September Beauty Haul

The first of September seriously started yesterday and today is already the last day. Crazy. Anyhow, I bought a few things this month. Actually, I bought a lot of things this month thanks to Milani, Nars, Givenchy and Embryolisse. I feel like I bought some other things, but I don’t remember. I really should’ve been doing posts like this since I started this blog in July, but there’s no time like the present, right? Ok, I completely forgot – my bad.

Milani 

I purchased five more Amore Matte Lip Cremes. I mentioned in the Milani product review video how #blessed I was to have discovered these five colors.

milani

Nars

  1. I finally got my hands on Pure Radiant in Polynesia. I swear it’s either sold out in my shade when I’m ready to purchase it or summertime happens lol (you can read about my summertime struggle here).
  2. I bought the Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base for the first time. I might do a review of this and the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer soon. Stay tuned. What’s funny is I don’t even where eyeshadow like that, but I own these two tubes. Smh. I think I might’ve said why I use eyeshadow primer in a video. If not, I’ll reveal my beauty tip soon.
  3. I couldn’t help myself, so I bought the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu. It’s all the rave, all the time. FOMO, so I had to buy it.
nars
Left: Pure Radiant. Top: Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. Right: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil.

Givenchy 

I also finally got around to buying the Mister Mat Primer. I sampled a bit on the back of my hand, and my eyes bulged out. It has a matte finish with no white cast, which means I can where it alone. Hopefully, I’ll fall in love with it once it goes on under my face makeup. It’s supposed to be bomb for oily skin, and I’m looking forward to trying it out with bae (Urban Decay Weightless foundation). I talked about my holy-grail primers here, so I would love this to be a part of that list. Fingers crossed.

givenchy

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre

This is my third tube of French goodness. I love it. It does everything and then some. If you have dry skin, you can use it as a primer. It can also be used as a hand cream, eye cream, makeup remover, moisturizer, etc. The possibilities are endless. I use it as a hand cream, makeup remover and eye cream. In fact, they made a product that just targets under eye concerns, but this cream will get the job done, too. It’s rich, yet lightweight. Ya’ll already know I have oily skin, so I would never use it as a daytime face moisturizer. Although, I sometimes use it as a face cream at bedtime in the winter.

embryolisse

That’s all for now. September is over today, so I’ll see you all in October. 🙂

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-Genevia 

Video & Product Review: Swatched Milani Amore Matte Lip Cremes

I don’t typically buy drugstore lipsticks, but one day I saw swatches on Instagram of Milani’s fall collection. I fell in love with the dark colors, and I had to have them. They were hella hard to find because they’re only sold at select Duane Reade and Walgreens stores, in my town. I literally went to three Duane Reade stores, one Walgreens store and tried my luck at Rite Aid lol. The only store that had the very small display of lip colors was Walgreens. The only problem was two of the colors I wanted were sold out, so I was only able to get Dearest, Emotion and Glamour.

As I was creating the video for this product review (Sunday), I went to the Milani website to see how the company described the colors and guest what? Won’t He do it! The entire fall collection is now available online! Boop! Be advised that it’s being marketed as ‘limited edition,’ so the colors may not be around for long. I had no clue Milani was going to offer the collection on its site. I figured it was limited edition for in-store only, so I counted my blessings with the three I bought. But God had a plan! #Blessed. I purchased three other colors from the fall collection online (Beautiful, Attraction and Magnetic) and two from the “main?” collection (Devotion and Sugar). I’ll probably update this post with my thoughts on the other colors or maybe just post pics on Instagram. Now for the review:

milani-swatches

 

Dearest is described as a “deep merlot.” I live for this hue and its color payoff is great. My issue with this particular shade/formula is that it crumbles and starts to flake once it’s been on for about 15-20 minutes. Thank the Lord I noticed it was crusting before I left the house to go out. Basically, it’s not long-lasting or transfer-proof, especially since it started to fall off my lips after a few minutes. This particular shade is also extremely drying compared to the other two shades. The color is beautiful, but it’s not even worth the $8 because you’ll only wear it for two seconds.

Emotion is described as a “reddish brown.” It’s comfortable on the lips and not overly drying. The color payoff is great, and it seemed to last for a few hours. It wasn’t completely transfer-proof, though. I’m not the biggest fan of the actual color, but I like the formula.

Glamour is described as a “pearl bronze.” The formula is pretty much like Emotion. It’s also comfortable on the lips and not overly drying. There’s a luminous sheen to Glamour. It’s not exactly metallic, just more pearly. It reminds me of ColourPop’s Zebra, although – Glamour is much darker and not as shiny. The color payoff is also good, and it lasted for a few hours. Like Emotion, it’s also not transfer-proof.  I would wear this instead of the ColourPop color because it’s not sticky and dries down much faster.

Milani claims its matte lip cremes last “up to 16 hours.” Lies. I’m hoping the other colors/formulas are similar to Emotion and Glamour as far as comfort and texture. I’m already certain they won’t be long-lasting and transfer-proof, but who knows? The Dearest formula is completely different from Emotion and Glamour, so I’ll see.

Are you a fan of Milani’s Amore Matte Lip Cremes? If so, please share your thoughts.

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-Genevia 

Video: Highlighting/Strobing Tutorial Without Using Concealer

In this video, I will show you how to achieve a natural-looking glow without using concealer. Enjoy!

Products Used

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-Genevia 

 

Le Struggle: Four Seasons, Three Skin Tones, Two Foundations & Two Tinted Moisturizers

Like many women, my skin tone changes colors depending on the season. During the summer months, usually starting in May, my skin tone starts to get darker. It’s chocolate, yet bronzy with a banging glow! I love it! When October rolls around, my complexion gradually gets lighter. By Christmas, my tan is completely gone. As a result, I have to use two different foundations/tinted moisturizer. Perhaps it should be three different foundations/tinted moisturizers, but I never liked math – so let’s just stick with the number two. It’s hard af to find tinted moisturizer for my skin tone in the summer. This is when the struggle gets real. No brand makes a dark enough color that’s a perfect match, and I am not playing chemist anymore (ahem, Laura Mercier). No time for it. My only option in the summer is foundation, and the selections are extremely limited in color and coverage. Most of the time, I roaming around with a fresh face because I can’t be bothered.

Since June, I’ve been using Clinique Even Better foundation in Pecan. It’s described as a “golden/red shade for deep skin tones with golden undertones.” The color is a perfect match to my warm and red undertones! Whenever summertime hits, my undertones go from warm/golden to red, and Pecan is the perfect color. My only issue with Even Better is that the formula is a bit heavy and more suitable for those looking for moderate-to-full coverage. I prefer light, sheer coverage as I don’t need to cover any scars/blemishes, and I’m not concerned about my little hyperpigmentation issues. The color is perfect, so I’m just managing. Thankfully, I never committed to buying a full size bottle, so I’ve been using a sample. Plus, I only wear makeup on the weekends when I go out, so I don’t wear it everyday. My sample is almost done, but summer is basically over. I’m hoping that by next summer, more brands will have more lightweight foundation options for black women. Still, I think Even Better is a great formula for women looking for medium-to-full coverage. They color range is decent, it’s long-wearing and it even includes broad spectrum SPF 15.

clinque-even-better

On the cooler side, I’m really looking forward to fall because I get to start using my Nars Tinted Moisturizers again. I use both the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer and Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Polynesia. It’s described as “dark with warm, chocolate undertones.” I’m out of my Pure Radiant, so I need to buy more. I was introduced to the Velvet Matte sometime in May, but once I started tanning, I had to stop using both of them because they no longer matched my skin tone. They’re both lightweight and Polynesia is the perfect color for my complexion in the cooler months. The only difference between the two products is that one has a bit of a luminous finish with lightweight coverage, and the other has a soft, matte finish with medium, buildable coverage. They’re both oil free products with broad spectrum SPF 30. Even though I have oily skin, my favorite of the two is Pure Radiant because it’s lighter and leaves a more natural-looking finish.

nars-pure-radiant

nars-tinted

My Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition foundation came through this past May, and I fell in love with it. Too bad I could only use it for about a month. As soon as June hit, it was a rap. It doesn’t help that I use 12.0, the last color in the line. It’s described as a “dark shade with deep, golden undertones.” It has a luminous, demi-matte finish – but it’s not shiny. SO GOOD. It doesn’t feel like I have anything on, it doesn’t break me out and the color is too perfect. I think I may have found my holy-grail foundation for the late fall/winter/spring months. FYI, the coverage is buildable, too.

urban-decay-foundation

An honorable mention is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I use 11.5 which is described as “deep skin with red undertone.” Once again, I used this for a hot second because I bought it in the beginning of May 2015, and then my skin tone started to change. I only used it for a weekend while on vacation. SMH. Honestly, I forgot all about it once the weather cooled down because I started using my Nars tinted moisturizer again. I’ll have to revisit the Luminous Silk this year once my complexion starts changing. What’s interesting is that even though this formula has red undertones, it doesn’t work for me in the summertime. It’s weirdly too light, and I look ashy. This is why I hate trying on foundation in stores. That artificial light never tells the truth. All lies. It’s still a bomb foundation, though lol. I’m going to give this another shot when it gets cooler. This may not be a viable option in the winter, but I’ll see. Anyway, it’s oil-free and lightweight with a silky, airbrushed finish. I remember that much. I know a lot of makeup artists use this foundation for editorial shoots on models because it’s that bomb.

giorgioarmanifoundation

If you know of lightweight foundations or tinted moisturizers with a plethora of color options for black women, please advise!

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-Genevia 

 

 

Video & Product Review: Benefit ka-BROW Cream-Gel Brow Color In #5

Described as a cream-gel formula with buildable, 24-hour waterproof wear, I will say that these claims are mostly true about Benefit’s ka-BROW Cream-Gel Brow Color as I don’t keep my eyebrow makeup or any makeup on for 24 hours. So, I wouldn’t know. However, it does last for my entire workday (nine hours). My eyebrows tend to get extremely oily, so ka-BROW is #goals for combating this situation.

In just three steps, I transform my sparse eyebrows to literal eye candy. My brows are fuller and the application is a dream. I found the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz formula to be very dry and difficult to apply. The pencil didn’t glide on smoothly and it was hard to achieve feathery strokes, quickly. I even purchased ABH Dipbrow Pomade several weeks ago and hated it. Perhaps I selected the wrong color; it was way too dark and because it’s highly pigmented it made the color more intense. Even when I used soft, light strokes to fill my brows, it was still too dark. Bold, dramatic eyebrows are not my thing, so I returned it.

It helps that this product comes with a built-in angled brush, so it’s perfect for traveling and on-the-go makeup. ka-BROW is highly pigmented, so I would suggest using a very small amount.

How-to

After I brush what is left of my natural eyebrow hairs, I fill/sculpt, clean and blend. For a more detailed description of these steps and the tools I use, click here to read about how I did my eyebrows with ABH Brow Wiz. The same steps apply.

Pros 

  • Long-lasting wear
  • Oil absorbing
  • Great color payoff
  • Buildable coverage (easy to work with)
  • Convenient built-in brush
  • Waterproof
  • Sets quickly
  • Glides on like a dream
  • Light and soft formula

Cons

  • Short applicator
  • Not smudge-proof (although, not much color will transfer)

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-Genevia 

 

 

Prime Time For Oily Skin

When is prime time? Every time you wear tinted moisturizer or foundation.

My 16-year-old cousin inspired today’s post. Hey, Arlyn, hey! She spent a weekend with me last month, and we chatted about makeup. How could we not? I found out she doesn’t use a primer, and I couldn’t believe it. It’s such an essential part of applying makeup. How does one skip it? Come to find out, some people just don’t think it’s necessary, don’t know how or when to apply it, don’t know that it is an actual thing or can’t be bothered with spending money on it.

The truth is primer gives your foundation or tinted moisturizer something to hold onto, so that your makeup stays on longer, even in extreme weather. It also creates a smooth base for makeup application, and in my case, helps control oily areas. Eyeshadow primers do the same thing. The best way to apply primer is with your fingers. This allows for you to really work the product into your skin.

laura mercier

I have textured, oily skin and I must say, my two holy-grail primers do an amazing job of combating shine and allowing my makeup to go on smoother. I’ve even worn primer alone; it just gives you a more polished, fresh face. I’ve only done this with Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer (LM), though. All the others I have tried leave a white, powdery finish. In fact, I used to use Milk of Magnesia (MoM) as a toner (doubles as a toner and primer for external beauty purposes), and then I would apply Laura Mercier’s primer to cover up the powdery finish. This combination kept my face matte forever, promise. I specifically used these two together when I traveled by airplane. I don’t know about you, but when I board a plane with just a fresh face, I deplane with a grease-bucket face. Not cute. The MoM and LM combination helped so much. The only thing I didn’t like about the combination is that it made my face feel cakey. It was a weird, heavy feeling – and I assume it is because MoM isn’t exactly the most translucent product when applied to the face. It does leave a fairly thick ghost-face finish even if you use a small amount. Adding a creamy, gel product like LM’s primer isn’t going to make everything feel lightweight, either. Still, my skin looked flawless and oil-free. This partnership is the essence of a no-makeup makeup look.

milk of magnesia

I’ve tried several primers:

Prestige

  • Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer
  • Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
  • Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Mattifying Primer

Drugstore

  • No. 7 Beautifully Matte Make Up Base
  • Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio Blur + Smooth Primer
  • Milk of Magnesia

 

Laura Mercier and Milk of Magnesia stopped controlling my oil when I wore them separately with foundation/tinted moisturizer. MoM used to be my holy-grail primer, but then it decided it wasn’t going to come through anymore. Or, maybe my skin is maturing? I don’t know, but it dumped me. I decided to dump Laura Mercier. It just wasn’t working out, so I moved on. No.7 just doesn’t work for me, period. It is not mattifying at all. Maybelline also sucks as a primer for oily skin. The only things I will say it does a great job at are blurring/smoothing fine lines and textured skin. It does not control oil.

no 7 primer

maybelline primer

Now, Becca and Make Up For Ever? Those two queens are my jam! They really help keep my makeup matte for about eight hours. I only have to use blotting tissue once, and not much oil transfers onto the tissue. I should also note that the application process matters. It is critical that these two products aren’t smeared across your face with your fingers, but instead, dabbed or patted. For some reason the formula will ball up and start to look flaky if you rub it on your face – and that’s not going to give you a smooth-looking finish when it’s time to apply foundation. So, just dab. A raisin amount of primer will suffice for your entire face or just focus areas. Also, wait for your primer to dry before applying foundation. Major key. After I moisturize, I apply my primer and then start to do my eyebrows. This way the primer has time to properly dry and be more effective underneath my makeup.

becca primer
Holy-grail primer.
make up for ever primer
Holy-grail primer.

I still want to try Dr. Brandt Pores No More Refiner, Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Smashbox Photo Filter Pore Minimizing Primer and Givenchy Mister Mat Matifying Primer. I heard they’re great. I’ll be the judge, though. There should be travel sizes in the Hourglass and Smashbox primers at Sephora, which helps because they’re prestige products (pricey).

Last repetitive piece of advice: use a primer because you should have something in between your moisturizer and foundation, always. Your good looks will last longer.

Feel free to share your thoughts or questions below. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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-Genevia