Woman Seeking: A Basic Toiletry Kit

I’ll admit, as I’ve gotten older I’ve become somewhat of a bag lady. I have my work bag, gym bag, and duffel bag for short trips. And I pack bags inside of those bags, including my purse, makeup bag, and toiletries bag. Last week I did a post on what I’ve been taking lately in my travel makeup kit (which you can check out here), and today I’ll be going over what I bring in my toiletries kit. 

Not only do I take this kit on trips, but I also use this for the gym, including my early morning tri practices that have me leaving my house at 4 in the morning (sooooo earlyyy). During the warmer months, I also like to keep this in my car so I have it on hand for any impromptu beach trips or sleepovers. My toiletries kit is probably one of the most used bags I own, and because of this I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping it prepared and stocked (but not overstocked) with products I’m going to need. Right now my kit is stocked specifically for the gym. While things do get switched out depending on the event or time of year, I think this can help be a guideline when building a basic toiletries kit for yourself! As always, I’ve tried to go in some sort of order, generally trying to list things in the order I use them. 

Cleansing Cloths – Even though facial wipes aren’t my favorite, they are so handy to keep in my bag and take up almost no space. If I don’t have time for a full shower, I can use a couple of these to freshen up my face and body. If I’m hitting g the gym later in the day, I can wipe of my face so the dirt and gunk of the day doesn’t sink in my pores any further once I get to sweating. Currently I’m using Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths, but any type will do. These aren’t my favorite for removing makeup, but since I don’t typically have makeup on, these work just fine for the time being. 

Facial Cleanser – Having a mini facial cleanser really helps keep my face in tip top form. If I was wearing makeup, I can remove it with a wipe then really wash with the cleanser. After a long, sweaty workout, I want to make sure to cleanse my face properly so I don’t get and extra pimples. As you can see, I have transferred a bit of the cleanser I was using into a travel bottle, I think this is some Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash if you’re curious. I like having both the cloths and liquid cleanser, but if you’d prefer to only pack one, pick the one that works best with your lifestyle and plans. I really recommend packing facial cleanser over a facial cloth, as I just think they do a better job, but if finding water is an issue then cloths may be your best bet.  

Body Wash – Even if you’re not using this for the gym, keeping yourself fresh and clean is pretty important! If I can, I prefer to shower after working out so the sweat doesn’t stay on my skin and cause irritation. I have acne prone skin so even the twenty minutes from the gym to my house is a no-no. Granted, I have my cleansing cloths for the days when I just don’t have time to shower, but if at all possible I like to get a real life rinse off. Again, I just put some of whatever bodywash I was using at the time in a travel bottle (this is Jason Organics Purifying Tea Tree Body Wash). Question – When in the shower do you wash your body once or twice? When I mentioned I washed my body thoroughly once, sometimes hitting certain spots twice if I felt I needed to, but someone I know was a little grossed out and said they had always been taught to wash their entire body twice! Ever since I’ve been super paranoid about it. Now I wash twice, but I still think it’s a little unnecessary and I’m wasting product. Let me know! 

Exfoliating Pads – To be honest, these are almost primarily part of my nighttime routine, but I like to have a couple stashed for the times I have an evening workout. Chances are if I’m working out at 7pm, I’ll be washing up at around 830pm, which means I probably not going to rewash my face once I’m home before I go to bed. While I don’t bring my night creams (unless I’m packing for a trip), I do pack these since I use them immediately after washing my face. These are my go-to Nip + Fab Glycolic Facial Cleansing Pads. While you may or may not need this exact product, I included this to illustrate the importance of thinking beyond your immediate needs to pack a more useful bag. While in all reality as long as you have soap, a toothbrush, and a towel you’ll probably be fine, if you’re using your toiletry bag wit any kind of regularity you’ll want it to be optimized to work with your life, flowing right along with your normal routine, as opposed to a separate entity entirely. 

Facial Lotion – Ok, you definitely don’t need to bring two like I have, but while most days the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is what I use, occasionally I need to mix equal parts of that with its lotion sibling to combat extra dry air or frigid temps. So it makes sense! I swear! But pick your favorite facial lotion and add it to your kit. Hydration is key!

Eye Cream – This is also something I primarily use in the evening, but if my eyes area gets irritated in the pool or from the wind, this can help soothe the delicate skin. The Hyaluronic Eye Cream from Mario Badescu is what I’m currently using, but it’s not my favorite. It takes too long to sink it for me and is just a little greasy, leaving my eyes kind of sticky. I never attempt eye makeup after using this. I do like its smell, which is very faint and reminds me of oats. Eye cream seems to last me quite a while, though, so I probably won’t be changing any time soon. 

Oral Hygiene Essentials – Including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss is hopefully common sense. I usually have something small to eat both before and after the gym, as well as tea in the mornings, and I don’t want to walk into work with my breath smelling rank. This mini toothbrush folds up to not only reduce the amount of space it takes up, but the cover also prevents any bits of fuzz from getting in the bristles while it roams around in your bag. I love the 3D White line from Crest, and these Oral-B Glide 3D White Floss Picks make flossing SO much easier than having to wrestle with floss on the go. Mirror space can be limited and regular floss takes two hands, but I can floss at my locker with one hand holding my phone up to use it for a mirror and one hand with a little floss pick. 

Cotton Swabs – I swim and am prone to ear infections, so these are very important to me. I still use them even if I’m not swimming and have just taken a shower after a workout. I feel like this is something small that people always wish they remembered to bring, but don’t. So remember! I bought this little Q-Tip brand travel pack with case and have continued to refill it with whatever brand of QTip I have on hand when it runs out. They’re all the same size so why not? 

Facial Spray – This may be an optional item for some, but facial spray has become a staple in any bag I carry. I love using it in these cold months when the air is so dry that it sucks the life out of me, but I also like to use it in the summer as a refresher on a hot day. I’m obsessed with mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. It has a strong rose scent, but dries quickly and is so cheap! Whether it’s to pop on before/after my facial lotion for a bit extra hydration, or using a bit at the end of getting ready for a bit of a boost, or even on extremely lazy/rushed days when I only have time to quickly use a cleansing cloth and then give myself a couple spritzed of this before heading out, facial spray is such a big part of my life now. Wow, that wasn’t dramatic or anything…

Lipbalm – Do I really have to explain? I have lip balms in my toiletries kit, in my makeup bag, in my purse, in my coat, in my car, on my nightstand, and random other places. Always throw one in your toiletry kit, though, because trust me, it will be after the shower on a freezing cold day after a long hard workout when your lips are so dry you don’t want to breath when you discover the lipbalm in your pocket fell out who knows where. I keep this basic Neutrogena one in mine. 

Lotion – Chlorine and sweating and hot showers can leave your skin feeling a little dry, and having a body lotion in your bag is a good way to keep it hydrated. While they aren’t intensely hydrating, I have been using these Pacifica Hand and Body Lotion Wipes in Tuscan Blood Orange as a quick, mess free way to nourish my skin. I’ve only just started using them, but I’m hoping they work well as time goes on because the concept is just so handy! I love this particular scent from them. The formula of these wipes is just like a facial cloth, and it sinks in without feeling greasy. For some of the areas that need a little e tea attention, I pack a travel size Body Butter from the Body Shop. 

Detangler – You may have noticed I don’t have shampoo. My gym schedule and hair washing schedule have been synced up in such a way that the evenings I have to wash my hair are opposite of the evenings I hit the gym. When I get sample packets of shampoo and conditioner, I do throw them in just to have it on hand, but I since I rarely wash my hair at the gym, I don’t really have a need to add it in my case as a regular item. I do find myself in need of detangler most days, however. I have pretty long hair that inevitably ends up with damp ends somehow, whether from the pool or the shower, and if I have a ponytail it always ends up flying all around during my dry exercises, so detangler helps me restore a bit of order to things. I put a little bit of Johnson’s No More Tangles spray in a mini spray bottle and use just a touch on any snags I run into. 

Perfume Sample – I usually have one of these rolling around the bottom of my toiletry kit. I don’t actually spray it in the locker room, though…it’s such a small space that spraying a fragrance seems a little rude. But I keep a sample vial in my bag to take out and use once I leave if I want it. This is probably an unnecessary item, but it’s in my bag and if I finish one I usually replace it. Just my habit. 

Extra Hair Ties and a Hair Clip – Unless you have short hair, I highly recommend throwing some extra hair ties in the bottom of your bag. It can be miserable when your hair tie breaks and you don’t have an extra. Additionally, I have a hair clip so that I can clip my hair up before I take a shower to keep it dry. 

Mini Meds – My two most commen ailments are stomach aches and headaches, so I like to fill this little case with a couple of Tums and a few Advil. Having a day or two supply of your vitamins could also be helpful, if you take them around your gym time. That way, if you forget to take them before walking out the door, you’re covered. This is definitely personal preference. 

Pads, Tampons, and *gasp* Summer’s Eve – I am a woman. A woman who has a menstrual cycle. Therefore, keeping a few tampons and panty liners in my toiletry kit is definitely essential. Chances are if you are in need of a tampon someone in the locker room has one, but why not be the person that is prepared? I also like to keep a couple indivually packed Summer’s Eve cleansing cloths to clean up any, uhm, surprises. My gym opens at 5am and we’re expected to be in the water at 5:05am, so I don’t have time to deal with any mess that may come with starting my period at some point during my 45 minute commute. And remember how I said earlier that some days a shower isn’t available or I don’t have time to wait, and instead I use a cleansing cloth for my body? Well your lady parts need a quick freshen up too, and you don’t want to take a cloth meant for your face anywhere near your V. Plus, hey, if you need to use the restroom but the stalls are out of toilet paper, if you have one of these packed you’re all set!

Like I said, this bag is packed to be used at the gym. If you’re packing for a trip, you may want to include other things, like shampoo/conditioner, face masks, or spot treatments. For the record, I do use deodorant! I keep one at home, one in my gym dufflIe, and one in my car, so I don’t feel the need to take up space by adding yet another one to my toiletry bag. Figure out what works best for you! If you’re really bad at remembering to grab your contact case, buy a second one specifically for this bag. Need to bring an item that isn’t sold in travel size? There are all sorts of kits with mini bottles and jars. I got mine from TJ Maxx, in the travel section (approved airplane sizes = perfect gym sizes). It’s best to have a bag that is easy to wipe clean, and ideally water resistant. I bring this whole thing into the tiny shower stall with me. If it wasn’t water resistant I couldn’t do that, which means awkwardly trying to find things in my bag from the other side of the shower curtain, or putting a soggy bag in my gym duffle which in turn gets everything else damp. Not to mention that it will begin to smell and mold pretty fast. Gross.its also important to find a bag that fits all your items with just a bit of room to spare. You don’t want a case that is too big, or 1) items will have too much room to move around and may be damaged, or 2) you’ll feel the need to pack more, since you have the space, which means bringing things you probably won’t need and will only get in the way of finding the things you do need. A too small case will obviously be too small and a pain in the butt to repack. I got my bag from Target, I believe, in the travel section. 

Hopefully this helped give you some idea of what items to take in your own toiletry kit. If there are any other items that might be good to include, or you see an item you can’t believe I deem important, leave a comment below! If you enjoyed this type of post and want to see others like it, give it a “like,” and don’t forget to Follow my blog if you’d like to know each time I put out a new post!



Woman Seeking: A Mini Celebration

Today I’m taking a little pause from my regular posts in order to celebrate another milestone I’ve hit. Last night I officially hit and then exceeded 1,000 views! Wahoo! I had hoped to hit this number by the end of the month, and wasn’t too sure if 1,000 views was too lofty of a goal, but it happened, and a few days early, too! 

Not only did I hit 1,000 views, but my my goal of having 50 followers was also met and exceeded! Right now there are 60 of you out there who are signed up to be notified each time I publish a new post. What?! Is this real life? I’m so happy and thankful for all of you out there interested in my beauty ramblings! 

It’s so fun to see my numbers grow and I hope to continue to have posts that you all enjoy reading and find helpful. I love all the feedback I’ve gotten over the past couple of months and am excited to hear more of your thoughts and ideas this upcoming month as well. As always, if there are any products you’re interested in or curious of my opinion on, leave a comment for me!

Look at all those countries! Pretty cool, huh? Anyways, thank you all once again for the continued love and support! I’ll be back to posting more beauty related content this Thursday, as usual, so make sure to check back! 



Woman Seeking: A GlamGlow PowerMud DuoCleanse Review

GlamGlow is a brand who’s products those of us poorer beauty lovers have eyed with longing for years now. Although they recently launched a line of facial cleansers, their mud masks are what put them on the map. At $69 for a 1.7 oz jar, my curiosity never beat out my practicality, and it remained a product I heard beauty guru’s rave about that I could never afford to try for myself. While they do have sample .5 oz jars available, those cost a cool $19, so it never found it’s way into my shopping cart. Recently, Sephora had a January Skincare promotion. At Sephora inside JC Penny stores there was a “build your own skincare kit” where for $25, a person could pick 5 of a dozen or so sample choices offered, and wouldn’t you know it, a .5 oz GlamGlow product in tube form was one of the choices! Although I believe both the ThirstyMud Hydrating Treatment and the PowerMud DuoCleanse Treatment were options, my store only had the PowerMud treatment left so I chose that one.

Waiting for it to dry while I can still move my face.

The PowerMud is described as “a mud-to-oil, gentle, deep cleansing treatment that removes the weekly buildup of dirt, oil, and makeup” on the Sephora website. It’s a tan colored product that you apply to bare skin, wait 5-10 minutes, and then add water to form an exfoliating cleanser and massage you skin, then rinse off. It’s recommended to be used 1-2 times a week. I chose to use it twice a week, and started from leaving it on 5 minutes my first time, then going to 7 minutes the next time, and finally 10 minutes every time after. I used it every Sunday evening, which is my usually face mask day, as well as Wednesday evenings. The .5 oz tube had a surprising amount of product, giving me almost a full month of use on that twice a week schedule before running out (to be fair, I haven’t cut the top off yet to get the last little bit of product, which I’m expecting to be enough for targeted use on my nose and cheeks).

It’s dry on my face. You can’t tell, but it is.

The first time I used it I noticed a uncomfortable tingling. It wasn’t quite intense enough to call “burning,” but I didn’t like it and considered not using it again. I had washed and dried my face prior to using the product as it says to apply to clean skin, and I don’t advise this. The next time I used the PowerMud, I wiped my face with a cleansing cloth and experienced no tingling when applying the mud. The following times I used either a cleansing cloth or a cotton round with Micellar water on it and also experienced no tingling, so I think it is best not to have a freshly washed face. Kind of like how they recommend waiting 30 minutes after brushing your teeth to apply whitening strips. If you’ve worn heavy makeup and a cleansing cloth just won’t do, but want to use the mud, wash your face but then try to wait as long as you can. Just my two cents. This mask also smells wonderful. It’s a very light scent, and I don’t think it’s a scent that would be overpowering for most people, which is nice. I want to describe it as Apple scented. I’m not sure if that comes to mind because of the green packaging or what, but I like it.

After adding water to emulsify the mask.

The mask dried just like any mask, and then I wet my hands and applied the water to my face as it directed. It emulsified easily, although there are bits of exfoliating particles that I found to be really harsh. It made me not want to keep rubbing it around. After rinsing and patting my face dry, I found my skin to be dry and tight feeling. I always wanted to make sure I had my facial spray and face cream ready to be applied otherwise I felt uncomfortable. For the record, I have combo to oily skin. I was especially shocked because although I understand a clay mask can be drying, it is supposed to transform into an oil cleaner, and feeling that dry after cleansing with an oil product was disappointing. I expected it to be at least softening, if not a bit more hydrating (even though I understand that this isn’t the purpose of this mask).

After: A close up

As for the overall effects, after the first time I used it I noticed some smaller spots that were on my face had decreased, but my chin ended up breaking out. While I do get pimples on my chin, I don’t normally get them I that quantity, but because it is a mask meant to clean deep, I figured this purge period was almost to be expected. This is why I decided to use it twice a week rather than only once. As I continued to use it, my skin finished he purging stage…and went right back to normal. I don’t think it was any better than before I started using the mud. My pores didn’t get any clearer over time, and I had the same amount of zitts (or lack of zitts) that I do on any given day.


For a final summary this mask didn’t live up to my expectations and the GlamGlow brand raves I’ve been hearing about. I definitely don’t think it is worth $69. I think that this particular mask is best used as a regular part of one’s skincare routine, as opposed to an occasional treatment. In my opinion, this mask is not for those who have dry or sensitive skin due to the drying factor and the harsh exfoliating particles. If you are curious and want to sample it, I do think the .5 oz jar or tubes include enough product for you to use more than once, so you can really get a feel of how you like it. I think of this as like a clarifying shampoo for your skin, so perhaps I just don’t use enough products throughout the week to really have a need for this. Maybe those that use heavy, full face makeup every day will benefit more. I can’t say. But for me, this was a no-go. I have another sample size of this, but I’m not 100% sure what to do with it. As I stated, this isn’t the type of thing I found to be good for using occasionally, but I don’t see any point in using a mask just to put on a mask. Maybe I’ll gift it, or include it in a giveaway (…but I don’t know if I should include something I don’t like in a giveaway? Even if it’s not that I dislike it, simply it does nothing for me? Opinions?).

I’m not completely turned off from the GlamGlow brand, but I’m even less interested in spending $19 than I was before to test out a different formula. I’m still interested in testing the kind that is hailed as a mini vacuum for pores, but I’m going to try to wait until a sample is part of another kit like this, or is offered as a choice for the free samples given for an online order.

Have you tried any GlamGlow products? What did you think? I have also tried the GlamGlow BrightMud Eye Treatment, is anyone interested in a review of that as well? Let me know in the comments!



Woman Seeking: A Traveling Makeup Kit

As I mentioned in my previous post, I took a trip to the east side of my state at the beginning of the week. I have a terrible habit of overpacking, and am trying to get better at bringing only what I truly need. I did a fairly good job overall, except I forgot pajamas. Whoops. I was proud, however, because my makeup bag actually has room in it! Win! I didn’t pare it down so much that it was just the bare minimum, but I’m getting the hang of it. I still packed some things I didn’t end up using, but not nearly as many as usual. I’ve included the things I brought but didn’t use so you can get an idea for yourself (and I can have a reminder for myself!) and tried to put things in the order I applied them.


Benefit The Porefessional Primer – This is my favorite primer, and having this little sample size takes up almost no room in my makeup bag. I try to wait a few minutes after applying primer before going in with my next product. Additionally, if I notice a visible pore after applying my foundation,I’m take an extra dab and apply it on top. Works every time!


Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – Another favorite, this eyeshadow primer makes my shadows go on smoothly, look true to color, and last all day without creasing. I have a few samples of this that should last a good long while since I only need the teensiest of bits for each eye.


EOS Lipbalm Stick – While I’m doing all my priming, I like to throw on a lipbalm. Not only does this prep my lips for any lipliner or lipstick I may put on, but if I get a little wild with my face makeup, I can easily wipe it off. I’m a lipbalm junkie, I’ll use any opportunity to give my lips a boost of hydration!


Covergirl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Fresh Complexion Foundation – I’ve really been loving this foundation lately as I find it to be quite versatile. I can apply it lightly or mixed with facial lotion for a light wash of color, or apply a couple layers for more medium coverage. The color match is pretty good for me, and blends out well so I can make it work if I’m a shade lighter or darker from what I was when I bought it.


Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation – I received this little sample card of powder with an order I placed, and this was the perfect time to use it! Again, it took up almost no space in my bag and there is a lot more product on the sample than I expected, meaning I can use it again. First impression : I didn’t love nor hate this powder. It worked on top of my liquid foundation wonderfully but I wasn’t like “Oh Wow!” about it. It says it minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores, and while my Porefessional clears up most issues I have so I can’t say for certain this helped, this didn’t make them reappear. The color blended in to match well even though I expected it to be a bit too dark, so that was good.


NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder – Like I said when I went over my favorite products for brows here, this is my go-to eyebrow product. It works great, isn’t too big, and has wax and both a lighter and darker shade to customize my brow. I like to do my brows before my eyes or cheeks because I find if I do them last, I can look overdone.


Stila The Natural Collectable Palette – I have been reaching for this palette a lot lately as it is so handy. It’s a mini book containing 6 eyeshadows (3 matte, 3 shimmer), am all over shimmer, a bronzer, and even has a mirror on the inside. There is also a little cheat sheet of the a look you can create using this palette printed on the inside. The colors are soft and I don’t experience much trouble blending them. They are pigmented (better than drugstore but maybe not quite as good as Urban Decay), though if you use a light hand or super blend them out you can make them more sheer. It’s a super random palette and I never see it anywhere but Ulta in the checkout lanes, but a good one to own.


Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Black Amethyst – I doubt the claim of this being waterproof, but I love this color so I can give it a pass. I’m a huge fan of purple eyeliners, and this deep purpley black is great. It goes on incredibly creamy (to a fault creamy actually, it could crumble if I don’t use a light hand) and smudges so beautifully, then stays put once I give it a moment to set itself. I even smudged this on my lower lash line (not waterline though) and it didn’t make me look like a raccoon.


Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara – Again, another great travel size item. I like that the formula is buildable without clumping up on me. This means I can use it for both day and night. It’s not the blackest of black mascara, but it’s not an awkward grey either.


Urban Decay Naked Flushed in Naked – Another sample card of powder, this also had more product that I was expecting. Although I do like bronzing, I am not a huge blush or highlighter person as I already have a rosy face, and my skin is textured from acne scarring, so I’ve had this sample card for a few months now without even wanting to use it. I’ve been a little skeptical of these palettes in general as the bronzers looked more orange to me, but the colors on my sample ended up working wonderfully. It’s buildable and blendable and I’ve definitely changed my opinion on these palettes. I still have more product left to sample, and I’m actually excited to now.


Essence Lipliner in (11) In The Nude – Literally my favorite brand of lipliners ever, this particular one is the exact same color of my lips so it works under any lipstick I want to wear to help the lipstick stay put. It’s creamy, not too drying, pigmented, and cheap. I have almost every color they make that my Ulta sells.


ELF Makeup Mist & Set – I was wanting to test this makeup setting spray since it is such a budget buy, so I brought this along with me last minute. I don’t like the scent of this quite as much as my usual Urban Decay spray, but I only notice the scent when I spray it on my hand and sniff to smell it specifically, not when I’m spraying it on my face, which makes the smell a non issue. I’ve only used this once, but my first impression is a positive one. My makeup stayed in place and I didn’t have any adverse reactions from this.


Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Ethereal Pink (Tartelette LE) – I love this line of butter lipsticks, and this color is such a great nude on me. It’s so easy to use and hydrating. Plus, cmon, the design on the tube is just too cute! The cardboard packaging isn’t ideal for travel, but it is sturdy cardboard. I feel like it wouldn’t really break any easier than your typical lipstick tube as long as you’re careful.


MAC Creamsheen Lipstick in Créme in Your Coffee – I’m obsessed with this lipstick, and I combined it with my Tarte lipstick to create a really pretty shade. Between the lighter nude of the Tarte and the darker browny nude of the MAC, I figured my lipstick needs were probably covered. That being said…


Urban Decay Lip Junkie Lipgloss in Wallflower – I did bring this easy gloss along as well. I know, I know, I brought a total of 4 lip products, but I figured since this was a mini sample size it couldn’t hurt! Right?! It worked perfectly with the lipsticks I brought and is also great to use alone (though I didn’t this particular trip). It’s not too sticky, not too slippery, glossy and pigmented. And the cap is cool.


Clean Eau de Parfum Rollerball in Skin – I wanted to take a scent but didn’t want to take more than one, and I think this is a great one to take me from day to night. It’s warm and cozy and musky but light at the same time. I didn’t feel over perfumed when I wore it during the day, and still felt romantic and sultry when I wore it at night. The rollerball makes it perfect to store in my makeup bag or slip in my purse.


To apply my products, I brought my Real Techniques Stipping and Setting brushes, my ELF Complexion and Blush brushes, my Anastasia Beverly Hills Small Angle Cut #15 brush, and my Shiseido eyelash curler. I’ve already done posts on brushes so I not going to go over it again, but you can click here to get a more in depth review. As for the products I brought but didn’t use:


Anastasia Beverly Hills BrowWiz – I actually did use the spooly end of this, so I guess that kind of makes it useful, but I could have left it behind and probably not noticed.


Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighter/Concealer – Totally forgot to use this, and I don’t think my face looked tired enough for me to really need it anyhow. I didn’t have to get up early or stay out late while on my trip, so I’m not sure why I thought this was necessary.


Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – Originally I had packed this, then at the last minute remembered I wanted to test my ELF spray and tossed that in without taking this out. Simple error. Luckily this is the travel sized version.


Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Palomino – I brought this in case I needed something to make my look POP, buuut honestly it was so unnecessary. I was only there for two days. It was a tiny sample size, but it was silly. I think I just wanted to bring a Bite lipstick. I love the duos I have, and those are what I usually pack for traveling, but I was trying to mix things up which is why I packed my other two instead. And then I panicked and threw this in. Because what if? 😌

I’m sure there are plenty of things I could have cut out if I was trying to bring fewer products, but I’m happy with the choices I made. It may be a bit crazy how much I brought for a two day trip, but I enjoy makeup and wanted to have both day and night looks covered since I didn’t know what I’d be doing while there. If I’m packing super light I’ll simply take a BB cream, mascara, lipgloss, and eyeshadow trio, so I would probably consider this a more medium, everyday sized makeup bag, at least for this time of year and for this type of trip. My bag would look completely different in the middle of the summer packing for a concert or beach trip! Even though I was only gone for a few days, this is probably the amount of products I would take if I was gone anywhere from 2-7 days. Too much? Not enough? What do you pack in your makeup bag for a trip away?


Hauls, Uncategorized

Woman Seeking: A Mall Haul

The other day I was visiting someone on the other side of my state, and I was able to do a little shopping at a really nice mall over there. The malls on my side of the state are quite small and don’t have a lot of variety in stores, so I was pumped to be able to browse and get my hands on certain products without paying extra for shipping. The mall I usually go to when I visit the East side is large and great, but this one was a bit fancier (think Burberry, Armani, Gucci as well as your typical Buckle, Express, Foot Locker) and the inside was absolutely gorgeous! I should have taken a picture, but I was too distracted. I picked up a few things and am excited to share them all with you!


Tony Moly Panda’s Dream White Hand Cream – I stopped into Urban Outfitters and was happy to see a small selection of Tony Moly products. Tony Moly is a Korean brand that is slowly starting to gain popularity here in the US. I am a huge fan of their cutesy packaging and the products are good and smell wonderful as well. I was torn between this Panda and the Peach handcream (that smells so juicy and fresh…it honestly makes me want to eat it!), but ultimately went with the Panda. It is so adorable and smells light and sweet, maybe like some kind of fruit candy? But very light. I don’t like candy smelling scents but I like this. I’m terrible at describing scents, just know I love it.


Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub – The second place I went to, and the only place that was actually on my agenda, was Lush. I don’t have a Lush store anywhere near me and I’ve been wanting to try their products for years, but shipping costs always stop me from ordering online. Knowing there was a store over this way, I finally decided I needed to go in and grab a couple of things! I picked up their famous lip scrub in the bubblegum flavor. My lips have been a little dry and rough lately, which I am unaccustomed to since I rarely get chapped lips, so I thought this would be the perfect time to test it out. I love that you apply it and then lick it off. I tested a bit in the store because I was worried the grains of sugar would be to large, but they are very small and there are a lot of them so I was pleased.


Lush Butterball Bath Bomb – I wanted to pick up one of the bath bombs Lush sells and went with the Butterball because, honestly, it’s one of the cheapest they sell, as well as being one of their best sellers. It’s supposed to be great for dry skin since it contains cocoa butter, and I love the smell. It’s comfy and slightly perfumy and warm. I think it will be perfect for a cozy winter bath before bed. The website says it smells of vanilla musk and ylang-ylang. So there is that. Either way it smells divine, even through the paper bag it’s packed in. I can’t wait to try my first bath bomb and see what all the hype is about.


Bite Beauty 5 Night Fix For Lips – I was totally going to avoid Sephora, but my mall only has a Sephora Inside JC Penny whereas this mall had an actual STORE, so the person I was visiting convinced me to at least take a peek, and pick up a few things. First things first I grabbed this little fix-it kit for lips. The packaging is nice (and reusable!), although I feel like there is a little empty space inside…as if there should be one more thing included. No matter, it contains a 5 night supply of a whipped cherry scrub stick and their agave lip mask. I’m most excited to try the lip mask and see how that does. I’ve considered purchasing the full size lip mask multiple times, but wasn’t 100% sure if it was worth the price, so this sample is perfect.


Sephora Favorites Skin Cleanse To Go – I was actually going to buy this online but hadn’t yet, so I was happy to be able to pick this up in store. I really like the Sephora Favorites kits, and this is such a great value and there is only one product I’m not overly excited to try (and that’s simply because I’ve tried it before). A sample jar of the GlamGlow ThirstyMud Duocleanse mask with the exact same product amount is $19, so at $18 this enables you to have that as well as three bonus products. Also included is a 10 pack of Ole Henricksen Grease Relief cleansing cloths, First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser, and REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.


Bobbi Brown Beach EDP – A complete and utter impulse buy, I was stunned when I was a rollerball of this classic Bobbi Brown fragrance! I’ve smelled this before but a bottle is too expensive for my taste, as well as hard to find. Usually when a perfume is too expensive I buy the rollerball or purse spray, but I had never seen the purse spray before that day! It smells exactly like a trip to the beach or pool, with sunscreen and sunshine and summer air. I love anything that smells like summer and this is summer in a perfume. With the ridiculous wind chill temperatures my state has been having lately, I needed a little summer in my life. It also makes me feel really fancy and chic to own something Bobbi Brown, is that lame? I love her vibe.


MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Girl About Time – I was looking for a brighter, more spring/summer color that I could throw on and instantly look more together, and this shade fit the bill perfectly. It’s a bright fuchsia color, like a hot pink with purple tones. It’s more drying than my beloved Crème in Your Coffee, but the color LASTS. I put a balm over this to offset the dryness factor and the color stayed put even after I wiped it off with a napkin, almost as if it was a stain (although it’s not a stain).

There were so many stores I had to bypass (Aveda! Origins!), but it was nice to be in an area with a new and wider selection of stores and items than I have back home. It was like being a kid in a candy store! I can’t wait to use all my new goodies, and I’ll report back my thoughts in future posts!



Woman Seeking: Brushes

Last week was my first week only publishing two articles, and it was such a weird feeling! Between work, my anniversary, and Valentine’s Day I had to take a mini break, but I’m so glad to be back and am going to get right into things! Today I’m talking about brushes. I am very much a brush girl. I know some people swear by using their fingers, but ever since I discovered brushes I have been unable to turn back. Quality brushes help me apply my makeup flawlessly and hygienically (as long as I keep them properly cleaned and stored!). I have found that not all brushes are created equal, but I also don’t have a fortune to spend on good brushes. In my opinion, a good brush consists of three things:

1) Softness – Not to be confused with density. It’s possibly to have a very dense, very soft brush. I think softness is important because coarser, rough brushes can micro exfoliate your skin, which makes your makeup go on patchy. This is especially important for those that have dry skin, as it makes the dry patches insanely noticeable. Rougher brushes can irritate the skin, leaving minor red places as well. Try not to buy a brush if you can’t touch the bristles for yourself. I’ve found that a good place to test the softness of a brush is on the inside of my arm…my hand is too rough compared to your facial skin, and I don’t know what kind of bacteria is on a tester brush so I don’t really want to put it on my actual face, so the inside of my arm is sensation enough to work perfectly.

2) Shape – Brushes come in a zillion sizes for a reason! If your favorite beauty blogger or Youtuber recommends an eye brush that is just PERFECT for the crease, but they have a completely different eyeshape than you, it may not give you the same results. I always try to find a mirror and hold the brush up to my face before I buy it so I can get a good idea of how it’s going to fit on my face. Think about which area you want to use a certain brush on, and compare it to the brush you’d like to use. And don’t get too stuck on the name! Yes, companies labeling their brushes for specific purposes is great and gives you an idea of what to do with it, but if their lipliner brush is exactly what you’d want from an eyeliner brush, by all means use it as an eyeliner brush! No makeup brush police officer is going to barge in and arrest you, I promise.

3) Durability – I can have the softest brush that is the perfect shape, but if it starts shedding and splaying after it’s very first wash, the brush is no good to me. This is the hardest thing to test, because apart from reading reviews, there is no way to really know a brushes durability until I test it for myself. I try really hard to do research on the brush or brush line before buying,mot cut down on wasting my money. Every brush line is bound to have a flop or two, and there is always the possibility that the bad brush in question was a fluke itself, but some brands tend to have a good reputation because of the low number of flops or flukes they produce, while others have an entire line of, well, crap.

Admittedly, I have not tried very many higher end brushes. I am constantly putting certain brushes I hear are amazing in my cart, and then taking them out because I know I own a brush that works perfectly well that costs less money. I’m hoping one day I’ll get up the courage (?) to finally go through with a purchase. For now, I’ll just stick to my low to lower-middle class brushes. In case you’re curious, here are some of my favorite brushes!


Real Techniques Stippling Brush – I use this brush to apply foundation, and on occasion cream blush. It’s not too harsh for foundation and doesn’t soak up too much of my product. I use the stippling technique (basically makeu not little dots allllllll over your face and then buffing) and it works like a dream. This is my favorite way to apply foundation when I’m in a rush.


BeautyBlender – This is my absolute favorite way to apply foundation, though it can do so much more than that. It applies the perfect amount of foundation and leaves my face looking so natural. If I am having a problem with a foundation looking too heavy, I will use this to get the coverage I’m looking for without the cakiness. It does a great job with my lighter BB creams, too. To use, you run it under water to get it good and wet, then, squeeze out the excess and dip it into your product and lightly bounce or tap it onto your face. I feel like this would be especially good for those with dry skin, but I don’t have that problem so I can’t say for certain. Because you do use water with it, this isn’t ideal to travel with, which is the only complaint I have. These also come in a variety of colors as well as black and white, so if pink isn’t your thing, or if you have sensitive skin and may be allergic to the dye used, you can find one that works for you! Do properly clean and store this (in open air) to prevent mold.


ELF Studio Blush Brush – ELF has two different brush lines, and their Studio line (with black handles and bristles) is leaps and bounds better than their Basics line (with white handles). I really dislike their Basics line, but have yet to be disappointed by a Studio brush. And remember how I said to ignore what a brush is supposed to be for if you want to use it for another purpose? Prime example right here. This is technically a blush brush, but I find it just a tad too small for blush, but perfect for both setting my under eye concerns let, as well as contouring. If I’m traveling and trying to cut down on items in my makeup kit, I always include this one because it. Can do it all in a pinch. It performs incredibly well and has yet to shed, even though I’ve had it for at least a year and washed it many times.


Real Techniques Blush Brush – Now this is my kind of blush brush. This brush is huge and tulip shaped, which helps me deposit the perfect amount of color to my cheeks when I wear blush. I also love to use this brush for bronzing, for the same reasons. It helps me build the color without going overboard, and blends products like a dream.


ELF Studio Complexion Brush – Another multitasking winner. I typically use this for anything I need just a dusting of, or to brush off excess powder on my face at the end of doing my makeup before I apply setting spray. I’ve used this for blush, bronzer, soft contouring, and translucent powder and it does just great. ELF brushes are my favorite for traveling because not only do they work well, they only cost about $3, so if I accidentally leave one behind I’m not too heartbroken because it can be easily replaced.


Real Techniques Setting Brush – This brush is perfect for setting my under eye area, as well as highlighting my cheekbones and nose, or giving my eyes a wash of color. I’ve even used this in my crease successfully, and as a contour brush to get a really precise contour before blending. I clearly am a huge fan of multitasking brushes, eh?


Lorac Eyeshadow Brush – Probably the most random, I got this brush in a limited edition eyeshadow kit and absolutely love it. It’s dense and flat enough to really pack on the color, but at the same time is pliable enough to blend things out, and it’s the perfect size for my small eyes. Hands down my favorite eye brush I own this is the kind of brush that can more or less do anything you need it to when it comes to your eye area. I have no idea if you can buy this separately, but if you can I highly recommend it.


ELF Studio Contour Brush – When I need to smudge out some liner or pack some color onto my outer V, this eye brush is what I reach for. It’s super dense without being harsh and really allows me to get in their with the color. It’s also good to use when doing an inner corner highlight or highlighting my brow bone, as long as I spot clean it first!


Anastasia Beverly Hills Small Angle Cut Brush #15 – I talked about this in my Brow Product Recommendations post (which you can find here), so I won’t go to in depth, but this is pretty much the only brush I use to do my brows. This brush stands up to any brow product and works perfectly. It could also be used as an eyeliner brush, but I never use it that way. Just an option if you’d like.

As far as cleaning and storing brushes go…I like to store my brushes in a couple of pencil holder type containers I found at Target, or if I’m on the go I store them separately from my makeup. This helps keep them clean. I spot clean my brushes in between cleanings by using my Vichy 3-in-1 cleansing water on a cotton round, or occasionally using a facial wipe. Depending on how dirty my brushes get, I deep clean my brushes every two weeks or so (note – I don’t wear makeup every day, not even every other day, so I can go this long with no issue. If you use or wear makeup more frequently, I’d suggest washing your brushes once a week, and getting multiples so that you’re able to use a clean brush without washing them every two minutes!). To deep clean my brushes I LOVE using the BlenderCleanser Solid by BeautyBlender (especially for my BeautyBlender, brushes could use it up quickly I think), or Purity Made Simple by Philosophy. I’ve heard good things about a couple of other products, but never tried them myself. Yes, my brush cleansers are pricy, I will admit, but they clean wonderfully without ruining my brushes and I don’t need much so it lasts. At least that’s how I justify it?

I hope you found this extremely long post helpful! After so many days away, I clearly had a lot to talk about. If you have any brushes I should check out, high or low end, leave a comment below!



Woman Seeking: Candles & An Ulta Sale

I questioned myself over if I wanted to write this post instead of what I had planned, and decided the deals are too good to not talk about. Right now Ulta has Yankee Candle Company, Woodwick, and Stella Mare on sale. I’m not sure if they are being switched out for new scents or if Ulta is no longer going to be selling candles and reed diffusers, but now is the time to snap them up while you can! I picked a few on two different trips.


My first time around I chose to get some Yankee Candle Company candles. I’m going to be honest, I LOVE many of the scents that Yankee Candle produces but find the candles too expensive for my budget, so I never buy them. I have purchased their mini $2 candles as well as their “Car Jar” cardboard air freshener for my car, but that’s as much as I can ever justify spending. When I saw how discounted they were at Ulta, and realized I could also use my coupon, I couldn’t resist! I bought two small tumbler candles and one large jar candle for less than the cost of the large jar candle costs regularly! Not to mention, I got this while the bonus points offer was going on (now expired), so I was able to get some extra points.


I actually picked up these items today. This morning I received an email offering a free sample of Benefit’s new Roller Lash mascara with any purchase (available online or in-store, must be a Ulta Rewards member with valid one time use coupon code). I stopped by my local Ulta hoping they still had some candles left in stock and decided to go with these two Stella Mare candles. I’ve never purchased these candles or any soy candles before so I’m excited to see how they do. They smell wonderful in the box, so fingers crossed! Anywho, my total came up to $9.98, just two cents shy of being able to use my $3.50 off of $10 coupon, so I grabbed this Pixel High Shine Nail Lacquer in the color (144) The One And Only that was in a little sale jar on the counter to push me over the minimum balance needed for the coupon. I actually haven’t tried this brand of nail polish either, but the color is right up my alley, and the mini size ensures I’ll use it up before it goes bad. All in all, two candles, a nail polish, and a travel mascara for under $8 seems like a win to me!

Just thought I would pass along the information for any other candle lovers out there! I loved being able to pick up the larger versions of candle scents I already knew I liked, as well as purchase some new scents I’ve always wanted to try at prices that work for my budget, and get a free mascara as well! Selections vary by store, so go quick before your favorite sells out!


(Just as a reminder, this is not a sponsored post…I just really like good deals and candles!)


Woman Seeking: A Mascara Resurrection by Urban Decay Review

I’m trying a little something new here on the blog today and reviewing one specific product. Urban Decay recently came out with what they call the Urban Decay Mascara Resurrection mascara refresher. The idea is that if you make a mistake, or want to add another coat later on to make your office appropriate eye look more intense for your after hours drinks, you can use this serum to correct and refresh your mascara without having to mess up the rest of your eye makeup. I hadn’t heard too much about this product and it seemed like such an intriguing idea that on a recent trip to Ulta I redeemed some of my points so I could try it out for myself.


I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product. In my head, I thought of it as somewhat of a makeup remover in a tube. I’d never really thought to use some makeup remover on an old mascara wand to fix a mistake, and while that idea seemed smart, buying a separate product for just this seemed a tad gimmicky. I had used a questionably old tube of mascara the morning I purchased this, which had a thick formula even when it was fresh, so my eyelashes had gotten a little clumpy. I figured this would be the perfect time to put the Mascara Resurrection to the test.


The product itself is a milky white serum that has no color once applied. One thing I noticed immediately is that it has an unpleasant smell. A very strong unpleasant smell. It sort of reminds me of nail polish remover, though not exactly. It is quite off-putting. It didn’t linger on my eyes once I applied it and it dried, but I could definitely smell it from the moment I twisted the wand out of the tube. The brush is natural bristle and curved, such as a curling mascara wand would be. I’m on the fence to whether or not I like this. It’s great in the way that it will help keep a curl, but it general curved brushes aren’t my favorite as I have a harder time getting every lash because the curve is usually too round for my eyeshape.

But did it work?


I had applied my makeup/mascara at about 9:45am and went to use this at about 4:00pm, a little over 6 hours later. Although I did need more than one quick coat, this serum really did separate and refresh my mascara. I really liked the way my mascara looked once I had refreshed it, to the point that I prefer how my mascara looked after 6 hours and with a refreshing serum than when it was freshly applied on it’s own! And it isn’t just a remover of sorts – not one speck of my black mascara came off on the white coated Resurrection brush. I found it best to really get in there and wiggle the brush at the base of your lashes, use one cost, then give it a couple seconds to penetrate your old mascara before continuing.

To sum up…

PROS: refreshes mascara, fixes clumps, doesn’t erase other eye makeup, inexpensive (compared to high end mascaras), unique product, natural bristle brush (these are my favorite)

CONS: smells bad, curved brush, pricy (compared to drugstore mascaras)

While I don’t consider this a “must have” item, it sure is a handy little product to own. Although I’m glad I was able to test it for free (more or less, I had to spend money to rack up those points!), I can see myself purchasing this again in the future. I’m curious to see if other brands come out with a similar product in the future. Have you tried Urban Decay’s Mascara Resurrection? What were your thoughts?



Woman Seeking: Brow Product Recommendations

My eyebrows are not what most would consider “on point.” They are naturally baby fine, sparse, and light in color. While I go to a brow specialist now, I used to get a cheap wax from the mall, and because of this my brows also grow all wonky…they start way too far away from my nose for my taste, and kind of splay out at the ends into a random patch of hair, as opposed to a neat little point. It’s not the worst pair of brows in the world, but it’s hard to do anything about that because I don’t have a lot of hair to work with. Lucky for me, eyebrow makeup was more popular than ever last year, giving me a ton of options so I could up my eyebrow game. Here are my current favorites!


NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder – This is my favorite product for everyday use. This holds two shades of brow powder and a wax, and also comes with a mini spooly brush and angled brush, but clearly I have lost them or thrown them out, who knows. The wax helps hold my brows in place and gives the color something to stick to, and having two colors allows me to customize my brows to get the most natural effect. This stuff is also super cheap, which makes my wallet very happy.


Milani Brow Fix Brow Kit – Another drugstore buy, this kit has two brow shades, a highlight shade, a sponge tip eyeshadow brush, mini angled brush, and mini tweezers (which, again, I have clearly lost). To be honest this kit isn’t my favorite because the colors are just a little off for me personally, but it is such a good product to take when traveling that it deserved a mention. The case clips shuts firmly, ensuring those mini tools won’t fall out, and there is even a mini mirror added, just big enough for you to concentrate on one brow at a time. The brow colors and highlighter can also double for eyeshadows or even eyeliner, meaning I can throw this in my bag with some mascara and my entire eye area is set.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz – This is my absolute favorite eyebrow pencil. The formula is so smooth, unlike many that are dry and apply patchy, and the color blends easily. The pencil is duo ended, with one end being the color and the opposite end containing a spooly (and a good quality one, at that!). This is another great product for travel, since it’s slim design takes up almost no space in my makeup bag. I like to use this on its own, or combined with my powders or pomade to touch up and get clean, more precise edges. My only complaint is that the writing on the product wears away…I can’t remember for the life of me what shade I have this pencil in so I’ll have to be color matched all over again when I repurchase.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade – ABH is considered the queen of brows, and two of her most coveted products are the Brow Wiz and this pomade. The pomade is packaged in the most lux glass jar, and the littlest bit goes a long way, ensuring I get my money’s worth. I love this stuff for a night out or big event, as it can take me a bit longer to apply, and it can give me more of a glam look than I can achieve with powder or pencil.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Small Angle Cut Brush #15 – Whether I’m applying powder or pomade, I always reach for this brush. It’s soft enough that I don’t worry about harsh lines, yet stable enough to be precise, and has just the right amount of density. This works great in whatever product I put it in, and is gentle to the touch. I’ve put this through multiple washes and countless spot cleanings, and have yet to lose a bristle to shedding.

I didn’t include demos because…well…ya girl’s brow game isn’t strong, and I would not do the products justice, but if a novice like me is singing their praises then it must be worth checking out, right? These products are fairly easy to use and great quality, making them perfect for both novices and pros alike. How do you keep your brows in check?


Woman Seeking: January Mascara Empties

As I mentioned in y previous post, I get rid of any old mascara every three months. Occasionally I will keep a tube for longer, but I try to never keep a mascara any longer than six months. Mascara is one of the easiest products to get bacteria built up in it, and I don’t want to risk any infections or problems because I was too busy to buy a new tube. While we’re on the subject, if you are to get an infection, whether it’s caused by your makeup or not, throw out any tubes of mascara you had been using and open a new, fresh tube. Also, never share mascara, for any reason, with anyone. If someone borrows your mascara on accident, throw it in the trash and get a new one. I know it can be painful, especially if it’s a brand new tube and you love it, but it’s not worth the risk. It just isn’t. But enough of the lecturing.

I am a drugstore mascara girl. It’s not to say that I don’t like high end mascara, but because I usually have more than one mascara opened at a time, and throw them out every few months, it can become a money-suck very quickly. I rarely buy mascara that costs more than $10, and I like to catch the buy 1, get the second 50% off deals, and use coupons. The money I save on mascara can be put towards a new highend palette or lipstick, and many times I get a free travel size mascara as a bonus. This is how I’m able to give into my highend mascara lust without blowing all my money on something I have to throw out three months later. I know some people feel the exact opposite and that’s more than ok too, this is just how I do things. All this being said, if I really want to try something, or fall in love with a product, I don’t have a huge problem spending the money, but I do try to buy the travel size for $10 as opposed to the $23 full size if possible. I have quite a few mascaras to toss out this month, so without further ado, here are my thoughts…


Too Faced Better Than Sex – This mascara is loved by many, but I was disappointed. I’m not sure if I got an old tube or opened it when I first bought it to look at the brush, then closed it and reopened it much later thinking I had never opened it before or what, but I found this really dry, and it caused my lashes to clump like crazy. I liked that it was a natural bristle brush, and although I was worried the hourglass shape would make it hard to get the baby lashes it the corners, I did t find that a problem at all. I just wasn’t crazy about the formula. I have a full size tube of this coming as a free bonus for something else I ordered, and I’m curious to see if the formula really just isn’t my cup of tea, or if I accidentally got an old tube.


Benefit Badgal Lash – When I first tried this, I wasn’t a fan. The second time, however, I fell in love. The brush is a huge natural bristle brush, which is my favorite type. It did a great job building volume. Benefit constantly has mascara as their bonus item free with purchase and I can’t wait to get another one.


Benefit They’re Real – I love using this in combination with Benefit’s Badgal. I think they go together perfectly. They’re Real has a plastic bristle brush, which isn’t my favorite, but it does a good job combing out lashes and keeping things long and defined. I have another travel size of this same mascara, so I’m interested in trying this out on it’s own or along with some other mascaras to see if it doubles up well with some of my other volumizing formulas. I prefer the Badgal over They’re Real, but I also have log lashes and could use the volume more than any lengthening properties.


Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes – I was pleasantly surprised by this mascara. This was my first Tarte product ever and it made a great introduction to the company. The wand has a natural bristle brush that was fairly small, enabling me to really get in there and grab every last lash. The smaller size also made it easy to use on my bottom lashes. I had to be careful to be wearing some kind of powder on/under my lids to control any oil, because I found it did tend to have issues with smearing if I wore this alone.


Maybelline Full ‘N Soft (waterproof) – I love this mascara. I buy it again and again. I like the natural bristle brush, and I like the formula. I prefer to buy the waterproof as it helps hold my curl better, and this mascara is good by itself and under others. Maybelline is one of my favorite brands for mascara, and this is a staple for many, myself included.


Maybelline The Mega Plush Volum Express (waterproof) – This isn’t a bad mascara, but I won’t be repurchasing. The natural bristles on the brush were a little too long and it made me feel like I didn’t have too much control. The wand itself also had this flexible hinge, which I didn’t like and don’t understand the point of. I like to bend my mascara wands so I can push up as opposed to pull, but the hinge didn’t allow me to do that, and made the whole thing way too springy. The formula was nice, plumping and lengthening my lashes, with the waterproof holding my curl, but the wand ruined it for me.

Most of these mascaras were winners, with only two that I didn’t like, and only one out of the two that I’m not willing to give another chance. That being said, the only one I’m for sure going to repurchase is the Full ‘N Soft. I’m still on the hunt for my Holy Grail mascara, so if you have any mascaras I should try leave a comment below!