Tuesday, July 25, 2017

VII Code T2 Oxygen Eye Cream Review

Hey guys!  

Sorry I have been rather absent lately, I am hoping to get better about posting again since I have several posts planned.  However to get back into the routine of posting, I am going to do a quick review of the VII Code T2 Oxygen Eye Cream.  I was lucky enough to receive the eye cream roughly a month ago, and I have been using it every morning and every evening.  If you have been around my blog for any period of time, you will know that I have reviewed a few other eye creams, but I have to say that this is one of my favorites.  

Prior to using the T2 Oxygen Eye Cream, I had been using the Garnier Nutritioniste Ultra-Lift Anti-Wrinkle Firming Eye Cream, which honestly felt more like a regular moisturizer put into a smaller pot.   In comparison, the T2 Eye Cream feels slightly thicker and overall I found that I only needed the smallest amount for my eyes.  As you can see in the photo above, the actual eye cream pot is rather small, only about 5ml of product is in the package which equals roughly one third of the amount in the Garnier package for comparison.  Even though there is less product in this package, I still have more than half of the product left even after using it morning and night for a complete month.  

As you can see in the photo above, the eye cream comes packaged in a beautiful leather drawstring pouch with an activation strip.  I was confused by the activation strip because the instructions on the package are located on a tab on the pouch and I couldn't find any information about the activation strip.  According to the company's website,  this component called the 'activation strip' is to be used to massage the eye area moistened with the cream to remove dead skin buildup and help the skin to absorb the nutrients in the cream.  After massaging the eye area with the activation strip VII Code suggests using a dotting method to make sure the remaining cream is evenly spread on the eye area.  I personally found that the cream absorbed quickly into the skin, and left no film on the skin which made it ideal for morning application.

The cream is said to minimize the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow's feet much like any other eye cream.  I currently don't have a severe case of fine lines and wrinkles, but preventing those are fairly high on my list for a skin care routine.  VII Code also states that the cream is supposed to prevent and correct the look of dark circles and bags under the eyes.  Dark circles and bags under the eyes are definitely huge problems for me these days.  I have so many things going on that I have found that I end up getting less sleep than I really should be.  I have noticed that the area under my eyes has been less puffy, and the dark blue bags have definitely lightened.     

According to VII Code, the cream is infused with evening primrose which is said to boost blood circulation and smooth wrinkles, avocado which delivers antioxidants to the skin, elderberry which contains antioxidants that maintain glowing younger looking skin, and chamomilla recutita which is said to reduce dry flaking and restore suppleness to the skin.  

In short, this eye cream is pretty pricy at $99 for 5ml of product; however, you really don't need to use much in each application so the small pot will last you much longer than expected.  I really have enjoyed using this cream since it absorbs quickly and leaves no obvious residue on the skin.  I honestly feel that the cream has helped with the dark circles that were forming under my eyes before I started using the product.  If you are interested in purchasing the VII Code T2 Oxygen Eye Cream for yourself, you can find it on the VII Code website, or on Amazon (if you have a Prime membership I suggest using Amazon) for the same price.   


*I received the product mentioned above in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.  All opinions are 100% my own.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Adore Yourself: Autumn Makeup Trends with Adore Me

Hey guys!

I have another exciting post to share with you guys!  As you probably know by this point, this is my favorite time of year.  I live in the South where this time of year is typically the perfect temperature, and I enjoy playing with various makeup trends this time of year since I know it won't melt off in the heat.  I was incredibly excited when I learned about the campaign with Adore Me.  Adore Me, as many of you probably already know, is an intimates company that is based out of New York.  I know I have seen their website in the past, and I believe I have seen commercials as well.  I was especially interested in their bras and panties page while I was exploring their website, and I must say that there are great options for women of all shapes and sizes!  I was sent the graphic below where the company has come up with a pairing for some of their favorite lingerie sets and beautiful fall makeup looks.  As I was exploring their website I found two sets that are my style, and proceeded to draw inspiration from each one.  Both of my looks are incredibly simple, and can be changed in a variety of ways to suit any situation!

 The first set I was inspired by is the Lidia Push-Up which is a beautiful racerback with black lace.  This set spoke to me because of it's classic simplicity which is something that I really like to do with my makeup looks.

For this first look I pulled shadows from the Lorac Pro 1 palette.  I find myself reaching for this palette every fall (you will see how much of it is gone in just a second).   For this look I decided to go for the classic nude eye.  I started by mixing White and Nude all over the lid and up to the brow to set my primer and prep the lid so the shadows will blend smoothly.  After that I pulled Mauve into the crease (for this look I would have typically used Taupe but it is completely gone).  I blended Mauve out with a fluffy shadow brush to create a really blown out crease.  Then I took Lt. Bronze and concentrated the light golden color on the inner half of the eye.  You could leave the look like that or you could take Sable on the outer half of the lid for the addition of some soft drama like I did.  If you want the look to be even deeper the Lorac palette also contains a deeper brown, Espresso, which you could concentrate on the outer corner of the lid for a little sexier look.  My only advice when using this palette is to tap off your brush after each dip into the pan.  The shadows are so soft that the  brush will pick up a ton of product.  As always be sure that you blend, blend, blend!

As you can see I chose three different lipstick options for this look.   If you are into the nude lips you can pair this look with L'oreal Fairest Nude for the most simple look.  The middle of the three options is the one that I am personally the most comfortable with, and find myself reaching for.  The middle option is for my girls that are into the mauvey nude lip trend.  I used the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita.  This lipstick will last you all day as long as you don't top it with a gloss, or eat anything with an oily substance.  The last lipstick I chose is for the ladies that like the bold reds.  Every now and again I really enjoy breaking out these colors, and this NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella is very comfortable.

I mentioned above that I used the Lorac Pro 1 palette (bottom right)  for my look; however, this look is so neutral that you can really use any neutral palette to achieve the same thing.  The three high end options I have above are the Borghese Eclissare Color Eclipse palette ($55, top left), the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette ($54, bottom left), and the Lorac Pro 1 ($44, bottom right).  You can also achieve the same look with two of my favorite palettes from the drug store, the CoverGirl TruNaked palettes in Goldens and Nudes which retail for around $10 each.  The shadows in these palettes rival the softeness of the Lorac shadows and blend really easily, so I highly recommend them!

The second set that I was inspired by is the Alain Push Up set in this beautiful berry shade.  Personally this shade just screams fall to me, and I love it.  I decided to break out my Covergirl TruNaked palette in Roses to create a nude look that is more on the berry side of the spectrum.

For this look I took the first shade in the palette and placed it on my lid all the way up to the brow bone to set my primer.  This shade has a little shimmer in it, but it's not nearly as strong as shade two which I used on the inner corner and the under the brow as a stronger highlight.  Next I took the third shade and used it in my crease as a soft transitional color.  I used shade five all over the lid as a fun purple shade, and added shade seven on the outer half of the lid and softly under the lower lashes.  Finally I took shade eight and concentrated it on the outer corner of the lid and topped everything off with a purple liner that is nearly black.   

This look is rather subtle; however, if you have blue eyes it will really make your eyes pop.  Again I chose three different lipsticks for this look.  I used L'oreal Fairest Nude again because this lipstick is the perfect shade for nearly every look.  If you are more interested in a mauve toned nude I also chose Essence lipstick in Barely There (middle) which is the perfect compliment to the purple tones of this look without making you look washed out.  Finally for the bold ladies I chose a fun shade that I don't bust out nearly enough, Wet 'n Wild's Ferguson Crest Cabernet from the Fergie line.  This lipstick is supposed to be along the same lines of MAC's Rebel.  I'm one of those girls that is scared of breaking out a full on purple lip, so this particular shade is perfect for me.  It has just enough purple in it to be different from everything in my collection, but it remains on the more berry toned side of the spectrum for me to feel comfortable and I feel like it really brought out the deep purples of the look while making my teeth look white! 

I really don't have that many palettes in my collection that are dedicated to the berry tones since I tend to stick to the more neutral side of the shadows; however, I did manage to dig out a couple options.  The top palette is the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette ($54),  the bottom left palette is the Wet 'n Wild Au Naturel palette in Nude Awakening (under $10), and the bottom right is the CoverGirl TruNudes Roses palette (around $10). 

Like I mentioned above, I love fall makeup and pulling inspiration from the changing of the seasons.  Personally I think the perfect combination is a simple neutral eye, a bold lip, a pair of leather boots, and a cozy blanket scarf!  What are some of your favorite fall combinations?  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Studio Gear Mineral Wet and Dry Foundation Review

Hey guys,

I am extremely behind in my posts, but finally I am getting time to write about a foundation that was sent to me by Studio Gear Cosmetics through a campaign with BrandBacker.   Studio Gear Cosmetics was one of the first brands I worked with on BrandBacker, so I was excited to have the opportunity to work with them again.   When I read that the foundation that was being offered for review was the Dual Identity Wet/Dry Foundation, I was immediately intrigued.  Foundations are a tricky situation for me due to my oily skin and the humid environment I live in, so I have a massive pile of them in my collection.  Typically I wear my foundations for anywhere in the range of 8 to 12 hours, and if I can find something that is even remotely close to still being on my face when I get home from work in the evenings I know that I will use it and it won't get lost in the bottom of the pile.

The Dual Identity Wet/Dry Foundation is actually a loose mineral powder that can be used like any other loose powder.  As a dry powder foundation it has wonderful coverage; however, the wet aspect of the foundation is what is truly different.   Studio Gear mailed out their Revitalizing Day Serum to use with the foundation.   The idea is that the foundation can be mixed with the serum to create a serum foundation which is a great idea.  Typically I don't like serum foundations because they either don't have enough coverage for me, or they break down on me super fast.  I love that this foundation allows me to customize the consistency of the foundation to my liking.

To be completely honest I didn't have high hopes that this foundation would last on my skin at all; however, I was proven wrong pretty quickly.   I mixed up some of the powder with two pumps of the Revitalizing Day Serum in a glass bowl I leave on my vanity with a flat foundation brush and smeared it on my face (for lack of a better way of putting that).   I first tried blending the foundation in with the #3 Domed Foundation Brush by Studio Gear Cosmetics; however, I didn't like the way that it was working with the foundation, so I switched to my Tarte Kabuki brush that I use for my regular foundations and everything blended in evenly.

The two pumps of the Revitalizing Day Serum turned the foundation into a fairly dry paste.  You can always add more of the serum to create more of a liquid foundation.  Even with the two pumps the foundation it spreads out smoothly with my kabuki brush.  Once I have the foundation on I use the same loose powder to set the foundation which is nice because it is guaranteed to match the foundation.  The combo lasts all day on my oily skin, and typically doesn't break down until late in the evening.   My biggest complaint with the product is the amount of time it takes to apply since you have to mix the foundation.  I find myself not reaching for the product in the mornings as often as I do a regular foundation for this reason alone; however, on the weekends when I have plenty of time I have been reaching for it the most.

The #3 Domed Foundation Brush that Studio Gear sent with the product has a great shape to the brush, and a nice density.  While I found I don't like it with the consistency of the foundation I mix, I have been reaching for it when I use a thinner liquid foundation, or a BB cream.  The bristles of the brush are soft, and the length of the bristles really spread the foundation well.  However if I use it with thick foundations I have found that it leaves my foundation streaky and uneven.

Overall I really enjoy this foundation, and have found that it lasts well on my oily skin.  The only real issue I have had is that it can tend to look a little cake-face if I don't use enough serum in the mix.  The foundation is really comfortable, and didn't break up in the heat and humidity.    If you are interested all three products can be found on Studio Gear Cosmetics website.

Has anyone else tried a foundation like this?

The products mentioned in this post were provided for review by the company through a campaign on BrandBacker.  All opinions are 100% my own! 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Beauty-ful in Vegas with Vegas.com

Hey guys!

I was approached by Vegas.com to share some tips and tricks I would use to keep me looking great day to night in beautiful Las Vegas.  A few months ago my girlfriends and I made the decision that we are going to travel to Vegas in the spring for several days for my bachelorette party (can anyone say Hangover movie?) so I decided that this would be a great collaboration to share some of our plans and give you some tips for keeping your makeup looking fresh and appropriate day to night!

During the day in Vegas there are many things to do outside of the casinos, which you can see on Vegas.com's attractions page.  With this in mind, I am planning on keeping my makeup fairly simple during the day.   My girls and I are most likely to choose to go on a tour of the city or even go on a desert chase in dune buggies instead of finding something inside to do all day, so let's talk about a look simple look that would hold up in these conditions.

While I was choosing products to use for this look I tried to find products in my collection that would give me a variety of options without having to pack a million products since I will be flying to Vegas in the spring.  As you can see in the photo above I have pulled out my Maybelline Lip Gloss palette for my lip product.  This palette is great for traveling since the palette contains everything from nudes to reds which you can mix and match to create even more shades.  I also pulled out some E.L.F. palettes which are great for travel since each pan can be popped out and placed into any of the other palettes, and each palette contains a large mirror.

For both looks I am going to share with you, my basic face makeup is exactly the same which makes it very easy to transition your look from day to night.   The first product I am going to share in the Shea Moisture Primer which is essential for making your makeup last all day long.   This primer can be found at Ulta for $15.99 and feels very similar to a moisturizer as opposed to a silicone primer.  The next item in my routine is the Hard Candy GlamoFlauge concealer.  Any concealer you prefer will work; all we want to do is conceal any red spots on the face before we apply foundation.  Typically I always grab a second concealer that is a peach or pink tone to conceal the dark circles under my eyes.   This will help to keep you looking fresh and awake all day long.  The peach concealer I chose for this look is the NYX Dark Circle Corrector in Light/Pale.  The foundation I chose for my look is the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation in Ivory.  This foundation is really great for my oily skin because it stays all day long without breaking down along my nose until very late in the day.  For a long day sight seeing in Vegas this is the type of foundation that is going to be necessary for my oily skin.   Finally the most important step for me is to set my foundation.  I have been reaching for the Coty Airspun Loose Powder in  Naturally Neutral for years now, and I have found that I don't have to touch up or powder my face again until late afternoon.  For traveling I'm not sure that I will choose to pack a loose powder, so it is likely that I will pack the CoverGirl Clean powder instead.   The last item in the above photo is the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer.  This primer is an absolute necessity for keeping my shadow from creasing and fading away.

The next items in my list are the E.L.F. palettes.  Above you can see I have three different palettes pictured; however, when I pack to travel I always pop out different pans to mix and match and create the perfect custom palette for my week away.  This technique helps me keep the number of items I pack down while still giving myself enough variety.  The above palettes are the bronzer palette (left), the blush palette in light (middle), and the illuminating palette (right).

For both my daytime and night time looks I used the AmpliMascara to give my lashes a nice dark coat of mascara.  Obviously for the daytime look I used only a couple coats, but for the night time typically I add a couple more coats on top of the mascara I have had on all day long which helps to make a fresh look along with providing more drama to the look.  Once I am finished with the entire look I always use a setting spray, and the one I have on hand at the moment is the Maybelline Master Fix Setting Spray.  This will help make the powders we applied on top of each other meld together and look less cake-like.   Like I mentioned above I also chose to use the Maybelline Lip Gloss Palette which allows me a ton of variety in color and the ability to mix colors to create new ones.

Now let's talk about each look I chose to create for my Vegas looks.  Above is the day look I created (please forgive me for my crazy hair; however, I can't say that it would look much different during a day adventure in Vegas).   For this simple look I used all of the face products I mentioned above for something that would last through going riding through the desert or even driving sports cars.  For my eyes I used Scenic City Cosmetics' Whiskey on the entire lid and Scenic City Cosmetics' Coke & Whiskey on the outside corner to provide a little dimension.   To keep things fairly light I chose to use a brown liner to line my lid and my waterlines.  For the liners I chose a jumbo stick from Milani (the name has long been sharpened off of it, so please forgive me for that), and Sephora's gel liner (waterproof formula) in Caffine Buzz.  I applied a couple coats of mascara and I chose the light mauvy nude gloss from the Maybelline palette (second color in the palette).

Now let's compare my look for the night on the town seeing shows such as Cirque du Soleil Zumanity at the New York New York (which my girls and I plan on seeing), or any of the other shows you may choose to see.  There are other great shows to fit anyones needs, check out some of the great Las Vegas deals on Vegas.com for more options!  To keep things simple the best way to transition your look from day to night is to simply touch up the face products that need to be touched up (foundation, concealer, and definitely powder) then to add a deeper shadow to the eyes.  For my look I chose to use Scenic City Cosmetics' Coke & Whiskey all over the lid.  Remember I used this same shadow just on the outer corner of the eye before, so for a night full of seeing shows, and some drinks with my girls, I decided to use this shadow all over for a little darker look.  I was also inspired by the colors of the desert, so I layered Scenic City Cosmetics' Cherry Cola in the center of the lid along with Scenic City Cosmetics' Whiskey in the very center.   To amp up the depth of the look I chose to use a black liner on the water line and along the upper lashes along with a few more coats of mascara on top.  For lips I chose to mix the two red shades in the Maybelline palette to provide a bit more interest to the look.  If you prefer to have something a bit more subtle you can always keep the same mauvy nude lip color that I used for the daytime look.

Above are the three shadows from Scenic City Cosmetics that I used in the looks I showed.  From left to right: Coke & Whiskey, Whiskey, and Cherry Cola.   When you pair these shadows with the Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer they will last all day long through any of the activities you may choose in Vegas.   After all what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

Remember to check out Vegas.com  if you plan on making a trip out west like we are.  Just from exploring their website you can purchase hotels, airfare, tickets to shows, tours, and plan weddings all from their website.  Should you need more assistance you can chat with a Vegas insider right on their website.   Believe me when I say that my girls and I will be using the website as we plan our trip in the spring!

What are your tips for transitioning your look from daytime to night time?

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