Product Review: NEW Cargo Cosmetics for the New Year

It’s a new year, so time for new makeup! Last fall, Cargo Cosmetics launched new contouring palettes, plus brought back their iconic lip gloss tin for their 20th anniversary. Cargo is known for their multi-tasking, high-performing formulas. Plus, these new colors tend towards neutral nudes, and a lighter, fresher glow – just what I was leaning towards to lighten up after a fall with darker shades.


Clockwise, from the top:

  1. Eye Contour Eye Shadow Palette – I chose the shade 02 Warmer Base, which colors you’ll see below. The range is a mix of shimmers and mattes, with light to dark neutrals. The darker shades are great to use wet as liners, and the Warm Medium shade also doubles as a great universal brow shade. I love that these are buildable, blendable, and long-wearing.
  2. Boundless Lashes Mascara – This is the newest mascara to Cargo, and features a silicone three-sided brush. The formula is meant to be volumizing, lengthening, and defining. Overall, I like this formula over their other ones, but I’m still not completely won over. (psst – e.l.f. Mineral Infused Mascara is still my fave!)
  3. Matte Top Coat – I really like this, as it transforms any lipstick into a matte finish. I actually really like to layer it over the Swimmables Lip Liner, which pairs for a long-wearing and smooth color combination.
  4. Swimmables Lip Liner (shade in Moscow) – The Swimmables line of lip liners and eyeliners is a hero product of Cargo. Waterproof and transfer-proof, these liners are awesome performers. Moscow is a beautiful neutral berry shade, and looks great on most skin tones.
  5. Liquid Foundation – Oil-free, and hydrating, this foundation is packaged in an innovative pouch that is unbreakable, which makes it perfect for travel. This packaging keeps the gel-like formula foundation clean, and easy to dispense just the right amount. The formula wears all day, and is comfortable – it blends right in.
  6. Limited Edition Lip Gloss Quad – Super hydrating, and shimmery, these 4 neutral shades make for a beautiful combination in an easy to use tin. It also comes with a tiny lip brush, which is great to toss in your makeup bag. I love these shades – and they are great to layer over the Swimmables lip liners too.







Most of Cargo’s products are paraben-free, and safe for sensitive skin with no added fragrance! Cargo’s roots are in professional makeup, which grew in popularity due to innovation and easy-to-use multi-taskers. I’m leaning towards the neutral, soft glow color palette for Spring, and these shades deliver – with versatility for natural or dramatic!

©2017 28daysbeauty

My best beauty of 2016: Top 10 Savvy Splurges & Cheap Thrills

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to recap for you the beauty products that I found myself constantly reaching for, as I think they are worth noting in the flood of beauty choices available. Many of them aren’t really “new” to the market, but they are the ones that I think a) deliver GREAT results and b) are worth the money. So, I divided my top 10 beauty products into 2 groups: 5 Cheap Thrills (which cost under $15) and 5 Savvy Splurges (which cost over $15). In the beauty industry, it’s surprising to me how many people think the higher the price tag, the better the product. There’s a certain perception people have, but in reality, it’s all about the performance. Check out my top picks – they all are great for ANY skin type, even hyper-sensitive skins.

Top 5 Cheap Thrills:

Who doesn’t love a great deal that is also a performance workhorse? I also love the fact that all the 5 products you see below can easily be found at Target, or online at Stock up on these if you can, since you’ll find that these become a part of your daily routine year-round (clockwise from the top):cheap

  1. Simple Micellar Cleansing Water – This is the fantastic alternative to expensive micellar cleansing waters that burst onto the American beauty scene a year ago. The best part is that this is truly great for sensitive skins, cleans deep, and removes eye makeup easily. For a new, large 13.5 oz size, it’s a mere $8.99 at Use as a pre-cleanse at night, with cotton pads, to remove all makeup and prep skin for your cleanser. Your cleanser will work even better, and your skin will be balanced.
  2. Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap – All hail this fantastic soap! It creates a luxurious, foamy lather, makes for a comforting head to toe clean, and doubles as a great shaving cream in the shower. For an 8-pack on, it’s only $9.39. The nice thing is that it’s great for kids too – if you need a soap that is safe for the whole family in the bathtub. Use with a bath puff for extra lather and suds.
  3. e.l.f. Mineral-Infused mascara – For only $3, it’s hard to pass up this awesome mascara. It’s buildable, doesn’t smear or flake, and can look natural or dramatic. The silicone brush lifts and separates, plus always creates a clean look without clumps. Mascara should be replaced at least every 3 months to avoid eye infections, so this price points makes it even easier to do.
  4. TRESemme TRESTwo Extra Hold Hairspray – I use this hairspray daily, as it’s great to maintain any style. It resists humidity, and holds all-day without feeling crunchy. Plus, you can get it in travel sizes, so I keep a bottle at my desk to help fix any hair emergencies fast, but it doesn’t irritate my scalp. The 14.6 oz size is $5.99 at, and it lasts!
  5. Up & Up Witch Hazel – If you struggle with finding toners that don’t burn and actually do something, then look to witch hazel as your daily skin fix. Witch hazel is a natural extract, and acts as antiseptic, soothing and balancing astringent for the skin. After cleansing, soak a cotton pad and wipe over skin – it helps clear away dead skin cells from dry skin (to allow your moisturizer to do its job properly), and clears/heals acne breakouts from oilier skin types. Men will like it post-shaving, to help soothe razor burn. At $2.49 for a 16 oz bottle, Target’s own private brand Up & Up version is a steal. It’s located in the first-aid section, since it’s always handy to keep for cleaning minor cuts and scrapes. Insider tip: witch hazel is a staple in many spa facial treatments and toner brands on the market.

Top 5 Savvy Splurges:

Some beauty splurges are totally worth it, since they deliver that extra-special level of performance and can be multi-tasking to get the most for your money. The ones that I’ve chosen below are the over $15 price point, which some people would scoff at for being too “low” of a splurge price point level. Yeahhhhh, sure. But how many times have you bought a higher price point beauty product with the promise of it being “totally worth it”, only to be disappointed and have buyer’s remorse? Probably more often than you care to admit. Also (this is important) – if you have a closet or drawer full of these miracle-in-a-bottle types of high price point beauty products, and you haven’t used them within the last year, then PLEASE toss them or return them. You don’t want to risk eye infections or breakouts due to expired products or bacteria buildup, just because you refuse to let your hard-earned dollars go to waste. Navigate beauty hype cautiously, and remember that $15 could also equal a fantastic bottle of wine! (clockwise from the top):


6) Clinique Different Lipstick (my favorite shade is Sugared Grapefruit) – this collection of lipstick shades from Clinique has been a fan favorite for years. This formula feels lightweight, yet delivers great color payoff. The shades range from cream to satin finishes, are long-wearing, and moisturize lips. I wear Sugared Grapefruit almost daily year-round, as it’s a beautiful pinky-peach color that matches my natural lip color. At $17 a tube, I love that these are available at Ulta and Boston Store, since I can earn points and use my rewards.

7) Cargo Color Stick (my favorite shade is Key West) – Cargo has a knack for developing multi-use makeup, with high performance formulas. For the past year, I’ve found myself constantly reaching for this as a blush, and multi-tasking it as a lip color when traveling. They are $28 per stick, and come in a variety of shades, plus a bronzer shade of St. Tropez. The great part is that you get a LOT within the tube, so they last a long time. You can easily find the entire shade range online!

8) Julep Skip the Brush Creme-to-Powder Blush Stick (my favorite shade is Sheer Glow) – Oh, what a fun brand Julep is! This Korean-beauty inspired brand also features great multi-use products, including this Sheer Glow highlighting stick. I love to use it under my brow bone and on my eyelid, to give shimmer under shadow. As well as a highlighter on my cheekbones, forehead, and bridge of my nose. The stick is super easy to apply, and the creamy formula is very blendable – it looks glowy, not glittery! Each blush stick is $24, and you can either subscribe to the Julep Maven beauty boxes, or find them at Ulta.

9) Altchek MD Glycolic Renewal Pads – This NYC beauty brand is dermatologist developed to give high performance skin care, without a super high price tag. A jar of pads (36 per jar) is $20, and delivers a great micro-peel, anti-aging treatment that you can easily use at night, under your favorite moisturizer. My family and I have super sensitive skin, and what we love about these is that they don’t burn. At. All! I use them about 2 to 3 times per week, after cleansing, and I wake up to glowing, softer, clearer skin. Find these online from the brand’s website, or at Kohl’s.

10) First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream – Hands down, this is one of my favorite moisturizers of all time. It’s soothing for all skin types, and doesn’t leave a greasy shine. It absorbs quickly, hydrates fast, and helps repair the skin’s natural moisture barrier. You can use it anywhere on the face and body, and a little goes a really long way. Even people with oilier skin need to hydrate, especially if you are in a seasonal or dry climate. A large 6 oz jar is $30 at Ulta or Sephora, but it will last for a while. People with hyper sensitive skin, such as eczema, will also love this – it calms irritated skin, contains colloidal oatmeal, anti-oxidants, and ceramides without any parabens. I consider this one of my anti-aging secret weapons, to help build healthier skin.

I hope these product recommendations help you in tackling your beauty challenges, and sifting through performance versus price. I’m looking forward to trying some new brands and products next year, so feel free to let me know if there’s any out there you have questions about! Be well, and have fun, in the New Year!

© 2016 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Stick-style Makeup

Stick makeup, whether automatic or pencil-sharpener style, has been growing in popularity over the last several years. Especially due to certain brands, such as Nudestix, which are entirely sold in stick packaging only. I’ve heard many women say that they really don’t know how to use this type of makeup, but in reality, its incredibly easy and fun to use. Not to mention very convenient, especially if you are someone who doesn’t have a ton of time in your schedule or travels often. Hint: these are great choices for gym bags!

I much prefer automatic-style over pencil sharpening, especially for travel. Also, you end up getting more use of product and less waste, because you aren’t having to scrape away so much with a sharpener. The brands and products that I’m featuring below are the exact choices I used in my recent trip to Italy – they are not only easy to use, but also high-performance formulas in a high-humidity climate.  

cargo, clinique, billion dollar brows, revlon
my top picks for stick-style makeup

From the top:

1) Cargo Color Stick (in Key West) – Cargo has a hold on my heart, since their products are versatile and performance-driven. I love using this Color Stick with my foundation brush to create a beautiful flush of color on my cheeks, and also use with my fingers as a neutral lipstick. It’s creamy, with just a slight shimmer. Plus, it doesn’t streak or fade. Just twist up and dot to apply, then blend.

2) Billion Dollar Brows Univeral Eyebrow Pencil – this is amazing!! It’s a fantastic neutral shade that many can wear, and is an easy to use twist up pencil, with a spoolie brush on the end. It holds up to humidity, and is very buildable. The formula also controls brow hair, which makes it even more versatile.

3) Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick – new from Clinique, this is a bit of a echo of the Maybelline Express Foundation Sticks from the 1990’s (all hail Sarah Michelle Gellar’s ads), but the formula is modern and outstanding. Twist up and smooth across the broadest areas of forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Blend easily with a foundation brush, and the formula feels lightweight yet buildable. It also makes a great spot concealer, if needed. The formula does not contain sunscreen, so make sure to prep with an SPF moisturizer.

4) Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm (in Enchanting) – honestly, this is quickly becoming my favorite matte lipstick. The style is similar to glossy balms, but the coverage is full. Plus, the formula just rocks – it’s matte, but moisturizing, and wears well. I haven’t experienced the cracks or icky goo spots that some matte lipsticks create after an hour or so. Matte lipsticks can be hard to wear, especially lighter nude shades. But this one doesn’t disappoint – just beautiful! 

5) Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes – this is a great combination of color and staying power, which also can act as a base for powder shadow. This formula definitely has shimmer, but spreads easy with either your finger or shadow brush. The dry-down is fast, and is long-wearing. What I really like about these is they can be easily layered – just make sure to allow dry-down before applying the next shade.

clinique, cargo, revlon
easy to use formulas

I highly recommend these brands and formulas if you are going to be traveling, or want multi-tasking products that are easy to use. Plus, I think all are a great value for the performance you receive. 

©2016 28daysbeauty

Product Reviews: neutral palettes from Pur Minerals and Cargo

I’ve been lucky enough to try two new palettes from both Pur Minerals and Cargo Cosmetics. And to be honest, I can’t decide which one I love more – they are both awesome!  

eyeshadow, palettes , cargo cosmetics, pur minerals
neutral shades from Cargo & Pur Minerals

The Essentials Palette from Cargo Cosmetics:

This palette is definitely more neutrally toned, and has a great mix of gray, beige, brown, and even a smokier blue-gun metal shade. The shadows have amazing staying power and I’ve used them both wet and dry. The palette also comes with a dual-ended brush, and a black eye liner pencil. Cargo is known for their makeup brushes (Magic Brush to be exact) and the dual-ended brush is great too. I love the versatility of this palette for its mattes and shimmers – a definite win!

The Secret Crush Palette by Pur Minerals:

This palette is a beautiful range of rose-toned nudes, and has two great dark shades to use as liners. The brush that comes with it is also great for overall blending and shading. This is a mineral-based eyeshadow formula, but it also has good staying power. If you tend to lean more towards the rosy tones, or have blonde hair, this palette is for you! I have used the shadows wet and dry, and I’ve been really happy with both. Plus, I just used this palette for wedding makeup on my friend, and had beautiful results!


cargo cosmetics, pur minerals, eye shadow, palettes
neutral & rosy toned nude shades

Try them out! I love them both for travel, and also usually have one in my gym bag at all times. 

© 28daysbeauty 2015