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Purple Shampoo: What Is It? And How It Enhances Blonde Hair


source: google images


Today's post is about Purple Shampoo. Not only is it the name of my beauty blog, but is also a great hair product for shades of blonde hair. Before I suggest some brands to you, I wanted to give you a little description of what Purple Shampoo is, and what it does! Your hair won't actually be purple of course...but who doesn't love Katy Perry's wigs?

How does purple shampoo work?
We all wish our hair would stay exactly the way it is when we step out of the hairdresser, don’t we?  At that moment our hair looks bright, vibrant and gorgeous. But as time passes, light, pollution and other things dull hair color and cause it to turn yellow or brassy.


Purple shampoo works on a very basic, but effective principle of nature.  Stop a moment and think back to your high school science and try and remember our good friend, ROY G. BIV (short for Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet), which represents the basic colors in light.  Purple shampoo uses basic color mixing to hide brassy tones.  The trick is in the purple pigment. When you look at a color spectrum wheel, purple and yellow are at the opposite ends of the color spectrum. When you wash your hair with purple shampoo, your hair absorbs a small amount of the purple pigment. Since they are opposites, the purple neutralizes the brassy yellow, restoring your hair to its former beautiful color. Purple shampoo is the cure for all of your brassy hair woes.

**Thank you to the below website. I did not write this definition and give full credit to this author. Her/His definition is excellent!


Why do I use it?
Although I don't have super light blonde hair anymore, I still have warm blonde hair that needs a tweak every now and then. My hair can sometimes turn a tad brassy so using this shampoo helps keep it look bright. A purple shampoo isn't going to make your hair blonder or lighten it...rather it will enhance your shade! Think of it as a tune up. 

How often do I use it?
It really depends on your shade, how often you wash your hair & personal preference. In the past with the super light blonde hair I would use purple shampoo often...probably about once a week (sometimes more). I now use my purple shampoo every other week (sometimes less). I don't find that my hair needs it anymore then that. My hair shade now is a medium blonde.

Anything I should know before using it?
Some purple shampoos can really dry out your hair, so I suggest using a good conditioner. The Matrix So Silver is a great strong purple shampoo, but really drys out my hair. My hair is already very dry, long and tangly, so I just make sure to use a deep conditioner after. I actually prefer the Redken Blonde Glam because I find it hydrating. 


Redken Blonde Glam Perfect Platinum 


This is my current & favorite purple shampoo. It is actually labeled a conditioner on the bottle, but works the same way as a shampoo. I find this is much gentler on my hair and I don't need to use a separate conditioner after. This product smells really good and feels nice on my hair. I find that it does its job, eliminates brassiness and enhances my blonde hair. This product does not lather up like the Matrix one. The texture is very similar to that of a conditioner (almost silky & very creamy). The product itself glides onto the hair with ease and manages any tangles I have. After I have the product saturated in my hair I comb through it. The bottle suggest leaving it on 1-3 minutes for lighter deposit and minutes for a deeper deposit. I prefer to leave it on the full 5 minutes. I will then rinse it out and my hair feels so smooth and hydrated. I have rebought this product a few times at Ulta and it retails for $15-17 but you can use an Ulta coupon on it. I am very satisfied with this product and would highly recommend it to those with blonde hair!


Matrix So Silver



Matrix So Silver is the other purple shampoo I would recommend. I and many friends (Hi Jen!) have used this product. It was very popular among staff & customers when I worked at Ulta years ago. It smells good and lathers very well. It is a strong vibrant purple and it does deposit many color pigments. I do find this a bit drying so make sure to use a conditioner afterword. Another thing you can do is mix a little of this with your regular shampoo. I personally find that method to work the best. I would typically leave this on my hair about 3-5minutes and then rinse. I think that super light blonde hair will prefer this over the Redken one as I believe it has more color depositing pigments.  

You can find both of these purple shampoo products at Ulta in the salon section. Both products will last you a long time as the bottles are large. The price is mid range and you will get a lot of useage per bottle. If you are looking for a way to enhance your blonde hair, this might be for you!


How to And Why: Brush Cleaning


Hi everyone! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Today's post will be about Brush Cleaning and why it is important & how to do it! 

Why do I clean my brushes? 
My face brushes (ie powder, foundation, bronzer, concealer, etc) get dirty after everyday use. The product can build up in the bristles (you can see it especially if your brush has light bristles) and can start to look gunky. With that said, I clean my brushes so bacteria, oil, dirt, grime and other potential skin issues aren't an issue. I really recommend cleaning your brushes often to those with acne prone skin!

How often do I clean my brushes?
This is more of a personal preference, but I tend to give my face brushes a bath once a week. I have become very conscious of my skin in the last few years and cleaning them really helps my face stay clear. I try to also spot clean my brushes after I use them too. I typically do the spot cleaning method for eye brushes and save the deep cleansing for face brushes. Again, this is a personal choice as it varies for each person.

Washing VS Spot Cleaning...what's the difference?
Spot cleaning - is typically in a spray pump bottle. The user will spray the brush directly or spray a kleenex. Then, the user will rub the brush on the tissue to remove color/build up. I typically prefer to wash my eye brushes using this method. I will use the washing method if I am doing eye makeup on someone other than myself.
Washing - is more of a process that involves water, brush shampoo and time. Washing is a deep cleansing method to rid your brushes of bacteria and makeup build up. I prefer to wash my face brushes using this method.

How do I wash them?
There are 2 main methods for brush washing. As mentioned before, I prefer to deep cleanse my brushes and spot clean my eye brushes. Once I am ready to wash, I will go in the bathroom and let the water warm up. I will then put a small drop of brush shampoo in my palm and then swirl the brush in that. You will see the suds and the makeup/color will start to run down the drain. I make sure all of the shampoo and color is removed from the brush and then I will squeeze excess water out. I will then lay my brush aside to dry...

How do I dry my brushes?
After washing my brushes I like to shape them and lay them on a wash cloth to dry. I will usually wash my brushes around the evening and then leave them overnight to dry. The whole drying process does take awhile, especially if they are dense! Make sure to have enough time to let them fully dry.


Favorite brush shampoos & spot cleansers
I have been using ELF's studio daily brush cleaner (link here) & ELF's studio brush shampoo (link here) for about a year now. They both retail for $3 and you can find them at your local Target or on ELF's website. ELF runs many promotions so you can probably pick up some other goodies and get a great deal. 




e.l.f. Studio Daily Brush Cleaner (left)

An anti-bacterial daily brush cleanser for quick cleaning in-between makeup applications. Disinfects brushes to provide a fresh and clean application every time. Cleaning brushes after each use with the Daily Brush Cleaner helps to keep your brushes last longer for extended use. New and improved leak-proof design for easy travel when you're on-the-go!

e.l.f. Studio Brush Shampoo (right)

An anti-bacterial brush cleanser for thorough cleaning in-between makeup applications. Disinfects brushes to provide a fresh and clean application every time. Washes away traces of dirt, makeup, oil and debris from your brush while conditioning the hair to provide a clean and soft application for every use.



How often do you clean your brushes? What is your favorite brush shampoo/spot cleaner?

Thanks for reading,
Carly

Favorite Drugstore Eyeshadow Palettes - Mini Reviews, Photos, Swatches


Today's post will feature my Top 4 Favorite Drugstore Eyeshadow Palettes. I not only love eyeshadows, but even more so when they are highly pigmented and budget friendly! The color payoff in all of these palettes are excellent and they are all shades I would wear (most are in the neutral family). All of these palettes cost under $7 and you can find them at Ulta, Mejer, Walgreens, etc

Physician's Formula
Matte Collection Quad Eyeshadow
"Canyon Classics"
Price: $6.79 
(Ulta runs many BOGO 1/2 off sales on PF & you can use a $3.50 off $10 coupon on this too)
Ulta link: HERE 


This palette is one of my most used & all time favorites. I have used this matte eyeshadow quad for years now and I have been so happy with it. It is hard to find a good matte eyeshadow quad in the drugstore (sometimes even high end!) that has excellent color payoff AND doesn't feel chalky or stiff. All of the colors are easy to blend and complement many different looks. For example, I will use the top left shade (top finger swatch) to help blend out my crease or soften a darker shade (aka transition color in the makeup world). I also have been using the bottom right shade (bottom finger swatch) for my eyebrows a lot. There is also a little mirror in this palette that is perfect if you are doing your makeup on the go or need to be precise. I really like that it's located on the top of the palette when you open it instead of a flip up mirror! Overall, this is a fantastic product that I highly recommend. It is versatile and you can use it to create looks or in conjunction with other shades (colorful or neutral...either or!)


Wet n Wild
Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
"Walking on Eggshells"
Price: $2.99
Walgreens link: HERE 


This is a trio palette I bought soley because of rave reviews. I've heard about this on YouTube & beauty blogs from many different people. I have to admit, I am so impressed with the pigmentation of this palette. I remember Wet & Wild being less than great back in the day, but now WOW! I really like this palette for a quick lighter day time look. The middle shade is a nice warm golden brown (top finger swatch) that works well in the crease (as it suggests ha). The browbone shade (middle finger swatch) is very shimmery and reflective and works as a brow highlight or lid color (I prefer it as a lid color as I like a matte highlight most of the time). The eyelid shade (bottom finger swatch) is a really pretty champagne (hint of pink) shade that works as a lid color but I think some might even like it for a highlight. I would recommend this palette to anyone who prefers a softer day time look (IE work, school, etc) and this would be a great gift for those who are new to makeup & eyeshadow. Every shade is wearable and it is very budget friendly!

Wet n Wild
Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
"Silent Treatment"
Price: $2.99
Walgreens link: HERE 



This is another palette that I heard good reviews on it. I love all of the shades in this trio so much. The bottom eyelid shade (bottom finger swatch) is a beautiful taupe. If you haven't guessed by now, I am a huge taupe eyeshadow fan. Taupe is just one of those shades that I think can work on everyone. Anyway, this palette is the same excellent quality as the other Wet n Wild palette mentioned above. I think those who like using neutral eyeshadows (like myself) will really enjoy this! This is a trio that I like to bring along with me on short trips because I can easily create a look for daytime and transition it into nightime!


Rimmel
Glam Eye Quad
"Smokey Brun"
Price: $5.99
Ulta link: HERE 


This is another great neutral (can go bronze too) quad. This palette is different from the others because of all of the shades are metallic & have shimmer. I heard about this palette from a YouTube video and I knew I had to get it. The color payoff from this trio is packed with pigmentation and shows up well with a quick swipe. I really like using the brown (top finger swatch) in my crease and the champagne shade (2nd finger swatch) on my lid. I can easily create a quick eye look that looks like I put my time into it. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes neutral/bronze looks, prefers shimmers & metallics and is looking for a day or night look!



So there you have it. 4 great eyeshadow palettes that are high quality but at the same time are affordable! I love getting a great deal as I'm sure you do too! Next time you are at the drugstore give these palettes a look...I don't think you will be disappointed!



Don't Waste Your Money! Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow in Shih Tzu



Today's post is about Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow in the shade "Shih Tzu" I was very disappointed and unsatisfied with not only pigmentation, but also staying power too! 

Here's what the Sephora website says...

"This bounc-i-licious new eye color offers the ultimate experience with an unexpectedly plush, lightweight texture and vivid color. It leaps and bounds beyond what you've come to expect from eye color—and it's even waterproof. Named after our loyal four-legged friends, these stay-put shades will be your faithful new beauty companions as they comfort and care for your pretty peepers. The mineral-infused, paraben-free formula pampers delicate skin with soothing Aloe extract and vitamin E—all with a non-greasy, long-wearing finish. Touch it. Pet it. Love it. Only at Sephora."

Please note this as well...

In honor of our favorite Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow and the furry friends they're named after, Bare Escentuals is making a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs.

Why I bought it: I bought this product awhile ago and after only using it a few times (and being very disappointed) it has found a home in my unused makeup drawer. Temptalia gave this product a pretty good rating so my hopes were high. At the time I purchased this I was really into chartreuse. I was experimenting with different colors and trying to incorporate them into my typical neutral/bronze looks.  I thought the shade "Shih Tzu" looked unique and pretty. Honestly, that is about the only good thing going for this product...presentation. 

What I did like:

  • The packaging and name was cute. All of the names are dog related. 
  • The jar was easy to open and unscrew
  • Jar was not heavy
  • The texture was very smooth and almost reminded me of the Maybelline Bouncy Blush (I don't own this but have tested it out at the store)
  • The biggest plus of this product is that portion of the sales goes to charity. It's always nice to see a company do this!

What I didn't like: 

  • The jar is tiny. I'm telling you .12oz!
  • Since the jar is so tiny it's hard to get your finger in there. I have pretty small hands and it's tough for me to rub the product on. This is really annoying. 
  • This product is too expensive. It retails for $18 at Sephora (actually it's only sold at Sephora) and for the oz you are getting I don't think it justifies spending this much. I don't mind paying a pretty penny for a product, but I want quality AND value.
  • The pigmentation = not good. After reading the review on Temptalia's page I was expecting a lot. I believe those swatches are built up to show you the color. However, I tried to build up the color and all I got were the swatches below. The payoff is sheer and very shimmery. I'd describe the payoff more as a "wash of color" rather a true "glided lime green" as Sephora defines it.
  • This product had awful staying power on me. I remember wearing this shade on St. Patrick's Day and not even a few hours later was this already fading. Likewise, it creased horribly on me (and yes I was wearing eye primer like I always do!) So with that said, I am curious where that waterproof claim comes in.

Swatches

(Top to Bottom) A very built up swatch & a swipe of the color


Would I recommend: No! This product did not perform well at all and bottom line I felt like I wasted my money. I'm upset that such a beautiful color did not stay true, but I can't speak for the other shades. Still, the pigmentation wasn't there and more importantly the wear was terrible. The formulation creased and faded early on me. I would imagine it would become non existent for those with oilier eyelids. I would suggest saying your hard earned $$$ and getting a cream eyeshadow that is worth it. Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows are my favorite. They are on the pricer shade too but the jar is A LOT bigger and the pigmentation and wear is excellent. I would have returned this but I threw away the receipt. The positive of keeping this, is that part of my money goes to a honorable charity so that makes me happy. Here is the link to learn more about Canine Companions for Independence HERE

As always, these are my personal experiences on this product. Just because it did not work on me does not mean it won't work for you. The point of these "Don't Waste Your Money!" reviews are to showcase a product that has gotten some press, but in my opinion isn't worth it. Also, I like to steer everyone to a similar product concept that IS worth your $!

Thanks for reading,
Carly


My Drugstore Makeup Recommendations (Eyes, Face, Lips, Nails)

Hello all! Today's post will feature my favorite makeup products from the drugstore. I realize that not all use high end cosmetics, and not all use drugstore. I like to think I sit somewhere in between. I typically prefer higher end, but there are a lot of drugstore products that have really pleasantly surprised me. I decided to name a few in each category.

I do want to note that I won't be listing drugstore makeup products that I have not personally tried. I can think of a lot of items I have heard people talk about, but I don't feel right posting them unless I personally tried them. 

All of the products listed you can find at Ulta, Bed Bath Beyond and drugstores like Walgreens and Meijer. You can find ELF at Target stores.

Eyes

Eyeshadow: 
  • Rimmel Glam Eye Mono Eyeshadow in "Backstage" (review here)
  • Wet & Wild "Nutty"
  • Ulta Eyeshadow (I really like the shade "Truffle")
  • NYX Single Eye Shadow
Eyeshadow Palettes: Post with my favorites is HERE

Eyeshadow Primer: 
  • I don't have one for this category but I have been curious about NYX High Definition Eyeshadow Base
Eyeshadow Loose Pigment: 
  • NYX Ultra Pearl Mania (thanks to my friend Mary for showing me this!)
Cream Eyeshadow: 
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo (Bad to the Bronze is my favorite)
Cream Eyeliner: 
  • ELF Cream Eyeliner
  • Maybelline Eye Studio
Pencil Eyeliner: 
  • NYX Slide On Eye Pencil
  • L'Oreal Extra-Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner
Liquid Eyeliner: 
  • Wet & Wild Mega Liner
  • NYX Super Fat Marker
  • L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner
Mascara: 
  • CoverGirl Lash Blast (review here)
  • Neutrogena Healthy Volume (review here)
  • Neutrogena Healthy Length (review here)
  • Maybelline Lash Discovery
  • Maybelline Great Lash BIG
Eye brushes:
Eyebrow powder/pencil
  • I actually prefer to use a matte eyeshadow that matches my brows over a brow pencil. Check out NYX Nude Matte Eyeshadow for shades. I find pencils to be too hard to work with and stiff.
Brow Wax: 
  • NYX Eyebrow Shaper
Makeup Remover: 
  • Almay oil free eye makeup remover pads (review here)
  • Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelettes  (review here)
  • Equate Facial Cleansing Towelettes (Walmart brand)
Face

Primer: Sorry, I do not have any because I do not use silicone based primers

Foundation: 
Concealer: 
  • L'Oreal True Match
  • Physician's Formula Conceal RX (only for heavy duty coverage)
  • Physician's Formula Concealer Stick
Under Eye Concealer: 
  • Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller (Tinted one)
  • L'Oreal Visible Lift
Powder: 
  • Physician's Formula Mineral Face Powder
  • Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation
Bronzer: 
  • Palladio Mosaic in "Sun Kissed" (review here)
  • Physician's Formula (has many different kinds)
  • Flirt! Bring on the bronze in "Golden Minx" (Flirt! is at Kohl's only)
Blush: 
  • ELF Studio
  • ELF Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder (great buy - 2 products in one for around $3)
  • Flirt! Peek-a-blush (Flirt! is at Kohl's only)
Highlighter: 
  • Palladio Herbal Mosaic in "Fairy Pink"
  • Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips
Face brushes: 
  • Real Techniques
  • ELF Studio
Brush cleaner: 
  • ELF Daily Brush Cleaner (for spot cleaning)
  • ELF Brush Shampoo
Lips


Lipstick: 
Lipgloss:
  • Revlon Super Lustrous lip gloss (I wear "Peach Petal" all the time)
  • NYX Mega Shine lip gloss (great selection of shades...I really like "Sugar Pie")
Lip balm: 
  • Avon Care Deeply Lip Balm (link here)
  • EOS Lip Balm
Lipliner: Sorry, no recommendations as I don't wear lip liner


Nails
Base Coat: 
  • Revlon Colorstay Base Coat
Top Coat: 
  • Revlon Colorstay Top Coat
Polish: 
  • Essie (my favorite brand)
  • Revlon Colorstay
  • Sally Hansen Extreme Wear
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure
Remover: 
  • Cutex Twist & Scrub
  • Onyx
Nail Dryer:
  • DeMert Nail Enamel Dryer


I plan to do a follow up series to this post featuring Skincare, Haircare, Handcare, & Footcare. Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing that!

Also, please make sure to list your drugstore favorites below! I can think of many drugstore makeup items I have heard good things about that I haven't tried. I don't recommend products I have not personally tried/tested. So, if you use something that you love please make sure to list it below for others! :)
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Thanks for reading,
Carly




Top 5 Favorite Bronzers (Benefit, Nars, Cargo, Palladio, MAC)



Today's post will be about my top 5 favorite bronzers. I am always up finding a great new bronzer, but these are the ones I currently own and am loving! All of them are different in their own way. These are in no order. Here we go...

Benefit Hoola



I love this bronzer! I've used this for years and have repurchased. The packaging is cute but I don't like that the lid stays attached. The old packaging one was able to remove the lid completely. The product retails for $28 at Ulta, Sephora, department stores, etc. Make sure to check for gift with purchases and value sets...Benefit does them a lot!

This color is a matte brown that has a slight yellow undertone. This meaning that there is no red or orange undertones at all in this product. This is rare to find! The texture of the powder is also very buttery and smooth. 

I use this almost daily to contour my cheekbones (I make the fishy face and put the product in the hollows of my cheeks). The color is perfect for my skin so it doesn't look overdone or fake. With that said, I still make sure to use a lighter hand when applying. My favorite brush to use with this product is the MAC #168 angled brush. One can use any brush, but I find a fluffy angled brush works the best (and does a lot of the work for you!)

Nars Laguna

I've known about this bronzer for a long time (rave blog reviews, YouTube, makeup artist, etc). I never picked it up until a few months ago. The packaging is sleek looking and simple. The compact itself opens and closes easily as well. The product retails for $34 and you can find it at Sephora or department stores.

The color is a shimmery (not overly so) light warm golden color. This does not lean orange or red at all either. It's a balance of gold & brown warmed up together if that makes sense. I find on my skin (warm medium about NC30-35) I have to build this up quite a bit for it to show on my skin. Still, the texture is smooth and blends well. 

I like to wear Nars Laguna over my contour (Benefit Hoola) or as a simple wash on my cheeks if I need some color in my face. I use a lot of different brushes to apply this product so I don't have a favorite. 


(L to R) Nars Laguna & Benefit Hoolah

Cargo Bronzer (Medium)

I got this product in a "flawless face kit" from Cargo that I purchased because of their blu_ray pressed powder (click here for that review). I like Cargo's packaging a lot and how they use the tins. The lid is removable and the packaging itself is sturdy but not heavy. This product retails for $29 at Ulta, Cargo's website, etc. Also, of course the full size product is a lot bigger than the photo at the top! 

Upon looking at this product in the tin, I was like ohh wow this is orange (and it will look really orange when photographed). I promise you this is not a scary pumpkin orange when on your face! When I wear this on my face it really does give my skin that sunkissed look. It never looks overdone unless I put too much on. I like to pair this bronzer with Nars Laguna as they work well together! I want to note too that you can get this in a "light" option as well and that Cargo actually has a ton of bronzers in their line.

I always use a lighter hand when applying this because I have a lot of red in my cheeks. I tend to usually pair this with other bronzers, contour or do a soft wash on my cheeks. I prefer to use a fluffy brush but the MAC #168 has worked well in the past too.

Palladio Mosaics (Sunkissed)


This was a completely random purchase at Bed, Bath, Beyond. I was quickly checking out the makeup section and stumbled upon this line. I mostly looked at it because BBB was having a great sale on the Palladio line. The product normally retails for $5-7 as it depends where you purchase it because it's a drugstore makeup product. I believe I did get it on sale for about $4 though! I'm so glad I picked this up because it has become a favorite even more so because it's such an affordable product.

The color is awesome! It has 4 different cubes and when they are swirled together it creates a lovely soft warm bronze that leans a light brown.  The color is a little similar to Hoola in the face that it is a more yellow brown (love this). There is shimmer when you sweep this on your brush but it never looks overly shimmery at all on your face. Rather, I would say it adds a nice glow. 

I use a big fluffy brush when applying this. It works well over contour (Benefit Hoola) or just by itself. It's not a dark shade so it doesn't ever look overdone on me. I think this would work great for light to medium as well as medium skintones alike!

MAC Give me sun!


This is the last bronzer in the roundup. I will be honest and say it was hard to pick a 5th favorite because I like the other ones so much. I will admit I don't wear this shade as much as the products talked about above. Give me sun! is a product from MAC in their mineralize skinfinish natural permanent line. I purchased the product because of a rave review off Temptalia's website. The product retails for $29 but I did get 40% off because of my MAC Pro Card. 

The color is a warm orange/peach tone. There is no brown in it, but it still works with the redness in my cheeks. The color blends well and doesn't look chalky on my skin (this line by MAC is a fan favorite). 

I again prefer to use a fluffy brush so I don't over apply. I think this shade works better paired with another blush or bronzer, but it for sure could be worn alone. I think this would look best on medium skintones and some light skintones. Lighter skintones may have to have a very light hand when applying though!


(L to R) Cargo Bronzer (Medium), Palladio Mosaic (Sun Kissed) & MAC Give me sun!

So you might be wondering which one is my #1 huh? I would pick Benefit Hoola as my number 1 bronzer for contouring! I highly recommend giving the Palladio bronzer a look though. It's affordable and you can find it at a lot of stores too. The color is excellent and pigmentation is awesome. I really feel like I got a great deal when picking this up. Also, I would have probably walked right past this line if I didn't see the sale sign. I am so glad I didn't overlook the brand this time. It's a sleeper hit product for sure, but I wanted to share how awesome it is with everyone!! If you are just getting into bronzers then I would definitely recommend getting this one first!

Thanks for reading,
Carly



Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation - Detailed Review And Swatches of 5 shades!


Today's post will be about Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. In my opinion, this is one of the best foundations on the market. I love the texture, the coverage and how flawless it makes my skin look! 

What Sephora's website says about Silk Creme:






"This long-wearing foundation evens out skintone as it increases skin luminosity and clarity for a radiant glow. The rich, creamy texture glides over the skin effortlessly for perfect application and blendability. Perfect for rosacea and hard to cover pigmentation. Ideal for all skin types, and oil-free."

  • How I heard about it: I first heard about this foundation a few years ago on YouTube and went out to the department store to check it out. I was color matched and loved how it looked so much that I ended up purchasing it. I have altered between this foundation and a few others throughout the years, but I am always wow'ed by this product every time I use it! I am currently using the shade Bamboo Beige which is a perfect shade for me.

  • Where to buy & price: This foundation is available at department stores, Sephora and Laura Mercier's website. I prefer to buy my bottle at Sephora because you can get reward points and they always have testers (note: I highly recommend getting color matched with foundations if you are unsure what shade you are!). This foundation retails for $43 (used to be $42)...I know I know it's expensive but i'm telling you this is worth it. If I had to pick one makeup item to splurge on, it would for sure be foundation. Your face is your main canvas!
  • How I apply it: My favorite way to apply is to use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush or my Sigma F82 brush (click HERE to read my review on that brush). However, I have used my fingers to apply it and that works too! Out of all of the foundations I own, this is the best one to use your fingers to apply.

My review:

As I mentioned before, this is one of my all time favorite foundations! Here is why...

  • The texture is a very creamy mousse that blends extremely well. So that means not only is this foundation easy to work with, but it also allows the user to achieve their desired coverage. For example, I like to add a little extra coverage on my chin area. 
  • I like the packaging of the bottle. I'm a fan of squeeze tube packaging because it allows me to  control how much product comes out. 
  • The color selection works very well for me! In MAC terms, I am around a NC30  coloring and Bamboo Beige is a perfect match for me. Silk Creme foundation has a very yellow based color system. This works for me because yellow helps cancel my redness and I have always preferred a yellow based foundation. However, if you are a cool skin type make sure to check out other shades then what my swatches are. All of my swatches below are for more warmer/olive skin types because I do not have have any cool/pink undertones. A downside of this color system for others is that the shades do not run darker. Those with a darker complexion will probably not find a shade for them. 
  • This foundation does have a scent to it but it does fade after application. I have been trying to figure out what it reminds me of! This may bother some, but I kind of like the smell and have gotten used to it. 
  • My skin type is normal to dry in the cooler months and combination in the summer. This foundation is awesome for me year round except when it's very hot & humid! This summer was in the 100's a lot and it is very humid in the summer where I live. With that said, this foundation didn't transfer or fade, BUT I did notice my face got shiny faster in the summer. Normally this isn't an issue for me at all with this foundation, so I just used a different product this summer. I wanted to point this out because if you have very oily skin or live in a constant humid climate you may have an issue with this. I would suggest using a primer and setting with powder!
  • A little goes a long way with this foundation! This is awesome for two reasons, 1 because the bottle will last longer (shelf life is 18 months!) and 2 because it will never look cakey.
  • Coverage is excellent! It will literally look like your skin is perfect...no one has to know it's not. Silk Creme has that "your skin but better" look to it. Have acne, redness, scars? No problem for this foundation!
  • Looks good in photos. This foundation does not have SPF so it works well in flash photography. If you do want to wear SPF just wear it under it! I prefer that my foundation does not have SPF because I don't want a white cast for pictures (but of course if the product is great and has SPF I don't mind!)
  • Works well for wedding makeup. I recommended this to a few girls for their wedding and I myself have worn this to weddings/receptions. 
  • This product will work well for younger and mature skin types. I have not experienced breakouts with this product (it is oil free) and because it's texture I believe this would be nice for mature skin as well!

I own Medium Ivory and Bamboo Beige and have Sephora samples for the other colors!

L to R TOP photo:
Cashew Beige neutral beige/ for medium skin tones
Hazelnut Beige medium beige/ medium for yellow and golden skin tones
L to R Bottom photo:
Bamboo Beige warm golden beige for light to medium skin tones
Medium Ivory warm beige/light to medium skin tone
Sand Beige true neutral beige/ for medium to golden skin tones

Would I recommend: YES! This foundation makes my skin look airbrushed! This foundation takes the cake for looking flawless. I have received compliments on how my skin when wearing this too! I love the innovative texture, blendability and color system. It is for sure unique in regards to foundations that I have tried. This foundation gets an A! I definitely recommend heading to the store to get color matched and a sample! I really don't think you will be disappointed. 






I wanted to make sure to include as much detail as possible. I'm surprised there are not a lot more blog posts about this foundation, AND it's hard to find swatches of the shades so I made sure to scoop up some Sephora samples to include more. I hope this review was helpful! 

Xen Tan Dark Lotion - Review And Photos


Hi all! Today's post will be about Xen Tan Dark Lotion. If you are looking for a really dark and deep tan...this is your product! I have been using this product for quite awhile and I love it! This has become my favorite fake tan to use for my body. Whenever I want to get a really dark fake tan, this is exactly what I will use!! 

What Xen Tan says...

Luxurious sunless tanning lotion with realistic instant color, so you can see your tan as you apply. Rich nut oils give moisture for a long lasting tan. Apply one coat lightly for sheerer tan or 1 thicker coat for darker color. Lasts up to 7 days. Delicious light cherry-almond scent works for both men and women. For face and body.

Highlights

  • This self tanner does not mess around...it does exactly what it says it will do...give you a dark color of course!
  • This is perfect for those special occasions or everyday if you like a deep tan...I am going to a wedding this weekend so I used this last night and slept in it so I will be my darkest! I should note that the bottle says "wait 3 hours before showering" so you can wear it for a shorter time and by no means have to sleep in it. I have always prefered to sleep in my self tan (unless I don't have time) because it's so much easier to put it on before bedtime and just hit the hay!
  • It smells good...most of Xen Tan's stuff has a vanilla/cupcake scent (which I also like) but this has a cherry almond smell. It's not overly strong and fades after application
  • Long lasting...I usually self tan 1-2x and I would say this lasts 5 days before fading
  • Fades evenly...of course a self tanner will fade, but thankfully this one fades gradually and even. This was always an issue I had with spray tan booths. I always looked silly when it faded!
  • Has skin conditioners Jojoba oil & nut oils....You might be thinking AHHH oil no no for self tanners. I thought the same thing BUT having these in the product have made it so much easier for me to work with!
  • Easy to blend...my skin is always dry (especially on my legs) so having built in conditioners in helps glide the tan onto my skin so much easier
  • Very dark color guard...this might scare some at first, but I assure you that this very dark guard really does make it so much easier to see where you are putting it. It also spreads very well so it won't stay that dark once you blend it in. 
  • Pump bottle...I love pump bottles...it makes it so much easier when you have a mitt on your hand and are trying to work quickly. When the bottle gets low, I will screw on the cap tight and shake it hard. This brings what is left of the product to the top of the pump. I will then unscrew the cap and wipe the pump on the mitt. I only do this for when the bottle is almost empty of course!
Xen Tan Dark Lotion ~ photo of the product (notice the dark color guard)

How to use & suggestions
  • You can use the Xen Tan Mitt or you can use latex gloves...I have tried both ways and I prefer the mitt by far. It does all the work for you and is much faster time wise
  • I go over each body area twice...I do this for two reasons, one to make sure I get a really dark color and also so I can make sure I put product on every spot! 
  • I use the Xen Tan Face Tanner Luxe for my face...I did a full review of it HERE. It is hands down my favorite & the best fake tan for the face I have tried.
  • I would recommend this product for intermediate & advanced level tanners...this is not a product you can just slap on and go...it does require the time and effort to ensure an even and full application. I would suggest beginners use a mousse (I use the Xen Tan one...i'm telling you this is the only brand I will use!) or the Xen Tan Deep Bronze Luxe. I'm not saying beginners can't use it, but if you are brand new to fake tan...this is going to be a little hard as a starter product!
  • This does take a little longer to put on...I don't mind at all especially with the end result. Make sure you want to put in the time & effort and have patience when first using it.
  • Use a blowdryer when you finish...sounds funny but every time I self tan I always blow dry my whole body. It really does help the tan dry faster. The areas I notice need more of the blowdryer are my stomach, chest, inner arms. Try it!
Check out the packaging of Xen Tan Dark Lotion

Price & Where to buy
  • This retails for $40...if you are a self tanner then this probably doesn't sound high to you at all. Although this sounds expensive, it really is not. One receives 8fl oz of product and i'm telling you this bottle lasts a long time! It really depends on how much you use it, but I self tan 1-2x a week for reference (and do 2 coats!)
  • You can purchase this at Ulta, Nordstrom and Xen Tan's website...if you live outside the US double check their website because there is a store locator. I have always purchased my items on Xen Tan's website. They ship fast and package the products well in the box. Click HERE to go to Xen Tan's website


A close up photo of the bottle

Overall, this product is awesome! As some of you know, I have long been a fan of Xen Tan products. The end result is always a rich olive color, long lasting and never streaky. I highly recommend Xen Tan Dark Lotion to anyone who is looking for a super dark & long lasting tan...whether it be for everyday or a special event! 

Thanks for reading,
Carly 

Disclaimer: Xen Tan kindly gifted me a bottle of Dark Lotion. I have another bottle of this product that I purchased with my own money. All opinions, suggestions and photos are my own! 



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