Top 5 Illuminating Products for Summer

I cannot put into words how happy I am that the whole “Matte Makeup” craze is over. I have VERY dry skin, and mattifying products make my skin look flaky, patchy and cakey. Enter: illuminating, dewy makeup. This trend is nothing new, but the spring into summer timing right now is absolutely ideal for creating a fresh summer glow without any side effects of unnecessary sweat. I can’t hide my love for illuminating products any longer. So here we go: these are my five ride-or-die products for achieving a subtle nourishing shine.

 
1. TooFaced Hangover Primer

Cost: $32.00

TooFaced Hangover Primer

When I got a sample of this primer in one of my monthly makeup subscriptions, I thought it was just another dumb sample of silicone-like primer. Boy was I wrong. This primer is a complete savior for dry skin, and it is going to be the most wonderful base for the summer when you want your makeup to stay but you still want an illuminating look to your skin. This product definitely does both.

 

2. Laneige BB Cushion Foundation

Cost: $34.00

La Neige BB Cushion

Cushion foundations are EVERYTHING at the moment. And when I jumped on the cushion train a couple months ago, I wanted to make sure that I was investing in the best one for my shade and skin type. Laneige products are sold at Target, and despite their drugstore nature, the price point is far from. However, at a closer look, this foundation is a steal for the price: you get not only one, but TWO cushions in one package. So basically each foundation is only $17 each. Not bad. Other benefits of this product: the light-coverage foundation has a subtle but pleasant scent, a moisturizing finish and a nice feel on the skin (never oily).

 

3. Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer (Reserve Your Cabana)

Cost: $3.99

WetnWild Color Icon Bronzer

This is the strangest product. Labelled as a bronzer, but tinted more like a highlighter, I would compare it to more of a BECCA shimmering skin protector dupe at a fraction of the cost ($4 vs. $20). My favorite way to wear this product is after my foundation and concealer. I go in with a powder brush very light handed all over the face and then finish with a translucent powder on top.

 

4. NYX Baked Blush + Illuminator + Bronzer (Wanderlust)

Cost: $7.00

NYX Baked Blush Wanderlust

This product is the newest to me out of this bunch. I’m definitely NO stranger to blushes, and it seems like my collection of blushes is never-ending. This blush is seriously perfect though: with one swipe on the apples and high points of the cheek, I can get an illuminating fresh peachy glow. This is a great product for lazier days or those “I overslept and need SOMETHING to look awake” days (those happen far too often for me).

 

5. Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter (Peach Lights)

Cost: $6.00

Makeup Revolution Baked Highlighter

Finding the perfect highlighter is tricky, especially when you’re on a fresh-out-of-college budget and don’t have $$$$ for BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop or Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Palette. This baked highlighter has been doing a pretty good job for the low price point. I like applying this product VERY LAST, even after my setting spray, so that it really pops on my skin. A fan brush or the side of a blush brush does the trick, just make sure to really get a lot of product on the brush since this is not a very pigmented highlighter.

7 Days of Lemon Water

I’ve always seen claims that warm lemon water in the morning is one of the best things you can do for your body. And with a simple Pinterest or Google search, you’ll find endless posts that claim that lemon water provides endless health benefits both inside and out. Although I was always drawn to these claims (and, I have to admit, I LOVE citrus), I could never hop on board the lemon water train with all the craziness and instability of a school schedule.

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Following my graduation  a few weeks ago, I decided to start my journey with lemon water. As my boyfriend likes to remind me, it takes 21 days to create a habit, but even after 7 days of my lemon water test, I am here to tell you that I am already reaping the benefits.

Here are some of the claims that Pinterest posts and blogs will try to tell you about the benefits of warm lemon water.

  • Detoxifies the body
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Hydrates lymphatic system
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Fights bad breath
  • Hydrates body
  • Prevents UTIs
  • Improves digestive health
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Balances pH levels
  • Replaces caffeine
  • Creates happier, cleaner skin
  • Boosts immune system
  • Relieves respiratory problems
  • Boosts levels of Vitamin C
  • Reduces heart burn
  • Purifies blood
  • Boosts brain power
  • Improves liver function
  • Boosts mineral absorption

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From my novel experience, these are the benefits I’ve actually experienced:

 

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It’s amazing how much I felt energized after drinking only a cup of warm lemon water. I didn’t feel groggy in the mornings, and even after a few days, I didn’t feel a dependency on coffee.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 8.23.17 PMWhen I was doing some internet searches on lemon water benefits, there was a lot of research showing that your body naturally dehydrates itself overnight. The lemon water did nothing short of hydrate my body and rejuvenate it right away so I didn’t feel sluggish.

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There was also a lot of research proving lemon water’s improvements on digestion. Although I’m not a doctor, I can say with certainty that the lemon water helps me feel not as full after meals, particularly breakfast, which always a difficult meal for me because I love it, but it makes my stomach  hurt if I eat it too quickly after waking up.

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 8.27.04 PMAlthough I’ve personally never really struggled too much with my skin, I am guilty of occasionally forgetting to remove my makeup (resulting in problem pimples). Admittedly, one of the days during my week with lemon water, I went to sleep with my makeup on – and somehow the lemon water did magic on my skin and kept its clear nature  despite the built up oil from the leftover makeup. Also helpful: the lemon water seemed to diminish my under-eye  bags.

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 8.28.15 PMRight now during the change from spring to summer is THE WORST for my allergies. Although allergies aren’t the same thing as a common cold, it was almost miraculous how much healthier I felt after a cup of lemon water. My allergies seemed to be momentarily tamed with just one cup.

 

 

Favorite Summer Lippies

Happy National Lipstick Day, everyone! If you ask me, I think today should be a national holiday. And to celebrate, all lipsticks at every store should be half price. Like, can you imagine that: Sephora would be packed to the rim with makeup lovers killing each other trying to get the very last bargain priced YSL lipstick in who-cares-what-shade.

In a grand tradition of the holiday, I thought I would share my go-to lippies for the summer time. All of these products are amazing (and most of them are rather cheap), so take my word and head to the store right away.

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From left to right: Rimmel Kate Moss in 111, COLORblur in 50, NYX butter gloss in Praline, bareMinerals Pop of Passion in Nude Passion, and (very faint) Be a Bombshell lip balm in french kiss

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Favorite Summer Lippies (in order from lightest to most vibrant):

1.) Be a Bombshell Lip Balm in “french kiss”

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This tinted lip balm is so great. I received this color in my June IPSY bag, and it’s just so perfect for summer. The tint is a soft baby pink that looks like your lips, but better. I love swiping this on for a soft wash of color on days when I want to have something a little extra without the hassle of a full on lipstick.

2.) bareMinerals Pop of Passion in “NUDE PASSION”

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Shout out to Momma Anderson for treating me to an Ulta haul when I went home for a few days earlier in July. When I picked up a new foundation, I ended up grabbing one of the Pop of Passion lippies so I could get a free gift with purchase. And boy is this lipstick luxurious. I love how the lipstick is infused with a vitamin E oils. Instead of leaving my lips dry and cracked like some lip colors, this one feels like a super moisturizing balm. And the price really isn’t terrible for a higher-end product.

3.) NYX butter gloss in “PRALINE”

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I never thought any butter gloss color could rival “creme brulee,” but this one might just do so. I was timid to buy this shade because the packaging is a dark brown. But the gloss comes out in a darker neutral pink shade that is a perfect darker neutral shade for the warmer months without being completely opaque.

4.)Maybelline New York COLORblur cream matte pencil & smudger in “50 I like to Mauve it”

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I hunted FOREVER for these COLORblur lip products. And I’m so glad I did. These lip products have amazing staying power, and they don’t come off when eating, drinking, or giving little kisses to my boyfriend. This color is such a sweet matte shade. I’m waiting for more colors to come out in the line so I can pounce.

5.) Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick in “111 Kiss of Life”

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Oh, Kate Moss: how I love your lipsticks. If I could only buy one brand of lipsticks for the rest of my life, it might just be these Rimmel Kate Moss lippies. Although this red shade is much more vibrant than the other colors featured in this blog post, I love it as a nice statement lip for a night out or paired with a flowy sundress. This shade has a gorgeous blue undertone that works very well with my fair skin tone.

Hair-spiration

I’m at that point in my life when I just want to change my hair. Again. This feeling comes in waves of me wanting to chop all my hair off and pull a Miley mixed with a desire to grow it super long like a mermaid so it covers my boobs in the shower and I feel super cool. Right now, I’m somewhere in the middle.

I’ve been trolling Pinterest for hair inspiration (hair-spiration?) lately, and I can’t help but ADORE and OBSESS over all these chic ladies. Once I have all the money in the world, I think I’m going to dye, highlight, snip and coif my hair like a celebrity.

PS: Happy TMQ 1-year anniversary, loves

Spring Semester Favorites [2015]

And I’m back. It’s been quite a whirlwind of a semester. And an even crazier past few weeks as I prepare for summer and finish up my final exams as a junior in college. Next time I post, I’ll be a senior. Like, whoa. Where did my life go? To celebrate the end of yet another semester, I felt it would be fitting to make a favorites for the spring semester. And, let’s be honest, I’m afraid of the commitment for month-by-month favorites. Maybe one day in the distant future, that could happen.

‘Til that day comes, here are my beauty favorites for the springtime.

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Garnier Makeup Removing Lotion Cleanser

This lotion cleanser is a recent favorite of mine. My parents sent me some samples in the mail, and after only one try, I was in love. This cleanser is perfect for my sensitive skin because it’s fragrance free, moisturizing and gentle to the touch. I love using this at  nighttime because it removes makeup and leaves my skin feeling refreshed without the overwhelming scent that comes from other cleansers.

Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer 

Again, I love this moisturizer for my sensitive skin. I know I probably sound like a baby about my skin, but I have to be so incredibly careful (just reference the multiple times when I’ve been allergic to mascaras and they make my eyelashes fall off). This moisturizer has the most wonderful consistency: it’s lightweight and almost gel-like without being a gel moisturizer. I love this for lazier days when I need just a light coat of something underneath my makeup.

Marc Anthony: Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Deep Hydrating Treatment

I absolutely love deep conditioning treatments for my hair, because the ends can get very dry and damaged from day-to-day wear and tear. Insert: this oil of Morocco Argan Oil Deep Hydrating treatment. This product comes in a foil packet, and retails for only around $3. But don’t be alarmed by its packaging. You get SO much product in every packet. On average, I can make a single packet last about four weeks when I use it once weekly. I love how this makes my hair feel after a long week of heat styling my hair.

Smith’s Rosebud Perfume Co: Strawberry lip balm

If you know me, this favorite comes as no surprise. This lip balm is my holy grail product. You might remember when I bought this in my Fall Haul last year, and I’ve used it practically every day since. This lip balm is so soothing and yummy smelling. I just can’t get enough.

Neutrogena SkinClearing Mineral Powder

I got this powder after an unfortunate acne breakout earlier in the semester. I had been caking on powders that were clogging my pores, and my skin hated it. I love this pressed powder because it’s buildable enough to wear on its own or light enough to wear as a soft setting powder over my foundation. My only complaint is that the packaging is rather bulky for the amount of product you get. I hit pan way too soon.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Spray & Set

I used to be a loyal Urban Decay setting spray person. And, honestly, I still would be if I could afford my expensive habit. Setting spray is a must for nights out and long summer days. When my friend Emma told me that there was a drugstore brand coming out with a setting spray, I knew I had to get it. I love how this spray makes my skin feel – and compared to Urban’s, it’s a much bigger quantity for how much you spend. I can’t wait to see how this one does in the humid summers of Wisconsin.

Coolway Glow Oil Treatment

I got this hair oil in my Ipsy bag a few months ago. I’m one of those people who loves hair oils and serums. They’re great as heat protectants because they provide a solid barrier for hair. Unfortunately, I’ve tried way too many hair oils that smell horrible. That is NOT the case for this hair oil. It smells so sweet and almost candy-like. I love using it after a shower before I style my hair. The scent stays all day long.

Victoria’s Secret Solid Fragrance Stick in “Very Sexy Now”

I picked up this solid perfume on a trip to Victoria’s Secret. It was one of those deals at the register where it was marked down to like $10. So being the silly person I am, I tried the sample perfume stick on when I was checking out with my undies, walked around the mall for a few more hours, and then rushed back to VS so I could buy myself my own stick. This is a great little perfume that I can throw in my purse, on-the-go, because it won’t spill (trust me, that’s happened to me before with an explosive roller-ball). The scent is very feminine and soft, which I love. Definitely worth the $10 – and I’d say it’s worth the full price.