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Nars Sheer Glow Foundation Review


Hi all! Today's post will feature Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. I've sampled this foundation a few times, and finally bought myself a full size bottle last week. I've tried and continue to try a lot of different foundations, so it's becoming harder to impress me. However, the first time I used this foundation I knew I really liked it! Read on for why...

Since I've been trying so many foundations I've decided to review them based on the main things I look for when debating whether or not to purchase a full size bottle...they are color, coverage, finish, wear, doesn't break me out & how easy it is to work with and remove. 

  • Color - Let me first start out by saying that I sampled 3 different colors. I'm really picky about color selection because I want the perfect match for my skin (well who doesn't?) and I won't settle for "close". Nars Sheer Glow has an impressive shade range. Nars offers a wide color selection that I think would easily suit all skintones, ethnicity and undertones (ie cool/warm skin). I truly think that everyone could find a shade that could work for them! I like my foundations to have a stronger yellow undertone because I have warm skin with redness. The 3 colors I sampled were Stromboli, Punjab & Fiji. Fiji is a good match for when I am sans self-tan (probably around NC20) and I purchased Punjab (I normally average about an NC30-35). I also wanted to try Stromboli as I know some of my favorite bloggers (Miss Natty & Cheryl) who I wear the same shades in a lot of foundations use this shade. Stromboli matched well when I'm really tan but since I'm not always sporting a dark tan, Punjab seemed to look better on my skin so I opted for that shade! I am still considering purchasing it though! 
  • Coverage - Don't let the name "Sheer" fool you. I actually wouldn't describe this foundation as sheer at all. Rather it's a build-able medium coverage which is actually what I prefer. Of course you could sheer this out if you mix it with a moisturizer if you wanted. The coverage is really good, and it covers the redness in my cheeks & nose pretty well. It also covers any other minor skin imperfections (ie blemishes, scars) well. I was pleasantly surprised how even & flawless this made my skin look!
  • Finish - Nars Sheer Glow really does give you a glow, but not in the way you might think from the name. It doesn't look shiny or even dewy, but rather it just makes your skin look luminous/radiant. It sounds silly, but the term "healthy glow" is a really good way to describe the finish here. I also like that it still looks likes my skin...just a better version!
  • Wear - This foundation isn't the longest lasting foundation I've worn by any means. I actually am not a fan of really long wearing foundations (ie Revlon Colorstay) because I find them difficult to remove. I always wear a primer, powder & makeup setting spray so wear time for me is always pushed to the max. This lasts through a full work day for me and I could probably do a light power touch up at lunchtime, but don't find that I really need to. I have normal skin so if I get shiny it's only a little bit by the sides of my nose or chin so I can't speak for oily skin or very dry skin.
  • Doesn't break me out - Nars Sheer Glow did not/has not broken me out. I was worried because I know it is not oil free (I even contacted Nars to confirm it!), but the foundation is fragrance free & non-comedogenic (won't clog pores) and I haven't had any troubles! Just make sure as always to completely remove your makeup at the end of the day.
  • How easy it is to work with & remove - Oh man this blends like a dream! Seriously that was my first thought when I was testing this out. I am so impressed by how easy this foundation is to work with. It doesn't dry down right away so you have plenty of time to blend it in before it sets. I think that texture wise this is one of the best foundations I've tried in terms of blend ability. I also find that this foundation works awesome with other foundations. I really like mixing it with my Laura Mercier Silk Creme. I'm a big fan of mixing foundations that have different textures/finishes together because I feel like they give you the most flawless look & color match! In regards to removing Nars Sheer Glow, I have no problems or worries at all. I absolutely can't stand when I wash my face and feel like their is still foundation on my skin. Nars Sheer Glow comes off easily with a face cleanser (I use Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil Free if you are curious). 





Nars Sheer Glow retails for $42 and you can find it at Sephora, Beauty.com & many department stores. If you'd like more product information, I'd recommend checking out this link: Nars Sheer Glow - Nars Official Website

Overall, I'm really loving this foundation so I wanted it to share it with you all. Nars Sheer Glow meets all the requirements of a foundation for me. I am so happy that I finally committed and bought a full size bottle! I think it's safe to say that this foundation has quickly become a go-to for me and a favorite of mine! 

Thanks for reading,

My Favorite Highlighters (Dior, MAC, Palladio, Hard Candy)


Today's post will feature My Favorite Highlighters. I have four to share with you today that I really enjoy using. Two of which are high end and the other two are ones you can find at the drugstore! 

I never really got into highlighter until this year. I thought highlighters would make face look shiny or glittery. I was so wrong! When wearing highlighter, I find that my face has a glow to it and makes my skin look radiant. I'm not a fan of glittery or frosty finishes (beware some highlighters ARE like this). I much prefer softer, smooth, with more of a shimmer/sheen. Below are some great options to check out if you currently use, or are curious about trying out highlighters!

My favorites...


  • Dior Amber Diamond - This is a luxury (
    $44 @ Sephora) highlighter. I wanted this one for awhile before picking it up. It's pretty pricey so I waited until Sephora was having a VIB sale. It's a highly raved about product and I always see it mentioned in the beauty blogs. I love it! This one has a lot shimmer but it's not glittery by any means. It does kick up power when you sweep it though. The casing is a tad bulky, but you can tell it's made well. It's so smooth to the touch and has a beautiful finish on the skin. The color is a rich mostly champagne that leans peachy. If you wear highlighter often or are in the market for a really nice one, then I would highly recommend giving this one a look! 
      

  • Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer Tiki - This product is an amazing highlighter you can find at the drugstore. I found mine at Walmart for $9.99. I really don't understand why it's labeled a bronzer because this is not a bronzer by any means (even for fair skin). The product itself comes in a sturdy compact with a see through lid and you get a lot of bang for your buck! The texture is very soft and it blends well. The color is a champagne but has yellow/gold undertones. I feel like this one out of the whole bunch looks the most natural on my skin. It's subtle enough for everyday use and never looks overdone. It looks amazing when your face catches the light....seriously try this one! This is a must have if you use highligher, and would be a great one if you are brand new to them! 

  • Palladio Mosaics Fairy Pink - I found this one in the clearance section at Bed, Bath & Beyond (I believe they were just not selling the brand there anymore). I paid around $4 with coupons & the sale, but I've seen it at Ulta for around $7.99 (remember you can use your Ulta $3.50 off $10 coupon). This was a product I wasn't sure I was going to like. I've been leery of pinky highlighters on my warm skin, but this is actually a really wearable shade. I love mosaic style face products because you can really customize the color you get. The texture is not as soft as the others (a tad powdery), but it still works just fine. If you like more white/pink highlighters, then I would check this one out! 
  • MAC Mineral Skinfinish Soft & Gentle - This was my first highlighter I owned. I bought it solely because I heard so many people rave and talk about it. This highlighter is very shimmery and has a noticeable frost on the cheeks. If you are looking for more subtle, I would skip this and go with one of the others ones. The color is a really pretty champagne/beige and really does add that glow I mentioned above. I know a lot of people wear this on a day basis, but I much prefer to wear this for a special event or night out look. If you like your highlight to stand out then this is your best bet!
Swatches...
(L to R) Palladio Fairy Pink, MAC Soft & Gentle, Dior Amber Diamond, Hard Candy Tiki


So there are my favorite highlighters that I have in my collection. I enjoy using all of them as none of them are exactly the same! I like that all of these have a different texture, shimmer factor, and color. It's fun to play around and pair each of them with different looks that I do! 

What are your favorite highlighters? Have you tried any of these?

Thanks for reading,
Carly

Revlon Colorstay Foundation Review


Today's post will feature Revlon Colorstay Foundation in combination/oily skin formula. For reference, I am about a MAC NC30 for reference and picked this up in the shade Warm Golden which is supposed to be a similar shade.

I want to mention right off the batch this is not a positive review for this much raved about foundation. I don't hate it by any means, but it did not work with/for my skin in multiple ways. 

I bought this at Walgreens after always seeing glowing reviews on it. I wanted to check it out for myself and see what I thought. I've been trying out a few different foundations lately and thought it might be helpful to share my opinions with you all. If I could only wear one makeup item it would be foundation so you could imagine I'm a tough critic!

My thoughts...

  • Smell - This foundation totally has an odd smell to it. It's not offensive, but it reminds me almost of wet paint which I think is really strange for face makeup. This wasn't a deal breaker for me, but you really smell it when you are applying it. It seemed to go away after that. 

  • Color - It was so hard to find a color that worked for me. I did a ton of color researching before my trip and ended up going with Warm Golden which seemed the most yellow/golden to me. I found that most of the other shades ran way too pink for my liking and I knew they wouldn't work for me at all. Even though this was the most golden shade, I still found it too peachy once it dried down. This foundation was strange because when I first swatched it, it looked like it would work great. I gave it a few minutes to dry down (takes awhile) it turned this peachy/orange shade. I still decided to give it a try and see how it would look after a long work day...read more below. 
  • Coverage - I don't think it's completely full coverage because a few spots/redness still peeked through. It's for sure a really thick base so I think that mentally tricks you into thinking you are getting some good coverage. You for sure feel this foundation on your skin...not a big fan of that. If you have pretty clear/even skin I think this would be way too much for you. 
  • Wear - This is supposed to be a long lasting foundation and it was. However, mid day this foundation oxidized so bad on me (too orange) that I was almost embarrassed that my face was too dark for my body. It matched find just fine when I first applied it. It did go a little shiny on me but otherwise it was still there, and didn't go patchy. 
  • Removing it - This is the second biggest deal breaker for me besides the color changing. This foundation was ridiculously difficult to remove. I mean that I washed my face and this was still there! I had to scrub and scrub to remove this. I mean on a typical night I wash and use a toner, but this was a absolute pain. I started panicking that I would get breakouts since it felt like this was still on my face. I think that a lot of people who get acne from this foundation this is exactly the reason why! After this experience, I did the arm test. I put the foundation on the my arm and blended it in. I then washed my arm and I could feel and see the foundation was still there. This was a dealbreaker for me because I know I would always worry it wasn't completely removed!


Overall, this foundation just didn't do it for me. When I first tried it I thought it would maybe be great, but as the day wore on it just didn't look right. The color changing issue and the removable issue are just two things that I just won't deal with. Of course everyone wants their foundation to last (24 hour claim!) but I much rather know that it is fully washed off my face and do a little powder during the day than put up with this.


Have you tried Revlon Colorstay? Did it work for you?

Thanks for reading,
Carly

Cherry Culture Haul



Hi all! I've been doing a lot (way too much) beauty shopping these past few weeks. Every time I open my email I get some new deal that's too good to pass up. Cherry Culture has a lot of NYX products (many I can't find in stores) and some of their item prices seem cheaper too. I thought I'd share my purchases from Cherry Culture with you and brief first impressions...

  • NYX Power Blush - Taupe - I can't seem to find this shade in stores anywhere and I have wanted it for awhile. I know a lot of fair skinned ladies use this as a contour, but I actually like it as a blush on my skin. It has that grey/brown/almost purple undertone to it, but I don't find that it makes me look muddy or bruised as some have said. I can see myself liking this one a lot.
  • NYX Brow Shaper - This is a holy grail product for me. I have a scar in my eyebrow and I use this over that area to prep for brow pencil/powder. This works like magic! It's for sure a must have for me.
  • NYX Super Skinny - Love this...I'm a huge fan of liquid liner and this is great for those who want a really precise liner.
  • NYX Super Fat - I've owned this own before and I really like it. It's super quick and easy to use. Since it's so big it offers control and if you have a unsteady hand this would be perfect for you. 
  • Amuse Long Power Brush - I wanted some extra powder brushes for blush/bronzer and these were dirt cheap so I got them...they were awful! Good thing they were only like $1 something.
  • Japonesque Touch Up Razor Set - This is awesome. I tried it last night to shop my eyebrows and WOW it actually works. I need to do a full review to show you this one!
  • NYX Xtreme Lip Cream (Natural & Nude Peach Fuzz) - These are ok. I wasn't wow'ed but I'm not overly disappointed. The texture is thick and dries to a matte finish. I don't find them drying but they aren't hydrating either. Both colors turned too pink for my liking once they dried on my lips.
  • LA Girl Nude Polish (Fairytale) - I'm a big fan of beige/gray nail polishes and this fits right into that collection. It's a light medium gray that has a really subtle shimmer to it. It kind of reminds me of Sally Hansen Wet Cement but a lighter.
  • LA Colors Craze Nail Polish (Jungle Fever) - This is a really pretty green/teal/blue hybrid. It's like a mix of OPI Ski Teal We Drop & Nicole by OPI Khloe Had Little Lam Lam but lighter.



Overall, I'm pretty happy with my items. I was however disappointed in Cherry Culture's customer service. They didn't bother to respond to two of my inquires about my order. I even contacted them when the order was still "in process". I was supposed to receive free shipping if I spent over $40 and they charged me for it. It was only a few bucks but still it was an offer I should have received. I also want to note that the shipping took almost 3 weeks. I'm used to really fast shipping from most makeup websites, so I was just a little surprised. I probably won't be purchasing anytime soon because I'm all stocked up on NYX products now...the main reason I shopped with CC. 

Have you ever shopping with Cherry Culture? Are you a fan of any of these products?

Thanks for reading,
Carly

Using Old Makeup? A Little About Beauty Expiration Dates


Hi all, I wanted to share a quick tip & site that I found. I'm not sure if any of you are, but I myself am a stickler about makeup/skincare expiration dates.  I'm super aware of expirations for face makeup, skincare, tanners, etc that go on my face. Don't worry I'm not going to include images, if you look up expired makeup - it's not pretty.

I wanted this post to be different than the typical "throw out your makeup" article you'd see in cosmo. This site below has been awesome at helping me find out exactly when a product was manufactured. It has a running list of many popular cosmetic brands (Benefit, MAC, L'Oreal to name a few) Ever notice the little numbers/letters on the bottom of a bottle and think what do they mean? Those are actually the "batch code" and can tell you when a product was made. This site can do all the work for you just by selecting a brand and typing in the numbers. There is a video and photo to show you where to find these!


Why would you want to know about this? Two reasons...

1) Do you really want to be using expired makeup all over your face? This could lead to breakouts, skin irritation, infection, other skin problems, as well as bacteria. Of course you might not experience as harsh of effects, but why would you want to risk it? 

2) What if you find a great item on clearance or you beauty shop online and the products come to you expired already? I would feel cheated. For example, I can tell you that a company I worked at before once gave me gratis (free product) that was expired. I got a lipstick that was from 2005 and this was last summer 2011. That's ridiculous.


So what can I do? Please do not think by any means I'm telling you to toss all of your expired cosmetics away! Rather I just wanted to inform you all about potential effects if you keep and continue to wear really old makeup. 

I personally keep a running list of when I open a product for the first time so I can remember the exact time frame. It sounds silly, but I've done this method for a few years now and my skin is thanking me. You can keep receipts or just write dates down on a notepad. Another way to know if your makeup is getting close to the end date is to check it out - it may start to separate (why I bought a new bottle of my silk creme - my first bottle was from 2010) and start to smell funny (the biggest example for this one is mascara!) Another tip is don't share makeup with anyone...I'm a germ freak so that's easy for me, but be careful about makeup testers at stores too (make sure they sanitize or try to only swatch on your hand if it's something like lipstick - what I prefer to do!)

Do you know how to read expiration dates? Have you had any bad experiences?

Thanks for reading,
Carly

Renpure Products I've Been Trying Out!


Today's post will feature Renpure Brazilian Keratin 4-Day Straightening Flat Iron Spray & Australian Wind & Water Beach Spray. Renpure was kind enough to offer to have me try & test out some of their products. I was even featured on their facebook page...a nice surprise that I had no idea about! Renpure asked which products interested me, and I knew I wanted to try and I was really curious about these two! I previously blogged about my love for their Brazilian Keratin Straightening Conditioner (here)

Renpure products are...
Renpure Brazilian Keratin 4-Day Straightening Flat Iron Spray
Styling with a flat iron drives this blend of hydrating keratin, deep into the hair structure and locks-in strong, straight hold. Coconut oil penetrates the hair, filling cracks & smoothing the hair cuticle which helps restore softness & shine. Shea butter conditions & insulates with natural moisture & protects from styling heat & UV rays. The result is beautiful, straight, silky-smooth hair for up to 4 days.

My thoughts
The first thing I noticed and loved was that it smelled just like my beloved conditioner. Of course it's from the same line so I was assuming/hoping it would smell the same! It's a really fresh coconut type smell...honestly it reminds me of the beach as silly as that sounds. 

I wanted to try this flat iron spray because if I just blow dry my hair and then do nothing it doesn't look great. My hair tends to be dry and frizzy so anything that would make it look better when it's straight I was interested in! My hair just looks and feels limp if I don't do any styling! I split the week how I wear my hair - either straight or curly (I use a curling wand) and I wanted a product that was lightweight and would make my hair really straight. My hair is really long and heavy and this product dealt with that really well.

I used this a few times and I'm a fan! I can't make a claim at the 4 day straight because I wash my hair every other day, but for the day and a half it was straight it stayed pin straight. I really liked that this wasn't heavy or sticky at all either...a common issue I find with flat iron sprays. The price $5.99 is totally worth trying this out and you can find it at drugstores. If you are looking for a new flat iron spray then I would check this out for sure!

Australian Wind & Water Beach Spray
Create fresh from the beach, tousled waves & texture to straight, fine hair or pump up already curly hair. This blend of ingredients has unique holding properties. Coconut oil absorbs instantly, adding moisture and shine. Sea Kelp extracts form a protective web, locking in moisture, helping create beautiful waves, texture & shine.


My thoughts
I picked this spray because I wanted something to use when I wear my hair curly (my favorite way to wear it). I've been curious about hair products that would help "enhance" the curls or just make it look nicer - does that make sense? I used this after curling my hair and after letting it cool down. I then did 2-3 spritz and then lightly scrunched. It added light body and a lot of texture to the look. 

I have naturally straight hair so I can't speak for the girls with natural curl, but I bet this would be awesome to scrunch in your hair when it's wet then air dry or diffuse! 

I liked that this product definitively gave me that effortless curls look - like they were natural.

I'm liking this product as an addition to my curling wand routine because it adds texture, body and wave to my hair/curls. It's not going to give you extreme hold or anything like that, but it will for sure adds that "light something extra" to your style...that's exactly how I described it to myself the first time I used it!


Have you tried any Renpure products?
You can learn more about their products at Renpure.com!

Thanks for reading,
Carly

*Disclaimer: This product was gifted to me by Renpure. As always, my reviews are 100% my opinion and honest. I would never write a positive review on something I didn't like!


St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse


Today's post will feature St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse. This sunless tanner was mentioned in a favorites post a few weeks ago (here). I've really been enjoying using this lately because the color is really believable and its super easy & fast to put on!

I originally bought the dark version of this (black bottle) and it was absolutely awful. It was a big incredible hulk green mess! I decided to head back to Sephora to exchange it for this original version. I've seen this raved about all over the web and I wanted to try it out for myself. 

It's a pretty big pump bottle (8.0oz) and it costs $40. Like I've said before, I don't mind spending a pretty penny if something works great. The pump is easy to control and I haven't had any leaks or spills with this. The mousse itself is a rich dark brown foam. It looks a lot darker when it first comes out (see photos below) but is lighter as you blend it on your skin. The dark brown color acts as a color guard so you know exactly where you are putting it. After you are done spreading it over your body (you can use this on your face too) it looks like you have a nice tan going! This product does have a scent but it's a clean smell and doesn't really linger after you put it on. This mousse is one of the least stinky tanners I've used. 

St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse is so easy to work with and blend. I've only used a self tanning mitt to apply this and I don't plan on trying any other ways. Tanning mitts are awesome because they literally do all the work for you!

I've found I really like self tanning mousses because they take a lot less time to apply, and dry really fast too. These are huge perks if you are a self tanner like myself who can get lazy sometimes. I do find that self tanning mousses are not super dark and don't last as long as lotion would. However, the trade off with less time is a pretty good reason so I make it work. You can always do extra coats of this too. I typically always do at least 2. I'd say this gives me a medium to dark color...it's pretty close to how an actual tan would look on me. 




I think that all levels of self tanners would really enjoy this product. After using it for awhile I can see why it's such a cult product. This is one of those products that lives up to the hype! It's pricey, but if you only use it 1-2x a week like me it can last awhile. I'm really happy with this tanner and will continue to use year round. I'd recommend checking it out if you are looking for new favorite sunless tan!

Have you tried St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse?

Thanks for reading,
Carly

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