Everything you’ve wanted to know about a Brazilian wax (but were too nervous to ask)

Let’s get it out of the way right off the bat—yes, it does hurt. But its bearable (and worth it).

LET’S GO TO BRAZIL

I decided on a whim to get a Brazilian wax because, why not? If I’m being honest, my interest in Brazilian waxing was piqued when I saw Carrie Bradshaw do it on Sex and the City back in the early aughts (okay, fine when I finally saw it, it was solidly in the 2010s). I’ve been cooped up at home for a year—it was time to try something new and spontaneous.

If you’re reading this, you likely are considering getting a Brazilian wax for the first time and wondering what to expect. Read on for my first time experience.

WHAT IS A BRAZILIAN WAX?

During a bikini wax, the hair on the sides and top area along the bikini line are removed. During a Brazilian, your entire pubic area is waxed bare (!). A Brazilian wax removes all the hair from your bikini area (top, sides, and front), and those hard-to-reach areas in the back. Let’s think of waxing in terms of the retailer Bed, Bath and Beyond. If a bikini wax is Bed & Bath, a Brazilian is definitely the Beyond. In a Brazilian wax, all hair below the belt is removed. From seam to seam, for lack of a better phrase. However, if you want to leave something I’m sure you can. Just talk to your waxer about what you want and be sure to have clear expectations.

DOES IT HURT?

I’m not going to sugar coat it—it does hurt. Certain areas hurt worse than others. At some points, I would say it was a solid 8. Other times, it was more like a 2 or 3. I’ve been told the first wax is the most painful and they become progressively more tolerable as you go back consistently. I’ll keep you posted when I go back in four weeks.

“Have you had a Brazilian before?” she asked me.

“No, but I’ve had bikini waxes,” I replied.

“Oh, okay. This is…nothing like that,” she joked.

WHAT’S THE PROCESS LIKE?

I’m no waxing virgin. I’ve been waxing my own eyebrows and upper lip for an entire decade. I’ve waxed my own legs, my own armpits and even had the privilege of waxing other people on occasion (I waxed my friends brothers leg in high school, much to his chagrin, and it was some of the most fun I ever had). I had never been to Brazil, though.

I arrived at my waxing appointment and had to fill out some paperwork before we got down to business. My waxer, Carrie, explained the process to me and made sure that I understood what was going to happen and felt prepared. Before she stepped out of the room so I could undress, she handed me a feminine wipe to clean myself off with and a towel to put on my lap before she came back into the room. I appreciated the 60 seconds of modesty before she examined every inch of my anatomy LOL.

Full disclosure: if you’re a super modest person or embarrass easily, this probably is not gonna be your thing. Within 10 minutes of meeting Carrie I was laying on my back with my knees to my chest so she could wax my butthole. So yeah, things escalated pretty quickly. I was probably most nervous about waxing the back, since having hot wax applied to my a-hole seemed like it would be excruciatingly painful, but somehow…it wasn’t? As soon as I knew it wasn’t painful, my concern immediately switched to the amount of wax that seemed to be pooling between my buttcheeks. “Can your ass accidentally get waxed together?” I wondered to myself. The answer could possibly be yes, but thankfully I didn’t find out that day.

I transitioned to butterfly position (laying on my back with the soles of my feet touching each other) and Carrie slowly worked her way to the front (top?), applying wax in sections, letting it dry, holding the skin taut and then pulling it off. The wax pulls the hair out by the root. She actually showed me some of the strips and I was both amazed and horrified to see all the little white bulbs that form the base of the follicle. No wonder it hurt so much.

The most painful areas for me were the lips and the FUPA (I imagine this eloquent piece of writing will win me a Pulitzer one day). There were times when it was so painful, I would actually just start laughing. I felt very much like Steve Carrell in 40 Year Old Virgin. Thankfully, if you apply pressure to the area as soon as the wax if pulled off, you feel the sweet, sweet sensation of relief.

Once all the hair has been waxed off, your waxer will likely go back in and tweeze any hairs that were left behind. Some hairs aren’t caught by the wax because if you’re accustomed to shaving, your hairs aren’t all in the same phase of growth. Carrie warned me that some people find this extremely painful and ask to stop, but I honestly barely felt it.

We wrapped up the wax by applying some cortisone cream to calm the skin down and viola! We were all done.

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Carrie said that most people can go 4-6 weeks between waxes, with 5 weeks being the sweet spot. Like most things in life, everyone will be slightly different and the time needed in between waxes will vary from person to person.

HOW TO PREPARE BEFORE AN APPOINTMENT

I honestly did not do a single thing to prepare for my appointment. My friend Andrea advised me to take some ibuprofen about an hour beforehand, which probably would have been smart, but I forgot. The most important thing is to not shave! Your hair should be at least as long as a grain of rice. Too short and the wax won’t be able to grip it, too long and I think it becomes more painful. It’s like Goldie Locks for pubes — it has to be juuust right.

POST-BRAZILIAN AFTER CARE

Immediately following a wax, Carrie told me to avoid hot showers and/or baths, vigorous exercise, tight fitting clothes (like my beloved Align leggings) and sex. She instructed me to make sure that I moisturized the area with normal lotion (something I honestly don’t think I’ve ever done?) and also make sure that I’m regularly exfoliating—but not too soon since the wax itself is exfoliating.

TL;DR

I’m not sure what it says about me that when I wanted to try something new, my brain went to a Brazilian wax. It was painful and a little bit awkward, but the results are worth it. I will definitely be doing it again! Do you get waxed? I’d love to hear your experience!

Is Dossier Perfume legit? I tried it to find out.

If you use social media, chances are you’ve seen ads for Dossier Perfume. The brand makes fragrance affordable by creating dupes of expensive designer scents in vegan, cruelty free formulas without the costly mark-up. The brand has some seriously lofty claims (I mean, a Le Labo dupe for $29?!) but does it live up to the hype? I tested it out to we could know for sure.

THE SCIENCE OF SMELL

I love fragrance. In my opinion, there are few compliments greater than being told you smell good. I’m not alone in this. In fact, wanting to smell good or enjoying nice smelling things is more than just vanity — it’s actually neuroscience.

If you (like me!) are curious about how scent works, wonder no more: Your ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, called olfactory sensory neurons, which are found in a small patch of tissue high inside the nose. Olfactory neurons in your nose have evolved some 400 odor receptors and these cells connect directly to the brain. Microscopic molecules released by substances around us—whether it’s coffee brewing or pine trees in a forest—stimulate these receptors. Once the neurons detect the molecules, they send messages to your brain, which identifies the smell. There are more smells in the environment than there are receptors, and any given molecule may stimulate a combination of receptors, creating a unique representation in the brain. These representations are registered by the brain as a particular smell. To organize all this information, your olfactory neurons wire into an “olfactory map” on your brain’s olfactory bulb. Olfactory neurons are one of the few types of neurons that are born throughout your life, and each of the roughly 10,000 such neurons born each day in your nose subsequently wires into the olfactory map in your brain.

How much does the nose know? Well, physical attraction itself may literally be based on smell.

CHOOSING A FRAGRANCE

Fragrance is deeply personal, both because smell and memory seem to be closely linked because of the brain’s anatomy—and because fragrance will smell different on each person due to a variety of reasons, ranging from the pH balance of the skin to hormones and even differences in diet.

For that reason, finding a scent that works for you can be difficult. Buying something without trying it makes it even more so. One thing I love about Dossier is that they have risk-free system that allows customers to try perfumes before committing to it. Every bottle comes with a small sample that you can can try and wear, before unsealing the 50ml bottle. If you do decide to return the scent, they offer a standard 30 day return period, in which customers can return any unsealed 50ml Dossier perfume and get a FULL refund, no questions asked. How cool is that?

I’ve been experimenting with fragrance for nearly a decade at this point, and feel like I have a pretty distinct idea of what I like and what I don’t. If you’re just starting to dip your toes into the pool that is perfumery, here are some basic things you should know:

There are four main olfactive families (or basic scent categories) that exist in all fragrances: fresh, floral, spice and woody.

Fresh
Characterized by citrus notes, like lemon and grapefruit, fresh fragrances have refreshing, zesty and vibrant smells. this category can also have aromatic notes, like rosemary, basil or lavender (referred to as aromatic fougère fragrances). Think: your grandma’s clean laundry hanging on a line in the backyard.

Floral
Floral fragrances are one of the most popular and iconic families, and one of the broadest. Any fragrance that has a sweet and flowery scent will belong under this family, using notes such as roses, jasmine, lilies and peonies—think anything romantic and feminine. Floral fragrances can range from being light and delicate, to more complex and intense (like violet and berries).

Oriential

This is one of my favorite categories of fragrance. This scent family is associated with incense, smoke, warm spices and leather. It is very luxurious, rich and sensual often made with interesting notes of cardamom and cinnamon alongside the likes of jasmine, orchid and orange blossom. In addition, fragrances classified as “oriental” can have notes of vanilla, but not the vanilla you’re used to at say, Bath and Body works (aka sugary sweet)—a true vanilla is really earthy, like tobacco.

Woody

Woody fragrances are another warm family (and my other favorite!). With a mysterious and captivating scent that is often considered as more “masculine,” these notes are chock-full of smells associated with nature, like cedar wood, sandalwood, vetiver and amber. Another sexy scent family, it’s a great choice for wearing in the evening. Woody fragrances are split into mossy woods which has an earthy, sweet undertone, and dry woods which often have a smoky, leathery smell to them (think either hot guy or leather bound books).

Give It A College Try
I would recommend testing out 2-3 perfumes at a time. Wear one for a full day, let it marinate on your skin and see what you think. With perfume, you can only really know if you like something by actually wearing it (spraying it on those little strips or sniffing it just won’t do any justice to what the scent will smell like on you). In my opinion, Dossier is great for test driving scents because of their great return policy and because they offer bulk deals on their website— up to 25% discount and free shipping for 3+ bottles.

ABOUT DOSSIER

Like I previously mentioned, I know what I like. With that in mind, I got two perfumes from Dossier, Woody Sandalwood (inspired by Le Labo Santal 33) and Floriental Almond (inspired by Carolina Hererra’s Good Girl). Both smell absolutely amazing and, at a fraction of the cost of regular retail, I feel like you can’t go wrong. The most expensive bottle of Dossier perfume is $49 (the most expensive bottle of perfume I have ever purchased is nearly 3x that).

TL;DR

I have been loving my Dossier perfumes. I put them on every single morning even though I just sit around at home all day. After all, fragrance is deeply personal and I like to smell nice for myself, anyway. 🙂 Would you ever purchase something from Dossier, or have you? Let me know!

An Honest Review of AURIC by Samantha Ravndahl

Most recent makeup launches have been lackluster at best and, as a result, it takes a lot to get me really excited about something. AURIC, the new beauty brand created by YouTuber Samantha Ravndahl actually did that for me—and I say that as someone who isn’t even a big fan of hers. (For the record, I don’t dislike her, I just don’t watch her videos or consume her content on a regular basis.)

For the first launch, AURIC debuted two products: Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer and Smoke Reflect Eyeshadow Duos. Keep reading for my honest review of both.

THE BRAND

As I previously admitted, I don’t watch Samantha Ravndahl’s videos on a regular basis so I’m not super familiar with her. When I very first heard about this brand I kind of rolled my eyes because I felt like “do we really need another influencer coming out with a brand (or a Morphe collaboration parading as a brand?)?” I will happily admit that I was wrong and go ahead and rightfully eat my slice of humble pie.

AURIC is not an influencer brand. It’s a brand created by an influencer and, yes, that’s an important distinction.

You can tell that an immense amount of thought and detail went into the creation of this brand. I personally appreciate that Samantha didn’t just slap her name on something and call it a day. The name AURIC, which means of, relating to, or derived from gold, is an homage to the fact that gold is something that always has values, and according to Samantha, the most valuable things are people.

I also very much appreciate how inclusive the brand is, from the shade range to the marketing campaign—which features both men and women of various skin tones. The one thing I would appreciate seeing in the future would be more diverse body types in marketing campaigns.

THE PACKAGING

When I said that you could tell a lot of thought and effort went into this, I meant it. Not only is the packaging of the actual products gorgeous (I am a sucker for matte black and shiny gold), the unit carton that it comes in is arguably the most beautiful piece of cardboard I have ever seen. It’s a stunning marbled blend of dark green, black, white and gray, with gold veining and embossed with gold letters that spell AURIC.

The packaging of the products themselves is lovely, too. It’s heavy—which is something I expect of a luxury product. The lids to the Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer are very difficult to get off, which I learned, was by design. In the video that she made announcing her brand, Samantha said that she wanted the lids to fit snugly so that they wouldn’t come off in your makeup bag, which I appreciate.

GLOW LUST RADIANT LUMINIZER

This was the product that I was most excited about.  This illuminating cream product can be worn on its own, mixed with a foundation, or used as a liquid highlight. I have used it all three ways and cannot stress enough just how impressive it is. This product comes in an impressive seven shades and also contains skin-loving ingredients like squalane, glycerin, and propanediol.

SHADES

  • MORGANITE: Light cool beige
  • SELENITE: Light warm/neutral beige
  • PYRITE: Medium olive
  • CITRINE: Medium warm
  • GOLDSTONE: Medium/deep warm
  • AXINITE: Deep neutral
  • TOURMALINE: Deep neutral/cool

PRICE

$45 USD

As someone with oily skin, luminous products are typically difficult for me to use. This product exceeded all of my expectations. I got the two fairest shades, Selenite and Morganite. It provides a very natural, lit-from-within glow. I have been mixing it in with my foundation every day for the prettiest, luminous glow. It does not emphasize texture, break up throughout the day, crease around the eyes, or look glittery or shimmery; it’s never sticky or tacky. Just beautiful luminosity. I also add some of this to the high points of my face at the end as a highlighter and looks so beautiful. It builds up so nicely and doesn’t disturb the makeup underneath at all.

If I had to compare this to something, it would be the Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter. Even that isn’t really a fair comparison as this is just so much better. CT is definitely more shimmery, glittery and reflective. This is just so much more natural looking.

I think this product would work well for any skin type or tone. If you’re considering trying this, I honestly can’t say enough good things about it.

SMOKE REFLECT EYESHADOW DUO

AURIC released three cream eyeshadow duos. Each duo comes potted with one creamy matte and one reflective micro-glitter shadow infused with high-shine pearls. According to the brand, you can “create creamy-matte, or metallic-glitter looks with two luxe formulas (in a single gorgeous package).”

SHADES

  • DEFIANCE: Bronze
  • EGO: Silver
  • TEMPER: Rose gold

PRICE

$39 USD

Let me preface this by saying that while I appreciate a good one and done cream eyeshadow (like Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize or Tom Ford), I much prefer to throw a basic bronze shadow in my crease and call it a day.

I really enjoyed the cream portion of these eyeshadows. They are easy to apply (you can use your finger or a brush) and they blend our super easily. You have time to play with them before they dry down, but once you do they are set for the day and not going anywhere. As someone with both oily and hooded eyelids, I was super impressed by how well these performed.

Admittedly, I did find the topper portion to be a little more difficult to work with and kind of hit or miss on the shadows. The shade Defiance was great for me, but Temper seemed to be packed more tightly and I had to work harder at getting any pigment out of the pan onto my brush/finger. It did seem a little better on the second and third use. Could just be a fluke thing? That also doesn’t negate the fact that I think these are very high quality, high performing shadows. I would put these up against any high-end shadows any day of the week.

Overall, I really loved these. They are a great one-and-done shadow and are nearly impossible to mess up.

TL;DR

I tried both of the products that AURIC launched and love them both. I have used both products every single day since getting them in the mail and highly recommend them both—however, if you were going to buy ONE product, I would definitely recommend the illuminator over the eyeshadow.

Have you tried any of these products yet or will you? I’m really excited and curious to see what AURIC will be launching next.

January 2021 Favorites

The first month of the new year is over! Now that that’s over, we can hopefully begin processing the collective trauma that we all experienced.

MAC LIP LINER

I haven’t used MAC lip liners in a looong time, but I revisited these in January and was immediately reminded why I loved them so much. My favorites are the shades Whirl and Stripdown. Oldies but goodies!

ANASTASIA BROW FREEZE

I’ve tried just about every brow product on the market (or at least it feels that way.) From the OG Anastasia Pencil, to Dip Brow, Boy Brow and soap brows, I have done the leg work in search of brows that look both fluffy and polished, defined but not overdone. If you like the laminated brow look and want to test it out without having to commit to it (or pay for it!), this is a great place to start. It keeps brows locked in place all day without getting crunchy or adding a weird gray cast to the hair.

SHISEIDO SYNCHRO SKIN SELF-REFRESHING LIQUID FOUNDATION

I bought this because of Katie Jane Hughes and I do not regret it one bit (although I do think I chose a shade that is slightly too light for me). I am obsessed with this foundation. It’s medium coverage (yes, I am using a medium coverage foundation. People do change) and truly feels weightless on your skin. It lasts all day—even under a mask—and looks natural. By the end of the day, my natural oils are coming through, but in a wonderful way. I can’t say enough good things about this foundation and now I need to try the concealer (but in March when #NoBuyFebruary is over).

KOSAS REVEALER SUPER CREAMY + BRIGHTENING CONCEALER AND DAYTIME EYE CREAM

I’ve had this concealer for quite awhile, but kept it stashed away in a drawer because I didn’t love it the first time I used it (calm down, I checked the shelf life and it isn’t expired). As I mentioned above, I’ve kind of shifted away from being such a Full Coverage Queen™ and now prefer a more subtle, natural (natural adjacent?) look. This is a medium coverage, radiant finish concealer. It’s creamy, pigmented and hydrating that visibly brightens but doesn’t leave you looking cakey or overdone. I think that the shade that I got is slightly too yellow for my skin, but I plan on using it up before repurchasing (damn No Buy February).

KOSAS WET OIL LIP GLOSS IN JELLYFISH

Another Kosas product—am I becoming a clean beauty girl? If you’ve been here for awhile, you’ll know that I am a sucker for a good lip gloss. This is a hybrid between a lip treatment and gloss. It’s packed with peptides that visibly plumps and hydrates. It’s not sticky, in fact it feels very moisturizing on the lips. I got the clear color, so can’t speak to the pigmentation but I love how this makes my lips look and feel. Pair this with one of my MAC lip liners and its a match made in heaven.

MAKEUP FOREVER MATTE VELVET SKIN BLURRING POWDER FOUNDATION

This is another KJH recommendation. This has quickly become a Swiss army knife of sorts in my makeup collection. I don’t really use this as a foundation. I use it more as a setting powder, but I really love it for that purpose. My favorite way to use this is on the eyes! I pack this onto my lids before applying eyeshadow because it helps them blend out better. If there are still harsh lines or areas that I want to fix, I tap a fluffy brush into the powder foundation and buff them out. I love this!

NARS SOFT MATTE COMPLETE CONCEALER

Two concealers in one monthly favorite post. I recently shared in my Instagram story that I completely emptied a pot of this stuff, as in there was not a drop left. Because of my penchant for buying copious amounts of makeup, it’s rare that I actually finish something, so this is a big deal. I love this. If you have something that you want to hide, this is the concealer you’re looking for. Acne scars, hyper-pigmentation, dark circles, you name it—this will hide it. I use this every single time I put makeup on. It’s extremely pigmented, so you only need a small amount. It took me about a year to polish off my first jar, but I will never be without this stuff.

BECCA LIGHT GLEAM PRIMER AND TOPPER LIQUID EYESHADOW

If you’re someone who likes a one-and-done eyeshadow, then you’ll love this new product from Becca. It takes all of the guess work out of applying eyeshadow—you literally just use the doe foot applicator to swipe color onto your eyes, top it off with the sparkly side and call it a day. I did find that it creased on me a little bit, but that’s pretty much par for the course with cream eyeshadow and oily eyelids. I was sent this product by Becca and Fohr to test it out, but my review is still honest and in my own words.

TL;DR

Some of these products are new, but most of them I found by shopping my own stash! I mean, when is the last time someone said MAC lip liners were cool? It’s been a minute. What products are you loving right now?

I tried the NYX Shine Loud Liquid Lipstick and & Brow Glue Instant Styler: Are They Worth the Hype?

At the beginning of quarantine, back when we all naively thought we would be spending two weeks at home and then resuming our normal lives, I downloaded Tik Tok. Honestly, it was one of the best decisions that I made in 2020. It quickly became one of my favorite apps to consume content on. Whether it’s hilarious or informative, it keeps me entertained for hours—it has also inspired me to make a purchase or two (or 20). When I saw two new NYX products circulating on the app, I knew I had to try them for myself. Here’s my honest review of the Shine Loud Liquid Lipstick and Brow Glue Instant Styler.

NYX SHINE LOUD LIQUID LIPSTICK

NYX is not the first brand to come out with a lipstick that is “sealed in place” by a glossy top coat and purports to be transfer proof. They did, however, launch theirs at the best time you could possibly launch a transfer proof product: when we all wear masks 24/7. This reminded me a lot of the Younique product that made its rounds a few years ago, which honestly made me not want to try it because I have a deep disdain for all MLM brands. I went ahead and tried it anyway.

The first step is to apply the liquid lipstick and wait 90 seconds before applying the glossy top coat. While you wait, the liquid lipstick dries down. During that process, it becomes insanely sticky. Like, it reminds me of liquid rubber or latex or something. I touched my lips together and thought they might not ever come apart again. It’s intense.

After waiting the full 90 sections, you go in with the glossy top coat. I was impressed by the gloss. It’s not sticky and it’s very shiny — almost wet looking (which I, personally, am a big fan of). The product does what it says it does! Once the top coat is applied, the liquid lipstick isn’t going anywhere. I have currently had it on my lips for over 12 hours and it’s still going strong. It settled into my lip lines a lines and did come off the inside of my lips, leaving me with the faintest hint of butthole lips (I’m sorry to use that terminology, but if you’re familiar with liquid lipstick, you know what I mean!).

Overall, I am really impressed. If you’re tired of your lip products staining or smudging the inside of your masks, this is a great option to pick up.

Overall rating: 10/10

NYX BROW GLUE INSTANT STYLER

If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall that a few weeks ago I made a Reel showing how to use Got2B Glued Spiking Glue on your brows to give you a laminated effect without the commitment or the cost. This product is a great alternative. It’s more money for way less product, but it comes with its own spooly and is a much more appropriate amount of product for two little eyebrows.

I went ahead and filled my brows in like I normally would with my Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil. Then I went in with the NYX product and brushed all the hairs up to create a fuller, fluffier brow. I was a little skeptical, but the product lasted all day and didn’t leave any kind of weird cast or tint to my brows. If you’re wanting to try the fluffy brow trend but don’t want to be bothered to try soap brows (which can be messy and has a bit of a learning curve), don’t want to fork over the money for lamination (which is kind of expensive), or just want to dip your toes in for fun, this is a great product to try out.

Overall rating: 10/10

TL;DR

The new NYX Cosmetics products that I tried, the Shine Loud Liquick Lipstick and the Brow Glue, are both great products. They live up to the claims, perform surprisingly well and, at that price point, can’t be beat. If you’re in the market for some new makeup, I think you’ll enjoy these.

Is the Dyson SuperSonic Hair Dryer Worth The Money?

As a life long beauty connoisseur, I wanted a Dyson SuperSonic hair dryer from the moment that it launched. I watched countless YouTube videos, read reviews and lusted after it for months. Is it worth the money? Does it really make a difference? What is so special about it? I agonized over whether or not it was worth the hefty price tag—because at $400, it’s not a cheap piece of equipment. 

After using it for over a year, I now feel fully qualified to talk about whether or not the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is worth the money. Read on for my thoughts.

BACKGROUND

Dyson is known for the advanced technology they use in their products and, true to form, the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is not your normal, run-of-the-mill hair dryer. According to Dyson, it’s engineered to protect hair from extreme heat damage with intelligent heat control, uses a special v9 digital motor for fastest drying and controlled styling to help increase smoothness by 75%, increase shine by up to 132% and decrease frizz and flyaways by up to 61%.

In layman’s terms, that means that the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer has an ultra powerful airflow that dries your hair faster than usual while also preventing heat damage.

PRODUCTION

When it came to reimaging the hair dryer, Dyson didn’t f*ck around.The brand invested $71 million dollars, hired dozens of new employees (more than 100 engineers worked on this!), and brought on some of the world’s top hairstylists (including Jen Atkin) to help create a blow-dryer that was lighter, quieter, and more efficient than anything on the market.

They didn’t stop there. Tom Crawford, Head of Product Development at Dyson, actually required that all the engineers working on the hair dryer take hair styling classes at a community college because he wanted them to truly understand the science of hair and what goes into styling it.

DESIGN

One of the first things that you’ll notice about the hair dryer is that it looks nothing like the blow dryer you’re currently using—because there’s a hole in the middle of it. The nozzle has been replaced by what looks like a large cylinder, which is the brand’s patented Air Multiplier technology, (i.e. the bladeless fans they put in practically every device they make). 

According to the brand, the dryer works by taking a little air from the bottom and drawing into the motor at the top of the handle, while also pulling a little extra air through the middle and the sides of the cylinder. All that air is then multiplied threefold as it’s pushed out through the center of the ring toward your hair. This results in less air flowing through the product, which means the motor can be smaller (i.e., the dryer can be lighter!), and there is more air flowing out. The silver lining: you’ll never have to worry about your hair getting sucked into the back of the dryer again.

TECHNOLOGY

The device uses what’s called Air Multiplier technology to create a high-pressure, high-velocity stream of air. What helps to make styling more precise is the handful of magnetic attachments included with the Supersonic: It comes with a smoothing nozzle and styling concentrator, which both help focus the airflow, as well as a diffuser for defining curls and waves.

Another advancement: in addition to the four heat settings (and three airflow settings), inside the hair dryer is a tiny little thermometer that measures the air temperature 20 times per second to make sure that the air never gets too hot. How cool is that? This ensures that the integrity of your hair remains intact and you never use too much heat on it—it also ensures t that the device itself never gets too hot (so you won’t burn yourself if/when you change attachments). 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST

The dryer retails for $399, which is insanely expensive. However, that includes things other than just the hair dryer. Regardless of where you purchase the device, it comes with four magnetic attachments so you can adjust quickly and easily. Right now, it also comes with a silicone mat to rest the dryer on, but when I bought mine it came with a nice metal stand. Either way, you’re getting an entire hair drying/styling experience and all the accoutrements, not just the dryer itself (in case you’re looking for a way to justify the expense LOL).

Also, I purchased mine (and the one I got for my mom) from Ulta’s website. I used my Ultamate Rewards Points to buy it (I’m Diamond so I accrue points quickly—and I used the points I got from purchasing mine to buy my moms). I also used Rakuten on the purchase, which means I 6% cash back on it. Win/win!

HOW TO USE IT

This hair dryer might look drastically different than what you’re used to, but it operates exactly the same. On days where I just want to dry my hair and call it a day, I rough dry it or dry it with my Yves Durif vented brush. On days where I plan on styling my hair after drying it, I section it off with my favorite clips, and dry it with a round brush.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Obviously, how much money someone is willing to spend on something is very personal and completely subjective. For me, the dryer was 100% worth it. I wash and style my hair every single day (or I did before COVID). Not only does this dryer dramatically reduce the amount of time that I have to spend on doing my hair, it also reduces the damage that I inflict upon my poor hair by doing it every day. 

I have long hair that takes forever to dry and I’m not exaggerating when I say that this has cut the time I spend blow drying my hair in half. If you have short hair, or hair that doesn’t take long to dry, and that’s your most important consideration when debating this purchase, this might not be the best investment. However, the deciding factor for me, and the reason that I would repurchase this immediately if mine died tomorrow, is because it helps protect the integrity of my hair and keeps it healthy.

Other things that I love about the dryer: it’s insanely light weight. I love that Dyson was somehow able to make a dryer that is way lighter than the Conair dinosaur that I was previously using and also pumps out way more air AND makes next to no noise. I mean, how do they do it? Amazing.

TL;DR

If you’re looking for the Spark Notes of this review, here are my favorite things about the machine: It’s light. It’s quiet. It reduces drying time dramatically. It maintains the integrity of your hair. 

Do you have a Dyson SuperSonic? If so, let me know whether or not you agree with my opinion that it’s worth the investment!

Buy or Bye: Fenty Gloss Bomb Cream Review

Rihanna has done it again. I mean, are we surprised? The woman can do no wrong.

Her eponymous cosmetic brand (in case you didn’t know, her real name is Robyn Fenty) caused a stir in the beauty world when it launched in 2017. From the jump, the brand has consistently pushed the envelope. From launching a foundation range featuring 40 shades (her name powder foundation has 50 shades!) to releasing a broad spectrum sunscreen specifically designed to not look grey deeper skin tones, Rihanna continues to put almost every other makeup company to shame by releasing innovative new products and formulas (and highlighting the gross lack of inclusivity in cosmetics).

Her new lip product, the Gloss Bomb Cream Color Drip Lip Cream, is no exception. (Also, wow. That is a mouthful.) Keep reading for my review:

ROOTS

Since its inception, one of the most popular items from Fenty Beauty has been the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer—a rosy nude tinted lip gloss that delivers a plumping, non-sticky glow that lasts for hours. Initially launched in one shade, Fenty Glow, it’s now available in seven shades ranging from a clear gloss to a rich brown shade.

I saw one woman say that the Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer is chapstick for bad bitches and I don’t disagree. And I’m thrilled that all of us bad bitches now have even more glossy goodness to add to our arsenals LOL.

GLOSS BOMB CREAM COLOR DRIP LIP CREAM

I have the original Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y and I love it. However, my one complaint is that it has shimmer in it. I’m a gloss girl, but not a shimmer girl. When I found out that Fenty was launching a new version of the Gloss Bomb, sans shimmer, I could not wait to get my hands on it.

According to the brand, the new formula is supposed to have “medium-to-full-coverage color and zero shimmer.” It features the same XXL doe foot applicator that we know and love from the OG Gloss Bomb and, not surprisingly, it does not disappoint.

TELL ME MORE

  • Universally-flattering, shimmer-free color, in five creamy shades
  • Buildable full-intensity pigment
  • Brilliant shine
  • Non-sticky feel
  • XXL wand applies in just one swipe
  • Vitamin A to nourish lips
  • Light peach-vanilla scent

SHADES

The new formula comes in five different shades:

Fenty Glow: a universal rose nude
Honey Waffles: honey butter brown
Mauve Wive$: rosy mauve
Cookie Jar: chocolate caramel
Fruit Snackz: berry red

These were designed to look good on all skin tones and they do. I personally think that these shades would look gorgeous and work as nudes on deeper skin tones and I love to see Rihanna catering to an audience that is routinely left out—or at the very least an afterthought and not the intended target market.

Our #1 gloss—now with pure, creamy color and incredible shine. Lips are instantly smoother and more voluminous-looking.

LASTING POWER

If you dont plan on going anywhere, or if this had been released in the Before Times, the lasting power on this is pretty impressive (about 3.5 hours for me—and that includes eating and drinking). If you’re wearing a mask, don’t expect it to hold up for very long because of its glossy nature. That’s not a dig against the formula, that’s really just something to be expected when wearing lip gloss and having cloth rub against it for a prolonged period of time.

RATING

Pigmentation: 9/10
Longevity: 8/10
Application: 10/10
Formula: 10/10
Packaging: 10/10

TL;DR

I love Gloss Bomb Creams. It’s glossy and shiny, but not sticky. It’s pigmented. It goes on smooth. Feels nourishing. I love the gigantic doe foot applicator. I love Fenty Glow, which I anticipated, but was honestly surprised by how much I liked some of the deeper, bolder colors too. If you’re in the market for a new lip gloss, I highly recommend this one.

Best of Beauty 2020

2020 was a crazy year. Despite spending almost 10 months of the year quarantined alone at home, I somehow managed to still shop at Sephora on 58 separate occasions. I am nothing if not consistent, I guess?

Without further ado, here are my favorite makeup products of 2020

PRIMER

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Hydrating Makeup Primer – $42

My skin has changed a little in the past year and I have been dealing with dry skin for the first time in my life. This stuff gives you a really healthy, beautiful glow. Primers can be hit or miss, but this sits well underneath all my other products, and seems to also increase the longevity of my makeup. The other downside is that you’re paying $42 for 1 fluid ounce.

Milk Makeup Hydro Grip Primer – $30

If you want your makeup to last forever, this is the product for you. Apply to clean, dry skin and wait a minute or two before going in with any other makeup products. In that time, the product is activated and actually becomes tacky. Not only does this stuff grip to your makeup all day, but it makes products go on very smoothly. It took me some time to get used to, but I love this stuff.

Tatcha The Liquid Silk Canvas: Featherweight Protective Primer – $52

This a weightless, oil free liquid primer that helps your makeup go on better and last longer. It’s expensive but it lasts a long time, truly works and is great for any skin type.

FOUNDATION

Uoma Beauty Say What?! Foundation – $39

This foundation quickly became one of my favorites because it’s just so good. It has great coverage, a beautiful finish and stays put all day. The shade range is amazing (51 shades!!). Despite the fact that I am a very boring shade of beige, not super pale, not super deep, I have a difficult time finding a foundation that matches my undertone without giving me a stark line of demarkation between my face and neck. This is the best shade match I have found, hands down. Bonus: Uoma Beauty is a black, woman owned business.

Dior Airflash Spray Foundation – $62

I know, I know. This is crazy expensive but I love it. I tried it this year on a whim and it’s so good. I only use it for special occasions though, like trips to the grocery store or maybe an invasive vaginal examine at the gynecologist (the second part is a joke, but leaving the house at all is a special occasion in 2020, let’s be real). I spray it on a brush vs. directly on my face and the finish is just *chefs kiss.*

beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation – $40

GAH, I see this is half off on Sephora’s website which makes me wonder if it’s being discontinued. This is one of my ride or die foundations. The shade range is great, transfer proof, long wearing, great coverage. This won’t let you down—it’s going to look great every time I use it. BRB, stocking up.

CONCEALER

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer – $32

This somehow only has 3 stars on the Sephora website which is absolutely blasphemy. I would die for this concealer. I have used it religiously since I first purchased it and have repurchased it at least four times. Dark circles? We don’t know her!

Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer – $30

If you have anything on your face you want to disappear—blemishes, scars, veins, etc.,—this concealer is a God send. I have lots of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation on my face (like, a lot) and you would never know it because this concealer works wonders. It’s a little too dry for underneath the eyes, but anywhere else on the face it’s amazing. Will cover all your sins. I am never without it.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Face and Under Eye Concealer – $38

I bought this on a whim one of the first times I was back in Sephora post-shelter in place. I spent a ton of money that day because it felt so good to be back inside the store, seeing makeup in person (although not touching or swatching it, since that is a relic of times past). I really enjoy this concealer. It does a good job of hiding dark circles under my eyes but doesn’t crease or look bad. Still comes in second place to my beloved Charlotte Tilbury, though.

POWDER

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder – $45

This is the best product on the market. Mattifies (but not too much), blurs pores, makes you look like you’ve been FaceTuned in real life (but a good amount, not like into oblivion). Throw away all your other powders, this is the only one you’ll need from here on out.

Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Setting Powder – $30

Let’s be honest—this is not as good as the CT powder. Especially for the price per ounce. But I like it for setting my undereye concealer. It’s lightweight, blurring, doesn’t crease. I have used it virtually every time I have worn makeup in 2020 and I have not hit pan yet. However, if you were going to buy one powder buy the Charlotte Tilbury.

BRONZER

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer – $52

I remember the first time I bought this bronzer. I was in college, working at MSU IPF, and I snuck away on my lunch break for my yearly pilgrimage to Sephora for the holiday sale to score some things I otherwise couldn’t afford while they were 20% off. I have continued to repurchase it ever since. I use the shade Luminous Bronze and find that it works best with my skin tone. There are lighter shimmer shades veining through the bronzer that give the skin the prettiest sheen without looking glittery or sparkly.

Tower 28 Beauty – Bronzino Illuminating Bronzer – $20

I talked about my affinity for Tower 28 Beauty way back in the beginning of 2020 and, I have to say, they are probably my favorite brand of the year. This illuminating bronzer is unlike anything I had ever tried. It’s a balm that blends very seamlessly into your skin and provides a very natural sun-kissed sheen. I always set with powder as it does stay a little tacky, but a super innovative product that I reached for time and time again throughout 2020.

Gucci Poudre de Beaute Eclat Soleil Bronzing Powder – $62

I bought this because I really liked the packaging, let’s be real. At $62, thank God the product itself wasn’t bad either. I actually really like this bronzer. The brand claims that the product is designed to “deliver a luminous finish and a natural glow” and it does exactly that.

CONTOUR

Huda Beauty Tantour Contour and Bronzer Cream – $30

I feel like I’ve been using this product for years but in actuality, I purchased this on March 2, 2020. (I checked my Sephora order history, to be sure). I love this product. I use the lighter of the two shades and it gives the perfect cool-toned contour shade without looking muddy. It is insanely pigmented and looks very intense at first, but blends out like a dream. Huda Beauty is very hit or miss for me, but I absolutely love this product.

Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Contour Powder – $44

This matte, powder formula was created Kevyn Aucoin himself—the man, the myth, the legend. It combines brown, red, and gray pigments that work together to recreate natural shading and dimension on the face. The formula mimics the look of natural shadows, is crease-proof, and won’t settle into fine lines or pores. This is one thing that I have to have at my disposal at all times.

HIGHLIGHT

NUDESTIX Nudies All Over Face Color Bronze + Glow – $32

This was arguably my most-used highlighter all year. I thought for sure that if I rubbed this on my face all the product would lift off, but it didn’t. It’s super easy to use, very easy to blend out and gives a really beautiful, natural looking glow to the face. Highly recommend.

BLUSH

MAC Glow Play Blush – $30

The Glow Play blushes came out earlier this year (around summer, I want to say?). These blushes are unlike anything else I have tried. They have a really unique spongy texture, that almost feels like a hybrid between a gel and a powder. They go on beautifully and have a very natural finish with sheer-to-buildable color.

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush – $20

I wrote an entire blog post about Rare Beauty—how I was, at first, entirely uninterested in even trying it and how I was, subsequently, really impressed by the quality and performance of everything I tried. The two products that stood out to me the most were the blushes and the lip products. Coming in at only $20 this is a pretty good deal (all things considered), too.

Tower 28 Beach Please Tinted Lip+Cheek Balm – $20

This is such a great cream blush. I got it in the shade Magic Hour and it’s such a gorgeous sun-kissed rosy nude. It’s buildable, very creamy and blends seamlessly into the skin.

BROWS

Benefit Precisely, My Brow – $24

This is a pretty straightforward, run-of-the-mill eyebrow pencil. They have a good shade range, have a very fine point that makes it easy to draw hairlike strokes and is long-lasting and smudge-proof. The exaggerated cap shape is annoying as it takes up extra space in a travel bag, but who is traveling right now anyway?

Got2Be Glued – $4.99

This is not technically an eyebrow product, but I’ve been using it on my eyebrows all the same. This like soap brows on steroids. Your eyebrow hair isn’t going anywhere with this shit. I am obsessed.

EYESHADOW

Makeup by Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette – $48

The other two palettes that I chose as my 2020 favorites are very specific to my taste because I love a warm, bronze eyeshadow look. This, however, is a palette that I think that every makeup enthusiast could stand to have in their arsenal. It has 12 universal matte shades that can be used to create any look on any skin tone. In fact, Mario said that this was inspired my human skin tones from light to deep. The formula is great, creamy and long lasting with very minimal fallout and amazing blendability.

Natasha Denona Bronze Eyeshadow Palette – $65

I love a good bronze-y eyeshadow palette and I couldn’t resist buying this one when it came out over the summer. I used this almost exclusively for months on end. It has everything you need for a casual everyday look —but can also create some very intense night time looks, too. It’s smaller than most ND palettes, but also around half the price.

Juvias Place The Warrior Eyeshadow Palette – $20

This is honestly one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes that I have ever owned. Juvia’s Place pumps out extremely high quality, high performing products at an insanely low price point. This palette is full of beautiful rich, earthy, warm tones in a variety of finishes ranging from matte to shimmer. I used this throughout 2019 and 2020 and it shows. I finally hit pan on my favorite shade (these pan sizes are enormous, by the way).

LIP LINER

Victoria Beckham Beauty Lip Definer 02 – $26

Posh was my favorite Spice Girl and when I found out that Posh herself had a makeup line I couldn’t not try it out. Her lip looks defined an entire generation, okay? I got this lip definer in #2 which is one of those “my lips but better” shades but every-so-slightly more brown than my actual lip color. These go on so smoothy—absolutely no tugging—and enhance your lips in the most beautiful, delicate way. Amazing pigmentation. I cannot say enough good things about this lip liner.

em cosmetics Soft Blur Velvet Lip Liners – $22

I wrote an entire blog (née love letter) about my unwavering devotion and admiration to and for these lip liners and for good reason. They are so. good. I got two shades—Fawn and Kitten—and both go on smooth, no pulling or tugging, stay put all day (even under a mask!) and it matches my natural lip color. It’s truly everything you could ask for. The formula is definitely creamier than the VB liners. I can’t decide which I prefer.

LIPSTICK

Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint in Cherie – $36

This is arguably the best lip product of 2020. It’s a gorgeous, subtle rosy tint that enhances your natural lip shade and stays put all day long. Seriously. For hours and hours and hours—even with a mask on. It’s a gorgeous and very interesting geleé formula unlike anything else I’ve tried. On top of being beautiful and lovely to wear, it’s made of hyaluronic acid squalane which plump your lips and leave them better than they were before you put it on. 12/10. Well done, Posh.

Rare Beauty Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick – $20

As I wrote in my dedicated blog about Rare Beauty, this lipstick formula kind of blew me away. My liquid lipstick days are long gone and I much prefer wearing lip products that don’t give me insanely dry lips or make my mouth look like a butthole (if you’ve ever worn liquid lipstick, you know exactly what I’m talking about). This dries matte but is not drying in the least. I wore this to dinner with a friend one night and, despite the fact I wore the brightest red known to man, it’s so lightweight that I actually forgot that I had it on. It doesn’t flake off, doesn’t leave you with the dreaded ring and stays on for hours on end.

Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Divinyl – $36

I got the shade Nude Venus and I love it. One of my favorite lipstick purchases of all time, honestly. It’s a light beige color but it deposits just the right amount of pigment. It has an extremely glossy, nearly glassy finish. It’s very sexy, IMO. I keep it in my purse at all times for the day when masks are no longer required and everyone can appreciate my beautiful lips (yes, they are beautiful. And they should be, I paid enough for them LOL).

LIP GLOSS

Tower 28 ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss – $14

Hands down the best lip gloss of the year. I have this lip gloss in nearly every shade that Tower 28 makes. Chill (clear) and Fire (orange) are my favorites, by far. This is never sticky, extremely high shine and actually leaves your lips feeling moisturized. I am so obsessed.

Kosas Wet Oil Lip Gloss – $27

This comes in a close second. It’s an oil, so it truly has some moisturizing properties. I got it in the shade Jellyfish (clear). It also is extremely high shine and never sticky. But it costs twice as much as the Tower 28, so there’s a clear winner here and it isn’t Kosas 😦

LIP TREATMENT

Lucas’ PawPaw Ointment Lip Balm – $8.95

This is the best chapstick on the market, hands down. I use this every single night and every morning when I wake up my lips are so soft and supple. I cannot say enough good things about this and I will never be without it!

TL;DR

2020 was a wild ride. Was spending money on makeup super “responsible” to do? Probably not. But it made me feel momentarily better to try something new, to spend time on myself, doing something that I really love—and that makes it worth it to me. What were your favorite products of 2020?

Sephora Holiday Savings Event: My Purchases & Recommendations

This year has been insane—and this week is no exception. Honestly, I think I would argue that the first seven days of November have felt equally as long as the entire month of March. Anyone else?

If you’re doing some ~stress shopping~ like I have been, or just wanting to take advantage of the annual Sephora Holiday Savings event, here is a list of things that I bought or recommend.

The sale runs through Monday, 11/9, and you can use the code HOLIDAYFUN to save between 10-20% depending on what tier you are.

BIG TICKET ITEMS

This isn’t my first rodeo. By now I have the Sephora sales down to a science. If you’re really methodical, you should plan ahead and have all the stuff you want in your cart BEFORE the sale starts. Then once the code is active, simply checkout. That doesn’t really apply at this point, but is something to keep in mind for future sales.

The key to getting the most bang for your buck is to score expensive, big ticket items that do not normally go on sale. Here

DYSON SUPERSONIC HAIR DRYER

If you have been wanting to try a Dyson hair dryer, now is the time! These rarely go on sale. Most of the time when other things go on sale, Dyson products are excluded. I have had my Dyson hair dryer for over a year now and have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. It is expensive, it’s definitely an investment piece, but to me, taking care of my hair and limiting the amount of heat damage I do is important. If you’re on the fence, I say go for it.

FRAGRANCE

Fragrance is another thing that rarely goes on sale and it is crazy expensive. I absolutely love fragrance and so I always take advantage of the sale to snag some things while they are discounted 20% (come on, of course I’m Rouge). This sale I bought Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille because I love a sexy, smoky unisex fragrance. Some of my other favorite fragrances are: Replica By the Fireplace, Yves Saint Lauent Mon Paris, Armani Beauty Si and Jo Malone Vetivier and Golden Vanilla. If you have a man (or are a man!), the Dior Sauvage cologne is amazing—and so is this cologne sampler! You get nine samples and a coupon for a free full size bottle of whatever is your favorite.

WHAT I BOUGHT

I’ve written about my makeup recommendations many, many times and for the most part they don’t change (you can read my past recommendations here and here). I thought it would be more fun to talk about the things I bought during the sale and give them my honest review while there is still slightly over 24 hours left to shop.

Nécessaire The Body Serum

I love Necessaire products. I use both the body lotion and the body wash (unscented because I like wearing perfume) on a daily basis. I had been wanting to try this out for a while because hyalauronic acid is a magical, life changing thing. I use it on my face, why not use it on your body? So far this has not disappointed. I will definitely be repurchasing when it runs out.

Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Skin Finish Buildable Foundation Stick

Spoiler alert: I absolutely hated this product and already returned it. First of all, this product should have already been on my shit list for having the longest, most unnecessary name ever. I tried Huda’s other foundation, the liquid one, and didn’t like it because it was so heavily fragranced. I had read that this one wasn’t, and I was excited to try. It’s marketed at being full coverage, but I had to keep building it up and it ended up looking extremely cakey. It also clung to dry patches and broke up around my mouth and nose—on a day I didn’t even wear a mask. 0/10—I do not recomend.

Hourglass Mini Ambient Lighting Edit – Sculpture Unlocked

This has been my favorite Sephora Holiday Sale purchase so far. I talked about it (in detail) on my Instagram story the other day. It’s the perfect quad. It’s big enough that you likely won’t ever hit pan on it (unless you use it excessively) but small enough to be easy for travel (whenever we can do that again). It has almost everything you need: a setting powder, blush, bronzer and highlight. It’s beautiful, has great color payoff and isn’t powdery. If you buy one thing during the sale, I would recommend this.

Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liners

I have repurchased these so many times. They are great lip liners and I would advocate that every person that uses lipstick/lip liner needs to own at least one. I always buy the shades Pillow Talk and Iconic Nude. They are two of the ultimate YLBB (your lips but better) shades. Don’t even think about it—just add to your cart.

Natasha Denona I Need a Nude Lipstick

SIGH. I wanted to love these so badly, I really did. I bought the only two shades that Sephora had in store — Andrea and Maria. Andrea is a neutral beige undertone while Maria purports to be a neutral pink. Both looked like concealer on my lips. Truly the worst lipstick shades I had ever put on my lips. I do love the idea of the collection, though. The range is really impressive and there is sure to be a color that works for everyone—I clearly just didn’t find that in Maria or Andrea. The formula was good so I do plan on trying another shade that doesn’t make me look like a corpse.

Natasha Denona I Need a Nude Glow Highlighter

A champagne nude highlighter—revolutionary! Honestly, I probably have 30 other nude champagne-y highlighters. I have an entire drawer dedicated to highlighters. This seems to be packed pretty hard, so you do have to kind of work to get any product on your brush but once you do it’s a really pretty highlight. It gives a subtle glow on the cheeks and can be built up to be more intense. Is it the best thing I ever bought? No. Is it nice? Yes. Should you spend $42 on it? I would probably opt for something else instead, honestly.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

Every time there is a sale, I stock up on this. I use it every single time I do my makeup (which is less now than it used to be). Lightweight. Smoothing. Truly makes you look airbrushed. Can’t go wrong.

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

As I mentioned before, I love a warm and spicy fragrance. I kind of waffled between this and a Byredo fragrance, but since I could save 20% off this, I ultimately chose the less expensive option. Hilariously, when I was looking at reviews, the Sephora comment section was full of Harry Styles fans who found out this is the fragrance he wears and went out and bought it to I guess feel somehow connected to him? Lol. Weirdos.

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Upgrade Eye Masks

These eye masks work really well. According to Wander Beauty the gold foil helps retain heat and prevents the serum below from evaporating, which allows for the maximum amount of absorption into the skin. The middle layer is elastic to prevent the masks from slipping, and the third is a cellulose fiber that condenses and delivers key ingredients efficiently, giving you all the skin-loving benefits you need. I got the jumbo set of 18 for $45 (minus 20%) compared to the normal $25 set which contains 6 eye masks.

PATRICK TA Major Glow Face Gloss

I am a sucker for a Patrick Ta product. This face gloss is in the shade She Gives Me Life, which is a glistening gold intended to give you glossy shine (it only comes in one shade). I have not had a chance to test this out yet because I haven’t worn makeup since I got it, but I will update when I do.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Hydrating Makeup Primer

Armani claims that this a smooth, hydrating primer that preps skin for makeup, nourishes, and moisturizes the complexion for noticeably softer, supple, and more radiant skin. I have pretty oily skin (that lately has also been dry and flaky in some places, so much fun!) so I’m not entirely sure that this primer will work for me, but either way I am excited to test it out.

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Face and Under-Eye Concealer

I love the Luminous Silk foundation so I was super excited to grab this on sale. I haven’t tried it yet, but planning on doing so tomorrow!

Hourglass Ambient® Lighting Bronzer

For some reason I remember the first time I ever bought a Hourglass bronzer. Ironically, it was during a Sephora Holiday sale. I bought another one of these because they are arguably one of my favorite bronzer formulas. Not too matte, not too shimmery/glittery. They give you a beautiful sheen and make you look more alive. They are pricey, but I highly recommend.

DERMAFLASH DERMAPORE Ultrasonic Pore Extractor & Serum Infuser

This has not come in the mail yet but I am so excited for it to get here. Dermaflash claims that this is a unique, two-in-one ultrasonic skincare device that unclogs pores and infuses your favorite skincare products, resulting in the appearance of smaller pores and a healthier-looking complexion. I have seen people on Instagram and YouTube use it to get a ton of gross stuff out of their faces, so I can’t wait to put it to the test.

GIFT SETS WORTH BUYING

Charlotte Tilbury Mini Iconic Matte Revolution Lipstick Trio

I bought this trio on a whim because it includes three minis of the Matte Revolution Lipstick in nude-pink Pillow Talk, berry-rose Walk of No Shame, and taupe-nude Very Victoria. I have and use all three of those shades and was thinking that some day in the future, quarantine will be over and we will be able to go out in public again, without a mask, and I can throw one in my purse and it will take up less real estate. It was my most optimistic purchase to date.

Sephora Favorites Men’s Cologne Sampler Set

I got this for my brother as a Christmas gift, which I feel comfortable saying because I know he doesn’t read my blog. It’s a great deal and I think makes a great gift. I’m sure he’ll like it.

Benefit Cosmetics Great Brow Basics Pencil & Gel Set

I love Benefit brow products and this is great all-in-one set to fill in and define your brows.

Maison Margiela ‘REPLICA’ Deluxe Mini Coffret Set

This is such a good deal that I honestly kind of want to buy it for myself. I love Replica fragances. They are unisex and smell good on anyone, regardless of gender. A few years ago I bought my boyfriend a Replica set with three travel sized fragances and he actually used all of them. Long story short, these make great gifts, whether for yourself or someone else.

Tower 28 Beauty Mini Juicy All The Way Lip Jelly Set

These are the best lip glosses ever. Let’s be real—who ever actually uses up an entire lip gloss? This is such a great way to try Tower 28 lip jellys and have them in nearly every single color they offer. I am definitely buying one of these for myself.

TL;DR

Have you shopped the sale yet? If not, I clearly did enough shopping for the both of us. What are your go-to items that you pick up while they’re on sale?

DIY Eyebrow Tinting

Happy National Eyebrow Day! It’s funny that such a small amount of hair can command so much time and money in a person’s life—yet here we are!

I have talked pretty in-depth about my eyebrows on my blog, including my experience with microblading, my tips & favorite products for filling in your eyebrows and what I use to wax my eyebrows myself at home. Today, I’m going to show you how to tint your eyebrows at home using Just For Men beard dye.

Disclaimer: This product is not intended to be used on eyebrows or eyelashes and can cause permanent damage, including blindness, if it gets into your eye. Please proceed with caution and do so at your own risk.

LET’S GET STARTED

The first thing you’re going to want to do is choose a product to tint your brows at home. I’ve tried many products, from henna to demi-permanent hair dye from Sally’s and always end up coming back to ol’ faithful: Just for Men.

I always buy this product from Target (it’s $8.99) and I always get the shade Dark Brown. You can get whatever shade your heart desires, but I would always recommend going with whatever is closest to your natural hair color.

This kit comes with a tray to mix it in, and I would suggest also purchasing a cheap double sided brush—the kind with a spooly on one end and a pointed brush on the other. This one from elf is a great option and only $4.

Put equal parts color base and developer into the tray and mix it together with the bristle end of your brush. Once it’s fully mixed, we’re ready to move onto the next step.

APPLYING THE DYE

Let’s not put the cart in front of the horse. Before we apply the dye, we have to make sure that our brows are ready, which means they are clean and oil free. If you’re a newbie and afraid you’re going to royally mess this up, I suggest putting Vaseline on the areas outside your brows where you don’t want the dye to end up.

You’ll apply the dye just like you would any other brow product. I suggest starting in the middle and doing the front of your brow last when there is less product on the brush. It gives a more natural apperance and makes it less likely that you’ll mess up.

Like I suggest in my Brow 101 post, I suggest doing swiping, hair like motions in the direction of the hair growth for the end and tail of your brow and short, upward strokes in the front.

When the dye is first mixed, it will be pretty light in color, however it will get darker the longer it develops. Once you have all the product you want on, set a timer for 10-20 minutes and go about your business.

WASHING IT OFF

Rinsing this off is arguably the easiest part of the whole (already extremely simple) process.

I put soap on my finger tips and wet them with warm water. Then I rub my eyebrows back and forth, creating a gray, sudsy mess and making sure to get any and all product off. Then I take a warm, damp wash cloth and wash it all off.

The key here is to not use too much water because you don’t want any of this getting into your eyes. I’ve been doing this for at least three years, way before it was a Tik Tok trend and back when the box didn’t have a warning label on it. I was much more willy nilly with how I washed it off, because I didn’t know it could potentially have averse consequences. Now that I know, I routinely worry that maybe a tiny Just For Men molecule may have snuck into my eye while I was washing it out, and I panic that I can feel my eyes burning, and subsequently, my vision blurring. I am extremely dramatic, so that’s probably a personal problem, but—in all seriousness—please be careful.

THE FINISHED PRODUCT

After you wash the dye off, you’re left with beautifully defined brows. I find that this lasts between 1-2 weeks, depending on how often you wash your face, sweat, etc. I like doing this at home because, honestly, I think its fun. It’s also extremely cost effective. I’ve only ever had to repurchase JFM because I lost tubes, never because I used the product up. For an up front investment of less than $15, you’ve got tinted eyebrows for 6 months to a year.

TL;DR

Tinting your brows at home is quick & easy, even if you only do it a pinch! Have you ever tinted your brows at home? If you do, let me know what products you use!

Bonus tip: if you’re in Lansing and not looking to do-it-yourself, or you’re looking to have someone wax + shape your brows, I highly recommend seeing Riley Vanness.