A little about me

Hi guys, my name is Bekah and I am absolutely obsessed with all things beauty! My plans for this blog are to give honest, detailed reviews on beauty products from all price ranges, as well as share tips that have helped me tremendously. You may already know some of this things, and even may know ways to do it better (if so please fill me in) but I’m gonna give it a go anyway.

Alright, now for a little bit about me. I am a 28 year old mother of two from South Carolina who enjoys cosmetics, cooking and copious amounts of coffee. Life in my home can be hectic and challenging but it’s so rewarding and always full of surprises. My 10 year old stepson and my nearly 2 year old boy keep me on my toes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I will refrain from speaking of my boys non-stop, which is much harder than it sounds.

Playing with makeup to create a new look, whether it is edgy or more natural, has always been a favorite pastime for me. I enjoy long walks through the Sephora aisles and I’m always looking for the best products to get my make up fix. Well, enough about me! I’d love to hear some of your make up tips or your cosmetic favorites, feel free to message me through the “Contact Me” function and they could get featured in a post.

Anyway, that’s all for this introductory post. I look forward to hearing from you all and will be posting again really soon.

Until next time,
BekahBoo

Surviving the Summer

The struggle of keeping my makeup set has been too real this summer and there’s no sign that the temperature will drop anytime soon. Yesterday the thermometer in my car registered 100 degrees [F] and in all honesty, it’s been like this for months now. I have been wracking my brain trying to think of ways to keep my makeup in place with no luck, well until recently that is. I found a way that seems to keep my foundation [mostly] in place for hours on end AND feels much lighter on my skin, which is super beneficial when you live in the kitchen of hell known as South Carolina. So, here’s the deal, or at least what has worked for my combination skin…

First, I started by slathering moisturizer on my face, focusing particularly on the dry spots around my nose and chin. When I say slather I mean use an excessive amount, leaving a bit extra on your face. Go do something for 20-30 minutes, maybe some light cleaning or catching up on your favorite show or blog. When the time has elapsed take a tissue and gently wipe away the excess, making sure to get as much of it off the surface as possible. Next, I took out my NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, a primer from Avon [review to come later] and my color correcting mint concealer from NYX. Squirt a bit of foundation, a little more than half of what you would usually use, on your surface of choice; I always use the back of my hand because it warms the foundation and makes it easier to apply. Then add about half the amount of primer you normally would directly beside it and dab color correcting concealer, if using, to the side. Now, I’m going to go ahead and warn you here.. you need to get the ratio of foundation to primer as close as you can, otherwise it comes out kinda iffy. If you use too much foundation it just slides off your face but if you use more primer, the coverage won’t turn out the way you would like. If you are using CC concealer, dab sparingly. The last thing that you want is to have a green/lavender/peach/whatever tinge and if you need to you can use a bit more.

This is my ratio:20160817_142911

You can mix it with a foundation brush or your fingers [my method] but make sure everything is evenly incorporated. How you choose to apply it is completely up to you, I chose to dab it on my face with my fingers and buffing it out with a damp beauty blender like sponge [save yourself $15 and get the sponge by Real Techniques].  I let the products “dry” on my face for about 5 minutes before spritzing with setting spray pretty heavily, which requires about the same amount of time to dry. After everything has dried, I set it AGAIN with a light dusting of the HD Studio Finishing Powder from NYX and use my normal blush and highlight routine and opt for a powder contour instead of my usual cream. If you would like to use cream contour or blush I imagine that it would be no issue to quickly apply it with a light hand before the primer has had a chance to dry. After all is said and done, I spritz lightly with setting spray again and I’m done. I know that this seems like a lot of setting but due to the humidity here [and the fact that I’m on medication that makes me sensitive to heat] I sweat quite a bit.

I’m not gonna sit here and say that this method is going to work for everyone because I know that everyone has different skin types and people react differently to products but I will say that it works better than anything else has for me in the summer. Normally when I sweat there are itty bitty “holes” in my makeup but for some reason this method doesn’t do that. The featured image of this post is how my face turns out, even if I’ve been exposed to the heat for hours. If you try this PLEASE let me know how it works out for you, as well as your skin type for comparison. Do you have any tried and true methods for surviving the summer? Drop any helpful tips that you may have in the comments.

Until next time,
BekahBoo

 

 

NYX Mini Haul Part Two

Hiya beauties! I know I said this would be coming out on Wednesday and hopefully it won’t be too much after midnight before it gets posted. Today’s post will be a continuation of the last post NYX Mini Haul. Everything that I have used so far will be reviewed which only leaves out the liners

NYX’s Liquid Suede in Soft Spoken looked pretty muddy online but after reading many reviews, I decided to take a chance. Soft Spoken is a wonderful [universally flattering] mauve-y warm taupe that goes on smoothly with very little issue, save for the massive amount of product that comes on the wand. It lasts for hours on end but I noticed that it started to fade quickly after eating or drinking. Another problem that I have is with reapplication creating pilling. I am trying to find a way to prevent this, besides removing the product altogether and applying to clean lips. Overall, this is the perfect shade and I will be buying again when I run out despite the issues that I have with it.

On to the next lippie, Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Perfect is just that, making my addiction to natural mauve-y shades even harder to fight. I literally cannot find a single thing that I dislike about this lipstick. This product has the perfect level of light shine and just glides on with ease. The lusciously creamy stick is highly pigmented and requires very little product to achieve optimal results.

For those of you who have been following me for a while, I’m sure that you have picked up on the fact that I live in a super humid environment, which calls for a massive amount of sweat as well. As a result of this, I have been searching endlessly for any product to help to keep my makeup from melting off. When I stumbled across Matte Finish Setting Spray I figured that it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I used a fair bit of this spray and I must say, it stuck through the humidity pretty well and fights a good fight against the sweat but does falter. All in all, this product works MUCH better than similar products within this price range and a bit worse than higher end brands. It works better than expected and I will definitely keep this product on my mind for future purchases.

Honestly, I bought the Love in Paris Eye Shadow Palette in Je Ne Sais Quoi because it was on sale but I am so glad that I did. There are nine beautiful shades that are great for everything from a natural eye to a more dramatic smoky eye. They have medium-high pigmentation and despite this remains super duper blendable. I do have to pull out a transitional color from my other shadows because I prefer a matte product for that but for me, that is no big deal. I really like this palette and I look forward to trying many other palettes in the future.

The last product is the HD Studio Finishing Powder and it is actually a restock item. I am super happy with this powder and it leaves my face velvet-y smooth. Without intervention from the temperature, this sets my foundation for literally ALL day. My main complaint with this isn’t the quality of the cosmetic itself but rather the container. The slots that release the powder are MUCH too large, which ends up with a significant amount of wasted product. Fingers crossed that NYX fixes this one really soon. I would recommend this to anyone with the warning that a little goes a really long way and if you over use this, it WILL show in flash photography.

Well guys, this pretty much sums up my NYX Mini Haul review. There are only two products that I left off [because I haven’t tried them yet] but I will sneak them into a future post. I had a recommendation of how to properly use the mint HD Studio concealer by TARYN HARRIETT via comment on the previous post. She said “I’ve found with concealer colour corrector I have to buff it into the skin using a blender to even it out then apply a small amount of foundation directly on top of it then buff again. It seems like a lot of work but that’s the only way I’ve figured to not have to use double the amount of foundation! Hope this helps!“. Taryn, I’d like to personally thank you, this tip has saved so much time and so much product. Do any of you have any helpful tips that you’d like to share? Maybe a hack for any of the products in this mini haul? Let me know!

Until next time,
BekahBoo

NYX Mini Haul + Exciting News!!

Hi there, I hope you have all been doing well. Over the past few weeks, I have been in communication with the site My Trending Stories and after careful thought, I have decided to join the team! I will still be posting here, on my personal blog, just as before. If you’g like to keep up with me there, you can click HERE [should be posting within the next few days] and be directed to my profile, where you can also follow me!

With that being said, let’s dive into the good stuff! When I needed to replace my much cherished HD Studio Finishing Powder, I went to the NYX website and got to browsing. I needed several things so I thought this would be the perfect time to restock a few necessities and venture out into other NYX products as well. I placed my order and sent an email through the website’s ‘contact us’ function and kindly asked permission to review not only the products, but the service the company provided and a general commentary of my purchasing experience as well. Unfortunately, over two weeks have went by and I still haven’t received an email in return on the topic, which speaks for itself, no?

Pictured above is my mini haul [and the cute black lace satchel it came in] top left to right- Extra Creamy Round lipstick in Perfect [608], HD Studio Finishing Powder in Translucent [SFP01], Matte Finish Setting Spray, Xtreme Shine Lip Cream in Buttery Nude [XLC04] and HD Studio Concealer Wand in Mint Green [CW12] and bottom left to right – Gotcha Covered Concealer in Alabaster [GCC00], Love in Paris Palette in Je Ne Sais Quoi [LIP10], lip liner in Nude Pink [SPL858], Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Soft Spoken [LSCL04] and Slim Eye and Eyebrow Pencil in White [SPE906]. Today I will be reviewing three of these products; Xtreme Shine Lip Cream in Buttery Nude, HD Studio Concealer wand in Mint Green and Gotcha Covered concealer in Alabaster.

Although the color Buttery Nude of Xtreme Shine Lip Cream is beautiful, it is NOT what it appears online. I do understand that often times there can be discrepancies in shades due to different screens or whatnot so I’m really not that bothered by it. The color is labeled as a beige-pink and it almost follows that description with just a touch of a coral-y shade that is unexpectedly beautiful. When this product says Xtreme Shine they definitely mean it; I could bring down planes with this junk. The scent is reminiscent of dollar store gloss but keeping in mind that this IS a ‘drug store’ brand you can’t be too disappointed. Honestly, my favorite stage of this lippie is after the gloss fades and you are left with the beautiful shade. I really want to say that normally I am a gloss-hater because often the texture of the gloss is tacky and feels repulsive. I took a risk on this product only because it was on sale and had 4.1 star reviews, which promised that it wasn’t tacky. As a result of this risk, I have found the only gloss that I will wear habitually.

The very idea of color correcting has always terrified me. I mean, people HAD to be able to tell that I have a vivid color under my foundation, right? Recently, the redness in my skin has taken a turn for the worst, leaving me struggling with how to cover it. During one of my recent trips to Sephora an employee helped me out, doing a demo on my cheek and instructing me how to go about it. Originally I was trying to restock the shade Porcelain in the HD Studio Concealer but when they were sold out, I decided to give the mint a shot. When I applied it, I put dots over my face and dabbed it out with my fingers until it was smooth. Looking at my alien toned skin, I was doubted this harder than ever but continued on with the foundation. It was amazing how it evened out my skin tone but I did notice that I had to apply foundation heavier than I would have liked in certain spots to cover the mint. Other than that, I have found nothing wrong with this product and I am still trying to figure out a way to avoid the excess foundation.

Before looking on the website, I had never seen the Gotcha Covered concealers before so I was a little skeptical. When I bought the concealer, I intended it for under eye conceal/highlight so I bought it a shade or two lighter than normal and it wasn’t too light. This formula is super thick and definitely requires a good bit of blending. The product claims that it is waterproof but like most waterproof cosmetics it is NOT sweat proof, which is super unfortunate considering the humid climate that I live in. It also creases a good bit in the little fold under my eye even after I reblended it out before applying my setting powder. Despite these flaws, I still LOVE this concealer and I will be repurchasing this when I run out.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to try out all the other products yet but I plan to do so before the next post, so keep your eyes peeled for NYX Mini Haul Part 2. I am expecting to release that one on Wednesday, as a regularly scheduled post so check back then or follow me now to stay in the loop. What are some of your favorite NYX products? Have you had different experiences with these product?

Until next time,
BekahBoo

My July Ipsy Glam Bag!

Hello beauties, I hope you are doing well! I am so, so sorry that I was unable to post last week but my family was experiencing a bit of a crisis. I will try very hard to post as scheduled from now on. How do you feel about me posting once weekly, would you like to see posts more often? Feel free to comment and let me know, I would always love to hear your opinions! Anyway, on to the topic at hand..

How many of you guys subscribe to the Ipsy Glam bag? For many months now I have been receiving similar products and it is getting a bit redundant for me. As a result, the July glam bag will be the last that a receive and I have decided that I will do a proper review as my good bye. In my July bag [a cute silver bag with pinwheel umbrella like designs] I received Bella Pierre Banana setting powder, ML Cosmetics Felt Tip Eyeliner in Emerald Isle, Make Up Forever Excessive Lash mascara, BeFine food skin care night cream, and Luxie Rose Gold Small Angle Eye Brush 215 from Luxie Beauty.

Upon arrival, I was super excited to try the banana setting powder from Bella Pierre because I have had a few cosmetics from this brand before and I know they produce quality products. I opened up the little container and lightly dusted some powder on my bare skin and I immediately noticed that it seemed to brighten my skin WHILE reducing the redness present on my face, which is really unexpected because usually it takes a mint concealer to do that. This product did its job and it did it superbly.

With one swipe of the Excessive Lash by Make Up Forever I was hooked. I seriously love this mascara and I am considering knocking They’re Real! by Benefit off its “everyday product” throne.  Excessive Lash coats so well and remains thin while lengthening and it is a huge plus for me, as I have long, thick lashes. On me this product looks like falsies, and I absolutely adore it. I will say that the sample size is extremely disappointing and is about HALF that of normal mascara samples but the quality makes up for it.

When I opened my bag and saw the Small Angle Eye Brush 215 from Luxie Beauty, I was pretty excited. If you guys read my previous post about the cheap makeup brush set, you will remember that the set was pink and this brush can take the place of brushes that I have discarded AND match. Without thinking twice, I grabbed this brush and dipped it in my Ka-Brow from Benefit and was  blown away! Guys, this applicator works better than the one included! In my review of Ka-Brow I stated that I couldn’t find a brush that worked well with the product but now I have! Overall, I love this brush but I have to admit that I haven’t even tried it for anything other than my brows.

Okay, I’m just gonna have to be honest here, I have NOT actually worn the Emerald Isle Felt Tip Eyeliner by ML Cosmetics yet. There has not been an occasion that I felt this liner would be appropriate for yet, but I assure you I will be trying it very soon. However, I can say that I did a few swatches on my hand [without photographing it, of course] and the color pay off was incredible. The felt tip applicator made it super easy to apply with extreme precision. Now to the most impressive [and slightly scary] part, this swatch lasted on my hand ALL day long and I do mean it. It lasted through countless hand washings & through an extensive dish washing session and had to be physically scrubbed off with coconut oil. While this is amazing, I am a bit afraid that this would be too difficult to remove from the delicate eye area. When I get around to trying this, I will post about it or update this post.

Lastly, we have BeFine Food Skin Care Night Cream. On the ‘learn more’ function of Ipsy.com it had bold statements like “Natural estrogen works to reduce wrinkles and prevent premature aging” and “Improves circulation in the skin for healthier color and tone”. I didn’t experience either of these things, and that is okay because I literally only tried a sample so it really can’t be expected to work in such a small time frame.  The first time that I applied this night cream I used wayyyy too much product so I feel the need to say A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY!  It initially feels kind of oily but once it settles into your skin that goes away. While it does moisturize deeply, there is a slight tacky feeling to the skin, which is a highly undesirable texture to me. Overall, I would not buy this product.

All in all, I would purchase three of these products; the banana powder from Bella Pierre, Excessive Lash by Make Up Forever and Luxie’s small angle eye brush 215. The other two just didn’t quite match my needs at this time but as stated before, I will be trying the eyeliner by ML Cosmetics soon and I will update my opinion afterwards. Do you have any differing opinions on any of these products? What did you get in your glam bag? Fill me in with a comment and let me know, I’d love to hear from y’all! Links to all of these products can be found on Ipsy and if I’m not mistaking you can even get a promo code from Ipsy.

Until next time,
BekahBoo

How well does a cheap brush set from Amazon really work?

Recently, I was looking around for a set of makeup brushes that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg. For my fellow beauty obsessed folk, you know exactly how difficult this is. When I was looking on Amazon, I noticed that there are literally dozens of cheap brush sets so I set out to find the cheapest set that I could that had the highest reviews. Curiosity got me, how well could a cheap brush set really work? This lead me to ordering this set iLoveCos Makeup Brushes – 24 pc for about $11 shipped using Amazon Prime.

Let’s be honest for a minute, we all know that these brushes will not work as well as high end brands but the real question is, could they be used and actually produce desirable results?

This product arrived at my door within two days [on a Sunday!] as Amazon promised and I opened up the box to be greeted by a foul scent, think acetone and melted plastic. Once opened, I individually unwrapped all of the brushes to let them air out and I was pretty impressed that they were all in good shape, in wrappers and some even in protective plastic covers. After a few hours I went back to check them out and made the immediate decision to discard four brushes that were made of “natural wool” [?] because the shedding on them was ridiculous. Other than those four, the set was pretty sturdy; I checked to make sure the metal was properly attached to the handles and all of them seemed fine. Now, time to see if they can apply makeup evenly.

Let me say, if I didn’t have any other brushes I would have been screwed. There are several flat brushes that are similar just in different sizes, which really helped with concealer and such, but not much else. The fan brush was too soft to really hold any product but was perfect for smoothing out rough edges of a powder contour. I used the blush brush to apply my highlighter and the slanted tip brush for my contour. The spoolie provided is actually really soft and full so it is perfect for the fade of eyebrows or to separate lashes if they get clumpy.

All in all, this is an okay set and as always, you get what you pay for. This set has very little variety so it is essential that it be paired with several additional brushes. The brushes that ARE in the set work fairly well but there are a few that I didn’t even touch because they were too similar to other brushes. Now for the original question, can they be used and achieve a desirable result? I mean, kinda..  Over a third of the brushes are useless but what isn’t works. If you go into it with the mindset of I’m buying 13 brushes and a strongly scented case, you wouldn’t be as disappointed. Would I buy again? Probably not, but at least this set can hold me out until I can buy another.

Until next time,
BekahBoo

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick Review

Hi there, today I’m going to review Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita. I’ve had my eye on this product for a while now but have heard mixed reviews, so I decided to see for myself.

First off, let me say that this color is a beautiful mauvey-nude that would look good on almost anyone. The shade is really what drew me to purchase Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick [$20]  and the product is exactly the color I was looking for.  It may be weird but I smell all of my cosmetics, and I have to say this is definitely not one of my favorites.  The scent took me back to the middle school days of wearing possibly expired dollar store lip gloss that smelled of old couch and general grossness. Not super appealing, but onward we go!

The consistency when first applied is nice, creamy and  a bit streaky which lasts until its dried, but does not have the stiffness that is typical for most liquid lipsticks. On the bright side, you can lightly layer the product on the streaky parts but be gentle because it can get heavy quickly. When applied, it formed a little barrier of product around the outside of my lips, which I thought was rather odd. When dried it settles into all the creases and flaws in your lips but it doesn’t crease the actual product. I was really surprised when the lipstick started to fade and pill after only a hour or so. Everlasting? Yea, not so much.

lips lights off

[Please pardon my poor editing skills, I apologize.]

Would I buy this product again? Sure, I’d love to give another shade a shot but I wouldn’t purchase Lolita again. I discovered a very similar shade from Sephora’s line of cosmetics that I felt just suited me better. Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Marvelous Mauve [$14] lasts all day with minimal touch ups, feels smooth and smells fantastic! If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend it; you may even save a few bucks compared to the alternative.

Until next time,
BekahBoo

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Review

For years I have searched for the perfect foundation: not too dark, not too yellow and not too heavy. I have a very fair face [with redness] but most of my body is a light tan, in comparison, so I have always had to sacrifice shade. When I have been matched before, the color was always a tad yellow and was the farthest from flattering.

I went into Sephora, explained my problem and sat and talked about what I needed out of my foundation: light/moderate coverage, the ability to hold up to the humid Southern summer and a shade that REALLY matches me. She recommended NARS Sheer Glow Foundation [$45] immediately and brought the shade to match me. She applied the product and I was impressed, it matches perfectly. I was NOT convinced that it would stay put in the heat but took the risk anyway, with a little reassurance from the store employee.

For about two weeks now, I’ve been using this foundation daily without any major complaints. That said, I did notice that with the use of certain [transparent] setting powders it looked as if the foundation darkened by just a touch. Other than that, it  feels nearly natural and has a flawless finish. Would I buy this product again? Absolutely, yes. It is pricey but worth every penny to finally have the perfect foundation for me. I would recommend this to anyone who doesn’t like or need heavy coverage foundations and particularly to my pale friends out there [I’m not even the lightest shade].20160621_145738

For all the folks out there still searching for the ‘one’ foundation, I am sending good vibes. It will happen some day, hopefully soon. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and if you have any foundations that worked better for you, feel free to leave a comment.

Until next time,

BekahBoo

Review of Benefit Ka-Brow

Hello lovelies, today I will be reviewing Benefit Cosmetics Ka-Brow [$24]

I recently went to Sephora to browse and was offered a sample of the yet-to-be-released product. It was love at first try! Firstly, let me say that this formula can be used for a “barely there” look but is super buildable to achieve a dramatic look. The shade matches me spot on and I was incredibly impressed by that because it is so hard for me to match without mixing different products to get a semi-desireable color. A little bit of product goes a long way, so you have to be careful not to overdo it. I accidentally left the sample open overnight and it was dried into little Ka-Brow pucks, completely unusable . I frantically went back to Sephora to figure out when the product would be released for  purchase to find out that there would be a one day only sale June 18th and was provided another sample by the generous Sephora employee [not all heroes wear capes, some wear black and red smocks].

Fast-forward to June 18th and I’m anxiously awaiting my Ka-Brow. The employee places the little yellow and silver package in my hand and I get the warm feeling of joy because I know that I am about to make a FANTASTIC cosmetic purchase. I rushed home to open it and found the most adorable little product display ever.20160621_135043

[Pardon my lighting, I’m still working on it.]

I have been using this product [including samples] for about a week now and I can’t find a single thing that I don’t like, which amazes me because usually I’m the worst critic. I will say, Ka-Brow dried quickly and doesn’t work well with eyebrow brushes, in my experience.  Would I buy it again? Absolutely, without a doubt!

For anyone who missed out on the one day sale, it will officially be out June 24th so mark your calendars!

Until next time,
BekahBoo