Tag Archives: cosmetics

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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September: Sparkle or Dull????

I need smacked.

I was sitting here this morning going through some blog emails and realized I had completely forgot to post my Sparkle or Dull for September, which was a review of my Fit Fab Fun box! I had done this with my last box and had many of you ask me to continue to review the products in each box I get. My Fall box arrived when I returned from Myrtle Beach and I had intended to get the review up the beginning of October as I usually do with my S or D blogs.

But….life happened, as always. Those of you who follow me on social media know that my grandmother Bubu, passed away earlier in the month, and I was a little bit of a mess for awhile. My family has had a rough few years. First we lost my dad, then my paternal grandmother, and now my maternal grandmother, and all of those losses happened in the Fall months. This time of year isn’t my favorite anymore, and sometimes I tend to become a little distant.

Regardless, I totally spaced on this blog. Good news for my beauty buffs: you’ll get this late blog, then a new one for the month of October in about a week or so!

So let’s talk about my Fall Fit Fab Fun box!!!!!!!!!

This is my second time receiving this quarterly subscription box, which is full of goodies tailored to your likes. If you want to read my review of my first box, click HERE.

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Here’s a breakdown of everything that came in my box! I will include the link so you can check the items out for yourself or purchase if you would like!

Coxet Wire Heart Ceramic Jewelry Holder : I loved this minimalistic holder….it almost looked like a little piece of art! Initially I wasn’t sure if I was going to use it for jewelry and thought about using it on my desk, but eventually I realized I liked it better holding my daily essentials. This retails for $33 and would be great for the jewelry lovers in your life!

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Deco Miami Lavender Cuticle Oil : I was excited to get this item because lately I have been crazy busy and have been skipping my nail appointments, and these cuticles have suffered for it. They are a hot ass mess! I loved the smell of this and really liked how my cuticles felt after. It’s definitely one of my favorite items in this box!

Trestique Matte Color and Shiny Balm Lip Crayon : We all know how I feel about a quality lip color! I knew Trestique was a brand carried by Sephora, but I had never tried it, and the color sent, Florence Fig, was gorgeous. I was pumped to try it! One end is a lip crayon, and the other is a BB lip balm to help with extra shine. I also read the balm could be used as a primer! Overall, I loved this product. The color was light, rich in pigment, and stayed on. It didn’t claim to be a long lasting lip product, but it was, and I loved it. If you are interested in this product, it does come in other colors!

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Mytagalongs Hot and Cold Gel Pack : Guys!!!! This freaking hot and cold pack is THE BEST! As an athlete and as someone getting a little older, sometimes I need to ice or apply heat if a muscle is a little wonky after a strenuous workout or class. The problem with a lot of ice packs is that they cannot double as a heat source, and ice packs I have used tend to get hard and rigid, as ice does when it sits in the freezer for a bit. This gel pack though….it is great because it doesn’t become rigid and can truly help. Since it can form to your body, it can provide more relief, and after heating it up for a few in the microwave it provides the heat you may need, too. At only $15, this is a great purchase for anyone.

B-Low the Belt Mia Belt : Each box there is something that is called a “fashion boost”, meaning you get one of two fashion items. This month you received either a cable knit beanie or this Mia belt, which is what I received. I received the black belt with a silver buckle, but it is also available in tan with gold. I don’t wear belts often, but I really liked this one. It was simple, yet modern, and I liked that I could wear it numerous ways. It retails for $55 (more than the actual cost of the box), and I couldn’t say I’d pay that for it outright, only because I’m not a belt person. For someone who dresses up for work or dresses up a lot, this would be a good purchase.

Private Party Gym Bag : I was over the moon stoked when I found out that a gym bag was   included in the box. Hellloooooooooo I work in the health and fitness industry! Of course I need a gym bag! There were three options for bags, and I was hoping I got the Gym and Juice bag…..and I did!!!!! It is such a great bag, and I use it every day when I go to the kickboxing studio. My mom got the one that says “Will workout for cupcakes.” They are a heavier jean material and great size to tote your gym gear! My favorite item in the box by far!

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Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask : I’m a diehard fan of Glamglow line and have been using it on my skin for quite some time, so it’s going to take something crazy amazing for me to replace their mud mask with something new. Yet, I am always open minded to try new products just in case. This product ended up being surprisingly good. Did I like it better than my Glamglow? No….but only because the smell of Glamglow beat it out. Otherwise it was very similar; it left my skin nice and smooth and did not feel harsh at all. It was a great exfoliator, so I will definitely use it again. Definitely worth a try, and definitely a quality product!

Dphue Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse : Just like there is a fashion boost choice in every box, there is also a beauty innovation boost. This box included a coconut teeth whitening powder/toothbrush combo or this apple cider rinse. I really wish I had gotten the toothbrush after trying this product….I’m kind of particular about what I use on my hair, and I love new teeth products. I did try the product a few times, but I was not pleased. I’m not a fan of the smell, plus I hated that this product did not lather up. My mom, however, tried it and liked it, so you may like it….I just didn’t.

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Mer-Sea & Co Scarf: This scarf is the coziest thing I have ever touched! I got the one in blush (perfect since I love pink!) and love the ombre look of it. I’ve been using it as a little throw when I’m in my office working, but now that the temps are dropping outside, I will be using it as a scarf! It’s a great size, so it can easily be used as both….and it retails for $98, which means I got it one hell of a deal!

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Once again, this box surpassed my expectations. I would’ve been happy with just one of the items. Aside from the Apple Cider stuff, I will be using everything in the box. Already looking forward to the next one!

sparkleon

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August: Sparkle or Dull?

Lashes, lashes, lashes. They are one of my favorite things and a part of my daily routine…and I’m sure by now you all know that!

When the magnetic lash debuted over the summer, everyone and their mother tagged me in the product post on Facebook, and it was at that time that I knew I would have to review them whether I liked it or not.

Product #1: Magnetic Eyelashes

This was one of those products that I had to do a video review of…check it out below!

FINAL VERDICT: DULL x 1,345,633,832. Just don’t buy them….unless you like wasting your money, then do it.

Product #2: Too Faced Peach Perfect Setting Powder

I’ve shared my love for Too Faced products before, especially their eye shadow palettes, and I was excited when they added to the Sweet Peach collection. Their Peach eyeshadow palette is one of my go to palettes because of how great the colors are, so I hoped that the rest of the collection would be just as great.

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Photo courtesy of Sephora

When it comes to a setting powder, I have used Ben Nye Banana powder for ages. The color is great for balancing out my skin and I love the velvety finish. I wondered if this powder would have the same coverage and feel the same (Too Faced is known for their fantastic quality of their products and a similar velvet-like finish).

One concern I had about this product was the color. It appeared more orange than my skin tone, and I did not want to end up like an Oompa Loompa. I’ll be honest: the first time I put it on my face, I was a little too heavy handed and did have an orange like color to my skin that made me look a little unnatural. However, I learned my lesson and tried again the following day using much less, and I was very pleased with the product. It lessened the oil in my T-zone, did not feel heavy on my skin, and stayed put all day.

What I loved best? The smell! It is a blend of peaches and figs and smells delightful.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle!!!!!!!! I definitely plan on continuing to use this product and look forward to trying the others in the Peach line!

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Peach Perfect setting my foundation!

What products should I review next month? Let me know! I love hearing about the items that interest you and giving them a try!

sparkleon

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July: Sparkle or Dull?

This month I decided to do something a little different and review something I have gotten so many messages about: My summer Fab Fit Funbox!

Chances are if you have Facebook you have seen at least one sponsored ad from a D list celebrity talking about this quarterly box of goodies tailored to you. I would see these posts daily and wonder if they were as awesome as they appeared to be, and with so many of these boxes being out on the market, why this one? Is it better than its competitors, like Bless Box, Ipsy, Birchbox, Boxycharm, Beauty Box, or Babe Boxx to name a few?

If you dig far enough back in this blog, I’ve reviewed both Birchbox and Ipsy before, as I used to subscribe to box. Both were a lower price point at $9.99 a month, but I ended up canceling both due to the fact that I felt they weren’t paying any attention to the profile I had created. For example, I had been very specific that I didn’t want hair care products in my box, as I am very weird about what I use on my hair and was more interested in makeup/skincare items. Several months in a row I ended up with duplicate items, all hair oriented, and customer service never seemed to give me an answer why this was happening. For me, it didn’t end up being worth it.

So back to Fab Fit Fun….with a $49.95 quarterly price tag, I was a tad bit skeptical. However, my mom had ordered one the previous quarter, as did my aunt, and they both loved it. If it passes the Mom test, it’s golden, right???

My mom actually had secretly ordered one to be delivered to me, so when it arrived on my doorstep, I was super excited! I couldn’t wait to see what was in it!

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My Fab Fit Fun box!

Here’s a breakdown of everything I received in my box! You can click the link to view the item, learn more about them, and see the cost of each item individually if you don’t believe me when I share!

Mystic Bar necklace by Kris Nations: I love jewelry, and I’m really into the color turquoise, so I loved this necklace immediately. It is simple enough that I can layer with other necklaces, but substantial enough to wear it on its own. It retails for $58….right there the price of the entire box has been exceeded!

Bkr Little Water Bottle: I have been using this thing constantly! I received the Romeo bottle; my mother received Rosy, a pink color. This product retails for $35. They have lots of colors and styles based on your preference!

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Cargo HD Picture Perfect Highlighter: As a makeup lover, I can honestly say that I had never heard of the Cargo brand, which meant I wanted to try this product first. I love highlighting, and my go to is an illuminator from Urban Decay. I love that product so much and didn’t anticipate liking this product as much as I did. It has a great shimmer to it, goes on smooth, and looks amazing in photos and when the light hits it (it retails for $30). I definitely will be giving this brand a chance moving forward and this highlighter will be replacing my Urban Decay!

Juice Beauty Eye Concentrate: I’ve seen the Juice Beauty brand at Ulta in the past, but, again, never tried it. When it comes to under eye products, I am a big fan of Benefit Cosmetics’ It’s Potent! Undereye cream….it is a killer product that I have been using for years. I replaced my Benefit with this Juice Beauty product every day for a week and loved it….it had a great smell and texture, and it wasn’t heavy if worn under makeup. At $29, it is cheaper than the Benefit product I use, but I didn’t like it as much as what I currently use. I still think this is a great quality product that I would recommend.

Eau Thermale Avene Hydrating Sunscreen: I have yet to use this product, as I haven’t been in the sun or to a beach since I received it. However, I have a few beach trips coming up that I will allow me to try it out! All I can attest to is that it smells great!

Understated Leather On the Road Again Travel Set: Guys, I am obsessed with this! As you know, I travel a lot, and surprisingly one thing I don’t own is a cover for my passport. I’m not sure how I have lived so long without one, but I love the quality and texture of this! It came paired with a matching luggage tag and retails for $28.

Klorane Dry Shampoo: I’ve been very upfront with everyone about my love for dry shampoo….it’s my secret to only washing my hair once every two weeks or so. I’ve been a loyal Batiste user for a loooooonnnnggggg time. This product intrigued me because it claimed to not leave a white residue after application and was made with oat milk. Even though I have perfected a system to ensure no white is hanging out in my hair, I’d still love a product that allowed me to cut out that step. Surprisingly, this product was awesome and lived up to its hype. I loved the smell, and it did the same for my hair as Batiste. The only negative to this? It has a $20 price tag as opposed to the $8 one of Batiste, so I don’t know if I love it that much more to fire my trusty faithful brand.

Michael Star Ruana: I was most excited about this ruana! I love anything that is versatile, and I loved the colors of the product! I’ve been wearing it with a belt and love that look, but I’m also a huge fan of how it looks when it is loose and flowy. Allegedly I can wear this as a scarf or sarong, but I haven’t tried either way yet. This ruana retails for $58 (I included the website for others similar since this one is sold out) and if I hadn’t received anything else but this item, I would’ve still been happy.

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Items in the box differ based on how you complete the profile. My mother got the ruana  in black, and she also got an art kit instead of the travel set. Some people received a himalayan salt kit, and some also got a massage oil instead of the dry shampoo.

Overall Verdict: SPARKLE!

This Fab Fit Fun box was a great value and was full of amazing products. I 100% recommend it to you if you’ve been on the fence about trying it!

sparkleon

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June: Sparkle or Dull?

When it comes to the beauty items I review, I always try my best to not just review the higher end brands but also the cheaper items that can easily be found at your local drug store. Some of the cheaper products I have reviewed have become staples in my makeup collection, beating out those that are more expensive by a long shot….and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t excite me! It’s always a great thing to save money!

Last July I reviewed a waterproof eyeliner by Stila (read that review here) after having a disastrous time with the cheapo eyeliner I had been using for awhile. I loved it…it was essentially an easy to use magic marker for my eye, and it stayed on like a champ. However, one negative thing about it…..well, about me….is that I use A LOT of eyeliner, and I felt I was going through this pen like crazy. At a little over $20 per eyeliner, I wanted to see if I could find a more cost effective product.

Product #1: Nyx Super Skinny Eye Marker

Whenever I am trying to find a more cost effective beauty product, one of my go to brands is always Nyx. Nyx can be found at Ulta, but also Target, Walmart, and various drug stores. Ulta often has buy one Nyx item, get one half off, so I timed this purchase up with another Nyx purchase (Im a huge fan of their HD powder), making it about $5.

As I mentioned, I loved that the Stila pen was like a large marker…that helps with precision when drawing on your eyeliner and also draws on a cleaner line in my opinion. Since this item had “marker” in the title, I figured it would be a great one to try.

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For starters, I wanted to share with you the two side by side. Not only is the Nyx product cheaper, but it is larger. I like that. I like that a lot. Once you remove the lid, the items look basically identical. Like Stila, the Nyx liner comes in a variety of colors for those of you not into jet black liner like I am.

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I was really impressed by this product. Everything I loved about the Stila liner I loved with this one as well. The only negative: the color wasn’t as bold as the Stila, but it was still enough for me to be satisfied…I think I’m just used to that super black in your face color.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle! Use the money you save by buying this product and hook yourself up with something else fun!

Product #2: Elf Makeup Remover Pen

Elf is a lower cost brand that is right up there with Nyx. I’ve reviewed their products many times before and am always pleased. They are extremely affordable, great quality, and can be found in most stores, including Target and Walmart.

A while back I was watching a youtube tutorial when the girl in it mentioned she always carried an Elf makeup remover pen with her. Surprisingly, I had never heard of or tried this item, and immediately went to Target to snag one. At $2.99, I hoped this product was as good as she claimed.

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Here’s the thing with me: I know I know what’s going on with makeup application, and during the application process I rarely make a mistake. Buuuutttt……I always seem to sneeze right after I put on my mascara and/or lashes, so I am constantly ending up with black dots or lines that aren’t attractive. Sometimes this means having to redo the entire eye, which is such a pain in the ass. I hoped this product would be a little lifesaver. Fortunately for me the day I wanted to try this product I went on a sneezing binge.

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See those cute black dots? Thanks mascara/liner/whatever. Instead of freaking out, I opened up my makeup remover pen and simply ran it over the mess. It immediately was gone. There was a very small area that needed touched up….easy with a little concealer…..but other than that my eyes were safe from destruction.

The only negative thing I see with some Elf products: they don’t last nearly as long as others. I’ve only used this pen a handful of times and am wondering how much life it has left…I’m guessing I’ll know the answer this week when I take it to New Orleans and will be using it for photo shoots and other fun things.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle. It’s definitely something you want to have on hand for emergencies and can save you a lot of makeup aggravation.

I always love 2/2 months! If you try these items, let me know….I always love hearing from you guys!

Hope your day (and beauty routine) is full of sparkle!

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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February Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

Guys, how weird of a month was February? I don’t know about wherever you are, but the weather here in Ohio was so weird….hot one minute, snowstorm the next. I felt like I was just as much a hot mess as the weather was!

Overall it was a busy month for me…lots of great things happening with my team and business. Busy days means not a lot of sleep around here, so I was excited to try out the two products I am reviewing for the month because I knew both would help me exponentially.

Product #1: Eye-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches

I mentioned I haven’t been sleeping much, right??? My success partner Nichole and I have been meeting every morning at 5am, and you guys know how I am….I go to bed about 2am or so every night. Yeah, I look a hot mess when I get up, and not just a hot mess, a hot mess with puffy eyes!

I’ve tried under eye patches before and always hoped for great results. Most of the time I have been disappointed and felt like nothing was different after I used the product. A friend of mine, Sandi, had shared about a patch she sold through Nerium and mentioned how great it worked. I decided it was worth a shot to try.

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So excited to see if they live up to the hype

I was so excited when I got my little package in the mail from Sandi and couldn’t wait to try them out! The patches come individually wrapped, which makes them easy to take on the go. Some patches I have tried in the past aren’t as convenient for us on-the-go types.

These patches are very easy to use…you peel them off the backing and apply, then leave them on for about 20 minutes. I put them on while I had my morning coffee and instantly loved how they felt. Sandi had shared with me that it was best to put these in the fridge before use, which I did. This made them nice and chill when I put them under my eyes!

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Oh look, me without makeup!

I try to get a lot of sleep, but I am a weird sleeper. For example, I go to bed later than I should (usually around 2pm these days), get up at 4:45am for a business meeting, then go back to sleep for awhile. Even though I get sleep, I still sometimes have puffier eyes.

I wasn’t expecting a miracle with these things….no product is going to do that with a single use, but I’ll tell you what…I was super pleased with these patches! In my opinion the photos don’t do their magic justice…I noticed in the mirror such a difference that I don’t think is reflected in the pics below (Before is to the left; After is to the right).

Things I loved about this product: It was easy to use (always a good thing), reduced some of the bags I was rocking, and really tightened the skin up. I felt a difference right away, and when the time came for me to put my makeup on I could see the visible difference. With some photoshoots coming up and lots of activities, you better believe these patches are going to be a staple in my routine.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle all day, baby!

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Left: My before                                                                       Right: My After

Product #2: Nyx Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick

My go to lipstick is always a matte….I just am not one that likes the gloss look much. Every once in awhile you will see me with it, but it is a rare occurrence. Because of that, I tend to avoid most liquid lipsticks.

I’ve reviewed Nyx products before and have loved them…..they are hands down my favorite drugstore brand. As it usually happens…..I was strolling through Target and a bright pink color caught my eye….and I had to have it.

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Some colors are just obviously Katie. 

The color was the Pink Lust/Passion Rose Nyx Liquid Suede. As you can tell, the color is 100% one that is in my main palette. At about $6, I was ready to give this suede stuff a try.
I got home from Target and did my usual workout/shower routine. Since I was fresh faced I figured I would try out this new color.

At 9pm, BIG MISTAKE! As my snapchat followers can confirm, I put this on and couldn’t get it off! Usually I would be pleased about this, but at this time of night I didn’t need extreme staying power.

I tried it out later in the week when I had a full day of activities and meetings….I as pleased that I didnt have to reapply once. The color was vibrant and didn’t dry out my lips….definitely a great lip product!

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle!!!!!!!

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Looking forward to a wonderful March, friends. Let’s sparkle like crazy.

sparkleon

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#Lashgamestrong

Oh, lashes…..how I love you. Let me count thy ways.

I talk a lot about consistency with workouts and nutrition and do my best to be consistent, but I’m human….so sometimes I fall off the wagon. When it comes to my lashes though….those…those I am consistent with every.single.day. I never fall off the lash wagon!

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So many lashes, so little time. 

I get a lot of questions about them….like why i love them, what ones are my favorite, why don’t I try extensions, why don’t I try this lash product or lash product, yadda yadda. Let me break down my lashes for y’all.

Let’s address extensions first and foremost…….

I was born with lovely lashes (thanks, parents) and honestly only used mascara up until about four years ago or so. Occasionally I wore falsies for a special event or wedding, but that only  happened a handful of times a year, not daily. As I got more and more into the makeup scene and doing makeup for friends, I realized I loved the look of longer, fuller lashes, so I made the decision to get eyelash extensions.

I waited a while to do this, researching Do’s and Don’ts because I had heard horror stories about lash extensions. On the flip, my dear friend and personal makeup consultant, Marenda, had gotten them done, as had my cousin, and both had fabulous experiences.

My appointment was scheduled over Fourth of July weekend in 2015, and I conveniently made it on the day of my engagement photos. In my mind it was the perfect time to get them done, and I was excited at the thought of these super glam lashes in our photos.

The place….exactly the kind of place I would usually go…trendy and modern, and my lash “expert” was the kind of person who seemed to really know her stuff….at first. I had called ahead of time to ask questions about how they did things and wanted to make sure they did not use a glue with formaldehyde, which is common in glues purchased overseas. They assured me they didn’t.

I’m going to spare you the complete details of the experience because it was wretched, but I will tell you it left me calling Marenda, who was on her way over to do my makeup for the engagement shoot, in tears.  The lashes looked terrible….wonky like Helen Keller had applied them because they were all curving in different directions, and the “expert” told me when I was paying that the glue in fact had formaldehyde in it. Cool.

Ren saved the day for the engagement photo shoot (thank heavens), but the weeks to follow included my lashes falling out and, at one point, me having barely any lashes at all. It was a sweet look, let me tell you. In order to avoid looking scary, I started applying my falsies daily. As my lashes grew back, I continued to wear falsies because they didn’t grow back the way they were before (Spoiler alert: they STILL aren’t the way they used to be). I’ve been in a serious relationship with lashes ever since.

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Thankful for a talented friend for making my lashes look great for this shoot!

What are the lash products I swear by?

I have an extensive collection of lashes ranging from drugstore brands to more expensive ones. My favorites are from House of Lashes and are the Heartbreakers, but I also love the Faux Mink lashes from Lilly Lashes…..I wear these a lot when I want a more dramatic look. My wedding look featured the Miami lashes from Lilly!

The most important thing with lashes….whether they are cheap ones or the more expensive ones is THE GLUE! Having quality glue is the most important thing. I swear by the HOL Glue and recommend it to everyone….trust me on this! It is worth the cost and is the best product out there for lashes. I carry the travel size glue with me at all times, and the full size is always stocked up. This product is formaldehyde, phthalates, and paragons free and great if you have sensitive eyes.

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My wedding day lashes.

Were lashes tricky at first? Absolutely. There were days where I couldn’t get them to stay on…or they were off centered….or I didnt let the glue get tacky enough to apply them so they were a hot mess and my fingers got sticky. It took awhile for me to get to the point where I could apply them in less than a minute per lash.

If you are new to lash wear, here are a few basic Katie tips to help you out:

1. After applying glue to the lash, let it chill for about thirty seconds before attempting application. This is important….they adhere better when the glue is tacky.

2. Purchase quality glue (as already addressed).

3. Realize you may have to trim the lashes down. Sometimes I purchase a pair and realize they are too long to fit on my lid, so I have to cut a small piece of the end off. You want to wear the lash, not have the lash where you.

4. Have a storage system for them. Guys, lashes can be reused again and again. Don’t toss them after a single use….clean them and reuse! I use rubbing alcohol to clean mine…easy and inexpensive.

5. Tweezers are the best applicator!

Here’s a quick video I made awhile back to help you with eyelash application! Give it a try…..and if you DO opt for extensions….do you research so you don’t have a horrible experience like I did.

Why do I lash? I love changing my eye look daily….the love how easy they are to wear….how inexpensive they are…and just how badass they make me feel. 

Long live the Lash!

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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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November : Sparkle or Dull?

Guys!

This Sparkle or Dull blog….what a headache it has been! The month is nearly over!

I had gotten quite a few requests to review a certain product, and it took me nearly 8 weeks to receive it! Apparently my package got lost in the mail not once, but TWICE, but it finally arrived two days ago, so I jumped right to the review. I was assured that is not the norm with the company’s shipping….so if you order from the same site I share below, don’t fret! Since I was hell bent on reviewing the item AND I don’t do a December Sparkle or Dull (I do a wrap up of some of my favorite finds instead), I had to wait to try the product out before posting!

Product #1: Pantene Pro-V Root Reboot Dry Shampoo

First of all, this isn’t the item I was waiting on…..this you can find at any drugstore, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

I recently was reading a Cosmopolitan magazine (Yes, I still like to read them) and stumbled across a list of their best beauty finds of the year. I disagreed with most of them (shocker), but I was intrigued when they named this Pantene product as the best dry shampoo.

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You guys all know how I feel about dry shampoo….I wash my hair about once every two weeks so I rely on a quality dry shampoo to save me the other days. I have been having a love affair with Batiste dry shampoo for quite some time and did not have any desire to cheat on it….but thought just trying out this product would be ok. Who knows, I may love it more!

For starters, they aren’t far off in price. The Pantene product was about $6 at CVS when I snagged it, and Batiste is usually about $8. I always take advantage of the Buy 1, Get one 1/2 off sale on that, and when you pair with a coupon at Ulta it actually ends up being cheaper.

The point of dry shampoo is obviously to suck up the grease or nastiness hanging out in your hair, and Batiste does that incredibly well. When I tried this Root Reboot…..I did not think the same. At first it felt similar to the Batiste, but after I used my token hairdryer trick, I realized my hair still looked greasy and gross. The only benefit to it: It smelled nice, but then again, so does Batiste, and I have options for scents with that one.

This may be a better product for baby fine hair? I’m not sure, but to be named Best Dry Shampoo of the year by Cosmo SOMEONE had to like it…just not sure what hair type that person had. I let one of my pals with finer hair take it and am waiting back for a report from her.

Final Verdict: DULL.

Product #2: Max Makeup Cherimoya Lip Tattoo

Ok….this is the item I waited and waited and waited for!

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Couple of things to talk about first…..I’ve been completely skeptical of these kinds of products since they hit the market. I mean….you put something on your lips, let it harden, peel it off, and the color stays? Yeah right. There are so many different kinds of lip tattoos out there (the one I got was temporarily sold out when I visited the site to link it for this blog) that I had a difficult time narrowing down what one to try. Honestly, I just went with the first one that popped up, and I have tried Cherimoya items before with success, so I figured it was a good option.

This definitely deserved a full video review so this blog is turning into a mini vlog.

My pieces of advice just to recap some of the things in the video:

1. Always look at the before and AFTER color swatches before purchasing…they will be different.

2. Use a lip brush to apply product evenly.

3. Make sure it is completely dried before peeling.

4. Be careful…it will dye your hands, clothes, etc.

5. I recommend exfoliating before use!

Definitely glad I gave this a chance and am excited to try more colors!

Final Verdict: SPARKLE!!!!

If you try a different brand, share your experience with me! I want to know what everyone likes when it comes to similar products!

sparkleon

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