SEPHORA VIB SALE | Plan of Attack & Recommendations

If you’re a beauty fan, it’s one of the most magical times of year… Sephora sale time! 💁🏼💄 Like always, Rouge members get first access, but all levels of membership save at some point during the sale. My biggest pieces of advice would be to aim for items that you need to replenish, that never … Continue reading “SEPHORA VIB SALE | Plan of Attack & Recommendations”

If you’re a beauty fan, it’s one of the most magical times of year… Sephora sale time! 💁🏼💄

Like always, Rouge members get first access, but all levels of membership save at some point during the sale.

My biggest pieces of advice would be to aim for items that you need to replenish, that never go on sale, or that are sold only at Sephora. (If a brand has its own website or store, it may have a better discount during the upcoming holiday sales.)

SKINCARE:
Skincare is one of those items I 10000000% believe you should never that skimp on. It’s worth it to have a flawless base! Sales are the best time to try out that amazing product line you’ve been eyeing. Bonus, if you try a value set, you’ll get a feel for the brand and save on top of already present set savings!

I ordered the Tatcha Smooth, Poreless Skin Obento Box and am soooo excited to try this out. I’ve tried The Water Cream before and this includes a full size jar, plus I get a chance to try out a generous amount of The Silk Canvas primer which I’ve been eyeing since it launched.

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My favorite serums for radiance are hands down the Caudalie Vinoperfect Serum and Vine[Activ] Vitamin C Anti-Wrinkle Serum. These really do make a difference in the luminosity of my skin and I notice when I haven’t used either in a while.

I ran out of the Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash a few days before the sale, so it was perfect timing to stock up on one of my current favorite gentle, yet heavy duty grime removing face washes. This takes every last lick of makeup off without drying out my skin.

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The holy grail of essence products on the market is by far the SK-II Essence. This stuff is priceyyyy but if you’ve ever wanted to give it a go, during the VIB sale is the time. It isn’t an overnight results product but for as long as I’ve been using it, my skin has been major blemish free and full of radiance.

Shiseido Facial Cotton are a must have. I talk about these all the time, and pick these up every sale, always. I’ve tried so many cotton squares/rounds for removing my eye makeup and such… and honestly, this face cotton is beyond comparison. Cotton rounds leave fibers in my eyelashes and if you’re like me with sensitive eyes, that’s killer! These are pure perfection.

MAKEUP:
I wore the Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation is on my wedding day, that’s how much I love it! It truly looks like skin, is buildable, and yet even with a bit more coverage, still looks like skin.

Also, the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer is a staple that I use everyday, no matter what amount of coverage I’m going for. I adore this for spot concealing or fixing skin imperfections. It blends into the skin with such ease and Vanilla is a perfect shade match for my fair, neutral skin tone.

I am currently so in love with the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder, and see myself sticking to this through a few repurchases. With all of the setting powders I try, that is saying A LOT! This is not ideal for baking, but use it to set the face in a light sweeping motion. Speaking of Hourglass powders, seriously just try all of their products. The ambient lighting powders, blushes, bronzers, stobe powders… ALL are amazing! They give such a subtle glow of sheen and color, perfect for all skin types.

If you’re looking for a less subtle, but still not into clown town territory type of blush, you have to try the Marc Jacobs Air Blushes. These are absolutely gorgeous, they blend out wonderfully and you can customize your perfect shade between the “stripes”. The shades ‘Kink & Kisses’ and ‘Flesh & Fantasy’ are my two fair skin favorites.

I know you guys all want to hear about eyeshadow palettes, and lately I’ve loved the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Palette, Tarte Toasted Palette and Too Faced Just Peachy Velvet Matte Palette. Take advantage of the sale to grab one of these, or other pricey palettes you’ve been coveting! Everyone has their own color story preference, but again, these are three recent pickups I’m loving.

Expensive lip balms are always painful to pull the trigger on, but if you follow my Instagram (@meegsdun) then you have seen me rave alllll about the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. I’ll just leave it linked here… it’ll change your lips life!

As always, I’d love to hear what you’re getting, so let me know. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post!

PRODUCTS I’M LOVING & HATING | Favorites & Fails

I haven’t done a favorites & fails in forever! A huge chunk of that was “I don’t have time” and also, a lot of items were still the same in my daily routine. But now, bum bum BUM (cue dramatic music)… I have new items to talk about with you! While this eyeshadow palette is … Continue reading “PRODUCTS I’M LOVING & HATING | Favorites & Fails”

I haven’t done a favorites & fails in forever! A huge chunk of that was “I don’t have time” and also, a lot of items were still the same in my daily routine.

But now, bum bum BUM (cue dramatic music)… I have new items to talk about with you!

While this eyeshadow palette is hard to get a hold of right now, it’s insanely popular for a reason and has the perfect set of shades for transitioning your makeup from summer to fall. The price is oh so right at only $16 and the shadows blend out like a dream. An added bonus? It’s a spot on dupe for a certain $129 high end palette… yep, you read that correctly!

This brand new mascara has quickly become an every day item. Seriously, I haven’t used anything else since ripping open the package in delight! If you’re obsessed with high end favorites like the Too Faced Better Than Sex, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir, and more… try this. You won’t be disappointed. It doesn’t transfer or flake on me and my lashes look bombdotcom.

(Unfortunately) I’ve become obsessed with this facial essence as a part of my nighttime skincare routine (I say unfortunately because hoooly $$$). Also unfortunately… I’m loving this super pricey skin cream. I can’t tell for certain yet if it’s making my face look better than a newborn baby’s cheeks, but it sure feels amazing and I do see results in the short time I’ve been using it!

These sneakers are super comfy, casual and cute, the best of all worlds! I love the texture and also the little leather detailing. A perfect summer to fall shoe for ankle length jeans as the leaves start to change. Bonus: the insole is super comfortable!

Another fun fact is that I’m trying to move toward a more plant based diet. It has so many benefits for health and the environment. Plus, it can’t hurt to just try something new and good for you! As someone who was never much of a meat eater anyway, I love the idea of finding my nutrition and protein through foods I enjoy more. That being said, sometimes I want a quick way to get ahead of my daily greens. This green superfood is amazing! (The flavor takes a bit to get used to, but that’s part of making the diet change too, your taste buds change! Add it to juice instead of water until you’re used to it or try one of their flavored options, the berry one is my favorite.)

On to the negative Nancy part of the post… I do have a few fails to discuss. As always, these just didn’t work for me, that doesn’t mean they’re not someone’s holy grail item!

This lip balm kind of sucks. Plain and simple!! I’ve tried two of them, thinking one was a fluke. But alas, no. It has a gritty texture that’s not necessarily exfoliating but is certainly annoying. It’s also no where as hydrating as the name implies. HARD PASS!

These liquid lipsticks are from one of my absolute favorite brands! The colors are cute on the lips, wear wonderfully and feel lovely… BUT the formula is a disaster in its packaging! I’ve tried to store these upright, but no matter what I do, a disgusting oil seems to leak out of the package. No thanks, I’ll save my hands, purse, and makeup bag the trouble. (Anyone else having this problem??!)

That’s it for the favorites & fails this time, I’d love to hear what some of yours are!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

RODAN + FIELDS | Skincare Review

I was recently sent a few items from Rodan + Fields to try out and I’d have to say there are definite hits and misses among the bunch. This was my first time trying anything associated with R+F besides the breakout Proactiv products (which I wasn’t a fan of), but I’ve certainly heard about these … Continue reading “RODAN + FIELDS | Skincare Review”

I was recently sent a few items from Rodan + Fields to try out and I’d have to say there are definite hits and misses among the bunch. This was my first time trying anything associated with R+F besides the breakout Proactiv products (which I wasn’t a fan of), but I’ve certainly heard about these newer lines from a ton of friends who are R+F Consultants.

My first thought when I opened the box was “whoa… the packaging sure has stepped up its game since the old Proactiv days!” I was super impressed with the sleek and clean design, as well as some features of each product I’ll get into specifically.

ENHANCEMENTS™ Micro-Dermabrasion Paste Packets
A quick bit of info on traditional microdermabrasion: it is an exfoliating treatment using fine crystals which are sprayed on the skin. It works best on problems such as dull skin, brown spots, and age spots. Microdermabrasion should work on all skin types and colors to make subtle changes, causing no skin color change or scarring. Regular exfoliation is key to rejuvenating your skin and helping the cell turnover process keep up with life’s daily toll.

These R+F Micro-Dermabrasion Paste Packets are an easy alternative to a more pricey service done by a dermatologist or esthetician, but you should be aware that they produce less drastic results.

For the paste application, it says to massage the entire contents of one packet directly onto the skin for 30-60 seconds; do not wet the skin before use. (Please note: it doesn’t say, but you should ALWAYS do exfoliation on CLEAN SKIN! You will grind dirt and impurities into your skin otherwise, so always wash your face thoroughly first with a gentle cleanser.) The instructions say that for a more gentle exfoliation, use the paste on damp skin and slowly add water to lessen the intensity.

I found that one packet was more paste than I needed, so I could really get 2-3 uses out of each. The paste was almost a thick, lumpy, sugary oil feeling, which wasn’t unpleasant, but I prefer a more fine grit when it comes to an at home microdermabrasion formula. The scent however… wowza, that wasn’t awesome. It does dissipate but oooof, what the heck was that?! The product ingredient deck lists a fragrance, so here’s hoping that scent wasn’t intentional.

PS: when I tried to find this on the US website, I realized that I couldn’t! I was sent these from R+F Canada, so I’m not 100% certain if the packets are available in the US, however it is available in their standard jar packaging.

REDEFINE™ Night Renewing Serum
To follow the Micro-Dermabrasion Paste, I was told to use one of the blue Night Renewing Serum capsules all over my face before any other moisturizers.

I was a major fan of this serum! One capsule was more than enough for my face, neck and dĂŠcolletage. (However if you find that one capsule is too much, you really can’t save any excess due to the specific type of single use packaging.) I didn’t have enough sample capsules to really tell a huge difference so I can’t give you true feedback on it’s long term results, but I think especially for travel this product is a wonderful alternative to some of my glass jar serums.

REDEFINE™ Multi-Function Eye Cream
Moving on… after applying the Night Serum I used the Multi-Function Eye Cream (I also used the eye cream in the mornings). This was my favorite item of all! It was so nice, so light and smoothed into my eye area like a dream. It didn’t have a strong fragrance at all and it really did seem to brighten and smooth out my under eyes.

Under my eye makeup during the day, I had no issues with creasing or patchiness. In fact this cream didn’t really affect my makeup at all (which isn’t always the case with eye creams for me).

REDEFINE™ Lip Renewing Serum
This was another serum in tiny little capsules, and again a generous amount of product for such a tiny silver blob. The serum was very thin, and honestly there was way too much in the capsule for me. You could’ve coated my lips a few times with that! But alas, same as before, there is no way to save the excess from the capsules.

Again, I didn’t really have that many capsules to sample for long term results, but with a lip serum it seemed faster to tell a bit of a difference. My lips were much softer once the serum soaked in and it didn’t have a taste really at all. I’d give this product a thumbs up with just a wish that they develop an alternative application method.

REDEFINE™ Age Shield Hand Balm
Now this was one of the coolest products of all. It looks like a tiny deodorant… but NO, it’s sunscreen for your HANDS! Most people don’t realize you need to also protect your hands from sun damage. The skin there is so thin, it can age quickly. While many people may not have a need for this, I see tremendous potential, let me explain…

If you’re at the beach or pool, obviously just use the sunscreen you’re putting on your body, duh I would. BUT I come from a family of golfers, tennis players, etc outdoor activities and let me tell you… trying to tee off with greasy sunscreen on your non-gloved hand? FORE!!!

This seems brilliant because it rubbed in like a hand balm, not thin or slippery like a lotion, and it was super convenient to apply from the stick, so as to not slime up your palms. Do I think this is an everyday item? Not really, but it’s so perfect if you’re going to be outside and want sun protection but not traditionally slimy hands.

What about you guys… have you tried any Rodan + Fields products? I’d love to hear which ones and your thoughts on them. Also be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post!

Xoxo, Meeghan

Disclaimer: I received these samples to review from Kevin at Rodan + Fields, but all opinions are my own. I wasn’t compensated in any way to write this review nor under any obligation to do so. If you’re interested in ordering any of these items, feel free to contact Kevin directly via email (kseibel24@gmail.com) or via he and his wife’s R+F Facebook page

TOP 5 AFFORDABLE EYESHADOW PALETTES | It’s Glam Season!

I wanted to give you guys my top 5 drugstore/affordable eyeshadow palettes for fall! Great ways to kick your makeup into fall mode, and not break the bank! What are your favorites? Xoxo, Meeghan 

I wanted to give you guys my top 5 drugstore/affordable eyeshadow palettes for fall! Great ways to kick your makeup into fall mode, and not break the bank! What are your favorites?

Xoxo, Meeghan 

DERMAPLANING | So they’re taking a scalpel… to my face?!

A new (and definitely weird when I first saw it) beauty treatment I’ve been trying is dermaplaning. Since I’ve been making people randomly touch my face and “feel how smooth my skin feels!”, I’ll answer a few questions I’ve been getting along the way. WHAT IS DERMAPLANING? It’s the process of exfoliating using a scalpel … Continue reading “DERMAPLANING | So they’re taking a scalpel… to my face?!”

A new (and definitely weird when I first saw it) beauty treatment I’ve been trying is dermaplaning. Since I’ve been making people randomly touch my face and “feel how smooth my skin feels!”, I’ll answer a few questions I’ve been getting along the way.

WHAT IS DERMAPLANING?
It’s the process of exfoliating using a scalpel to gently scrape off the top layer of dull, dead skin cells in order to reveal the smoother, brighter cells and complexion below.

WHY DERMAPLANE?
It may seem excessive (hello… scalpel!), but this method of exfoliation is used to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, decrease skin texture and acne issues (as bacterial and oils won’t be trapped in our lovely peach fuzz), increase skincare product absorption and make makeup application smoother and easier.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD DERMAPLANING BE DONE?
My dermaplane esthetician recommends every 3-4 weeks, I’ve researched and some recommend as soon as every 2 weeks. Each person’s skin care needs are different and each person has their own personal preference, so ask your skin care professional what’s right for you. Some people even say you can dermaplane at home… nooope, I’m not going to do that personally.

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
About 1 hour with cleansing, dermaplaning, peel and serum/moisturizing.

WHAT IS THE FULL PROCESS?
Your esthetician will cleanse and wipe dry the face, possibly wiping alcohol on the skin to fully dry out the top layer. Next they will begin dermaplaning the skin, you’ll have your face moved this way and that to make sure all skin is addressed. In no way does it hurt. Most dermaplaning will be followed with a peel, mine have been enzyme peels of varying strengths. Following the peel, your skin will have serum and moisturizer applied that best suits your skin.

I’ve also had a dermaplane session where the peel happened before the dermaplaning. It’s up to the needs of your skin and your esthetician’s method.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
This depends on your location and the esthetician. It can be offered at medical spas and day spas, so prices will also vary due to which type of provider.

Personally I love dermaplaning! It’s noninvasive, quick and my skin immediately looks brighter and refreshed. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave me a comment or ask through my Contact Me page!

Xoxo, Meeghan

BROW MICROBLADING | So what’s the deal?

As someone who stupidly over tweezed her brows once upon a time and regretted it immensely later on… brow microblading was the answer to my “this sucks filling in my brows every day and equally sucks not having good natural brows” problem. Want to know what it’s all about? Keep reading! WHAT IS MICROBLADING? Microblading … Continue reading “BROW MICROBLADING | So what’s the deal?”

As someone who stupidly over tweezed her brows once upon a time and regretted it immensely later on… brow microblading was the answer to my “this sucks filling in my brows every day and equally sucks not having good natural brows” problem. Want to know what it’s all about? Keep reading!

WHAT IS MICROBLADING?
Microblading is a brow technique that creates thin, hair like strokes on the skin, leaving you with “I woke up like this” brows! (It is NOT brow tattooing, which uses a tattoo gun, goes deeper into the skin, and gives solid block color to your brows. Just say no to that.) Your brows will look more like “hair” than brows filled in with makeup.

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Each person will have a different result based on their skin type, but brows can last from 1-3 years. Average time is 18 months. The pigment will fade, leaving the skin and your natural brows how they were before.

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCEDURE TAKE?
About 2 hours. The majority of which will be the numbing process and sketching out the brow shape. Be cautious of anywhere that claims to complete the process in 1 hour. It is not a rushed procedure!

HOW DO THEY DECIDE ON THE SHAPE AND PIGMENT COLOR?
Your brow artist may ask you to come with your brows filled in, if you normally do, so they can see the shape you prefer. They will then sketch the brow outline and it will be a discussion together to make sure the shape is exactly what you like, give input! They’ll put a few pigment color samples on your forehead area to see which pigment you like best from what they recommend. Color will be determined by your natural brows so that they blend properly and look more natural.

HOW DO THEY NUMB YOUR SKIN?
A topical numbing cream (mine was a medical grade lidocaine patch) is applied to the brow area, followed by a liquid/gel anesthetic. That process takes up to 45 minutes, depending on how quickly your skin numbs.

WHAT IS THE FULL PROCESS?
The first part of the appointment is drawing the shape in with removable pencil. This is customized for every client, be wary of an artist who puts the same brow shape on everyone, our faces are all different! (Go with personal referrals and be sure to ask for photos of their work.)

Once the shape is determined, they’ll numb you. If you’re worried that the process is painful, be prepared that some may feel discomfort, but it’s relatively painless. Personally, the noise of the tool on my forehead was so weird, but I felt no pain. It’s like scratching yourself with sharp fingernails.

Next, the microblading happens and the artist uses a special microblading tool to draw individual strokes on. The tool looks like a little exacto knife or scalpel, but it isn’t a blade at all. It’s made up of tiny thin needles which make small incisions in the skin, depending on the thickness and depth of hair strokes they want to achieve for you. The artist dips the tool into the pigment on each hair stroke and also applies pigment over the entire area once finished etching, to allow it to fully sink into the strokes. When they wipe the pigment off, BOOM you’ve got brows on fleek!!

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
This depends on your location and the artist’s expertise. The procedure can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,500+. Here in Wichita, Kansas my brows were $400. But I know in Kansas City, Dallas, Chicago, etc. it can be $1,000+. Do your research, cheap is NOT GOOD!!!!! Don’t save money on your face. I did the math, and my favorite brow pencil is $21. I use about 1 per month. So if my brows last 18 months, it’s a wash. PLUS I don’t have to fill in my brows every day! Time is money people.

WHAT IS THE TOUCH UP APPOINTMENT FOR?
As your brows heal, they’ll fade to a lighter and more final color (they look dark when you walk out of the procedure). In that process too, you may scratch/rub an area and they could fade unevenly. Don’t freak out! That’s what the touch up is for. It’s also a good time to tweak any areas if you want.

HOW DO YOU CARE FOR THEM DURING THE HEALING PROCESS?
See the big ol’ after care section below.

IS THERE ANY MAINTENANCE INVOLVED?
Nope! That’s the beauty of it. Once healed, they’re good to go! You can apply makeup, rub them, etc. etc. etc.

after

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE:
Do not drink alcohol, coffee or energy drinks the day of the procedure.
Do not take any pain killers or vitamins which could thin your blood within 24+ hours of the procedure.
Do not tan 3 days prior to the procedure.
Do not wax the brow area for at least 3 days prior to the procedure.
Do not have any facials/esthetics procedures for 2-3 weeks prior to the procedure.

PROCEDURE AFTERCARE:
No facial cleansers, makeup, creams, exfoliators or any other products on the brow area for 10 days. If you must apply makeup near the area, use brand new products and thoroughly clean applicators/brushes. (I just went for a natural, minimal makeup look, great excuse! Having your brows done adds a TON to your face already, you’ll see!)

Every 30 minutes after the procedure, blot the brow area with a cool cotton round, dampened with distilled water. Do not rub.

The evening after your procedure, after blotting with damp cotton round, allow brows to fully dry and then apply a very thin layer of Aquaphor before bed. Continue this for the first 4-7 days. If dryness occurs after these days, you can apply a thin layer of grape seed oil to the area, once in the morning and once before bed. Again, keeping brows clean when necessary with a cool damp cotton round. Do not apply Aquaphor or oil over damp brows, aka don’t seal in moisture.

Do NOT pick, scratch or rub the area at all during the healing process. If you do, you risk the color lifting from your skin.

Avoid direct sunlight, tanning or heavy exercise (or any other activity which would heat the skin, or make you sweat) for 10 days after the procedure.

Avoid facials or esthetics procedures for 4 weeks after the procedure. If you have a procedure scheduled, inform your esthetician that you cannot have anything near your brows. (For example, I had a dermaplane the day of my brows, but my esthetician knew and avoided the area, no problem!)

The full healing process can take 6-10 weeks, each person heals differently and at their own pace, be patient!! You may need a touch-up procedure, anywhere from 4-10 weeks after your initial procedure. Touch up sessions should not be done earlier than 4 weeks as the pigment needs time to fully settle into the skin and for the tissue to completely heal. I personally am waiting until 10 weeks after my initial appointment, partially due to my travel schedule, but also to fully heal just in case. I’ll update you all after that touch-up!

If you have any further questions, feel free to leave me a comment or contact me!

Xoxo, Meeghan

FACE BASE FOR LESS | The Best Drugstore Foundations

As a person who loves makeup and tries different products pretty often, I know expensive does not always mean better. There are plenty of products that are fantastic and inexpensive (there are also plenty which are expensive but useless!) One thing I love about beauty products now is that you can find amazing items from … Continue reading “FACE BASE FOR LESS | The Best Drugstore Foundations”

As a person who loves makeup and tries different products pretty often, I know expensive does not always mean better. There are plenty of products that are fantastic and inexpensive (there are also plenty which are expensive but useless!)

One thing I love about beauty products now is that you can find amazing items from so many drugstore brands and they keep getting better. While I never discriminate towards any type of makeup that works, you all know I’m constantly on a mission to find killer items for less. (Who doesn’t love finding cheap things that make you look glam?!)

Before we jump right in, it’s worth mentioning that sometimes it’s hard to find the right shade for a drugstore foundation, or maybe it doesn’t work out for your skin type… return that stuff ladies and gents!! Seriously. Even though it’s cheap, don’t waste your money if it doesn’t work, check your store’s return policy! Also, drugstore brands go on sale allllll the time. You can usually save even more off of these lower prices.

Now that you’ve got that, let’s get down to business.

foundations

FABULOUS FACE (click product name to shop)
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless or Dewy + Smooth Foundations ($5.99)
Best for normal to oily skin (matte formula) or dry to normal skin (dewy formula).
These are my absolute favorite drugstore foundations (depending on the look I’m going for as I have ‘normal’ skin and can wear either). I gravitate to the Matte + Poreless formula more often, but they are both amazing and have excellent, buildable coverage and long lasting wear.

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation ($5.99)
Best for normal to oily skin.
This formula seriously wow’d me much more than expected. It really does deliver a “your skin, but better” finish. The major selling point behind the Photo Focus line was that is delivers camera-ready makeup for every lighting scenario, and it does! I’ve tested this in flash photography and it’s amazing. The only downside, is the smell of this is very similar to house paint lol… but it dissipates quickly. This one delivers medium coverage, possible buildable to medium-full, but it’s not a FULL full coverage foundation. Pair it with the Wet n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder ($4.99) for a really nice finish.

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation ($8.99)
Best for dry to normal skin.
Since this foundation has a high water content and ingredients for a luminous glow, it’s not very well suited to oily skin. But if you have dry or normal skin… jump on this! It’s an excellent dupe for the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation and delivers light to medium coverage. The wear time is better if you have drier skin, FYI.

L’OrĂŠal True Match Lumi Cushion Foundation ($14.99)
Best for dry to normal skin.
This is basically the same formula as in the Lumi bottle, but in a super convenient cushion compact. The packaging is perfect for travel, and the cushion sponge really does a nice job at giving a seamless finish. If you use the cushion as your application method, it tends to give more of a sheer to light-medium coverage… basically less product is applied.

e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation ($6.00)
Works for all skin types, best for normal skin.
This is a lightweight and oil-free formula so it’s great for oily skin, but also is a semi-matte finish so dry skin can wear this too. I was pleasantly surprised by this one… having previously thought all e.l.f. foundations were crap, this one is great! It gives light to medium coverage, and wears well throughout the day. Don’t try to build this up though, it won’t cooperate for that. A small bonus that it has SPF 15, but you really should put a higher SPF on during the day.

Let me know if you guys would like me to film a video tutorial any of these. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

Xoxo, Meeghan 

HOURGLASS HOLIDAY REVIEW | Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3

Guys… HOLIDAY BEAUTY IS HEREEEEEE! If you’re a fan of the beauty sets which come out every holiday season, you know the joy at getting limited edition items or adorable packaging… but are they worth it? Especially with high end brands?? Watch my video below for a full review on the 2017 Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit … Continue reading “HOURGLASS HOLIDAY REVIEW | Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3”

Guys… HOLIDAY BEAUTY IS HEREEEEEE!

If you’re a fan of the beauty sets which come out every holiday season, you know the joy at getting limited edition items or adorable packaging… but are they worth it? Especially with high end brands??

Watch my video below for a full review on the 2017 Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3, and look below for swatches and a few high notes!

THAT PACKAGING THOUGH!
Hourglass knocks it out of the park every single time. The packaging components are always so luxe and I just love them. Last year’s marble palette made me swoon. This year it’s rose gold… hitting right on the mark for the millennial pink trend of now.

(Stock photos from Hourglass, see below for “real people” swatches, lolllllllz.)

 

SWATCH PARTY
I’m typically the fairest, or near fairest, in most complexion products. Also, these swatches are built up a smidge to show the product, as Hourglass powders are not heavily pigmented by nature.

Holiday 2017: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Volume 3

 

Holiday 2016: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit – Surreal Light

 

BUT IS IT WORTH IT? (LET ME WORK IT)
Long story short, watch the video! ;) But pssst… if I bought one last year and this year, you may be able to guess. However… do I recommend it for everyone?? You’ll see!

Let me know if you guys would like me to film a video tutorial using these. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

Xoxo, Meeghan 

HIGHLIGHTERS FOR PALE SKIN | Glow for the {Pale} Gods

Even though 2017 is starting to wind down (but whyyyy is Christmas decor in the stores already?!), highlighting is definitely not going out of style any time soon. With that being said, the coming short, cold days crush any hope I have of not being as pale as Casper the Ghost… so here are my … Continue reading “HIGHLIGHTERS FOR PALE SKIN | Glow for the {Pale} Gods”

Even though 2017 is starting to wind down (but whyyyy is Christmas decor in the stores already?!), highlighting is definitely not going out of style any time soon. With that being said, the coming short, cold days crush any hope I have of not being as pale as Casper the Ghost… so here are my favorite highlighters for pale skin with swatches (not in any particular order, including drugstore and high end).

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GLOW TO THE GODS! (click product name to shop)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in Starlight: Let’s get this one out of the way because it’s technically discontinued (WHYYYYYYY!?). These compact highlighters from ABH are amazing and extremely glowy, but it seems they’ve since transitioned to only producing palettes?? If you can get your hands on this or the shade ‘So Hollywood’, I suggest you do.

OFRA Cosmetics Highlighter in Beverly Hills: I picked this up in the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty sale and it is blinding. Wear your sunnies! It’s nice that you get 5 colors in one pan or can mix for a beautiful 6th shade, but for fair skin tones, the deepest 1-2 shades of the “wheel” won’t work alone, you’ll need to mix those with another shade. Regardless, it’s stunning and a little goes a very long way.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter: An oldie but a goodie for me! Mary Lou is a cult classic for a reason, with a lovely pale champagne color that works on the face, eyes, collar bone, etc. I find that you can build this one up or sheer it out, a perfect formula for anyone really.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne POP: This shade was originally created by Jaclyn Hill but has since become part of BECCA’s permanent line. It works well on my fair skin, but if you are a little bit more fair, then try Moonstone, and if you are extremely fair, try Pearl (which is almost a white highlight). This formula is super creamy, soft and pigmented, truly beautiful on the skin. But fair warning, being a somewhat soft pressed formula, the pans can break easily, so don’t drop it!

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Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminators: Everyone talks about Gilded Honey (that highlighter alone blew up the Laura Geller brand to household name), but not enough credit is given to the other shades which are better suited to fair skin (Peach Glow is my favorite!). I honestly love these, and as they’re a baked formula, you can wear them dry or wet the brush for a truly intense highlight.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian: I raved about this in my Drugstore Must Haves blog and it’s one I have to try not to reach for every day, I love it so much. (And it’s cheap!) You can apply these lightly for a more subtle glow, or pile it on to crank up the wattage. All Super Shock formula products were designed to be applied with your fingers, but I apply it with a damp beauty sponge, to make the highlight melt into my skin.

Marc Jacobs Glow Stick in Spotlight: This is the most silly looking package of all… and yet AWESOME. It looks like a mini deodorant but the shade is gorgeous for fair skin. It’s a bit more sheer than ColourPop Flexitarian for example, but oh so lovely. I don’t recommend applying directly from the stick, for some reason that always disturbs my foundation??

Benefit Watt’s Up: Everyone RAVESSSSS about this champagne gold cream highlight and it’s true, it’s super pretty! The formula is more of a cream to powder feel, so it dries down nicely if you want to avoid a wet highlight. It takes forever to get through, so I’ve never actually had to purchase it… hellooooo Sephora point perk freebies!

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Essence Pure Nude Highlighter: This is the PERFECT subtle “look at that naturally glowing skin” kind of highlighter. I can’t begin to express just how perfect this is if you’re not into megawatt highlights, or you want a natural glow. Seriously, it’s under $5 and truly reminds me of so many more expensive brands.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders: These are less “beaming highlight” and more “subtle glow” (they do have their Strobe Powders for a bit more glow). I love these, and so many companies try to compare but just never are exactly as perfect. A must have for Bridal looks, photoshoots or even daily life. Take the time to go swatch these at a Sephora and see how they just make your skin look so healthy and luminous.

e.l.f. Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls: This is a highlight that everyone in the beauty community seems to know about but doesn’t mention regularly! It truly is gorgeous and can be built up to look blinding. It looks champagne in the pan but comes across very light when built up. Another baked product so you really can make it shine even more with a wet brush.

e.l.f. Shimmer Highlighting Powder in Pearl Glow: Pearl Glow came out after the initial launch of the e.l.f. Shimmer Highlighters and for whatever reason, the formula of this particular shade is worlds above the next deepest (I only own those two lightest shades so I can’t compare otherwise). It’s sooo buttery, smooth, and a super high bling pigment that doesn’t emphasize any texture or sit awkwardly on my skin. (FYI I found the other shade I have to be more chunky/glittery?? Weird.)

Jeffree Star Skin Frost in Peach Goddess: Ok, Jeffree Star rubs me the wrong way… but darn it this is a gorgeous highlighter! I picked it up for more than 50% off or else I wouldn’t have (seriously, such a click bait YouTuber, ugh) but it’s truly super glowy. I have to use it sparingly so I don’t go overboard! The nice thing with that is seeing how huge the pan size is, I’ll have this gorgeous highlight for years.

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Tarte Amazonian Clay Highlighter in Exposed: This is the only shade of the single Tarte highlighters which I like, and let me tell you… I FRICKIN’ LOVE IT! The other shades of single highlighters are kind of mehhhh… the formula doesn’t feel the same?? Exposed though is magically perfect for my fair skin at any time of year, even when I have a bit of a tan or am more pale. (FYI, the Tarte PRO Glow To Go Palette has two gorgeous highlight shades as well.)

Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighters: These broke the internet. Ok, the wet n wild website, but still!! I have and love Precious Petals, and these Megaglo highlighters are some of the most lux feeling drugstore highlighters around. There are also new shades out which are stunning! I need to order Blossom Glow and Golden Flower Crown for my pale self.

Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight: This is a very high end price for a gorrrrrgeous glow. There are definitely alternatives for less on the market but I just love the Kevyn Aucoin formula, subtle payoff, and ohhhh that packaging. I’m such a sucker for packaging!

Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in Illuminati: This one is NOT for the faint of heart. I’ve basically saved the most shiny for last but it’s beautiful! All of the Diamond Glow Powders are intense, almost too much for an everyday look. But I’ve found that they really are lovely to have in your collection if you’re a makeup artist or lover. If not really experienced, the loose highlighter is a bit difficult and/or messy to work with, but the payoff is gorgeous.

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Ok guys, that’s it for now, although I could probably recommend glowing glittery gems for daysssss. I’d love to know your favorites too, let me know in the comments. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

Xoxo, Meeghan 

ULTA 21 DAYS OF BEAUTY | It’s Back! What To Buy & What To Avoid

The holy grail of Ulta beauty sales is coming back! Their “21 Days of Beauty” is here for the Fall 2017 edition and this is always the sale to find high end makeup at ridiculously discounted prices. If you’ve never heard of this sale before… either break out or hide your wallet, because the deals are … Continue reading “ULTA 21 DAYS OF BEAUTY | It’s Back! What To Buy & What To Avoid”

The holy grail of Ulta beauty sales is coming back! Their “21 Days of Beauty” is here for the Fall 2017 edition and this is always the sale to find high end makeup at ridiculously discounted prices.

If you’ve never heard of this sale before… either break out or hide your wallet, because the deals are FIRE! The sale starts Sunday September 3rd, with different items heavily discounted each day and ends on Saturday September 23rd.

The daily “Beauty Steals” are available for that specific day only, both in-store and online (some items are online only or Platinum Members only). FYI, Ulta’s Platinum Members receive free shipping on all online orders containing a Beauty Steal item, no minimum purchase required.

I’ll give you guys my suggestions for what to get and what to forget! I’ve also linked the items for your convenience (because, I too am an impatient online shopper), but note: until the day they’re on sale, the prices will be shown as the regular retail amount.

(Also keep in mind… YOU CAN RETURN THINGS TO ULTA. You don’t love the item you purchased? Take it back!!! People don’t take advantage of this and are often stuck with a beauty item that doesn’t work for them.)

ulta 21 days

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 3
IT Cosmetics Brow Power Super Skinny – $12 (reg $24)
Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum – $44 (reg $88)
EstĂŠe Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only

My recommendation: The It Cosmetics brow pencil is on par with my favorites, but has slightly different colors and undertones, worth a look at! I have this and the EstĂŠe Lauder lipsticks on my list, that packaging is to die for.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 4
bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder – $11.50 (reg $23)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – $8.50 (reg $17)
Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick Extra – $12.50 (reg $25) – Online Only
Philospohy Renewed Hope in a Jar or Hope in a Jar – $19.50 (reg $39) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you love bareMinerals this is a killer deal for their finishing powder. I am a huge fan of Philosophy and their Renewed Hope in a Jar is lovely (I personally like this formula more than the original Hope in a Jar, but both are on sale).

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel – $7 (reg $14)
PÜR All Primers – $16.50 (reg $33)
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lip Oil – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only

My recommendation: I’m obsessed with a few other Mario Badescu items, and the Enzyme Cleansing Gel is one I’ve tried a sample of before and loved. 

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels 4ct – $7.50 (reg $15)
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick & Gloss – $10 (reg $24)
First Aid Beauty Ready. Set. Hydrate! Kit – $22 (reg $44) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Skyn Iceland Eye Gels are super nice (keep them in the fridge for an extra cooling pamper session) and the Tarte Lip Sculptor is a lip product I adore!!!! I love the convenience of these for my purse or on the go. The formula is super moisturizing and long lasting for that. I love them and have gifted quite a few.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7
Exuviance Age Reverse Introductory Collection – $40 (reg $80)
Too Faced Sketch Marker Liquid Eyeliner – $10 (reg $20)
Cargo Mascaras – $10-11 (reg $20-22) – Online Only

My recommendation: All of these can be skipped honestly… the Too Faced Sketch Markers, while awesome at first, dry out sooooo quickly!! Bummer.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8
Perricone MD Select Cold Plasma (excludes travel and kits) – $55-81 (reg $110-162)
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette – $17 (reg $34)
OFRA Select Highlighters – $14.50-16 (reg $29-32) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Urban Decay palette is perfect for travel and comes in a few shade options, I own the shade ‘Naked’ and again have gifted a few. Something I’m pretty excited about however… I’m using this sale as a time to finally try the OFRA highlighters! I just can’t see why they are $29-32 each normally. But at half off? Heck yes, I’ll try these then OFRA. 

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9
Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash – $14 (reg $28)
Benefit Roller Lash Lifting Mascara – $12 (reg $24)
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder – $17.50 (reg $35) – Online Only

My recommendation: This Philosophy facial cleanser is lovely to toss in a few days a week and not too harsh (I wouldn’t use it every day personally). Also, I have tried a baaaaaby sample of the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder and it was awesome!! I personally am stoked to score it for such a deal, I predict this one sells out FAST!

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 10
StriVectin Power Starters Tightening Trio – $44.50 (reg $89)
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Precision Longwear Liquid Eyeliner – $10 (reg $20)
NARS NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette – $27.50 (reg $55) – Online Only, Platinum Perk Only

My recommendation: The Tarte liquid eyeliner is really nice, but not normally worth $20… for $10 though? Yep! As for the NARS cheek palette, it looks like it may not work on my fair skin but I soooo want to try it out. This palette contains a full sized Laguna Bronzing Powder, which is $40 on it’s own. 

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 11 (MY BIRTHDAY!!)
proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief or Makeup Cleansing Wipes – $10 (reg $20)
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer – $10 (reg $20)
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense – $8.75 (reg $17.50) – Online Only

My recommendation: FYI, the proactive Blemish Relief contains benzoyl peroxide which can be extremely drying and damaging to sensitive skin. I’d avoid it if you have never tried this ingredient! The Too Faced Shadow Insurance is a great eye primer, but honestly any good concealer can do the same. My birthday’s sales are kind of a miss!

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12
stila MATTE’ificent Lipstick – $11 (reg $22)
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel – $19 (reg $38)
DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device (blue only) – $94.50 (reg $189) – Online only

My recommendation: The Peter Thomas Cleansing Gel reminds me of a few drugstore alternatives, but I have to admit it does work better. It’s just soooo pricey normally! One thing I am SUUUUPER intrigued by is the DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device. I’ve obviously discussed how much I love dermaplaning on the blog before, but to try it at home… I may not be ready y’all, but that’s one heck of a deal!

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 13
Dermablend Loose Setting Powder (Colorless only) – $13.50 (reg $27)
Smashbox X-Rated Mascara & Photo Finish Lash Primer – $10 (reg $23)
Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum 1oz – $29.50 (reg $59) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you like Dermablend then this Loose Setting Powder is a good one to get. However, note that you can only get the colorless one at the sale price, even though it comes in 3 shades. Lately I’ve been loving Origins, but have not tried the Plantscription Serum… have any of you guys??

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid – $14.50 (reg $29)
Juice Beauty Kits – $19.50-25 (reg $39-50)
Lorac TANtalizer Buildable Bronzing Powder – $16 (reg $32) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Urban Decay Naked Skin line is AMAZING (I love the concealers!) and if you’ve wanted to try your hand at color correcting, these make it super easy. They also allow you to get the exact corrector shades you need vs. other mega palettes which have more correctors than you need and will ever use… waste of money and space! Lorac is such a lovely brand that seems to get far less attention than it deserves (they have had some weird misses lately though). Their bronzers are really nice, natural looking on the skin, and certainly worth a look at.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duos – $11.50 (reg $23)
Clarisonic Single Cleansing Brush Heads (Excludes Sonic Foundation Brush) – BUY ONE GET ONE FREE (reg $27-32)
Eyeko Mascaras – $9.50- $15 (reg $19-30) – Online Only

My recommendation: By far, my favorite brow powders ever are the Anastasia Beverly Hills powder duos. They are perfect for travel, and with the two complementary shades in one little duo, allow you to use powders to create a more natural brow. (FYI, you use the lighter shade toward the center of your face and the darker shade goes on the arch to brow tail… mimicking where your hairs are thicker naturally!) Also, if you use a Clarisonic, this is a great time to stock up on brush heads. I don’t, but know plenty of people who SWEAR by them!

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16
IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation – $17.50 (reg $35)
IT Brushes For Ulta Airbrush Complexion Brush #115 – $12 (reg $24)
Benefit Brow Service – Free brow wax with any $50 Benefit purchase ($21 value)
Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick – $9 (reg $18) – Online Only

My recommendation: The IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation sits beautifully on the skin. It’s supposed to have anti-aging ingredients, but I always question that… since it goes on top of everything else you’ve prepped the skin with already (moisturizers, primers, etc.). Either way, lovely powder! I’d say skip on the Benefit Brow Service… there is zero point in this, since it’s something they regularly offer for free with purchase throughout the year and no Benefit items are on sale this day. Now, you all know I’m not a liquid lipstick kind of gal, but if you are, Dose of Colors are some of the best in the biz. They also rarely go on sale, so I predict these shades sell out quickly. 

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17
Philosophy Time in a Bottle Serum – $38 (reg $76)
Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector – $15 (reg $30)
Urban Decay Razor Sharp Longwear Liquid Eyeliner – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only, Platinum Perk Only

My recommendation: Looove me some Philosophy, that’s all I have to say at this point! As for the Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector? HATE IT. All shouty caps. This just sits on the skin like a wet, shiny layer and does nothing to actually correct or brighten. Stick to a color corrector or a full coverage concealer (try the Tarte Shape Tape).

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18
LancĂ´me Auda[City] Palettes – $34.50 (reg $69)
Shiseido Triple Task Mask – $19 (reg $38)
Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara – $11.50 (reg $23)
NIA Not Into Aging Start Up Kit – $10 (reg $20) – Online Only

My recommendation: Shiseido is one of my favorite luxury skincare brands, which also rarely has amazing sales. I’ll be picking up the Triple Task Mask set for myself!! I’m not a huge fan of any Stila, so I’d say pass on this and get the L’Oreal Lash Paradise which I mentioned in my latest favorites blog!

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19
Lorac Front of Line PRO Liquid Eyeliners or Eye Pencils – $10 (reg $20-$23)
Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum – $51 (reg $102)
Japonesque Makeup Setting Spray – $14.50 (reg $29) – Online Only

My recommendation: I’m curious about the Japonesque setting spray, it’s one of very few aerosol setting sprays on the market (everyone lost their mindsssss over the Morphe one, which never seemed to go back in stock) and I love the idea of a constant fine mist when finding great setting spray nozzles is hard these days. Hmmm… worth a try!

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20
Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover – $9.50 (reg $19)
MAC Russian Red & Velvet Teddy Lipsticks– $8.75 (reg $17.50)
Woosh Beauty Spin-On Lipgloss – $8 (reg $16) – Online Only

My recommendation: This Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover is not the Cleansing Balm version that is majorly hyped, but I like this one more. I prefer liquids for eye makeup removal, get those gooey balms away from me! Also, if you’ve never tried a MAC Lipstick, now is the time people! These are two of MAC’s most popular colors. I personally own and LOVE Velvet Teddy. It’s a lovely warm nude which actually works on my pale self. (Side note: if you didn’t know, MAC offers the Back-to-M¡A¡C Program where you can recycle your used MAC containers and get freebies! Take a look at my FAQ video on that here.)

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21
Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation – $16.50 (reg $33)
Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser – $7.50 (reg $15)
Meaningful Beauty Ultra Deluxe System – $39.50 (reg $79) – Online Only

My recommendation: A lot of people swear by the Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten, but I just find it’s kind of ‘meh’ for me. However, Clarins is an amazing brand that rarely gets much hype, but it should. I’ll be picking up the cleanser!

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22
Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara – $10 (reg $23)
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant – $9 (reg $18)
Dermadoctor KP Duty (Excludes Travel Size and Body Peel) – $19-35 (reg $38-70) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you’ve tried the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara and liked it… who are you??! I just can’t get that to work for me. It smudges and transfers everywhere and I look ridiculous within an hour. The Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant however, I looove this as a dry powder to foaming cleanser, especially for travel (no liquids to break in my toiletries case!). However, fair warning: it’s not good at makeup removal or to be used in scratchy form on the eyes.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23
Benefit ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color With Brush – $12 (reg $24)
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum – $22.50 (reg $45)
Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss – $12 (reg $24)

My recommendation: Mayyyybe the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum. I do love MB, but some vitamin C serums react badly with my skin… that’s just me though so we’ll see! Otherwise this day is a miss. The Benefit ka-BROW is extremely lackluster in it’s product and packaging and the Butter London Eye Gloss are just not my favorite for performance and wear.

Ok guys, I hope this list helps you plan your method of attack :) I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about purchasing!

Xoxo, Meeghan

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy