Tag Archives: real techniques

July 2013 Favorites

I have been a bad blogger as of late, but in all honesty I haven’t been wearing much makeup since I was traveling, yep we were in Ireland for what I’ve been told was a very rare heat wave, and also since summer finally arrived here in Germany in full force.  I mean when you live in a place with no air conditioning to speak of with the exception of the sanctuary that is McDonald’s and temperatures often rocket up to or close to 30° C  to 38° C (86° F to 100° F) since we too are amidst a heat wave, it makes me feel a bit hard pressed to put anything on my face aside from the necessity that is sunscreen.  Okay, so enough rambling and onto the favorites!

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M.A.C. Modesty Lipstick – I was looking for a new lipstick that was a tad more neutral than my signature Russian Red and I am happy to report that I found it in Modesty.  It is a lovely subtle shade of pink which is described as a “muted neutral pink” on the M.A.C. website.   I feel that for me, this is the perfect “your lips but better shade.”

Essie Peach Daiquiri – My gal pal Mayti sent me this ages ago and I hadn’t ever used it since corals and oranges look horrendous on me since I tend to resemble Casper the Friendly Ghost much of the year.  However, I have gotten a bit of color this summer and thought that even though this wouldn’t look so hot on my fingers that it would look great on my toes, which it did.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate – All my fellow fair complected ladies need to jump on this stuff.  I originally thought this would be great for contouring, which I personally stink at, but I think that for me this works better just as it was intended to be, a bronzer.  It really does give you a natural looking touch of bronze without making you look like a Jersey Shore cast member.  Oh, and did I mention that it smells like chocolate?

L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder – I find this powder works well on it’s own to swipe over my face to even out skin tone as well as to combat redness and shine.  I prefer to apply this with a brush rather than the sponge applicator that it comes with for a more natural even finish.

Real Techniques Powder Brush – Just like all of the other Real Techniques brushes I have, is incredibly soft and works well to go over your face to blend everything together for a finishing touch as well as to apply powder to set your makeup.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 30 – This has become my go to everyday sunscreen, I even use it on my face and it hasn’t broken me out or irritated my skin at all.  I love that his combines a moisturizer and an SPF which sinks into your skin leaving you feeling soft and moisturized rather than sticky or greasy like most sunscreens.  It has a really nice fragrance that I personally can’t get enough of.  However, if you’re a fan of sweeter scents that this may not be for you.

Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Vitalizing Body Gel Oil – This is such a great body oil and it smells amazing.  I like to apply this right after the shower, especially after shaving my legs.  It absorbs into the skin nicely and gives you one hell of a healthy glow.  Just be aware that a little goes a long way.

Redken Diamond Oil Shampoo & Conditioner – I believe this is a newish product and I am rather enjoying it.  Upon first use I noticed that my hair was in fact softer and shinier.  I am naturally a brunette and go blonde so my hair needs some help in that area.  These have a nice fragrance.  As with all Redken products, these are little on the pricey side, but well worth it especially if you can find them on sale.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash and Body Scrub – After hearing these from numerous bloggers and YouTuber’s I decided to hunt these down and give them a sniff while I was in Ireland.  I obviously liked what I got a whiff and quickly snatched these up.  These smell awesome, kind of like super lime infused Coca Cola.  Aside from smelling great, they actually are lovely products for your skin.  The scrub super exfoliates your skin while still being gentle and moisturizing and the body wash leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated.

Yankee Candle Co. Sicilian Lemon – So apparently they have Yankee Candle Co. stores in Ireland, I just wish I knew that before because I would have allowed for more weight in my luggage on the way home.  Anyhow, I am a sucker for citrus scents, especially lemon.  It’s also one of the few candle fragrances that Captain Canada doesn’t object to and actually quite likes as well.  This scent is a little less sweet than the previous Lemon Zest candle I had from Yankee.

Flavia de Luce Mysteries by Allen Bradley – I had to include these because they are that great.  I’m currently on the third book in the series but I was hooked upon reading the first.  The setting is early 1950’s post war England in small picturesque country village and revolves around the life of and eleven year old girl.  However, she is not your typical eleven year old girl, Flavia has a deep love and natural aptitude for chemistry and she is about as quick-witted as they come which combines with her insatiable curiosity to contribute to her development into quite the formidable super sleuth.  I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re a fan of fiction and wouldn’t mind an interesting fun read then definitely give it a look.  If you would like to read more about the books and to find a chronological list of the series then click here.

That’s all for now as I am off to get ready to head to the beach and I use the term “beach” loosely, it’s more like the local swimming hole.  Hey, we are landlocked and for Captain Canada and I being from the Great Lakes region, it’s as close as we can get.  Besides, when it’s this hot, you don’t discriminate just so long as you can find a way to cool off.   As always, thanks for reading, check back soon and I hope that you enjoy your weekend as much as we plan to.

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April 2013 Favorites

Let me start by saying that my long hiatus has in fact come to an end as I arrived back in Germany last Wednesday.  For those of you who did not already know, I had been in Michigan for just over a month.  To make a long story short, my mom has been dealt some rather nasty blows health-wise over the past year and a half and I traveled back to the States to be with her.  Although she still has a tough year ahead of her, she has done remarkably well thus far.  Also, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has kept her in their thoughts during this difficult time, my family and I appreciate it so very much.

Now it’s time for my monthly favorites, which include items from March and April since I skipped March.  I picked up most of these items while I was in the U.S. so just beware that some of them might not be available in the UK or Europe yet, if at all.

April 2013Faves

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette – My wonderful mother picked this up for me and shipped it along with some other goodies I had requested way back in early March and she and I both loved it (she kept stealing it while I was in the Mitten).  This is simply a great, versatile, neutral palette that you would do well to add to your collection.  It’s small but mighty!

Cover Girl Jumbo Gloss Balms in Ballet Twist 205 & Cocoa Twist 270 – One of these I purchased on my first day back in Michigan and the other was gift from that awesome gal pal of mine, whom I was lucky enough to spend a day with, Product Hoochie.  These stubby lip crayons are very hydrating and allow for a fool-proof application even on the go.  Not to mention that they come in a wide array of colors so you are sure to find one, or a few, to suit your skin tone and tastes.

Essie First Timer – This lovely shade of green is part of Essie’s 2013 Resort collection (not out in the UK or Europe yet).  Green is my favorite color so as soon as I laid eyes on the press release photos for this collection I knew I had to have this.  It’s such a fun color for spring and summer.

Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Ultra Shea Shampoo – Hands down one of, if not the best, drugstore shampoo’s I have ever used.  It smells fantastic, leaves your hair feeling soft and moisturized not to mention that it even helped with my itchy scalp problem. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that this shows up in Europe.  (Not pictured.)

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Blushing Bride – Don’t fret, it is not as scary as it looks in the pan and can be sheered out nicely if you like.  Super pigmented, long wearing, great formula.   Would suit a multitude of skin tones.

Tarte Skinny Smolder Eyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner in Golden Tigers Eyes – Whew!  How long is that name?  Love the creamy formula, the color and the fact that it does not irritate my sensitive eyes.  A big thanks to Product Hoochie’s lil’ sis for suggesting that I give this a try.

Clinique Line Smoothing Concealer – I’ve heard Heather from How To Be Fancy talk about this in her videos and was intrigued.  So far I am very happy with this concealer.  I feel it is a great match for my skin tone and it stays put.

Real Techniques Blush Brush – Such a great brush!  Super soft, micro-fiber, cruelty free bristles.  Allows for excellent application whether you need more precision placement of a product or if you need to blend it out.

Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoo in Pink Gold 65 –  The Color Tattoo’s are an amazing product and this particular color is no exception.  It’s subtle and gives a nice glow while not being overly shimmery.  I find it’s perfect for those not so fussy days and can easily transition to an evening by popping a bit of a darker color (plum or charcoal) in your outer crease keeping it darker at the outer corner.

I’m hoping to get back to posting regularly and you can count on seeing reviews of some of these products soon.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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One or the Other Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Product Hoochie to do this tag.  If you’ve not checked out her blog already, then I highly recommend you click the link and head on over.

Blush or Bronzer?  Bronzer

To be honesty I generally don’t use either.  However in past months I found myself reaching for bronzer much more often than blush because I just haven’t quite found a blush that I’m totally smitten with.

Lip gloss or Lipstick?   Lipstick

I am not a lip gloss fan because more often than not I find them to be really sticky and I just tend to dislike a glossy finish on my lips.  So it’s lipstick for me, mostly in a matte finish.  My favorite shade is MAC’s Russian Red.

Chapstick or Lip butter?  Lip Balm

I have been a huge fan of Labello lip balms (they are Nivea in North America) and tend to keep one of them in my bag for on the go application.  However, about a month or so ago I discovered Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing lip balm and it is my new go to lip balm.  Since it’s in a little jar, I usually keep it on my nightstand and apply it before bed and right after I shower in the morning.

Matte or Sparkle Eye shadow?    Sparkle

While I like both and feel there is an occasion for each, I have just had a difficult time getting my hands on good quality easily blended matte shades.  The eye shadow I use most often would be Maybelline’s Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze (On & On Bronze in Europe) with Pomegranate Punk coming in at a close second.

Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner?   Gel

I’ve experimented with all of them except cream eye liners and I have found that I’ve had the best luck with the gel formula thus far. I don’t line my eyes often but when I do I reach for my Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eye Liner in brown.  While I love how a nice black cat eye looks on others, I’ve yet to master the technique.

Foundation or Concealer?   Concealer

I am really funny about foundation and even moisturizer for that matter, as I do not like feeling as though I have much if anything on my face.  Admittedly I don’t think I’ve found the right foundation yet.  So I am more prone to applying a bit of my MAC Studio Sculpt concealer rather than a foundation.

Liquid or Powder Foundation?  Powder

As I mentioned above I have foundation issues, namely liquid & cream foundations.  Rather than going for a liquid or cream I like to use my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus.  I find it provides me with a nice light coverage while helping to combat sheen.

Neutral or Statement eye?  Neutral

I typically will do a neutral eye so that I can get away with wearing my red lipstick.  Although, lately I’ve been experimenting with incorporating some bolder, more vibrant colors in the mix.  In fact I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of some Sugarpill shadows that I ordered.

Pressed or Loose shadows?  Pressed

I’m still a makeup novice to perfectly honest so I just find the pressed shadows to be a bit more user-friendly, travel friendly and not to mention much less messy.

Waterproof or Non Waterproof?  Non-Waterproof

For instance, I just can’t be bothered with the battle that ensues when trying to remove waterproof mascara.  Right now I’m quite liking the Maybelline The Mega Plush mascara in brown (Falsche Wimpern Feder-Look Volum Express in Germany)

Brushes, Sponges or Fingers?  Brushes & Fingers

I use brushes most often but depending on the product I will sometimes use my fingers.  I’m really loving the Real Techniques brushes lately.

Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters?  Powder

I exclusively use MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle as a highlight.  I’ve not used any liquid or cream highlight products yet but I’m especially curious to try something in a cream formula like Illamasqua’s Gleam in Aurora.

I tag the following ladies:   Beauty GeekBucket List PublicationsGlitter She WroteMae’s Beauty ReportsNail AlchemyPainted Nails & Baking ScalesSakura LovelyThe Silver Nail.

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Real Techniques: Setting Brush

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Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  Real Techniques

Bristles:  Synthetic Taklon Duo-Fiber

Functionality:  Excellent

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Price:  $7.63 – $8.00 USD, £6.99 – £7.99 UK

Availability:  I purchased mine through Amazon.co.uk since I was unable to find them anywhere here in Germany but you can also find them in Boots stores in the UK.  If you have a U.S. shipping address you can order them directly from Real Techniques, and if you follow them on Twitter you can find out when they have specials.  Real Techniques brushes can also be found at Ulta, Walgreens, and WalMart stores across the United States.  For more info on where to purchase Real Techniques products click here.

Use:  I mostly use the Setting brush to apply my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish, but I’ve also used it to apply powder.  It’s especially nice for applying powder around the eyes and nose.  You could potentially use this to do contouring and for more precision placement of blush and bronzer.

What I liked:  Just as with the Stippling brush, the bristles are super soft, dry quickly and hold their shape.  This brush is sort of shaped like a tear drop that tapers in thickness as well, if that makes sense.   It’s this shape that lends to more precise application of products like highlighters, blush and bronzers depending on which way you turn it.

What I didn’t like:  No complaints here.

My two cents:  I really like the Setting brush and I’m glad I ordered it and I think it makes a nice addition to any brush collection.  With that said though, I wouldn’t exactly say that this is an essential as some of the other brushes in their collection could easily cover the bases that this brush covers.  However, this brush is excellent for travel due to it’s small size and ability to be utilized in a wide array of ways.

Tips:  Just the usual, spot clean with brush cleaner regularly.  Also be sure to deep clean with a mild cleaner like baby shampoo and warm water once a week or so depending on how often you use your brushes taking care not to submerge them or allow water to penetrate the ferrules.

On a side note, my Models Own order from their 50% off sale arrived this morning.  At this rate I will never get through all the new stuff I’ve been amassing, not that I’m complaining.  I got a few things from their Beetlejuice and Hed Kandi collections as well as some of their brushes for a friend and myself to try out.  So you can count on those will be making an appearance eventually.   As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Real Techniques: Stippling Brush

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Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand: Real Techniques

Bristles:  Synthetic Taklon Duo-Fiber (Cruelty Free)

Functionality:  Excellent

Overall Rating:  Excellent

Price:  $9.98 – $10.00 USD, £10.99 – £11.99 UK

Availability:  I purchased mine through Amazon.co.uk since I was unable to find them anywhere here in Germany but you can also find them in Boots stores in the UK.  If you have a U.S. shipping address you can order them directly from Real Techniques, and if you follow them on Twitter you can find out when they have specials.  For instance last month they had a promotion where you would receive one of the Stippling brushes free with your order.  Real Techniques brushes can also be found at Amazon.com Ulta, Walgreens, and WalMart stores across the United States.  For more info on where to purchase Real Techniques products click here.

Use:  This brush is very versatile.  I’ve used it for liquid foundation, but I mostly use it to apply my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish.  It could also be used for other foundation formulas, applying highlight, blush, bronzer, as well as contouring.

What I liked:  First of all, the bristles are so incredibly soft and gentle.  They also dry really quickly and hold their shape.  Personally I love the look of this brush, it’s pink for cryin out loud, as are all of the Real Techniques finishing brushes.  The brushes have names, not random letter number combinations.  I also quite like the feel of this because it has a nice substantial handle and can even be stood up, which is a nice feature.  With Real Techniques brushes you definitely get much more than you pay for.  Did I mention that this is 100% cruelty free, so all of you Vegans and animal lovers alike can rejoice.

What I didn’t like:  What’s not to like?

My two cents:  I would recommend this particular brush to anyone looking for a quality, affordable multi-functional brush.  In fact, I think this would be an especially great brush for someone looking to build a basic makeup kit.  Trust me, just go out and pick one of these up, you won’t regret it.

Tips:  Spot clean with brush cleaner regularly.  Also be sure to deep clean with a mild cleaner like baby shampoo and warm water once a week or so depending on how often you use your brushes taking care not to submerge them or allow water to penetrate the ferrules.

As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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