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October: Sparkle or Dull?

I waited just a tad to get up the October Sparkle or Dull reviews since I dropped the ball HARD in September with my Fit Fab Fun box review. I didn’t want to overload y’all with beauty everything!

I’m constantly trying to determine if the high priced beauty products at Sephora and Ulta are worth the price tag…..and honestly, I love this challenge. Sometimes I find huge wins at the drugstore, other times they are a massive fail. This month I reviewed two drug store products to compare to products I previously reviewed.

If you have been reading my Sparkle or Dull monthly reviews, you know back in July I reviewed an eyeliner I loved by Stila (you can read about that here). I loved the product and gave it a sparkle review, but I was going through it like crazy because I love love LOVE eyeliner. At about $20 a tube, I went on a mission to see if there was a drugstore alternative that was as great as the Stila but more cost effective. I reviewed a similar product by Nyx that I liked, but even though it was much cheaper, it didn’t have as much product in the tube and I didn’t like it as much as the Stila. I’ve had several readers ask me to keep checking into a cheaper eyeliner version, so I opted to try another for October. I listen to you all….I really do!

Product #1: Colour Precise Eyeliner by Rimmel London

I’ve always loved Rimmel’s products. For the cost they have been great quality and have not disappointed, so choosing one of their eyeliners to try was a no-brainer. It claimed to have a heavy pigmentation and precise applicator, two of the basics I look for when I try out an eyeliner, and at $3.99 was a great price point.

One thing I liked about this eyeliner was the intensity of the color…..I always opt for the blackest of the black color, and this was pretty good. That applicator though….not so much. It was very challenging to draw a quality line on my eye, especially when I went to do a winged look, and it wasn’t as fine of a tip like the Stila and Nyx brands had. I also felt like the color faded quickly, and I caught myself having to apply a different eyeliner on top of it a few hours after the initial application.

Overall verdict: DULL AF. I know the low cost is exciting, but you probably would have better luck with using a black eyeshadow as a liner than this actual one. Just say no.

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Don’t mind the overly rosy cheeks here…I was battling a little cold!

Product #2: E.l.f. Lock on Liner and Brown Cream

Ohmygoodnessgracious friends….brows are so so so important! I can’t begin to tell you how much I cringe when I see people who have super skinny brows that aren’t manicured or brows that are not maintained…..they frame your eyes and make or break your face! The worst part….a lot of the people I see who need some brow help are selling products like Younique or Lipsense…..Y’all SELL PRODUCTS to help with this!!!! Use them! Because I’ll tell ya something…..I’ll never buy anything from someone with piss poor brows! Complete your freaking look!

Ok, now that my mini brow rant is over (sorry, I’m passionate), I’ll shift to my brows. See that picture above with the liner? Those are my brows without any product, so they are completely naked. For a long time I never did anything with them, and now looking back I wish some friends would’ve told me what was up. Those old pics of the 1990 and early 2000 Katie brows are just UGH!

These days I rely on two products for my brows: Precisely, My Brow Pencil by Benefit (reviewed here) and Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. They are both fantastic products and worth every penny. I line with the Benefit and fill in with the Anastasia. Super easy.

As always when I go to Target…I ended up in the makeup section and had noticed Elf had a brow cream that looked a lot like my Anastasia one. Elf is a great brand and very affordable, and since I am typically pleased with their products, I purchased one of these $3 brow creams and decided to give it the test.

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And when I say test…..I mean one brow rocking the Anastasia cream and the other with the Elf cream for a true side by side analysis.

After applying the creams to my brows and taking quite a few pics in different light, I was pleasantly surprised with how similar the colors were. Honestly I could’ve gotten away with going into public with both products represented because no one could’ve noticed the difference.

My thoughts on the Elf? I’ll be using it over the Anastasia moving forward. It felt the same, looked the same, stayed on the same, but the price tag….exponentially cheaper. They are about the same size (Elf’s jar is a little taller; Anastasia’s is a little wider). Overall, it’s a great product.

Final Verdict: SPARKLE! It’s a drug store win! My brows are happy, too.

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Until next month, beauty babes…….

sparkleon

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March: Sparkle or Dull

Oh hey, friends! Halfway through April and I haven’t shared my March beauty finds! Sometimes I slack….I’m sorry about that!

I’ve been trying really hard to try out the products that a lot of people have been talking about….but lately there have been so many of them! I’ve seriously considered upping the number of products I review each month, but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

Here are the two products I chose for the month of March!

Product 1Silisponge

EVERYONE and their mother has been trying out this silicone makeup blender, which helped skyrocket it to the top of my “must try” list. A silicone sponge thing? Could it really evenly distribute my foundation??? I was skeptical.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, back in 2015 I shared my favorite finds of the year, which included the Bare Mineral Perfecting Face brush. That brush is what I have religiously used to apply my foundation ever since its discovery. I knew it would be tough to beat!

Initial thoughts on this applicator: Man, it is much different than I thought it would be! I thought the applicator would be a thinner more flexible item….this was thick and not very bendy. Look at this thing!

I tried it using my normal foundation, good ol Kat Von D, which blends really well and is a full coverage foundation. Did I like how the sponge worked? NO! I can’t even tell you how disappointed I was in this product. When you are trying to apply foundation evenly, a brush is great….you can get into every nook and cranny. With this thing…..not even close. I applied my foundation and then realized there were parts of my face (like around my nose) that were not covered, causing me to grab my brush to complete my face.

FINAL VERDICT: DULL! I know this product seems appealing (price wise they run between $4-$10), but save that money and invest in a quality brush. Trust me, it is worth it.

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Product #2: Photobalm Powder Foundation

I follow a lot of makeup pros on Youtube….there are so many great tutorials out there. One of my favorites, Christen Dominique, shared her love for Photobalm’s powder foundation, which she used as a setting powder. Since I love a matte finish, I opted to give this a try and give my trusty old Banana powder a break. I also was hoping to fall in love with the powder so it could accompany me on my upcoming trip to Punta Cana.

Right away I loved the look of this product…the packaging had a cute little pinup like girl on it, so you know I was into it! Since Photobalm is technically a foundation, I decided to try this as a foundation by itself and also as a setting powder like my gal Christen did in on her youtube channel.

Thoughts on it as a foundation: MINIMAL coverage. I felt like I just had a layer or loose powder on my face, and that wasn’t the look I wanted. However, if you like a very minimalist look, you may enjoy it.

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Thoughts on a setting powder: Surprisingly, it was very disappointing. It was a nice product…but there are lots of nice products out there. The coverage was so so on top of my foundation, and it wasn’t as matte as the product reviews claimed it would be. Is there a huge difference between this $26 product and a $4 Cover Girl compact? Nope. At least not to me!

FINAL VERDICT: DULL

Two dulls….that’s something that doesn’t happen regularly. I guess you can’t win them all in the makeup department.

Speaking of my Punta Cana trip, I have a group on facebook created where I will be sharing lots of live video, photos, and fun with a few of my best gals! The group begins on Saturday, so if you want to see what’s happening, just click HERE!

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sparkleon

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Rock the Reset: Day 14

ONE MORE WEEK!!!!!!!!

Can y’all hear the jubilation through my typing????!!!!!

Don’t get me wrong….I love how I am feeling internally, how I’m sleeping, and the food I am eating, but I definitely am looking forward to getting back into my normal routine.

Coffee….Energize….workouts….I can’t wait to be reunited. I honestly cannot believe I have not cheated with COFFEE once!!!!! I’m very impressed with myself.

This week is the Restore section of the detox, meaning legumes and grains are eliminated and my focus is on simple nutrition. I also add in a new supplement, Revitalize, which helps restore the healthy bacteria in my digestive tract.

So how did Week Two end up? Well, let me tell you…..

Earlier in the week I connected with two local bakers who own a start up vegan doughnut company in the area. I loved all of the info on the company, and they invited me to a doughnut tasting they were hosting today. Knowing this was something awesome and something my bloggers would absolutely love to know about, I attended the tasting with my friend Julie and new friend Erica. I’ll be blogging about the company very soon, so be on the lookout, but let’s just say…..this happened:

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I can’t wait to share about these beauties!

The bonus to trying the doughnut samples….I had extra calories, so I was able to get in a lovely 3 mile run. On this beautiful March day, I have to say….it was exactly what I needed to recharge my batteries and refocus me for this final Reset week. Tomorrow, back to yoga…but only for another week.

Here’s a look at my meal plan this week:

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My final week!

This week I am finally giving tempeh a try. I’ve heard many great things about the recipe that came with the program, and since I’m trying lots of new things with this Reset I figured I would build it into this final week. Other than that I am incorporating my favorite recipe thus far, the zucchini cashew soup! It’s so easy and good!

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Let’s see how this goes. 

Tomorrow I will weigh in to see how I’m doing, as well as take measurements. I’m not super focused on the numbers on the scale….I’m more focused on just getting through this week!

Shoutout to my Shakeology for pretty much saving my life. It’s nice to still have a serving of chocolate every day…makes me feel like I’m having a cheat when I’m not.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend! This week is going to be a great one, I just know it!

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My favorite finds of 2016

At the start of a new year I love to share some things that I fell in love with during the year prior. With my Sparkle of Dull monthly segment and just overall love for shopping I always come across way more than I could ever review on the blog, so a yearly wrap up is the winning solution. Plus, I find things that aren’t necessarily beauty related but are worthy of a shout out, too! Here are some of my favorites from 2016!

(And because someone will ask….no, I’m not paid to promote these items. I just really freaking love them, ok?)

1. Glam Glow Mega Illuminating Moisturizer.

I am very focused on taking great care of my skin, and this product line has a lot to do with it. I use the moisturizer every single day, and have some of the masks as well. This product has an amazing smell to it and is lightly tinted, so if you are someone who doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup, this can help you with a little coverage while still moisturizing your skin. Some people may be scared away by the price, but you don’t need a lot every day, therefore, it lasts quite some time.

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I purchase mine at Sephora!

2. Matcha Green Tea Powder

Before we bought our house I began a very healthy/unhealthy addiction with a green tea smoothie from a local smoothie shop called Pulp (if you are local check them out). After going there countless times I determined I wanted to be able to make my own version of this treat, and I found the secret to the recipe to be a quality green tea powder. You can do a lot with this product….it’s also fabulous when mixed with hot water and a little creamer!!!! To duplicate the smoothie you just blend the matcha powder with soy milk and greek yogurt. All the Yesssssssss!

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Miss my Pulp smoothies these days!

3. Altar’d State clothing

Honestly, the entire store makes it on this list! I discovered this company earlier in the year and spent quite a bit of time trolling on its website. Then, out of nowhere, the shopping gods provided a Christmas miracle and put a brick and mortar store in local mall. I almost peed my pants! This store is full of Boho-chic clothing options, cute home decor, and whimsical gifts, and the company itself has a strong philosophy on charity and giving back. I really like that in a company and support their mission 100%. If you haven’t heard of this company yet, check them out!

4. Kuhn Rikon Stay Clean Scrubber

Let’s be honest here…if you are someone doing the dishes, you have probably encountered a little situation called the Smelly Sponge. It’s gross, right? This product (which you can also find on Amazon, Walmart, Sears, etc) is made of silicone and dries faster, eliminating bacteria that can thrive on a sponge. They also come in cute colors! Mine is green to match my green kitchen decor!

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5. Best Friends by Sheri Cuddle Cup Dog Beds

I’m guessing 99% of you know that I am crazy about dogs, but for those of you who don’t know….I’m crazy aboutdogs, especially my little guys. One is a Pug and the other is a Boston Terrier, both breeds known for loving to cuddle. In October I found the Cuddle Cup while wandering the aisles of our local Homegoods and decided to buy one for the dogs. The next day we went back and bought two more for our house and two for my mother in law. They are extremely  soft, come in several styles and sizes, and allow dogs who like to curl up to do so and feel protected. I have two in my office so the boys can hang with me while I work….Bubba (on the left) is in the Deep Dish Cuddler and Murphy (right) is in the Round Cuddler Bed, also known as the Mini Throne Cuddle Cup. The outer part is a gray suede to match my office decor and they feature a sherpa lining. If they were big enough I’d cuddle in them………

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My little loves

6. Marc Jacobs Under(cover) Coconut Primer

For real for real….any time something says “coconut” I have to try it…..coconut is my #1 scent of choice! I had read many reviews on this product earlier in the year and finally gave in to try it….it did not disappoint. The coconut smell is not super potent if you aren’t in the coconut fan club like I am, but the coverage is great and it has awesome hold. It also makes my skin feel super soft after application, and I like that a lot! If you are someone with dry skin, this won’t dry you out or make your skin flake out…it actually doubles as a moisturizer!

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Coconut, how I love thee. Let me count thy ways.

7. Everfitte Workout Tanks

I’ve always favored the small shops on Easy…heck, the majority of my wedding was made possible by the vendors on the site! I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across this shop earlier in the year and immediately fell in love with their sassy workout tanks. They constantly have deals on tanks if you are shoppertunistic, and the quality of the shirts is great…super soft and breathable for workouts or just relaxing! They have a saying that can work for anyone….whether you love workouts, wine, or The Bachelor……

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Because I love carbs….and I’ll never quit them. 

8. Layer Cake Soap by Lush

I am forever raving about my love for all things Lush, but I was pleasantly surprised this year when I traded in my Shooting Stars soap for the Layer Cake soap! I’ll be honest…I was drawn to the product because of its beautiful rainbow colors, but once I smelled it I knew it was a winner. Each piece will look different, some more rainbow-like than others, but all smell fabulous, as it is made up of juices like orange, pineapple, and raspberry to name a few!

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Even Murphy agrees…it is fabulous!

9. Beat by Dre Headphone Stand

This item is a must have if you have headphones! I recently was gifted a pair of Wireless Beats from my coach Laura after hitting the huge business milestone of Success Club Legend, and I knew that 1) I would be using them constantly so I needed them handy and 2) I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be damaged. This stand is sleek, stylish, and a great to ensure my headphones are nearby when I’m doing work (I use them for personal development every morning) and out of the reach of little dogs who may mistake it for a cool toy/bone.

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Ahh…the romantic glow of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp in the background…..

10. New Balance Studio Skin

This product is for my fellow sock haters….and those of you who need a little something to help you get your workouts done if you are barefoot. The studio skins have just the right amount of traction and cushioning without feeling like a shoe, and I think they are super cute, too! I heard about them from some of my yoga buddies who had been wearing them for class….definitely worth the investment!

11. On Demand Fitness Membership

Guys….I’ve been talking about this a lot of Facebook because I am just so freaking in love with Beachbody On Demand. This is what I use every day for my workouts and is similar to Netflix….I log in from my iPad, computer, tv, wherever…pick what workout I want to do, and bam! There it is! Last week it was announced that through the month of January there would be a special bundle giving you access to every single workout every created by BB, plus portion containers plus a month supply of my beloved Shakeology for the super low price of $199…..I was floored! All that for an entire year of resources to help you reach your goals? Yes, please! I’m excited to help everyone find their soul mate workout with this system….and did I mention that everyone in your house can use it, too? Talk about a great deal!

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Best $16 a month I’ve ever spent!

12. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea palette

Tarte is one of those staple brands for me when it comes to makeup, and this palette is at the top of the list. It seems like I get more compliments on the colors in this little number than any other eye shadow palette I own. It’s a great combo of browns and purple-brown colors, and they have a rich shimmer to them. This palette is great for those of you who like more natural colors on your lids or don’t like to do a bunch of fancy schmancy smokey eye techniques.

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As always, I could include about a million products on this list, but I have to draw the line somewhere…otherwise your wallets and bank accounts would hate me! The items included in this list can be purchased from multiple sites (for the most part), so do some research and find the best deal for you!

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2017 full of lots of wonderful Sparkle Babe approved items!

sparkleon

 

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