7.22.2014

Top 5 Lip Moisturizers



Soft, moisturized lips are a must for me because having flaky lips is a no no especially since I wear lipstick daily. 

With a plethora of choices for lip balm I have found a few that I'm in love with. 

1⃣ EOS Sweet Mint 
I have to admit I fell for the craze of these egg shaped lip balms and own every flavor they make, but for some reason sweet mint is my absolute favorite. I think it has to do with the peppermint tingle it leaves on my lips. 

2⃣ MAC Lip Conditioner (Tube) 
I have mentioned this before in a monthly favorite post and continue to love it. It probably is my #1 because it truly does wonders for my lips. It's works immediately so I tend to use it prior to applying makeup so my lips are ready for lipstick. 

3⃣ Smith's Strawberry Lip Balm
This love affair started with the rosebud salve which I did like but the constant smell of roses got to be too much. So I tried the strawberry and instantly liked using it much better, not only does it smell terrific it keeps my lips soft. 

4⃣ Kiehl's Coconut lip balm 
My newest find and already included in my daily routine. It's a bit thick and I can see it being awesome for winter months. I mainly use it at night and when I wake up my lips are smooth as butter. 

5⃣ MAC Lip Conditioner 
This is now discontinued but it was and still is an excellent moisturizer. The idea that it comes packaged as a regular MAC lipstick is what drew me in when I first saw it. The formula is amazing so I don't know why they discontinued this product. Essentially it's like the conditioner in the tube but more emollient and longer lasting. 


It wouldn't be a good lip conditioning post with out mentioning a lip scrub. I used to use C.O. Bigelow Lip Buffer from Bath & Body but began making a simple homemade mix of olive oil or coconut and sugar, it works just as well and saves $ because those ingredients are always available in your kitchen. 

Until Next Time 
Smooches*

7.04.2014

What's in my Makeup Bag

It has been ages since I posted on here so I thought it would fun to show what I carry around with me as far as makeup items. I did want to mention I am very active on Instagram @makeup_by_niki and that's where I post daily, anything from fotd's / sales / hauls/ my makeup collection to beauty tips and tricks.


I usually never need to touch up my makeup after applying it in the am, other than reapplying lipstick and a quick powdering of the nose what's done is done.


First of I carry everything in a MAC neon monogram bag which I love because it's small enough to fit in cross body bags yet wide enough to hold a good amount of products. So here's what I carry....

• cash (emergency $) 
•blotting sheets
•retractable Kabuki
•powder foundation 
•perfume sample
•lip balm 
•clear lipgloss  
•Hello Kitty mirror
•brown liner/ nude lipstick & lipglass
•purple lipgloss 

The only thing different I would add are whatever lipstick or gloss I'm wearing that day or eye lash glue if I'm going out dancing, because heat and sweat can cause my lash glue to loosen up.




Until next time 
*smooches 

5.06.2014

My April Favorites





It has been a while since I did a favorite post but now that I have accumulated a few new items I think it's time to let you know what beauty products I've been loving. In no particular order here are my April Favorites: 

1.  Clinique Stay Matte Foundation
This oil-free foundation is perfect for those with normal to oily skin. It offers sheer to medium coverage but I can build it up to a full coverage using my beauty blender. It is one of the only matte formulas that actually keeps me matte ALL day. I have 2 different shades one for now and one shade darker for the summer. If you have dry skin I wouldn't recommend this because it will dry you out even more. 
A++

2. Anastasia Dipbrow pomade Chocolate
After trying 2 other shades of this pomade, I finally found one that is perfect for my skintone. It is smear proof and waterproof, glides on easily but does dry fast so you have to work quickly.  I really like this and hope it holds up during hot, humid days. 
A

3. Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette
As always I purchase a new product and I don't reach for it right away, I get so complacent with my 'staple' items that I buy new things but rarely use them. I was very impressed with this palette when I finally used it 4 months later (I know, I know). Besides the fact that it smells like chocolate these shadows are neutral but have a bit more color than the traditional neutral palette. I love how easy to blend they are and how many different looks I can achieve with this one palette, and lastly the packaging is super cute. I highly recommend this if you don't already have it. 
A+

4. Benefit Porefessional Primer
This very hyped up primer kept calling my name so I decided to gave it a try because I do have larger pores in my cheek area. First let me say I am very oily and I was not expecting this to help my oily areas because it is mainly marketed as a pore minimizer, surprisingly it does both. I love how silky it goes on and I guess because it's oil-free it keeps extra oil at bay. I like it but it isn't my holy grail of primers. 

5. M.A.C Magnetic Appeal Skinfinish
Let us just say I am all about highlighting products but I realize that being oily, highlighters aren't always fit for our skin type but I do like shine just in the right places. Skinfinishes are my favorite product that MAC makes and I have a pretty good collection of them. This month I started using Magnetic Appeal and feel head over heel in love. It's a beautiful bronze, gold color and is perfect for that summer glow, at night I pile it on and let the light reflect of my cheekbones naturally.
A+

6. M.A.C Golden Bronze Iridescent Loose Powder
Another Highlighting product that I have been using a lot last month. This one is a bit different because it can be used alone or mixed into foundation or powder to add a glow. As the name suggests this powder has a iridescent finish that is really pretty especially on really dark/tan skin. It has since been discontinued but last I checked it was still available on Nordstrom.com. A must have for women or color or tan/ olive skintones. 
A

7. Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask
If you follow me on Instagram (makeup_by_niki) then you know how much I love facial masks and that my favorite brand is Freeman Feeling Beautiful masks. I read they came out with this one which is supposed to be a dupe for MAC's Volcanic Ash Exfoiliator ( comparison post coming soon) so I knew I wanted to try it myself to see if they were the same or similar. I absolutely love everything about this mask, it has been a key part of my facial routine and will be permanently added to the lineup. The charcoal is great for drawing out oil and impurities and the black sugar scrubs away dead, dull skin, leaving skin feeling brand new. The best part is that even though it exfoiliates it isn't harsh or drying but leaves my skin soft and moisturized. 

8. Mario Badescu Facial Spray
I love using facial sprays so I never turn down the opportunity to try new ones. I came across this one during one of my many Ulta trips and had to see what it was about. It contains rose water, aloe and herbs, can be used to set makeup or refresh the skin. I use it both day and night as a toner before applying my moisturizers and serums, also during the day as a pick me up when my skin feels dry or dehydrated. It is similar to MAC Fix+ but it's only $7 for 4 oz compared to $21 for 3.4 oz of the Fix+
A

9. M.A.C Lip conditioner 
After the winter we had in NY I have become an expert at fighting chapped lips lol. I've honestly tried so many that did nothing for me that when I find one that works I cannot help but sing it's praise. This one is petroleum based but it is not sticky or goey like Vaseline, it contains Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Extract, Wheat Germ Oil, vitamins A and E which basically means it's extremely moisturizing. The one I have is in limited edition packaging with Ricky Martin's signature but it is a permanent product available year round. 
A+

10. M.A.C Shaping Powder in Soft Focus 
I've been wanting to try these shaping powders for a while nowo so I ordered this one to use as an under eye setting powder. It is finely milled, silky smooth and gives the right amount of highlight without being overly bright. It reminds me of banana powder because of the yellow color but I have yet to try that to do a comparison. I do love this powder and plan on picking up other shades in the future. 
A+


I always feature a bonus favorite and because I'm a foodie it's usually a treat. This month I've been loving Dove's Mint & Dark chocolate swirl bar....Heaven in a Candy bar 


Until Next Time 
Smooches*

4.28.2014

M.A.C Concealer Palette- Dark

Concealers aren't a necessary item for most in their makeup routine but when you are a mom it's a crucial step. They can hide dark circles, puffiness, redness or post acne marks. 

 My holy grail concealer is MAC's Pro Longwear in NW40 that I use to cover darkness and highlight the area under my eyes. Since I recently ran out of it 
I decided to try the Studio Finish concealer palette which includes 4 concealer shades (NC45, NW45, NC50, NW55) and 2 corrector shades in Ochre and Pure Orange. 

The formula of these are creamy and very easy to blend out, I use either my fingers or a beauty sponge and it doesn't require much product to get a flawless application. 

I would highly recommend it for the makeup enthusiast and definitely for the makeup artist. These save space, cut out the hassle of looking for multiple shades, and can be used to mix custom shades. They are also available in light, medium and medium deep at MAC stores, counters or maccosmetics.com for $40 US. 



Until next time 
Smooches*

3.18.2014

Most Used Palettes (Right Now)

Lately I've been really loving working from eye shadow palettes, they make getting ready easy and take the guess work out of choosing colors. For me a good palette should have complementary colors to achieve a few different looks, as well as a mix of finishes and textures.  

These are the ones I've been loving the most so far.

 
1. Lorac Pro Palette
 I wrote about this palette about a year ago and it STILL is my favorite palette ever. It's neutral but has a bit of color, day and night time looks, great quality shadows and the packaging is so sleek and simple. If you don't have this 'what are you waiting on?' 

2. Anastasia Catwalk Palette 
If I'm being honest I was drawn to this because of the animal print and happily discovered it was not only pretty but also  useful. I would call this a smoky eye neutral palette but you definitely can use this for day time use. 

3. MAC Cosmetics Custom Quad
I created this palette for everyday use and I'm happy with the colors I chose.  Ricepaper (brow color) Woodwinked (lid color) Espresso ( outer V) Saddle (crease color)
Whenever I'm in a rush or just want to do a quick eye look this is what I use. 

4. Kat Von D Ladybird Palette 
If you didn't know I'm a sucker for matte shadows, and when I saw this palette I knew I had to have it. The shadows are  very pigmented but they are powdery and need to be applied with a primer or base. Otherwise I like the colors especially the orange shade. 

5. Anastasia Lavish Palette
The highly sort after Lavish palette certainly lives up to the hype. Being that this was Anastasia's first eye shadow palette I think she really did a good job with the quality of it. You can really achieve any look with this palette and again the packaging sure is pretty. 

6. Charlotte Ronson Nicole Palette
So since I always keep it real with y'all...I only got this because it's my name *hangs head in shame* 
I know it's superficial but tell me you wouldn't do the same...Exactly! 
Anyhow turns out it was not a purchase in vain because I love the coppery, bronzey colors of this palette. Cannot wait for summer nights and a tan to wear this more. 

7. Makeup Forever Technicolor 
Granted the quality of this palette was a fail for MUFE, however I still adore the bright colors and I def use the brown, beige & black often. It's some what difficult to work with the texture of these shadows but once you get the hang of it it's not so bad. Great for fun bright spring/summer looks! 

8. MAC Cosmetics Devil May Dare
Found this gem on a blogsale and was so glad I was able to get my hands on it. This was released in the Magic, Mirth & Mischief collection for Holiday 2009 so finding it now was a major score. I've used it pretty much every other day since I got it. The pink and purple shade are so nice on my skin tone that it's making me consider getting the Naked 3 :) 



That's it my most used palettes right now. I have been on a palette buying spree so look forward for an updated list in the near future. 

Smooches ��


10.03.2013

September Favorites

Im back with another monthly favorite post. Last month I didn't do one because I hardly wore makeup and I didn't have enought products to justify a post. So here are my favs from both August & September :) 

                    
        

1. Nuance Mineral Foundation Deep 240
 I have had this foundation for months but lately its been my go to powder foundation for the days when I wanna keep it light and simple. This makeup line by Salma Hayek and is sold at CVS and I can honestly say I will repurchase over and over.  

Rating: A

2. Revlon Custom Eyes Mascara
 I typically use 2-3 mascaras at a time because my natural lashes are pathetic, so when it comes mascaras I'm always up for trying new ones. I got this one because it has a twist dial on the brush that switches from length & drama to length & definition, although it isn't great with length it does give good definition. 
    
Rating: B+

3. Robanda Oxygen Boost Night Cream
Kinda stumbled on this moisturizer while strolling the aisles of TJ Maxx. I am in the process of amping up my skincare routine and introducing more serums and night creams is my first step. The main reason why I went for this one was the oxygen boost factor as well as containing ingredients like organic aloe vera, shea butter, vitamin c, ginger, jojoba, mandarin orange and loads of plant derivatives. So far its been working well I won't know for another few weeks if its a keeper or not but its def a fav right now. 

Rating: A

4. MAC All of My Purple Life Lipglass
If you have been reading blogs for as long as I have, you certainly must know Patrice of Afrobella.com, she paved the way for brown bloggers and is still very much on top of the game. Well a couple years back MAC did a collection where top bloggers got a chance to create their own eye shadow or lipglass. Patrice, a fellow Trinidadian and purple lover, created this gorgeous purple lipglass and set the internet ablaze when it sold out in days and had everyone signing petitions to bring it back. This is my all time fav lipglass and sadly I'm on my last tube with what seems like no chance of ever getting another :(  if there's a makeup God MAC would come to their senses and repromote this beautiful color.  

Rating: A++

5. Burberry Weekend Eau de Parfum
A lovely scent for everyday use but as the name suggests its has a laid back 'weekend' vibe. I love that its soft but long lasting and now that its allegry season for me, it doesn't bother my sinuses.

Rating: A

6. L'oreal Quad in Canyon Stone 
As I mentioned I haven't been wearing much makeup the last month or so but when I did want a polished look I found myself reaching for this quad. This quad is great for looking like you put effort into your makeup without the work, I can use 2 colors or all 4 for a more 'done' eye look. Another plus, the darkest brown doubles as brow powder. 

Rating: A

7. MAC Select Cover Up Concealer NW45 
I've had this concealer for a year now and its finally on its last leg. I love this because all you need is a drop to cover blemish scars or under eye circles. My simple routine as of late is to cover any discoloration then go over the entire face with the Nuance powder. Less than 3 minutes and I have an even, matte complexion...Love It! 

Rating: A

8. Pro FX Quick Dry Top Coat
This has replaced the cult fave Seche Vite in my book, which quite frankly for the price doesn' t contain the best ingredients AND always got super thick half way thru the bottle. I picked this up from Walmart for about $5, its salon size and is a great top coat for an at home manicure. I'm halfway thru it and the consistency is the same, only con I see is  it doesn't dry as fast as seche vite but it keeps my manicure fresh for 5-6 days. 

Rating: B+

9. Revlon Nail Enamel Plum Night 799
For me dark nails are year round but generally its more suitable for cooler months. This blackened plum would look great on any skintone, the formula is creamy and opaque and its seems to be chip resistant because it lasted a full week with only minor chipping at the tips.

Rating: A

10. MAC Tribalist Lipstick
I was so happy that I found this color for a reasonable price. First off the packaging is amaze and the blackberry color is right on trend. I have be wearing the life out this color in September.

Rating: A

Bonus: 
My food favorite if the month has to be Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Frappe (without the mocha), it is out for a limited time so try it before its gone. 

Until Next Time,
Smooches*

10.01.2013

FOTD: Hello October!

As the weather turns I'm slowly but surely transitioning into fall mode. Pumpkin flavored everything LoL, apple picking, raking leaves and my all time fave hot chocolate! 
 

Face:
Neutrogena Shine Control Primer
MAC Select Cover Up NW45
Nuance Mineral Foundation Deep

Eyes:
Wet n Wild Brow Lliner Dark Brown 
Nuance Brow Kit Brown 
Lorac Pro Palette 
 -Nude-Mauve-Sable-Black
Rimmel Sexy Curves Mascara
Kiss Lashes 03 
Jordana Eye Liner Black 

Cheeks:
MAC Loverush blush
NARS Albatross 
 
Lips: 
NYX Prune lip liner
MAC All Of My Purple Life  




Until Next Time 
Smooches* 

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