Budget Conscious Brush Buys

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Don't Break the Beauty Bank

Makeup is way of creating art. Artists need the right tools and/or brushes to create and so do you. Most woman can't seem to get the results that they are looking for because they don't use the proper tools. In the beauty world you can get away with using expensive and/or less expensive products and tools to create the perfect look it just varies from person to person. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite makeup brushes that can help you create your artistic look but won't break the bank.

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush: Used to apply liquid and cream foundations. This brush offers an airbrush-like finish to the skin using a buffing technique. I absolutely LOVE this brush. It's one of the softest brushes I own and love to recommend it to others.

MAC Cosmetics 208 Angled Brow Brush: Used to apply brow powders or creams. This brush gives you a precise application when you're trying to enhance your brows. The reason why I chose this brush is because it is a thin angled brush which allows for small detailed strokes for a less harsh brow.

Crown Brush Pro Blending Brush: Used to blend liquids, creams, and eye shadows. This brush is a more stiff brush which allows for really blending down heavy creams and harsh lines where eye shadow was placed. It is also a great tool to create a heavier blended eye shadow application. Blending is important so this will be your most important brush.

Crown Brush Tapered Concealer Brush: Used to apply liquid and cream concealers. This brush is flat so it will pick up more product and place it where needed. It's round shape allows you to move around the face with ease to get in to every nook and cranny.

MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush: Used to softly apply eye shadow or blend away harsh lines. It can also blend away liquid or cream products as well. This is by far one of the most important brushes you'll ever need. It has endless possibilities. It is a bit pricier than the other brushes but there is no comparison to this brush. I have had mine since 2005 and it still works as well as it did the day I purchased it.

Crown Brush Powder Brush: Used to apply powder foundation, setting powder or blush. This fluffy round brush allows you to softly apply powder products to the face and or body area.

Crown Brush Jumbo Kabuki Fan Brush: Used to apply highlight and or contour powder lightly to the skin. This fluffy brush is flat on both sides which allows for maximum product pickup and placement.

Remember to always clean your brushes weekly to prevent breakouts. Simply use a moisturizing shampoo or even baby shampoo. Rinse thoroughly and lay flat to dry.

Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette

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Today I want to share an eyeshadow palette that I ABSOLUTELY love! I found out about it from a fellow MUA (make-up artist) friend who posted it on her Instagram stories. She ranted and raved about how she used it all of the time and how well it went with all skin tones. Well I have to agree with her 100%.
Since I've purchased this Tarteist Pro Amazonian Clay Palette, it has been my "go to" palette when servicing my guests. I love that there is a wide range of warm and cool colors (20 shades total) allowing me to be creative with the looks I create. I love that it comes with both matte and shimmer shades and how opaque they are. I literally can use this palette on any woman of color and get an endless possibilty of looks. Here is a look I created for my dear friend and owner of Olivia's Bridal House, Nicole for her photo shoot.

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Chubby In The Nude

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Why am I obsessed with foundations? I don't know where this obsession came from but here I go feeding in to the temptation that keeps calling my name. My newest foundation find is the new Clinique Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick.

I was Insta-browsing (browsing on Instagram) one day and came across this new Chubby on another MUA's page. I was immediately intrigued because it was a foundation but I was even more intrigued with the fact that they came in a wide variety of skin tone shades. While in Sephora picking up my annual free birthday gift, I decided to go by the Clinique section to just "look" at the new Chubby. A friend of mine who works there talked to me about it and gave me her pro's, con's and comparisons and she answered some questions I had. I then headed to the register to make my $24 purchase and headed home.

This weekend I got a chance to put the new Chubby to work and instantly fell in love! Yes I said it. But here's the thing, I didn't use it all over my face. I purchased a contouring shade (Curviest Clove) so that I could continue to use my current foundations and not waist them. Let me be the first to tell you that this Chubby is a life saver because it glides on super smooth and blends out super fast. It has medium coverage, is very light in weight and is super easy to use. It actually felt lighter than my liquid foundation which was surprising for a stick foundation. I ended up setting it with a powder and wearing it all day. Chubby in the Nude Foundation Sticks come in 10 shades and can be purchased at Clinique or at Sephora. Trust me you'll love it too!

Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick pictured as my contour shade.

Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick pictured as my contour shade.

Out With The Old. In With The New!

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A friend of mine (and 5K buddy) sent me a text message one day asking me why I didn't tell her about the little photo above. It's located on the back of makeup product packaging. She had no idea that the little image was there much less what it meant. So after laughing, I told her I'd do a blog post on it thinking that there may be others in the beauty world who don't know about it either.
The little image you see above will be located on the back of most of your beauty products. It's the expiration date which lets you know when you should toss it.

Tip: Use a waterproof sharpie to write the date you purchased your unopened product somewhere on the packaging. This way you'll know how long you're suppose to keep it or when it's time to throw it away.

Want to know more about How Long You Should Keep Your Makeup? Click here.

A More Natural Way To Remove Your Makeup

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Back in December I was out shopping for Christmas gifts when I realized that I needed to get more facial cleanser. I was using Cetaphil but was noticing that makeup residue was left on my skin. Now I do have to admit that my makeup application can be a bit heavy at times. By the time I apply concealer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, etc {you know the deal}, it can be a bit much. You tell yourself you're only going to put on "a little" makeup and end up walking out of the house with nothing short of your RuPaul "face" on! Yaaaassss.

Here's the thing, what goes on must come off so I headed to Origins to express my concerns with my other cleanser. She immediately showed me the Clean Energy cleanser. She sold it to me more from the makeup remover aspect than just an everyday cleanser and I see why. I absolutely love that it has an oil-type consistency so I don't get that drying feeling after I've cleansed my face. Now, I do have oily skin and this cleanser doesn't make it worse so that's a plus in my book. It contains Macadamia and Vitamin E which helps with moisture and irritants and is great for all skin types. Clean Energy does not lather like a typical cleanser (as shown in the pics below) so I cleanse my face with it immediately after removing my makeup with wipes then I follow with my everyday cleanser. I mean this is as good as it gets! When it comes to makeup removers I think this is THE one.
 Price: $27 without the pump. I opted for the pump so that I wouldn't waist any product and ended up paying $29 for the 6.7oz bottle.

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Easy Foundation Routine

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1. Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation stick #177 Cognac around my hairline, cheeks, chin and neck. Blend out with a dense fluffy foundation brush in circular motions. 2. Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation stick #173 Amber around under eye area. Blend out with a dense fluffy brush in circular motions. 3. Clinique Chubby In The Nude foundation stick #28 Curviest Clove around hairline & jawline. Blend with a beauty blender in small circular motions being careful not to disrupt the line too much. 4. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder to set the entire face with beauty blender. 5. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powderunder eye area and below contour with the beauty blender. Warm the skin with MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Deep brushing away the translucent powder with a fluffy powder brush in circular motions. 6. Apply blush, highlight shimmer, eye shadow, lashes, liner and lips and your all done!