beauty favorites

Hi! It's been a while since i've shared some favorites so today I am sharing some of my favorite beauty products. This is one of my favorite things about blogging. I love it when other bloggers do this as well because it's how I find some of my favorite things that I end up using for years. So, let's talk make up!

I posted this photo on Instagram recently and I got a lot of questions about where I found my make up organizer. Okay so, I have gone through not one, not two, not three, but FOUR make up organizers before I got this one. Some were too small, not enough space for the product which resulted in more make up around the counter, too flimsy...! I have been obsessed with these make up organizers for years! I first saw them on an episode of the Kardashian's so I searched for them and I found them, BUT they were a couple hundred dollars over priced. Fortunately over the years, different companies made replicas of them at a much more affordable price. I found these online at Target (linked below). There are many sizes and varieties to choose from. I got style number one and I am pretty comfortable with that choice. You can also purchase add ons if you run out of room, and they just connect together.

When it comes to make up, for the most part, I only splurge on face products! I buy from different brands both high end and drug store (NYX, maybelline, etc) When we lived in Germany, I quickly learned to branch out and use other brands. It was extremely frustrating running out of a product and not being able to find it or order it because only a handful of stores would ship to an APO address, let alone anything liquid! We had MAC stores and Sephora's but the closest MAC was over two hours away, Sephora was about 8 hours away in Italy, AND they were priced in euro which was pretty much double the price! I ordered from MAC a couple times online (which took 10 days delivery) but it got annoying after a bit. So, I learned to find dupes for the few products that I wasn't able to get over there, and ended up loving those few items which i share below

 I was using Smashbox photo finish for a few years before switching to this matte one from Ulta. It's $18 (half the price of Smashbox), but I purchased mine during a sale for $4! Yes, four dollars! At $4 bucks it was a great time to test it out, so I did and haven't tried anything else since! Works just as great as the Smashbox one. Every now and then Ulta will run sales on their brand of make up (Ulta Beauty) so be on the look out for that if you are eyeing a few things from there.

I've been using this MAC studio finish concealer in NC35, and this Maybelline instant age rewind eraser in medium, which is comparable to the Tarte Shape Tape which is also amazing! Have you seen the reviews on that thing?!

currently using this Maybelline matte + poreless in 125 nude beige. I basically just use this as another concealer, but all over my face for full coverage.


I use studio fix powder plus foundation by MAC. I have used it for years and will not use anything else. Priced at $29, it lasts me an entire year before I hit the pan (the aluminum part of the container, shown below) so it's not too bad. I use the shade NC40. I put this on after the liquid foundation.

I use this $9 matte bronzer by NYX in medium. I use this a lot in the fall/winter with the lack of sun around here.

I use NARS blush in the color "orgasm & deep throat". I also use NYX, Milani, and Ulta beauty blushes as well! The Ulta blush I use is this one, in the color "Tiger Lily". This was another product that I bought for $4 on sale that I tested out and ended up loving. The Milani blush I use is this one in the color "Luminoso" - which is a great dupe for NARS "orgasm" by the way. This is a great brand that is not often talked about. You can grab this brand at Target, Ulta, and Walgreens. I own their blush, and a couple lipsticks. The quality is really good for your money. The NYX blush is this one in pink.

As far as eyeliner and mascara go, no-one is going to notice if you're wearing Chanel, or some other designer, so why spend the money on it? That's just me. Some of the best products that I've found cost less than $3! First, i use an eye shadow base/primer. I switch between primer potion by Urban Decay, and this one by NYX. My holy grail eyeshadow is the Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay. I have used it for years. I also use Maybelline's blushed nudes. Speaking of eye shadow, have you guys seen this new storybook palate inspired by the movie "Mean Girls" ? 😮 I am dying to try "October 3rd" and "Regina George". I love how this movie came out so long ago, yet it's still popular. As of now, it's only available on line. For eyeliner, i only use liquid! I use vinyl by NYX, but also love this $3 one! Occasionally I use a pencil to fill in my eyebrows, and that is this $4 one by NYX. Mascara. My holy grail mascara is Voluminous by Loreal! Used it for years! However, I have a bit of an obsession with mascara. I have to try all of the new ones that come out. I'm obsessed with the smell of a brand new mascara, weird I know, lol. I have tried expensive brands, and to be honest, I was not impressed. I will stick to my favorite $6 one. I also use Maybelline's Total Temptation, and Colossal. I always get the color "blackest black" in any mascara.

We will be here all day, so i will just go by what I keep in my purse, lol. I carry four or five different colors in my purse, not even kidding. Among those four, are MAC, NYX, Stila, a gloss, and a chapstick. I've used lip lingerie by NYX for about a year now and i love it. My favorite shades are teddy and ruffle trim. Ruffle trim is my go to right now. It goes on liquid, but immediately dries into a matte. It does kind of dry your lips out so I always top it with a gloss, usually this one in blush or sugar. This is a great, affordable alternative to the Kylie and Stila stuff, which means that you can buy more than one color. These are currently buy one, get one 50% off at Ulta (until 3/10/18). Speaking of Stila, I really love the all day lip in the color Caramello.  My holy grail lipstick is "Mehr" by MAC. I am obsessed with this pretty color, as well as velvet teddy. Both are priced at $17.50 which may be steep for some, but! I have some dupes for you if you're just wanting to try out the color, but don't want to take the plunge on that price yet. Those dupes are Kate Moss for Rimmel in 104. I have both Mehr and 104 and you cannot tell a difference! The 104 smells really good too. As for velvet teddy, try the same Rimmel in color 03.

In general, my favorites are:

Nudes- velvet teddy, caramello, ruffle trim, 03
Nude/sheer gloss- creme brulee, sheer gloss
Rosy/Plum shades- mehr, lover, touch of spice
Pinks- strawberry cheesecake, candy yum yum, flat out fabulous
Reds- russian red, beso, apple crisp
Vampy shades- sin, coopenhagen, teddy

As for a good chapstick, i love these by Blistex. Do you guys remember Lip Smackers from back in the day? They still sell them btw, but these remind me of the adult version of Lip Smackers :)

Question - Have any of you tried ColourPop? This brand was recommended to me and I have yet to try them out. They are only sold online as of now, however, I just heard that Ulta will be bringing this line into their stores really soon, like TODAY.  Have you tried this brand? How do you like it? What do you recommend? Are they matte or glossy? 

Make up remover
I use these wipes [ 1, 2, 3 ] and occasionally these eye make up remover pads by Almay when I accidently pick up a waterproof mascara. I hate it when that happens, especially when i'm too lazy to go exchange it, lol. The Almay and YES TO brand is currently buy one, get one 40% off at Ulta!

moisturizer, creams, exfoliator, & masks
I like to research these products. I look for the ones with the highest reviews, and I read what people are saying about the product before I go and purchase it, especially if it costs a bit more. I do this with pretty much anything beauty related, but more specifically with facial products. As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I only splurge on face products. What I mean by that is as I get older (i'm in my 30's), I am willing to spend a bit more on products that help with my skin. Those products are usually creams and moisturizers aside from my studio fix powder plus foundation. I currently have been using Olay total Effects and i like it so far. Moisturizer is something that I struggle with. Living in the mid-west,  my skin is soooo dry because of the hard water! Adriana's skin is the same way, so it's not just me. Don't get me started on hair! (that's later). I also randomly use the Murad eye cream at night, but I prefer this one by No 7 (mentioned below). As for an exfoliator, I often use this one for $3.39! Has amazing reviews. I love the gritty feel on my face while its scrubbing all the dead skin cells off. Gross, I know, lol. Another great brand is the Total Effects line from boots No 7 (found at Target, Walgreens). They are just No 7 now but used to be called Boots No 7. This is another one of those brands that is not talked about but should be! This entire line is really good for skin care. They used to make this aaaamazing illuminating lotion a few years ago but they discontinued it. So sad! Also from this line is the advanced serum (look at those reviews!) the day cream, and the eye cream (mentioned above), But anyways, another great brand of products is the Pixi brand (Target). This glow tonic stuff is pretty good. The Soap & Glory line is also good for lotion. I use the butter body lotion and i really like it. It smells really good, and costs about $10. I am always searching for something new or better, so if you have any recommendations please post them below in the comments or email me your suggestions! (go to the top of this page and click "contact") I read every email so please don't be shy!

Edited: ** The No 7 line is currently 15% off at Target right now until Saturday 3/3/18 **

[ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ]

Masks- I will admit. I've never used these until now, i don't know why. I will warn you though, the coconut one (2) burns! I tried this one first and like I said, i've never used these before, so i wasn't sure if that was normal. The package said to leave it on for ten minutes. After five minutes, i began wondering if that was normal and freaked myself out so I took it off, lol. BUT! My skin was very soft after those five minutes! The reviews on this specific product were mixed so I think it just depends on your skin. My skin is normal for the most part so I'm pretty sure I would've been fine for another five minutes. All of the other products by the "Yes to" brand are amazing! I've used their cucumber make up removing wipes for a few years. I haven't tried the other masks yet, I am going to space them out just to avoid causing any kind of potential skin sensitivity/reaction, so I will report back with those reviews in a bit. The next one I am doing will be the charcoal mask. The reviews on that thing are insane!

Make up brushes & Sponges
I use the brushes and blender sponge from Real Techniques. You can get them pretty much anywhere that sells make up.  As for a brush cleaner, they sell one, but I make my own! I found a ton on pinterest using only two or three ingredients that I already had on hand. How cute are these marble ones from Sonia Kashuk?! I am going through an obsession with anything marble right now. They are $15 which isn't too bad considering one sponge typically costs $5-7

Marble Sponges 

Shampoo/Conditioner: OGX hydrate line & Pureology hydrate.
After washing, before drying, I use the Redken pillow proof cream. My hair dresser introduced me to this and i love it. It makes my hair really soft. I also use this Moroccan oil.
For dry shampoo i only use batiste! I've tried other brands high and low but this one is my favorite in the cherry scent.


Right photo:
top [ fiji, strike a positano ]

Current favorites are Essie and Sally Hansen Miracle Gel! I've had the SH gel on repeat for the last few months. As for my nail polish storage, it's actually a shoe drawer that I got at the container store. They have different sizes and what not but for this one, I used the Men's/athletic one. I have a couple of these because I used to use them for make up but they ended up being really bulky on my counter top and took up a lot of space.

I have a few that i like but Roses de Chloe is my favorite and my go to!

 I am always looking for something new to try. Feel free to send me your suggestions and/or your favorite products! Either comment below or send me an email! Also, if you don't already follow me on pinterest, you should! I pin a ton of items on there daily :)
you can find my pinterest here