Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Going Cruelty Free + Brands on my Radar

Hi lovelies! Happy Hump Day!

Today's post is a little different- and a bit more serious than usually. I'm going to be talking about going cruelty free with my makeup, along with reasons why and some brands that are on my radar and ones that I won't be purchasing from any more. This is a topic that is important to me and I hold near and dear to my heart. I'm a huge animal lover and think that it's horribly wrong for cosmetic companies to test on animals.

The very first reason for wanting to go cruelty free is simple- I don't believe that animals should be harmed and tested on. I will admit that I have a lot of makeup products that are not cruelty free at the moment, and  plan is to use up those items and no longer purchase from those brands and companies. I also believe in using things that I already own, so that is why I will continue to use them until they are finished up.

So many animals are harmed and killed through animal testing. It's something that truly breaks my heart and makes my stomach hurt. Why do these poor creatures have to suffer and harmed just so we can find some joy in putting makeup on our faces, etc.? I don't want to go too in depth about this, so I'm going to leave it at the fact that I no longer wish to support companies who test on animals. I've been cruelty free with my skin, body, and hair care for more than a year now, so it's time to no longer purchased makeup that's not cruelty free either. If you want more information on this topic, there's plenty of articles on the internet you can check out!

There's tons of great companies who are cruelty free, a lot of which I already purchase from. Some companies are owned by parnet companies who do test on animals, which I haven't filled decided who I feel about yet and won't be talking about in depth today. I do believe most of the high end companies I purchase from are cruelty free, and a few drugstore ones as well, so I will name a few if anyone is curious.

High End
Bare Minerals
Beauty Blender
Bite Beauty
Charlotte Tilbury
It Comsmetics
Kat Von D
Marc Jacobs Beauty
The Balm
Too Faced
Urban Decay

Drugstore/Affordable Makeup
BH Cosmetics
Hard Candy
Makeup Geek
Makeup Revolution
Physicians Formula
Real Techniques
Sonya Kashuk
Wet n Wild

These definitely are not all of the cruelty free brands, but ones that stand out to me most. I haven't tried all of these brands, but there's definitely some on my radar and ones that I've tried, but will be making a more conscious effort to try out their products instead of non cruelty free ones.

The top of my list is definitely drugstore ones, which are Wet n Wild, Elf, Pixi, and and Pacifica.

And if you're curious of brands that I'm no longing going to be purchasing from, here's a short and quick list; L'Oreal, Maybelline, Covergirl, Revlon (most bigger brand name makeup companies in the drugstore are the biggest for animal testing), Mac, Estée Lauder, Clinique Dior, Makeup Forever, Yves Saint Laurent.

A lot of these companies make some of my favorite makeup products, but I'm excited to test out and find replacements for them. I know this topic isn't for everyone, but all I ask is to educate yourself on what goes on during animal testing. I hope this post doesn't come off as pushy or judgmental to those who do not wish to go this route with their makeup, because I mean no offense. My intention of posting this is truly to hope others gain awareness of what goes on in the world in regards to animal testing and cruelty!  And if you made it through this post and enjoyed it, then thank you for reading and sticking around!

Also, if you are interested in brands that are cruelty free for Skin and Body care, along with more makeup brands that I didn't list, Cruelty Free Kitty has a great list that you can check out.

If anyone wants a post on specific products that I have my eyes on from cruelty free brands, let me know and I'd be happy to do one! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation

Hi friends!

I've been testing out the new Wet n' Wild Photo Focus Foundation for about a month now and I though I would share my thought on it with all of you. I was pretty excited when this Foundation came out, and after hearing a ton of amazing hype about it, I definitely knew I had to try it. Wet n' Wild is a brand that's been on my radar lately because 1. they are cruelty free, and 2. they are ridiculously affordable.

I don't normally have high hopes for cheaper drugstore makeup, even though you and I both know that dispite there being tons of gems in the drugstore among the hits and misses of certain brands, I always assume the worst for some reason. But after hearing all the hype of this in the beauty community, (and my drugstores being out of stock of this baby for weeks) I did in fact, have high hopes.

This foundation comes in 20 different shades and it is said to have been tested in 7 different types of lighting conditions to make your skin look flawless in every single one of them. Those seem to be some hefty claims, and if you want to read more about which light settings they tested in then you can click here.

This foundation is ridiculously affordable at $5.99, which had me even more curious to try it.
The packaging is really nice, with a glass bottle and there is a spatula attached to the lid for easy application. I thought this was a bit weird at first, but I actually like it. I prefer foundations that come with some type of applicator, so that was a win in my book.

My Thoughts

-This foundation applies really nice and has a great formula. It goes on matte, which is always a plus for my combo oily skin. It dries super fast, which I've heard complaints about, but doesn't bother me since I apply my foundation in sections.
-It has medium coverage that I don't find to be very buildable. It feels light weight on the skin.
-I've applied it with a beauty blender, the Sigma F80, and the Wet n Wild Flat Top brush, and they all work well and pretty much the same. I've also tested it with a few different primers, and setting sprays, concealers, etc. and always seem to get the same results with it.
-I do find this to be long wearing, but my only complaint is that my face does feel pretty oily at the end of the day. However, even though my face feel a bit oily, the makeup still looks good and doesn't look like a cakey mess. I'm not sure I would recommend this to someone with super oily skin, unless you can get it to work with some good mattifying products.

So overall, this isn't the absolute best foundation that I've tried, but I think it's pretty good for how affordable it is. For now, I'm really enjoying it and it's been my most used foundation lately. I'm attempting to go cruelty free with my makeup so this is one that I will definitely reconsider repurchasing in the future.

Have you tried the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation? 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

February Favorites

Hello! Today I'm sharing my monthly favorites for February. I don't have many favorites this month, but I thought I'd share a few things that I've been enjoying anyways. 

The makeup favorites this month are minimal, mostly because I just did a 'shopping my stash' post last week, which are most of the products that I've been using. If you want to check that post out, click here, and you can see some makeup that I've been using and loving over there!

First up is the Derma E Purifying Daily Detox Scrub. This stuff is seriously awesome and I love how it feels on my face, and how my face feels after I use it. I did a more in depth review on it here if you want to see more of my thoughts on it. 

The first of the two makeup products I've been using is a blush by Majolica Majorca that I bought a while ago when I wanted to try out some Asian makeup brands. I mostly bought it because the packaging is adorable, but I did really love this when I first got it and used it a ton. I pulled it last week, after I did my shopping my stash post, and have been using it everyday since. The shade I have is a pretty peachy shade that looks natural and give a light flush of color to my cheeks. 

The second makeup product is the Colourpop Ultra Satin Liquid lipstick in the shade Littlestitous. I love the shade and it's a great everyday pink/nude. My only issue with this is that it stains my lips hot pink. My ultra matte one that I have does the same. Has anyone else had this happen to them with these?

My last two items are two new essential oils that I bought from Eden's Garden. I picked up a new Peppermint oil, which is my most used essential oil, and I also picked up one called Head Ease which is a blend for headaches. It's a nice lighter blend that's soothing. I like diffusing it as well as using it topically for headaches. I still prefer peppermint if my headache is really bad, but head ease is a nice edition to my collection. 

What are some products that you've been loving this month? Share them with me in the comments! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Current Reading List | Books I want to read this year

Happy Friday! Do you guys have any fun plans this weekend? The weather here has been crazy warm for February, but it will be back to snow and cold this weekend. I'm so ready for Spring time. 

Before we get to todays post, I wanted to apologize on being behind on reading/commenting on all of your blog posts. I think I got caught up (as of yesterday), and I hope I didn't miss any of your posts. If I did, please let me know! And also, sorry if some of you got a spam of comments from me, from not catching up for multiple days in a row! ;)

Back to today's post- I'm sharing my current reading list! I haven't done a book talk post in a while, so I thought I'd share a bit of what I'm planning to read, and what I'm currently reading. I've done a few posts or videos like this last year, and with no surprise, there will be some repeat books on here from my last reading list because I failed to read them the first time I said I was going to. This is mainly a list of books that I just want to accomplish reading sometime this year. I also have a few books that I've already read that I want to re read. If I truly love a book, sometimes my heart calls for me to re read it again and again.

These are my 3 absolute favorite books of all time, and are ones that I definitely plan to re read this year.
I've loved The Outsiders since I was 13 and have read this books so many times. It's been a few years since I've read it, so I definitely want/need to read it again soon. This was the very first book that I ever remember loving (maybe besides Harry Potter), and it holds a special place in my heart.
Looking for Alaska by John Green is my favorite young adult book, and I've mentioned it before a few times. I've read this book 3 times already, and I didn't get around to re reading it last year. 
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is a the very top of my favorite book list, but the other two come very close behind it. This is the book that I'm currently reading right now, and it will be my third time reading it.
I know some might think its silly to re read books so many times, but these three books are just amazing and they are ones that I'll truly love forever. 

New Reads
And here lies by precious stack of books that I haven't read yet and I want to read this year sometime.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is one that I've wanted to read for so long. I actually started reading this already a while ago, but it got lost in the shuffle of reading other things. I don't often start reading something and then pick it back up again, but I'm making a serious point to do so with this one.
The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki has also been one I've wanted to read for a while. I loved her other book called The Traitors Wife, and I've heard this one is just as good. 
Room by Emma Donoghue is another that I've wanted to read for forever, before it was even made into a movie. I haven't seen the movie yet either, but I'm looking forward to getting around to reading this.
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare has also been at the top of my to-read list since it came out last year. Cassandra Clare is one of my all time favorite young adult fantasy authors, and I loved her Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. I expect to love this one too.
Lastly, The Law of Attraction is probably the book that I'm most excited to read this year. I got this for Christmas, and I will probably start reading it as soon as I'm done with the Tea Rose. I've really enjoyed Inspirational books the past few years, and I find myself wanting to read more and more of them.

So these are all the books that I'm hoping to read this year. I've had them all of my shelf since last year, or even longer, but hey I like hoarding collecting books. 

Have you read any of these books that I've mentioned before? What are you currently reading, or plan to read soon?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Shop my Stash | February

Hi friends! How was your weekend? For today's post I'm sharing which makeup products I've pulled out recently that I've been negleticing. Shopping in my own makeup stash is nice to revisit some old favorites of mine that have been overshadowed by others or newer things.

 I seriously neglect too much of the makeup I own, so I'm sharing some things that I've put into my rotation recently! I'm hoping to do posts like this monthly so I can make myself reach for different options in my makeup collection more.

First up is cheek products. I've been using both the Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil and the original Chocolate Soleil for bronzing and contouring. I was never a fan of the milk chocolate for contouring because it was a bit orange, so this was a bronzer that I use to dislike and I preferred the original. This was before I bronzed up my face on a daily basis and would just contour instead (makeup mistakes I use to make I suppose?). I pulled the milk chocolate out last week and tried tried it for bronzing and I loved it. So I also pulled out the original Chocolate Soleil which I have a mini size of, and used it for contouring. They make a great combo!

Next is two highlighters. I love the Lorac light souring highlight in moonlight and have talked about it many times. I wasn't reaching for it a lot so I make an effort to use it more again. I also pulled up my NARS Multipul in Copacabana, which hasn't been using in forever. I've had this thing for years, it was the first highlighter I ever bought LOL. I was checking to see if it was still creamy, and it definitely was. I never use to be a fan of cream highlighters but now I enjoy them more. This one is beautiful, and if also pairs well with the lorac one on top of if!

I bought a smaller size of the Smashbox primer water a while ago and haven't used it much. Most of the Smashbox printers have made my face breakout, and I've kind of thought this one did too. But instead of spraying it directly on my face with nothing else but moisturizer on it, I'm trying it out as kind of a setting spray instead.

I also pulled out my Australis brow kit. I get bored with my routines often, so I started using this again. I use the powder and wax to add some color to my brows first, and then go in my with Nyx brow pencil. Also, please excuse the messy packaging, I need to clean this thang.

The two shadow palettes I've been giving love to are the Lorac Pro 3 and my Mac palette. I've been into more natural makeup looks and both these palettes are good for that. The Pro 3 is super neutral and soft toned so it makes for a good everyday makeup palette. And my Mac palette is super easy for me to through a shadow look together in a minute or two.

Have you been shopping your makeup stash lately? What makeup products are in your current everyday rotation?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Skin Detox with Derma E | Purifying Detox Scrub* and Charcoal Mask*

Can you guys believe it's already into the first week of February? It's no secret that a huge goal that everyone makes for the new year is to get healthy. I've always been obsessed with skin care, so having healthy skin is a constant goal of mine too. We should strive for all around health, not just what we put into our body, but what we put on it too!

I was kindly sent the Derma E Purifying Daily Detox Scrub* and the Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask*. These are two products from Derma E that have been on my radar for the longest time. I've been testing them out, and I'm ready to share my thoughts on them! Derma E also included two sample packs of the Amazing Grass Green Superfood, which was super awesome!

What I love the most about Derma E is that they are a very ethical brand. All of their products are 100% vegan and cruelty free, free of GMOs, parabens, gluten, mineral oil, dyes, etc. and are made with a high percentage of natural and organic ingredients. They are also eco friendly and made with 100% recyclable materials.
Both of these products contain activated charcoal, which works amazing for my skin. It's a perfect ingredient to help Detox you skin!

Purifying Daily Detox Scrub *

I'm going to start with my favorite of the two products, and it's the face scrub.
This is a gentle and natural face scrub meant for exfoliating and lifting impurities and micro pollutants from your face. It contains some awesome and powerful ingredients like activated charcoal, green tea, apricot powder, and some potassium, mineral, and antioxidant rich seaweeds. It's ideal for oily skin, but safe for sentive skin. You can read more about the ingredients and what their purpose is here.

My skin is combo-oily, but has been on the dryer side (thanks winter!) and this worked wonderful for me. It's not a super abrasive scrub, and it's very gentle so I can see why this would be safe for reactive skin. It has a nice fresh, soothing, and slightly cooling feeling to it. It works very well to both exfoliate and cleanse my face. I always feel refreshed after using it, and like I mentioned before, charcoal works amazing for my skin. I'll definitely be repurchasing this later after I've finished it up.

Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask*

This mask is a 2-in-1 mask with exfoliating properties. You let the mask sit on your skin for 5-10 minutes until it dries, and then add a little water to your face and then you can use it as an exfoliator. To me, this one was a little more rough than the scrub. This mask was designed to rid your pores of toxins and Detox your skin from harmful micro pollutants. It also is made with a ton of awesome ingredients such as activated charcoal, apricot seed powder, kaolin and bentonite clay, and also a ton of potassium, magnesium, and antioxidant rich seaweeds. It also claims to be best for oily skin, and safe for reactive skin as well. Kaolin clay is another ingredient that works very well for my skin! If you want to read more in depth, click here!

To me this mask was just okay. I liked it, but didn't love it. It actually worked really well on my skin, and every time I use it my face felt clean and fresh. However it's one of those masks that had a slight 'burning' sensation when you first put it on. It doesn't last long but it can be a bit uncomfortable. The mask dries down super fast, and made my face feel super tight, and also uncomfortable. When I take the mask off, I wet a wash cloth and gently exfoliate while removing the mask. My face also gets super red after I use it.

Dispute the few issues I had with it, it gave me good results (other than my face being red), and I will finish it up, but probably not repurchase. I personally wouldn't recommend this if you have sensitive skin.

Overall I was happy to try out these products, and they worked well for my skin. I didn't suffer for any breakouts, and if anything these helped heal and breakouts that I had. I definitely loved the Purifying Detox Scrub* and it has become a staple in my skincare routine!

Have you tried either of these products from Derma E? What is your favorite Derma E product?
*This post is sponsored by Derma e and powered by Brandbacker. All opinions are 100% honest and my own!*

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Nyx Ritualistic Illuminator Review

Hello! Happy Valentines Day lovelies!

Today I'm sharing my thoughts on the newest edition to my highlighter collection. I received the Nyx Illuminator in Ritualistic in the Ulta beauty box I received in December from their joy it forward program. I haven't tried any highlighters from Nyx, so I was happy to see this in my box. I'm going to try and keep this review short and sweet so I don't ramble on too much!

These Nyx illuminators come in a few different shades. Ritualistic is a pretty white gold shade, which is what I tend to gravitate towards when choosing highlights. These are super affordable at $8.99 and can be found at Ulta, and Nyx's website. Target may have them as well, but I haven't personally looked. My local target just stepped up their game and added a tons of Nyx makeup, which is a nice change from their small section they use to have.

From Ulta's website 
"Brighten up your skin with any of these Illuminators by NYX Cosmetics. The radiant shimmer diffuses light so your skin looks softer and younger while adding a subtle glow. Gleam through the day wearing any of these Illuminators for a natural touch of radiance! Complements the structure of the face with a touch of luminosity."

My Thoughts
This definitely matches the description and brightens up your skin with a subtle glow. It is not a super intense highlighter, and anyone who loves a nice subtle sheen to their cheeks should check this out. The formula isn't super soft or buttery (like Anastasia or Becca highlighters), so I think that makes it perfect for not picking up too much product and giving you a highlight seen from space. I love the white golden shade of it, and I'm enjoying wearing this on days that I don't want an intense highlighter. It's super affordable too, and total steal! 

Have you tried any of the Nyx Illuminators before? If so, share your thoughts on them in the comments!