Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Holy Grail: My Favorite Brow Product

Bare Brow vs Anastasia Brow Whiz
Happy Sunday ladies and gents. Today I'm going to discuss a product that has been well used and abused by myself for a long time. The item in question is the highly coveted Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz. A part of me wishes that my brow whiz was in better condition for photography purposes but I guess that just makes it all the more realistic. Most of the letters have been rubbed off the pencil and the brow comb has seen better days but it has truly earned Holy Grail Status within my collection.

The Perfect Shade
Anyone with light/fair eyebrows will know the struggles of finding a suitable brow product that actually mimics the look of real eyebrow hairs. I've tried a number of brow products, from brow powders, to pencils to tinted gels but nothing ever looked quite right. Most other brow products for light hair have a weird warm caramel tone that looks very unnatural. Eyebrows should always be enhanced with ashy grey toned pencils/powders. The shade taupe (once called ash blonde) is the perfect soft brown that leans very ashy. This color adds definition and shape to my fair eyebrows without screaming "Hey! I drew on my eyebrows!".

The Perfect Formula
I love that the brow whiz is a combination of pigment and wax in a pencil form. The super fine tip easily draws tiny strokes that look like real hairs. The waxy formula also helps to keep your brow hairs in place and prevent them from going unruly throughout the day. If you are someone with bushy eyebrows like myself, you may still require a clear brow gel to keep caterpillar brows in check.

Easy Application
One of the most fool-proof brow products ever. I like to make small strokes all across my brows and fill in any gaps where I can see skin. I finish by brushing through the brow with the convenient little spoolie on the other end of the pencil which blends the product seamlessly into the hair. This step takes me about thirty seconds of my time getting ready each morning.

Holy Grail Status? Absolutely. I can't go a day without it.

What are your favorite eye brow products? Have you tried the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Not My Cup of Tea: A Collection of Crappy Products

After purchasing so many makeup products for reviewing on Newfound Beauty, I've come across a few real doosies. Most of the time, I will do my research about a product before buying it but some things just don't work for me. Some of these products are highly praised by other bloggers and Youtubers in the beauty realm, while I am left unimpressed. Again, this is just my very humble opinion and if you like these products, I'm happy for you. Here's a breakdown of the disappointments taking up valuable real estate in my stash:

The only thing I find enjoyable about this foundation is the beautiful bottle, otherwise it's been a complete bust for me. This foundation is marketed as long lasting formulation with a natural matte finish. For some reason, this foundation does not go on my face well. I find that it dries into my skin quickly before I get a chance to blend it in at all. As a result I find it to be incredibly cakey on the skin without camoflaging any blemishes or redness on the skin. In fact, it seems to draw attention to any textured skin like acne scarring or pores. I've tried it with/without primer/powder/moisturizer and I can't get it to work for me and my skin. I don't think I can finish this bottle on my own, and I will be passing this along to someone else.

I am afraid of a full on mutany for the words I am about to type... I really don't get the fuss about the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors. I don't see the purpose of paying nearly $20 for the sheerest lip gloss in the world. Yes, it feels like a lip balm on the lips, but the color literally does not show up on my lips at all. I have two shades, 02 (light peach) and 04 (light pink), which look essentially the same on my lips. Perhaps my lips are too pigmented for the sheer color to show up, but I never reach for these. My recommendation for a sheer tinted lip balm that is beautifully pigmented would be the Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balms for a very purse-friendly $5.

These liquid lipsticks/gloss hybrids were released earlier in the year with a lot of hype surrounding them. Even Kim Kardashian sported the nude shade on her wedding day. While I love the color of 101 Rose Melody, I'm not a fan of the feel on the lips. I find them to be drying and patchy to apply. I also find that they are so slippy that they can easily smudge onto your face or teeth. When I compare these to the Maybelline Gloss Elixirs, these L'Oreal offerings don't hold a candle.

I suppose I have more issues with the color Naked, than I do with the formula itself. This shade was marketed as a very universal nude liner though I find that it has a hint of orange in it which makes it look really unflattering. Application-wise, I find that it doesn't blend into any lipstick that is placed over top and I think visible lip liner is a MAJOR makeup faux-pas. 

I love everything about this lip liner except for one thing. It has a great name (Velvet Rose), a gorgeous berry rose pigment, and feels ultra moisturizing on the lips. Unfortunately, I find this liner to have absolutely no staying power, worn with or without lipstick. It kills me to harp on this gorgeous liner, but it just doesn't perform to my standards.

I'm usually impressed by products from the very affordable drugstore brand, Essence, but this one is a total flop. It looks like a gorgeous metallic copper in the pan but is poorly pigmented when swept over the lids. Even after applying the eye shadow wet, it was still a very sheer color on the lids. I'll pass on this one.

This drugstore undereye concealer receives a lot of love in the beauty community. I'm not sure if the shade is not light enough for my skin tone (I have Light), but I really don't see any brightening effects on the skin. It doesn't really completely cover up my blue under eye bags either. I'll try to finish this up so I don't waste product but I certainly won't be repurchasing.

What products have left you underwhelmed lately? I'd love to know what to avoid next!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Brown is the New Black

Eyeliner and I have had a very slow growing relationship. I'm sure that I went the majority of my teenage years without owning a single eyeliner pencil. My very first eyeliner purchase was a classic black kohl pencil which I used to rim my eyes in such a way that made me look somewhat like Courtney Love during her rough patch a few years ago. Little did I know, I was wearing a color much too harsh for day to day wear. Here's why I advocate for brown eyeliner time and time again:

It looks good on EVERYBODY. There is a shade of brown out there to compliment every eye color. Brown is universally flattering and can help to bring out blue, green and brown eyes.

It provides the same drama and defnition as black. I regularly do a winged liner with a matte dark brown pencil. It looks like black from a distance but looks less severe against pale skin. You can ditch the black liner without sacrificing the cat-eye flick.

So many shades to choose from. Unlike traditional black eyeliner (which in my opinion only comes in two shades, black and blacker) there is a huge spectrum of brown liners to choose from. From golden bronze to warm copper to dark chocolate, there is a shade to suit everybody. Try playing around with cool toned browns versus warm toned browns to see which works for you.

If you are light-medium skin tone OR have light eyes, it will look great. Black can often look very harsh on light skins or light colored eyes. Brown will look so much more natural and flattering on the skin for both daytime and night.

For those girls who love their black eyeliner and will go to the grave clutching their black kajal pencils, I respect that too. I'm not ANTI-black liner but I am certainly PRO-brown. I highly recommend everyone to give the black liner a break and try brown, just once, and I promise you will see the beauty of it.

In my humble opinion, brown is the new black.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Rosy Neutrals: Autumn Appropriate Budget Buys

Good afternoon folks! Today I'm excited to share with your two new discoveries from the drugstore. All over the catwalks for fall I've noticed a major shift in the usual autumn makeup looks. Instead of deep wine, burgundy and red lips, there has been a polar switch to nude and natural lip colors. I've recently gone mad over neutral makeup tones and the rose-toned neutrals are some of my favorite colors to wear. Natural pinks with a touch of brown look great on virtually all skin tones and are neutral to be paired with basically any eye look you wish. In the picture above, I'm wearing a bronze and reddish brown smokey eye and I like to think the blush and lip pencil compliment the eye without looking over the top. Here's a review of these lovely new makeup bits:

I was inspired to pick this lip pencil up last week after hearing a Youtuber rave about this product as a dead-on dupe for the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. Pinky Nude was the color she was sporting in the video and it looked fantastic. I ran to Target yesterday to pick one up and I'm so so impressed with the formula. It's a matte lipstick with no shine but still feels really moisturizing on the lips. The pencil shape means that you can apply the lipstick perfectly without the need for a lip liner. I haven't had too much time to play around with it yet but I think it would look stunning with a gloss layered over the top. The color is a lovely light beige rose that looks super pretty on the lips without looking like the dreaded "concealer lips". This little number runs at $7.99 and comes in a range of other colors that look equally stunning. I'm obsessed.

Ok people, this blush cost $2.99 and it feels like a luxury blush. The texture of the Essence blush is so creamy and pigmented that it almost feels like a cream blush, though it is a powder. Today I layered this on top of some bronzer on the cheeks and I love the effect. The blush looks like a peachy pink in the pan but when swatched on the skin it becomes a gorgeous dusty rose. I love colors like this as they add color to the cheeks while also helping to sculpt out the cheeks and accentuate bone structure. I don't know how this can be sold for $3 but I'm majorly impressed with the formula and wear time of these blushes. Try one out for yourself!

So there are two gorgeous budget products that would suit virtually anybody! A great update to your makeup bag for under fifteen bucks. Why not?

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

A Slightly Late September Favorites

First off, my apologies for being a little late with the monthly favorites. Life gets a little hectic this time of the year but I will be getting back to my regular twice weekly postings as of today. September was a gorgeous month which inspired me to get more autumnal with my makeup looks. Nearly every day I wore a variation of a brown-neutral eye makeup, plum cheeks and a natural lip color. Here are the five products that rocked my world in September:

I've been really enjoying Charlotte Tilbury makeup since my massive order came in a while ago. This eyeshadow quad is right up my alley, as I love matte neutral shadows. This quad contains a matte cream, matte soft brown, matte taupe and matte dark brown- all of which blend together amazingly to create a range of lovely eye looks. This quad can be used to make a pretty day time look with a wash of the bone shadow and the light brown shadow in the crease or amped up to be a full-on smokey eye without looking over the top. I can see this little quad being a permanent favorite in my makeup collection.

I received this mini blush in a gift with purchase last fall. I never gave it much attention and I have no idea why...because it's gorgeous. Although I have the miniature size, this blush can be bought in the full size at Elizabeth Arden counters. The blush looks really dark and scary in the pan but on the skin it comes across as a matte plummy rose color. For lighter skin tones, I would recommend wearing it lower on the cheeks as a contouring blush to help sculpt out the cheekbones. Although, it does look equally gorgeous swept onto the apples of the cheeks. I haven't heard many people talk about Elizabeth Arden products before but I am truly impressed by the quality of this blush.

Lately I've been having some major issues of mascara flaking onto my face. It was only when I purchased this mascara that I discovered it was flaking from my bottom lashes because I haven't had a problem since. I was skeptical of this product at first, thinking it was a bit of a gimmick needing two separate mascaras for top and bottom lashes. But I was very wrong. If you have issues with mascara smudging/flaking/disappearing from your bottom lashes, give the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara a try. Coming in at $12, I think this is comparable in price to drugstore mascaras while being a higher end product. I won't be without it ever again!

I credit this oil in combination with a new cleanser I'm trialing to clearing up the majority of my breakouts over the last month. I massage this oil into my face and neck after cleansing and exfoliating my face at night and I wake up with clear, hydrated skin. I've nearly used up the bottle and will be needing to repurchase it soon, although it should last a very long time as you only need from 2-4 drops to cover the entire face. This oil is designed for blemish prone and oily skins so don't be afraid to try out an oil if you have oily skin!

I realize that there is no way to make a tube of ointment look attractive but this healing balm is a beauty in my eyes. If you suffer from incredibly dry and flaky lips at this time of year, I urge you to pick up a tube. I apply this to my lips in the morning while I do my makeup and before I go to bed (and probably multiple other times throughout the day). It's the only product that has actually helped to heal my lips and keep them from peeling off completely. A tube of this magical ointment will run you around $10 but will last you a lifetime... so why not?

So there are my top products of last month. What were you loving in the month of September?