• The Best Lipsticks for Fall ’16

    It’s time to pucker up, LoDown fam 💋

    November is officially upon us and the holiday season is well on its way. With that said, it’s time to dress your lips up in celebration!

    Primarily a dusty rose kind of gal who dips occasionally into the berries and the reds, I will be sharing a couple of my favorite lippie brands and shades.

    Ready, set, muah!

    Wait, what? Lipstick and lipliner in one product? You guys are geniuses, Benefit Cosmetics!

    This lip kit comes with four shades—two on the bolder side and two on the more neutral spectrum. If you’re into the natural look, these colors are perfect for you. They’re hydrating and not super pigmented. Even though the lipstick and lipliner colors look very different, they actually compliment each other quite nicely! I personally prefer Pink Thrills and Lusty Rose.

    Portrait Pink, Dusty Rose, Red Velvet

    Yes to these vintage-looking gold tubes, and a double yes to the unique shape of the product!

    I don’t know about you, but I love lipsticks that vary slightly from the uniform shape. I find these specific ones easier to apply, especially when it comes down to precision. Best of all, they’re highly pigmented, long-lasting, and dry matte!

    Secret Salma, Walk of Shame, Amazing Grace

    Yaaas, more gold bullets!

    Inspired by lip brushes, these lipsticks come in square-angled tips. Designed with 3D glowing pigments (to make the lips appear fuller and wider) they’re a must-own if you like the matte look.

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Infamous, Understudy

    I’ve been obsessed with the shade “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” for a couple of years now. It’s the my-lips but-better color for my skin!

    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Infamous are my go-to colors that not only stay on but also keep my lips super moisturized. Understudy, a close second to the two aforementioned stellar shades, is not shabby either. I use these three shades interchangeably on lazy days when I need a sheer pop of pink!

    No. 54, Deviant, Unspeakable, Bound

    I’ve been carrying “Bound” in my bag since these NARS babies launched last month.

    No, they’re not liquid lipsticks. These Glides apply like gloss and dry semi-matte. Just if you’re wondering, they’re not drying at all!  A few touch ups throughout the day will keep your lips luscious with a pop of color!

    Spanish Pink, Wild Ginger, Forbidden Pink

    Probably the silkiest lipsticks I’ve ever felt on my lips.

    These lippies are creamy and moisturizing with long-lasting color payoff. The collection has a variety of colors and a generous range of nudes. I’ll probably be purchasing Indian Rose next!

    Sweet Maple, Spice Spice Baby, Pink Chocolate

    Literally the smoothest lipstick tubes my fingers have ever touched.

    These lipsticks are filled with creamy moisturizing benefits. The colors go on smoothly with just the right amount of pigment. This collection has a wide range of neutrals and pinks. I have yet to try their shimmer finish shades!

    Rapture, Violate, Naked

    Urban Decay never lets me down and they get brownie points for having unique packaging, great colors and finishes, all at affordable prices!

    The Vice Lipstick collection comes in six different finishes, and the cream finish is my absolute favorite. Rapture, Violate, and Naked are the perfect neutral colors for the fall season.

    What are your fall favorite lip products? 

  • Rise & Shine with Me!

    Advanced Skincare Routine: Morning Edition

    As of late, I’ve been obsessed with all things skincare. Better late than never, right?

    Makeup, while a lot more fun to talk about, isn’t really my “essential.” Regardless whether I’m having an extra drowsy morning or super lazy evening, I always make sure to take care of my skin. No exceptions!

    Even though skincare can be an investment, I always think it’s worth it in the long run.

    Step aside face wash and moisturizer, here’s the low down on my morning routine!

    Foreo Luna Mini 2
    Philosophy Purity Made Simple
    Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser

    I have so many favorite cleansers, and it’s hard sticking to just one! Using the Foreo Luna Mini 2, however, makes cleaning my face a lot more fun. I noticed that my skin looks and feels healthier after every Luna use!

    You can’t go wrong with both of these cleansers. They definitely do the job and they work for all skin types! After cleansing, follow up with toner to remove any last traces of makeup and dirt. It’ll leave your skin feeling hydrated.

    Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
    Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub

    Don’t forget to scrub-a-dub-dub at least twice a week. You want to get rid of all the dead skin that accumulates on a regular basis. You’ll also unclog your pores in the process! DO NOT, however, exfoliate daily (unless the product says that it’s okay to do so) because over-exfoliating can cause irritation and redness. Moderation is key!

    Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum
    The Estee Edit Late Night Eraser

    I think putting on eye treatment and serum is my favorite part of my morning routine because doing so feels like doling out extra brownie points for my skin. If you’re have super tired eyes in the morning, please try Estee Edit’s Late Night Eraser. The cold metal applicator tip wakes me up in a good way (no cranky Courtney here) and my eyes don’t feel and look as tired. I try to use serum before moisturizer as often as possible because serum helps to firm the skin while making it look radiant! I’ve also been a huge fan of Amore Pacific for the longest time so I don’t think I’m ever letting them go.

    Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture
    Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel
    Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

    Like face cleansers, I can never stick to just one moisturizer. I choose my moisturizer depending on the season and how I’m feeling in the morning. During the hotter seasons, I tend to go for a lighter moisturizer, like an oil-free gel and on brisk winter mornings, I go for a more light and creamy formula.

    Coola Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30
    Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

    Don’t forget that SPF! I cannot stress how important this step is, even in the dead of winter, when the sun seems to be on a hiatus. Guess what? It’s not. The sun is secretly gleaming its UV rays right at you.

    One of my favorite SPF-infused brands is Coola! They’re good at giving you what you need (moisturizer, primer, setting spray, etc.) while throwing in some SPF!

    In simpler terms: cleanse, tone, scrub (exfoliate at least twice a week), then dab eye product, serum, moisturizer, and SPF.

    Let me know in the comments below what your must-have skin-loving products are! Stay tuned for the Evening Edition 😉

  • My Thoughts on Play! By Sephora

    You’ve probably heard of Ipsy and are somewhat familiar with Birchbox, but what about Play! By Sephora?

    Yes, it’s another $10 monthly makeup subscription service. And yes, it is totally worth it.

    Despite being absurdly late to the game, Sephora has truly hit its new beauty feature out of the park. I, of course, made extra sure to be on the receiving end of all the buzz–sans hesitation.

    You see, I used to be one of those people subscribed to both Ipsy and Birchbox. After accumulating a couple fistfuls of deluxe-sized products, ones that simply weren’t getting any love, I knew I had to step away.

    Sephora, however, is a different story. I’m two months into my beauty plan and I think I’m going to stay.

    Each month, you’ll receive five deluxe beauty samples and a fragrance sample.

    Sephora’s subscription service, for one, has a monthly theme. July’s theme, for example, was all about summer and August’s theme was all about eyes. The products mailed to you are chosen based on your beauty profile. That way, there’s a better guarantee you’ll actually use what you receive.

    My favorite part? The products come in a cute, customized bag that can totally be used again.

    July 2016

    Effortless Summer

    Too Faced Soleil Matte Bronzer
    Beautyblender Blotterazzi
    Ouai Wave Spray
    First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay
    Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer
    Nest Citrine

    My jaw literally dropped when I received my first subscription bag from the beauty chain. The first thought that came into my mind was, “Oh em gee, so worth it!”

    Right off the bat, I knew I was getting the bang for my buck. I’m was not only familiar and a fan of all the beauty brands Sephora sent over, but I’ve also been wanting to try the Blotterazzi since forever!

    August 2016

    The Eye Openers

    Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm
    Lancome Energie de Vie The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer
    Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Eyeshadow and Powder Blush
    Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil
    Urban Decay Perversion Mascara
    Clean Reserve Warm Cotton

    New month, same happiness. For the month of August, I received eye products, ranging from skincare to makeup. My favorite products in this month’s baggie are the eye pencil and mascara. I love the plum color of the eye pencil and I’m always down to amp up my lash game. Compared to July’s swag bag, August’s was definitely smaller in size. July’s had products that were bigger, but August’s had products that I use on a daily basis.

    OVERALL: I’d say you should hop on the bandwagon and sign up for that waitlist. I tend to only use products from brands that I’m familiar with, heard of, or are raved about by people that I trust. Sephora’s Play! has been a great way to broaden my knowledge of what’s out there. Plus, I can get a voucher for 50 reward points every month I make an in-store purchase while under the subscription.

  • TheLoDown