Sunday, February 22, 2015

Essential Makeup Brushes

This was supposed to be a Friday Fives post; however I'm lame and didn't have this posted timely. Friday evening I planned on writing this up and posting it, but I ended up taking too long getting ready for a soiree and ran out of time. My friends and I (finally) celebrated Galentine's Day by going to dinner and then moving the party back to someone's place. I ended up getting home into the early morning, attempted to write this up, but threw in the towel. And then yesterday I was busy, got home late, took pictures; however the quality wasn't great at all due to artificial light. Me being me, I wasn't going to stand for cruddy photos, so I took more today. At last this is up. Better late than never! 

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When I first started wearing makeup and really becoming interested in it, brushes were one of those things that I avoided. There are a bazillion different kinds of brushes out there, so I wasn't sure where to begin. It probably would've been easier to figure that scene out if there weren't multiple shapes and densities of brush that could be used on the same part of the face. I found it overwhelming. 

Then I began reading up on makeup brushes and tools and learning the significance of each one. Frankly I still think there are too many; especially since I've been able to weed through many and narrow them down to five essential that will result in a quality finish for a full face look. (concealer, foundation, powder, brows, shadow, liner, mascara- the works)


e.l.f.
Kabuki or Powder
Kabuki brushes and powder brushes are interchangeable. I happen to prefer kabuki brushes because they're denser. Due to kabuki brushes' bristles being bound tighter together, you'll end up having that flawless finish of powder. The powder will be more even on the skin, which not only looks nice but will help your foundation stay put, too. A powder brush is better if you desire that light dusting. I happen to need that extra coverage hence why I opt for a kabuki brush. Whether you prefer a fluffy powder brush or kabuki brush, having one specifically for this product is necessary in order to get that picture-perfect powder look.  

Real Techniques
Stippling
This is my holy grail face brush. Not too long ago I brought this into my collection and am very glad I did. I've found this to be the best brush to put liquid foundation on with. The finish is better than what fingers or your standard rounded foundation brush could manage. If you're like me and put on concealer first, this will blend the foundation and concealer together nicely. This brush will leave you with a light finish; however where you need that extra coverage just stipple on the product and blend a bit. Any beauty lover should invest in a handy tool like this. 

Real Techniques
Buffing
This is one of those tools that can be used for various aspects of the application process. People use it for foundation, bronzer, and blush. My personal favourite is to use this with blush. It provides an even coverage, and makes the blush look very natural and seamless on foundation. Foundation wise, this provides a great coverage because the bristles are so close together. Multipurpose tools are always the best to purchase!   

EcoTools
Eyeshadow
Beauty brands try to sell the idea that we all need a brush for each section of our eye: one for inner corner, lid, outer 1/3, crease, blending, etc. While it's nice to have that option, it's not necessary. For years I used one or two eyeshadow brushes and still ended up with a nice finish. You may have to wipe off shadow in between sections, but as long as you apply from light to dark then that shouldn't be too much of a hassle.

EcoTools
Small Angled
Once again, we have another multipurpose brush! This little guy is great for brows and liner. It is perfect for when needing that precision. With the right product, this brush works wonders!

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If this wasn't written up as a Friday Fives post, I'd also say a contour/blush brush is quite handy to have. *cough cough* The pro to using one of these over a buffing brush or denser brush is that the long bristles will definitely leave foundation and powder undisturbed. Plus, it leaves a little bit of product on the skin at a time, thus making it more buildable.

Is it nice to have a variety of brushes, yes. But is it necessary, no. If you're trying to figure out brushes, or even aren't willing to waste money on items you don't need, hopefully this has been a helpful guide. Or for those who have quite the collection, like myself, hopefully this has brought a bit of perspective as to what you actually need. OR if you're going on vacation and want to pack on the lighter side, this is a great list for must-have brushes to bring! (I'm leaving for a short vacation tomorrow and am definitely taking these!)

What brushes do you find are essential when creating a full makeup look?

~Moll

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sephora Haul

Naturally I was out shopping the other day. What else is new? This time around when I arrived at the mall, I made a beeline for Sephora. There wasn't anything specific that I was looking for, just something I could buy with the $25 gift card that has been burning a hole in my pocket since two Christmases ago. Of course once I got into my shopping mode, there was no way I was going to only spend $25 at Sephora; especially since that equates to on average one item. Originally this was going to be my Valentine's gift to myself as a #treatyoself type of thing; however I ended up shopping on Valentine's Day and purchasing drug store makeup. So be prepared for another makeup haul in the near future! Anyway, onto my Sephora purchases!


Everyone and their mother raves about this. I'm going to be a bandwagoner here and have to agree. It does as it's supposed to and made my skin look nice and smooth. I struggle with dry skin on the apples of my cheeks and near my nose, but this still made those areas look great! It also has a pleasant smell. I ended up avoiding paying the price of this gem. The two mini tubes I have were actually gifts with purchase (because I made my bank account cry :')). Luckily, I've been able to try it and will probably invest in the full size in the future.

I'm undecided about this product. It made my dark under eye circles look so much better, but wasn't particularly exceptional for spots. I'm too stuck in my ways and like the concealer I typically use. This wasn't by any means awful, but I don't think I'll repurchase it because I haven't found it to be worth the price.

Surprisingly, I had never tried this foundation prior to a week ago... and I will probably not repurchase this. It did not work for my skin at all. I have combination skin, so normal in spots and dry in others. Despite having put moisturizer on before using this, the foundation clinged to the dry patches and did not look nice at all. It is lightweight, which is nice; however to get a decent coverage it has to be built up. My skin also erupted in spots on the dry patches, which I'd like to say was a coincidence, but I'm thinking it was due to this product. I have very sensitive skin, though, so just because it didn't work well for me, doesn't mean it wouldn't work well for you. On the bright side, this product kind of gave me a radiant glow! 

Coverage wise, this powder is ok-ish. It toned down the dewiness of the foundation; however it added this weird shine/highlighted quality to my face and white undertones (I'm thinking due to the SPF 24 in it). Plus, a couple hours in, it became splotchy. The main issue I had is that this powder was too powdery. It was quite blatant that I had powder on, which isn't abnormal when wearing any product, but this was too much. I wasn't particularly thrilled with this product. 

This is perfection in a package. Not only does this colour suit me sooo well, the quality of it is top notch. It brought the right amount of colour to my face. The slight shimmer was an added bonus. I honestly love this so much that I've been wearing it every single day since I've purchased it. If you've been contemplating buying this, do it. It is worth it!!

NARS Note: What I can take from having tried a variety of NARS face products over this last week is that this brand is great for matching individuals' skin tones. That is something I was very impressed with. There was such a variety and there seemed to be something for everyone!

I haven't actually tried this yet. I purchased this in 'light' for when I need it. Several months ago I had a dark brown demi-dye put in my hair, and as it's been fading back to my natural light honey brown colour, I've needed to alter my brow regime. This product is for when it gets back to my natural colour. I imagine it'll work well. The reviews are great. Currently I use e.l.f.'s brow kit, so I'm thinking it'll work as well if not better. Tweezers are also included in this kit, which I find quite handy! I'm hopeful for this!

It's a truth universally acknowledged that the Naked palettes are fabulous. As a fan of the original, it made sense to buy the Basics one. It is the perfect size to throw in your bag if you need touch ups when you're out and about; though I don't think that's even necessary. This shadow is amazing quality and is stays put for hours. The colours included in this palette can make a lovely natural look or even a gorgeous smokey look. I recommend purchasing the Basics if you've never used any of Urban Decay's shadows since it's cheaper and gives you a great sense of the quality.

Makeup look with these products:
ignore the shadow on the lashes & the weird lighting... I look so tan! :)
this photo is from my instagram, so it has a filter & isn't the best quality :P

If you'd like a proper review for any of these products, let me know and I'd be happy to put together a post dedicated to that one!

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what are your thoughts on them?

~Moll

I just made my Instagram public the other day and am looking for bloggers to follow! Leave me your link! Mine is @molly_mac3!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Single on Valentine's Day; now what?


*All the single ladies, all the singles, now put your hands up*

If you're like me, you are single at the moment. As light is shed on couples in loveee, given what's in two days, it makes us single folk become more aware of our relationship status. Stores are adored in reds and pinks, and filled with mushy merchandise. Don't be fooled, though. Just because Saturday is geared towards couple does not mean that us singles of the world can't have a joyous time of our own. It is the day of love. So let this day be one where you love and celebrate yourself and those around you! 

Be with friends
The great thing about being single on Valentine's day is that there's no pressure! No having to worry about trying to find the perfect gift and impress someone special. So go out with your friends, or stay in, and have a fun relaxing time! Nothing is better than spending quality time with those you're close to! 

Do something you love
Since Valentine's Day is a Saturday, (hopefully) you won't have to go to work. That means you have a whole day to fill with activities you want to do! Do something that, when you reflect on the day, you'll feel that you've spent it in the best way.  

Indulge yourself
Pamper evenings are my solution to everything really. Wallowing in your singleness? Treat yo self. Spending time by yourself? Treat yo self! You see, a positive and happy life starts with taking care of yourself. So show yourself some love. You deserve it!  

Volunteer
 In my last post, I discussed volunteering a bit. Volunteering is always a great idea. Even though you may be single this Valentine's Day, you can still spread the love! What better way to show your loving and caring nature than to invest your time in helping others? 

Single or not, how do you plan to spend your Valentine's Day? :)

~Moll 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How to live life to the fullest


It's already a month and then some into 2015. As this month moves along, there is still buzz from individuals trying to keep up with their resolutions. For those wavering, don’t stop now! Keep plugging along. The importance of a resolution is to not make a temporary change, but rather one that will be beneficial long-term. Once you make and keep with that change, the results you want will appear in your life. 

2014 overall was probably one of the worst years of my life. The first half of the year was rubbish, but once June-July came around, it brightened up quite a bit. So despite all that happened, there was still plenty of good! I genuinely think it's due to having pushed the following five points, shared below, in my life. 

Acceptance
It is said that living in the past brings on depression, living in the future brings on anxiety, and living in the present is where you'll find peace. In order to attain this peace, you must live in the moment and accept what can’t be changed. This is not to say you shouldn’t try to make a change, but rather accept yourself and the movement of life. Acceptance will allow for you to be content. And content opens the door to long-term happiness! 

Be adventurous
With adventuring comes a new perspective. You are expanding your horizons and as you do so you’ll learn and gain new information. Push beyond what you know, embrace new challenges, and step out of your comfort zone. 

Do more of what you love
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the modern day. Competition seems to be all around. That is why it’s important to detach yourself from it and take a step back to simply focus on you. If there is something you’re passionate about, let it fully possess you every so often. Where you invest your heart is where you’ll find happiness. 

Set goals with a plan
From daily, to weekly, to monthly, and long term, goals come in all shapes and sizes. It could be as simple as "I'm not going to snooze my alarm clock three times in the morning," to "I'm going to get my dream job." Whatever it may be, goals will help you accomplish what you want in life. However, wanting is only half the battle. In order to get anything done, there must be some sort of plan of execution. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” It is important to make clear what your goals are and seek to achieve them. 

Volunteer
Instilling a charitable tendency in your life is a beneficial practice. When giving back there is a sense of satisfaction and contentment that fills the body leaving that warm fuzzy feeling. That is the feeling of when you’ve done something worthwhile and valuable. This selfish side of charity, where you gain that satisfaction, is enough to make many want to volunteer. While volunteering there is so much that can be learned from the people needing assistance and the peers standing beside you to aide, too. It is a community where everyone helps one and other. Plus, who’s ever said they wish they hadn’t volunteer? 

The New Year is the designated time to try and implement lifelong changes in hopes to lead a more positive and fulfilling life. It may be a month later, but even now is a good time to modify your lifestyle! No lasting change ever happens at the drop of a hat, but it is important to make now the time you start. The world is your oyster, so be the pearl!

Have a lovely day and stay fabulous!!

~Moll

PS This was supposed to be a Friday Fives post from two weeks ago, but the day I was supposed to finish it up I got a concussion (as thoroughly explained in my last post). But nonetheless, here's the "sequel" of sorts to this post!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Grey Area


Two weeks ago I was in a ski accident. Some would say it was a bad one, others would say it wasn’t a big deal. I’m on the fence with this. Ski accidents can be quite scary. It’s not like being in a car accident or something of that nature where there’s separation between you and the object of impact. You don’t have a shell surrounding your entire body to absorb the force. You are what takes the brunt of it. All you can do is hope that your equipment does as it’s supposed to and lessen the severity of the calamity. 

I will tell you right now that my equipment worked to a tee. Which is great and all; however for it to have done what it did means the force on me was high. The thought of that freaks me out and freaked many others out whenever recounting this story. 

I was night skiing with a few of my racer pals. As usual, I was paying attention to my surroundings and being cautious, yet daring. The trail I was on was very wide, so I could ski down at a controllable fast rate with no issue. There were a decent amount of people out, but not too many that I’d have to slow down to avoid them or even quickly stop. Frankly, how I was skiing wasn’t a problem at all. 

This accident was definitely a combination of chance factors that led to a perfect storm. The trail had a temporary fence separating a third of it for the mountain’s ski team to practice, still leaving plenty of room for us free skiers. Being it was a Friday evening, the racers were out working on technique and getting a few runs in. Them practicing wasn’t an issue, but how the course was set up posed as one. About three quarters of the way down, their course merged onto the main trail. For the average skier, especially a racer, this is no biggie. You just have to stay in control and be aware of your surroundings. Well one racer clearly wasn’t. 

I was at the bottom of the trail. Literally ten feet from where the trail became flat and this racer runs me over (or something). Thanks to physics, I fell… hard. To the point where I cracked my helmet right up the side (better that than my head), am bruised on the left side of my body, and experienced what one might call amnesia. Hence why I said “or something.” This crash made for a proper yard sale. My skis and poles went flying every which way. 

As I woke up (though I was supposedly conscious the entire time)/have a memory of what happened, everything was surreal. It was almost as if it didn’t happen to me. Getting into a ski accident is one of those things where you’ll see the result of someone else’s, but never think you’ll be in that position. And when you are in that same position, a lot of shock is involved. 

 I was soooo completely out of it. From what I can remember I was laying on the ground and swearing a tad too much. Then I sat up and saw a large crowd surrounding me. One kid was wearing SpongeBob pants and apologizing profusely, so I’m assuming he was the racer. I don't blame him for what happened, though. Strange unavoidable things occur. Timing is everything. Sometimes you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As I was gaining my bearings after the crash, I could only recognize my friends, but not actually place names or even the fact they were friends, just that I knew them. Thankfully I didn’t have any broken limbs and was able to walk to the lodge just fine. During this short walk I panicked because I knew what mountain we were at, but could not orientate myself and figure out specifically where. The time between getting hit/run over/whatever to getting back to the condo is all one big grey area to me. 

What I took from this experience was a head injury and one hell of a story. Aside from a concussion and a few bumps and bruises, I’ve been ok. Simply extremely tired. Concussions really are not pleasant. It is recommended that individuals have physical and cognitive rest for 7-10 days. So basically to be a potato and stare into space. Which is understandable considering a concussion is the bruising of your brain. Regardless it is still boring as heck and very unfulfilling to be sleeping and doing more or less nothing for several days straight. 

As the doc ordered, I disregarded the non-responsibilities of life and took it easy. I put down my phone, closed my laptop, and rested. That is why I have been absent from the blogosphere. It wasn’t until a few days ago that I started to reintroduce technology back into my life. At the moment I’m feeling much more like my peppy and productive self! Get ready for some regular posting!! Gosh, it’s only been 16 days since my last post and I’ve really missed this. 

So hello, friends! How've you been? :) 

~Moll