Welcome back to my beauty blog, everybody!

Before my relaunch post, I did post about redesigning, which I did. I brought everything over to WordPress just so I could customize and streamline things a little more. I hope you guys are liking the new format.

Now on to my favorites 🙂

I haven’t been posting monthly beauty favorites on my channel for the last year. I’ve been mostly posting seasonal favorites. However, I have sort of missed the monthly beauty updates so I thought it was the perfect way to restart this blog – have a post about the things I really loved in May.

The L’Oreal Infallible shadows still end up being favorites for me, after all these years playing with all sorts of eye shadows. For the price, these are some of the best and most beautiful shadows. I feel like they’ve also become sort of forgotten amongst just the massive amount of makeup available now, both in the drugstore and in department stores. Their creamy, smooth, blendable texture and metallic, pigmented finish are just lovely. They are so easy to apply with both your finger or a brush, and don’t leave any fall down under the eye. They don’t fade on me and don’t crease either (although I always use primers, some shadows still crease. Super lame.)

Amber Rush is definitely my favorite in the line. It’s a warm bronze with a ton of shimmer in it. It’s quite similar in color to Mac’s Tan Pigment. The particles in this are a little bigger – it’s technically a pressed pigment but the metallic bits in it aren’t as finely milled as the Mac pigment. For all of you that are Rose gold lovers, I totally recommend this shadow.

One of my best friends from YouTube and beauty queen Eshani created her own cosmetics company, Rani Cosmetics, and I couldn’t be prouder of her!

Her first release is line of Sparked Dazzling Lipsticks in six shades. She started her company with the goal of creating colors that would make everybody feel like a queen, which is what Rani means in Hindi. She also felt like there was a gap in the beauty industry, with the availability of colors for deeper skin tones lacking. I completely agree and was very excited when she filled me in on her ideas when she first started brainstorming for Rani Cosmetics.

As you can see, they look pretty bold in swatch form. They’re definitely colors that will catch your eye, and on deeper skin tones will be incredibly wearable.

For those of you with paler skin tones, like me, fret not because they are quite wearable.

In the swatches, I passed the lipstick over a few times to reach full opacity. These lipsticks have a slightly balmy texture so they don’t apply full on but can be built up that way. Their formula is similar to a Lustre formula form Mac – there’s color deposited for sure but is easily worn in a less full on way. It’s a lipstick that’s easy to manipulate to your needs.

I’m sort of in a “stained but better” phase in my makeup at the moment so I particularly love these lipsticks for their formula, and the ability to dab on the lipstick and give a beautiful wash of color to the lips. The colors Bindi and Lassi are the colors that I especially like to do that with. I’m not a super fan of orange on my skin tone so dabbing Lassi on my lips gives an orange lip without being too orange for me. Bindi I like to dab on when I want a red toned lip without being too bold of a lip for everyday.

Another way I like to use the finish to my advantage is to mix the colors together. I recently made the most beautiful pinky-coral lip by mixing Syrup and Lassi on my lips. I also have mixed Tattoo with Bindi to get to a dusty red color on the lip.

When it comes to the shimmer in the lipsticks, the shimmer for sure shows up and leaves a twinkly, feminine, but still wearable sparkle on the lips. I know Mac released lipsticks like this in the past, as well as just released lipsticks again with a sparkle running through it. Those were much more dry than the Rani Cosmetics ones. I know Eshani took care to add in moisturizing ingredients so that the lips were left feeling good while wearing the lipsticks.

As a whole, I’ve found a lovely place in my makeup routine with these lipsticks, and I love the care that Eshani has put into her products. From the packaging, to the products themselves, they were impeccably designed and put together. Just look at the packaging! I love all the design that went into her products, and the lipsticks themselves perform wonderfully.

I’ll have a video up soon with a more in-depth look at how they apply, so keep your eyes peeled for that 😉

To be honest, I haven’t been wearing heavy, or full-on makeup all that much in the last year. Occasionally I get in the mood to really do a full glam, but most of the time I wear a pretty sheer tint on the skin, a wash of color on the lids, I do my brows, and wear mascara. Recently I’ve been feeling like the shape of my eyes get a little lost under my brows so I’ve been adding a tiny bit of liner to my eyes to just define my eyes a little bit more.

For my lower lash line, I like to add just a bit of brown pencil liner and smudge just a bit to make it look just slightly defined, and a little smoky. I generally just use whatever is available on my desk, but I’ve used up a lot of brown liners over the last year, so I’ve specifically switched to the Wet N’ Wild brown brow pencil. I bought it because I was hoping it’d be a good drugstore brow pencil. It’s a bit too soft for my liking to use on my brows, so I’ve been using it as an eye liner instead. It reminds me quite a bit of the original Benefit eye liners. They had pencil liners back in like 2004/2005 that were really nothing special in terms of makeup nowadays, but back then was my go-to liner because it was soft enough to smudge, the right shade of brown (not too ashy), and didn’t budge once applied. I miss those. Nostalgically, I really miss those. They replaced them with a different line of twist up liners (not as good), and then got rid of pencil liner all together that wasn’t part of their BadGal line. :/ Anyways, the Wet N’ Wild liner is really nice, for being like $2!

For the upper lash line, sometimes I’ll run the Wet N’ Wild liner and smudge, or I’ll use the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown to get a more precise line, that isn’t as harsh as a black liner. I received that mini size in some sort of point perk set from Sephora, I believe. I like the formula – it sets really quickly and doesn’t budge at all throughout the day. The tip of the liner is really precise, to create a really thin line if you need it.

For somebody that used to change my nails like twice a week, it may come as a surprise to some of you long time followers that I’ve gotten into gel polish. The thing is – I don’t know why I didn’t get into it before now.

I can safely say that it’s been almost a year and a half since I stopped painting my nails so much. I’d like to say it’s because I started teaching preschool, but honestly it’s because the need and passion has died down. Not all the way, but I’m not in the same place as I was a few years ago, when I needed ALL the polish and had to ALWAYS change my nail polish.

What finally drove me to really get into gel polishes, was that in the summer I’m going on vacation for about 2 weeks, and I wanted to get gel nails done before I go. Then I realized that I could just buy all the things to do gel nails on my own, and if I used all of it at least 3 times, it would essentially pay for itself. So I bought a lamp off of Amazon, and found the brand Pink Gellac online (I liked their color range, and the results that people were posting online), bought their top coat, base coat, and primer, and bought the color Vintage Nude. I figured Vintage Nude, which is a mauve-y pink, nude color, would be a good one to start with, and if I wanted to, could easily wear for 2 weeks on vacation.

While looking at gel polishes online, I stumbled upon a product called Hydracol, which turns any regular polish into a gel polish. You mix equal parts regular polish with the Hydracol (no more than 60% regular polish should be used in your mixture or else it won’t set), and then cure your polish like any regular gel polish. I was even more excited then to have a gel system, because that opened up my entire collection to become a gel polish, and I didn’t have to start purchasing colors in a gel formula, and essentially have double of everything.

I’ve used the Hydracol three times already, with 2 jelly formulas from OPI, and with Cajun Shrimp by OPI. As I’ve gotten more practice with the gel system, I’ve gotten better at the whole process. It’s taken a lot of trial and error to figure out just how thin my coats should be, and how to properly prep my nails for gel, and then how to properly apply top coats and such. I’ve successfully used the gel system about 4 times now, and I’ve had great, long lasting results with all of the products.

Each gel manicure has also lasted a full 2 weeks with no chipping, no real wear to the polish, and only really signs of visible growth that would make me want to change my polish. I’m somebody that’s pretty rough on my hands so I’ve been quite pleased with the results. I wash my hands like every 20 minutes at work, and then we do all sorts of crafts, and then I end up using all sorts of manipulatives for preschool and it’s just a lot of action for my hands. Regular nail polish lasts about 2 days on me before either peeling or chipping. That’s a big reason why I’ve tapered off my habit of painting my nails so much. With regular polish not lasting, and then just simply being busier than before, I had been stuck in a place where I just didn’t feel like painting my nails. Gel polish being there, and being no fuss, and being something I don’t have to worry about touching up or changing, has really made it pleasurable again to do my own nails. I mean, I do still love to paint my nails, and I do love the flexibility of regular polish being so easy to change, and I’ve been given my nails a break between gel manis, with regular polish, but man, am I totally enamored with my gel system!

One random bit that I particularly love – my nails, when they grow out, are kind of bendy. I don’t have super thick nails like some people do. So when they grow out, they sort of curl in. Like the very end of the corners slightly curve in so my nails don’t have that pretty squared off shape once they get a little bit of a length off the edge of my finger. I felt like it facilitated in my nails breaking at the edge, like all the time. With regular polish, I always kept my nails on the shorter side just so the shape wouldn’t look weird, and os my nails wouldn’t break. But, with gel nails, the polish is much stronger, and keeps the shape of my nails intact, and my nails haven’t broken once with a gel manicure. Even after 2 weeks of growth, where my nails are pretty long, nothing curves, nothing breaks, nothing bends, and it’s sort of a dream for me. I’m so not into acrylics and the damage it does so that’s not an option for me (I had a major acrylics phase in high school and college). So gels are really the answer for me, when it comes to growing my nails out.

Like six weeks ago, I read an article (I think on Vogue?) that was all about skincare in your late 20s, in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. Since I’m 26, the other ages didn’t apply to me, but I found it interesting to see what the current opinion is on what you should be using on your face.

In agreement with most skin care articles I’ve read, the article stated that I your 20s, you don’t need to go crazy, but starting light, preventative measures is good. For day, the article reiterated that sunscreen is a must, and a simple routine is good enough (cleanse, tone, moisturize). For evening, it mentioned that using products with retinoids were recommended to start getting ahead of any “future problems” (wrinkles, spots and the works). It didn’t specifically mention eye creams, but lately I’ve felt like my dark circles were starting to become more prominent, and my eyes felt a little dry, so I also had it in mind to start searching for an eye cream.

Like most of my adventures into skin care, I started at the drugstore. I figured, if I find a product I liked at the drugstore, I could just buy that and stick with it until I really want to switch something up, it stops working, or I can justify an upgrade to a high end brand because I had been using a particular skin care item in my routine for a long amount of time. Sunscreen is an example of that – my skin hated like every drugstore sunscreen I had ever used so I went to Sephora and picked up a high end sunscreen. But alternately, I’ve been using an Aveeno cleanser for my skin for the last 2 years because I found that my skin was fine without the high end cleansers. I started off using the St. Ives scrub, switched to Clinique, then First Aid Beauty, and then went to Aveeno because I just found a happy price point and product that works.

So, at the drugstore, I found the Soap & Glory Puffy Eye Attack Hydragel Turbo-Boost eye cream. It is on the pricey side of drugstore things, for sure. But it caught my attention because I didn’t realize that Soap & Glory was now in drugstores, and it looked like a soothing and cooling product.

The product is a gel that I use in the mornings, to add moisture, as well as decrease puffiness. I do feel like it’s made a difference in the texture of the skin around my eyes. Especially on those mornings after not sleeping enough (aka, Monday mornings). I’ve found that makeup goes on smoother after applying this; my concealer blends right into my eye area, and doesn’t crease or settle into any lines. I have also found that it’s not oily because of the gel formula. It’s nice because it doesn’t go oily. I’m a fan so far.

For a night cream, I specifically went and found one that advertised having a retinol in the product. I’ve had good luck with L’Oreal skin care in the past, so I picked this one up. It was also pretty pricey, but I guess still not as expensive as anything high end would be.

It’s a fairly thick cream, so I mix just a little of it into my moisturizer. I don’t think I need so much of a heavy duty product, every night of the week, so that’s why I thin it out in my routine with a moisturizer. It has a floral smell to it, which isn’t super strong but if you’re not into that, then you may not like this product.

I do find that in the morning my skin looks hydrated, and pretty happy in the mornings. My skin isn’t as red as it used to be, and also has evened out in tone (although it wasn’t a major issue in the past, so it’s not a super noticeable change at this point). The product advertises to firm, and hydrate the skin overnight. I’ve only been using the product for about 3 weeks now so once I’m done with the product, I’ll update on how much the cream has firmed my skin. Again, at 26, I’m at the preventative measure stage, so I’m not using it to change my skin, but to I guess, prep for the future.

After using the Soap & Glory for a few weeks, I did want to also add in an eye cream, specifically for night time. I was really liking the Soap & Glory and felt like it was making a difference, and reconciled that an evening eye cream would probably also help in maintaining that area on my face.

Roc, another pricey drugstore brand, which is on par with high end pricing, was a brand that my mom had used a few years ago and it literally made her skin look 10 years younger. Other women at the place I work use Roc as well and their skin looks incredible. So I saw that Roc had a night time eye cream, with a retinol, and decided to bite the bullet and buy it. My experience with eye cream wasn’t as thorough as other items, like cleansers, so I also felt overwhelmed with all the different options, and just decided to purchase the brand that I had seen the most positive results from. In the future I may try some of the other brands, like Olay or Neutrogena.

This particular eye cream I’ve been using nightly for 2 weeks, and I have noticed that my eye area is smoother, and has lightened just a bit. I do feel like it may be just a tad too rich for me, in combination with the L’Oreal night cream, so I’m thinking of adjusting just a bit to see whether I need this every night or not.

So those were my favorites in May – I had some old favorites, and a lot of new favorites. I hope you’ve all been well, and if any of you have had any particular favorites, I’d love to know! Leave me a comment and we can chat 🙂

2 thoughts on “5 Beauty Favorites | May 2017

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