A Great Drugstore Makeup + Waterproof Mascara Remover...With a Caveat

I'm kind of a cleansing oil and makeup-removing cleanser snob these days. I've tried tons of different drugstore and higher end options, but I don't tend to stray from my tried-and-true favorites (at the moment, it's still the L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil). However, in a moment of desperation a few weeks ago, while I was away from home and cleansing oil-less, I decided to give the Garner Clean+ Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser a try.

It's a creamy, fragrance-free lotion that's applied onto dry skin over makeup, similarly to a cleansing oil. It breaks down makeup excellently, and to my surprise, it was also able to break down my notoriously difficult-to-remove CoverGirl The Super Sizer Waterproof Mascara better than any cleansing oil I've tried. The first time I used it, my eyes lit up. "Could this be the makeup remover dreams were made of...AND it's from the drugstore?!" I thought. Although the lotion can then be removed with a cotton pad, I opt to rinse it off in the sink. And that's when the caveat surfaces. The caveat, and it's a big one, is that it leaves behind a greasy residue. Although all of my makeup and waterproof mascara are removed, there's an extremely greasy film left on the skin that cannot be rinsed clean. I always do a second cleanse at night, with a different cleanser, so it's not a huge issue for me, but I would never recommend this product be used a a stand-alone cleanser. 

So close, Garnier. So close.


The Much Raved About Green Beauty Foundation: Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation

Natural, green beauty products are something I'm always interested in dabbling more in, and I've been curious about the Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation ($52) ever since seeing it raved about by a few YouTubers I watch. Seeing as how foundations are among my favorite products to test and review, I couldn't be more excited when I was offered the opportunity to try it out for myself.
I have the shade Lisa, described as a mid-toned shade with yellow undertones (around NC25). The foundation comes in a tiny, travel-friendly bottle (rest assured, it contains the same 1 oz./30 mL as the average foundation), and Sappho Organics sells a separate pump that can be attached. The foundation offers light to medium coverage and a natural, satin finish. It has an soft herbal scent to it that reminds me of the fragrance and skincare section of Whole Foods, but in case you're not a fan, it also dissipates quickly. It's a formula that I could see working well on a variety of skin types and contains such ingredients as organic aloe juice, organic jojoba oil and essential oils. I prefer to preventatively powder my oily t-zone when I need it to last all day, but the formula certainly doesn't require it. It has a slightly thicker consistency that favors application with a brush, rather than with fingers, but it blends in quickly and easily.

Bare skin (L) and wearing Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation in Lisa
Wearing Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation in Lisa
Overall, the Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation is a great all-arounder. Its only weakness is its slightly smaller shade range, with only eight shades to choose from. It's a fantastic foundation for everyday wear, with light coverage that smooths over imperfections and an incredibly natural, skin-like finish.

If you're looking to make the switch to all green beauty products, or you simply want to dip your toes in, the Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation is a great place to start. I promise you won't even remember it contains all good-for-your-skin ingredients.

Disclosure: This product was sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experience with the product.


The Palette on Repeat

I'm been having a moment with my Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Luxury Palette. Not only are the shadows amazing quality, but a combination of two of the shades has just been doing it for me lately. 

I dust the cool taupe in the top right of the palette onto the inner third of my lid, then pat on the bronze shade on the outer two thirds of the lid. Then, I blend the two together a bit, so that there isn't a clear line of demarcation between the two shades, and blend at the crease. To finish it off, I take a neutral tan/brown blending shade (I've been using MAC Wedge) and blend it through the crease for a softer transition.

For liner, I've still been loving MAC Teddy Eye Kohl. This one has so-so lasting power on bare lids, but on top of eyeshadow, I find it lasts brilliantly all day. I've been keeping the tip sharp and opting for a thicker winged line. 

The end result has a daytime smokey eye feel to it, and I love it. You know your eyeshadow is on point when even non-makeup lovers specifically compliment your eyeshadow :)


Another Charlotte Tilbury Rave: Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk

It was only a matter of time before I gave in to temptation and added a Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Re-Shape & Re-Size Lip Liner to my lip liner stash. As someone who is admittedly not yet well versed in the various lip liner formulas, I'm always interested in trying out what different brands have to offer. After having the opportunity to swatch and play around with the Charlotte Tilbury collection at a counter a few weeks ago, I was sold on the versatility of Pillow Talk
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk ($22) is a neutral rosy pink that is perfect for pairing with my-lips-but-better lip colors or wearing on its own for a natural, barely there lip. The formula is just creamy enough that it glides on during application, but it has a matte finish that helps the liner to stay put and plays a large role in its impressive longevity. Compared to the Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner, which is one of my favorites from the drugstore (the shade Eastend Snob is similar to Pillow Talk, but paler and cooler toned), Charlotte Tilbury's formula is significantly longer wearing. 

One of my favorite ways to wear Pillow Talk is to use it to line and fill in my lips before topping it off with either the Clarins Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in Rose or a nude gloss like MAC Cremesheen Glass in Boy Bait (which I just finished!). Here, I'm wearing it on its own. Because it's very similar to my natural lip color, it's also a great option for when I want to slightly overline my lips, while still aiming to keep it looking subtle and believable.


The Workhorse: MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy

I decided it was time to dedicate an entire post to a product that has been a constant in my makeup bag for the past 6+ weeks: MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy ($16.50). It's a popular product, and with good reason. It applies smoothly, is creamy but not too creamy, and it gives you enough time to work with it and smudge it, if you so wish, before setting and lasting all day. The shade is a rich and warm shimmery chocolate brown; basically, perfection in pencil form.

I love Teddy applied to my top and/or lower lash lines, depending on the look. It suits easy and effortless eye looks when messily smudged on, but it also looks stunning when sharpened and used to apply a more precise winged liner. It's not so dark that it appears black, so it's softer for daytime, and the shimmer keeps it from looking flat.

It's no secret I'm a fan of warm, shimmery brown tones on my eyes, and Teddy has just been doing it for me lately. It's definitely been the workhorse of my everyday makeup bag.


Eye Look + Palette of the Week

After writing up my October Favorites post, I decided to give some of those products a break and swap them out with a few others. One of the products thrown into the new rotation was my BUXOM Custom Eyeshadow Bar Palette (review here). Before my move, when I had my whole makeup collection to choose from while getting ready for the day, so much time was wasted picking out products, before wasting more time figuring out which combinations would look nice together. Since using products mainly from a small selection every morning, I've saved tons of time, especially this past week, mostly because I loved one day's eye look so much that I ended up wearing the exact same look five days in a row.

The fact that this is yet another neutral eye look should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. I used a flat shader brush to apply Gold Status (shimmery neutral gold) all over the lid, a fluffy blending brush to blend Invite Only (matte peachy tan) through the crease and a smaller crease brush to apply Filthy Rich (matte burnt orange-brown) onto the outer third of the lid and blend into the outer most part of the crease. I finished it all off by applying Invite Only along my lower lashline with a touch of Filthy Rich on just the outer third, to mimic its lid placement. I skipped out on eyeliner completely to keep the look more natural for daytime and work, and I applied mascara on my top and bottom lashes. I had this routine down cold this past week, and my eye makeup was done and dusted in two to three minutes.

If you're interested in expanding your eyeshadow collection at all during the upcoming Sephora sale, I'd highly recommend checking out these eyeshadow bars from BUXOM. My favorite shade from my palette is Filthy Rich, hands down.


butter LONDON Shadow Clutch Palette in Natural Charm + Duos

Nine days out of ten, the eyeshadows I'm wearing came from a palette. I love me a good eyeshadow palette. butter LONDON released an eyeshadow formula this year in the form of two six-pan palettes called Shadow Clutch Palettes ($39) and four Shadow Clutch Wardrobe Duos ($15). After trying and enjoying their Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayons, I was excited and curious to see how their eyeshadow formula compared to other high-end formulas.
The palette I have is called Natural Charm. It's a gorgeous mix of neutral shades, including Citrine, a peachy pink-gold, and Camo, deep olive green. Those two, with the addition of Quartz, the taupey-tan shade in the middle top row, are shimmer finishes, while the other three, Linen, Camel and Leather (bone, neutral tan and espresso brown, respectively), are mattes. The cool thing about the palettes is that you can switch out the shades with any of the shades from the duos (each eyeshadow in the "duo" is actually a single). I liked all of the shades already in Natural Charm, so I left mine as is.

The Fancy Flutter duo (bottom in above photo) consists of Plume, a red-brown/blue-green duochrome shade (similar to the likes of MAC Club), and Feather, a peachy gold. The other duo shown, Moody Blues, contains Sequins, an icy mint green, and Sapphire, a shimmery royal blue.

butter LONDON touts an eyeshadow formula that is primer-infused, oil-absorbing, crease-free, long-wearing and blendable. With the exception of Camo and Sapphire, which can apply a bit patchy and require more work to blend seamlessly, I found the other shades easy to apply and effortless to blend. As far as their other claims? So much yes. These babies wear from morning to night without skipping a beat. Even without primer, these eyeshadows wear exceptionally well on me, similar to the likes of Burberry. No creasing; no fading.

Some of my favorite combinations include: 
  • either Quartz or Citrine on the lid, Camel blended through the crease and Leather in the outer v for added definition; 
  • Plume on the lid with Camel to blend it out; 
  • Feather on the inner half of the lid, Camo on the outer half of the lid and Camel to blend everything out and through the crease.

L to R: Linen, Quartz, Camo, Camel, Citrine, Leather, Feather, Plume, Sequins and Sapphire
Wearing Quartz and Citrine on the lid, Camel in the crease and Leather on the lashline
Generally speaking, these butter LONDON eyeshadows are buttery (expect a tiny bit of fallout if you're not careful), pigmented, blendable and most importantly, long-wearing and crease-resistant. I always enjoy a bit of customization, so needless to say, I'm a fan of the option to switch out the shades. The other Shadow Clutch Palette shade option, Pretty Proper, seems like a really nice cool-toned option, from what I've seen of it in-stores at Ulta.

Disclosure: These products were sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experiences with the products.


My Sephora Holiday Sale 2015 Wishlist

It's the sale beauty addicts wait all year for! The Holiday Shopping Event at Sephora starts November 6th for VIB Rouge, and because makeup is the only area of my life where I don't procrastinate, I thought I'd share my makeup and skincare wishlists that I've been crafting for the past several weeks.

I swear those three eyeshadows are not all the same shade. I haven't even tried to hide my love for my Make Up For Ever eyeshadow palette, and I think this might be the opportune time to expand my collection. I'm having a moment with this terra-cotta/burnt red-brown type of shade, and I can't decide among the shades M608, S604 and M738. Would it be overkill to have a terra-cotta themed eyeshadow trio? :) :: Link here ::

I've been using a dinky little 100-point perk sample of BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal for the past couple weeks, and I've decided that it finally warrants a purchase. Realistically speaking, I'd never finish (or even hit pan, for that matter) a full-sized one, so as luck would have it, there's currently a set of minis of the pressed and liquid versions of Opal for only $20. :: Link here ::

I told myself I wasn't going to allow myself to pick up another nude-ish gloss until I finished MAC Boy Bait, and seeing as how I'm now scraping the sides of that tube with the  doe foot applicator, I don't think it's unreasonable to add one to my wishlist. NARS Chelsea Girls is the one that made the cut. Enough swatching and fawning over it - it needs to be mine now:: Link here ::

I've been yearning for more berry polish shades, as that's one area in which my collection is lacking. I really want a super shiny, gel-like formula, too, and after swatching Ciate Napa Valley from the Olivia Palermo collection, I think this could be the winner. I'm a bit turned off by the price tag though, so I'm not sure if I'll actually end up picking this one up, or if I'll just continue lusting after it. :: Link here ::

My skincare wishlist is actually comprised of all repurchases. I'm in love with using the Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Intensive Eye Contour Cream at night, because it's extra thick, hydrating and luxurious, so when I saw it in a set with four Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Masks for the same price as the eye cream alone, it was a given that this would be on my to-buy list. :: Review here :: Link to the set here.

Inconveniently for me, I only have one more use left out of my current bottle of L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil (couldn't it just make it to the sale?!), so I'm going to be using other products for about a week or so until I can repurchase it. I might just need to bite the bullet and order multiples, to be honest, since I know I'll definitely use them up throughout the year. :: Review here :: Link here ::

I'll also be replenishing my supply of the NUDE Skincare Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash*. I was lucky enough to be able to come across this product after winning it in a giveaway by NUDE Skincare last year, but I'm hooked. I use this religiously twice a week, and I like that it's quite an intensive exfoliator. It leaves my skin feeling so soft, smooth, and interestingly enough, hydrated as well. :: Review here :: Link here ::

The last product on my list is also the least glamorous by far - Murad Clarifying Body Spray*. I'm currently on my second bottle, and believe me when I say this stuff works! If you have issues with breakouts on your chest or back, this will be your savior. Yes, it's pricey, but because I've seen results, I don't ever want to be without it. :: Review here :: Link here ::

What's on your Sephora wishlist?

Disclosure: Products denoted with (*) were either sent to me for consideration for a review or won in a giveaway. I am not affiliated with either company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experiences with the products.
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