#WeekendGoals: Strobing, Fluttering, Prancing -A Guide to Weekend Getaway Makeup

This summer has been well spent. I’ve made new friends in Austin, explored some pretty cool places, and eaten darn good food. But I’m also grateful that I’ve spent a good number of weekends traveling to Houston, Waco, and Dallas to see friends and family (and attend ALL THE WEDDINGS EVER).

Because of all my weekend getaways, I’ve become a pro at packing the absolute essentials when it comes to makeup. I aim for a polished, slightly flirty look that can go from dinner with friends to a chapel wedding. I focus on the big three: skin, eyes, and brows. (I’m not a big lipstick girl, but just throw in your favorite lip color and you’re set for the weekend!)

Skin

Since my skin is pretty decent, I don’t usually wear foundation. Also, it doesn’t help me with my goal to get better about reapplying sunscreen, so most of the time, I forego the stuff.

But on that note . . . the first goal always is to fix a week’s worth of sleep deprivation. I have the worst under eye bags ever – puffy and prune colored – so concealer is a must. After moisturizing my under-eye area (I prefer a little face oil to do this), I use an iota-amount NYX’s Gotcha Covered Concealer in 06 Golden. I pat that in with a damp sponge, making sure I get the inner corners of my eyes – this makes a world of difference in making me look awake!

If I still need a little bit of brightening after going to town with NYX, I’ll use the Glossier Stretch Concealer in Dark (here at NovelNests, we are all fiends about Glossier #NotSpon #ButWeWish). What I love about this concealer is that it’s so user-friendly – just use a clean ring finger to pat it on and you’re good to go!

Next up is blush. I LOVE BLUSH. I LOVE ALL THE BLUSH. Blush just makes me look more alive and free – like I’ve spent the morning prancing through a field of wildflowers with a hunky cowboy. In reality, I probably spent the morning having my bootcamp trainer yell at me to do “One more pushup, dammit!”

But I digress.

I’ve been favoring a glossy, melty look this summer (if you can’t beat the heat, join the heat), so I’ve been ditching powders for creams and liquids. I’ve been defaulting to two blushes this summer: Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff and Revlon’s PhotoReady Cream Blush in Nude. Both give a natural-looking flush and are easy to apply with just a few swipes of your fingers. These don’t have the longest staying-power, so I do need to touch up once or twice during the day. But that’s a low price to pay to look like I’ve been breezily prancing with a cowboy Casanova.

And there’s no contouring here – I want to look effortless! So I turn to strobing the planes of my face with Milk Makeup’s Highlighter in Lit, a pearl champagne. This highlighter imparts a subtle sheen that embodies the glossy look I’m going for. I don’t apply straight from the bullet; rather, I smear some on my fingers then press down on my cheekbones, eyelids, and Cupid’s bow.

Eyes

When I really want to amp my look, I turn to eyeliner. It makes my eyes look bigger and bolder. I’ve been using the Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Liner in Midnight for a while. Smooth, long-lasting, and the blackest of blacks, this liner is a winner in my book. I have the oiliest eyelids though, so applying a primer is a must for extra hot days (I like the Urban Decay Priming Potion.)

I’m all about a big, fluttery lash. Like Ella, I love the Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara. It’s iconic for a reason.

And while I want the melty, sweaty look, I don’t want to look like a melty, sweaty raccoon. I layer the L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara over the Too Faced. (Since waterproof mascara can be pretty harsh on your lashes by itself, I recommend using a non-waterproof version first then layering a waterproof mascara to mitigate eyelash damage.) Is Lash Paradise a dupe for Better than Sex? Maybe, just maybe. Either way, it’s a good one for getting dramatic lashes!

Last step for my eyes, is to tight line. This step may be last but it’s definitely NOT LEAST. Tight lining makes the lashline look fuller so I get Bambi Eyes . . . which is all part of the master plan to look like a CAREFREE COQUETTE & PRANCER OF WILDFLOWER FIELDS. Sweaty sheen + Bambi eyes – where dem cowboys at? Anyway, my weapon of choice is NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil in Black Bean. How do you tight line, you ask? That’s a post for a different day . . . or go to YouTube and watch one of the millions of videos on how to do this. Either way, get yourself a good liner and go to town.

Eyebrows

Time to frame the face! My favorite is everyone’s favorite: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Granite. This stuff is SO GOOD at filling in sparse areas.

I take my time when I use Brow Wiz, but if I need to get out the door a little faster, I like using ULTA’s Brow Tint in Deep. While my NovelNests comrades like Glossier’s Boy Brow, I find that this is comparable in quality (and cheaper!). The formula is a little wetter than BB, so before use, I wipe off any excess product on the brush because it can get a little thick if I don’t. I focus this on the last half of my eyebrows which is where I need the most help. I also layer this over Brow Wiz if I want a bit of a thicker eyebrow.

And there you have it! I swipe a bit of Chapstick, Glossier’s Balm Dot Com, or Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm and I’m good to go for the weekend! Come at me, Monday, because my face is already here.

 

–Amanda Cordero

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Cindy’s Empties – Pt. 1

Hey everyone! I’m coming at you with part 1 of a gigantic empties review today. It’s eternally long, so let’s just dive in.

Curology: I’ve been using this for about 7 months now and have seen a massive improvement in my skin. I haven’t had a single breakout in the last 2 months and I haven’t had a significant breakout in the last 5. Really remarkable. The nice thing about Curology is that the formula is custom made for you by a dermatologist who looks at your pictures and works with you to discuss your skin concerns. 10/10 would recommend.

Lancome Energie de Vie Pearly Lotion: I finally finished this off! I did a full review in my September favorites last year (here) and I still love it! It lasted nearly a whole year of almost daily use.

Thayers Witch Hazel: A tried a true cult classic. Love! Took me about 6 months to finish off the bottle. This toner isn’t drying and definitely does the job of evening out skin tone and keeping oiliness at bay, which is a must for my combination skin. I haven’t repurchased since I am going through some other toners at the moment, but will definitely restock once my toner stash decreases.

Avene Eau Thermale: I fell in love with facial mists after using this. It is just a gentle spray that does what it says on the can: reduces redness and soothes sensitive skin. I give my face and neck a once over whenever I come out of the shower before my skincare routine, before and after derma rolling, and whenever my skin just needs a little pick me up. It’s an affordable luxury that just adds a bit of extra pampering to your routine.

Caudalie Vinosource Crème Sorbet: This was a lovely moisturizer from one of my favorite French brands. Pros: it was light weight yet creamy and moisturizing. Cons: the bottle is quite small for the price. I finished it off almost a year ago and haven’t repurchased. I still quite like it, but there are more affordable moisturizers of better quality that I have found.

Caudalie CremeExfoliante: This was a heavy duty exfoliant, which I have found I don’t like all that much. It definitely did it’s job, but I prefer a more gentle exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant. If you like rough ones, this one is for you. It’s thick and creamy and jam-packed with exfoliating bits.

Caudalie Mousse Nettoyante: Caudalie’s gentle foaming cleanser is just that: gentle and foaming. I liked it a lot as it was quite gentle and did the job without stripping my skin. I wasn’t a massive fan of the instant foam – it reminded me of hand soap. But other than that, it was quite good.

Caudalie Lotion Tonique Hydratante: A nice moisturizing toner. I wasn’t particularly blown away by this, but it did what it set out to do: moisturize. I actually liked the Thayers Witch Hazel a little more since it did basically the same thing for half the price. If you’ve got a few extra bucks for a toner, I’d recommend this one, though. It lasted a good 6 months and I enjoyed using it.

Caudalie Reservatorl Lift: This was a sample moisturizer I got from somewhere (Cult Beauty maybe?) and it was quite generously sized. As a more oily-skinned person I didn’t love it. It was very thick, very creamy, and very oily, which just didn’t sit too well on my face. I also wasn’t a massive fan of the scent. Definitely won’t buy a full size. If, however, you are more dry-skinned, I think you’d quite like this one.

Glamglow Supermud Activated Charcoal Treatment: This thing is potent! I got it when my skin was having a particularly bad time last summer. It does really work, though the scent is incredibly strong. This was the smallest size and it went down fast. The product does tend to dry out in the can, so be sure to properly close the lid and use in a speedy manner. It’s a great allover mask for just sucking all the nastiness out of your pores or as a spot treatment for particularly stubborn spots overnight, which is how I primarily used it.

 

Phew! That was part 1! Keep an eye out for parts 2-4 which will be coming your way soon!

 

— Cindy Liu

Brand Focus: Origins Empties Review

Welcome back! Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the skincare brand Origins. I tried out the products below for a couple months and now have many thoughts and opinions. Keep in mind, everyone has different skin types, and these are what did and didn’t work for me. If I disliked one of your favorites, it’s probably because we have different skin! Just as “background” for these, I have combination skin, somewhat prone to breakouts, and rather sensitive. The list below is listed in the order I used them.

Let’s dive in!

Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – This wash was incredibly bland. It smelled, felt, and looked like white laundry detergent. I’m surprised I actually used up all of it. It does a good job of cleaning, but it left my face feeling squeaky and stripped. I wish I’d liked it, especially since it promises to balance out your skin, but it just didn’t sit right with me. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I have sensitive skin, which did not react well to the cleanser. I guess it really didn’t make a good impression as I forgot to save the bottle, and so it’s not in the pics!

SuperSpot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel – I don’t generally like spot treatments, and this treatment reminded me why. I actually ended up returning it, which is why it is not in the pictures. This was PAINFUL. Very painful. I thought it’d be similar to the Kate Somerville EradiKATE spot treatment, which I keep in the cabinet for the days when I have no other choice but to use it. However, this Origins spot treatment was a lot harsher and not that much more effective. If you have less sensitive skin, go for it. But if your skin is anything like mine, steer clear!

Zero Oil Pore Purifying Toner – This was probably the worst of the bunch. Mostly because I discovered that I am allergic to tea tree oil. So my dislike of the product is not entirely the product’s fault. It is a VERY strong toner, which I don’t really like. Like I said, my skin is pretty sensitive, so it did not react well to the strength of the toner, which left me rather raw and red after a quick wipe with a cotton pad. Additionally, the tea tree oil gave me a rash on one of my cheekbones, which thankfully disappeared soon. If you like strong toners and tea tree oil, this would be for you, but personally I didn’t like it as much.

Original Skin Essence Lotion with Dual Ferment – Moving away from the more negative reviews, this lotion is quite good. It smells very refreshing and has a lovely texture. It is very moisturizing and brightening, which I LOVE. It’s comparable to the Lancome Pearly Lotion (read my review of that here), which I definitely prefer, but it is still an excellent lotion.

GinZing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser – I mostly liked this scrub. It smelled very refreshing, kind of citrusy, but not overpoweringly so. I kept this in the shower to help wake me up in the mornings. It was gentler than the Face Wash and had little round beads in it for exfoliating. These beads were the one part of this that I wasn’t a fan of. They felt a bit like plastic and would cling to the skin and not wash off. No matter how much I rinsed my face and wiped it off, I would still find a couple beads sticking to my face. The beads were round, and therefore not abrasive, which I liked, but unfortunately stuck to my face too much.

Clear Improvement Active Charcaol Mask to Clear Pores – As far as masks go, this one is not bad. It is a simple charcoal mask that you spread on and wait to dry. I will say, it is not as effective as the Caudalie Instant Detox or the Glamglow Supermud, but it does the job. It is comparable to the L’Oreal Purifying Clay Mask.

GinZing Refereshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff – This is probably my favorite item I tried from Origins. This is a creamy yet light eye cream. It’s like the Fresh Rose Eyecream and the Kiehls Avocado Eyecream had a perfect baby. It also is brightening and smells divine. I completely forgot to save the tub of it, so it is not in the pictures, but it is linked and you should run – not walk – to go get yourself some.