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 décolletage. (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

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 

MASKCARA BEAUTY | IIID Foundation Palette Review

I was recently sent the Maskcara IIID Foundation Palette and 30 Second HAC Brush to try out and it promises to deliver time-friendly makeup application as an all-in-one palette with almost everything you need for a full face. In essence, the highlight and contour (where “HAC” comes from) are your foundation, then the blush and … Continue reading “MASKCARA BEAUTY | IIID Foundation Palette Review”

I was recently sent the Maskcara IIID Foundation Palette and 30 Second HAC Brush to try out and it promises to deliver time-friendly makeup application as an all-in-one palette with almost everything you need for a full face. In essence, the highlight and contour (where “HAC” comes from) are your foundation, then the blush and illuminator pair on top seamlessly. Hmm… let’s test it out shall we!

THAT PRESENTATION THOUGH!
When you first open the box, all of the items are separate and super carefully packaged. I was so pleased with the care that everything arrived in!

You slide off the (adorable) tin lids to each item and place them in the (GORGEOUSSSSSS) magnetic palette (which has a generous sized mirror, super convenient for travel). Can you tell I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the packaging and design of everything?? It all feels luxurious and looks so beautifully on trend, a vanity friendly piece for sure.

WHICH CAME FIRST, THE HIGHLIGHT OR THE CONTOUR?
On to the IIID Foundation itself… ok, I’ll admit, this took me a few times to really get the hang of it. It’s easy to get too muddy of an appearance or to just look imperfect. I’m much more used to the “multiple step, multiple layer” kind of base makeup. Once I got a better hang of it though, this palette made a quick makeup look just that, quick. Fair warning, this is targeted toward those who want a more natural look. If you’re going for full coverage or a contour that could cut glass, this isn’t the product for you.

Again, both the contour and highlight are meant to be your foundation, so they are pretty thick formulas, even though they will blend out (for best results use a small amount of product at first). I found it easiest when I applied the contour first, then the highlight (which was helpful if I needed to clean up the contour at all). I applied both with the 30 Second HAC Brush and then followed with a dampened beauty sponge to blend everything even further into my skin.

I personally like cream blushes and illuminators best when applied with such a sponge, so I went in next with that application method, but you can always use your fingers or the brush, if you want to carry only the palette/brush with you. (Maskcara also sells the ‘IIID Perfector Sponge‘, their own sponge dupe for the more expensive and widely known beautyblender).

IMG_2855

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRODUCT?
The products are super natural when blended out, without looking oily or greasy on my skin at all. (I did set a light amount of translucent powder on my T-Zone, but I do that regardless, as I always get shiny there throughout the day.) Maskcara says this can be up to medium coverage, but I’d say it’s more of a light to medium at best, it’s very natural. I’d caution you against applying too much as the formula of the highlight and contour, while they do blend out, can be thick and cakey if you try to layer too much. I honestly wish these were a bit thinner of a formula, with the ability to build up on the face instead, which may lend itself to an easier and more seamless application. I found that if I had any areas which needed spot concealing (hello evil little blemish), or if my dark under eye circles were making themselves particularly well known that day, then this wouldn’t do the trick on its own.

The blush and illuminator are much thinner in consistency, in fact the blush has almost a dewy wet feel. I found that the illuminator shade I tried seemed to have a sheer glow to it, instead of a beaming shine (natural look guys, natural). I’m curious to see what some of the other shades are like or if any have a higher intensity, because you all know I love a good highlight!

The shades below in L-R swatch order:
Contour – ‘Olive’
Blush – ‘Desert Sunset’
Highlight – ‘Moonlit’
Illuminator – ‘Pearl’
Highlight – ‘White Peach’

(Left Photo: Swatched. Right Photo: Slightly Blended Out.)

Here’s a video from Cara, the creator of Maskcara Beauty, explaining a bit more about the IIID Foundation.

BUT IS IT WORTH IT? (LET ME WORK IT)…
Long story short… I think it’s an awesome concept for a minimal makeup lover, someone wanting to dip their toe into easy contouring, or someone needing the most out of their on-the-go lifestyle. If you’re a makeup enthusiast, love the multiple step joy of makeup application or even want to see the products before you buy (Maskcara is online only as of now), then you may want to pass on this. I’m also wondering how well this would work on someone with dry skin?? I predict it wouldn’t blend out as well as on my normal to combo skin.

Let me know if you guys would like me to film a video tutorial using these. 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: Maskcara Beauty and Stacy King were lovely enough to send me these items, but all opinions are my own. I wasn’t compensated in any way to write this review nor under any obligation to do so.