The Best Lipsticks to Try This Summer!

Choosing the best lipsticks for your skin tone can be tough! It’s best to swatch lipsticks (if you can) before you buy them, so you’ll know how they’ll work for you.

bite beauty lipstick, lip liner in tannin

Top: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick, “Tannin” and Bottom: Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil, “Tannin”

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Tannin: This color is a deep, ruby red. Both the lipstick and the High Pigment Pencil (also in Tannin) have a creamy formula, so they apply easily and have a beautiful color payoff. Because the formula is so smooth, it can smear easily. I seal Tannin by blotting it multiple times, then dusting my lips with translucent powder.

MAC cosmetics girl about town amplified lipstick, more to love lip liner

Top: MAC Amplified Lipstick, “Girl About Town” and Bottom: MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil, “More to Love”

MAC Girl About Town Amplified Lipstick: In my opinion, Girl About Town is one of the best lipsticks to have in any lipstick lover’s collection! It’s a blue-based hot pink with lots of staying power that would look great on any skin tone. The Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in More to Love can sometimes be a little dry, but the Girl About Town’s creamy formula makes up for that!

butter london lipstick, toasted marshmallow, makeup forever lip line perfector

Top: Butter London Lippy Tinted Balm, “Toasted Marshmallow” and Bottom: Make Up For Ever Lip Line Perfector Lip Liner

Butter London Lippy Tinted Balm in Toasted Marshmallow: This lipstick is as close as I’ve gotten to finding a nude, matte color that works well with my skin tone, but I’m still looking for the perfect match. It has peachy undertones that liven up the lipstick and keep me from looking like a zombie! The Make Up For Ever Lip Line Perfector is a colorless lip liner that helps to prevent lipstick from feathering outside of the lip line. I didn’t buy a lip liner to match Toasted Marshmallow, so the Lip Line Perfector does a great job keeping my lipstick right where I want it.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Violet and Palomino

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo, “Vivid.” Left: “Violet,” Right: “Palomino”

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Vivid: The lipstick on the left, Violet, is a bright neon purple, while Palomino is a neon reddish-pink. The Vivid duo, like Bite Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipstick in Tannin, has a velvety texture and boldly pigmented colors. I pair these with the Make Up For Ever Lip Perfector pencil to ensure the cleanest lines. Bite Beauty has consistently provided some of the best lipsticks I’ve ever tried – They come in great colors, are highly pigmented and have amazing staying power!

Butter London Stroppy lip gloss, NYX Cosmetics Matte Lip Cream, San Paolo

Top: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, “San Paulo.” Left to Right: Clinique Almost Lipstick, “Black Honey”; Butter London Lippy Sheer Lip Gloss, “Stroppy”; Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain, “Smitten”

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in San Paolo: NYX consistently makes awesome budget-friendly makeup that applies well, has great colors and surprising staying power. The San Paolo is a beautiful rose color and a cotton candy scent that’s light, not cloying. The doe foot applicator can be a little tricky to master, but it’s not difficult after a little practice. Though the lip cream has a matte formula, it’s not drying at all. Just make sure to moisturize your lips before applying to avoid a crackly look!

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: This is a sheer plum-colored lip product that’s super moisturizing and feels more like a balm than a lipstick. It builds very well, so I’m able to achieve anything from a sheer, barely-there tint to a darker wine-colored stain. It rubs off easily, so be prepared for frequent touch ups.

Butter London Lippy Sheer Lip Gloss in Stroppy: I’m not usually a fan of lip glosses, but this one is awesome. It looks more purple in the tube than it does when applied to my lips. The gloss actually appears clear with golden flecks when on the lips. It’s only slightly sticky and feels pretty moisturizing.

Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Smitten: This is the last product my list of favorite lipsticks, but it’s certainly not the least! I’ve been a fan of the Revlon Colorburst Balm Stains for awhile, and this shade, Smitten, is no exception. This lightweight, magenta stain also has a refreshing minty scent that leaves a little tingle on my lips. Like Clinique’s Black Honey, the Revlon Colorburst line does tend to migrate off of the lips and onto my coffee cups. Thankfully, the Colorburst Balm Stain’s chubby pencil shape makes re-application a snap!

girl powder lipstick swatches

There aren’t any coral-toned lipsticks in this group, but after seeing Makeup & Beauty Blog’s coral lippie roundup, I might just have to pick up a new color!

Which one of these lipsticks do you like the best? If your favorite lipstick didn’t make the cut, let me know what it is in the comments!

Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Cream Review

Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Cream

The Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Cream is one of my essential daily moisturizers. It includes SPF 30, which helps protect my skin from sun damage. It has a pretty thick consistency, so I only use a small amount. I smooth a thin layer of the Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Cream to my face and neck, then I let it sink into my skin for a few minutes before applying any other makeup.

The Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Cream formula is very moisturizing and leaves a subtle dewy finish, unlike others I’ve tried that leave a greasy film on the surface of the skin. It can be a little sticky immediately after applying, but that doesn’t affect the  products that I layer on top, like foundation or concealer. I also use the moisturizer on its own for days when I don’t want to wear any BB cream or foundation.

If you prefer a more matte, bare-faced look, dust a thin layer of translucent powder over the moisturizer to set it.

Need more makeup products with SPF? Check out the MAC Studio Finish Concealer, which has SPF 35!

L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream Review

L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

BB creams are easily one of my favorite go-to products for getting quick, light coverage on my face. I rarely get acne, but I do have a little redness on my cheeks and around my nose, so the L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream in Medium is my drugstore-brand BB cream of choice to even out my skintone.

The L’Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream is liquid-based and comes out white with taupe flecks straight out of the tube. Once you rub it between your fingertips, the BB cream’s “Beautifying Beads” open and turn the product into a color better suited for the skin. I’ve had the most success with this BB cream in L’Oreal’s “Medium” shade, which has golden undertones. It’s a little orange, but blends with my skin better than BB creams with cooler undertones.

L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream L'Oreal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream

My face is a little darker than the underside of my arm, so the BB cream definitely matches better than this swatch! It takes a couple seconds to set and dry, so I usually curl my eyelashes while I’m waiting. This BB cream tends to rub off onto my glasses and sunglasses, so I apply it over MAC’s Prep + Prime Skin primer, then I set everything with tarte’s Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder to keep my makeup in place all day. I’ve never used it under foundation as a primer on its own, though I imagine an un-tinted BB cream would work really well.

Do you use BB cream? Let me know what brands you like and what types work best for you!

MAC Prep + Prime Skin Primer Review

MAC Prep + Prime Skin

The best base for makeup is a great primer, and the MAC Prep + Prime Skin primer is one of the best products I’ve used. I use this primer under BB cream and foundation to keep them from smearing or sliding throughout the day.

Primer helps to keep makeup in place, and MAC Prep + Prime Skin has the added benefits of lessening skin redness. There’s a little shimmer that helps to boost the skin’s radiance without being overly glittery. Primer also makes makeup application easier. Like its name suggests, the MAC Prep + Prime Skin “preps” your face for the makeup you’ll be putting on, by creating a smooth canvas.

MAC Prep + Prime Skin

Prep + Prime Skin is a gel-based formula that glides on evenly. You only need a little to cover your entire face, so a single pump of primer should be enough. (The only place I don’t apply this primer is on my eyelids, since there’s a separate eyeshadow primer I can use instead.) Apply Prep + Prime Skin using the tips of your fingers to smooth it onto your face, then apply your other makeup as usual.

Do you have a favorite primer? Let me know in the comments!

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator Review

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator

Highlighters, like the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, are perfect for achieving an ethereal glow for that “lit-from-within” look . It’s best to apply them to the high points of your face — the tops of cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and the center of the chin — and blend outward. I’ve also applied it as a brow highlight and as a base for a subtle smoky eye.

I like using the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Gleam, because it’s extremely lightweight and has a gorgeous rose gold color. NYX’s formula dries quickly,so you won’t have to worry about looking or feeling greasy after applying it.

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator

The highlighter is a rosy pink/peach with gold shimmer, so it’ll look great on almost any skintone. While some highlighters can appear frosty on darker skin colors, NYX’s “Gleam” has a warm, summery hue. If you’re going for a really natural highlight, this is the product I recommend!

If you’re looking for a powder to use as a highlighter, check out the e.l.f. cosmetics Moonlight Pearls Baked Highlighter review!

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette Review

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette

Looking for glittery eyeshadows for this summer? The Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette, “In the Tropics,” is my pick for gorgeous, shimmery eyeshadows that stay on all day. The light colors apply more smoothly and won’t budge until you’re ready to take them off, as long as you apply them over eyeshadow primer.

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette, “In the Tropics”  – Top row (left to right): Peru, Belize, Barbados, Seychelles, St. Vincent

Sephora has its own line of makeup products, and the ones I’ve tried so far have been comparable to high-end brands. This particular Moonshadow Baked Palette is very shimmery, and some colors that have more glitter than others (like St. Vincent and St. Lucia).

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette, “In the Tropics” – Bottom row (left to right): Grenada, Bermuda, Fiji, Martinique, St. Lucia

These island-inspired shadows pair beautifully with a nude or pink lip, and I love blending the colors together with a little matte black eyeshadow for a smoky eye.

What’s your favorite eyeshadow palette for the summer? Let me know in the comments!


MAC Studio Finish Concealer Review

mac studio finish concealer

If a skincare or makeup product with sunscreen isn’t included in your daily lineup, it’s definitely something you should consider purchasing! Sunscreen helps to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and assists in preventing premature age spots and wrinkles. I use products with SPF daily. One of my favorites is the MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in NW20.

The MAC Studio Finish Concealer is great for drawing attention away from blemishes and dark under eye circles. I chose a color that was a few shades lighter than my regular foundation to help brighten my under eye area. A little bit goes a long way! This creamy, matte concealer has a thick consistency that should be blended outward to avoid caking and settling into fine lines. The MAC Studio Finish Concealer also has SPF 35 protection, which is a must for the delicate skin under the eyes.

Need more makeup products with SPF? Check out the MAC Matchmaster Foundation and the Lancome Bienfait Multi-Vital Sunscreen Cream!

Elf Cosmetics Baked Highlighter & Studio Matte Lip Color Review

elf cosmetics baked highlighter moonlight pearls and studio matte lip color tea rose

If you have a tight budget or are new to the makeup world, Elf Cosmetics is an excellent place to build your collection with inexpensive, easy-to-use products.

Highlighting is a pretty new technique for me, so I decided to try Elf’s Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls.

elf cosmetics baked highlighter moonlight pearls

The Moonlight Pearls highlighter has a cream-colored  pearlescent shimmer. I applied it with my fingertips  to the  tops of my cheekbones, under the arches of my  eyebrows, in the inner corners of my eyes and down the bridge of my nose. The product really does feel “baked” together, and I had to run my fingers across it several times to pick up enough product to apply to these areas. The color is sheer and worked best as a  brow and inner eye highlight for me.

elf cosmetics tea rose matte lip color

The Elf Cosmetics Studio Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose applied smoothly and evenly with decent coverage. I wasn’t a huge fan of the color on its own, which was a cool-toned, grey-based pink. The lip liner-like shape of this lipstick makes it really quick and easy to apply. I’ll probably be blending this product with another lipstick or gloss to get a warmer color that looks better on my skin! 

Benefit Cosmetics Push-Up Eyeliner Review

I used to be a die-hard liquid eyeliner fan. Don’t get me wrong, creating the perfect cat eye takes serious patience and practice when all you have is a fine-tipped brush that’s dripping with too much black eyeliner. I used liquid liner with a felt tip for a few months, but it lacked the tight, precise lines I wanted. I eventually began to use gel liner with an angled brush and found this combination was easier to manipulate and didn’t need time to dry, like a liquid eyeliner.

Naturally, when I heard about the Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Push-Up Eyeliner had hit the shelves, I knew I had to try it.

Benefit Cosmetics Push-Up Eyeliner

I’m a sucker for makeup that comes in great packaging. If the box looks cute, I’ll probably grab a sample! Benefit’s packaging is always eye-catching, and the Push-Up Eyeliner was no exception with its bold, black and orange color scheme.

Benefit Cosmetics Push-Up Eyeliner

This eyeliner is a waterproof  gel liner that boasts 24-hour  wear. Benefit isn’t lying about  the wear time — I’ve  accidentally fallen asleep with  this eyeliner on, only to wake up with it still perfectly intact. The rubber applicator, with Benefit’s patented AccuFlex™ tip comes to a point, which is perfect for achieving a sharp cat eye look. The applicator’s design makes it pretty easy to draw on your desired look, whether it’s winged liner or a simple swipe above the base of the eyelashes.

The only complaint I have about the Benefit Cosmetics Push-Up Eyeliner is its tendency to dispense product when it’s not in use. The eyeliner moves up through the applicator when you twist the base. It continues to make its way through the applicator, even when you’ve finished applying your eyeliner and have replaced the cap. This occurs even if the eyeliner is stored upright. It’s an easy fix when you’re ready to apply – Just wipe the off the excess eyeliner and twist the base until the correct amount comes out. (Or if you’re like me and hate throwing perfectly good makeup away, just apply as usual and smooth outwards into a straight line.)

That said, there’s still plenty of product to go around. I’ve had the Push-Up Eyeliner since December 2015 and I use it at least twice a week, which, to me, justifies the $24.00 price tag.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder Review

One of the best ways to control an oily complexion and keep makeup in place is to use a powder. My favorite type of powder to use is the tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder. It’s pigment-free, which doesn’t interfere with any other products I’ve already used, like foundation or concealer.

Sometimes using a powder that’s a similar color to your foundation will cause the makeup to look caked on or dry. If you’ve used blotting papers, you know that they can sometimes remove makeup along with excess oil. Using translucent powder is an easy way to avoid altering the color and texture of your existing makeup look.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder: Loose powder (left), Pressed Powder & brush (right)

While I haven’t noticed any huge changes in oil reduction or skin texture like Sephora’s website claims, tarte’s finishing  powder does an excellent job at mattifying my skin and  setting cream and liquid-based makeup.

The pressed powder comes in a compact form with a mirror and a brush. I use a kabuki brush instead of the one included with the compact to get an even distribution of powder all over my face.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Loose Finishing Powder

Both the loose powder and pressed powder do exactly the same job. I prefer the compact for any quick touch-ups, but the loose powder will give you more product for a lower price.

With either product, be sure to tap the excess powder off of your brush before sweeping it over your face. The loose powder is much more easily picked up by a brush. I usually dip the very tip of my kabuki brush into the loose powder and swirl it into the lid to knock off extra product and to spread it evenly amongst the bristles.