WAITING

Once Upon A Lip Balm…

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Every girl dreams of finding her one true love…

You all know what I’m talking about…

Not Prince Charming…

Lip Balm.

Today I want to share an amazing balm for keeping your lips soft but also recommending a DIY lip exfoliator because you can’t have one without the, oooother.  (Please tell me you get that reference.)

First, you have to exfoliate.  Everyone has their own routine but I would suggest exfoliating 2-3 times a week.  Keep it in your shower or next to your toothbrush.  It is important to remove the dry flakiness as much as possible for your lip balm to penetrate.  No need to get fancy with it, you can just use a homemade mixture of brown sugar, honey and olive oil.  Use a very minimal amount of the liquid to keep the paste more granular.  Buffing this on and around your mouth will do more for your lips than you realize.  Originally I wanted to include a link to an “all-natural” lip scrub but I couldn’t find one that was completely chemical free.  Let me be honest, you don’t want your lip scrubs to have chemicals such as glycol, alcohols, or polymers.  My eyes got as big as Lawanda’s from Problem Child 2 when I realized that polymers are a derivative of PLASTIC.  This will do nothing to help your lips, it will in fact dry them out even more.

Next comes Prince Charming…the love of my life and what keeps my lips protected from dry cold wind.  I’ve been applying it every day as much as possible (1-3x a day and at night) and noticing a real difference.  The balm is called Dr. Dan’s CortiBalm and it actually contains 1% Hydrocortisone. This is the magical ingredient that keeps your lips protected and creates a barrier between wind and extreme cold/hot air while helping heal inflammation.  Their website even contains a comparative chart against leading other brands and reveals their minimal ingredient list, a must for people who are conscious of what they put into their body!

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The lip balm was originally designed for patients suffering from extremely dry lips due to chemical peels, acne treatments like Accutane and other medications.  The hydrocortisone also helps reduce inflammation caused from cold sores – something I have yet to find for cold sore sufferers.  Prescription strength? Yes please!

Comment below and tell us your current favorite lip balm!

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The Best Product I’ve Ever Used

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Y’all.  Today’s post is huge.  Today I’m sharing the BEST product I’ve ever used in my entire life!!!

There’s a lot riding on this post so I hope that each and everyone of you who purchase this recommendation fall as madly in love with it as I do.

And if you don’t fall in love with it, tell me what works better than this because I have yet to find it.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you…

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The Tarte Cosmetics BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer!  

This primer is everything and more I’ve ever wanted in a product.

It’s a primer but I SWEAR you can wear it as a foundation, it has SPF but it works PHENOMENALLY well as a primer, it has SPF but it still covers like a FOUNDATION…do you get where I’m going with this?

Most primers you could never wear solely on their own but this one knocks it out of the park for coverage, I swear it covers better than most regular foundations that I’ve tried.  Also add the fact that it smoothes out skin texture incredibly well.  This is your primer if you’re wanting to reduce pore size!  I also love that it has a high SPF but that you can’t smell or feel it at all.  That is like the equivalent of calorie-free cheesecake.

This primer can be worn alone or with your regular foundation lineup and it will give you the most flawless complexion you’ve ever had in your entire life.  Yes, I said it.  If you disagree comment below and tell me what’s better because there is nothing.  The Sephora Gods have deemed this primer most fit for everyone in all of the land.

And the absolute best part?

It. Lasts. All. Day.

#MicDrop #Run #NotGettingADimeForThisPost #JustWantToShareTheLove

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The Secret To Understated Glam

I am all about looking as glam as possible, at all times.  However lately I’ve been turning towards a more natural approach to beauty application.  There is a time and a season for everything (like double sets of lashes on New Year’s Eve), and there’s also a time for truly just looking your best…polished & pretty, but also natural.

Here’s where my secret comes in…

The secret to looking your best but also fabulous, are small strip false lashes.  More specifically, the Ardell #110’s.  They are so light and natural that no one would ever be able to tell that you have them on.

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Olivia Palermo has admitted to often wearing false lashes and it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to spruce up your weekend look.  It looks great in pictures and it pairs well with any eye makeup look or lipstick color.  It’s neutral but it’s glamorous.

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The trick is to curl your lashes very well before you glue the fake ones on.  Once they are on, curl them again.  This makes a world of a difference.  It’s what lifts them up higher to your brow, opening your eyes up.  Here are a few tips to applying the strip lash:

  • Apply all eye makeup, including eyeliner
  • Curl your lashes
  • Apply glue to your false lashes, allow the glue to get tacky, waiting a good 7 seconds
  • Pick up the lash in the center with your tweezers, apply it to the center of your lid
  • Use the tweezers to grab the inside of the lashes and press into the skin
  • Use the tweezers again to grab the outside edge of the lash and press into the skin
  • Allow the glue to dry for a good minute and then curl lashes again, follow with mascara

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Makeup Most Wanted

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Today I’m sharing some of my top secret info with you…

Some makeup artists choose to protect & hide their kits as children of their own, never revealing any of their secrets or products.  But I am a big believer in empowering and encouraging and so with that, today I wanted to share 3 of my most favorite products that I use in my professional kit!  These are the products that I know I can rely on and use to make clients (like the lovely bridesmaid Krista above) look amazing on W-day.

Let’s roll!

1.) MAC Paint Pot in “Soft Ochre” $22

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Here’s why I love this paint pot from MAC: yes it is designed to be used as an eyeshadow primer but, I also love it for opaque coverage on the lid by itself.  Sometimes we don’t want to do 3419 steps in our morning routine, or sometimes our eyelids are super red from allergies…this paint pot conceals like the real deal.  The trick is to layer this onto the lid heavily with a cream brush. By doing so it creates a beautiful, wide awake look on your eyes.  This trick also benefits people who have smaller or closer set eyes, creating the illusion of big and bright!

And don’t let me forget to mention that it keeps shadow & liner in place all day long.

2.) MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter in “Light Boost” $27

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This pen is magical!!  No but really, this pen has taken the place of some of my heavy duty concealers which is nutso considering the fact that it is SO thin!   It brightens like a dream and it’s the one item that can really elevate your look and your makeup.  I apply it under the eyes, on the chin and between the brows for a 3D effect.

3.) Ardell Lashes in “Demi Wispies” $4-10

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Honestly, I use this set on about 90% of my brides.  They are my tried-and-trues and they never ever fail me.  Even if someone wants more of a natural look I just cut off the end and place the smaller part of the lash onto the outer part of the eye, does that make sense?  So you’re using that smaller ended piece to open up the eyes and create that “doe-eyed effect.”

They are also available in a multi-pack option so be sure to buy that so that you can have a few on hand for the weekend! #dancingsenoritaemoji

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my kit and hopefully it gives you ideas on what to shop for the next time you head to the makeup store!

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Fall Makeup Inspiration

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I love me a good tradition…every year for Halloween my aunt would make two different pots of soup and nothing gave me greater joy than stopping at her house for comfort food with friends and family.  The air is turning crisper and people are finding ways to incorporate pumpkin into both their food and their front porches.

If you’re a girlie girl like me, you delight in the fact that a new season brings on a new color palette to play with.  Fall and winter are often associated with darker colors and maybe even a few jewel tones along with it.

But today I decided to re-invent the wheel.  Instead of reaching for my deep plum or burgundy lipstick, I tried out a new “look” am I’m in love with the results.  I’ve been a fan of messy hair for years now and love a super tousled look.  After scanning through my Instagram, I saw a video of a girl and I loved her makeup.  She had giant but natural lashes on top and bottom with a rosy pink matte lipstick on.  And then it clicked for me, this is my new fall uniform: messy hair, pink matte lips and giant lashes!

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This look is SO easy to do and it would great for both day and night, especially with a little added matte cocoa shadow on the lids and it looks great with dewy skin or matte foundation.

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The lip color in the pictures is actually a liner by Sonia Kashuk & the color is “Pink Whisper.” Lipliner as a lipstick is thebomb.com because it’s SO easy to apply and you can throw a lip balm on top of it and not worry about it smearing like other sticks or glosses.  Beautiful and put together?  Sign me up.

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This liner is only $8 bucks, for that price you can buy two and keep one in your bathroom and the other in your purse for touch-ups!

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In yesterday’s post, I blogged about an adorable glass + gold tray on sale at Target that would make a great Christmas gift.  Why not throw in the $9 lipliner and be friend/relative of the year? Just a thought…;-)

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Makeup Minimalist

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“The best way to enjoy your favorite things every day is to only own your favorite things.”

When I became a mom, my normal everyday routine got flipped upside down in those first few months of newborn life.  Suddenly, everyday beauty rituals became obsolete and I distinctly remember asking my husband (while halfway crying) how moms ever have time to curl their hair in the morning.  Why did I ask my husband that?  As if he could ever answer the question! Sneaky, sneaky you are post-partum hormones…

Since then I have streamlined my hair and makeup routine and I have gotten rid of anything I don’t use on a daily basis.  Friends, this is huge coming from a MAKEUP ARTIST.  I have so many beauty products it’s ridiculous.  But I slowly learned that if I only had what I truly needed and loved that getting ready in the morning could be enjoyable if not, delightful.

Today I want to reveal how I was able to minimize my routine but also keep what I had around me beautiful and purposeful…

DECLUTTER

There is no magical formula for streamlining your beauty items because everyone is different in how they do their makeup but I do have a few suggestions.  Adopt a one item in, one item out mindset.  Stick to the basics and keep one of each: face primer, foundation, foundation powder/setting powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow primer, one eyeshadow palette, one brown eyeliner, lash curler and mascara. You should also have a lip color that you love and goes with anything.

Click here to read a post on my favorite everyday lip glosses, this will give you a good idea of what colors to look for.

CLEAN

Next, clean out your makeup bag or the area where you apply your makeup.  Alcohol your eyeliners and lip liners and sharpen them before putting them back into their homes.  Clean the edges, lids and mirrors of compacts and palettes with a baby wipe.  Items should be easy to spot and not look cluttered as a whole.  I adore these darling glass + gold trays from Target. They allow your makeup items to lay flat while making them easy to spot. Bonus points: these trays are on sale and would makeup a fabulous Christmas gift for someone!

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REFRESH

Next, clean and organize the top of your makeup vanity.  I prefer to have close to nothing on top of the table I do my makeup on.  It’s so incredibly refreshing to wake up and start your day with a blank slate.  While searching for makeup vanity inspiration I found an underlying component in all of the pictures that I loved, fresh flowers.  

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Fresh flowers make any bathroom look expensive, no matter how small or big your room is.  It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to make your space look elegant but also clean and inviting.

SANITIZE

I’ve recently been using the Honest Company Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray and I plan to purchase a second one for my makeup bag.  I think it’s a genius idea considering that cold and flu season is upon us.  How perfect would this be to use right before you begin makeup in the morning to prevent germs from spreading?  Also, can you tell that I’m married to a nurse? 😉

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REBUILD

Last but not least, decide on a brush set that you love.  Stick to coordinating colors and create a beautiful template with it.  I adore the Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques because I am a huge neutral lover in general.  These brushes are so beautiful and would look stunning next to your newly cleaned makeup items.

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And for the record, how adorable is their new Miracle Diamond Sponge applicator?  This is art in itself!

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If money is tight but you feel the urge to live a fabulous life, buy 1-2 brushes at a time.  Another great option is Sephora because their brushes are always in stock and you can pick between all black or all silver.  OCD freaks UNITE!  And don’t forget to add brush cleaner too.  If you keep it near your brushes in an easy-to-see spot, you’ll clean your brushes MUCH more often.  I like Sonia Kashuk’s brush cleaner because it’s gentle and smells like lavender.

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What’s weird is when I started this journey of becoming a minimalist (don’t worry, it’s transferred into every area of my life), is that it happened unintentionally.  I was an overstressed mom who felt like she hardly had time for anything.  Flash forward a year later and I truly appreciate the things that I have, each and every single item.  Getting ready is a joy and I’ve found staple products that work well and look good on me.  You’ll be surprised at how different you feel once you clean out the unwanted and welcome the new.

And for the record, it’s much easier to straighten your hair as a new mom than it is to curl it. 😉

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Troubleshooting For Brows :: Part 2

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Ok so yesterday we covered a few common pitfalls that occur during the brow polishing process.  Today I want to cover a few of my favorite products for keeping your brows natural but also defined.  Read on to see if you already use any of these or if you’re interested in trying a new product!

1.) Anastasia Brow Wiz  $21

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So it’s no surprise this is first on the list today if you read yesterday’s post.  I love this pencil because of it’s gliding ability and because it has a great color selection.  You can find the exact shade that you need and it won’t be too heavy when applied but it’s also not too dry either.

The Brow Wiz Pencil is a great option for truly mimicking natural brow hair.  When applying, it’s best to use a feathering approach and flick small strokes upwards and into the brow.

2.) Makeup Forever Pro Sculpting Brow $27

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The reason I love this pencil specifically is because of how light the blonde color actually is.  This shade is so light that you can’t mess it up!  I have yet to find a brow pencil this light and it’s perfect for someone who is very fair or timid with their brows.  The triangular shaped pencil makes application SO easily and it even comes with a highlighter inside of the pencil! Hello!!

This pencil is perfect for people who want color and allows you to precisely define the brow along the perimeter.  It’s also great for the “tail” end of the brow because of it’s pointed shaped tip. (Point the smaller end of the tip downwards if you like a very “sharp” tail.)

3.) Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $24

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I loooove this gel! As weird as it sounds it’s all because of the tiny applicator wand! It is so teeny and so precise that you really can brush the hair exactly how you want it while keeping the arch nicely defined so that it sets and stays for the day.  I’ve used larger wands with brow mascara before and 9/10 it lays out too much product too quickly putting it to waste.  Not with this! #tinybutmighty

This tinted gel is perfect for people who love their brows the way they are, they just want a little more color.  It’s also perfect for people who have unruly brows and want to set the hair into place.  It works very much like hairspray does!  

If you look below you can see that Camilla Belle’s brows are perfectly uniformed.  It’s safe to say that her makeup artist probably used some type of gel or wax to keep them in place.

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Pretty magnificent, wouldn’t you say?


This wraps up the two part series!  Feel free to comment below if you have any specific brow-related questions!

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Troubleshooting For Brows

Life can be hard.  Brows can be hard.

I’m here to make one of the above easier for you today.

Brows can be tricky.  You might think you have it all figured out only until you step into natural light and see how dark (or how orange) they actually look. You also might think you have it all figured out only until someone says “you did your brows today.”  Or maybe you’ve tried SO hard to give yourself a “natural” arch, only to wipe it all off and throw your expensive brow pencil out the window.

Friends: I am here to help.  There should be a crisis line for problems like these but there’s not.

Call me. Or read on for common problems women have and how to fix them.

Disclaimer: It is always best to get your brows waxed by a professional that you trust before you try to work your “brow magic.”  This is important because it not only cleans up the brow but it also helps you find your natural shape if you plan on filling them in or if you want to make them look slightly fuller.


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TROUBLESHOOTING FOR BROWS PART 1: 

Crisis #1

“I don’t know what color I need!”

Answer: Taupe will always be the most “universal color” for a one-size-fits-all approach.  Start there if you’re truly undecided.

Blondes & redheads pair best with a blonde or taupe shade. Redheads: I would advise staying away from anything too warm or auburn toned.  Anyone with hair darker than sandy blonde can jump up into the brunette and chocolate shade ranges.  Look at the colors in your hair and look for a shade that is 1-2 shades lighter than your darkest color.

To make life super easy: head to your local Sephora and checkout the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil collection. They have TEN shades so that everyone is able to achieve beautiful brows. Can I get an amen? #handpraise

Crisis #2

“I tried filling my brows in and they look too heavy and too dark.”

Answer: Start with a taupe or light brown eyeshadow and an angled eyeliner or eyebrow brush. Begin by tracing the other shape of your brows.  Remember in grade school when you would take your crayon and trace the outer shape of your picture and then color the rest on the inside? Same idea!  The reason I suggest to start with a powder is because it is very natural and very forgiving and it leaves less pigment than a pencil would.  I use eyeshadow as a brow powder all the time so don’t think that you need to buy a special color or product just for that. Once you’ve skimmed the perimeter, go back and fill in the inside.  Hold your liner brush so that the smaller end is putting upwards towards your forehead.  This is very important.  And make sure that you are brushing it outwards and upwards.

If you’re happy with the results from the powder you can stop there or if you need more “pop” you can go back with the Anastasia Brow Wiz and lightly flick small hair strokes into the brow. Tiny little flicks.  You are literally mimicking the tiny individual hairs.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, take a few steps back from your mirror and look at your brows.  Look at them in relation to the rest of your face.  Do they look a little too heavy? Take a spoolie brush and press in into your brows, touching the skin, pressing it down to diffuse the product.  This is such an important step because SO many women would be much happier with their results if they did this step.

You can buy a spoolie brush separately, or it often comes on the other end of a double-sided eyebrow brush.

 

Crisis #3

“I can’t find my natural shape!” or “I want a bigger arch!”

Answer:  We can also say a prayer of gratitude because Anastasia has heard our cries and created the ever-so-clever brow stencils!! These are amazing!!!

The set contains 5 shapes and is broken down by size of arch.  Like anything, it can take a little practice and I would advise by starting with a powder and brush first before attempting the pencil or cream.  These stencils are so helpful and you might find after repeated usage that you don’t need the stencil for everyday help.

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Ok friends, it is my hope that today’s post truly helped you and motivates you to find something that works well for you.  And I would LOVE to see the results!! Snap a selfie of yourself and use the hashtag #blushingbrows!

If you find that you still need a little more brow 911, call or text 785.393.9991 to setup a brow consultation with me.  This includes a brow wax and tutorial on how to fill in your brows while using the proper products.

Stay tuned for tomorrow to find out what brow products I recommend! 

 

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BLUSHing Bride :: Erica

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All throughout my makeup artistry career I have been beyond blessed with the clients I have worked with.  Every single bride I meet makes me want to go out and have coffee with her the next week.  Every single bride I meet is generously kind and she radiates from inside out.

Meet Erica.

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I. Just. Adore. Erica.  I am currently trying to figure out which Disney Princess category she falls under. Erica has beautiful taste and she was such a dear to work with.  She also earned bonus points from me because she remembered to purchase the lip products we used at her trial to have for touch-ups on her big day.  This is vital girlfriends!

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Like always, we played up Erica’s best features.  For her skin, we kept it a dewy glow with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer.  I have blogged about this TM before and y’all should know by now how much I love this foundation.  Technically it’s a tinted moisturizer but it covers like a foundation and because it’s such a lightweight formula, it photographs beautifully.

For her eyes, we kept them soft and smoky and added false lashes.  Lashes always elevate your look and they are what makes a bride look like a bride.

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For her cheeks, I used a stain by Lorac called Rosy Glow.  It’s a powder stain and and it’s the perfect amount of rose and shimmer for someone who is more olive-toned or who has a darker skin tone.

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For lips, we stuck with a neutral shade and we used a combination of Makeup Forever lipliner, lipstick, and NYX gloss.  And as if Erica couldn’t be any more adorable, her hubby does in fact have a man-bun. Hashtag YES. #moderndayjohnnyandjune

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Congratulations to the happy & beautiful couple!

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Credits

 

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Finding Your Perfect Foundation

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Just this week, an old friend from high school sent me a message and asked me for a foundation recommendation.  She had a list of requirements and she told me that what she had tried in the past wasn’t working well.  It inspired me to write this post because I have SO many tips and tricks for finding the right foundation, no matter what your list requires!

I’m going to break it down for you in simple steps and I’m also going to list a few of my all-time favorites for people who just want a general recommendation.

1.) Decide if you want a light, medium or full coverage formula.  

Light coverage will still show freckles and skin discoloration, medium is a good in-between if you want some coverage but don’t want a heavy finish, and full coverage gives a very opaque coverage.  Think Adele.

Also, do you want a dewy (glowy) finish or a matte (no shine) finish?

Dewy on the left, skin has an overall glow.  Matte on the right, skin almost appears to be powdered.  BlakeSM

2.) Decide if you want a powder, liquid or cream.

As mentioned from tip #1, these 3 textures will often yield the above results.  Powder is light coverage, liquid is medium, and cream is full.  For the record, I will 9.5/10 always recommend a liquid finish.  It’s the most blendable and very few people over the age of 17 can pull off powder (skin has to be nearly perfect for it to sit well by itself on the skin.)  If you have acne or other skin texture issues powder never has and never will look good on top it.

3.) Go to Sephora and find someone to help you.  

This tip will save you 38293 million different ways.  I know some people hate spending $ on “expensive makeup” but you will spend just as much when you buy 2-3 wrong shade foundations at Target or Walgreens.  Tell a Sephora team member that your looking for a new foundation and that you need XYZ from tips #1&2.  And don’t be afraid to be honest with them. Tell them what you’ve tried in the past and why it didn’t work.

4.) Ask for an application of the foundation.

This is why I love Sephora, they will walk you through everything step-by-step.  They will color match you for the right foundation shade, show you what primer and what brush to use and they will apply it in store so that you can see how it looks and feels. This is huge guys, this takes out sooo much of your guessing work.

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5.) Decide if you’re ready to purchase or ask for a sample.

If you feel unsure of how well you like the new foundation, ever-so-politely ask for a sample of it.  This will really give you a good idea of how well it stays and pushes you closer to a yes or a no.  But also keep in mind that if you don’t have the brush and primer that they originally used on you, the end-result could be much different.

Following the above steps should help you decipher not only what you need but how you want your makeup to look.  When you feel confident about yourself, it’s makes you feel more presentable to the world.  Polished and professional – that’s my kinda gal! 😉 

Top Picks For Foundation: