Julep Elixir Organic Argan Oil Review

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Oh, argan oil. You beauty superhero. All hair types love you, everyone raves about you, you are rumored to do magnificent things to hair.

And you do!

I was offered this Elixir Argan Oil product as an add-on to an order from Julep and, at the discount I was getting, I jumped for it. It’s supposed to be really great and this one is actually Curly Girl friendly (Moroccan Oil brand is NOT and therefore I won’t touch it no matter how many people insist it’s amazing).

Initially, I was honestly a little disappointed. This bottle is SMALL and I get a little dropper to use it? I thought “I have too much hair! I’ll use all of this in one go!”

Thankfully not. For the first use, I wanted to just put some on the ends of my hair to see what that would do. I flipped my mane upside down and worked approximately 4 droppers worth of the oil onto my ends. Tied my hair up in a knot and went about making dinner and such. It saturated about 4 inched up my hair both through application and time.

Go in to shower and I can already feel a difference before I’ve even applied my co-wash. Instantly sold. Post-shower but pre-product, I applied one dropper’s worth throughout the bottom half of my hair, mid-mane through ends. Just raked it in like I would a leave-in conditioner.

My ends are usually pretty dry and are the first bit of my hair to show wear and tear. This has breathed new life back into them! The oil I put in post-shower has left some great softness and shine without making my head look greasy.

I highly recommend this product to anyone with dry hair or who just wants to give their locks some extra love.

I’ve heard it’s good for skin and nails as well. I may try it out on my cuticles and see how that works.

e.l.f. Studio Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara Review

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Let me tell you about how wonderful this mascara is.

Now, when I look for a mascara, the absolute first 100% non-negotiable requirement is waterproof. I know some people say you shouldn’t always wear waterproof and other won’t use it at all. That’s just not an option for me. Sometimes, I have really bad allergy eyes and I get a little watery. Sometimes that “arms of the angel” commercial comes on and I have a lot of rescue dog feelings. Sometimes it’s colder than cold in Chicago and your eyes start to water to protect from the cold then freeze to your face right at your lashline.

Waterproof is the only way to go for me. And this is so it automatically gets bumped a few points. This is only one of two waterproof mascaras from e.l.f. so this was pretty much narrowed down to 2.

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Price is semi-important. I don’t want to spend an exorbitant about of money on good make-up but I want it to, you know, be good enough to last all day and not come home with mascara flakes all over my eyes. That’s no fun.

This stuff is awesome quality AND really inexpensive. Seriously, it cost $3. And as part of a slightly bigger shipment, shipping was free. So just $3. So much win.

It goes on really nicely. I usually do two coats of mascara. Like, apply coat #1, go do something for a few minutes (usually make coffee), come back and apply coat #2. This stuff only needs one coat. It lifts and separates really nicely and you can actually see my lashes! I’m a secret blonde so my lashes like to play a disappearing act if I don’t put mascara on.

I used to be an eyeliner and mascara combo only kind of person but this stuff has converted me. I’m okay using just mascara (with a sweep of shadow) if it’s this stuff.

The long & short of it:

I highly recommend the e.l.f. Studio Waterproof Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara for its waterproofness, its cost, and its application!

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Beauty Review: Sonia Kashuk Holiday Limited Edition 10 pc Brush Set

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All this make-up acquiring and learning is great and all but without some decent brushes, I’m not going to get anywhere! I found these via a post on Instagram, checked out some other reviews, and decided it was worth the plunge to give what seemed like a pretty good quality, inexpensive brush set a go.

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Straight out of the box, I am impressed. These brushes are stunningly beautiful. And soft! All of the brushes feel great with a dry run on my skin. The handles feel comfortable in my hand, they’re neither too long nor too short. Really great. My only initial complaint is that the powder brush and multi-purpose brushes shifted in shipping and caused a weird dent in some of the bristles. After just brushing them over some fabric, though, they popped right back to their original shape.

Not to harp on looks too much but these are so pretty I am storing them in a jar on my desk on display. Because they’re just that nice.

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So let’s get to application!

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First up is the flat top multi-purpose brush with my Sephora Skin Perfect CC cream in “fair.” The application of this is wonderful. It goes on beautifully. With this brush, I need to use half of what I used to! Extra points for extending the longevity of my make-up.

Some of the reviews of these brushes commented that the brushes shed everywhere. This is the only one I’ve noticed any shedding with and it’s only 1 or 2 bits per application. So I’m saying it’s not that much of an issue.

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Next I’m pairing the domed powder brush with em cosmetics shadow play artistic cheek color palette in “coral temptations.”

I love using this brush to apply bronzer and blush. It goes on magnificently. I don’t feel like I need to keep going back to the palette for more product, which is nice. The cheapy brush I was using previously just held onto the product, didn’t apply it. So I had to keep using more and more. This doesn’t hold onto the product at all! Wonderful.

Zoe says "hey, Ma, whatcha doing?!"

Zoe says “hey, Ma, whatcha doing?!”

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Time for eyes. I used 4 different brushes for this: blending brush, angled crease brush, domes pencil brush, and eye liner brush with the Naked palette. The combo of brushes is great. It picks up the pigment in the palette wonderfully! I would argue better than the brush that came with the palette.

Overall, these brushes are great. Because the flat top multi-purpose brush does shed a bit, like several reviews have said, I’m going to take away one point. But other than that, I am pleased with everything! Looks, application, etc. They’re great!

Here’s a link to them! 

Do you have a favorite brush set? Have you used these? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Beauty Review: Urban Decay Naked

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Christmas sort of because the Christmas of Urban Decay. Lots of make-up and fun things to try out. I’ve entirely revamped how I do my make-up now and it’s wonderful! So I’m going to share with you lot what I’ve been doing and sort of review this palette. I know it’s already popular and everyone loves it but let’s call me basically brand new to make-up and reviewing it from that perspective.

I’ve been doing my makeup the exact same way since high school. nobody ever told me it was bad so i never saw any reason to change it. But now that I’m immersing myself into the world of blogging, I’m learning a lot about beauty and make-up and skin care. I’m really excited to try out the stuff I’m learning and share it. While I haven’t yet delved into the world of anything beyond eyes and lips (foundation, bronzer, and blush still baffle me), I still have plenty of things to experiment and try.

So I first started with the eyeshadow primer. Which I never knew was a thing. But this stuff it awesome. It creates a nice base for applying eyeshadow to that prevents weird creasing throughout the day and helps the shadow last even longer. I may have accidentally (read: was too lazy) left my makeup on overnight and most of the shadow was still right where I left it. Which meant good things for the cleanliness of my pillow. But I digress.

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So smear on the primer potion. You don’t need a lot. This stuff is SUPER thick. I only used this much:

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That’s it. per eye. Smeared from brow line all the way to lash line and a teeny little bit under my eye. Let that set up for 10 minutes.

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It doesn’t look like anything. There are some that are tinted and some that will even out tone. This one sort of dies that but it’s such a thin layer that it doesn’t do that much. If I’m getting ready in the morning, I will put the primer on and then go get dressed. By the time I go to finish my look, it’s al set up and good to go.

Next up is the shadow itself. I used the following colors:

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1 (sin) went on brow bone and inner corners. 2 (sidecar) went on crease. 3 (smog) goes down to the lash line and on under eye. 4 (darkhorse) goes in the outer corners.

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Yay shadow! This stuff is great. It’s super pigmented. The shimmer colors aren’t so shimmery i can’t wear them to work but are still perfect for a night out. The matte colors are awesome. I have been experimenting with a whole range of colors in this palette. I keep to the lighter side when I’m going to work and play with the entire range when I’m going out using everything from the very light end all the way to the darkest shades.

Add some eyeliner. I have been using the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eye Pencil in Ink which is this gorgeous deep navy. I do it above my upper lash line and on my bottom water line.

Follow that up with two coats of mascara and I’m good to go!

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What are your favorite eyeshadows? Any make-up tips for a newbie? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

 

Beauty Review: Body Shop Hemp Lip Conditioner

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Dry lips plague me from approximately October through April. I’m constantly looking for new products to use on my lips to at the very least keep them from cracking and at the most, keep them soft and moisturized all winter long. Drugstore brands generally don’t do the trick save for the moisturizing ChapStick brand and even then I’m not always satisfied.

Cue this wonderful product from The Body Shop. It may be part of an apparent men’s line but considering all that means is it doesn’t smell like a flower or fruit, I don’t know why that would stop me. One day, all products will be created equal and it won’t matter who uses what as long as it does what you want. But now is not the time for rants about the unnecessarily gendered marketing of lip balm.

This stuff is amazing. Like with most balms, I find I have to apply it several times a day for it to do its thing. But the results are amazing. Even in late October when Chicago isn’t as cold as I know it can be, my lips have been drying out way too easily. Bumps and cracks were threatening to make days miserable. This stuff stopped that in its tracks. At first, it just seemed to hold any dryness from getting any worse. After a few hours, it started to make things better. Once it did, though- whoa. I don’t know that I would use drugstore lip balm again.

It works great under lipstick, too! I like applying a layer of this before I put on lipstick to keep things a little softer. I’ve found it helps my lipstick last a little longer, too.

Admittedly, this stuff is a bit expensive for lip conditioner but definitely worth it in the long run. I can definitely justify spending a little bit more on a product like this if it means not having cracked and painful lips all winter.

What are some of your favorite lip products?