Girls weekend mini makeovers! Check out the “recipe” here!

While up in Jackson, NH for a girls weekend we spent Saturday afternoon on the couch snacking and chatting. Does it get better than that? Quality time with your girlfriends is a treat that is hard to compete with. No big party or lavish dinner could ever compare to just hanging out uninterrupted with some of your closest friends.

In addition to a lot of catching up there were also mini makeovers – which was super fun for yours truly!  We used the same set of skincare and makeup products for all the ladies (4 ladies in total!). With a couples tweaks, the colors were adjusted for the different complexions. Below is a list and description of what we did. AND some before & after pics

“Everyday makeup” recipe:

Started with a clean face, of course!

1. Moisturizer. A good daytime moisturizer. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost moisturizer. It’s just the right texture – not too heavy/not too light. Paraben free. And serves as a silicone-free makeup base, score! I typically use 2 pumps but depending on the gal, I used more or less judging on their existing hydration level (in other words, if I found dry patches, we used some extra). Lots of gentle patting to blend it in all over the face and neck

2. Eye cream. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost eye cream on all the ladies. Usually 1 pump is enough for both eyes. Dryness under the eyes is not a good canvas and it’s always good to use a designated ‘eye cream’ for that sensitive area. I love the m-61 brand because it’s hydrating without being greasy, paraben free, and the handy pump is travel friendly / hygienic

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

3. Foundation. Now that our canvas was prepped – time for the foundation. Depending on the lady, some hadn’t worn foundation before and some swear by it. This foundation was definitely not a match for everyone’s skin tone which was risky – but I used moisturizer to dilute it – and because we were applying bronzer and blush at the end, I could take some liberties with a slightly paler foundation. I like this new foundation by YSL – it’s their new FusionInk foundation that’s been getting a lot of good reviews. It does have good lasting power (24 hrs – is the claim. I think that’s a bit of a stretch!) – but it gives great coverage – they call it “soft matte” – without being heavy or cakey. It feels super light on the skin. I used a couple drips just to even off any discoloration and start with an “even canvas”

YSL's new Inkfusion foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

YSL’s new FusionInk foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

4. Spot treatmeant with Eye Brightener & Concealer. Since I’ve had dark circles since birth, I’m almost certain I’ve tried everything to mask them. I have many favorites in this dept. But my latest love is the Eye Brightener wand by Bobbi Brown. It has a flesh tone to it so blends really well and can double as an eyeshadow primer. This looked nice on all the girls. Next, we did a little spot treatment with NARS radiant creamy concealer in Vanilla. Side note, I forgot my all time favorite concealer Clea de Peau Beaute concealer which is superb for the under eye area. But this one by Nars is great, does the trick (and much more afforable). Again, was able to get away with a lighter shade because I made up for it with added bronzer. Only a couple of light dots needed under the eyes and on any blemishes – lightly pat with finger tips to blend

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first - wear under concealer

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first – wear under concealer

Nars concealer - great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemi

Nars concealer – great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemishes

5. Eyeshadow. This was the first time I tried this eyeshadow palette and I loved it. Microsmooth eyeshadow palette by Sephora. A great combo of colors – I combined the lighter shades for all over the lid. I used the dark shades towards the outer corner to help open the eye. Also, a nice sweep of the lighter colors on the brow bone. I used this lovely brush by Bobbi Brown called the “eye sweep” brush to apply

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

6. Eyeliner. I only had 1 on hand but this baby did the trick. Bobbi Brown’s long wear eye pencil in Smoke. Because it’s a pencil I was able to vary how dark it went on. In other words, I pressed a bit harder if I was going for a darker line (I did this for Ashley who was a more olive complexion and darker hair). I lined the upper lid and lighter on the bottom – used more of a light dotting motion under the lash line. I always brush my finger tip ever so lightly over the bottom line so it doesn’t look so dramatic…blending it helps make it more natural vs. a stark line

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil - we used 'Smoke'

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil – we used ‘Smoke’ – it goes on nice and smooth

7. Mascara. I brought out 2 different  – I was disappointed to find that my Benefit’s “they’re real” mascara was chunking out a bit (might be because my sample is almost out) so I swapped to a tried & true Diorshow Iconic waterproof mascara. I put multiple coats on each girl. I’m big into mascara…a few coats per eye, it makes a big difference. Once applied, I typically dab lashes with a tissue to get off the excess

Two great mascaras for creating thick lashes - also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits "they're real" and Dior Show Iconic - both in black

Two great mascaras grfor creating thick lashes – also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits “they’re real” and Dior Show Iconic – both in black

8. Brow pencil. If anyone needed some brow fixing, I used this pencil liner by Chanel called the sculpting eyebrow pencil in blond clair which has a natural look. In other words, no harsh lines that scream ‘hey, I drew this on.’ I used it to buff in any bald or scarce brow areas. I’ve been hesitant with this step on myself in the past but have found if I do it right and use this pencil, it has a natural look and helps fill in my thin brows

Chanel eyebrow pencil - create for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture

Chanel eyebrow pencil – great for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture. Handy brush at end of stick to tame any wild brow hairs and blend in the color

9. Bronzer. I used this awesome, soft Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and Bobbi Brown bronzing powder in golden light. Thankfully, it was a good neutral color – not too dark or red and mixed well with each complexion

Bobbi brown bronzer and bronzer brush. Great combo

Bobbi brown bronzer in Golden Light and bronzer brush. Great combo

10. Blush. I love this one by Nars in the color Orgasm (thank you, Jilly Bean for making the introduction). Applied with a Bobbi Brown blush brush

Nars blush in Orgasm - used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

Nars blush in Orgasm – used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

11. Set it. We used Make Up Forever HD Finishing Powder to set everyone’s makeup using the sheer powder brush by Bobbi Brown. I’ve typically avoided this type of powder out of fear that it’ll be too heavy. But I love the lightness of this powder and have adopted into my routine to beat the excessive greasy glow I get on my forehead! I carry it in my purse because it tends to ramp up at the end of a work day

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder - swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown's sheer powder brush

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder – swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown’s sheer powder brush. Set make up and dull down unwanted shine

12. Lastly, lipgloss. I used a combination of this gloss by Sara Happ called The Lip Slip – The One Luxe color shine lip gloss in color ‘The Nude.’ Literally, the perfect nude gloss. On top of this, I put Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge. Nice POP of pink color. Looked good on everyone! This is a great combo for glossy lips with a pop of color without getting too dramatic

Great gloss combo - Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in xxx

Great gloss combo – Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge

Boom. done. Links to all products and brush accessories below.

The Before & After shots! Ashley, Whit, Jules, and Shannon <3

The Before & After shots! Shannon, Jules, Whit, Ashley  ❤

IMG_2619 IMG_2620 IMG_2621

It might seem like a lot of steps but this took all of 5 minutes per girl. It was an everyday look but everyone looked freshened up and ready to head out. We took our makeovers to a locally NH brewery – hooottties!!!

Links below to all products:

1. m-61 hydraboost moisturizer 2. m-61 hydraboost eye cream 3. YSL fusionink foundation 4. Bobbi Brown eye brightenerNARS radiant creamy concealer; Cle de Peau Beaute concealer 5. Sephora eyeshadow palette; Bobbi Brown eye sweep brush 6. Bobbi Brown eyeliner 7. Benefits “they’re real” mascara; Dior Iconic waterproof mascara 8. Chanel eyebrow pencil 9. Bobbi Brown bronzing powder ; Bobbi Brown bronzer brush 10. Nars blush ; Bobbi Brown blush brush 11. Make Up Forever finishing powder; Bobbi Brown sheer powder brush 12. Sara Happ nude lipgloss; Nars lipgloss

Purse essentials – don’t leave home without them

Most women have them – ‘purse essentials’ – those few beauty items we have to carry at all times. Unless of course we’re going totally minimalist and all we need is a debit card, license, and lip gloss…there are those nights. But for the nights when we want to be prepared…

I’ve thought long and hard about my essentials…and which ones have been the most handy and why. Below is the VIP list

1. You need a handy pouch to keep it all together in your purse. Without this everything flies loose and can’t be accessed easily…leaving you helpless in the ladies room

My favorite: Bloomingdales ‘Little Brown Cosmetic’ Case ($12 @ Bloomingdales.com)…just the right size, zip top, it’s vinyl so if you drop it it will wipe off easily

THE case

2. A good cover up. Since typically, I already have make-up on at the point in the day when I need my beauty essentials kit – I need something that’s good for touch ups and not super thick. It needs to be easy to apply. An open pot of concealer just won’t do it for me when I’m in a rush. I’d rather not stick my fingers into a pot of concealer and close it back up.

My favorite: Chanel’s Highlighter Face Pen ($40 @ select dept store – Bloomies, Nordstrom etc.) this product boasts: “In a single stroke, adds new radiance to makeup and dark areas of the face. It reduces the appearance of fine lines with an optical effect and lightens dark circles.” courtesy of Bloomingdales.com. Couple swipes under the eyes and on either side of the nose and I’m immediately more refreshed looking. I use the color ‘Light’

3. A blush to add some color to a ghastly complexion at the end of a long work day. Nothing like looking in the mirror and feeling drab – with a couple pats of this blush, you’ll literally look ready to head out to a dinner date

My favorite: Koh Gen Do Fresh Face Cheek Color ($41 @ Barney’s) I use the Pink Coral color. Why does this absolutely rule? You don’t need a brush…you just pop off the top and use the puff-top applicator to dot on your cheeks. Not sure about you…but I’ve broken multiple blush compacts in my purse, so sad. This is bust proof because the blush is already in powder form. Lasts forever too!

Koh Gen Do Fresh Face Blush

4. A lip gloss that doesn’t need your finger for application. If you know me, I love lipgloss and have many favorites – my current go-to’s:

For a natural hint of color and really good gloss/moisture: Mineral Fusion Liquid Lipgloss (~$5.24 @ Drugstore.com) I like the color ‘Enlighten’ – which is a light pinky nude

For a bit more color and some glitter: Chanel’s Levres Scintullantes Glossimer ($29.50 @ dept stores Macys, Bloomies etc.) – in layman’s terms, this is the lipgloss wand. I like the color ‘119’ which is a fun glimmery pink

5. A good MINI mascara…and frankly, I’m not too tied to a brand here. Recently, I’ve been alternating between a Bobbi Brown sample and a Laura Mercier sample. Either does the trick…I got them in free gift sets and they’re perfect purse size!

I like Bobbi’s mini ‘Party Extreme’ mascara in Black

Thanks for the free sample, Bobbi! Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara mini

6. Travel size perfume this is another item you can get for free. Nordstrom is good about putting out free Joe Malone perfume samples. I like to carry a purse size of my favorite perfume which I splurged on for my wedding…

What: Byredo Gypsy Water ($110 @ Barneys for a set of 3 purse-size spray bottles)…why I like and why I splurged = I wanted a perfume ‘no one’ had for my wedding. I walked into Barney’s which is THE place to find unique/harder to find pefumes…I tried so many and landed on this scent. It’s light but it also has some deeper notes. I’ve never smelled anything like it and therefore, I knew it would always remind me of my wedding day. The pack includes 3 pretty good size bottles – one for my purse, one for home, and one for my gym bag…or, as back up for when one runs out. Most perfumes run you at least $50-$60 these days so I was willing to pay a little extra for something more unique. And the regular bottles are beautiful – the whole line is super creative and offers many different scents: Byredo website

Byredo Gypsy Water regular sized bottles – gorgeous

7. Last but not least an extra hair band…better known to me as a twistband ($5 for a 3 pack of solid hair ties @ Thetwistband.com)! This is clearly an essential – if you don’t need it, a friend will. Nothing sucks more than not having a hair elastic when things heat up and you feel your hair start to puff. I am a huge advocate of THE TWISTBAND – these elastics keep your hair back and don’t snag at strands. And they look cute on your wrist 😉

Details on the Twistband: http://wp.me/p1kq6s-bv

Twistbands! so many pretty colors

And that’s it…a few essentials…something to cover up blemishes and discoloration…something to give your cheeks a pop of color…something to lighten up the lips and freshen up the lashes, a scent to kick off the night…and a cute hair elastic in case the night ends with a wild dance party.

What are your purse BEAUTY essentials?

bareMinerals – hits the test kitchen!

I have been meaning to post some follow up on bareMinerals by Bare Escentuals. I wanted to review the foundation and concealer (I know they have other products, but I wanted to start with the flag ship ones first!). This post is focused on the foundation and concealer because my goal was to figure out if the coverage is as good and as long lasting as their liquid counterparts and generally, how my skin would react to mineral make-up. Well…

It has been well over a month since I adopted bareMinerals foundation and concealer into my make up routine and frankly, I’m pretty impressed.

As mentioned in my original post (link below) – I bought the Bare Escentuals – bareMinerals ‘get started kit’ at Macy’s for $60. I got the ‘light’ kit. My skin is fair, I get tan in the summer, but if I don’t wear enough sunscreen, I burn. The light kit comes with a medium tone which is great for the summer months or when I have a ‘fake’ tan.

The starter kit comes with:
· 2 foundations (with SPF 15 in the formula), light kit includes ‘light’ colored foundation and ‘golden medium’ foundation
· 1 ‘all over face color’ in warmth, this is a bronzer
· 1 mineral veil, which is the powder applied at the very end to set the make up
· 1 brush for applying the foundation
· 1 longer brush for applying the bronzer
· 1 smaller concealer brush
· Lastly, my starter kit included a tube of brush cleaner (it depends on the starter kit if this is included)

What I like about this kit – it includes almost everything you need to use bareMinerals. In addition to the kit, I purchased the Multi-task Concealer SPF 20 in Bisque. This cost an extra $18. I wanted this concealer for extra coverage of pimples, blemishes etc. In total I spent $78. This is a good deal, for me – because it includes the brushes – and something like the bronzer is going to last you a pretty long time. I typically spend this amount JUST on liquid foundation and concealer (brushes/bronzer not included).

Quite a few of my friends have used this make up. One thing I really like about it is, it can be used on any type of skin, including more mature skin. Liquid foundations and concealers have a tendency to settle in fine lines/wrinkles…hence why they say as we age, the lighter the better when it comes to make up.

Below I ranked my experience with the Foundation, Bronzer, and Concealer:
+ = positive
-/+ = neutral
= negative

Foundation

  • + I was surprised with the coverage. I always thought powder based make up wouldn’t have good coverage and therefore wouldn’t help even out my skin tone – but, BM does a great job
  • + I was surprised with how long it lasts! It does last just as long as my liquid foundation – like anything else, after a day of work, it needs a touch up
  • + It wasn’t too matte, nor did it make my face look shiny. The coverage was smooth and side note, it photographed well! No Casper face or super shiny face which I’ve battled with a number of liquid foundations
  • + I have sensitive skin on my face – and I have heard that BM can irritate sensitive skin.I did notice the eczema on my face flared up a bit when I first started using it – but I think that was from a new facial moisturizer I was trying. Either way, my skin is back to normal now and BM isn’t irritating it
  • -/+ I can’t say it feels ‘lighter’ on my skin than typical liquid, but I certainly can’t feel it. Nor do I find that it rubs off on my clothing once it is on (although, I’m sure, like anything else, if I rubbed my face against my collar, some of it would come off)
  • -/+ The brushes are nice, they do the trick – but I don’t think the bristles are the smoothest I’ve tried! You might want to upgrade to a nicer brush – although, I still use the original ones because I’m not ready to spend any more money!
  • -/+ They claim this make up is so pure you could sleep in it. I haven’t noticed any drastic changes in my skin – no fewer break outs, but thankfully, not a greater amount of break outs either
  • The only thing that bums me out about this is – the powder is messy! I use to be able to apply some foundation/concealer in the car with little mess. But, because the powder is loose, it tends to spill here and there. My vanity has never been so messy! But it cleans up easily

Bronzer

Concealer

  • + Again, surprisingly, it covers well. I didn’t think it could cover the crazy red pimples I sometimes get on my face, but it does
  • + The mini concealer brush is the perfect size for covering blemishes. The bristles feel a lot smoother as well
  • – I thought I could use it under my eyes – but I found it get more powdery looking over time…it might be because of my eye cream. Either way, I didn’t like how it looked under my eyes so instead of using the BM concealer there – I use the Corrector by Bobbi Brown in light bisque and everything blends well (and I get the under eye coverage I NEED)
  • Bobbi Brown Corrector

End game – the foundation and concealer are great products. I wasn’t in love with the bronzer in the starter kit and happened to find a different mineral bronzer that’s awesome. And, I still need to rely on my trusty Bobbi Brown to smoothly cover my under eye circles…BUT, I will continue to use the foundation and concealer because I like the coverage and appearance!

Have you tried bareMinerals? What do YOU think? PLEASE SHARE

  • Original post: http://wp.me/p1kq6s-aR