Concealer Battle: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage versus Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda

My long-standing holy grail concealer is Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. This gem is hyped up for a reason. It’s on the dryer side of concealers which means it builds up well and has fantastic staying power. I have it in shade SC-4 and needed a lighter shade. Instead of ordering another one from Sephora, I decided to see what the drugstore had to offer. Popped over to my local Target and purchased the Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda concealer palette in Light.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflag Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda 1Laura Mercier Secret Camouflag Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda 2

The consistency of  the Sonia Kashuk concealer is a bit more emollient, and in turn, more easily spreadable and blendable. Both concealer formulas have excellent coverage but with the Laura Mercier one, I do not feel a need to set it. I do need to with the Sonia Kashuk one which is why I love that they included a powder in the palette. The additional green correction shade is nice but the skin tone shades work fine by themselves to cover any hyper-pigmentation left over from previous acne marks.

As a last note, I will say I ran out of the Hidden Agenda concealers fairly quickly while the Secret Camouflage ones will not seem to ever run out, even though I hit pan nearly a year ago. I think both are worth what you pay for them. The Laura Mercier concealer palette is priced higher, but it last longer and does not need to be set while the Sonia Kashuk one includes a powder and is it a drugstore price. It really boils down to what is more important to you.

With that being said, I’m always on the hunt for the next best drugstore concealer so if you have a great recommendation, leave it in the comments!

Advertisements

Clinique Touch Base for Eyes: Great Primer for Sensitive Skin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am most likely in a very unfortunate minority of the makeup wearing population. My issue? Extremely sensitive eyes. I am not quite sure if it is a full blown allergy but wearing eyeshadows causes my eyes to feel VERY heavy and irritated. The worst part is that this reaction developed only a few years ago, right when I was getting started with experimenting with different eyeshadow palettes. I have no problem wearing mascara or eyeliner. But my skin now just does not agree with eyeshadow. But alas, there is hope. And that hope is found in a glorious pot from Clinique. It is their Touch Base for Eyes. After years of trying primer after primer, once I purchased this gem my fears of never wearing eye looks again were allayed.

The shade I usually purchase is Canvas. It is a ‘nude’ shade that provides a great base for eyeshadow. When I make sure to apply it all over my eyelid, paying special attention to the lash line, it provides a barrier between my skin and eyeshadow that prevents any adverse reaction. While it may not have the crease-resistant power of other highly known primers, it is not the worst primer I have used either.

It goes without saying that this may not work for everyone in my situation. But since Clinique is known to cater to those with skin sensitives and allergies, my first thought was that it most likely could not hurt to try. If you or a close friend of yours is struggling with this problem, pick this beauty up and see if it helps.

 

 

5 Things To Do in Chattanooga

A few weekends ago we decided to take a day trip up to Chattanooga. I wanted to explore this city and enjoy a change of scenery. Fortunately, my brother-in-law lives just outside of the city so we were able to enjoy some local favorites instead of just touristy things. It is such a beautiful and fun city, especially being up in the mountains. If you want a weekend or one-day getaway, check this city out!

1. Urban Stack

My BIL suggested all the food places to us, which I loved. He knows I have a gluten allergy so he knew all the best places for me. It’s worth mentioning that he is vegan, so these places cater to that too. And Urban Stack did not disappoint. GREAT burgers (yes, they have GF buns), fantastic service, and a cool atmosphere. Not expensive and definitely a must! I got the hamburguesa mamacita and it was divine 🙂

Urban Stack

Urban Stack 1

Sorry for the flash, I try to avoid it but it was dark in there. Still awesome atmosphere though!

2. Taco Mamacita

We came here for dinner (Urban Stack was for lunch). They offer corn tortillas and a fun variety/twist on traditional tacos. The decor is fun and there’s just a relaxing environment to this place. They also have locations in Nashville and Sullivan’s Island. I got the taco royale and the carribbean jerk tacos and highly recommend them. Beware though – I was stuffed after just two tacos.

Taco Mamacita

Taco Mamacita 2

3. Lookout Mountain

Ok now comes the super touristy stuff. There’s three different attractions to go to at Lookout Mountain. I did the Incline Railway and Ruby Falls when I was younger so I wanted to try at least something new. The Incline Railway is really neat and slightly scary. I still would recommend it! However, hubby and I decided to do Ruby Falls and Rock City (yes, that thing that’s on all those red bird houses). Honestly, I would skip Ruby Falls. We waited an hour and a half just for our turn and the only exciting part of the hour-long tour is the six minutes you get to look at the waterfall. While it is neat that there’s a waterfall in a cave…just look at my picture and you’ll be good. On the other hand, definitely try out Rock City. You walk around the place (self-guided) and it is fun. Perfect for a family or just by yourself. Going on top of Lover’s Leap (picture below) is unnerving a little but absolutely breathe-taking. You can see mountains from seven states and eat up there too.

Ruby Falls

Rock City Gardens

Rock City

Do you see the “little” red bird house they have conveniently built there??

Rock City Wedding

GAWGEOUS place for a wedding. Obviously, this couple agrees as well ❤

Rock City Lover's Leap 2

Lover’s Leap

Rock City Lover's Leap

Rock City Bridge

4. Walnut Street Bridge/Coolidge Park/Clumpies Ice Cream

Walk this bridge just before sunset. As you will see below, the view of the sun setting above the river was AMAZING. Near the entrance of the bridge is Coolidge Park where they had a huge, and I mean huge, screen set up with a movie playing. On either side of the bridge are streets like a typical downtown with neat boutiques and restaurants. On the side of the bridge where Coolidge Park is located is a delicious ice cream shop called Clumpies. The second you walk in you breath-in the delicious smell of sugar (yes I am a future diabetic). I got the chocolate chocolate chunk ice cream and loved it. It was fun to walk around the streets eating my ice cream while my husband caught a ridiculous amount of Pokemon.

Walnut Street Bridge

Sunset

Clumpies Ice Cream 2

Clumpies Ice Cream 3

Clumpies Ice Cream 4

Yup, they make their own waffle cones.

Clumpies Ice Cream

I can’t even.

5. Chattanooga Brewing Co.

My sister-in-law actually suggested this place to my husband and I awhile ago. I had kept it in my mind since then and was glad we went. The location is right across the street from the Chattanooga Futbol Club stadium and we stopped by after a game. There are some serious fans that hang out at the Brewing Co. The players go there to chill after the game as well and the camaraderie is fantastic. My husband loved every beer he tried and the locals there were very friendly.

Chattanooga Brewing Company

If you end up trying out any of these places, or at least going to Chattanooga let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you enjoyed it!

Beach Wedding Beauty: Josie Maran Vibrancy Argan Oil Foundation Review

josie maran vibrancy

I received a sample pack of this foundation in a recent Sephora order and I am glad I did. I normally steer FAR away from any foundation that contains the word ‘oil’ but I actually really enjoyed this foundation.

While I would imagine this foundation was designed with dry skin people in mind, it performed well on my skin. It gave a beautiful, natural look to my skin; it was not too oily or shiny, but also not a matte or velvet finish either. Longevity is not a marketed benefit of this foundation. Even though it did not have the longest staying power on my particular skin type, it looked great for most of my work day when I set it with powder. One claim of this base is that it has medium-to-full coverage and it does! It was a gorgeous, but not cakey, full coverage and with a makeup sponge, can be sheered out to a medium coverage. Perhaps the moisturizing qualities of the formula lend itself to a cake-less coverage. I really think Josie Maran created a wonderful foundation, if the full coverage look is something you are after.

josie maran foundation

Regarding flash photography, it knocked it out of the park. No white cast or flashback at all. The finish of this foundation photographs beautifully whether flash is used or not. I definitely would recommend this foundation for those with dry to combination skin. While I do not think I would have worn this on my oily skin on my wedding day, if you have similar skin to mine and are interested, I would say get a sample of this and give it a shot. There are 14 shades in the range and I was able to find a perfect match for my skin color at the moment.

Even if you are not in the hunt for a wedding foundation, I really think you should give this a try. I think I will be purchasing this foundation in the full size come winter time. I am absolutely impressed with it and cannot wait to try it again.

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser Review

Ponds cold cream cleanser

The first time I was introduced to this product was at my in-laws. You could imagine the look on my face as I watched my mother-in-law rub this cream all over her made-up face. I had the most concerned look. I grew up using a regular liquid cleanser and had NEVER heard of a cream cleanser. She explained to me what it was and that her mother had used it and so do my sisters-in-law. So naturally my interest was piqued. Which leads me to this review today.

I have been using this product for quite a while and I really enjoy it. Mainly because at the end of the day (especially a work day) I am so exhausted and the thought of washing my face just does not sound appealing. And it never has. Typically, I just remove my makeup with the Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and immediately follow-up with either their alcohol-free toner or their exfoliating toner (which is AMAZING btw, has both AHAs and BHAs). But now I use the cold cream cleanser after the towelettes in order to remove every ounce of makeup – including the pesky Double Wear. I simply wash my hands for sanitary reasons and then take some cream out of the jar. I massage the cream into my face for 15 seconds or so then wipe it off. My skin doesn’t feel stripped of oil or moisture and feels so soft. The cleanser does have a strong perfume-y scent so if that bothers you, you will not enjoy this product. I personally like the scent but thought it was worth a mention. So next time you are walking through the aisles of your grocery store or drugstore, try it out!

Guerlain Maxi Lash So Volume Mascara Review

Guerlain Mascara

I first received a sample size of this mascara from Sephora and fell in love with it when I was in New York (simple travel tip – bring sample/deluxe sizes of beauty products). It was AMAZING! Everyday I literally went up to my husband and exclaimed “Look at my lashes!!” After ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing about this mascara, he sneakily went out and bought me the full size of it…at $32 a tube! Which is why I really hate to say it but do not spend your money on this mascara 😦

For some reason, the full size version of this mascara is no where as good as the sample size. The sample mascara created AMAZING length and volume, fantastic separation, and was easy to apply. The full size is so incredibly dry and clumpy. And I mean clumpy!! If you apply a second coat too early, your lashes look like you did not add any additional product. And a second too late you get dry, flaky lashes. Additionally, for reasons I do not understand, the lashes on my right eye never look as “good” as the ones on my left. For $32 a tube (when I normally spend $7-ish) I expect a much better product. Hate to say it y’all but this is not HG material. If there is another high end mascara you think IS worth the price tag, let me know. I am always up for trying a luxury mascara at least once.

How to {Cheaply} Darken Foundation

foundation

I stumbled upon this beauty trick after a product ‘fail’. As I am sure you have noticed by now if you follow me on Instagram, I am obsessed with anything bronze-y or that enhances a tan. I bought the Maybelline Dream Bronze BB in hopes that I would get a beautiful summer glow when using it. Well it didn’t. And I don’t really like it for its intended purpose. But when used as a means to darken your winter foundation shades, it’s amazing.

darken_foundation

You can see here that Estee Lauder Double Wear in 1N1 is my winter shade. And because I do not want to have a billion foundation bottles sitting on my vanity, I use the Bronze BB to darken the shade to suit my current skin color. Another added benefit to the BB product is that it sheers out the Double Wear a little bit, which is what I want in the spring and summer. Hope this quick tip helps save some money and let me know if you have any other foundation tricks.

No More Saggy Speedy

I hate to admit it but it was not until our trip to New York City and looking at the pictures that I realized how unattractive a saggy Speedy looks. Why did it take so long? I have no idea. Looking back on the several pictures that were taken of me…I should have caught on long before. But better late than never right?

NY LV Pic

Louis Vuitton

This picture was taken just hours after I purchased the purse.

Online this timeless beauty looks so classic and has a great shape. Yet once purchased, she (yes she!) starts to sag and look unappealing. You know it is a big deal when your husband even makes a comment about how ‘weird’ it looks. So this brings me to the point of this post: a base shaper. After doing quite a bit of research (Purse Forum is godsend), I discovered several different ways to maintain that chic and gorgeous shape of the Louis Vuitton Speedy. And after purchasing and trying out several different products and solutions, my favorite by far is the Purse Bling leather base shaper. I purchased mine off of Amazon. Since I have Prime, it arrived quicker than I thought and in perfect condition. The best part is that not only do they have the shapers for each color that the Speedy comes in, but they also have them for the Neverfull, Keepall, Delightful, and other Louis Vuitton purses that are notorious for sagging.

Speedy_5

With base shaper.

Speedy_8

Without base shaper.

I love how my purse looks now and I firmly believe everyone owning these bags should purchase a base shaper. As a forewarning though, they do have some weight to them. As a result, I only keep the basics in my purse now. But it is worth it to be carrying around a great looking purse. The price is very reasonable and I could not be happier with my purchase.

3 Amazing Hair Care Products for Blondes

BlondeHairCare.jpg

Unfortunately, none of my friends growing up were blondes so when I decided to take the plunge three years ago to go blonde, you could imagine I was in for a surprise. Nobody warned me how dry and damaged my hair would become and how much more care blonde hair requires. Over these past years though I have been through quite a good amount of trial and error with different products. While I am always trying new products out, I have found three solid standouts in my hair routine.

First, for blondes who are cool- or neutral-toned (or those who still wish to rid their hair of brassiness) a purple toning shampoo is godsend. I have tried several, both from high end and drugstore brands, and my favorite by far is the Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes shampoo. You do need to use this shampoo with caution because if you leave it on too long, you will see a purple hue to your hair – been there, done that, everyone felt a need to point out my purple hair that day. When used correctly, my hair is bright and beautiful, and also well cleansed. I found this at my local Ulta and it is around $10.

My next recommendation is the Giovanni 2chic Ultra-Moist Deep Deep Moisture Hair Mask. While it is labeled as a hair mask, this usually takes the place of my conditioner. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has made my hair feel as soft and look as shiny and healthy as this baby does. I also really enjoy this mask because there are no protein ingredients in it. In order to avoid further breakage, I only use products with protein sparingly. I will use them for a week or so after I get my hair done and a week before I go back to the salon. Other than that, this hair mask is what I use. It has turned me on to the Giovanni line of products and I am hoping the new hair care that I purchased from them is just as good. I found their line at Sprouts and it is also reasonably priced.

Lastly, because I use a lot of dry shampoo to avoid washing my hair everyday, my hair has a lot of build-up and can look dull after awhile. To combat this I use the Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo about once every two-to-three weeks (thanks to Kristin Gehm for recommending this product). I leave it on for a minute or two and my hair comes out incredibly clean. I advise that you use a deep conditioner after it because it does dry out your hair; it also removes any temporary toning so next shampoo you may want to follow up with a toning shampoo/conditioner. I would assume this could be purchased wherever Redken products are sold but I bought mine at Ulta.

While I do recommend these products for the blonde bombshells out there, if you have excessively dry or damaged hair you could definitely use the hair mask. Most people would also benefit from a good cleaning shampoo as well. I’m currently on the hunt for a great hair oil so perhaps if I find one I will also share it in a post. Hope these products work out for you and thanks for stopping by.

Beach Wedding Beauty: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Review

So I ended up getting a deluxe sample size of the new MUFE Ultra HD foundation in a Sephora order and I thought I would give it a try. As I mentioned in my original foundation post, unlike most of the world, I am not the biggest fan of the original HD foundation. For me it was not enough coverage and even though it is oil-free, did absolutely nothing to control my oil throughout the day. The original, however, is great with flash photography and I understand why it is such a cult classic. So, how did the new and improved version perform?

MUFE-Ultra-HD

The Ultra HD foundation is definitely an improvement over its non-Ultra counterpart. It controlled my oil much better (although I still was shiny towards the end of the day). The finish on the skin is very skin like and beautiful. The coverage is nice and medium. And of course it performed fantastic with flash. As with most MUFE foundations there is a terrific shade selection, 40 listed on their website. I would still suggest this foundation for brides with normal and dry skin. Perhaps now those with combination skin could use this with a good, mattifying setting powder. If this foundation sounds like it could be a fit for you, definitely go to Sephora and get a sample size!

Hope y’all are having a beautiful and fun-filled fall and thanks for stopping by!