Beauty Topic: Top 3 tips on Black Friday & Cyber deals for beauty products

Every year, this weekend and next week is focused on buying gifts as the official kickoff of the holiday season. But Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday countdown offers are also the best times to stock up on your favorite skincare, haircare, body care, makeup and perfume. If your inbox is any indicator of the amount of deals being currently marketed, you’ll find that even high-priced beauty brands can offer discounts – making it the perfect time to also score gifts with purchase, buy-one-get-one deals, and free samples. Plus, you can usually save even more money by buying kits or gift packaged best-sellers from your favorite beauty brands. So, in other words, treat yourself! Merchants put a ton of time into planning and creating the best gift sets for their brands, with a main focus on value. The Christmas season is the biggest time of competition for every shopper’s dollar, and so it’s totally worth checking out your favorite brands to see what kind of deals you can find right now.

First tip: Buy beauty in bulk and save $$$! For example, Clinique offers jumbo sizes and gift sets of their best selling cleansers, clarifying lotions, and moisturizers at ULTA, Macy’s, and Sephora, which equal big savings. LORAC always offers fantastic gift sets of my favorite lip glosses for just $25 at ULTA and Kohl’s, which if individually purchased would total $102. Kits are also a great way to try new colors, and you can refresh your look easily throughout the year with a new shade. And First Aid Beauty makes some of the best skin care kits around – you can get their iconic Ultra Repair Cream, Lip Therapy, Intensive Peel, Facial Radiance Pads and Pure Skin Facial Cleanser together for only $14 more than what the full-size Ultra Repair Cream normally retails at! These are also great ways to try a new brand, stock up on your favorites, or get bonus travel-sizes for the gym or your desk. And don’t forget haircare! This time of year offers fantastic deals on hair dryers, curling irons or hot styling tools. As for prestige brands, the sales are totally worth it. I buy my favorites from L’Occitane (a French beauty brand) in multiples during this time of year, since their products usually do not go on sale. I love their Shea Butter line during winter for deep and soothing hydration, and 20% off makes for a great time to stock up! More on this brand in future blog posts…

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Second tip: Be careful buying beauty or perfume as a gift for someone else. Unless you know the recipient’s favorite brand, colors or specific scent, a cologne or perfume or makeup gift set can be rather awkward to receive. Especially if the gift receiver has never worn the scent or doesn’t like it, has severe allergies, or doesn’t wear makeup often. You will also see a ton of blockbusters promoted this time of year – a “blockbuster” refers to the absolutely gigantic makeup kits that are sold at retailers or drugstores, usually containing every color under the sun. These are typically marketed to teenagers, or as easy gifts that an Aunt or Grandma can purchase and give to the younger girls in the family. But unfortunately, these kits often don’t have the higher quality of products that you’d expect – they can contain fragrance, a ton of glitter, or other ingredients that may cause allergic reactions. If you know the gift receiver wouldn’t wear every color of eye shadow possible, I’d say a nude eye palette would be a more suitable gift than something that looks like Rainbow Bright’s closet exploded. Another thing to consider is that perfume and cologne gift sets almost always come with scented body wash and lotion. But these are often so heavily fragranced that if the receiver does have sensitive skin, they risk a rash or dermatitis developing from the higher percentage of scent in the product than their normal body care products. Proceed with caution, and know your gift recipient’s tastes before taking a gamble.

Lastly, if you aren’t already part of a loyalty program for a retailer, you are definitely missing out. Kohl’s, ULTA and Sephora are among my top favorite loyalty programs for buying beauty products, and it can make a huge savings difference during the holiday season. Kohl’s Cash can’t be beat as an overall deal, and being an ULTA Platinum Level Ultamate Rewards member certainly has its perks. They offer birthday gift freebies, extra bonus items with your purchase, and also first-looks at sales or discount offers before the general public. And some of the best product samples that I’ve received are from Sephora’s Beauty Insider program, which clued me into new favorites (looking at you, First Aid Beauty). In short, take the time to sign up, and then USE it! Especially if you love brands or products that these retailers carry, you’ll see the savings pile up over time and it’s free for anyone to use.

Happy Holidays!

©2018 28daysbeauty

 

Product Review: Best picks for travel makeup

Helloooo! I took the month of September off from blogging, as life got a bit crazy with work and travel schedules. But nevertheless, that didn’t stop me from continuing to try out new products, and discover a few favorites in the process. I’ve got a bunch of new blog posts that I’m composing, and my first begins with the subject of travel-friendly makeup. I don’t think this topic is covered very well in most normal beauty or fashion magazines and blogs. Most of the attention is paid to luxury or prestige products, but there’s a huge need for many women to get solid recommendations on makeup that not only travels easily, but performs too. This could also apply to women who keep a touch-up stash in their desk drawer, in their gym bag, or just want fuss-free products. Travel is stressful enough, let alone worrying about a glass bottle of foundation or a compact of blush breaking apart inside of a suitcase. So, let’s get into my picks per my recent trip to Europe, and the reasons why I chose them!

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Before we even get into the product details, there was one requirement that I used when choosing the products: all of those selected did NOT need to be applied with makeup brushes. Reason being is that I only took 2 makeup brushes with me (a foundation and a blush brush), as I was trying to keep my bags as light as possible.

Ok, and now for the products! You may notice a common theme within the brands shown, and that is that the majority of what I selected are Julep products. I looooove Julep – they are a USA-based, K-beauty inspired brand, and I’ve always had great quality and performance from their products. But what I also love is that their products are very user-friendly, and the packaging reflects a no-fuss type of application style. Here are 3 of their products that I nabbed for my trip and my thoughts:

  • Julep Cushion Complexion in 130 Ivory:  It’s the similar concept of Clinique’s Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer, but the travel-friendly twist-up sponge applicator made application a breeze. The formula contains turmeric (naturally anti-inflammatory and brightening) and camellia seed oil (lightly moisturizing) to care for skin, and is buildable for coverage. The finish is a semi-matte effect, and helps to blur imperfections and fine lines. Traveling from England to Scotland to Paris, this makeup held up between both climates, from country-side misty rains to hot and sunny strolls around the city.
  • Julep Eyeshadow 101 in Slate Shimmer: If you don’t like most eyeshadows, I challenge you to give this a try. The creamy, twist-up stick formula applies with super smooth and shimmery color, yet is easily buildable to be as low-key or intense as you want. Plus, it’s waterproof, and did a decent job of staying put all day. The sponge blending tool on the other end of the wand was awesome to easily smudge into place on lids. Slate Shimmer is a beautiful neutral – it can be dressed up or down, which makes it super versatile for travel.
  • Julep Skip The Brush Blush Stick in Golden Guava: This is by far one of my most favorite of the Julep line. This beautiful pink + peach + rosy-gold color gives a natural flush to cheeks, with a hint of shimmer. It also doubles as an awesome lipstick, which can be super useful in packing light. Simply dot onto cheeks, and easily blend with fingers or a blush brush for a soft effect.

And now for the rest! Most of these are routine favorites of mine, but there are 2 newcomers that I’m super happy I tried on the trip:

  • butter | LONDON’s Sheer Wisdom Serum Shadow in Rose Petal: I love liquid or cream eyeshadows that also act as a creaseless base for building on other colors. This product contains a blend of anti-aging peptides, and acts either as a solid wash of color or as a neutral primer. Easy to apply with a doe-foot applicator, it can be applied with or without a brush. As we traveled between various climates and humidity levels, this performed and stayed put all day.
  • Model’s Own Grand Master Lash mascara: From the UK, this brand has had limited distribution in the states, but if you can get your hands on it, it’s awesome! After e.l.f. discontinued the version of Mineral Mascara that I loved, I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement. Grand Master Lash (love the name, btw) delivers!! The wand is a dead-ringer for the silicone brush that made the Mineral Mascara awesome, and this formula does not disappoint. It’s buildable, smear-proof, and easily washes off. But I can’t find it at Ulta anymore! Hopefully this brand is not discontinued…

To round out my travel-friendly makeup assortment, I relied on a few tried-and-true selections:

  • LORAC Alter Ego Lip Gloss in Heroine: LORAC makes my absolute favorite lip glosses. They are hydrating, super pigmented, and made from high-quality ingredients. “Heroine” is a beautiful neutral rosy-gold pink, and has a slight shimmer. It was my main lip color through the entire trip, and can look either casual or super polished. Win!
  • NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Chocolate: As I’ve written about before, this brow mascara is my jam. Simply stated, it’s quick and easy to use, and lasts through the day – without any touch-ups needed!
  • L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in Brunette: I’ve also written about this automatic pencil + spoolie before, and it was one of my go-to’s for the trip. I love pairing it with the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara to achieve super-defined brows in a snap.
  • e.l.f. Brush Cleanser Wipes: These are the travel-friendly versions of my favorite daily makeup brush cleaner. For whenever I chose to use the makeup brushes that I took with me, I used these to quickly clean them up.

So, after traveling through 3 countries, which product in the travel line-up was a true game changer? To me, the Julep Cushion Complexion was the winner! Quick and easy to apply, with skin-caring ingredients to boot, this product is innovative, packs easily, and is a new favorite.

Julep Cushion Complexion

©2018 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Saving money in 2018 & top picks to stay on budget

It’s the start of a new year, and many of us make resolutions to improve our lives. Mine this year is to save more money. I want to travel more, and pay down debt, so in order to do that, I need to look at my overall lifestyle. If you Google “how long does it take to develop a habit”, there are few studies that come back with a variety of time ranges – anywhere from 21 days to 66 days is the average. But one thing that I think that can help in achieving a new goal, or fulfilling a resolution, is to think about the various factors that contribute to it overall. To achieve my resolution of saving money, I thought about the amount that I spend on beauty products in a given year and how I shop. Within the beauty industry, there’s a ton of marketing and advertising to drive the message home that you NEED to have prestige beauty products. But in reality, is that really the case? In a PeopleStyle.com study from March 2017, they determined that the average woman will spend $15,000 in her lifetime on beauty products. This doesn’t apply to services like hair cuts or pedicures, but just beauty products alone. I’m here to say “no” – you don’t need to spend a ton to look great and take proper care of your skin, hair, body and nails. Especially in this day and age, there are so many great brands that are delivering high-performance products that provide you with multiple options to spend exactly the amount you are comfortable with, without having to sacrifice quality or style. If you absolutely love a prestige beauty product (like perfume, foundation or lipstick), you can also look at splurging where it matters most to you, but then saving money in other beauty categories to make up the difference. Let’s take a look at some of these brands, products that deliver, and my top picks to help you spend less this year on beauty:

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Clockwise from the top:

  1. Trader Joe’s beauty: from skincare to body care, their formulas rival top dollar brands’ ingredients and performance, but cost a fraction of the price. The Nourish All-In-One Facial Cleanser is great for both men and women, and helps to combat acne while also being anti-aging. Their Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 15 is a great dupe for the Olay Complete SPF 15 lotion, and is safe for sensitive skin. If you love lavender, their Spa Lavender Hand & Body Lotion is naturally scented and soothes skin. I usually keep these stocked, as my entire family loves to use these products daily.
  2. e.l.f. Cosmetics: this brand was started years ago to provide quality beauty products for very low costs. I hate to call them “cheap” because it has such a bad connotation. What they do is remove the hype and high-cost markup that is found in prestige beauty brands, but still deliver on-trend and classic colors that perform. In addition to their Mineral Mascara (amazing!!), one of my favorite e.l.f. products is their “Tickled Pink” Blush, which is a direct dupe of the iconic NARS “Orgasm” blush. For $3, you can’t go wrong to give this a try and see for yourself.
  3. Simple skincare: available at almost all drugstores, this brand is focused on quality care for sensitive skin. I LOVE their Micellar Water, which gently removes all makeup, dirt, and oil as an essential pre-cleanse step in your nightly routine. This award-winning product rivals some of the most expensive French formulas on the market. I’ve often gone into a Walgreens or Target when traveling to pick up skincare products by Simple, especially if I realized I left an essential at home.
  4. LORAC makeup kits: yes, this prestige brand holds a special place in my heart. It’s founder, Carol Shaw, is an icon in my book. But what I also LOVE about this brand is that they often package their best selling products in kits or gifts at an incredible value! For example, a single LORAC Alter-Ego lip gloss is around $17 each. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I got this amazing Mod Goddess Alter-Ego lip gloss collection from ULTA on sale for less than the $26 sticker price! It’s a beautiful 6 piece set of high-performance lip gloss at a steal (worth $102). If you’ve never tried LORAC’s lip gloss, I highly recommend them – the color payoff is incredible, and the long-wearing formula deeply moisturizes. Makeup kits from prestige brands are a great way to save while shopping your favorites.
  5. L’Oreal mascaras: in truth, L’Oreal is one of the largest beauty companies in the world, and owns a large percentage of many beauty brands on the market. But one of their best performing values is the Voluminous Carbon Black mascara. If you want dramatic, long and full lashes, this is a go-to mascara for less than $10. Extra bonus, you can usually use coupons when purchasing or find a BOGO deal as well! Mascara needs to be changed out every 3 months to avoid eye infections, and there’s really no reason to spend more than you have to!
  6. EOS lip balm: while their classic round spheres are immediately recognized, I prefer the stick version of these awesome lip balms. I bought a few twin packs, as I keep one in my gym bag, desk drawer, night stand, and purse. Packed with organic ingredients and natural butters, they are a much healthier alternative to the petroleum-based lip balms and cost an average of $4 for a twin pack. I freak out if I can’t find my lip balm, so these packs make it easy to stock up and keep in convenient places.
  7. TRESemmé shampoo and hairspray: oh, how I love TRESemmé! One of my former coworkers once commented that she wished to be able to afford “fancy shampoo” someday. Why? There’s TRESemmé! I use their Extra Firm Control hairspray daily, and I’ll switch back and forth at times between their shampoos and other brands. They recently launched the Repair & Protect 7 shampoo, which is fantastic for color and chemically-treated or heat-styled hair. Shampoo goes down the drain, literally. So, I’m much more apt to switch up shampoos when needed, based on how much I want to spend. If your hair needs some serious repair, while maintaining color, give this one a try!
  8. Dove Sensitive Skin soap: this truly is a family-friendly, daily beauty product, and can be used from head to toe. It’s also incredibly budget conscious, and you can buy it in bulk at Costco, or multi-packs at Target. There are no synthetic fragrances to irritate sensitive skin, and it keeps skin healthy by cleansing without stripping moisture. Plus, it makes a really great shaving lather for legs!
  9. SheaMoisture skincare, hair and body care: this brand is fantastic! Not only for it’s social consciousness, but also it’s variety of quality, high-performing natural products. This brand is available at both ULTA and drugstores, and offers great solutions for beauty challenges, such as problem skin, dry hair, and anti-aging. If you want to take better care of your skin this year, and perform home facials more often, I suggest their African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask. Priced around $15 for a generously-sized jar, this mask deeply cleanses, soothes, brightens and unclogs skin, while being safe for those with sensitivities. Tip: Once a week in the morning, smooth this on your face, and then jump in the shower. The steam activates the charcoal in the mask, and allows it to work even better. As you wash your hair and body in the shower, let the mask sit for a few minutes to get spa-quality facial in a few minutes! Rinse and finish your shower as usual.

As you use up products in your daily routines, and want to cut back on costs, think about where you may be able to save while still maintaining your personal style and quality. Plus, all of the brands I mention above are raved about by beauty editors and magazines alike – the proof is in their performance, and you’ll see a savings!

© 2018 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Concealers – why I use 2 full-coverage formulas at the same time

Changing your makeup based on the seasons is a great habit to get in to, as it allows your skin to look more natural based on the climate. Now that summer is over, I can see the effect the sun has had on my skin and what I need to adjust in my daily makeup routine to cover more effectively. No matter how much sunscreen I use, there always seems to be a bit of discoloration on my skin after the sailing season is over. There’s a ton of emphasis from the beauty world put on foundation, and selecting the right one for your skin type and desired finish. This is for good reason; foundation creates your base canvas for any look. But what about the beauty concerns that foundation cannot correct on it’s own? Dark circles or spots. Acne scars or breakouts. Red patches or blotchiness? Well, meet your new best friend to pinpoint and attack these challenges – the concealer. Using the right formulas, and the right color combinations, can be game-changing even for your everyday looks. However, concealer is often an overlooked and misunderstood product – many people are confused on how to incorporate concealer into their daily routine (does it go on top of, or underneath, my foundation?) and why not all concealers are created equal (wand, pot, tubes, etc). Like red lipstick or black liquid eyeliner, the words “full-coverage” can strike fear into those trying to select a concealer. They fear that it will look cakey, or be difficult to blend in. But in these modern times of beauty innovation, there’s a great selection to choose from. Let’s chat about 2 concealers that are full coverage, and that I’ve been using daily for the past couple of months to achieve the look I want.

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Let’s start with LORAC’s POREfection Concealer – I’m shade PC1 (pictured above). This concealer is oil-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free, so it’s virtually perfect for any hyper-reactive sensitive skin. Being oil-free, this is incredibly long-lasting and helps to create a soft satin finish on the skin all day. It also contains a blend of antioxidants to help brighten and care for skin, yet works to fully cover uneven tone, dark circles and spots. I use this within my cheek area, as I have uneven skin tone and dark spots, and it completely covers them. Caution: you only need a teeny bit to cover your concerns – I start with a small dot on the back of my hand, and apply with my fingers. This helps spread the formula, as I’ll then blend in with foundation brush. But we’ll talk about application tips in a minute. I really like the tube packaging, as you can control the amount of concealer being dispensed, and it keeps the rest of the product hygienic.

My next choice is NYX’s Full Coverage concealer in yellow (pictured below). What?? Yellow? Yes. As a person who suffers from red spots almost everyday, yellow concealer is a MUST in my makeup bag. Yellow counteracts redness, and also doubles as a brightening effect – I use this for any red spots and blemishes, as well as my eyelids and under-eye area to highlight and brighten up skin tone. The jar packaging is great, as you can pick up just the amount of product you want on a concealer brush. I clean my brushes everyday, so this keeps the product free from bacteria. This formula is creamy, but does contain microcrystalline wax and paraffin to give it more of a paste consistency. The yellow shade is meant for spot-application, so the paste consistency helps for staying power and building coverage as you want. There are fantastic You-Tube videos out there about color correction, which dive much deeper into that topic and all of the related shades (such as green, lavender and orange). For now, I’ll just focus on yellow concealer and why I love using it in my normal routine.

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Now that you know what I use, let’s talk about why I use them based on my needs. When starting out with my makeup for the day, here’s my routine:

  • Apply liquid foundation first with my foundation brush, and focus just on the larger areas of my face: forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. I blend down into the neckline, and apply just enough to even my skin tone out. Note – I can still see areas needing some correction at this initial stage.
  • Using a flat concealer brush, I’ll pick up a bit of NYX’s yellow concealer from the jar and dot under my eyes, over my eyelids, and around the edges of my nose. I’ll blend in with the concealer brush and use my skin’s warmth to spread evenly. This instantly brightens dark areas, conceals any redness, and highlights while blending into the edges of my foundation. I also use a bit under the arch in my brow bone to give the illusion of height and create definition. This is also a very concentrated formula, so a little bit goes a long way.
  • Next, I’ll squeeze a small dot of my LORAC POREfection concealer on the back of my left hand, and use my right-hand ring finger to gently apply dots of this concealer to wider areas of concern (like my cheeks) that have uneven skin tone. I’ll blend this in with my foundation brush.
  • Lastly, I’ll use my concealer brush to tackle any remaining red spots with a bit of the NYX yellow concealer, blending in with the foundation underneath.

Even though this sounds like a lot of work, it takes me only a few minutes to complete. I do recommend practicing to get a method of blending and combination of formulas that works best for you. A full-coverage foundation does its job in evening out the skin tone, but it’s really the task of good concealers to camouflage any imperfections. Yellow can seem intimidating, but I think you’ll be surprised how easy it is to work into your routine once you get the hang of it – it brightens skin immediately, and highlights without adding shimmer. The eye area can especially benefit from the brightening effect of a yellow concealer, as it counteracts dark circles and calms down any redness on eyelids. You can also blend concealers to get just the right shade you are looking for – I’ve known of plenty of makeup artists that have several concealer shades, and use the back of their hand as a blending tray – this uses the warmth of the skin to mix different formulas easily. They can then use the concealer shades to contour, highlight or sculpt the face as they want. Wand concealers can be tricky to use, as I find that it’s harder to control the amount they dispense. By putting a used wand back into the product it can breed bacteria, which may also cause breakouts.

In my years of talking about beauty, there is one concern that lighter-skinned or redheaded people are often frustrated with: freckles. And especially how full-coverage foundations and concealers may look a bit “fake” when trying to cover up a full-face of them. If you want your freckles to still show, I recommend using tinted moisturizers instead of foundation, as full-coverage formulas can be very noticeable in trying to “hide” freckles if not applied correctly. I do still recommend using a full-coverage concealer for targeted areas after a tinted moisturizer – you can control opacity and coverage with adding a bit of moisturizer as needed to your concealer, and then blending just the imperfections away properly so that they do not interfere with freckles. A dusting of powder is a great way to set a tinted moisturizer and also give a softening effect for the overall finish. The biggest technique for people with freckles is to master is blending down the neck, as it looks more natural overall with application. If you are trying to combat freckles or uneven skin tone overall, then I do suggest looking at skincare products like First Aid Beauty’s Facial Radiance Pads or similar glycolic / AHA serums that helps to fade discoloration over time.

A final benefit of these full-coverage formulas is that these are long-lasting formulas, and you get your money’s worth. And they are easy additions that you can experiment with – sometimes it’s the little changes that you make that have a big impact on results.

© 2017 28daysbeauty

My favorite picks for National Lipstick Day 2017!

I absolutely adore lipstick. In fact, it's the first makeup product that I can remember trying as a kid, when I got into my mom's Color Me Beautiful stash in the lower drawer of our bathroom vanity. The transformation that lipstick has is amazing, and even though lip gloss is awesome, I always will have preference for using a great lipstick. Case in point, here are two brands that over the past couple of years have always delivered for me – Lipstick Queen and LORAC. Both are great indie brands, which I think makes lipstick even more fun – it's one of the ultimate "rebel" tools a woman has in her arsenal to look as innocent or vampy as she wants. Even within a matter of minutes. My top pick for Lipstick Queen is 'Hello Sailor' – I first reviewed this lipstick last year in September, and I found that I still reached for it constantly. In fact, I bought a new tube of it today, since I realized that I was going through withdrawal after not having it for the past month! What I love most is that the shade flexes on every skin tone to the perfect shade of berry and feels cushiony, like a gloss/lipstick hybrid. I think I reached for this as my most-worn shade in the past year or so, as it always looks good and I can apply it without looking in a mirror.

Up next, I had to treat myself to a new shade for National Lipstick Day, and I immediately thought of LORAC. Their lipsticks are highly pigmented, but skin-caring and comfortable to wear. Plus, I didn't just get one new lipstick, but a kit that features 5 gorgeous shades, from their recent collaboration for 'Beauty & The Beast' – for $36, you get a variety of neutral shades and one vibrant red in their new MOD Cream formula. OMG – ladies, grab this kit before it's gone! I got both of these at ULTA, and they are so worth it.

The shades (clockwise, starting from the top) are: Red Rose, Savoir Faire, True Beauty, Tres Chic, and Belle-ieve. Red Rose is a perfect, neutral red, while True Beauty is a beautifully pale pink. But it doesn't look chalky or too washed out. The Tres Chic is also an awesome throw-back to the 90's brown lipstick trend. The MOD Cream formula is also a more satin finish than LORAC's Alter Ego formula, which I feel is easier to wear than matte finishes. I love that there isn't much shimmer at all, just a lovely, smooth formula that is comfortable to wear. I usually carry a lighter neutral and a bright shade with me in my bag, and I'm so excited to have these for the next several months.

If you don't normally wear lipstick, it may be fun time to try out a kit – it gives you variety to experiment with, and also determine what comfort zone you have with shade ranges. And if you don't wear makeup regularly, lipstick is one of the easiest products to use and feel a bit more polished.

Enjoy National Lipstick Day!

© 28daysbeauty 2017

Beauty Tip: New Year’s Eve go-to lip color

Now that the holidays are over, the next big event is New Year’s Eve! Even if you don’t have big plans, it’s a great time to take inventory on things you want to change, improve or do differently in life. While some of you may laugh at this, there’s actually a very easy way to give yourself a little emotional or confidence boost, and that’s by changing up your lipstick or lipgloss color. There’s a phenomenon known as the “lipstick effect”, and it’s basically when times get tough, lipstick sales go up. Google it – it’s fascinating to read about how many different times in the ups and downs of this country there’s been peaks of lipstick sales! So, as you do some soul searching on things you want to do in 2017, have a little fun and change up your look with a fresh color to make a new start. Some of the smallest changes can have a large effect, and boost one’s outlook.

One of my favorites, especially for this time of the year, is switching to a rich berry lip color shade. It complements just about every skin tone out there, and is much easier to wear than red. Plus, it makes you look really polished yet natural, and a bit sassy, even if you aren’t wearing much makeup at all. Berry lip color can take you from day to night easily! Here’s some of my go-to brands and picks for that perfect berry shade:

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Clockwise, from top:

  1. LORAC’s Alter Ego Lip Gloss in Dominatrix – simply put, this is just a really kickass formula and color! The lipgloss has just the right amount of pigment to cover like a lipstick, but keeps lips hydrated and shines for hours. While I know the intense color in the tube may look a little scary, it’s beautiful on even the lightest skin tones. This trends on the cooler shade range, but is really wearable on most.
  2. butterLONDON’s Plush Rush Lipstick in FAB – this is a beautiful combo of deep rose and berry, and has a more matte finish, but keeps lips moisturized and is long-wearing. butterLONDON’s lipstick is probably one of my favorite little splurges and has a hint of mint in the formula. This shade trends more to the warmer side, but again, looks fantastic on most skin tones. This is definitely a more sophisticated shade, but looks great dressed up or down.
  3. PUR Cosmetics’s Lip Gloss Stick in Rum Raisin – The sheerest of the 3 formulas featured, this lip gloss is in a super-handy crayon style for quick and easy application. PUR’s gloss is never sticky, and gives a beautiful wash of a neutral berry color, and gives a soft, moisturizing glossy sheen on the lips – with zero glitter! LOVE to wear this shade daily in winter, but it’s just a great for a night out or date night!

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Not pictured, but also highly recommended, are Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (one of the first-ever lipstick+gloss hybrids!) and Lipstick Queen’s Hello Sailor. Both of these formulas offer a neutral berry shade, with a glossy sheen that hydrates lips.

As I’m writing this blog, listening to “Ladies & Gentlemen, the best of George Michael”, I agree that 2016 has been one of the most challenging years that I can remember, along with many heartbreaking and shocking moments. But I’m looking forward to starting anew next year. For those who read this, I’m hoping that you had a wonderful holiday season, and enjoy making some small changes that lead to bigger, positive impact. Cheers to the New Year!

©2016 28daysbeauty

Beauty Topic: Strobing in Fall? Yes.

This past Spring and Summer brought on a slew of new highlighting and contouring products to the market. And there as also a new word in our vocabulary, “strobing”. This is basically applying highlighter, and forgoing the contouring balance effect. And the result is beautiful and great for any age or skin tone. 


If you purchased a highlighter this past summer, don’t think that you cannot use it even though Fall’s makeup colors trend darker. In fact, strobing is a great means to keep a brighter complexion, and soften up features to give darker berry lip colors a perfect complement. Here’s a few products that I tried over Summer that I love, and that I’ll keep using until next Spring! 


From the top left, clockwise:

1) PUR’s Sunkissed Glow highlighting palette features cream-to-powder formulas that range from a light carmel to champagne. These 3 shades blend together easily, and I like applying them with my foundation brush to blend. I’ve used them as a highlighting eyeshadow as well, and they can sub in for blush or light contouring too.

2) LORAC’s Light Source Illuminating Highlighter in Twilight is a beautiful neutral champagne. The powder is silky, and a little goes a very long way. Makes a fantastic eyeshadow substitute, and creates an overall glow. 

3) Julep Skip the Brush cream-to-powder blush stick is actually a fantastic highlighter in the shade “sheer glow”. And it does just that – this a super versatile product in one convenient package. I love it for travel, or if you want a quick and easy means to try highlighting. 

So, what are some tips for quick and easy highlighting? After foundation is set,  think of only applying the highlighter to the areas of the face that are “high-points” or that would normally catch light. I.e: brow bone, forehead, tops of cheeks, bridge of nose, and tip of chin. Apply just a bit, and blend well. The goal isn’t to make the skin look “shiny”, but rather have a soft glow. This also lessens the appearance of fine lines, and conceals uneven skin tone. Apply blush after, as needed to warm up the complexion. In the darker months of November through February, these effect is really pretty if you go out for dinner or drinks – the sheer sheen will catch the light and play up your natural features.

Plus, all of these products I mention above are great for sensitive skin, and don’t give a glittery, disco-ball effect. I wear a highlighter every day, and I can tell the difference in my appearance when I don’t. Strobe on, lovelies, strobe on. 

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