New e.l.f. Products I Want to Try

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While I feel like I’ve mostly graduated from cheaper makeup brands to discovering what I truly like and expect from a product and paying a little more for that, I still have some favorites that I shop for in the drug store instead of in Sephora. Believe it or not, e.l.f. still tops that list of brands I’ll stop and sift through. (So does NYX and Wet & Wild, though not to quite the same degree.) Continue reading “New e.l.f. Products I Want to Try”

Lip Pencil Showdown! MAC vs. ModelCo vs. e.l.f.

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Okay, so I was curious when I got the ModelCo pencil in my Ipsy bag this month just how close it came to my beloved MAC Spice lip pencil. So I went out and grabbed another MAC pencil last week for the sake of comparison, and also, well… This is a MAC Spice pencil. I’ve already gone through two of these, so I’ll use it, no question. I love my brown/nude lip pencils. Just for fun, I’m tossing in an e.l.f. liner as well.

For those of you unfamiliar, Kylie Jenner made the MAC Spice pencil incredibly popular, and for a while there you had to commit murder to get your hands on one. But it really is a great shade, particularly for overdrawing the lips and making them look fuller, and it’s hands down my favorite lip pencil, so it’s always fun to see what I can come across that’s similar. Continue reading “Lip Pencil Showdown! MAC vs. ModelCo vs. e.l.f.”

Powder as Primer: Yes, you read that right.

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I have combination skin, but for whatever reason, my skin occasionally decides to be oilier than Saudi Arabia. Skin care products don’t seem to make a difference. Baking seems to help a little, but not much. Primer (or lack thereof) doesn’t see to help much. I have few different primers in my arsenal, but my two most expensive ones (both from Benefit) do more for me when I wear them OVER my foundation. (I use one for mattifying and one for brightening.)

And then I discovered this stuff…

e.l.f. Prime & Stay Finishing Powder


This was originally purchased as a random new item from e.l.f. to try out and review, and I’ll admit I sort of had no idea what to do with it when I got it. It’s okay as a finishing powder, but I was curious about the “primer” portion of the description, mainly because everything I know about makeup tells me that I’m putting on my makeup in the wrong order if I do this. Primer goes first, then foundation and concealer, then powder. Right? Every woman knows this.

I’m here to tell you that I’ve apparently been doing things wrong all these years. This stuff… It works miracles, and it really hasn’t been given the attention it deserves. I went back and forth on how to use this, so I eventually decided that I should apply it as if I were going to go out without makeup. I went through my morning skincare routing and got my moisturizer game in order. Then I applied this with a dense powder brush (not the big, fluffy kind). There’s actually a new one from e.l.f. that works perfectly for this. A foundation brush also works. Then I let it set for a few minutes. The best way I can describe what happened next is to say that as the product was warmed up on my skin the powder residue seemed to melt away, leaving behind that smooth, soft focus finish.

Every foundation I’ve applied over it has lasted longer and needed less blotting, with or without baking. I’ve used Tarte, Lancome, Make Up Forever, Maybelline, e.l.f., and L’Oreal. I’ve used concealers by e.l.f., Maybelline, Tarte, and Sephora. EVERYTHING has stayed put for hours longer than I thought it would, and this little $2 product has quickly become my baby.

And then it went out of stock, and I couldn’t find a link to it on e.l.f.’s website without searching Google, which tells me that it’s likely this has been discontinued. I’ve been Googling and trying to find something similar, and meanwhile I’ve hit pan.

Now, I’ve never seen another product like this, but knowing e.l.f., it’s probably a dupe of something more expensive out there. So off I flew earlier today to hit up a few makeup counters. I think I confused the hell out of the poor salesperson at Sephora. When I told her I’d been putting powder on under my foundation and a mattifying or brightening primer over it, she looked at me like I’d just tried to take a bite out of the Too Faced Chocolate Bar display. I can’t say I’d blame her. I thought the same thing until I’d tried this stuff.

“Ma’am, you put your powder on OVER your foundation to set your makeup. Your primer goes under your foundation. Have you tried a primer?”

“Yes, and the ones I like tend to work a little better for me on top of my foundation. That Smashbox abomination that everyone else seems to love makes my makeup melt off faster. But this IS a primer– just in powder form. And I use another powder to set my makeup after I put on foundation.”

“Which powder are you using.”

“I have five. Two loose and three pressed. It just depends on what look I’m going for. The two loose are used for baking. The three pressed are a translucent, a translucent HD, and a mattifying.”

“And you’re putting those UNDER your foundation?”

“No, I use this stuff under, which is a powder primer, then my foundation and concealer, then a brightening or mattifying primer if I want, then powder.”

[Insert another look like I’m wearing my underwear on my head here.]

So yes, I get that it sounds like the strangest thing in the world, but it really does work, and I’m completely hooked. Thankfully, one of the other associates there knew about the technique and pointed me toward a similar product by Too Faced. They didn’t have it in stock, unfortunately, so I’ll have to wait until it’s delivered to do a full review on it. As best I could tell from the sample, though, it looks like I’ve found my new go-to.

e.l.f. Review: Old Products, New Colors


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As I stated in my previous post, I’ve had some new e.l.f. products on hand for a while, and I’m only now getting around to reviewing them. Because there are so many, I broke it up into separate posts.

These are two products that I’m already a huge fan of, and as a rule of thumb I just end up getting all the colors. As I’ve stated before, e.l.f. is just so darn cheap, you can do that. I won’t get into a full review of these products as they’ve been around for a while. I’m just going to focus on the colors for now, but I will give a small description of what to expect for each. Continue reading “e.l.f. Review: Old Products, New Colors”

e.l.f. Review: Older Products, New for Me

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I’ll have to apologize. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to write this up. I’ve had lots of new things from e.l.f. on hand for a while, and I know a lot of people have been wanting to see if they were any good. Some are entirely new products. Others are new shades of old products Because this is so long, I’ll break it up into a few different reviews: old products that are new for me, old products with new colors, and new products.

Continue reading “e.l.f. Review: Older Products, New for Me”

Cyber(man) Monday Deals


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This is far from everything I’ve seen. It’s just things that interest me. I’ll update this a few times throughout the day, if I find them. To make things easier, I’ll post the newer stuff on top so that you don’t have to scroll down to the bottom.

Continue reading “Cyber(man) Monday Deals”

FULL REVIEW: Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation

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I’ve already posted about how I ended up using this instead of my usual, and now that I’ve had a full 24-hours to play with this, I figured I’d give it a full review.


Amazonian clay 12-hour full coverage foundation by tarte. Link, if you’re interested in purchasing.

Description from the product website:

An oil-free, 12-hour liquid foundation formulated with Amazonian clay and non-chemical sunscreen filters.


  • Provide full coverage for 12 hours.
  • Provide SPF 15 sun protection.
  • Weightless texture.
  • Blendable and buildable.
  • Adjust to all skin types for longer wear.
  • Reduces appearance of pores.
  • Natural look.
  • Free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
  • Satin-matte finish.

Other Products Used







I used a combination of circular motions for all over coverage and stippling over blemishes, and I have to admit that it looked absolutely beautiful in various lighting. This definitely provided a good full coverage that was both blendable and buildable, as the product claims. I didn’t need extra concealer for my blemishes, though I did use concealer under my eyes. It did seem to float above my pores a bit, but it didn’t really reduce the appearance of them any more than I’d get by using other products I already own. The finish was satin-matte as promised, and it did look very natural. If not for the coverage itself, I’d have guessed I wasn’t wearing anything at all. It looks like skin.


I wore this for Thanksgiving, so this got tested through a pretty substantial meal as well as being in a crowded home (read: sweat). And I kept it on for a good 12 hours. It was really comfortable, and I almost forgot I was wearing it. At about 6 hours I had to blot. That’s pretty good, considering that I can get oily at times, so I definitely think it’s living up to the claim that it adjusts to your skin type to help it provide truer and longer coverage. When I wore it the day before and the  consultant forgot to moisturize and prime me first, it still managed to wear well– maybe even a little bit better.

At about 8 hours, though, it was getting a tad splotchy. I blended it all back in with my foundation brush, but that ended up requiring me to also refresh my blush a bit. It smoothed out nicely, but it was definitely wearing thinner by this point. I don’t consider that to be true 12-hour wear, and it’s definitely not as persistent as what I’m used to.


I’m not impressed, but I’m intrigued. I’m going to take advantage of Sephora’s current online deals to grab this and try it out a little more. I’m still undecided, if I’m honest, but I know that if I hate it, I can always return it and get something else. I’m not happy right away with the wear time on this. It might do better if I skip primer (though I WOULD NOT consider skipping my moisturizer), and I like to test out a new foundation a few different ways before I make a final decision. I also want to see how it holds up to a full day of work. That’s the real test of a good full-coverage foundation for me, as it’s really the only time I’d wear one. (I don’t really do full coverage unless I’m having pictures taken or going to be working a special event. Even with a breakout, I’ll normally eek by on a medium coverage foundation or a BB cream, depending on what I’m doing that day.) I really like the finish of this one. It looks amazing on me– better than my usual product, which is also more expensive. My local Sephora carries it, meaning I don’t exclusively have to purchase it online. So I want to experiment with it a bit and see if I can make it work.

So I ran out of full coverage foundation…

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While I keep a few different kinds of foundation on hand, my go-to for my long-lasting all day powerhouse full coverage matte… You get the idea… I like Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24h. That’s seriously my holy grail foundation for when I need really good coverage, and I’m working all day in a hot mess of an environment. This is obviously not what I wear EVERY day, mind you. I’m too cheap to wear a nearly $50 foundation every single day. For every day, I tend to go back to my old drug store favorites– e.l.f.’s Flawless Finish Foundation and Maybelline’s Fit Me Matte Plus Poreless Foundation.

Three of the five different foundations I keep on hand. Yes, I keep five foundations on hand.
Three of the five different foundations I keep on hand. Yes, I keep five foundations on hand.

Also, while I adore drug store makeup, I’ve yet to find anything that even remotely compares to Tarte’s Maracuja Creaseless Concealer for under my eyes. I can use just about anything for blemishes, though I usually just go for a better coverage foundation if I have an issue cooking, but under my eyes is a whole other situation.


I’ve been told that Maybelline has some great concealers, but I honestly haven’t gotten around to trying them. I’ve tried nearly everything e.l.f. has put out in terms of concealer, and none of them have really impressed me. L’Oreal has come the closest so far when it comes to drug store brand concealers. I just kind of feel like I’m flushing money down the toilet whenever I try to find the right match with drug store foundation/concealer/powder. By the time I’m done finding a good match, I might as well have paid the extra money for the department store brand. I got VERY lucky in finding the Maybelline and e.l.f. foundations, and e.l.f. is cheap enough that I can play around finding a good color.

Now, all that said… I have a family Thanksgiving party to go to tomorrow, and I was trying to put off a trip to Sephora until AFTER this weekend. But my chin has decided to break out because I have a nasty habit of resting my chin on my hand, so I can’t wear my light-to-medium stuff without every female relative I have asking me about it. My poor little tube of concealer was reaching it’s limit, and I was seriously considering breaking open the bottle of foundation and using the inside as a makeshift palette for my foundation brush. But I was being stubborn. I finally realized this morning that I’m not going to make it, so we headed out today for last minute groceries and (for me) a trip to Sephora.

My local Sephora is inside a JC Penny. The others around me are too far away to even bother– at least for today’s trip– but I realized too late that my JCP Sephora doesn’t carry my usual Lancôme foundation. They do have my Tarte concealer, so I at least got my hands on a replacement for that, but for foundation I was a little screwed. So this then turned into me trying on every damn foundation in the store until I came across something I liked, and then me asking for a sample to just get me through the weekend.

Thank you, by they way, to the nice sales associate for humoring me.

What I ended up with was this stuff.

This is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation. (Tarte has also started their Black Friday sale, and you can get 25% off and free shipping of orders of $25 or more through 11/27, so if this is your jam, now is a good time to grab it.) It’s not new or anything, and there are probably plenty of reviews on it, but I haven’t tried it myself before. I haven’t worn it a full 12 hours, so I can’t give you an opinion of that just yet. I’ll post an update when I’ve had it on longer– particularly if this becomes my new full coverage. But this definitely feels very comfortable for a long-wear foundation. I keep forgetting that I’m wearing anything at all. The sales associate forgot to moisturize me first, and despite that this hasn’t gotten dry or cakey, and I’m not shiny. For a full-coverage foundation, it doesn’t look unnatural, so… So far so good.

We’ll see how well this performs tomorrow, and I’ll absolutely post an update while I’m deciding whether to reorder my usual or switch to this.

A couple of sales going on right now…

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Over on e.l.f.’s website, they’ve got free shipping with no minimum through 11/26. I was going to use this opportunity to grab the three new Matte Lip Color shades, since I already own every single one of the others, but they’re all out of stock! They’ve got plenty of other new products to try, though, and I’ve gotten quite a few of them. That review will be up soon.

On Hautelook, LORAC is on sale as well as a few others. There are eyeshadow palettes for $8-10! Go now if you’re interested. I can’t imagine these will stay in stock for much longer.

Oh, and Kohl’s Black Friday deals are live!

UPDATE 11/24: I just noticed that the free shipping promo on e.l.f.’s website lasts through 11/26. Also, two of the three new Matte Lip Color shades are back in stock, so… I’M. ON. IT. If shade #3 comes back up before Thursday, I’ll probably be getting that, too.

UPDATE 11/23:

NARS is currently lighting up my Groupon searches. There’s even a nice looking blush palette that includes their popular Orgasm blush.


Monday Musings

Well, it’s cold and wet today, so I feel totally justified in making this.


This is my personal chili recipe, which pretty much consists of tossing a bunch of stuff into a slow cooker and leaving it on all day, so I don’t think I’ll post the recipe for now. My house smells amazing, though. I’m going to make some cornbread muffins in a few to go with it.

I need comfort food right now, you guys. I worked a few different events this weekend, so I needed the quiet I enjoyed for much of today. Christmas Village is in town, and that’s HUGE. Which brings me to two things…

Birmingham Parking

I’m trying to figure out what the deal is with the Birmingham Parking Authority and several of their lots and parking garages– in particular, the ones with electronic machines designed to give a parking pass and then charge you on the way out. These stations also accept credit cards. Great, right? Well, it would be, but the BPA insists on setting people out front of these buildings or lots who then collect CASH ONLY for parking before letting you through. I carry very little if any cash on me, and I’m not exactly a weirdo for that. They’ll also block the machines, not letting you use those. Here’s my question… If the BPA gets their $8 for parking regardless, why does it matter if I use the machine instead? Why is there a need for people to be sitting out there taking cash instead? I always wonder if these guys are legit or if there’s some sort of scam going on. Just let people use the damn machines, okay? Also consider… Some of us can get our parking tickets validated. The parking at Uptown is an example. There’s also the Boutwell garage and the garage for Westin Hotel. So far, I haven’t seen them block the Westin, but for anyone who is going to eat at Uptown or who might be visiting City Hall and can get parking validated, blocking the machines and demanding $8 in cash is demanding money they’re not owed, but suckers will pay it anyway. I’ve demanded to use the machine before because I was supposed to have my parking validated, and while they’ll eventually relent, they do get very nasty about it.

Seasonal Jerks

Full disclaimer… I’m a Christian. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. But I’m not one of THOSE people, and the fact that I have to specify that as soon as I state that I’m a Christian annoys the ever loving crap out of me. You know the ones to whom I’m referring. There’s always a certain segment of the population that, in the name of Christ, insists that a war has been declared on Christmas, and they’ll use the most absurd examples to back this up. Case in point, this guy.

If I have to explain to you why this is an utterly ridiculous argument, then you’re probably already beyond help. The previous cups had things like Christmas trees, snowflakes, snowmen, and Santas on them. NONE of that has anything to do with Christ or Christianity. Not to mention, Starbucks sells a Christmas blend and advent calendars. Discount Fred Durst is also mistaken that Starbucks employees are forbidden from saying, “Merry Christmas,” and even if he wasn’t, that’s not a policy that their service employees have a say in. You’ve not “tricked” anyone, buddy. The baristas aren’t your personal dress code police, so nobody cares what you’re wearing as long as you’re covered. Nobody cares about your gun unless you walk into the store looking like you stepped away from ISIS training or start waving your Glock in the air like a moron.

My take on this as a Christian? I think this picture says it best.


There’s also this post that I stumbled on earlier today. Wow… Love this guy. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I’m a little bit relieved to see that most people using the #MerryChristmasStarbucks hash are sensible and calling this out for the attention grabbing bovine excrement it is. Faith in humanity… restored a little bit.

On to lighter things…

I can’t get this song out of my head, and I fully blame Netflix for that. The slower version really seems to work with the wet, cold, and quiet of today.

Oh, and when I got home from school pickup, this had arrived…


That e.l.f. order has several new products, by the way. I’m also working on a review for Stitch Fix. I’ve already tried everything on and taken pictures. I’ll post the review after I’m done sending feedback and checking out. I also use Trendsend, though not as often. I’ll absolutely be doing a review on that when I order another one. My Julep came in while I was working this weekend, and I already tried out the new shimmery pink nail treatment. Love. I also swapped in their face oil on this box. Also love.


Speaking of e.l.f. I totally forgot to mention that their holiday sets are currently on sale on today (11/9/15) only, and if you’re a red card holder, you get an extra 5% off on top of that. Plus… FREE SHIPPING! So if you’ve been meaning to pick one of these up, now’s the time. Grab it here.