My Husband Did My Makeup.

Hey ya’ll (who am I kidding I’m from NY I can not pull off a ya’ll). Anyways…for those of you who don’t know, I am married to the most awesome guy ever who lets me be silly and loves me for it. 11 years together and 2 kids later we have found the secret to keeping it fresh: just be completely ridiculous together.
We are known to run out and jump in the rain, or have a late night dance party. Its all about the fun, so when I asked him if he would do my makeup for a blog he jumped on it.

I have to say I was quite surprised. The only time I started to freak out was when he picked up my beloved blending brush and started to dip it in my bronzer. He certainly went for it, he even attempted liquid liner and used my Lancôme mascara which has a difficult wand to work with. All though he did invent this new move where he would stand behind me to apply the mascara which is totally scary.
It literally took an hour and came out pretty well, I was shocked. He told me that he has “paid attention” over the years. Totally cute. This is why I appreciate my husband so much, he is always willing to be a little crazy with me no matter how much embarrassment it causes him.
So enjoy our live-action shots of the fun and as always, happy blending!
Kate

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e.l.f Hits and Misses!

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Like every girl I have been known to blow a great deal of time (and money) in Sephora and while I love my cosmetics I love finding beauty products that amaze me at little cost to myself even more.  Over the years I have to come to collect quite a few e.l.f products because who can resist getting full size products that range from $1-$5 especially if they can be a dupe for the high end stuff I normally go for.  I first saw e.l.f products in Target and was really drawn to the packaging, I think their marketing team did something very smart, they made a simple logo, black with white lettering that is very reminiscent of MAC labels.  Like most beauty brands there will always be hits and misses, so I pulled out my large collection to give you my rundown!

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Left to Right: stipple brush, small stipple, bronze brush, face brush

Lets start off with products I tried first.  I was looking up and down for a stipple brush that would be dupe for MAC’s because I couldn’t see myself paying so much money for a single brush, so behold I found this large stipple brush.  This use to be my go-to brush but I have since moved on to buffing brushes, I mainly use this now for heavier foundations because I find with this brush I don’t need to use as much product.  Now onto my favorite e.l.f brush which is the small stipple brush.  It is perfect for blending out under eye concealers and cheek tints and does a great job of blending into smaller areas!  And then finally we have the face brushes, the bronzing brush’s bristles are a little uneven which I was concerned would cause a messy contour but it didn’t.  The full face brush I had originally bought as a powder brush but because the bristles are so dense I use it mainly as a blush brush.  All in all I was pleased with the brushes and best of all they don’t shed when you clean them which means they have longevity!  All four of these brushes cost me $8.  Not too shabby! 

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e.l.f Eyeshadow Pallet

I received this pallet as one of those ‘rainy day’ surprises from my husband.  At first I was a little bit nervous about it because the colors were all shimmery and most times of the year I go for matte, but it was a gift so I just kept strutting on.  This pallet has colors ranging from pearls whites up to jet blacks and everything in between.  To be honest, the only shades I have used are the natural colors so I can’t get into specifics with the bright colors, but as far as those go they were great!  They held up pretty well throughout the day and the only major bug I have with them is that because they are so shimmery when they do eventually wear down that all that is left is sparkle.  Overall I would say I was pleased with this pallet and I look forward to playing with the colors a little more! This pallet retails for around $5.

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e.l.f shimmering face whips in lilac pearl and white

Next we come to our first miss!  These cute little tubes are e.l.f shimmering face whips and are suppose to add hints of shimmer and color to your cheeks.  At first I really liked the dewy look of these on my cheeks and highlighted areas but the love soon wore off.  After about an hour these turned super cakey on my face and fell into pores and the last thing you want to do is bring attention to your flaws!  That was only day one so day two I decided to give them a second look..and then I opened the tube.  Instead on the cream “whip” coming out when I squeezed it a big glob of oily liquid came out.  The only thing worse then a cake on your face is a pile of oil.  So these unfortunately are headed for my makeup graveyard.  If you’re bold enough to try them they retail for only $1 a piece.

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e.l.f. bronzer in Sun Kissed and all over color stick in Golden Peach

Here we come to a couple more of my dreaded misses.  First we have the e.l.f bronzer in Sun Kissed which is a really light shimmery  bronze which I was really excited to try because yes, I am a bronze queen.  As fast as I was to try it I was equally as fast to dislike it.  It could be a fault of my own but the shade didn’t not show up on my skin whatsoever.  All that appeared on my face was a bunch of glitter which looked totally awkward on my contour lines.  Next we have the all over face color in Golden Peach which is like a color stick which can be used for eyes, lips and face (AHA clever!) I was looking to use this to add slight color to my cheeks and instantly after I applied it I had a big problem, it was sticky!  I could literally feel it pulling at my skin and falling into fine lines and worst off all after a day the entire stick dried up!  If you are in a daring ‘let’s go for it’ mood both of these retail for $1.

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e.l.f liners in silver, gold, black and e.l.f waterproof liner pen

Now onto my favorite beauty tool in the entire world, eyeliners!  I will take eyeliners any way you can give them to me.  First we have the three liquid eyeliners I tried in silver,gold and black,  Normally I would never buy silver or gold eyeliners but they came as a gift set so what the hell.  I only used the silver once because it was super bright and gave me really bad highschool flashbacks but the gold I surprisingly loved.  I use it on top of my black liquid liner to add a touch of sparkle for those special days.  The black eyeliner has to be my favorite e.l.f product of all time.  It is a brush tip liner which makes me feel like I have a lot of control over my lines and the black pigment seems to last me most of the day, I have to say this has been my go-to liquid liner for a year now and while I know they’re are better, more expensive ones out there I still find myself coming back to this time and again.  Lastly we have the waterproof lining pen, and while I’ve read reviews that sings it praises, I was far from impressed.  It did not go on smoothly at all and it caused a lot of skipped lines and worst of all (which seems to be a theme with my e.l.f misses) it dried out in a week.  These eyeliners retail for $3 a piece and the 3 piece gift set I purchased for $5.

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Left to Right: Matte Lip in Nearly Nude, Lip Stain in Crimson Crush, Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Pink Umbrella and Movie Star.

Lastly we come to the lips!  I have to say…I adore ALL of these products!  The matte lip stick feels more like a crayon which I didn’t think I would like but I found it gave me more control over the color.  I was looking for an awesome matte nude almost corpse like lip wear and this does the trick.  While it does seem to be drying I find that if I prep my lips first with a lip butter I can make the color stay on longer.  Next is the gorgeous lip stain in this super red color (If you saw my last post you saw me wearing this in my after pic.)  I love the way it feels on my lips and the color is so pigmented it really does stain and I only find myself re-applying after a long day.  Last we come to jumbo gloss sticks.  I bought these in the lightest shade and the darkest shade for contrast I these have quickly become my go-to’s for everyday.  The red isn’t too deep so I can wear it during the day without feeling like a clown and the pink is a perfect summertime shade plus the best part is these are super moisturizing and unlike most glosses these don’t make my lips feel like their covered in honey.  All in all these are a must have for me.  Each retails around $3.

There you have it,  My official breakdown of a brand and while it seems like I have a lot of misses I think the hits more than make up for it.  These products are super affordable so I encourage you to make your own opinions.  Instead of blowing that check on a couple high end products, this month test out the line and see what hits and misses you find for yourself!  

If you have tried the e.l.f line and have your own hits and misses I’d love to hear all about it so leave me some love below and don’t forget to subscribe.  If you want more of my quirkness follow me on instagram @mkateholmes or give me a shout out on twitter @RecycleRex and as always, happy blending!

-Kate

Worth the Fuss??

Because I am such an addict when it comes to beauty research, I often come across products that create a buzz in the beauty blogging world and like any normal addict I have to indulge.

So there have been two products that I’ve been hearing good things about and both happen to be drugstore brands which is great for my wallet but the important question is, are they worth the buzz? Lets find out!

First we have the Covergirl 3 in 1 foundation. This claims to be a full coverage foundation which also triples as a primer and a concealer which is suppose to provide an oil free finish. Wait, so I don’t have to use a primer or a concealer?? Color me skeptical. I have a warm medium skin tone and as far as flaws go mine are some discoloration and some serious redness, so if this foundation could conceal my clown face, I will be surprised.
Before I applied the foundation I started with a freshly washed faced and some light moisturizer as well as under eye cream. I applied it using my Sonja Kashuk buffing brush (no.130) and right away I could tell it would be full coverage so I only applied a thin layer. After a few minutes of inspecting my face I felt that it didn’t do enough concealing for me so I had to rely on my good ole’ conceal stick on my cheeks and under eyes. In all fairness I used only about half the concealer then I normally would. After some contouring, high lightening, blushing, and finishing with a matte powder I was really impressed with this finish. (You can check out my ‘oh so lovely’ before and after below)
3 in 1? Meh. Nice coverage with a lasting finish? Absolutely.
**Covergirl’s 3 in 1 foundation retails for around $10 and I purchased mine in 832 Nude Beige**

Next buzz product is a pack of eyeshadows that have made many appearances in some on my favorite beauty blogger videos so naturally I had to give them a shot!
Wet n Wild ColorIcon shadow trios claims to be soft and easy to use color combinations that compliment each other and are fool proof. Full disclosure I was nervous about this product because I am not a huge fan of this brand but I went in with a open mind.
I purchased mine in the shade “Walking on Eggshells” which is a nude pallet which is always what I go for. I was TOTALLY surprised by how much I loved it. It was so soft and smooth it felt like butter and the colors blended really well together for a great “natural smoke.” In all honesty I can wait to go back and purchase other shades! (You can check out how it looked on the lids below)

**Wet n Wild pallets retail for $3.99**

 

I would say that these are totally worth the fuss and the buzz and best of all I got them both on sale at my local drugstore which isn’t too shabby! If you have a buzz product you’d like me to try, leave me some love below because chances are I’ve tried it or already been eyeing it.

Happy blending and don’t forget to follow!

Kate

Birchbox Review!

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If you read my last post you know that I received my Birchbox full of goodies and as promised here is a quick review of some of the lovely products I received, (if you want to learn more about Birchbox check out my last post for the deets!)

The first product is the exclusive Birchbox+Color Club nail polish collection. I received my polish in the color “London Calling” which is a really pretty mint shade that totally reminds me of grasshopper sundaes. I’m not going to lie, I have had such an obsession with mint that I have already purchased a few mint shades from other brands but i’m always excited to try new brands so no complaints here. Off the bat the shade was more pastel then I expected, almost white so it was more washed out then my other mint products…and then there was the quality. It went on chalky and separated a bit so it did take quite a few coats to even it out and worst of all I found it chipped right off the bat. Full disclosure I did not use a top coat because I wanted to test the durability. Overall the product was o.k. not something I got too excited over.
**The Birchbox Wanderlust color collection retails for $8 and is sold in a four pack.**

The next product is the Juicy Couture sample perfume “Couture La La”. I am a Juicy Couture perfume fan, I love the smells and the bottles and La La did not disappoint. It is described as a light mandarin scent with white floral notes. It’s light and perfect for summer. The only miss with this product (which I find with many of the Juicy scents) is that is isn’t a very long lasting scent. After an hour in the heat it was barely noticeable. This would be a re-purchase for me because I love citrus scents, they make me feel light and almost effortless!
**The Juicy Couture La La retails for $19-90 for a full size product**

Next we have the lovely Whish shaving cream in blueberry. First off…how cute is that name? Super girly and fun. Blueberry…they were not kidding! This has some serious scent power, I think I could smell it from the next room which might be a turn off for some people but not for me! Now let’s get down to business, shaving business. What I look for in a shaving cream in a thick lather and no residue. While this product didn’t leave a greasy after shave residue feeling it did not lather as well as I would have liked. It did however make the shaving process more enjoyable because of the sweet berry smell and the almost lotion like quality. I would consider re-purchasing this product in the future…if only for the scent.
**The Whish shaving cream in blueberry retails for $20 for the full size product**

Last but not least we have the Coola classic cucumber face moisturizer with SPF. This product claims to be a full on mineral sunblock which is organic. I take sun protection very seriously since there is a history of skin cancer in my family and I find that most face SPF’s have a horrible scent and a greasy feel so it’s hard to make skin care enjoyable and I had high hopes for this moisturizer because I am OBSESSED with cucumbers. After the first day I was excited, I thought I had finally found the one, but the honeymoon stage quickly wore off. I found that as the day went on the scent turned almost bitter and it was hard to ignore, as if it would get stronger throughout the day. As for the texture I was pleasantly surprised. It was not greasy at all and I would say the lightness of the cream is comparable to Proactive’s Green Tea moisturizer (which I love.) Unfortunately I couldn’t get past this scent, so this would not be a repurchase for me.
**Coola’s classic cucumber moisturizer retails for $32 for the full size product**

Overall I was pleased with my Birchbox, going into Birchbox you know that not every product will be a hit for you but half the fun about being a girl is trying everything new and exciting and discovering something that will work for you. For $10 a month Birchbox is totally worth the journey so if you’re interested check it out, and if you already have it leave me some love below and let me know what you got this month!
Happy Blending!
-Kate

Birchbox July 2013

So my AMAZING husband gifted me a subscription to Birchbox for out 8th wedding anniversary. If you read my blog then you know I am obsessed with products, so this gift was perfection.
If you’re not familiar with Birchbox it is a subscription program where they send you 4-6 beauty and lifestyle product samples a month based on a beauty profile you fill out and it only costs $10 a month!
Because this was my first box it was a “welcome box”. In my box I received a cucumber SPF facial moisturizer, a exclusive nail polish, dry powder shampoo, blueberry shaving cream, and a Juicy Couture perfume sample.
I’m going to be review these products and give you a full rundown of the details soon! In the meantime here is a pretty picture of my box and if you’re interested in Birchbox check out the link below.
So keep an eye out for my final word later today and as always happy blending!
BIRCHBOX OFFICAL WEBPAGE

Benefit – They’re Real

Let me start off by saying hello. It has been an insane amount of time since my last post but I have been trying out other blogging outlets, moving cross state and having another baby. So I’ve been a touch busy. Don’t you fear though in my time off I have greatly increased my knowledge and collection and am super excited to pick up where I left off.

I am a sucker for mascara, if I was to say I haven’t tried it all then I would be lying. So during my most recent Sephora haul I came upon Benefit Cosmetics ‘They’re Real’ mascara and I had yet to try it which is odd because I am a totally Benefit girl and here is my review:
While the brush initially threw me off because I’m not the biggest fan of far apart bristles, I have to say I was impressed! The gel like formula did some serious coating to my lashes but didn’t clump once. It didn’t look like falsies which can be a problem for me because I have what is known as “crazy eyes”.
My lashes felt soft and just super luxurious so this was another big win for Benefit and a small loss for my bank account (sorry hunny!)
This mascara retails for around $20 a tube for the full size product. So go forth and purchase and happy blending!

Summer Inspired Blue Eyes

I happen to be a lady who loves color, especially in the spring and summer.  There is no better way to bring myself out of the NY winter funk then to enjoy the blue skies.  I just received  my Lancome color palette in the mail (review coming soon!) and one of the shades is a wicked dark blue which inspired me to do a blue smoked out eye with a touch of green and plum to celebrate to coming summer.

To start I washed, prepped and primed my face and then applied my normal foundation and concealer routine (I held off on the powder till the end, you’ll find out why!)  Because the blue family is so bright and vibrant I wanted my face to stay neutral to avoid the clown effect.

I then primed my eyes with Cult pink primer and started building the blooms.  I wanted a good mixture of colors, so on top of the blues I have sage, plum and pink as well.   For the base color I used Sephora eye shadow in sweet candy, which is a baby doll pink, and I applied it all over my lid and up under the brow line with a medium brush.

I then took my blue base which was Maybelline eyeshadow in turquoise jewel, which is a brilliant blue shade with a hint of sparkle, and blended it in on the lower lid up into the crease of my eye using the same medium brush (make sure to wipe brushes if you use the same one so you don’t mix before blending) I then continued to sweep the turquoise under my lower lash line for dramatic effect.

Next I took my sage pot of gold I call it (it’s an old loose powder that Victoria’s Secret used to carry but any light green/sage color will do) and worked it from the center of my lid blending it out to the corner.  For a little extra drama I used this green on the bottom corner of my eye.

It is very important, especially with bright colors to blend if you want a smoky effect, so with every color I built on I would blend as I went!  I then grabbed my glorious midnight blue from Lancome’s Midnight Rush palette and blending it from the outer corners up to the crease and out to the corners smoking and blending as I went with a medium brush and finished it off with a blending brush.

I then lined my eyes with Avon liquid liner in plum making the line thicker on the corners and thiner at the inner corners.    Using the silver color from my Lancome palette I added highlights under my brow bone and in the inner
corners of my eyes.    Last step was to curl and coat my lashes using L’oreal million lashes mascara.  I finished off with my setting powder at the very end, this way I could also use to powder brush to sweep away any fall off from the eye shadow powder, which will happen with high pigment powder.

The best part about a high pigment color look is that it can be achieved with any color you wish.  It’s a great smoke effect with pinks and plums, greens and purples, even yellows and oranges!  It really depends on your mood.

The end result was a great summer look which I wore out that night to celebrate the warm weather and the frozen drinks.

 

*For my face I used Maybelline fit me foundation, concealer and powder in #210, Avon minerals blush in wine, Covergirl Lipstain in peach and Avon eyebrow pro in dark brown.