Tag Archives: beauty blogging

Ipsy’s July Glam Bag: First Impressions!

I’ve missed doing the whole beauty product review routine, so I’m back at it with my first impressions of Ipsy’s July Glam Bag, and boy, do I have a lot to say!

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If you’re one of my regular readers, you’d know that I don’t prefer getting skin and hair products in my Ipsy bags, first off because with my hair, a sample size of hair product won’t do much. My hair is practically down to my hips and realistically, a sample size could probably only treat 1/25 of my tresses, give or take. Not worth the $10, to me. Secondly, my skin issues are something that I’ve been viciously battling for years and I’ve finally gotten to the point where my acne is “backing off”, with just a blemish or two, here and there. Now that my highly active skin is admitting forfeiture, I’m avoiding experimenting with new skin products for the most part. I stick to my guns about the lotions and cleansers I swear by and don’t generally deviate from them. With all that being said, let’s get started on first impressions.

I’m going to start with the products that I was highly impressed with. To start off, the beauty bag the products came in is SO. CUTE. Overwhelmingly cute. It’s bright, festive, and something I’d love to carry around in my purse! The bag is almost always as great as the products! I got five products total in my glam bag this month: a coral-toned nail polish, a 2-in-one eyeliner and shadow, a sample-size dry shampoo, a brightening serum, and a pair of brand new, baby-pink tweezers.

The first thing I stumbled across was the bubble-wrapped (already a plus!) nail polish. Ripping off the bubble-wrap excitedly, I was thrilled to see the Gel Effect Nail Lacquer by Aurora in the color #112, called “4 Alarm Fire”. The color is spot-on for Summer vacationing and a great pick-me-up for the Summer class blues. I was also blessed with a full-size nail polish instead of a sample size, but knowing how gorgeous this color is going to be against my olive tan, I could imagine this polish is going to go much faster than the others. Beautiful color, great texture, and it seems like an excellent, high-quality polish. I’m thrilled to try it on!

Next, I have the absolutely adorable pair of Crown Brush tweezers. I am the kind of girl that buys about ten pairs of tweezers, only to be able to find one around the house on rare occasions. I always lose my tweezers, even when I feel like I put them all in the same spot. Weird, right? So needless to say, I’m happy that they went ahead and sent me another pair. The first thing I noticed was the weight of the tweezers. The ones I’ve bought in the past were either plastic or a light metal, but this pair has some weight to it. I like that it has an angled plucking side so I’m able to grab hairs closer to the skin with ease. These will come in handy the next time I shape my brows. I’ll update you on their effectiveness.

I then grabbed the Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Shadow. When swatched on my hand (which is slightly darker than the shade of my face, as my body tans a million times more than my face ever does! ha!), the pencil is a deep chestnut color with a mauve undertone, which is something new and different on my end. This color is going to probably be my new go-to eyeliner this Summer when I’m looking for a more subtle, dewey look and trying to avoid the harshness of black eyeliner. There’s a time and place for a smokey eye, and many more times and places for a moderately nude face, which I know this pencil will help me achieve. And the absolute BEST PART of this pencil is that it is cruelty-free! Hallelujah to that! I love receiving cruelty-free products!

*Sigh* Alright. Now, we’re onto the two-products that I just…don’t know how to feel about yet. Both are sample sized; one is a hair product, the other is a skin product. The skin product is by pur~lisse and is an “ultra skin brightening serum”. I’ve never had anything like that before, and I’m willing to try it, but I don’t know how a sample-sized skin product is going to make that much of a difference. I’ll let you guys know. As for the hair product, I received an Eva-NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo which, even though it’s a sample size, would probably be more useful out of the two, seeing as the weather where I live is on and off, and dry shampoo is something I can always use to rejuvenate my hair when it’s as tired of the dry heat as I am. It’s promising. Plus, I can put in in my book bag or purse to carry on the go! I’ll find a use for it.

I hope you guys enjoyed my first impressions review and I look forward to continuing to write here in the future! Leave a comment if you’d like.

If you have requests for posts or want to contact me regarding a product review I’ve written, a potential product review, or anything else business/blog related, shoot me a message at Mandirito@gmail.com!

Thank you for reading, and have a beautiful day!

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Makeup of the Day: Peachy Keen!

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Today, I did a very simple, clean makeup look. I wasn’t feeling like going all out with colors but the natural glow of my skin this morning gave me an idea to go for more peachy tones. I don’t usually go for pinks/peaches just because I generally like to pack a punch, but today was an early morning class and I thought this look would carry through the day well. I started off by applying a sunscreen on my skin. I have oily/combination skin so I generally like to use sunscreens that don’t add an excessive amount of oil. On a regular basis, I like to use Olay sunscreen because it feels light, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave my makeup feeling cakey (worst feeling ever). During the time that it’s DSC_0082absorbing, I usually brush my teeth and my hair to make sure that, in the process of applying my makeup, I’m not removing the sunscreen. After it’s absorbed well, I start with my Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in #200. The color is fairly light for me, but to ensure that it matches my skin on a day to day basis, I like to add some warm bronzer (In this case, I used the NYC Color Wheel Mosaic) lightly on top to blend the color more effectively. I like to use my makeup sponge to dab the foundation underneath my eyes gently, as well asย on the eyelid and area underneath my brow. However, I don’t use the makeup sponge much on other areas of my face just because I feel like it’s pretty difficult to clean and tends to soak up a great deal of foundation whenever I use it. It’s generally only used for touch ups and details. Then I used my Elf blush in “Pink Passion” on the tops of my cheeks to illuminate my skin. I don’t worry so much about my cheeks looking abnormally pink, because the next step allows me to make it more natural looking. I take my Covergirl “Translucent Light” powder and dab it across my cheeks and along my skin with a large powder brush to set the foundation and blend the blush into a more natural, rosy color. After I’ve set my makeup, I used just a touch of Clinique’s “Almost Peach” eyeshadow and dabbed this glittery, subtle pink just underneath my brows to illuminate my brow bones. The final step of this look was applying my new lipgloss from Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth series in “Rich Raisin” very lightly, applying one even coat and blotting the excess.

I hope you guys enjoyed this step by step makeup of the day look, and if you have any suggestions on other posts that you’d like me to do, please do not hesitate to contact me! I love hearing from you guys! If you enjoyed the post, feel free to share and comment. Your support is always appreciated. Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Illuminating Our Perfection, or Purposeful Deception?

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I got an email the other day that had me thinking about the significance of makeup, especially in my life. She asked how I felt about the accusations that using makeup is a deceptive way that women represent themselves. I figured I’d respond to this publicly because I feel that it is essential to my readers to understand why I write what I write and the role that makeup plays for me personally.

Let’s start with a little personal history! I’ve gotten on a beauty kick lately more so than ever. I’m really loving experimenting with makeup and different products ever since I visited Ulta and later got an Ipsy subscription, which delivers new, varying beauty products every month for only $10, making it pretty much impossible for a girl like me to refuse. My love for using makeup has been a consistent love. I remember, as a young child, I used to carry around one of those caboodle carrying cases full of makeup and sit around with my friends and create “makeovers”. Sure, they probably weren’t as aesthetically pleasingย then as they’d be now (I’ve learned at least some skills since those days), but even then I understood what makeup meant to me. I loved using it because makeup is artistic as well as purposeful.

I see so many comments on the pages, videos, and posts of beauty bloggers by men (and some women) saying that makeup is deceptive and that it hides one’s natural flaws, making the individual more attractive than they actually are, attracting individuals who apparently think they naturally look flawless.ย Ahh. Let’s get this straight here. Makeup enhances one’s beauty and gives the individual the ability to exemplify certain physical traits while toning down traits they see as less desirable or bothersome. That’s not deceptive. It’s something that we, as humans, do similarly with many things. We always want to put our best traits forward, whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, whichever. Makeup is something that allows women to accentuate their best physical features.

Some women, like myself, also use makeup as a way to conceal acne scars in order to be more comfortable and confident in their own skin and especially in face to face social situations. For me, I focus immensely on the base of the makeup look: the foundation. I have had severe acne for the majority of my young adult to adult life and it has left me with unsightly, discolored scars that I don’t always like to leave bare. It’s a sensitive thing for me, having others ask about the permanent marks that were left on my face from these years, so I find that knowing how to apply my makeup effectively gives me a major confidence boost. Others aren’t looking for scars, but rather social queues on my face, which is a nice change of pace. I could imagine many others apply makeup for the same reasons. They would rather reduce the distraction of little flaws and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin than go out, barefaced, knowing that the uncomfortableness will ultimately hinder them. I remember feeling like I was going to cry every time I’d look in the mirror and see how badly my skin had gotten. Makeup gives the individual the freedom to look glamorous and to feel beautiful, acne scars or not. It’s more so for the individual’s sake than for any outside force, meaning that the use of makeup isn’t as much for “deception” as many like to call it, but for the expression of illuminating one’s perceived best features in vibrant, inspired new ways, neutralizing the flaws we have that chip at our confidence.

Makeup is enjoyable for me. I love to be able to have a clean canvas to create new looks every day and to experiment with different color palettes. I can change my look to fit my outfit, my mood, anything I desire. I honestly think using makeup is as “deceptive” as a woman looking beautiful in nice clothes. Is that deception too, because she’s not spotlighting the bumps and rolls that are just a natural part of her figure, but finding pieces that illuminate her best assets?
Realistically speaking, how is makeup any more deceiving?
Why should I not feel comfortable in my own skin?

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Girls Meets Glitter? Girl has Already MET Glitter, and She Loves It!: Review of Ipsy’s November Beauty Bag

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I know you guys have been long awaiting my review for my beauty bag I received for the month of November from my Ipsy subscription. It’s been a hectic couple of days with the looming Thanksgiving Break and the current wrap up of all of my group projects and assignments I need to complete for my classes. I feel like my head’s going to explode! But on the brighter side, after using the products I received, I am now able to give you guys an honest, first-hand review!

In this gorgeous, glittery bag, I received a ton of products. Sometimes they only give you a couple, but I was pleasantly surprised by what my makeup bag had in store! I got 5 different beauty products total: An eye base by Be a Bombshell Cosmetics in “Submissive”, a J.Cat wonder lip paint in “Mad Splatter”, a S/B highlighter by Temptu in “Pink Pearl”, a Star Looks gem pencil in “Ultra Olive”, and finally, the oil of Morocco argan oil hairspray by Marc Anthony.

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The image above shows a few swatches of the products. From top to bottom, the picture shows the “Ultra Olive” gem pencil, the wonder lip paint in “Mad Splatter”, and the “Submissive” eye base. I wanted to swatch the highlighter as well for you guys, but unfortunately it doesn’t show up as well as the other products because it’s meant to be more of a subtle pearly glow.

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I’m gonna start us off with one of my top products from the beauty bag that I received: the eye base in “Submissive”. At first glance, I didn’t think it would be anything special, and I was completely wrong. When I opened the container, the color was a gorgeous brassy gold. I could imagine that this would look incredible on darker skin as well. I have a more medium/olive tone (aside from during Winter, when I begin to lighten up), and this shade surprisingly looks outstanding on my skin. I used it in combination with a gold shadow this week and I can honestly say that it helps tremendously to keep the shadow from crumbling and falling off, and maintained the shadow look that I had created for an entire school day. I like the creamy texture of the product and that it applies evenly without clumping. It’s difficult to find a color that would probably look equally as good on differentiating skin tones, but I believe that this color could do justice to any skin shade, so if you’re darker or fairer than me, you should give this product a chance as well. You may be pleasantly surprised!

This product is only $14 on the Be a Bombshell Cosmetics website, which isn’t really all that bad for something that I imagine would last a while. You don’t really need all that much product to apply this effectively.

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Next, I’d like to go to my absolute favorite, must-have product from this bag: the wonder lip paint. Above is a picture of the lip paint in action! I was not expecting the color to be so vibrant at first glance, because many of the lip glosses and lip colors I’ve purchased prior to receiving this bag seemed like they’d be solid, thick colors, but later proved to be a bit transparent. This lip paint, however, applies as the exact same shade as the tube. Not even kidding. There’s no false advertising in this product, and probably for this entire line of lip paint. What you see is exactly what you get. The texture of the lip paint is a little on the weird side if you’re used to smooth color, but I’ve come to realize that if you squeeze the tube a couple of times with the cap on before you start to actually use the product, the sandy texture won’t be as prominent. I think the product just separates in the tube after a while. Once it’s mixed, however, it’s definitely not as noticeable. The color lasts for hours, and when I say hours, I mean hours. It endured eating, drinking coffee, and wiping my face. This lip paint is long lasting which I think is a wonderful change. Just make sure that when you apply the color that your lips are dry (don’t lick your lips beforehand) and try to stay within the lines of your lips. Once it dries, it’s done, so it’s important to get your lips exactly how you want them before it seals. It’s a gorgeous color that maintains its shade throughout the day! What’s not to love?

Try it out! It’s amazing! It’s only $4.99 at Ulta!

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Now we’re onto the highlighter. I think it has a pretty glow, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t capture it in a photograph, which leads me to believe that it doesn’t show up all that much. It has subtle glitter, but with my skin tone, it fades quite a bit. I do have to say, though, that it has a very pretty, pleasant smell to it. However, I don’t think that this product is going to do much for me. I will try to work it into my beauty routine, but I’m somewhere in the middle on this one. I’m not really sure if it’s going to make much of a difference in the long run, as my WINTER skin overwhelms the color. I guess we will see.

It’s $27.50 on the website, which I think is a bit much, but if you’d like to try it out for yourself, go ahead and click here.

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The “Ultra Olive” eye pencil is pretty on my blue eyes. It doesn’t smudge all that much, which is always good, and the pencil has subtle glitter which helps transition between day and night looks. I don’t generally deviate from the eyeliners that I use, so I thought it was pretty neat that I received a new eyeliner in my beauty bag this time around. I think Ipsy’s trying to tell me that I need to be more experimental with more neutral, toned-down eyeliners. I certainly wouldn’t buy a new neutral eyeliner on my own, unless the color was a must-have. I’m more of a jet black or crazy bright eyeliner user, never really in between, so I didn’t know exactly how to feel about the olive just yet. This olive pencil is nice, though. It looks great on me so far, and I don’t think it’s all that crazy to try out, so if you’re a little nervous about trying an olive tone eyeliner, I would definitely suggest giving this pencil a go. I’ll probably use it from time to time. It’d probably look great on a grey-eyed gal.

If you want to check out this pencil, click here. It’s $17, so it’s really your call if you have the money and would like to give it a chance.

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Finally, we have the Marc Anthony hairspray that I’ve increasingly grown to love. I was disappointed at first because I don’t like receiving hair products from Ipsy, but when I tried this product out, I was much happier than I thought I’d be. I think it’s quite functional for many different hairstyles and doesn’t harden your hair to the point where it’s uncomfortable. I used this to seal my hairstyle on Friday, and when it came time to take my hair down, it actually ended up looking amazing. This hairspray is great for teasing and styling hair and is useful if you’re like me and sometimes just want to get your hair out of your face for a few hours. It has an amazing smell, completely intoxicating, and keeps my hair shiny and sleek. Love, love, love this hairspray! And the even better part? It’s only $8.99 at Ulta!

Go check it out here! Let me know what you think!

I hope you enjoyed my review, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Leave a comment below!

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Mandirito’s Beauty Testimonials: I Have Found BorderLINE Perfection and it Goes by the Name of Maybelline New York Eye Studio!

Mandirito’sย Beauty Breakdown: Maybelline New York’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner

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From the mere age ofย 11 years old (many, many years ago), eyeliner has been a necessity to complete my everyday look. It’s actually the only thing I wear when I am keeping my face otherwise natural, besides my daily SPF 30 by Neutrogena. So naturally, I’ve been in search of the best one I could afford to buy regularly if need be. In addition, I had several issues with the eyeliners I had been using that I was hoping could be addressed more efficiently by a better product from a different brand:

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1. Most of the eyeliners I had been using were in a pencil format which you’d think would be helpful in order to draw in an even line around or above both eyes. It was helpful for that purpose, but if I were to carry it around in my purse, I would need a sharpener as well, along with an accessible garbage can wherever I was going. It’s a hassle to have to sharpen them almost every time in order to get a clean line.

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2. Eyeliners smear like face paint within an hour of applying them, and I think that’s also due to my mixed/oily skin. It’s inevitable. I don’t want to have to sit with a mirror in front of my face to make sure that my makeup isn’t running in places that it doesn’t belong. Does anyone, really?

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3. There are variations of colors for basic, everyday eyeliners but I could never find one that didn’t look like mime makeup when applied because the shade was so harsh in contrast with my olive skin and blue/green eyes. You know, the deep, intense blacks and “browns” that also look pretty dark… those don’t work very well on me. I don’t want to look like I got my face painted, and I doubt that that’s the ultimate point. It’s about enhancing the natural features of the individual using the product, not drawing them on.

After many trials and errors, I came across what I thought was going to be another cosmetic failure. I was pleasantly surprised to know that this wasn’t the case for the first time in a very long while! I had come across it while browsing my local Target’s extensive makeup aisle and thought it would be a great opportunity to try something new for a change. When I arrived at home, I had immediately removed it from the package and was confused for a moment, as it had two parts: a brush and a container with solid pigment. It felt so foreign. But then I realized that the brush was meant to dip in the little glass container in order to apply the makeup, and that the brush itself wasn’t the product, a fair assumption for a pencil user.

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Pictured above: Maybelline New York’s EyeStudio Gel Liner in Brown on yours truly!

The Verdict: I had worn the new eyeliner during the entirety of a busy, nonstop day running around with the little kids I was taking care of, and not only did it stay put just as I had applied it that morning, but it was as vibrantย and untouched as the moment I had put it on! It’s a miracle product for someone like me who loves subtle-colored eyeliner that makes your eyes pop rather than detracts from their natural hues. I got the eyeliner in brown, but there are grays and blacks available as well for those of you who prefer the greyscale. I find that the brown, whether applied more intensely or less intensely, meshes well with my skin tone and brings forward the color of my eyes. No other eyeliner could even compare to Maybelline New York’s Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Liner! I’d recommend it to everyone and their sister!