The “No Makeup” Look

Apparently the beauty blogosphere has decided that the “no makeup” look and being fresh faced are the must-have looks for January. It’s a far cry from the glitter-heavy makeup we all donned for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

no makeup look 2no makeup look 1

I gave this look my best shot after obsessing over the Instagrams of Miranda Kerr and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. These two supermodels always have perfect, glowing skin, strong brows, voluminous lashes, and full lips…even on their days off with little makeup on. Even Kim K’s February Australian Vogue cover has her embracing her “natural” side. No smokey eye or (over the top) contour in site.

Below are the three steps I would suggest for getting that “no makeup” look. You know, the “you, but better” look.

1. Go light on the base, heavier on the concealer

Skip the heavy coverage and matte finish foundations. Go for a lighter base, like a BB cream, tinted moisturizer, or sheer foundation. In the above photos, I opted for Diorskin Nude BB Creme. If you have less than perfect skin like me, go in with concealer to correct any redness, conceal any blemishes, and erase those dark circles. I used a combination of Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer and Treatment and Maybelline Fit Me Concealer. For this look, it’s much better to go with a light base and then go in with a heavier concealer to spot conceal. It will keep your skin looking natural.

2. Add color and glow back into your skin

Now that you have your complexion set, it’s time to add color back in. Opt for a cream blush over a powder blush. Cream products mesh better with the skin and don’t just sit on top of your makeup. I used the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Fresh Melon. It’s a peachy color that isn’t over the top pigmented or shimmery. Again, natural. You can apply cream blush with your fingers, but I prefer using a stippling brush. Finally, you have to add in that tan that supermodels gain from sunbathing on location. However, it’s January and I’m in New York so I faked it with the Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Medium. It’s a fantastic color and matte texture. I use this on the contours of my cheeks, through my temples, along my hairline, down my nose, and a little on my chin. It helps things look naturally healthy and sun-kissed. Finally, I finished off my complexion by taking some of Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin (a pink-champagne shimmer) on my cheekbones as a highlight. (P.S. I set things with a powder because I have oily skin, but if you have normal-dry skin, skip the powder!)

3. Keep it simple on the eyes and lips

no makeup diagnol

For my eyes, I again turned to my Urban Decay Naked Palette and used Sin on my lids and as an inner corner and brow bone highlight. I used Half Baked (a warm gold) through the crease and underneath my eyes. These shades seem super shimmery, but once they are blended into the eye Sin offers a bit of sheen and Half Baked warms things up and provides a bit of definition without using a harsh, matte, cool color. You could skip eyeshadow all together or go for a matte eyeshadow that matches your skin tone, but personally, I can blend shimmers way easier than mattes. Finally, I skipped liner and went straight to my lashes. I curled them and applied Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara to my top lashes. Even though this mascara is hard to get off, it holds a curl like no other. I used MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash on my bottom lashes (it does not run or smudge underneath my eyes). Finally, keep it simple on the lips by applying a natural pink, peach, or nude gloss. I went for Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is 06 Rosewood Shimmer with a pit of Rimmel Stay Glossy Lip Gloss in Non Stop Glamour on the center of my bottom lip (it’s sheer with a slight gold/peach shimmer in it) to try to fake a Rosie Huntington-Whiteley full pout.

It seems crazy to go through all the above steps for a “natural,” “no makeup” look, but understated makeup can take just as much effort as a winged liner or overdrawn lips.

After it was all said and done, I loved this look because I still felt and looked like me.


2014 Skincare Favorites!

Here are my 2014 Skincare Favorites! I can’t be without the following products. I’ve used ’em, loved ’em, and now I’m singing their praises!

  • Cleanser/Makeup Remover:

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm – This is a solid balm that transforms into an oil when you rub it into your skin. It rinses off cleanly and doesn’t leave any oil behind. You don’t need to rub it off with a wet washcloth either. Just rinse with water. It’s the best for taking off all your makeup quickly and easily. I tried the Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil and it wasn’t as easy or effective to use. I won’t stray from this balm again! $28.50

  • Toner:

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution  – This is the most recent item I’ve added to my skincare routine, but it’s my favorite! I really think this toner has smoothed out and helped clear up my skin. I just sweep a cotton disc with a little of this toner over my face after I cleanse morning and night. I am so thankful I discovered this product. $19.99

  • Lotion:

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion – This is a no-fuss moisturizer for oily skin. It doesn’t have an SPF, which is one of my requirements for nighttime moisturizers. It’s not too heavy or thick and gives me just enough moisture. It’s crazy how hard it is to find a moisturizer without an SPF that is good for blemish-prone and oily skin. Trust me. $35.00

  • Lip Care:

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask (original) – This thick, tacky lip mask sorts out dry, chapped lips overnight. Plus, it smells and tasted like vanilla. Yum. The first night I used this, I woke up with full, peachy lips. I was instantly a fan. I also use this during the day. When I take my time with my makeup, I’ll apply a little of this mask and let it soak into my lips before applying my lip product of choice for that day. $26.00

What was your #1 skincare savior this year?


La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution: My Current Skincare Savior

Growing up in middle and high school, my skin was relatively clear and easy to deal with (luckily).  However, beginning about two years ago, my skin took a turn for the worse. Not only was I dealing with red spots from acne, but the texture of the skin on my cheeks was bumpy and rough.

As a lot of you probably already know and can relate to, it was beyond frustrating. I took great care of my skin. I was vigilant about removing my makeup really well at night, cleansing, treating acne, and moisturizing. I tried different products and routines. I tried fancy routines and also the bare minimum, giving each routine several weeks to kick in. However, nothing cleared up my spots and bumps. I even went to the dermatologist and started antibiotics, but I didn’t notice any difference.

Then, on a whim, I bought La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution at CVS for $19.99. I had read numerous British beauty blogs that mentioned this toner and a three-part skincare system the toner was a part of, including posts from Amelia Liana and A Model Recommends , that had said it was good. I figured, what the hell? I’ve been using it for 2-3 months and I’m so happy I took the plunge because my skin has turned around. It has smoothed out my cheeks and dramatically reduced my acne, especially on my forehead and chin. My skin looks so much better that even my family has been complimenting me over this holiday season.

I am almost certain that the improvement in my skin is due to the Effaclar Clarifying Solution because I did not change anything else in my routine before adding this toning stage to my skincare steps. There is always the chance that something else influencing my life changed my skin, but I feel in my gut that this toner had something to do with it. When I use this toner my skin feels clean, but not stripped of moisture. I love it.

My new routine at night involves removing my makeup with a cleansing balm, cleansing, toning with La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution, applying a cream from my dermatologist, and finally, applying a light moisturizer. In the morning, I cleanse, use the Effaclar Clarifying Solution, and moisturize with a lotion that contains SPF 30.

My skin isn’t completely clear or perfect, but it is much better than it was a few months ago.  I would recommend giving the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Solution a try if you are at a loss for what to do for your acne or texture of your skin. CVS also has a great return policy, so that would be convenient place to purchase it if you’re interested. Let me know how it goes!


Holiday Gifts Any Beauty Babe Will Love

If you are trying to think of a last minute gift for a beauty babe in your life, look below. Seriously, close your eyes and point. A beauty-obsessed chica would love any of these palettes and sets. Some of them are pricier than others (eh em…I’m looking at you Charlotte Tilbury Video Box Set), but they all offer great quality and are sure to be crowd pleasers.

Holiday Beauty Gifts Any Beauty Babe Will Love

Which would you want to find under your tree?


Fall Makeup Look

selfie1 selfie

selfie 3 Selfie 4

Yesterday’s makeup was inspired by my Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss Lipstick in 107 and my Anthropologie Pumpkin Soufflé candle. Things got seriously fall and I loved it.

After finishing my morning skincare routine, I used my Diorskin Nude BB Creme in Light for a lightweight base. Next, I used the Dior Hydra Life BB Eye Creme under my eyes and then layered the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer + Treatment in 110 (love this stuff) under my eyes and used it to conceal any blemishes. I set my base by sweeping Clinique Almost Powder Makeup over my face with a brush.

I added a little bit of color to my face with Benefit Dallas (on the contours of my cheeks, cheeks, and temples) and then I added NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Boho Chic to the apples of my cheeks with a stippling brush.

I primed my eyes with the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and then went in with my Urban Decay NAKED3 Palette. I used Mugshot all over my lids and traced/blended it underneath my eyes. Then, blended Darkside into and slightly above my crease (I have hooded eyes). I used Venus from the Urban Decay NAKED Basics Palette as an inner corner and brow bone highlight. Finally, I took the Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Brown and smudged it into the outer corners of my lids. Before I moved on, I decided I wanted a little extra sparkle, so I pressed some of Dust from the UD NAKED3 Palette onto my lids with my finger.

For my lashes, I curled them (try the Japonesque Power Curler) and loaded on Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara on my top lashes and MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash on my bottom lashes.

Now, here comes the star of the show. I used my Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss Lipstick in 107 as a smudged-in stain on my lips. You gotta try this stuff if you want the perfect, fall pout.

As a last touch, I put some Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent through my T-Zone.

I was really happy with the results so I snapped some selfies (in my robe) to show you guys. Hope you like it!



The Cheap, Inspiring Lipstick

So the “cheap” part of the title of this post explains itself…you can buy this lipstick at the drugstore. The “inspiring” part of this title is a little more hard to explain, but I’ll try! Ever since I bought the Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss Lipstick in 107 I have been centering my makeup around it.

rimmel lipstick

Now I don’t mean that  I’m wearing this everyday. I teach and a bold lip is not practical or appropriate for school life. However, around Friday at 6:00 PM I find myself whipping this out and smudging in into my lips as a stain.

The shade 107 offers a berry color that is the perfect fall shade. Not too deep, not too bright…it ticks all the boxes.

This lipstick is part of Kate Moss’s matte range, so it isn’t  super glossy or hard to wear, but it is rather drying. I make sure I prep my lips with a gentle lip scrub (try Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub). If I’m applying the lipstick right away, I slap on a light balm before the lipstick. If I’m taking my time, I put on a thick lip mask/moisturizer (try Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask – amazing stuff) that I allow to sink in for a while. When it’s time to get pretty, I smoosh the mask into my lips and dab away any excess with my finger.

You can wear 107 full-on for a shocking, deep fall look. Or, you can dab the color on and work it into your lips with your fingers for a stained effect (my preferred application).

In general, the Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss range is a great way to see how you feel about matte or colorful lipsticks without dropping some serious cash. Check ’em out!


Budget Buy: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal


I prefer the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajals to my Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil. Yeah. I just thought I would start out with that to grab your attention!

Rimmel did a great job with these babies. These eyeliners, or “Kohl Kajals,” are super easy to work with, last a long time, and are super pigmented. They don’t pull or tug on your eye at all and give a full shot of color in one swipe.

The Scandaleyes eyeliners really did convert me to gel-based pencils rather than liquid eyeliners. When I use my Urban Decay pencil, it looks great at first, but then it quickly fades or smudges. However the Rimmel eyeliners are so long-lasting. In particular, the shade “003 Brown” (a deep cocoa) is in it for the long haul.

I have 4 shades, including my favorite “003 Brown,” “005 Nude” (great for your waterline if you are tired, sick, or have been crying), “006 Deep Blue,” and “007 Turquoise” (I wore this strongly on my waterline during the summer for a pop of color).


I’m waiting for them to come out with a mint green. How divine would that be?

They are so much more affordable than their UD counterparts so if you are in need of a new eyeliner, check these out at the drugstore!


The Fragrance for Perfume Haters

I have been loving Philosophy Pure Grace since April, but I am just now getting around to dedicating a post to it.


This eau de toilette smells fresh and clean. It is supposed to smell like soap and water.

I love this scent because I don’t worry about smelling overpowering or offensive to anybody (everybody likes different smells after all). I work in schools a lot so it’s a great option for me because I don’t fill up a classroom with an overbearing scent. It’s the perfect balance of scent and subtlety.

This scent does smell like freshness, cleanliness, soap and water, and a slightly earthy scent. It’s the kind of scent that could easily be mistaken for the “natural” smell you have when you are fresh out of the shower.

If you aren’t a fan of the traditional perfume smell, I would give this one a try. It smells so different to anything I already have in my perfume collection.

I would love to try some more Philosophy scents, so please leave me your suggestions in the comments section!


Budget Buy: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Milani is a brand I hadn’t heard of until this year. Sitting quietly at the end of select CVS beauty aisles, Milani can easily go unnoticed. However, Milani Baked Blush in the shade Luminoso started to get some serious love in the beauty blogosphere this year.


Every time I was in CVS I wandered over to the little Milani display, but the Luminoso slot was always empty. Hmm. I knew I was on to something great.

Finally, I got my hands on Luminoso and I was not let down!

Luminoso is a glow-y, peach blush that is gorgeous. If you put your finger to the blush, it feels like a typical cheap blush texture, but once you apply it with a brush it looks smooth and effortless. It has a slight sheen to it, but thankfully no visible sparkle or glitter.

This blush is intriguing because it looks quite light in the pan and  it seems like you wouldn’t get much color payoff.  However, when I sweep it on the apples of my cheeks it comes out a rich, peach shade that makes me look much healthier and like I have color to my face. Not the kind of color that screams “I have blush on!” It looks peach, but it also kind of makes me look a little tanner. It’s hard to describe and hard to explain how a blush could simultaneously look peach and be tan-inducing, but I’m not complaining at all!

Not surprisingly, I have found that Luminoso compliments those days when I try my hand at bronzer. Sometimes when I try to combine bronzer and blushes that are pink or coral it can look a bit much. However, if I dust Luminoso on my cheeks, it seems to fit seamlessly with my attempt at a faux bronze look.

Milani 2

This budget buy usually clocks in around the $8 or $9 mark. However, in my opinion, based on the nice sheen and color it gives, I would argue that it functions like a much more expensive product. In fact, Luminoso has earned a permanent spot in my day-to-day makeup bag. Therefore, I recommend checking out the Milani stand in CVS next time you are buying shampoo or waiting for a prescription. Like you need an excuse.:)

P.S. Milani Baked Blushes are vegan and their website offers free shipping on orders over $25. Okay, I’ll stop trying to convince you and let you decide for yourself!


Natural Eyes & Bright Lip Tutorial

Welcome to my first makeup tutorial! Excuse the messy background and the natural lighting! I created a natural eye look and added a bright lip! I did my base prior to filming the video so that I could focus on showing you how I created the natural eye. I hope you enjoy it!

Products Mentioned:

What kinds of tutorials/looks do you want to see me create in the future?


July Favorites!

Watch the video below to hear about my favorite beauty products from the month of July!

Products Mentioned:

Thanks for stopping by!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


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!


June Favorites!


Check out my June beauty favorites!

Products Mentioned:

Thanks for stopping by!


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!



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!


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?


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.


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’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?


Summer Makeup with a Twist


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.


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).



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)!


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.



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?


My First MAC Lipstick: Peach Blossom


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.



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


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?


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!


(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!


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!


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?



*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).


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.


What’s your favorite blush & lipstick combo?


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?


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.


My Take:


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.



March Favorites!

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 10.13.50 PM

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


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!


Simple, Spring Makeup




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.






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.


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!


The Easy, Affordable Bronze Eye


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 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!


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.


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?


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


  • 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!


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!


The Battle of the Affordable, Pink-Toned Liquid Illuminators

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


  • 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

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

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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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!


Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters – Drugstore Gold


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.


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.


Raspberry Pie


Sweet Tart


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!


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.



Gold Christmas Eve Look



Swatch of 24 Carat

Pixi Glow Tonic!


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!


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.