Sep 22, 2013

Super September Day 11: My Acne Story

I'm not sure how to introduce this post, so I will just begin with the story.

I got my first pimple sometime in middle school. I think it was on my forehead and it went away quickly. Throughout middle school, I always had one or two pimples on my face, but it was never bad. As a matter of fact, this was the case through my freshman year and part of my sophomore year of high school.

Within the first few weeks of sophomore year, my skin began to get bad. Why? I think it was because I was using skin care products my skin did not like. I also think it was because I was more stressed out than I ever had been because of the usual angsty teenager problems. My normal skin became oily and the breakouts started getting worse. I won't pretend that my acne was ever the worst out of the people I knew, but my skin was bad. Every now and then I would try to simplify my routine and my skin would get worse.

By the end of my senior year, I was persuaded to go to a dermatologist. He prescribed me an antibiotic and Veltin gel (1.2% clindamycin and 0.025% tretinoin). It made no difference to my skin, so a month later I was put on a different antibiotic and Aczone. That particular combination kept me clear for 3 or so months. Unfortunately my body became used to what I was using, and I began breaking out again. After trying a few more things, my dermatologist told me that he thought my last two options were either spironolactone or the big, scary A: Accutane. I resisted both for a while, but in June, I finally decided to go ahead and try spironolactone. He first put me on a small dosage that ended up doing nothing for my skin. Then he increased the dosage and I started having a weird side effect... my monthly cycle was completely messed up. As in... every 2-2.5 weeks I was given my monthly gift. When I went to see him in August, he took me off spironolactone and asked again if I wanted to consider Accutane. I decided to take the plunge. I can talk about that process more, but I only just picked up my prescription.

I will say that somewhere in the middle I stopped taking antibiotics and tried eliminating foods from my diet that are known to cause acne. I posted a few times about no longer drinking milk, only to see no difference after a few weeks (maybe I should have gone longer), and then I would start using it again in my coffee and cereal. I have a few other examples, but the biggest one was milk.

I will say that my skin is loads better than it was 2-3 years ago. But the problem is that I am 21 and my skin is still consistently broken out. It is somewhere between where it was in middle school and high school, but I'd like for my skin to heal some. I hope that I can share my experiences while I am on Accutane. Soon I will be posting the skin care routine I plan to be on while I am taking the big A.

I wish I had a decent picture of how my skin looked a few weeks ago, but below is a picture of me wearing makeup in May 2011. You might be able to see the breakouts. Yikes.

Sep 20, 2013

Super September Day 10: Empties Part Three - Makeup

This is my last empties post for a while. This could be good or bad, depending on how you feel about empties ;)

As always, this has fewer products than the other empties posts. And as always, I'm finishing the same things.

  • Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fake Out Mascara - I liked this, but it dried up within 3 weeks, so I might not buy it again because it is a little wasteful to be buying a mascara with so much packaging and so little product.
  • Jane Iredale Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara - I was sent this to review and I really liked it. It dried up, but I liked it while I had it. It's expensive, but I would buy the full sized one in the future because it has good ingredients and it looks like a luxury product.
  • NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Powder - This is a translucent powder that is okay, but I don't think it is worth all of the raves I have heard. Then again, it is inexpensive.
  • Maybelline Dream Matte Powder - This is one of my favorite powders of all time. I probably would buy it again and again, but I didn't repurchase it as soon as I was done. The only complaint I have is that both of the ones I have had would crack after I hit pan and I end up wasting a lot of the last little bits.
  • ELF Complexion Perfection Powder - This was okay. Once I hit pan each color eventually fell out on its own. I'm not even sure if that made sense, but it cracked and didn't cooperate.
  • Be a Bombshell Liquid Eyeliner Pen - I don't like thick eyeliner, so I had problems with this. I probably used it two or three times before it dried up.
  • Benefit They're Real! - This mascara is great! I would definitely buy the full size in the future.
  • Too Faced Shadow Insurance Candlelight - I have the full sized tube and I love the color and quality of this primer. I would buy it again and again.
  • Not pictured: Maybelline Volum' Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara - I really liked this, but I have great luck with most Maybelline products.
What makeup have you finished recently?

Super September Day 9: Empties Part Two - Skin and Body Care

Alas! I have finally sorted out my used skin and body care products and will be showing them to you. I hope you enjoy seeing the products I have finished since my last empties video in June. I do apologize for not making a video, but I forgot to take my camera home the last time I went.

  • Alpha Hydrox Enhanced Lotion 10% Glycolic AHA - This was okay. I used it on my face at first, but I didn't love it, so I started using it on my body. It worked better on my body than my face to soften my skin, but I would rather use a different lotion.
  • CVS Daily Moisturizing Lotion - I really like this, but it has pretty bad ingredients. I might buy it (or the Aveeno) version again.
  • Tretin-X (Tretinoin Cream) - This is prescription ONLY. I got three samples from my dermatologist and they lasted me a while. I like it, but it's not strong enough to have a lasting effect on my skin. The first two months were great, though!
  • Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer (SPF 17) Sample - I hated this at first, but when my skin was dry from using Tretin-X, this worked beautifully. Sadly it has parabens, so I probably won't be buying it again.
  • Noxzema Deep Cleansing Cream - I bought this because I heard it was great and I wanted to try something new. I liked it, but the packaging bothered me because the label would flake off. I think they repackaged it so the label doesn't do that anymore.
  • Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads - These didn't do anything for my skin, good or bad. I won't be buying them again.
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser - This is gentle, but it also doesn't really do anything. Plus, it has pretty harsh ingredients for being a gentle cleanser. I don't like it. I have some more samples of it, but I won't actually buy it again unless I have the urge to.
  • Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe Moisturizer - This takes a long time to sink in. I like it, but I don't at the same time. I'm on the fence.
  • Mario Badescu Orange Cleansing Soap - This smells like crayons and wasn't too remarkable. I wouldn't buy it again.
  • The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes - These made my skin burn, so I definitely won't be buying again.
  • Yes to Tomatoes Mask - I think this broke my skin out every time I used it. I don't really find that masks help much, so I won't be buying again.
  • Evian Facial Mist - This was useful, but overpriced at the same time, so I don't think I will buy it again, but I will consider trying facial mists with more than water in the future ;)
  • Several bars of soap - I haven't been keeping track, but I have finished at least one bar of Dial Gold (maybe two), all of my Lush soaps (Honey I Washed the Kids and Rockstar), and I am on the verge of finishing a bar of Ivory.
One more empties post! What skin care products have you finished lately?

Sep 19, 2013

Super September Day 8: Empties Part One - Hair Care

The last time I posted an empties related post or video was toward the end of June. Yikes. As you can guess, I have finished heaps of products. This is why I am dividing this month's empties post into three parts. If I would have even tried to film a video it probably would have been 30 minutes long. I tend to ramble. I also don't have the best setup for pictures because my empties bag was at home and I went home to do some things and I had forgotten my digital camera. So we're back to iPhone pictures for the next few posts.

Anyway, shall I continue?

I finished 3 shampoos, two conditioners, two deep conditioners, and one hair treatment. Not bad, eh? I still have a can of Batiste from when I was in high school that I need to finish, but I never use dry shampoo, so it might be gone by the end of next year ;)

First, I finished the Suave Professionals Almond and Shea Butter Shampoo. I also finished the conditioner. I like how these smell, I don't like the ingredients, but I do think they work well on my hair. I also really appreciated how inexpensive they were. If I wanted to stick with these products, I could have gotten much larger sizes for no more than $6-8 together, which is half the price of other drugstore hair products. I don't think I will buy these again right away, though. As a matter of fact, I really really really want to try Chagrin Valley hair products, so I'm trying to finish up everything I have. (Note: not an affiliate link, just wanted you to see what I am interested in buying once I finish what I already have!)

Next up is the TiGi Bed Head Epic Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. I bought these at Ulta sometime last year when they were having a buy one, get one free sale on select hair products. These were available in bulk, so I decided to take the plunge. I wasn't overly impressed, to be completely honest. I won't be buying these again.

I finally finished my L'Oreal EverSleek Renewing Deep Conditioner. the smell really bothered me, so I would not buy this again. It wasn't the most impressive deep conditioner, either.

I also finished the Organix Renewing Moroccan Oil Treatment. I did like the smell of this product, but again, it wasn't the best deep conditioner out there. I wouldn't buy it again.

It took me a long time, but I used the sample bottle of the Number 4 Clarifying Shampoo. I received this in a Birchbox. The ingredients were great and it worked well, but it is so expensive that I cannot justify buying it on a regular basis.

Finally, I have a sample of the Redken 01 Anti-Frizz Polishing Milk. I liked this, but I have so many other hair products that do the same thing and are cheaper.

Overall, I'm happy with everything I finished. I still have quite a lot of half-empty hair products, so I will let you know when I do get around to trying those Chagrin Valley products! What hair products have you finished lately?

Super September Day 7: This or That Beauty Tag!

I originally planned to post the first part of my empties today, but I will be posting those later instead. I was tagged by Gabrielle of Gaborillaa and I haven't done a tag post in a while, so here we go!

1. Blush or Bronzer- I definitely prefer blush. Bronzer looks pretty scary on my skin.
2. Lip Gloss or Lip Stick- Lip products are not my favorite, so lipstick.
3. Eyeliner or Mascara- Ohh, mascara will always win.
4. Foundation or Concealer- Concealer. I wear foundation more than I'd like to admit, but I am really trying to let my skin breathe.
5. Natural or Colored Eye Shadow- Neutral. I'm not so daring.
6. Pressed or Loose Eye Shadow- Pressed. I only have a couple pale loose eye shadows and I haven't given either a good test.
7. Brush or Sponge- I prefer brushes.

1. Opi or China Glaze- I can't really choose. I will say that most of the limited edition collections by OPI are better, with the exception of The Hunger Games collection that China Glaze released in March 2012.
2. Long or Short- Definitely short. I can't really do anything with long nails.
3. Acrylic or Natural- Natural. I don't think I have ever had acrylics and I really don't want to.
4. Bright or Dark- I like both
5. Flower or No Flower- No flower. I think other designs are better.

1. Perfume or Body Splash- I like perfume better because they have a more complex fragrance, but I like body splashes too.
2. Lotion or Body Butter- Lotion
3. Body Wash or Soap- I prefer soap
4. Lush or other- Either. It depends on what I am looking for

1. Jeans or Sweat Pants - Jeans
2. Long sleeves or short sleeve- Long
3. Dress or Skirt? - Dresses
4. Scarves or Hat- I never really wear either
5. Studs or dangling earrings- Studs
6. Necklace or bracelet- Either, I guess
7. Heels or flats- Flats
8. Cowboy boots or riding boots - Neither
9. Jackets or hoodies - I might have to go with hoodies
10. Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe- Forever 21

1. Curly or Straight- Straight. I am too lazy to curl my hair
2. Bun or Ponytail - Either
3. Bobby pin or butterfly clips - Bobby pins
4. Hairspray or gel - Hairspray
5. Long or short- I prefer having long hair, but shorter hair can look great on other people!
6. Dark or light- Dark
7. Side swept bangs or fully bangs - Side swept
8. Up or down- Either

1. Rain or shine- Sometimes I want a rainy day so I can stay inside and read. I'm an introvert through and through.
2. Summer or winter- Summer
3. Fall or spring- Fall! It is my favorite season
4. Chocolate or Vanilla- Chocolate

I tag:

  • Katy from Skin Stuff by Katy - She's getting married on Saturday and I'm so excited for her!
  • Steph from In Her Makeup Bag - I've been reading her blog for the past couple of years and she's great.
  • Melissa from HistoryBeauty - Melissa primarily makes videos now and she has been busy from moving, but she just might like to fill this little tag out! ;)

Sep 15, 2013

Super September Day 6: My Hair Care Routine

I'm not sure if I have ever shared my hair care routine with you. I planned to in July, but as we all know, Glam July was a failure on my part. Super September isn't going quite as swell as I'd hoped, but I am still making more progress than I did in July, so that's good! But I should be talking about my hair ;)

I try to keep things simple because my hair doesn't need that much assistance. I do have dyed hair, but overall it isn't too dry. It can get tangled, but it's not horrible. My hair is medium to long, normal/fine, and straight with the occasional natural wave.

I tend to use products in the same line. As you can see, 3 of the 4 products in the picture above are from the L'Oreal Total Repair 5 line. The other is the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product.

It's not technically healthy to wash your hair every day, but I do it anyway. My hair lasts a day and a half before it gets greasy, but for the sake of keeping a regular schedule, I go ahead and wash it daily. Once per week I will deep condition my ends because I am probably doing a lot of damage by washing daily. After I am done showering, I always spray the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In product on my damp hair. Sometimes I blowdry it, but typically I just let it air dry. If my hair looks too crazy, I will straighten it. Otherwise I try not to use too much heat on it.

If you are interested in a detailed review of these products, please let me know in the comments!

Sep 13, 2013

Super September Day 5: Revlon Colorstay Review (Normal/Dry)

I first mentioned using this foundation back in July. I was staying at a friend's and I had forgotten to pack foundation. Since I'm not too keen on greeting the world with a bare face, I decided to go to the drugstore to see what I might want to try. Naturally, I had to eliminate most of my options simply because of my fair skin. Eventually it was down to Revlon Colorstay for Normal/Dry Skin versus Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Foundation. Since it is nearly impossible to really see the color you are getting from the Whipped Creme formula, I eventually chose the Normal/Dry version in 110 Ivory. 

I have tried the Combination/Oily formula in the past and I wasn't the biggest fan. I'm not saying I hated it, but it didn't match my skin well. To be honest, neither does the Normal/Dry formula. Before I turn this into a comparison review, here's a short list of the product's claims and features (and what I think of them):
  • Wears for up to 24 hours: This claim is crazy. Not only because it won't last for 24 hours, but also because you should not be wearing foundation for 24 hours. I chose Normal/Dry because I was having dry skin issues because of Tretin-X. This holds up for about 8 hours and kind of goes downhill from there. But I also don't have mega dry skin.
  • Flawless look: I actually agree with this statement. My skin looks amazing. It doesn't cover my larger bumps, but it covers hyperpigmentation like few other foundations will
  • Lightweight feel: I agree with this statement as well. It doesn't feel heavy on my skin. I think the Combination/Oily version felt heavier, but I think there also may have been a reformulation since I used the Combo/Oily version.
Other things to be aware of:
  • This foundation is not paraben-free: I know there is a lot of controversy about parabens and how a lot of people argue that they are the safest preservative, but I think I would rather use up my products with parabens and stick to having one item in each "category" that is free of parabens. Of course, I don't condemn others for using products with parabens, and every now and then I will probably pick something up with parabens without checking the ingredients first. The point is, it has them. If you want fewer parabens in your products, this is not the foundation for you.
  • The packaging is a pain: In some countries it has a pump, but here in the States we get the bottle that likes to keep on giving. So it leaves a problem: do I waste this extra foundation, or do I contaminate the foundation in the bottle? On those rare days when I pour out the exact amount I need, I am happy.
  • I think it used to have SPF, but now it doesn't: I heard this has been reformulated over the years. When I started wearing makeup, it had SPF 15, but I can't find any sign that there is any sort of sun protection at all in the newer formula.
  • For a drugstore foundation, it's kind of expensive: I say "kind of" because drugstore makeup is becoming more and more pricy. 
Bottom line: I like this foundation and would probably buy it again if it matched my skin well and if it was free of parabens. It ranges between $10 and $14 and is available at drugstores, Walmart, Target, and so on.

Sep 10, 2013

Super September Day 4: How to Get the MOST Out of Your Money! (While Shopping)

Can I get an award for the most obnoxiously long title? I couldn't think of a concise way of putting it, but it's okay, hopefully I made my point effectively. Also, I wanted to apologize for being a few days late on this one. For some reason this post and day 5 did not make the to-do list. Oops. Well, either way, the post is here!

I personally do not see a reason to pay full price for drugstore beauty products. They always go on sale, coupons are everywhere, and with different loyalty programs, it's just easier to plan my purchases. Does it always happen? No. But if you are more dedicated to saving your hard-earned money than I used to be, then I hope this post can help you.

Tip #1: Join Loyalty Programs!
A lot of people assume that they will be spammed instantly if they join a loyalty program. Some companies might get a little crazy with the emails, but you can later unsubscribe without losing the benefits of having a loyalty card. The loyalty cards I personally have are for Ulta, CVS, and (gasp) Walgreens.

To my knowledge, all of these cards are free. In the past, you could get the sale price on products without having a loyalty card, but at CVS and Walgreens, you have to have a card to get the sale price. CVS has a card they can scan to give you the sale price without the commitment of the card (I do not know if Walgreens does or not), but if you want to get the most of your money then you will want the card. Also, if you want a product that is offering ExtraBucks from CVS, you need to have your own card for the ExtraBucks to print out.

CVS also prints out quarterly ExtraBucks. To calculate how much you will get in ExtraBucks, CVS will take the amount you spend in a quarter and give you 2% back.

At Walgreens and Ulta, the money you spend is tracked on a point system rather than by how much money you have actually spent. I am not so familiar with this system for Walgreens, so I will discuss Ulta's point system. If you have the loyalty card for Ulta, you will get 1 point for every $1 you spend unless it is indicated otherwise in the monthly ad. Once you reach a certain number of points, you will be able to apply those points to a purchase. Click here for a chart showing how each point value works out.

Tip #2: Find Coupons!
Coupons are everywhere. The main place I find them is the Sunday newspaper. Some weeks there are coupons with everything I need, and other weeks I end up giving the coupons away because I don't find anything I am interested in.

Another place to find coupons is online. The Target website has an entire section dedicated to coupons. If you have your CVS card registered, you can go the website and print coupons. You can also go to to print coupons you want to use.

Tip #3: Know the Store!
By this I mean know the policies. Some stores take expired coupons, so I recommend looking into it before assuming that you can't use an older coupon.

Tip #4: Find Discount Stores!
Although I appreciate the value of seeing a product in person before I buy it (and also because with age I am becoming increasingly wary of technology), it is sometimes more convenient and also a better deal to buy products online. The top two websites I recommend are and At Vitacost you get free shipping with purchases of $49 or more, so you can really stock up on products. At you only have to spend $35 to get free shipping. And the best part is that at both websites you don't pay the retail price for most products!

I hope these tips have been helpful and I do apologize for the delay in this post. Look out for days 5 and 6!

Sep 5, 2013

Super September Day 3: Time-Saving Tips for College Students

I know that college is fun and exciting, but if you have your priorities straight, then you might find yourself not having time to get ready in the morning. I am here to share with you what I have learned and what I do since I have 8 AM classes for the first time in three years. So, let's go!

  1. Shower at night: I know a lot of people do this already, but I have always been the type of person who has to shower in the morning. If I didn't shower in the morning, I would feel disgusting by noon. But I took showers at night when I was in middle school, so I decided to just go ahead and try it. The first week wasn't the best experience because my hair would be a little oily by the morning. Luckily I brought a backup shampoo and discovered that with a different shampoo/conditioner combo, my hair looked silky and clean the next day. Also try styling your hair at night. I don't mean pulling out the curling iron. I mean braid it when it is almost dry or twist it for waves.
  2. Use tinted moisturizers or BB creams (or CC creams, or A-Z creams... you get the idea): If you find a product that works for your skin, stick to it. These are less time consuming than other products. Now, I did recommend the Covergirl 3-in-1 foundation in my last post. I realize it is a foundation and none of the things I listed, but it does work well and that saves time too, because I don't always have to powder with it. I also have yet to find a BB cream that I like better than the Smashbox one I used last year.
  3. Have the products you use daily set aside from the ones you use occasionally. This way, you won't have to look around for your favorite mascara or lip balm.
  4. Have your outfit picked out. I recommend checking the weather the night before so you won't be caught off guard. Also check in the morning if you have time. The weather can be fickle depending on where you live.
And there you have it! I hope my tips have helped somebody. Stay on the lookout for the next Super September post!

Sep 3, 2013

Super September Day 2: Drugstore Makeup Kit for Beginners! (Tools Included)

In 2010, I made a video with the same idea. If you go on YouTube, there are plenty of videos suggesting products for makeup newbies to try out. I've been wearing makeup for over 4 years and I still watch these videos from time to time to see what people are recommending (and it's fun).

Since I am really trying not to buy makeup right now, I won't have every single item I recommend, but I can promise you that I have probably mentioned most of these products before, so if you're a regular reader, you might roll your eyes and label me a broken record... but it's okay! I can live with that label. I am going to separate things into different categories. My goal is to make this list as short as possible, but with the best possible products. The prices I am using are from the Ulta/CVS and Walmart websites and these products are found in the United States.

Also, if you don't like the look of a product I am recommending, that's fine. There is no "perfect" guide to the best makeup kit for beginners because every person has different needs and preferences. My kit is created with a college student in mind because I am a college student. Will I create a makeup kit with middle/high school students in mind in the future? Probably! (Let me know if you want to see it this month - I have most of my Super September posts planned, but there is plenty of room to make changes. I'd rather post something people are interested in!)

Pricing Guide:
Orange text is the Ulta price. Blue text is the Walmart price. If one is missing, then that product is not sold at the store with missing information (hopefully that made sense!) Since sales tax varies, I won't be including that.

  • Primer/Foundation/Concealer: Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation ($12.99/$9.47) - As the title of this bullet-point suggests, this product functions as a primer, foundation, and concealer. I spent a long time deciding whether or not to buy this. I was annoyed with Covergirl for repackaging their tinted moisturizer and calling it a BB cream and I came to the realization that I didn't really love Covergirl products in general. When I heard about this foundation it sounded like the perfect base. It takes a few minutes for the product to set properly, but my skin looks great after it does set. Another advantage is that the lightest shade is not too pink or dark for me. There are 14 shades of this ranging from very fair to dark. I think the Covergirl Queen collection also has its own version of this with 14 different shades, which is also great!
  • Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte ($4.99/$3.97) - I recently mentioned that I wanted to try this and eventually broke my Project Minimize goal (yet again) and I love it. You get so much powder for such a low price. It gives my skin more of a semi-matte look than the "flat matte" look that so many people dread. This powder also doesn't irritate my skin, which is a plus. After I finish my other powders, I think I will just keep buying this one.
  • Blush: Covergirl Cheekers Blush ($4.99/$3.74) - These blushes are not the most pigmented, but there are plenty of colors for you to experiment with. These are scented and don't have the best ingredients, but I still recommend them.
  • Bronzer/Highlighter: Wet n Wild Color Icon "Reserve Your Cabana" ($3.93, this one is tricky. Wet n Wild products are not sold at Ulta to my knowledge and not every Walmart sells Wet n Wild... Walgreens and CVS do sell Wet n Wild, and they sell this for $3.99) - This is great for highlighting your cheekbones. I cannot recommend a bronzer because I do not wear bronzer, but this is from their bronzer line. The only piece of advice I have for this is to be careful... it is not pressed very tightly, so it can break with a slight drop. It hasn't happened to me, but I've heard of it happening to other people. Another suggestion I have for highlighting your cheekbones is just a shimmery single eye shadow (cream or peach colors are nice). I have heard people rave about the NYC Sunny Bronzer if you really really want to try one, but I wasn't a fan.
  • Primer/Base: Maybelline Color Tattoo's ($6.99/$5.94) - I don't think I've raved about these at all ;) - just kidding! It's like I never stop talking about these. I know some people don't love them, but I do. Bad to the Bronze is quickly becoming my favorite (yes, it is even passing Barely Beige). Not every color has the best formula, but I always get really excited when Maybelline releases some new ones.
  • Eye Shadow: Wet n Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Collections ($2.99-$4.99) - These are the only drugstore eye shadows that I constantly find myself recommending to people. I will say that drugstore eye shadows have improved tremendously even over the past 4 years... but they still don't really compare to my Urban Decay or Too Faced eye shadows, so I rarely try drugstore eye shadows.
  • Eyeliner: Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner ($4.49/$3.97) - These are smooth, inexpensive, they last pretty well (not the absolute longest wearing eye liners, but they are still wonderful), and there are plenty of different colors to try.
  • Mascara: Maybelline Great Lash Lots of Lashes ($5.49/$3.97, rolled back from $4.44) - I hate the classic Maybelline Great Lash. The formula is wet, the brush doesn't work with it. I don't get a remarkable look from the product at all. Oddly enough, the different brush makes all the difference. My eyelashes look long and full and it seems to take less time to dry than the classic Great Lash.

  • Lip balm (non-tinted): Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm ($3.29/$2.97) - If you like honey, I highly recommend this lip balm. I don't think this will be the best product for winter, but for the first time in a while, my lips are smooth.
  • Tinted lip balm: Maybelline Baby Lips ($3.99/$2.97) - These are also pretty hit and miss. I love Cherry Me, but Peach Kiss is just okay.
  • Lip gloss: Revlon Lip Glosses - Okay, so this one is less specific because I prefer Revlon lip products in general.
  • Lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($6.99/$4.97) - These have an unoffensive flavor and scent, are smooth, and there are so many colors to choose from. As I said, I just adore Revlon lip products in general. I think my favorite color is Wink for Pink, but I really want to try Cherries in the Snow.


  • Real Techniques brushes: Surprise, surprise. These brushes are amazing. If you can get any of their brushes, definitely get the Expert Face Brush. I also love their brush sets.
I hope you've enjoyed Super September day 2! Stay tuned for day 3.

What products do you recommend for beginners?

Sep 2, 2013

Super September Day 1: Another Challenge + Hogwarts-Inspired Looks!

Why indeed, I have set another goal for myself. I want to publish a blog post every other day... starting today! Some posts will include videos. I will be posting reviews, makeup looks, and anything else that just sounds fun.

It's not a secret that I am a Harry Potter fan. I first read the books in 2002/2003 when I was in fourth grade. I fell in love with the story and the action and just about everything else in the series. Any fan of the series will know that yesterday, September 1, was the day that Hogwarts students would board the Hogwarts Express, sit through the Sorting Ceremony, eat an endless supply of food (but only because of house elves), and then be on their way for a new school year. So for Super September Day 1, I wanted to post pictures of looks inspired by the Hogwarts Houses!

As I've said before... I'm not particularly good at applying makeup. I may try just as much as everybody else, but the end result just looks average (or worse). I also decided that even if the end result to each look was bad, it didn't really matter that much. Why? Because this is just for fun. And I need to step out of my comfort zone every now and then. This is way out of my comfort zone! Oh, and I realized as I was creating these looks that my eyebrows were looking very unkempt and my tweezers were nowhere to be found. Ah, my first world problems ;)

I will actually begin by listing the face makeup I used in each look (as well as mini-reviews because I can't resist sharing my thoughts). Any different products used (blush, highlighter, etc.) will be listed below each picture!
  • Benefit "That Gal" Brightening Face Primer - I got this as a sample a long time ago and was afraid to use it. I like how it gives my skin a glow without looking greasy, but I won't purchase the full size version. 
  • Revlon Colorstay Foundation (Normal/Dry formula) in 110 Ivory - I like this foundation, but I also have some major issues with it. Ivory is too pink for my skin. The next shade up (Buff) is the right undertone, but it is too dark. Mixing the two colors doesn't help (I tried that back in the day). Why did I repurchase it? To be honest, I had $10 in CVS ExtraBucks and I forgot to pack foundation when I was on a trip. Had I been thinking clearly, I would have chosen something else. It's a good formula, but the color is not right for me. Oddly enough, I've used about 1/3 of the product inside the bottle. I honestly have a love/hate relationship with this stuff. Odds are, I will repurchase it at some point in my life (assuming I finish this bottle, of course!) Also - why does it have a pump in some countries? Come on Revlon. You know you want to include a pump for this foundation in EVERY country you sell it in ;)
  • Covergirl Clean Pressed Powder (Oil control) in 510 Classic Ivory - I think I mentioned having this a long time ago. I knew it was in a makeup bag in one of my purses, but I didn't have the motivation to find and finish it... until I started using up the powders in my collection. I doubt I would repurchase this powder, but I do want to try the Rimmel Stay Matte powder. I had it years ago, but I can't remember what I thought about it.
  • And in every look I used the Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Mascara. Not face makeup, but I never used a different mascara.
Now that I have bored you with the face makeup used for this look, I am finally going to show you my Hogwarts House-inspired looks!

Gryffindor (scarlet and gold)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold
  • The plum & gold colors from the Revlon Colorstay palette (Embellish) - I would recommend MAC Cranberry over the plum color, but I don't have Cranberry and I probably wouldn't use it too often, so I tried using something comparable. Fail.
  • This is the only look with a corresponding lip color. I used the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in British Red

Hufflepuff (canary yellow and black) 
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bold Gold
  • Mark i-Mark in Stellar
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero (I tried to wing my eyeliner out to make this look more interesting)
  • Burt's Bees Honey Lip balm (it's an inside joke. I had to put it in)

Ravenclaw (blue and bronze - yes, I realize that in the movies it is blue and gray, but I am basing this off the books)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
  • Wet N Wild Idol Eyes in Distress (or MAC Freshwater)

Slytherin (green and silver)
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Silver Strike
  • The silver color in the Revlon Colorstay Palette (Embellish)
  • Wet N Wild Idol Eyes in Envy (or MAC Humid)

I'll probably try this again in a couple years. Hopefully by then I have the courage and skills to create a tutorial instead. Watch out for Super September #2!