glo minerals Breathes New Life into Mineral Makeup

I've used mineral makeup in the past and was never very impressed by it. Sure, it looks incredible immediately post-application, but the lasting power was often sub-par, not to mention loose powder and I don't tend to get along well. After being given the opportunity to give a few glo minerals products a test run recently, I was surprised to discover that my opinion on mineral makeup has changed rather drastically.
Of the three products I was provided with, the Metallic Smoky Eye Kit ($37), by far, impressed me the most. Firstly, the neutral eye quad contains a color palette that is right up my street, but more importantly, the quality and usability of the shadows blew me away. Each shade is pigmented, smooth and incredibly buttery --- bordering on creamy, a trait that is rare among powder shadows. The shadows blend with only light strokes of a brush, and they last a solid eight hours without fading or creasing on me, even without primer. 

I've been reaching for this palette almost daily since receiving it, and I've grown fond of using the golden taupe (top right) all over the lid, the warm bronze (lower left) in the crease, and the rich chocolate (lower right) on the outer half of the lid to smoke it out a bit. A touch of the champagne (top left) in the inner corner finishes off my everyday eye look. Since all four shades are indeed shimmery, those who prefer mattes may not appreciate this palette as much as lovers of sheen (*raises hand*), but I personally find the shimmer appropriate and unoffensive.

L to R: top left, top right, lower left, lower right

glo minerals Cream Blushes in Guava (left) and Fig
The Cream Blushes ($25.50) are talc-free, non-comedogenic, fortified with an antioxidant blend containing vitamins A, C, E and green tea extract, and are available in two shades: Guava, a bright, rosy pink, and Fig, a neutral, peachy tan. They have a cream to powder formula that allows for ease of blending without fear of blending into non-existence. I find they are equally as easy to apply with a brush like the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and fingers. My personal favorite of the two is Fig, as it goes with virtually any look, although Guava provides a healthy pink flush that I quite like as well.

Guava (left) and Fig
Wearing the glo minerals Metallic Smoky Eye Kit and Cream Blush in Fig
The best part of this post is that glo minerals is offering my readers 10% off your entire purchase and free shipping (MSRP purchases only) with code WORK4MAKEUP. My advice? Pick up the Metallic Smoky Eye Kit if you love gorgeous, shimmering neutrals as much as I do. You won't regret it.

Disclosure: These products were sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experience with the products.


Brightening Skincare

Aside from acne, my other main skincare concern is a dull and sallow complexion, so, it should come as no surprise that I've developed a rather robust fondness for products that promise to brighten my skin. These are three products that truly deliver.
This is a self-proclaimed "illuminating vitamin facial cleanser" that leaves my skin feeling fresh and supple. I massage the gel/oil into dry skin and remove it with a washcloth in circular motions. Not only does the mini facial massage increase blood flow to my face and awaken my skin, but the cleanser itself has pumpkin enzymes to ever so gently exfoliate off dead skin cells to reveal your brightest and most illuminated skin.

I was lucky enough to win this in a giveaway on NUDE Skincare's Instagram account recently, and oh my, this stuff is good. I envisioned a fizzy powder wash to be drying and likely even stripping, but this is far from it. Every other morning, after dampening my face, I pour out a penny-sized amount of powder into one hand and use the other to massage it into my skin, working in sections, avoiding the eye area. There is a subtle fizzy reaction upon initial contact with wet skin (I like to think it's getting deep in my pores), and as you continue working it in, the fine powder granules work as a physical exfoliant. The best part? My skin feels ridiculously smooth and hydrated(!!!) post-rinse. The overall exfoliating experience is on the more intensive end of the spectrum, which helps my skin to look extra awake and brightened, but admittedly, this may be a tad harsh on sensitive skin types.

With a combination of lactic and glycolic acids, these FAB pads work to exfoliate, tone and brighten in the gentlest way possible. I swipe one pad over freshly cleansed skin nightly, and I experienced a noticeably brighter complexion after just one week. Sensitive-skinned ladies will love these, as they are non-irritating and gentle.

* product won in giveaway


The Holiday Reds

With the holidays fast approaching, I decided it was time to take an editing eye to my red lip collection in order to deliver a pared down compilation of my favorite picks for the holiday season. My idea of the perfect holiday red is something cheery and classic (nothing too vampy) that can achieve and maintain a statement lip for holiday parties and gatherings. I found four options spanning a few different finishes and price ranges that will easily suit any and all holiday red lip needs.
Swatched L to R: Guerlain Garconne, NYX Perfect Red, NARS Cruella, Revlon Fire Opal
First up is Guerlain Rouge G in Garconne $51, a vibrant, true red. It's an ultra creamy and pigmented formula with a finish that manages to pack shine without appearing too wet or glossy. Aside from Garconne being the epitome of a "holiday red," the substantial, luxe Guerlain packaging makes it a treat to use any time of year, but especially on special occasions.
NYX Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red $6 is like the matte, slightly more subdued version of Garconne. The soft matte formula feels comfortable on my lips, unlike MAC matte lipsticks, for example, and although it's not very hydrating, it isn't drying either. It applies well, wears well, and the color is truly the perfect classic red. The best part? It comes in at just under $6. Why wouldn't you add this to your shopping list?
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella $25 is a rich, deeper red with a completely matte finish. The pencil makes it easy to line and fill in lips at the same time (a plus for darker shades that can often be more difficult to achieve clean edges with when applied straight from a lipstick bullet), and it wears seamlessly for hours on end. Just make sure lips are freshly exfoliated before application.
Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in Fire Opal $8 is a fiery, orange-red with a slick, glossy finish. It's an incredibly pigmented gloss with a brush applicator that, admittedly, can make clean application a bit more troublesome, but the end result is certainly worth the effort. Just look at it.
So, there you have it - my red lip picks for this holiday season. And in case I haven't mentioned it before, because I sometimes get questions about this, I don't often use lip liner (unless it's a nude one to enhance my lip shape), even with darker or brighter lip shades. If achieving clean edges is an issue, I typically prefer to just use a lip brush for the most precise application. 

What are some of your favorite reds for the holidays?


The Cream Blushes You Have to Try: Make Up For Ever HD Blush

I'm a big fan of cream blush, in general. I used to be a strong proponent of the "cream blush must be dewy" mentality, complete with a distaste for the varieties with cream to powder finishes (I'll just use a powder, thanks), that is, until I swooshed my finger into my first Make Up For Ever HD Blush. Since falling in love with 335 Fawn, I've added two more to my arsenal, and my adoration for the flattering shades and faultless formula only continues to grow.
335 // Fawn, 315 // Peach Beige, 220 // Pink Sand

I actually reviewed the formula back when I got Fawn (you can read that here), but basically, it's my favorite cream blush formula ever. It's pigmented and creamy but never tacky, it's so easy to blend, and it has an incredibly natural, satin, skin-like finish. Like I said in my original review, you'll never see the product sitting atop your skin; once blended, you're left with only the gorgeous flush created by the pigment. The best part is that it applies equally as seamlessly over liquid and powder base products. I love pairing it with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush for application.

L to R: 335 Fawn, 315 Peach Beige, 220 Pink Sand
Although the three shades I own look embarrassingly similar in their pans, they're quite different once swatched and worn. 335 Fawn is a tawny pink-brown that manages to handle the jobs of both blush and bronzer/contour. 315 Peach Beige is a rich, warm peach that is complexion brightening, yet still muted enough for everyday wear. 220 Pink Sand is a dusky baby pink with a slightly mauve undertone. I hate to toot my own horn, but I think the three shades I currently own are pretty damn perfect....for me, anyway. I always manage to throw at least one of these into my travel makeup bag because they're practically foolproof, in terms of both application and colors. All 16 shades in the range are free of shimmer and incredibly wearable and flattering. There's definitely something for everyone.

Wearing 220 Pink Sand
If you take away one thing from this post, I hope it's what is already stated in the title: you have to try these. And there's your beauty PSA to kick off the weekend :)

Make Up For Ever HD Blushes are available from Sephora and retail for $26.

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