Stuff I Bought

When I saw this in an aisle in Ulta I almost did a dance. I was PUMPED that I finally found it.  Lily Pebbles is always raving about the quality and staying power of this shadow paint so I have been itching to try it.

I have so much love for all my Real Techniques brushes, so obviously I had to try another one of their brushes.  I will be using this stippling brush to apply cream blush and liquid or cream highlighter.

I have been scraping by with a super cheap pair of eyelash curlers for a year or two.  I finally took the plunge and invested in a good pair.  So far they work great! When I first curl my lashes I can feel them poking my brow bone. Now that’s some serious curl.  Now I need to find a mascara that can hold that massive curl.

Target

I am SO IMPRESSED with this Lacquer Balm from Revlon.  The color is vibrant and pigmented.  The color really does stain my lips after the shine wears away.  It is so comfortable on the lips.  If you like color on your lips, but can’t stand the feeling of lipstick and you don’t like a matte finish, check these Lacquer Balms out.  I am not sure if the other shades work as well, but I want to try them! I really want to get my hands on the everyday shade “Demure.”

I like this Balm Stain from Revlon! Honey is a really wearable shade that you can whack on without a mirror.  Honey is a wearable, pinky-mauve color.  It’s slightly darker than my normal lip color and it ties a natural makeup look together.  The color doesn’t last super long, but the packaging makes it easy to keep in your bag and reapply throughout the day.  It’s not super moisturizing, but it’s more moisturizing than the average lipstick.  I think this Balm Stain is slightly more hydrating than the Clinique Chubby Sticks, which feel slightly more waxy.

Sephora

I picked up this 1 oz bottle of luxury after hearing Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup, Lily Pebbles, and Lisa Eldridge rave about this product.  I had gotten a sample from Sephora and I was instantly impressed.  It doesn’t highlight the dry bits on my nose, but gives a natural, skin-like, semi-matte finish.  When I use this, my skin looks healthy and a little glow-y, but it doesn’t look greasy.  It gives a light coverage that won’t conceal your blemishes, but it will even out your skin’s color and texture.  I have to do a fair amount of concealing when I use this product, but I love the light finish it gives the rest of my skin.  Personally, I would rather use a lighter base all over my face and provide extra coverage with concealer where I need it.

Anthropologie

  • Beaded, Gem Pouch – $15 (on sale)

I found a makeup bag/pouch beauty at Anthropologie in the sale section. I have been on the hunt for a cute pouch to keep in my purse that houses all the makeup bits I need on-hand.  It is so gorgeous! It is beaded on the front and back of the bag and is the perfect size.  I can even use it as a clutch if I ever have a fancy night out! Unfortunately, I can’t share what brand it is because the tag was missing when I found it in the store.  There are some other pouches on sale online so it might be worth popping over to Anthropologie’s website to have a gander.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my spring break haul! Let me know what you plan to do over your break and if you have done any beauty hauls!

-Madge

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

For months I have been on the hunt for a good lotion for oily skin.  I tried several different options, such as items from Cetaphil and La Roche Posay, but I didn’t particularly like anything I tried.

Last week I purchased Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion and so far it’s a winner! I have been using it day and night with no problems.  It gives me just enough hydration.  When I smooth it over my face my skin feels happy and moisturized, but not greasy.

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Along with being oily, my skin is blemish prone and sensitive.  This lotion has not irritated my skin, caused redness, or increased my acne. It’s also oil-free and non-comedogenic (it won’t clog your pores)!

However, if you tend to lean to the combination side of skin types and you do have some dry bits on your face, then I would recommend you use a heavier duty lotion/cream/oil on those areas.  For example, my nose is very dry and flaky so I put Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light on my nose before I moisturize with lotion.

This moisturizer costs $35 for 1.7 fl. oz. and can be bought on Murad’s website, at Sephora, or at Ulta.

“If I Were a Rich Girl…” *The Cosmetics Bag Edition

“If I Were a Rich Girl Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na…”

Oh Gwen, you get me and my small, functional designer cosmetics bag obsession.

Anyway, below are links to my top 5 small cosmetic bags to lust over.  You know, the ones you dream lay nestled in the bottom of your purse that house all your beauty essentials?  You may want to grab a tissue to catch that drool that will inevitably fall from your gaping mouth.

#5 Gucci Soho Medium Leather Cosmetic Case (Red) – $340

#4 Rebecca Minkoff Mab Floral-Print Leather Cosmetics Case – $75

#3 Tory Burch Kerrington Twin Cosmetics Case – $165

#2 Marc by Marc Jacobs Cosmetics Pouch (Gettysburg Blue Multi) – $72

#1 Kate Spade New York “Beauty Tips – Small Annabella” Cosmetics Case – $68

I know I know, my list does not go in order of luxury. I can hear you ladies crying out “Gucci is #5?! IS SHE NUTS?!” I took into account luxury, cuteness, fun, and whimsy.  You can’t deny that the Kate Spade cosmetics case is literally a beauty gal’s dream (“blend, blend, blend.”).

I hope I didn’t send anybody into crippling debt! What is your #1 lust-worthy cosmetic bag?

-Madge

February (drugstore) Favorites!

Check out my February Favorites video by clicking on the video below!  All of the makeup products I discuss are from the drugstore! Yay for good, affordable makeup!

February Favorites Video!

Products mentioned:

Drugstore Makeup

  • Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Eyeshadow – Bad to the Bronze
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – 15 Fair
  • Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer – Big Bang, Aurora, Celestial
  • Rimmel Scandal Eyes Eyeshadow Stick – Bad Bronze
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil – 608 Cottage Cheese
  • Milani Baked Blush – 01 Dolce Pink
  • L’Oréal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup (SPF 18) – 312 Classic Ivory
  • The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter

Skincare

  • Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
  • Pixi Glow Tonic
  • Clean and Clear Persa-gel 10 – 10% benzoyl peroxide acne medication

Thanks for stopping by!

-Madge

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Masks

Masks are a nice way to pamper yourself and keep your skin in check.  I tend to use masks when my skin is feeling a bit oily and in need of a deep clean lovin’.

Freeman makes a great line of affordable masks.  You get so much product for the price.  Early in the fall I picked up a tube and it still going strong months later! I have tried the Avocado and Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask and the Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask.  I haven’t noticed a huge difference between the two, besides color and smell, but I have been happy with the general result I get from both.

They both have a very creamy, thick texture that spreads easily over the face.  They dry rather quickly for a mask.  I wouldn’t recommend leaving these masks on for long after they have completely dried because my skin tends to get itchy if you left on too long.

Once I rinse the mask off my skin feels clean, smooth, and not stripped of moisture.  I tend to use these masks when I am oily and having a particularly bad skin day.  My skin feels more balanced after using these masks and the redness of my spots is visibly reduced.

I would recommend the Avocado and Oatmeal as well as the Dead Sea Mineral masks for people who have combination to oily skin.  These masks might be a bit drying for people with naturally dry skin.  I have noticed that any flakey, dry skin that I have turns the color of the mask even after rinsing off. Oh well! For such an affordable mask, I don’t mind.

Freeman also sells mini 1-2 use packs of their masks that cost $1.99.  These might be a nice treat to pick up if you are going on vacation or if you are traveling.

The full-size tubes are $3.99 for 6 fl. oz. and can be picked up at places like CVS or Ulta.

Let me know if you have tried any other Freeman masks or skincare products!

-Madge

The Battle of the Affordable, Pink-Toned Liquid Illuminators

NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator vs. The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter

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  • What is an “illuminator?”

Is it a Harry Potter contraption? While it can have a magical effect, it is not from the imagination of J.K. Rowling.  An illuminator, or highlighter, comes in powder, cream, and liquid form.  They are used to give the face a “lit from within glow.”  Generally, highlighters are applied on the tops of the cheekbones, on the brown bone, and down the center of the nose.  When applied to the high points of the face, your face looks more lifted, moisturized, and healthy.  You can also put a dab on the inner corner of your eyes to look more awake or on the center of your lower lip and on the cupid’s bow give the illusion of fuller lips. Cream and liquid products are extra versatile because they can be mixed with foundations to give your base more of a glow-y sheen. In general, illuminators/highlighters are a good pick me up when your skin is looking dull.  The pink-toned liquid illuminators that I describe below are good for light skin tones.

NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam

  • This Highlighter is a light, pink-toned highlighter.  It has detectable silver sparkles if you look closely at a swatch.  It feels rather dry as you work it into the skin.  The wear time also isn’t great.  It fades rather quickly and leaves behind the small, silver sparkles.  It works okay on the cheekbones and brow bones, but I don’t like it on my nose because of the sparkles.  However, you can’t beat the price if you want to try an illuminator/highlighter that is only a few dollars.
  • 0.6 fl oz.
  • $7.49 (available at Ulta, CVS, and nyxcosmetics.com)

The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter

  • This is also a pink-toned highlighter.  It doesn’t have any visible sparkles.  When blended into the skin it gives more of a pearly/pinky sheen.  It looks very nice on the cheekbones and down the center of the nose.  It is not as noticeable on the brow bones.  It has an average-good wear time depending on your skin type and the base you apply under your highlighting products.  It contains Vitamin E and Community Trade aloe vera to soothe skin.  Overall, I like this highlighter and plan to use it most days on my cheekbones. Dare I say it is comparable to Benefit High Beam ($26 for .45 fl oz.)?  I think it works just as well as High Beam on the face, but High Beam is superior on the brow bones. However, if your makeup budget is tight, it is worth noting that the price of The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter is almost half the price of Benefit High Beam and NYX Illuminator is almost half the price of The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter.
  • 0.84 fl oz.
  • $14 (BUT currently 40% off online at www.thebodyshop-usa.com)

The Winner: The Body Shop Radiant Highlighter!!!

Drugstore Foundation for Oily Skin – L’Oréal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder

I have found my one true love.  It’s from the makers of L’Oréal Paris.

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L’Oréal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup (SPF 18) is THE best foundation I have tried in terms of keeping shine at bay throughout the day.  I have tried several luxe foundations that would blend beautifully, even out my skin, and give me that “glow,” but then, without fail, three hours later my forehead, nose, and cheeks would look like I smeared vaseline on them. And yes, I do use primers and setting powders.

However, crazy shine is not an issue with this magic bottle of wonderful. I was skeptical at first since the coverage is light and the texture is very thin, but I was soon a believer.  As you blend this foundation into your face with your fingers it literally transforms into a powder-like texture.  I have never experienced this before with a liquid foundation.  It seems to disappear into my skin as I gently blend it in.

The Magic Nude Liquid Powder has a matte, but natural finish.  You definitely don’t feel or look like you have a lot of makeup on (unlike how the Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Oily/Combination Skin feels).  I got the shade 312 (Classic Ivory) and I thought it was going to be too dark/yellow, but it ended up working fine for my pale skin.  One thing to be aware of is that the foundation will highlight any dry bits of skin you have, so make sure to exfoliate with a liquid toner and put a little moisturizer in any dry areas. 

I haven’t been using this product for long at all, but I felt the need to immediately share my love!  The first day I wore this I put it on around noon and when I got home at 9:30pm I wasn’t totally matte anymore, but I wasn’t very shiny either.  For the record, I did still apply a primer under this foundation and applied a setting powder on top.  It’s also probably good to note that I have been wearing this in the bitter cold that accompanies Boston winters.  I have yet to test this in a hot or humid climate.

I have also experimented by mixing this with a little bit of a sample of YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat in Beige 10.  Normally, when I apply this YSL foundation on its own I get a nice healthy, luminous glow, but then it’s attack of the oil a few hours later.  However, mixing a little of both gave me a beautiful finish with a little bit more coverage than just wearing the Magic Nude Liquid Powder on its own.  Just a tip in case any of you shiny girls have some Le Teint Touche Éclat that you can’t get to work for you.

Additionally…in case any of you were interested…this foundation is supposedly an almost an exact dupe for Giorgio Armani’s Maestro Foundation (SPF 15), which costs a whopping $64.  L’Oréal Paris and Armani are owned by the same parent company…so this leads me to believe there is some truth to this rumor.

The L’Oréal Paris Magic Nude Liquid Powder Bare Skin Perfecting Makeup costs between $12.95-$14 depending on where you live and where you buy it.  It’s a little more expensive than most drugstore foundations, but the quality is definitely there.

Bottom line, go buy this if you have oily skin and want a light coverage foundation!

Finally, thanks to the Pixiwoo Sisters, Jane Cunningham of British Beauty Blogger, and DailyMix Youtube Channel for giving me the idea to buy this beauty!  And thanks to you if you made it through this marathon post!

-Madge

Today On My Face

This is the first edition of “Today On My Face!”

I plan to create a Today On My Face blog every so often.

I blog about my favorite products, but I think it’s important to see them in action and see that they work.

Below are pictures of the makeup I wore on a Saturday.  It was a wearable brown/bronze smokey eye.

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What I Wore…

***Note: After sampling Nars Sheer Matte Foundation, I decided that this is not the foundation for me.  It initially looked nice, but after about 2-3 hours I looked very shiny/oily.  I reapplied powder and about 2 hours after I looked shiny again.

Some of the products I used to create this look.

These are some of the products I used to create this look.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you would like to see more of these types of blog posts! Feel free to tweet me (@MadgeonMakeup) your own version of Today On My Face.  Talk to you soon!

-Madge

Perfect Makeup For Those Clueless About Makeup

We all aren’t professional makeup artists.  Sometimes you just want something easy and low maintenance.

I put to together a list of products that are really easy to use and are great for those that aren’t super confident or comfortable with makeup.

I chose products that don’t require a special brush or skilled, precise application.  Enjoy!

BASE

In the morning when you are groggy and running late for work or class the perfect base product is something that can be blended easily and incorporates other parts of your skincare routine.  The products I chose can be applied with your hands.

  • Option 2: Tinted Moisturizer
  • Tinted moisturizers offer moisture and a tint of color to even out skin.  Many tinted moisturizers have an SPF as well.
  • Laura Mercier makes cult favorite tinted moisturizers.  She offers something for every skin type.  Each of her tinted moisturizers contain SPF20.  She offers a normal version, an oil-free version, and an illuminating version.  If you want a bit more coverage, then go for the oil-free version.
  • Jouer is also worth checking out.  They offer a luminizing moisture tint and a matte moisture tint.  I’m hoping to get my hands on the matte version soon! Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup is a big fan of Jouer and their moisture tints.
  • *Note: If you have oily skin apply a powder to set your base and reduce shine.  Clinique Stay-Matte Sheer Pressed Powder is a great option since it comes with its own pad to apply the product.  It’s a great powder to travel with or throw in your purse.

CHEEKS

  • Stila Convertible Color
  • These are super easy to apply and blend with your fingers.  They can be used on your cheeks and lips.  Perfect for the girl on the go!
  • These creamy colors give a healthy, dewey finish.  I love the color Gerbara.

LIPS

My favorite everyday lip products are moisturizing, offer a tint of color, and give a nice sheen.  I don’t want to have to bother looking in a mirror to reapply.  The ideal product will fade away nicely and not travel outside of the lips throughout the day.

  • Option 1: Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm
  • I LOVE Clinique Chubby Sticks.  Go buy one if you don’t have one.  They are moisturizing, have a balm texture, and offer sheer color.
  • My favorite colors are Mega Melon and Super Strawberry.  I have my eye on Mighty Mimosa.
  •  Option 2: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments
  • I have raved about these before and you can see my original post on them here.
  • These lip treatments are decadent and so comfortable to wear.  They are truly a treat for your lips.  All the colors are beautiful, but Sugar Rose is a very safe, sheer color for work.

LIDS

  • Option 1: Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes
  • Sorry about all the Clinique shout-outs but I LOVE these shadow sticks.  They are super easy to use and can be easily blended with your fingers.  They stay crease-free for a long time.  Some of the colors are shimmery, so just be aware and swatch them before you buy if shimmer is an issue for you.
  • My favorite colors are Bountiful Beige, Lots o’ Latte, Fuller Fudge, and Ample Amber.  Bountiful Beige and Lots o’ Latte are great everyday colors that can be slicked on your eyes quickly.
  • Option 2: Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream/Gel Eyeshadows
  • These eyeshadows are affordable, easy to apply, and can be applied and blended with your fingers.  They stay put well and don’t crease.
  • My favorite colors are Barely Branded and Bad to the Bronze.
  • *Note: I wear an eyeshadow primer under both of these products because I have oily lids (I use Urban Decay Primer Potion).  However, most people will be able to use these without a primer.

EYELINER

  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils
  • These are so easy to apply ( they won’t pull or tug on your eyelids).  They are pigmented and long-lasting.
  • If you are worried about overdoing it with eyeliner, just apply to the corners of your eyes to add definition.

LASHES

  • Option 1: Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara
  • I chose this mascara because it is virtually impossible to get clumpy, spider lashes if you use the side of the brush with dense, short bristles.
  • This mascara doesn’t run or transfer to my brown bone as I wear it.  However, it is rather difficult to get off at the end of the day.
  • Option 2: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara
  • I have previously shared my love of this mascara here.
  • This is great for building dense, lush lashes.  Just be sure to start at the very root and wiggle your brush side to side as you move to the tip or you risk getting some clump action.  You only need one coat for day and possibly 2 for a nighttime look.

I hope you found this interesting and helpful! Let me know how you like these products!  I also want to know what y’all use for your everyday looks!

-Madge

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters – Drugstore Gold

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Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters are the ultimate gems of drugstore beauty.  These Lip Butters are a cross between a balm and a lipstick.  They are super pigmented and moisturizing.  In short, they are much higher quality than you would expect from an affordable brand.

Revlon Lip Butters come in 20 shades, ranging from nudes and peaches, to bright pinks, to vibrant orange and reds.  The color payoff is amazing for a drugstore lip product, especially a product so creamy!  They glide on smoothly, not patchy.  The finish is slightly glossy, but they tend to look more matte as they wear on your lips.  Each of these lipsticks can be applied strongly or blotted down for a stain effect.  I typically get 3-4 hours of solid wear out of these before I need a quick touch up.

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Raspberry Pie, Sweet Tart, Tutti Frutti

I personally own Raspberry Pie, Sweet Tart, and Tutti Frutti.  Raspberry Pie (my favorite) is a somewhat deep pink/raspberry.  Sweet Tart is a bright, cool pink that offers a pop of color.  Tutti Frutti is an orangey-coral color.  When I originally bought Tutti Frutti I thought it was going to be more of a orange-red, but it definitely leans more to the orange side (especially if you have fair skin/lips).  If you have tan/medium skin this color will look beautiful on you.  Tutti Frutti is a fun color for summer, while Sweet Tart would be perfect for spring.

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Raspberry Pie

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Sweet Tart

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Tutti Frutti

I definitely will be investing in more of these lip butters. I have my eye on Berry Smoothie, Wild Watermelon, and Candy Apple.

Usually the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters run between $7-$9.  You can get them at almost any drugstore, Target, or Ulta.

(*Target currently has some shades on sale for as low as $6.16 online)

The Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters are a must for any girl that loves the look and pigment of lipstick, but loves the sheen, moisture, and comfort of a balm.  Pick some up!

-Madge

Drugstore Glitter Eyeliner – NYX Glam Liner Aqua Luxe

Even though the holidays have passed I think you can still make room in your beauty routine for a little glitter once in a while (maybe on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, going out, etc.).

Glitter eyeliner is a good way to incorporate some bling without going full-blown glitz with a loose glitter eyeshadow.

NYX Glam Liner Aqua Luxe is a liquid, waterproof, glitter eyeliner. I wore this over the holidays and it worked wonderfully.  I used the color “24 Carat,” which is a metallic, pure gold.  I used this both as a strip of glitter above black gel liner and as an “eyeshadow” by filling in my whole lid.  It is super sparkly and lasts really well.  The brush is very thin, which allows for precise application.

This is a great alternative to the Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner, which costs $19.  The best part is that the NYX eyeliner only costs $5.50! If you want to pick it up in person you can get it at Ulta.

Below is a picture of my Christmas Eve look using NYX glitter liner all over my lid.

-Madge

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Gold Christmas Eve Look

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Swatch of 24 Carat

Pixi Glow Tonic!

Announcement!

The famous Pixi Glow Tonic is available on the Pixi website and you can get it now 20% off using the code “pixics20.” Go go go!

This fabulous toner will exfoliate your skin and banish pore congestion without the use of alcohol or harsh beads.  Supposedly it is a dupe for the amazing (and expensive) Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 that everyone raves about.  I am ordering my bottles now! I will let you now how it goes. Stay posted!

-Madge

Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid

Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid is my favorite hair product of all time. I have highlighted, thick hair that tends to get oily at my roots and dry towards my ends.  I use a tiny bit of this serum (less than a pump) and spread it across my palms.  I start at the shaft of my hair work my way towards my ends.  I don’t put this product on my roots because they are generally oily by the end of the day and they aren’t damaged like the rest of my hair.

This is a clear fluid/serum that feels like an oil and smells delicious.  The smell reminds me of the spices in bergamot flavored tea.  Jojoba seed oil, lavender, and soybean oil are some of the ingredients.

When I use this product, no matter if I dry my hair or not, I see a noticeable difference.  I can’t say this about any other hair product I’ve tried (it certainly is more effective than Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum).  This serum makes my hair smoother, softer/silkier, and less frizzy.

While I generally use this when my hair is damp, it also can be used on dry hair.  When I (rarely) style my hair, I might put a little bit of extra serum on my ends to make them look healthier.

I tried this on my friend’s coarse, asian hair, and while the effects weren’t as amazing on her, her hair was shinier and smoother.

This product costs $28 for 3.4 oz.  I have had the same bottle for over 2 years.

-Madge

My Experience with Anthony Logistics For Men Glycolic Facial Cleanser

I discovered this cleanser as I perused Caroline Hiron’s skincare blog for a cleanser that would tame my unruly skin.  I have oily, acne-prone skin and I wasn’t satisfied with my current skincare routine.

I made the switch from Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash to Anthony Logistics For Men Glycolic Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily skins (to read Caroline’s post on this cleanser, click here).  I have tried a variety of different cleansers, but frustrated, I originally picked up the Neutrogena Oil-Free Face Wash because it is affordable and familiar.  I’m guessing every woman has used this cleanser at least once.

After reading Caroline’s blog, I realized I was doing skincare, at least the cleansing step, all wrong.  Caroline warns against using a  foaming or aggressive cleanser.  She explains why these types of cleansers can actually make your skin and acne WORSE here (read number 4).  Oops.

After reading this I scoured her blog to find a somewhat affordable alternative.  I decided on Anthony Logistics for Men Glycolic Facial Cleanser.  It’s designed for men, but whatever.  Mama’s gotta do what mama’s gotta do.  Guess what?  I love it. It’s gentle and leaves my skin soft and moisturized.  Unlike after I would use any Neutrogena face wash,  my face never feels stripped of moisture or tight.  I also love that I can wash my face with my eyes OPEN and I don’t experience any irritation or burning.  I have no idea if I have ever gotten some in my eyes because it’s that gentle!

When I use this cleanser in conjunction with my Clarisonic Mia 2 my skin is soft as a baby’s bottom.  Best of all, my skin and acne breakouts have definitely calmed down.  While I still do get spots, these are less frequent and angry.

If you have oily skin, check out Caroline’s quick guide to skincare/cleansing here.  If you have a different skintype, check out her basic “cheat sheet.”  You’ll learn a lot from this skincare guru I promise!

Glycolic Facial Cleanser costs $8 for 2 oz. and $21 for 8 oz. For a good cleanser that has good ingredients, that’s a good price.  Give it a try!

-Madge

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara

Looking for a great, affordable mascara? Look no further than L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara in Blackest Black.

This Mascara offers a big wand with lots of bristles.  The formula of the mascara plus the brush allows you to easily build up serious length and volume.  It easily washes off at the end of the day, but it stays put when it counts.

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The Voluminous line of mascaras have plenty of options to try out if you are looking for a specific type of mascara, such as a waterproof mascara or a natural-looking mascara.

The only drawback of L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara is that there is often too much mascara on the brush when you initially pull the brush out of the tube.  Wiping some of the excess mascara off on the tube or on a cotton pad is a must.  I also recommend curling your lashes before using this mascara since the brush itself doesn’t curl your lashes much.

However, if you don’t want to spend the big bucks on Dior’s Diorshow Mascara or Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara, this is a pretty good option.

Which drugstore mascaras do you love?

-Madge

Remedy for Dry Winter Lips – Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments

Has this bitter, cold winter made your lips worse for the wear? You need to try the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments.  These lip treatments are the ultimate in moisture luxury.

The Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments are super moisturizing and feel wonderful on your lips.  They are the opposite of sticky.  Unlike other lip balms I’ve tried, these lip treatments wear off nicely and leave your lips feeling soft and moisturized.  They even have an SPF of 15.

They are available in a variety of pretty colors that offer a tint of color and a nice sheen.  You can build up the color to a higher intensity if you so desire.  Currently, Fresh offers lip treatments in Cherry, Petal, Rosé, Passion, Berry, Honey, Plum, and Coral.  They also offer a clear version and a clear “Advanced Therapy” version without any SPF.  My personal favorites are Passion and Coral.

These are a bit pricey, costing $22.50 each, but I recommend you give them a try. Around the holidays Sephora offers packs/collections of “mini” lip treatments in a variety of shades, which are a better deal if you want to try many colors.  Smooch away darlings!

-Madge

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Bite the Bullet and Buy One – Urban Decay NAKED Palettes

Just a quick overview!

If you are usually a drugstore makeup shopper and  find that your current eyeshadows are not pulling their weight, then it’s time to take a step up to the big leagues.  Try an Urban Decay NAKED palette.  You won’t regret it.

There are currently 4 NAKED palettes.  The original NAKED Palette is based on bronze hues.  The NAKED2 Palette is based on taupe hues.  The new NAKED3 Palette is based on rose hues.  Each palette has 12 shades.  Finally, the NAKED Basics Palette includes 6 neutral shades suitable for everyday wear (5 out of 6 shades have a matte finish).

The NAKED3 Palette

The NAKED3 Palette

Each versatile palette has shades that are rich in color and blend easily.  If you want a shimmery, smokey eye, go with NAKED 1-3.  If you are looking for a palette that is safe for work and almost any occasion, go with the NAKED Basics Palette. However, each palette is not limited to one type of look.  All four NAKED Palettes can be used to create a sexy eye, interview makeup, or something in-between.

The NAKED Basics Palette. Note the handy mirror on each palette!

The NAKED Basics Palette. Note the handy mirror on each palette!

The NAKED Palettes are suitable for all skin tones.  The shades, while vibrant, can be blended into the skin for a subtle look or built up for serious color payoff.

I have even used the light, shimmery shades as a subtle highlight on my cheekbones and brow bones (try NAKED-sin or NAKED Basics-Venus) and the tan, matte shades as a contour (try NAKED-Naked or NAKED Basics-Naked 2).

I personally own the original NAKED Palette, the NAKED3 Palette, and the NAKED Basics Palette.  I reach for one of these 3 palettes on a daily basis.  NAKED 1-3 costs $52 and NAKED Basics costs $27.  They are worth the money.

-Madge

How to Hone Your Makeup Skills

A lot of my friends ask me how I know how to do my makeup. Part of my comfort with makeup simply comes from practicing. However, my makeup skills really kicked it up a notch when I started watching makeup tutorials on YouTube.

There are so many talented makeup divas on youtube.  However, there is one channel I watch like a hawk.  The Pixiwoo Makeup Channel is amazing.  These British sisters have created a range of tutorials and looks, from easy, natural makeup, to celebrity-inspired glam makeup, to high fashion, unconventional makeup.  They explain each step in a way that is accessible for all skill levels.  Their channel also includes videos that explain the basics, such as how to apply blush, bronzer, and false lashes.

I left links to some of my favorite looks by Sam and Nic below. Happy watching!

-Madge

Fall Trend: Autumn Eyes Makeup Tutorial

Rachel Weisz – Oz the Great and Powerful Makeup Tutorial

Bond Girl Ursula Andress Makeup Tutorial

Whose tutorials do you watch? Let me know in your comments!

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder – Perfect Final Step

When you have normal to oily skin, a setting powder is necessary to keep your makeup in place and keep oil at bay.  I recommend using a translucent powder as your final step so that you don’t alter the color of your existing makeup.  What’s the point of using the perfect color foundation if you are going to use a powder that is too dark or too light for your skin color?

I’ve tried numerous setting powders, both pressed and loose, and my current favorite is Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder.  This powder keeps my skin looking matte for several hours.  When I do tend to look a little shiny in the afternoon I can reapply this powder without any obvious buildup or chalkiness.

As promised, this powder gives my face a “soft focus effect” and is the perfect final step after I have applied all my other makeup.  I highly recommend this product if you have issues with unwanted shininess!

The only drawback of this powder is that it is not ideal for throwing in your purse or traveling since it is a loose powder that requires a brush to apply.

This powder can be purchased at Sephora.  The 0.14 oz “mini” version costs $19 and the 0.3 oz “full” version costs $34.

-Madge

The "mini" version.

The “mini” version.

A Pale Girl’s BB Cream Dream

I’m very Irish, thus I have very pale skin. This makes finding the right color skin products difficult. Often I find base products looking too dark, orange, yellow, or…just bad.  Finding the right BB cream is even more difficult for me than finding the right foundation because BB cream lines usually come in a limited range of shades.  However, I struck gold!

The Clinique Age Defense BB Cream in Shade 01 is great for pale lassies with pink undertones.  It has an SPF of 30 and does tend to smell like sunscreen, but I don’t mind it.  It blends nicely into my skin, even if I don’t moisturize before putting it on (I know skincare gurus, not moisturizing daily is a sin).  I have a pretty oily t-zone (forehead, nose, and chin area), but I tend to stay relatively matte for numerous hours while wearing this BB cream.

I also love this product because it doesn’t cling to or exaggerate dry patches on my skin.  I suffer from mild acne and I usually go overboard with spot treatments, leaving small, flaky areas on my skin.  This BB cream gives my skin a smoother appearance

The Clinique Age Defense BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 costs $37.

-Madge

My well-loved bottle.

My well-loved bottle.