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Links à la Mode, July 30

 

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I really should have titled this post “how I’ve worn makeup for the past 4 years” because this new phenomenon of the no-makeup makeup look is a routine I’ve been using since day one.  I hardly ever have time to do a full face, and by a full face I mean: foundation, filled in eyebrows, contouring…the whole bit. Over time, I’ve found a way to minimize my routine into something simple and natural!

Clean slate

First up is HYDRATE! Whether you choose to be cake face or natural, hydration is the main ingredient in every makeup routine. Since I have dry skin I have to combat the issue of my makeup becoming flaky and scaling off (trust me it sounds as gross as it looks). When I need a little extra moisture I use Smashbox Hydrating Primer but recently I’ve been using good ole water. Yup…water! I started working out recently so I’ve been drinking a lot more water than usual (I try to crank out 40 ounces a day). I have noticed a huge difference in my skin; it’s more even toned, and I hardly get my “time of the month” acne anymore.

Use concealer without foundation

Now that my skin has cleared I rarely reach for my Nars Luminous Foundation anymore. I typically start my routine with two types of concealer. I use my Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer to brighten and my Maybelline fit me (shade is darker than Nars) to conceal. The colors together blend really well and then I use my Laura Mercier Translucent powder to set it. If you need to use a foundation I suggest using a tinted moisturizer or bb cream and then use a beauty blender to blend for a sheer look.

Use powder instead of cream

I’m the girl that never leaves the house without a contour. Over the years, I’ve developed this insecurity about my nose, and my face looks really round if I don’t add any definition to it. Since I have dry skin I normally stick to creams and liquids but when I’m going for a no-makeup makeup look I like to use bronzers and powders. Sometimes I will use a cream contouring shade (loving my ABH one) and then set it with a powdered bronzer. I’m sure you’re probably thinking “there is nothing natural about contouring” but you would be amazed at the difference that shade and formulation will make. If I use a powdered contour color that is a shade darker or maybe even the same shade as my concealer as a contour I can still get some natural definition in my face. The trick is to not carve out too many lines on your face and to use a light hand when applying. Once you put blush on it will all look very natural. Which brings me to my next point…

Load on the blush

I say “load” because it’s currently 95 degrees in the bay and my face feels like its melting! On a regular day, I would say don’t go crazy with the blush. You want to look flushed..not burnt!. Rule number one is don’t apply directly on your cheeks. Apply upwards just above your contour. It will not only help blend your contour, but it will also look more natural. I typically choose my blush based on the weather. If it’s a hot day out I like to go with a deep mauve color with a reddish tint (my mac raizen blush is perfect) because it blends with my skin tone effortlessly and I can apply a lot of it since I know the heat will probably cause me to sweat most of it off. If it’s winter I usually will go with a brighter color or a pretty coral because the pigmentation will last on my skin longer. I know this may seem backyards; considering we wear deeper tones in winter and brighter colors in summer but unfortunately for me the weather calls the shots. Since the goal is to go for a very minimal and natural effect I like to wear whatever color will set into my skin nicely.

Final Touches

I always end my routine with a quick brush of my eyebrows, some mascara and a lipstick to match my outfit. The eyebrows thing is a new trend for me. I have naturally thin and shaped eyebrows so I never bothered to do anything with them. Then I went to a makeup party and we all had to challenge each other to try something new so I decided to play with my brows. I attempted to fill them in (but I looked like I had caterpillars on my face), so I decided to just shape them up with a spoolie. The effect was amazing! I arched them so that you can see them over my large glasses, and I haven’t looked back ever since. Mascara is always a must simply because….its mascara. Next up is my favorite…LIPSTICK! I never leave the house without it. My lipstick choice depends on my mood or outfit for the day but since this is a no-makeup makeup tutorial I would suggest a nude or gloss. I personally love “styled in sepia” with a brown liner or mac lip glass in spite. Both are neutral sheer tones on me. If I want something to accentuate my lips I will reach for my mac in velvet teddy (it’s more cooled toned and pink than styled in sepia).

Be sure to leave your no-makeup makeup routine below. I would love to read them!

kierra again

 

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Mac has done it again! As we all know by now matte lipsticks are my favorite formulation, so when Mac released a new all matte collection I was ecstatic. Last year I rushed to pick up a few but thankfully this time everything was permanent so I decided to take my time and get colors that I knew I didn’t already have in my collection.

I was debating on how I wanted to write this post because I want it to be thorough, but I also don’t want to sell a hype that isn’t there. There isn’t anything ultra-spectacular about these colors, but they are really pretty for summer. I’ll be honest…my Mac lipstick collection(all 20 of them) have been neglected a little bit. I’ve been obsessing over these new liquid lipsticks that have been coming out left and right. I love the Kat Von D formula and I can’t wait to try the new colourpop ultra matte lipsticks!

Anywayssss I  haven’t been using my Mac lipsticks as often as I used to but some of these colors are perfect for a night out on the town or when you are just running errands and want a pop of color on!

Swatches + Comparisons

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in order of left to right

Whirl: This color is like a nude pink, but it’s hard to describe. It’s definitely warm-toned, but the color on my lips is not the most pigmented. It’s one of those lipsticks that I always keep on me because it’s easy and goes with everything.

Steady Going: Bright cool toned pink. Normally don’t do colors like these but my Miley Cyrus and Flat Out Fabulous lipsticks are the only pinks I have. I thought this would look great paired with nightmoth or magenta liner from Mac.

Men Love Mystery: a gorgoussss light purple. It’s the perfect shade for deeper skin tones. Reminds me of Up The Amp.

Antique Velvet: A rich deep brown. It reminds me of living legend from the last matte collection but living legend is more burgundy based.

D for Danger: a burgundy red color. It reminds me of diva and sin.

Tropic Tonic: The prettiest orange everrrr. Normally oranges show up either ashy or wayyy too bright on my skin and this color is like the perfect mix. It’s best used with chestnut or cork liner depending on what you’re going for.

So far my favorite colors are Antique Velvet and Men Love Mystery. I feel like these are the most practical and realistic for me. and are colors that I would wear all the time.

What lipsticks have you been loving for summer?

kierra again

 

 

 

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Ever since I made the decision to build my own vanity I have truly grown to understand the saying “work in progress”. I tend to have this problem where I want to buy everything in bulk and finish a project all at one time. If I’m redoing my room I will save for months so that when I go into the store I can buy everything I need at once. Now sometimes this works, because your room is redecorated in one day and you don’t have to worry about everything being in shambles. Then other times it can work against you because you don’t give yourself the opportunity to shop around for sales or some unique items that may only be available certain times of the year. For example, I noticed a lot of fun and cute prints come out around spring and summer because people are looking to add bright and colorful pieces to their house.

This time I decided to take my time with my vanity. Mainly because I didn’t know what I wanted (my mind changes with the days), and two because financially I have really learned to grasp the power of waiting. If you’ve read this post you will know how much waiting can get you a better bang for your buck!

Sephora, Train Case, Naked 3, Mac, Tartelette, Becca, Nars, Urban Decay, Real Techniques, Luminous Foundation

The first thing I bought a while back (before I even had an idea to do a vanity) was my makeup train case. My collection was growing and my makeup bags were overflowing with product. I didn’t have a vanity in my room so I used my train case to go back and forth to the bathroom. It worked for some time but then I started to realize I needed better lighting. The yellow lights in the bathroom just weren’t cutting it any more.

I started shopping around for a pre-made vanity mirror but they ranged from $150-$300 depending on the size and that was just way too much money. I browsed around on YouTube and I stumbled along this really affordable DIY vanity mirror. I made some revisions but for $40 bucks this thing works like a charm!

So now I had the proper lighting and my train case for organization, but something was still missing. My train case held my makeup, but my lipsticks were quickly growing and my brushes weren’t the most accessible. Sooooo back to the drawing board I went. It’s amazing how quickly you can outgrow something. I mean at this point I’ve already spent $200 bucks on a vanity and I don’t even have everything I really need yet!

Anyway, I started shopping on YouTube (it’s literally my favorite place to go to for reviews and new products), and I noticed a lot of people had the acrylic Muki drawers. Personally I can’t validate spending $150 on some plastic, so I shopped around for a cheaper option and discovered The Container Store. MY FAVORITE PLACE EVER. I don’t know how I managed to live my life without this store. Although it’s a little bit expensive, they have so many organizational options it’s worth it; plus catch them on a sale or shop clearance and you can get a really good deal. I spent about 30 minutes in the store (in the same section mind you) until I finally decided to take home these two items….

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I knew I definitely needed something for my lipsticks; I was just too tired of having to flip each one over in order to read which color it was. I also needed a few drawers to help separate my ever growing collection of lip liners, concealer, and blush. Never thought I would be a concealer hoarder but I literally have about 6 of the same concealers in my collection. Shamelessly I find a way to use them alllll.

I got my acrylic drawers for roughly $25 total, but I still needed something for my brushes. They had some at the container store but it either wasn’t big enough or simply too expensive. My mother and I hit up Crate & Barrel, Target, and a few local boutiques but couldn’t find anything that matched my needs. I had heard about a store called home goods (per YouTube..again) so I headed there to see if I could find anything.

This store is AMAZING. It’s the perfect mix between Target and Ross; The prices are like Ross and the assortment is like Target, but 10 times better. I was so excited I almost forgot what I was there to get. I could have walked out that store buying something from each section. I decided to go home with these two items and since one of them was only 4 bucks I got another one for my hair products.

My vanity isn’t nearly complete; I still want an Ikea Malm desk, a chair from home goods and this simply human mirror, BUT for now I’m really happy. Like I said….work in progress. =)

If you have any great stores I should check out feel free to leave them below!

kierra again

 

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Arms & Abs

Hey Hey Yall!! It feels so good to be working out again! I’ve been gone for two weeks, one week I was in vegas (get the scoop on that trip here) and the other week I was sick. I’m still recovering, but I felt good enough to hit the park for another workout. Next week I will be losing my BBG partner; she’s going back to Alabama for college and my boyfriends schedule may be changing as well. So it looks like I will be all alone hitting these workouts, but that’s okay because at least I have you guys right?!

Today I did arms and abs since its way easier for me than legs and cardio. I haven’t worked out in two weeks and today is Monday (which is filled with back to back meetings) so I didn’t want to over-exert myself with legs and cardio. Today was fine, but I could tell I was dehydrated. In Vegas, I barely drank any water and last week I was so sick I could hardly move. I really need to get back into the swing of things and start hydrating myself again. I could tell that I was very sluggish throughout my workout. BBG also requires LISS and one day of stretching which I’ve totally been slacking on. My weekends are so jam packed the last thing on my mind is throwing on my sweaty gym clothes to hit a walk. Which brings me to my next problem. I need some new workout clothes. Not new new, but just something different than what I have. A shirt and a new bra, some workout pants (the tight spandex kind, I’m currently using yoga pants) and some sneakers. If any of you have any suggestions on where I should buy my shoes please comment below!

Anywhoo back to the workout! I had to do commandos today and since I haven’t built the strength to do it I did plank again to help build my core. Anytime I don’t know how to do an exercise or I can’t do it I swap it out for something to help build my endurance so that I can eventually do the exercises later. Not everything you do with the BBG workout is going to be perfect, but sometimes you just have to try and power through any way you can.

Did I tell you guys I’m starting to see a change! My clothes fit better, I’m slimmer, give it about 3 more weeks and I’m sure I will be at a point where everyone else will be able to notice too. Which is good because I put myself on a no-buy until my birthday (September). Why does everything look so much better when you have no money to buy it!

Legs & Cardio

I missed two measly weeks of working out and my whole body is back to being sore. My stomach hurts anytime I eat one bite of junk food. I’m bloated (aka the polite way of saying gassy) and overall just feel yucky. I can tell my body isn’t properly hydrated and Its really showing in my workout. I tried to crank out legs and cardio and I left with a crink in my back and sore joints. BBG requires you spend a day dedicated to stretching and I’ve been neglecting that step, but in starting to see its value.

My burpees were harder than usual (I’m convinced that it will never get better) and I even had a hard time doing my squats…which never happens!

I won’t go into much detail on his day but as you can see it was pretty disappointing.. I definitely didn’t hit the workout the way that I wanted too. Note to everyone doing BBG, if you take a break it’s 10 times harder to get back into it. Don’t lose your groove!

On the flip side can you believe its been 6 weeks already! So excited for what’s to come! =)

If you want to read about my journey from the beginning click here!

kierra again

 

 

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