Happy official start of summer everyone! I’ve taken a few months off to focus on work and volunteering, but all during this time I’ve been testing some new products. And as we’ve progressed through the first half of the year, have you stuck to your resolutions? One of mine is to be a more conscientious consumer in all aspects of my daily life. Not only in beauty and personal care, but my overall consumer habits in general. That being said, I’ve done more homework, looked into brand stories and business practices, and taken a deeper look into what the companies that make their products actually stand for. As a consumer, you speak with your wallet and the purchasing decisions that you make – even the smallest tweaks in your spending can be powerful. Coming from a long career in retail and e-commerce, I have firsthand experience in seeing how consumers can make, or break, a brand.
Think about brands who have been disruptive to the retail industry (i.e. TOMS, Warby Parker), and turned the notion of social responsibility into sound business practices that give back to those in need. That brings me to this review of Thrive Causemetics – since I’d reviewed a few of their products way back in March 2017, I’ve remained impressed with their innovation and expanding product line-up while advocating for women’s health. I decided to treat myself and bought a full-face worth of makeup, and have been using the products over the last several months – sometimes all at once, or often interspersed with other brands’ products. Happily, I’ve found that as the weather has been heating up, these make perfect choices for summer beauty. Let’s take a deeper dive and explore what I bought!
Clockwise from the top:
Glossy Lip Hydrating Serum: In the shade “JoAnn”, a berry/plum/mauve, this feels and looks awesome! True color payoff while adding shine and hydration, it’s a perfect combination. In fact, I feel like this gives my fave lip colors (Clinique’s Different Lipstick in “Sugared Grapefruit” and LORAC’s Alter Ego Lipgloss in “Duchess”) a huge run for their money in daily use. This formula packs an antioxidant blend, along with anti-aging Vitamins E and B5, plus Sodium Hyaluronate to hydrate. Hint – I also used this as a blush when traveling, and it gave a beautiful monochromatic look with my lips. LOVE!
Focus Eye Shadow Palette: I got the shade “Palette 3”, which is a combination of four warmer earth shades (see below), and are all matte. These shades were deeply pigmented and all very blendable. The formula also packs antioxidants and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate lids. While I really liked the formula, I realized that I think I’d want to try more cool / neutral shades, like Palette 2. Nonetheless, it’s a great quad eye shadow palette that features true color payoff and easy to wear shades.
Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara: Ok, this is my new FAVORITE mascara. Hands down. The formula, brush, and performance are all fantastic! The shade is a universal deep black, and truly lengthens and thickens lashes almost immediately. But is still a buildable formula! Plus, it doesn’t flake or smudge – I’ve already been sailing this summer while wearing it, and it stayed put. Woot! Totally in love with this stuff, and it’s worth the more prestige price of $24.
Infinity Waterproof Eyebrow Liner: The shade “Christina” (Light – Dark Blonde) is perfect for my coloring, easily blends, and the micro-point pencil makes application go on smoothly and accurately. The pencil has a spoolie brush on the other end, which is perfect for blending and grooming. I really like that even though this is a long-wearing, waterproof formula, it is easy to remove at the end of the day.
Buildable Blur CC Cream and Blend + Blur Sponge: Last, but not least, these two hero products are amazing for summer! The CC cream gives even coverage, while protecting with SPF 35. The formula contains a blend of Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Octinoxate and Octisalate sunscreens, which provides a broad spectrum defense against UV damage, yet is gentle for sensitive skin. The Color-Correcting cream also contains Vitamin C to help brighten skin, and micro-pigments that “blur” the skin to cover fine lines, uneven tone and pores. The best defense against aging is wearing SPF every day, and this product makes it especially easy by combining powerful skin-friendly ingredients into a simple easy-to-use step. Use the Blend + Blur Sponge to apply the cream to skin and achieve a flawless finish. Always dampen the sponge to properly distribute the CC cream. Pump the CC cream on the back of your opposite hand (to warm up the product), and dip in the point end of the sponge to then apply the cream in sections around your face. Dot, build, and blend as needed! Make sure to wash the sponge and let fully dry before using again.
Even if you aren’t a pro at makeup, Thrive Causemetics truly makes application easier through their thoughtful packaging and impressive formulas. I typically don’t justify a higher price-point on makeup unless I think the performance and payoff is worth it – these are absolutely worth it. And if you are looking to simplify your routine for summer, I recommend this full-face combination to achieve a simple, yet polished, look for everyday wear.
These are fast becoming my new favorites and I can’t wait to try more products from Thrive Causemetics – especially as my purchase helps women in need. ♥
Inspired by a recent trip to Target that has renovated it’s beauty department, I decided to grab a few new items from some of my favorite brands and write a 3-part series that I’m lovingly calling “Cheap Thrills”. It’s not a dig at all – it’s meant with the highest praise in the fact that not only are these amazing products, but you can get them at super low prices! Win – win!! Plus, I love that the products I’m providing a review on in this series are all perfect for summer – they are long-wearing, low-maintenance, and can take the heat/humidity that comes along with all-day activities. Let’s get into it!
From left to right, my picks are from e.l.f. Cosmetics’ “Beautifully Bare” collection:
Natural Glow Face Palette in “Fresh & Flawless” – the palette features a champagne highlighter, two blushes, and a bronzer. The shimmer is subtle – not sparkly, which gives the skin a beautiful satin finish. The formula is 100% vegan, and cruelty-free. The powders are silky, very lightweight, and blend easily together. I like using this as a full-face palette – I’ve used the bronzer as a contour shade on my cheeks and eyes, and the highlighter in a c-shape around my cheekbones up to my brow-bones. Powders are great for any skin type in summer – they stay put and help your foundation keep from sliding due to sweat or humidity.
2. Smooth Matte Eyeshadow in “Blushing Rose” – there are several colors that this cream eyeshadow comes in, and “Blushing Rose” is a soft, pretty mauve with a hint of grayish-brown. I apply after foundation and concealer, and prior to any powders – using the doe-foot applicator across the lid, and blend easily with an eye-shadow brush. It locks down to a matte, dry finish, and wears all day. I like layering this as an eye-shadow base before applying powder formulas. I tend to stay away from eyeliner during summer, mostly due to the humidity and sweat-factor, and focus on a bright lip color (more on that in a minute) instead. This is great product to add a bit of polish to an overall easy summer look. Just finish your brows and swipe on mascara, and you’re done!
3. And lastly, Satin Lipstick in “Touch of Berry” – I love, love, love brighter lipsticks for summer. It’s super easy to go simple on the rest of your makeup, and let a bright lipstick take center stage. Plus, in super hot or humid weather, a bright lipstick is much less likely to look messy or runny through the day – just reapply when needed. By using less makeup overall, your look will look instantly refreshed when a new coat of lipstick is applied. This formula is light, hydrating, and softly glossy. This berry color feels like a balm, and looks fantastic on any skin tone.
All in, these 3 products together are under $20 total! I’ve also taken these with me on a few weekend trips – they pack light, and are great with multiple looks. Stay tuned for the next picks, and happy shopping!
It’s been a while since I last blogged! Life got a bit cray-cray, but I’m super happy to have time to relax and blog just before the Memorial Day holiday kicks off. Even though it’s not officially the start of summer, it seems that everyone is finally ready to start living life outside and in the sun this weekend. Naturally, that can pose a few beauty issues that only seasonal weather changes can bring as we start showing more skin. Let’s take a look at a few hot topics and tips below for quick and easy skincare / makeup solutions, just in time for summer:
Avoid sunburnt skin: I’m still a bit shocked with how many people I know don’t take sun care seriously. The amount of data that the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Cancer Society has published on the long-term health effects of improper sun exposure has been widely publicized and distributed. This is not to be taken lightly. Sunburn can create immediate damage to healthy skin cells, and adults need to pay attention for their own (and family’s) health. Over time, prolonged sun damage can cause serious heath problems. If you or your family do experience a sunburn this summer due to fun in the sun, there are a few quick fixes that you should utilize asap to soothe skin:
Take a cool bath or shower asap. Sunburnt skin is not able to easily correct it’s own temperature, and you may need to take cooler showers or baths over several days to reduce swelling or pain.
Add 2 cups of baking soda or ground oats to your cool bath and soak – this is safe for children, and also immediately offers relief of itching or painful skin.
Hydrate and moisturize! Keep drinking cool water, and keep the skin hydrated by apply unscented lotion – this also helps to reduce peeling. TIP: Avoid any products with fragrance – this will irritate the skin even further, and create more redness.
Change up your skincare: If you live in an area that experiences the changes of seasons, then you do need to plan for switching up your skincare accordingly. For summer, I stress using formulas that are gentle and fragrance-free. This includes body lotion – per my first point above, if you get a bad sunburn, the LAST thing you’ll want to put on your skin is a scented lotion. This cleanser and lotion below from CeraVe are two product staples that I keep stocked for my family at all times – if skin is at all irritated from being outside too long, or feeling dry from chlorine, these two products are great at soothing skin quickly. TIP: Add Witch Hazel to your daily AM/PM routine too, as it will naturally soothe and refresh skin each day, plus regulate oily shine.
Use proven formulas to deliver quick results: Restating the importance again of proper skincare also extends to products that can be multi-tasking to prevent and correct issues. These are two products that I actually use year-round, but are even more important coming into the summer months.
CeraVe’s Skin Renewing Cream Serum tackles anti-aging with an all-in-one type of serum. Using encapsulated Retinol and ceramides, this serum not only reduces fine lines and wrinkles, but repairs the skin’s protective moisture barrier. This is crucial to reverse the damaging effects of UV exposure. I love using it at night on my face, neck, chest, shoulders and arms – Retinol lightens discolorations, dark spots, and evens out my skin tone overall for a more uniform appearance. For under $20 a tube, it’s so worth it! TIP: If you get into the daily habit of apply a serum like this, it helps avoid the awkward effect of your facial skin tone not matching your neck, chest or shoulders as you age.
Olay Complete UV365 Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 Sensitive Plus is a lotion I use every single morning, and can be used head-to-toe all summer long. Head to toe?? Yes. Especially if you use a Retinol-based serum or anti-aging skincare (like I mention above), you NEED to use daily sunscreen. Otherwise, you basically cancel out the benefits that your anti-aging products are giving you. I love this lotion because it absorbs quickly, soothes skin, and helps makeup to stay fresh. TIP: This is great to travel with as an all-over daily moisturizer + sunscreen duo. For under $10 a bottle (6oz), you can’t go wrong! (Good skincare does not have to cost a ton)
Use powder makeup to help your look stay-put in humidity: I love liquid foundations, but in hot or humid weather, they can often loosen up easily and slide due to sweat. Here’s two of my favorite powder makeup solutions for summer:
I’ll reach for my favorite powder foundation, PUR’s 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15, to help minimize shine for my combination skin. This mineral makeup contains skin-loving, anti-aging ingredients that balances tone and minimizes fine lines. For best results, use a shorter-bristle powder brush (or “chisel” brush) to apply in small circles. Make sure to blend along the jawline, and on to the neck and chest to help even out skin tone. TIP: Use a large eye shadow brush to dust eyelids BEFORE applying eye shadow or liner. This helps to set a base that absorbs sweat and moisture, and allows eye makeup to last longer.
I love to use Wet n Wild’s MegaGlo Highlighter in Precious Petals: this rose-gold hued pressed powder looks amazing on pretty much every skin tone, and is under $5 for a big compact. I use it for eye shadow, and highlighting the bridge of my nose, brow bones, and cheek bones. TIP: Using a blush brush, apply in circles to your chest, shoulders, upper arms, and down the shins and calves of your legs to create a sexy overall glow during summer. The powder formula adheres to skin, resists sweat, and catches the natural light to give skin a warm, shimmery sheen. I like using this trick more than body bronzer!
A few simple tricks and switching up products can make a huge difference going into warmer weather, and give your skin an added boost to look it’s best!
I’ll admit that I’ve had an obsession with Cargo Cosmetics for quite some time now. Reason being is that they are professional-grade, easy to use, and great multi-taskers. Plus, you definitely get your money’s worth – they are a great value for the performance payoff they provide. Case in point, as the weather heats up, these are some of my favorites from them to keep a fresh, natural-looking face, even in high humidity:
Starting from the left:
– Cargo Water-Resistant Bronzer: this stuff simply rocks. It has a bit of shimmer to reflect light, but doesn’t made you look shiny. Or give a disco-ball effect. I love it for contouring, warming up the skin tone, and also as an eyeshadow when I want a more neutral look. It stays put all day (thanks to the water-resistant formula) and doesn’t give an orange cast to the skin.
– Cargo Oil-Free Colorstick: this can be used as a cream blush and a lip color. My favorite shade is Maui (pictured above). It’s a gorgeous rosey color, and gives a demi matte-like finish. Simply smile, and blend a little bit on to the apples of your cheeks, tapping it in a circular motion with your fingers to blend. I’ll often use it as a lipstick too when traveling – great multi-tasking product that lasts through humidity or long days.
– Cargo Essential Lip Color in Santa Fe shade: hands down one of my favorite neutral lipsticks. If you are going for the natural “no-makeup” makeup look, this one comes in very handy. Love this shade for summer as it keeps lips hydrated but doesn’t get cakey. Plus, it’s one of the few lipsticks I can apply without a mirror – looks natural no matter how fast I put it on (see: running behind in the morning, or between meetings).
Seasonal changes also mean that it’s wise to change up your makeup formulas to match conditions. You’ll definitely notice a difference if you rotate your product formulas to those that combat humidity and sweat – you won’t have to worry about touch-ups or makeup sliding off half-way through the day. Enjoy the patio margaritas a bit longer – you’ll look fabulous doing so!