Beauty & Fashion

theBalm theBalmJour Creamy Lip Stain “Namaste” | Review

Hello friends!

I am of the opinion that theBalm is a pretty underrated brand in the beauty sphere! They have their popular products like the Mary-Loumanizer or their eyeshadow palettes, but everything else doesn’t seem to get quite the same hype. Today I’m sharing my review on one of their lip products; their creamy lip stain.

Color: Namaste is a deep, warm pink. It looks slightly more neutral upon application, but wears into a fuchsia throughout the day.

Finish: As the name suggests, this lip stain’s finish is definitely a cream, similar to that of a bullet lipstick but with less opacity. It’s not quite shiny like many glosses, but does hold a similar vibe to one.

Packaging: theBalm is definitely known for their cute, vintage looking packaging featuring various people, and this isn’t an exception. The tube is a matte grey plastic, with a cute sticker in it featuring a red head saying the shade name. Each shade has a different character on it, which is a nice touch.

Applicator: The applicator is your standard doefoot. I didn’t feel like the shape helped or hindered in applying this product.

Application: I found getting an even application with this color to be a bit tricky, as it’s not fully opaque. I had to be careful to not swipe back and forth too much, or I would risk pulling up the product I’d already put on my lips and making it look patchy. One layer was the best bet for getting an even application, however I still wasn’t completely happy with the evenness of it.

I also had a bit of difficulty with getting the edges of my lips, as product would want to bunch up and leave a thick line – with many other products it’s easy to fix, but with this one I had to carefully dab it away or risk a more patchy appearance. I found it easiest to press and rub my lips together to disperse excess product.

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Beauty & Fashion

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops “Moonlight” | Review

Hello friends!

CoverFX came on my radar when they released their custom cover drops, an ultra concentrated foundation.  From there, they developed other similar items in droppers, including these gorgeous highlighting drops!

Color:  Moonlight looks like a beautiful pale rose gold color in the bottle.  On the face, it becomes a silver color with just the slightest pink hint. Ulta’s website describes this as a “shimmering beige”, which sounds pretty accurate to me.

One huge caveat to this product is that it is infused with glitter.  I think this could be a huge turnoff to some people, because there’s a lot of people who do not want glitter on their face – just their eyes.  The first time I used it, I was shocked to find that there was glitter everywhere, and I assumed that it was because my eyeshadow also had glitter in it and it was just fallout.  After taking a really close look at this, however, I realized that there is definitely glitter being used to add the shine.

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Beauty & Fashion

MAC Electric Wonder Collection Matte Lipstick “Life in Sepia” | Review

Hello friends!

Last year, MAC came out with arguably the most beautiful collection known to exist, a.k.a the Electric Wonder. With gorgeous packaging and popular, wearable shades this was sure to draw the eyes of anyone interested in traditionally feminine, “instagramable” packaging. I, of course, was no exception!

Color: Life in Sepia is a cool, mid-toned brown. On the lips, it definitely has a grey undertone – this is the kind of color that most people either love or hate. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a vampy color, but it is definitely darker than a traditional nude.

Finish: As the name suggests, this is a matte finish. Even when it goes on there is very little shine, which quickly fades into a flat appearance.

Packaging: Unsurprisingly, the packaging of this lipstick is its selling point. It is a gorgeous pink marble, with veins of metallic gold scattered throughout. The inner portion of the tube is a matte gold, along with the small bit that peeks out and the MAC printed on it. The actual shape of the tube is a traditional MAC bullet lipstick.

Applicator: The shape of the actual lipstick is basic – just like any other lipstick shape with a traditional tear drop shape and a point.

Application: Applying this lipstick was as easy as any other bullet lipstick. Even after wearing it down a bit, I didn’t have problems with getting straight lines. One thing I will point out is that this particular shade is one that shows my natural lip colors on the edges if I don’t cover them completely. That just meant I had to be a little extra careful to make sure I got all the edges otherwise you could see pink, which looked a bit strange.

One other thing that is incredibly important to point out is the strong vanilla scent that MAC lipsticks have. This one is no exception – I could smell it upon application and for about 5 minutes after.

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Beauty & Fashion

Ofra Cosmetics x Madison Miller Lip Gloss “Smiley For Ryleigh” | Review

Hello friends!

I will forever talk about how much I adore Ipsy, and this is part of the reason why! I was able to get this lip gloss as part of my bag – I love being able to try new collections from brands I enjoy!

Color: This is a mostly transparent peach gloss with tons of glitter. There is a hint of peach color in the base, but for the most part it’s clear with shimmer.

Finish: The finish of this is shiny, but more so I’d say this is a glitter finish gloss due to the lack of base pigment.

Packaging: The packaging of this gloss is a beautiful matte white cap with a plain acrylic tube and Ofra written on the cap. The product information is white, printed on the tube, and appears to have Madison Miller’s signature on it.

Applicator: The applicator functions like a basic doefoot, however it does have an interesting curve to it and a bit of a “chair” shape. I’m not sure if that really improves the application, but it is kind of fun.

Application: Application of this gloss is pretty easy. I dipped into the tube twice; once for each lip. Since the base is mostly clear I wasn’t too worried about going outside of the lip lines. One thing I do want to caution is that it can look streaky and clumpy upon initial application until you “blend” with the doefoot – so I’d be careful about applying without a mirror. You could also rub your lips together to distribute the pigment a bit more, but it was something I had noticed. This is me being nit picky!

There is a very sweet vanilla scent that dissipates after application.

Continue reading “Ofra Cosmetics x Madison Miller Lip Gloss “Smiley For Ryleigh” | Review”

Beauty & Fashion

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick “Babe Alert” | Review

Hello friends!

Aside from primers, one product that really worked for Smashbox was their liquid lipsticks! So many people discussed them when they first came out, and even years later I still hear people talk about these being a favorite formula.

Color: Babe Alert is a corally-pink nude. It’s got a warm undertone, and is mostly pink but feels more wearable than what I’d consider a “true pink”. Sephora and Ulta both describe this as a “nude rose” – I’d say more rose than nude.

Finish: This lipstick dries down to a completely flat matte finish. Even upon initial application the actual appearance of the dry down was pretty quick; there wasn’t any period of shine.

Packaging: The lipstick that I have is a sample size, but the packaging is similar between the full size and sample size. It is a large square acrylic tube with a black cap. The label is printed directly on the tube and doesn’t appear to be a sticker.

Applicator: The applicator on this lip product is a tear drop shape with a hole (also known as a well) in the center that holds extra product. It’s got a bit of a fuzzy texture to it but I didn’t find that there was any problems with that making the edges less crisp.

Application: Applying this lipstick is very easy. The teardrop shape made getting a sharp line simple, and the well holds enough product to cover both lips without having to dip back in.

I did feel like even with applying the normal amount that comes on the applicator, the product felt thick going on. This, in turn, played in to the amount of time that it took for the product to dry & I believe also played into how it looked later on.

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Beauty & Fashion

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick “Fire & Ice” | Review

Hello friends!

One thing I love about really popular, classic brands like Revlon is that they’ve been around long enough to establish cult products. One such product, though less popular than another red of theirs, is Fire & Ice!

I was fortunate enough to find this color on clearance, and knew I needed to snatch it up right away!

Color: Fire & Ice is a warm red that leans a bit coral – there is a strong orange-pink undertone to it.

Finish: This lipstick is a cream finish. I’d say it would lean a bit more towards matte than lustrous like a gloss, but it’s not quite satin. Interestingly, it’s also relatively sheer.

Packaging: The packaging looks incredibly classic. The tube is a glossy black, with a clear window on the top of the cap so you can see the lipstick color when looking down at it. When you pull the lid off it’s a shiny gold with Revlon printed on it.

Applicator: This is a standard cut bullet; there’s nothing special or unique about the shape.

Application: I found application on this lipstick to be as easy as any other traditional bullet lipstick. The point is just sharp enough that you can get a crisp line relatively easily, though I imagine that the more you wear it down the harder it will be to get that even line.

One thing that I struggled with was needing to build up opacity on this particular color. I would typically swipe about three times to get the opacity level I wanted. While it would look opaque from normal talking distance, when looking up close you could definitely see the darkness of my lips poking through still.

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Beauty & Fashion

Where Are They Now? | Makeup I Reviewed Between January and March 2019

Hello friends!

One thing I’ve noticed in the beauty community is that oftentimes we will talk about something once, share our thoughts, and then never return to it again.  I would have done the exact same thing too had I not heard someone bring up this awesome idea!

Today, I wanted to share where the makeup products I reviewed between January and March have gone. That means if they stayed in my collection, moved elsewhere, or were rehomed.

Where Are They Now? | Makeup I Reviewed Between January and March 2019 - A Midwest Belle

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Beauty & Fashion

My First Experience Getting a Facial at Ulta

Hello friends!

I’ve been curious about facials and what getting one would be like for a while now.  In March, I took a day off & wanted to make it a pamper day, which meant taking my time shopping and scheduling an appointment!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I decided to go with the 20 minute basic facial.  My skincare specialist introduced herself and then we got started!  First, I filled out a card that clarified whether or not I had any allergies, what kind of skincare products I was currently using, what my skin goals were, etc.

One of the questions asked is if you have ever experienced claustrophobia, which is very important to note.  There were multiple times throughout the appointment that my entire head aside from my mouth and nostrils were covered with a towel, which could trigger some major feelings for people who experience that fear.  The first time it happened, I was a little tense but it went away after the initial cover.

She looked the paper over and then decided what would be best to help with my concerns (I said redness and blackheads/gunky pores).  I somehow forgot to mention my super dry skin, but she told me she noticed it right away and was using hydrating products because of it.  She also said that I had some texture in certain areas that was very likely caused by my filled pores.

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Books

Books I’ve Read Recently #1

Hello friends!

I’ve decided that instead of doing a monthly wrap up or TBR, I would rather just share my thoughts on the books I’ve read as I finish them, especially because I have spurts of reading a lot and then not reading at all, and so some months may have 1 book read while others have 5.  This will just help balance everything a little better!

The books for this post are from the beginning of the year until the end of February.

Books I've Read Recently #1 - A Midwest Belle

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Beauty & Fashion

Recent Beauty Empties | Winter 2019

Hello friends!

A big goal of mine this year was to make it a point to use up what I have while bringing  Ipsy samples in; in total, I wanted to have 65 empties for the year.

I am so happy to say that I’m doing very well in using my stuff up!  This goal has forced me to keep up with a good morning and nighttime routine and I feel like it’s also helping to promote healthy skin for me.

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Loverecipe Acai Berry Sheet Mask & Loverecipe Aloe Sheet Mask – I thought that this was an incredibly average sheet mask.  It didn’t fit super well on my face, so I had to readjust it regularly for the 10-15 minutes it was on.  It was very saturated with the product which was nice, but it ended up dripping down my neck.  I couldn’t tell a distinct difference between either of the masks; they performed essentially the same.

Tony Moly Red Wine Sheet Mask – Another sheet mask that I wasn’t super impressed with!  It was very average.  The fit wasn’t great and had to be adjusted a few times, and I thought it actually burned my face a little, but that could be because the mask was pretty old at that point.

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