I love trying new highlighters. I’ve wanted to try one of the Anastasia Beverly Hills glow kits for a while. I bought the Aurora Glow Kit a few months ago after swatching the unique shades in Sephora. This diverse range of shades was surprisingly easy to incorporate into my daily makeup collection. Each shade adds an iridescent hue to the eyes, cheekbones, or lips.
The bright purple and silver packaging is beautiful. The reflective surface bounces off light and creates a multi-colored reflect. Each highlight is pressed into a pan. The pan itself is nestled into a sturdy cardboard. The package is lightweight and easy to travel with.
This glow kit contains 6 shades:
- Eclipse – Champagne pearl with peach shimmer
- Luna – Pearl with a bright, icy shimmer
- Spectra – Lilac with a blue-green shimmer
- Helia – Yellow-gold shimmer
- Orion – Bright blue with a silver shimmer
- Lyra – Orange-gold with champagne shimmer
How to wear it?
To apply the shades, sweep them onto the skin with your favourite brush or your fingertips. This palette is incredibly versatile. Each shade may be worn separately or layered together. I use this palette to mainly highlight my cheekbones and tip of my nose. I have also used it as a sparkly eyeshadow and lipstick.
I adore the buttery, versatile pigments in this palette. If you like brighter highlight shades, this is a great palette to try! The Aurora Glow Kit retails for $40 at Sephora.
Dry shampoo is a game-changer on mornings when washing your hair is not an option. Using dry shampoo absorbs excess oil, but there are also ways to use it to increase body and volume in your hair.
1. Spray the shampoo into specific areas of your hair
The best area of hair to use dry shampoo is the roots. Part your hair to one side, spray the shampoo about 10 inches from your scalp and repeat with the other side. Applying dry shampoo to the scalp will absorb the most oil from your hair.
2. Refresh your hairspray
Do you hate the sticky weight of hairspray? Spritz dry shampoo into your hair before hairspray to give your strands some grip. This trick will give your hair grip.
3. Add natural volume
Applying dry shampoo to damp hair adds extra volume. This will work best when your hair is almost dry. Simply spray shampoo along the length and ends of hair to add volume and lift.
The holiday season is a perfect time to experiment with bright, bold and glittery makeup. This year I plan to incorporate reds, glitter, and champagne colors into my makeup palette. I recently created one of my favorite looks for this blog post. I’ll share the steps I used to create it below!
I prepped my skin with Smashbox Photo Finish Primer to create a smooth canvas. For my foundation, I applied Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation to my entire face. I used the shade Warm Ivory. I covered any blemishes on my skin with concealer. For this look, I used NARS Cosmetics Radiant Creamy Concealer in the shade Chantilly. This concealer provides full coverage with a small amount of product. I finish my face makeup with blush and highlight. I applied the shades Sugar and Rose from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Pink Passion Blush Trio to my cheeks. Finally, I apply a highlight shade. For this look I used Luna from the Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora Glow Kit.
I used a light concealer to prep my eyes for eyeshadow. To create this cranberry eyeshadow, I selected shades from the Hua Beauty Desert Dusk Palette. This palette features a combination of glitter and warm-toned shadows. I applied the following shadows to create this look:
- Musk – Base shadow applied to entire lid
- Saffron + Oud – Shadows applied to crease
- Concealer – Applied to entire lid to prep for glitter shadow
- Cosmo – Pure glitter applied to entire lid
To complete my eye makeup, I applied Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara.
I paired my cranberry-inspired eyeshadow with a deep, matte red lipstick. The lipstick I selected for this look is MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in the shade Diva.
I bought a new eyeshadow brush set a few months ago and wanted to test the brushes for a while before reviewing the set. The set I bought contains 4 lightweight, multipurpose brushes.
The brushes are packaged in a standard clear plastic box. The packaging of this product is unremarkable, but I do like how sleek and travel-friendly each brush is. The brushes have slim, matte handles in various shades of pink.
What is it?
This brush set contains four brushes to apply eyeshadow and eyeliner:
- Crease brush
- All-over shadow brush
- Smudge brush
- Liner brush
The quality of this brush set is surprising, given the small size of each brush. The bristles are soft, pliable and smooth on the eyelid. Each brush is small, but the size makes them ideal for precisely applying and blending eyeshadow.
Tips for using each brush
I typically use each brush for a specific type of eye makeup. The liner brush has a flat, slanted tip to apply eyeliner. I use the fluffier smudge brush to blend shadow into my lid and crease. I mainly use the all-over shadow brush to apply shades to my lid and brow bone. The smudge brush is ideal for layering darker shadows on the outer corner of my eye.
Sephora Collection Eye Brush sets are perfect if you are looking for brushes that are smaller, light and easy to use. The 4-piece set retails for $20 at Sephora.
Are you an avid coffee drinker? I often stay true to one type of brew, but enjoy changing how I take my morning coffee. Here are three ways you can upgrade your standard cup of coffee:
1. Heat your milk
If you enjoy milk and sugar in your coffee, heating the milk will kick it up a notch. Heat your milk before adding it to your cup to keep the coffee cold and add froth.
2. Reduce bitterness with a pinch of salt
Sprinkle a pinch of salt into your coffee to reduce the bitter taste. The sodium in the salt counteracts with the coffee and levels out the taste.
3. Create coffee ice cubes for the perfect iced brew
Adding coffee ice cubes to your iced coffee prevents the flavour from becoming watered-down. Freeze coffee into ice cube trays then add it into a cup when ready to enjoy.
What tips do you use to upgrade your coffee?
With the holidays approaching, I am spending more time completing my Christmas shopping. I developed the idea for this post while browsing my local Winners-HomeSense store for gift ideas. I often spend a lot of time thinking about what to buy for stocking stuffers. To help both you and I find the perfect stocking stuffer idea, keep reading!
1. Bath and Body Products
Bath and Body Works offers a great selection of hand cream, bath fizzies, and body lotion to include in any stocking. Most of the smaller items sold are under $15. I love including Christmas-scented products with my gifts and return to the store yearly to select peppermint, candy apple, and nutmeg scented products.
2. Home Decor + Kitchen Items
Stores like Winners-HomeSense offer a wide, unique variety of home decor items. If you have a baker in your life, you’ll find everything from colorful mixing attachments to miniature baking trays at Winners. The store offers a variety of home decor items from cozy blankets to candles.
1. New Gloves
New gloves will not only keep his hands warm, but a pair like the Apex e-Tip are compatible with touchscreens! Even if the special guy in your life is not a glove wearer, a slim, text-friendly pair is a functional, and fashionable gift.
2. USB Car Charger
A car-powered USB charger is a perfect gift for a guy who is always on the move. He can charge multiple devices, and he’ll never have to wonder if he really left his charger at your house again.
What are you top ideas for a stocking stuffer?
I enjoy using face masks 1-2 times per week to supplement my skin care routine. GlamGlow’s Super Mud Clearing Treatment is a mask that is fully effective for clearing my pores and minimizing breakouts. I initially received a sample of the product, but later returned to Sephora for a larger container.
This mask comes in a starry, white and silver jar. The reflective surface is fun and aesthetically-pleasing. It features the GlamGlow logo and a description of the jar’s contents.
I love how this mask works! When first applied to the face, it is sticky and retains the texture of a charcoal mask. As it dries, the texture changes to a clay. It does not fully transform into a clay texture – any black patches that remain are areas where the mask works to clear excess oil!
How to use it
I gently clean my skin before I apply the mask. I apply it to moist skin and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. An important thing to note about this mask is that if you have sensitive skin, your skin may appear quite red after the mask is initially rinsed. My skin appeared red and blotchy for a few moments after I rinsed the mask, but it quickly calmed to leave my skin soft and clear!
GlamGlow’s SuperMud Clearing Treatment is a great product if you’re looking for a mask to clear and soothe acne. I incorporated it into my weekly routine about 1-2 months ago and noticed results within the first week of use.
This mask retails for $69 at Sephora. It is also available in a travel-sized container for $24.
I adore makeup wipes, I truly do. I use them every night to remove my makeup but I’ve never considered how my skin would react if I use them to cleanse. This challenge emerged from pure tiredness – toward the end of this semester I just felt too exhausted to engage in my usual skin care routine. Here’s what happened:
I tucked my beloved face cleansers away on Sunday night and armed myself with a package of Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes from my local Costco. I dreaded the idea of using just a wipe to cleanse my entire face. After the first night, I noticed a difference in my skin.
I woke on the first day and cleansed my face with water and a moist wipe. It felt soft and clean on my skin – the soft feeling is something I often miss with my regular face mask. I did not have high hopes for this challenge. While my skin felt softer, it didn’t feel like the product was doing anything.
Despite my hesitation the night before, my skin appeared soft and radiant the next morning. I noticed that two zits that were forming on my chin the previous week were becoming smaller. My pores looked minimized and my face looked moisturized.
On the third day I noticed better results. The wipes were clearing and cleansing my skin. Not only were my pimples disappearing, but the texture of my skin appeared smoother. The level of moisture in my skin increased which gave my skin a soft, plump look. My t-zone usually flares up with acne, but it remained smooth and pimple-free on the third day. Overall, the wipes helped my skin.
What products do you use to cleanse your skin?
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette is a dream for lipstick lovers. I bought this palette after searching a specific red lipstick that I envisioned, but could not find in an actual lipstick. This 18-well palette contains a mixture of primary and secondary colors to create your own lip colors.
The packaging is simple and clean. The palette itself features wells that each of the lip colors lay in. It is encased in hard plastic with a transparent cover. A bonus of this palette is that it includes a spatula/brush combination to apply lip color. The palette also includes a metallic plate to mix colors onto.
What is it?
This product is a palette that contains a combination of 18 lip colors. It contains 6 primary shades and 12 secondary shades. Each primary shade serves a specific function when mixing it to other shades in the palette:
- Primary 1 (White) – Add to lip color to lighten and enhance the lips
- Primary 2 (Black) – Add to lip color to deepen and contour the lips
- Primary 3 (Red) – Add to lip color to warm the shade
- Primary 4 (Yellow) – Add to neutralize berry shades or to warm pink shades
- Primary 5 (Blue) – Add to lip color to cool peachy or coral shades
Outside of those primary colors, the palette contains a selection of secondary colours. These shades are not named, but instead, numbered:
- #1: Peachy-pink
- #2: Red oak brown
- #3: Burnt orange
- #4: Sandy brown
- #5: Muted berry
- #6: Mahogany brown
- #7: Vibrant coral with red undertones
- #8: Warm brown
- #9: Bright purple
- #10: Deep berry
- #11: Tan
- #12: Bright pink
- #13: Blackened berry
Here are three looks I created using the lip palette:
Each lipstick has a creamy texture with a satin finish. They settle into a semi-matte finish once dried onto the lips but are not overly drying. The shades are pigmented and easy to work with. Because of the semi-matte texture, lip color will not be transfer-proof. This is a great product to add into your collection if love lipstick and wish to create a variety of colors. However, this product is not easy to transport, making mid-day touchups difficult. Overall, it is the perfect palette to use as a creative outlet for lipstick!
The Anastasia Beverly Hills lip palette retails for $62 at Sephora.