Recent favorites & review – Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, theBalm, Stila

Hey everyone! Although I’m still in a difficult situation, I wanted to share a quick post on what I’ve been loving lately. A lot of them are mini/travel-sized purchases/gifts and I actually like these better than full-sized as I am all about trying beauty products out before committing. Among all of these, my favorites are: 

  • The Laura Mercier lip grace in bare baby – the glowing nude color is adorable and it doesn’t accentuate the lines on your lips.
  • TheBalm Bahamas mama bronzer – I used it for contour and it’s very pigmented but natural at the same time. Super easy to use! 
  • Stila stay all day concealer in 06 Tan – I have fair skin tone and I thought this might be too dark when I got it ($5) but it actually is much lighter on the face and the creamy texture sinks into my skin  naturally. It’s very blendable and doesn’t make my skin look dry which the Urban Decay one does. 

Now I was really looking forward to trying out the Urban Decay weightless concealer but I am a bit disappointed and glad I only bought it in the travel size. Although it indeed feels weightless as compared to a lot of thicker concealers, it makes my undereye area so dry that it ages me. It is better than a lot of the drugstore concealers in terms of both the formula and packaging but I am not content with it. So I’m still on my search for a moisturizing, natural under-the-eye concealer. If you have any recommendations, let me know! 

Thanks for reading and hope you have a lovely weekend!

   
   

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A non-beauty update: what I’m going through now

Hey guys, I might not be able to write a beauty post in the next few days as I’m going through a divorce. Even writing the word down makes my heart ache. I never saw this coming even though I should have. I kept weeping non-stop involuntarily, feeling stupid, and asking myself what’s wrong with me and why do I deserve this. 

While all of the above sound very pathetic, I know I will be able to get over this, find my identity again, become a more mature and better person, and maybe one day find true love again. I am still young and I should not lose hope.

Sorry for the rambling. I am not myself today. I hope to recover from this abysmal mood sooner than later and get on with my long to-do list to move forward with the divorce.

Thanks for reading.

How to get defined & natural eyebrows in 50 seconds 

Hey guys! Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weekend and had a good bite to eat!

Today I wanted to share my recent favorite eyebrow routine for an everyday look that takes less than a minute, 50 seconds to be exact – yeah I timed it 🙂

You need 2 products for this routine: a thin/micro brow pencil & a brow gel (not the clear gel type to seal your brow but the pigmented grey/taupe gel). I’ve included an image below of what I consider a natural and defined look. 

  
I know I’ve been so behind on brow products as I had been solely relying on brow pencils until recently mostly because I don’t want to spend more than 2 minutes on my brows but with this routine, you can get it done even faster while achieving a defined, natural look. The 2-step routine can be summarized in two words: Define & Fill. I’ve included more details and tips below.

  • First, you wanted to define the shape of your brows with the brow pencil. I usually only draw on the upper side of my brows as that feels more natural in the end. 
  • If you have bald spots in your eyebrows, you need a waxy, soft, pigmented pencil because all the pulling and dragging from the back-and-forth application will make your brows fallout even more. I found the new brow pencil I got from Colourpop pretty neat for that reason (and it’s only $5). 
  • If you don’t have that concern and you are new to brow makeup, you might want to start with a more stiff pencil as it’s more likely to get smudged brows with a softer, waxy brow pencils. You can try the NYX micro brow pencil (I did a review here) or brow pencils from Revlon or Loreal. I personally don’t feel the need to go high end for brow products as it’a not a complicated product like a foundation is. 
  • If you have a softer pencil at hand and don’t want to buy another one yet, I heard that you can scorch the pencil tip a bit with candles to harden it. 

  

    • The second step is the key and I only recently tried it out and fell in love with. You want to use a pigmented brow gel to fill in your brows and draw the curve towards the outer and lower side of your brows. I have never tried a brow gel until recently as I mistakenly thought it looks difficult to use and oh boy I was wrong! It’s so EASY to use and can create a very natural look for any shape you intend to create with the pencil. You don’t even need to buy a separate brush if you get one of these brow kits as the kits usually have a brush (you can try the $3 ELF brow kit if you are not sure brow gel is for you). You can totally skip the powder and clear gel seal afterwards unless you are looking for a super long-lasting look for more than 12 hours. I usually skip these and my brows look great after an 9- hour work-day. 

    I believe most of you probably own and use brow gel products as I’m just late to the brow game. But for those who don’t, just go and buy one to try it out! I don’t think you will be disapponited! If you have a favorite brow product, please comment on this post to share your love 🙂 

    You can also find me on Instagram🔆 Username: Natural_Beauty_Cult

    Updated: Colourpop mini haul swatches & mini reviews

    Updated with swatches & reviews:

    From right to left: Girl Power (in an eyeshadow jar but reads “not for immediate eye area“… Matte), Shop (eyeshadow Matte), Amaze (eyeshadow metallic), Hippo (highlighter), Brow pencil (Bangin’ Brunette)

    Among the three eyeshadows, I like Shop the most (the 2nd one from right). It’s a highly pigmented matte color between coral and red and I think it looks a bit less intense and more wearable than Girl Power (the far right bright coral shade). Amaze (the shade in the middle) had tons of hype but I don’t know whether the glitter will fall off after a few hours of wear. Hippo, the highlighter (2nd one to the left) is a pearlized shade and it looks less intense when you apply it to your cheek than on my arm so you will like it if you are not looking for those WOW in-your-face type of highlighter. 

    The brow pencil is easy to work with as it glides on easily and is highly pigmented. But you cannot un-retract once you turn it up, which is wierd, so only retract what you will be using. 

    Colourpop eyeshadow swatch Below are the two lippies I bought in the shade Hype Girl (Matte) & Frick ‘N Frack (satin).

    I don’t like the lighter shade Hype Girl at all. It’s not nude as I thought, is in a warmer tone with some wierd neon undertone, and super dry and accentuates every single line on my lip after I apply one coat. It’s not getting better with another coat and it is not even 100% matte. So in my opinion, it’s a fail

    The darker shade Frick n ‘Frack however is lovely! It’s not as brownish as I thought but it’s a beautiful cool tone, dark red shade that’s easy to work with. It feels pretty comfortable on my lip after a lipbalm and it doesn’t move. You can get an even application effortlessly and this shade makes your teeth look whiter. Although it’s not an everyday shade for me, I like it a lot and will throw this on when I have a neutral/brown vintage eye look.

    Colourpop matte lippie review  

    Good morning beautiful! Hope your Monday was uneventful in a good way or filled with excitement and expectation for the rest of the week 🙂

    So I finally received the few Colourpop cuties I bought during its 20% off sale about 2-3 weeks ago yay! I haven’t had time to swatch them yet but will do a review post later. I just wanted to share with you a snapshot of what I got. So here you go! 

    I bought:

    • One highlighter (hippo)
    • Three eyeshadows
    • One eyebrow pencil
    • One lippie stick (hyper girl, a nude shade)
    • One liquid lipstick in satin finish (frick n frack, a brown color)

    Among all these items, I’m most looking forward to testing the highlighter, the coral shimmery eyeshadow and the liquid lipstick. Hopefully they will live up to my expectation 🙂
     

    This could be the BEST ever $10 beauty box?

    Seriously, I think this is the best beauty box that has ever come out in terms of value and content, and it is the May 2016 Allure Beauty Box.

    The editor curated Allure monthly beauty box is regularly priced at $15 but you will get $5 off for your first box and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

    Why do I think it’s the best beauty box ever? Take a look at its content and don’t tell me that you are not hyper impressed as I was. This box was so popular that people who signed up in the last week of April were not able to get the May box but instead will receive the June box. You can explore the Allure boxes and subscribe here.

    may-2016-allure-beauty-box-inside

    photo credit

    Skincare products featuring Foreo:

     

    • Foreo Luna Play cleansing brush (the newest brush in the Foreo family retailed for $39)
    • Foreo day & night cleanser duo (delux sample size)
    • Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector (treats dark spots)

    Makeup:

    • Cötz Flawless Complexion SPF 50 (perfect for summer time under foundation)
    • Pixi Mattlustre lipstick in Rose Naturelle (nude brown color)
    • Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara

    A full-sized nail polish:

    • Lauren B. nail polish in Santa Barbara Surf (summer green/bluish shade)

    You can read more here if you’d like to learn more about each item included in the box. I will share my thoughts after I receive my May Allure box.

    What do you think? Have you received better beauty boxes? Please share your experience and thoughts in comments!

     

    4 Simple Beauty Tips for Your Lip, Eyes and Cheeks

    Hey guys! Happy Friday and hope these 4 simple beauty tips below will add a smile to your face 🙂

    • If you have a yellow, warm undertone, avoid plum, purple, and hot pink  lip colors as they will bring out the yellow undertone and do not complement your look.
    • If you have trouble blending out your cream foundation, highlighter or bronzer, try mixing the cream products with a drop of facial oil, and it will help tremendously the blendability of your cream makeup, and will add a subtle layer of glow to your look.
    • When you use makeup setting sprays, don’t spray it all over you face like a facial mist. Instead spray it as if you are drawing an X & a T in the air above your face, and  you are done. A lot of times, less is more.
    • Although fine lines under the eyes and crows feet are probably the first aging signs you notice around your eyes, don’t forget to apply your anti-aging eye cream on your upper eyelids or you will have regrettable sagging eyelids that will make your eyes look smaller as you grow older. Start early and your eyes will thank you later 🙂

    Makeup Review – theBalm Balms Away Eye Makeup Remover

    Hey guys! Happy Thursday and it’s now officially only one day away from the awesome weekend! Do you have any fun plans?

    Today I wanted to share with you a quick review of a new eye makeup remover product I’ve been testing out and hopefully it is helpful for anyone who is considering a makeup remover balm product.

    theBlam Balms Away Eye Makeup Remover 

    I was actually really looking forward to this balm as it has a super gentle, vitamin-rich formula, and is supposed to melt away all your eye makeup effortlessly while nourishing your lashes and eye areas. I have sensitive eyes and a lot of makeup removers burn my eyes so I can only use limited eye makeup removers.

    I was definitely happy when I first received the product. How cute is this packaging?! It has a bright, vintage vibe that’s kind of unique to the brand.

    I’ve been using it for a week by now and I have mixed feelings about it.

    What I like about it:

    • As you can see from the ingredient list, it’s a natural product without any harsh chemicals and it’s by far the most gentle eye makeup remover product I’ve ever had (and I’ve tried more than a dozen).
    • It’s ultra hydrating, so it feels more like a treat rather than a burden when you use it to remove your eye makeup. I actually use it on my lips as well as I have dry lips and it works really well.

    What I don’t like about it:

    • The big, round jar packaging calls for reasonable hygiene concerns. You probably have to use it up within a few months or there could be bacteria issues. To help with the situation, I strongly recommend using a cotton swab to get the product out instead of using your fingers.
    • You absolutely cannot use it on your face. I took too big of a chunk the first time I was using it, applied it all over my face, and ended up having to wash my face 4 times in order to get rid of the clogged, waxy feeling from this rich balm/oil on my face. You only need a tiny amount, and anything more than that will lead to a disaster.
    • You have to experiment with this product to figure out the best way to use it. I apply a little bit of the balm on my eyelids and eyelashes, massage in small circles, and then wipe these off with a dampened warm cotton pad. So if you are a lazy gal, you will not like it at all

     

    Will I repurchase it?

    I am still on the fence. I definitely will not pay $20 for this but I think it’s worth the $14 I paid for it (got it during the DermStore 30% promotion).

    What makeup remover do you use now and do you have a favorite? I’d love to hear what you like and don’t like!