Thursday, April 21, 2016

Drugstore Superstars: Blushes

 The whole idea of blush is to mimic a healthy glow.  It all depends on your skin tone, but the right blush can make you look awake, alive and impossibly refreshed... like you just came from a day at the spa.  The problem with many drugstore blushes is that they can come off chalky and unblendable, or they have so little color payoff that it's almost impossible to see.  That's why I'm super impressed with these blushes.  Like the other blog posts in this series, I'm going to divide them up by category, so it's easy to figure out which product meets your needs.





Best Matte Blush: NYX Ombre Blush ($10.00)


Daaaaamn, NYX! Back at it again with the awesome products!  These blushes have only been on the market a few months, but they've shot straight up onto my must-have list.  Not only are they amazingly pigmented and easy to blend (a requirement to be on this list) but I love that the ombre effect actually gives you options for color.  NYX officially wants you to swirl your brush around the whole product to mix the light and dark colors together, but if you want something a bit darker, just dip your brush in the lower portion of the compact and the opposite goes for the higher portion of the compact.  3 blushes in 1!  Who doesn't love that?

Best Luminous Blush: Milani Baked Blush ($8.49)


Ok, this little endorsement comes with a bit of a caveat.   For those of you that don't like the look of a matte blush and prefer a bit of a healthy sheen, I think that SOME of the blushes in this line are fabulous, and others are kind of duds.  Let me explain.  A good luminous blush will quite literally illuminate and wake up your skin.  It should give you a youthful and almost dewy flush of color.  In order to create that illusion, the product needs to have a nice sheen and sparkle, and sometimes instead of putting in a finely milled sort of sparkle, companies will opt for the cheaper option of chunky glitter.  Now don't get me wrong, I love glitter as much as the next drag queen, but I don't want it anywhere near my cheeks - I'm not 13 anymore.  That brings me to the Milani Baked Blushes.  The majority of them have glitter in it.  I don't know why they chose to only make a couple without, but that's definitely the case.  I do have to point out, that even though they do have glitter in them, it's quite easy to buff it away once it's actually on your face, so it's not a complete lost cause.  Having said that, the shade Luminoso is GORGEOUS!  Being an almost exact dupe for the cult-favorite NARS Oragasm, I actually prefer Luminoso to it's much more expensive counterpart.  It has a peachy coral shade that is universally flattering on almost all skintones.  I, in fact, reach for Luminoso almost exclusively when I'm doing other people's makeup.  Since I do have a darker skintone, I do need to layer Luminoso quite a bit in order to get it to show up on me, so I usually end up using either Belissimo Bronze or Terra Sole (they are the darker versions of Luminoso with the least amount of glitter.)

Best Cream Blush: Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick ($9.99)


For those of you that prefer to work with creams, Maybelline has a great cream blush that comes in an easy to use stick.  Just swipe on your cheeks and blend with your fingers or a brush... what could be easier than that?  These have a gorgeous luminosity to them without any glitter and they have a light consistency to them that makes you feel like you're not wearing anything at all!




Best Blush Palette: e.l.f. Powder Blush Palette ($6.00)


I love any kind of makeup palette.  I love them so much that I actually depot the majority of my single makeup products and condense them into a Z Palette.  They're easier to work with, easier to pack up, easier to travel with, easier to mix colors with... they're just easier!  There actually aren't very many drugstore blush palettes on the market, so when I saw that e.l.f. came out with two, I rushed to my nearest Target to check them out.  As with all e.l.f. products, the price point can't be beat - it's already cheaper than the first three blushes on this list!  But what really impressed me was the pigmentation.  I'm not really that big of an e.l.f. fan... I usually feel that even though the price is amazing, there's always something wrong with either the pigmentation or blendability (something that's pretty common for drugstore products.)  But man, they made me eat my words with this one.  There are two different palettes to choose from, Light and Dark, and within those two palettes, there are four different blushes.  I prefer the Dark palette not only because the colors match my skintone better, but I feel like the products are a bit less chalky than those in the Light.  I'm going to tell you right off the bat, that one of the blushes has glitter in it and I hate glitter in blush (see above) so I could do without that shade.  The others, however, pack one heck of a punch!  I'd say start with a light hand, because these babies are PIGMENTED but they glide across the skin beautifully and blend like a dream!

Best Bang For Your Buck: Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush ($2.99)


I would be remiss if I failed to mention the O.G. of the drugstore blush world - the Wet n Wild Color Icon.  These matte blushes were the best on the market for so long, and it's really not that hard to see why.  They're super pigmented, blend beautifully and last all day long.  They were recently reformulated to be softer to the touch, and while I appreciate that, this has increased the product's fallout upon application.  For this reason, NYX has dethroned these blushes as my favorite.  The price, however, still makes it a great option for those looking for a good matte blush.

That's it!  Those are the best drugstore blushes on the market right now!  Which ones are your favorites?  Check out the other posts in this series here.

~Glammie love!
Jaz

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Glam Destination Tries: DIY Bath Bombs

Hello Glammies!

If you're reading this, you probably are either 1) an aficionado for bath time 2) like to save money, or 3) both! 

That being said, welcome to the club!

I can not remember the last time I had a bath.  For the past 5 years, I have either had a shower stall or a bathtub without a plug. Now that I find myself with a tub to fully enjoy, the first thing I wanted to do is run out and spend my entire paycheck on some wonderfully scented Lush Bath Bombs!  That was until I got an email saying my credit card statement was ready for payment and I saw the amount that was due... well there goes that idea! So, I figured that DIY Bath Bombs were the "winner winner chicken dinner" option. Not only would I have a yearly supply of bath bombs, but these cute bombs make great homemade gifts (hint: the wedding season time). I believe with some practice it seems possible to create fun shapes, such as muffins bath bombs!


Now that it was decided that Jaz and I wanted to experiment making bath bombs, and it was time to research. Luckily for us, Jaz was able to find an awesome bath bomb starter kit on Amazon! Thank you Amazon, can't remember how life was like before your existence! 

Image taken from Amazon.com sold by Bath Bomb Kit Co.

The packaging is too cute, and if you're too lazy or have no time (drying time calls for 2 days) to even attempt to make bath bombs to give as gifts, you can literally give them the box with its contents as the gift! Think of it like buying someone a puzzle, but more relaxing and rewarding!

The majority of these ingredients can be found at your local mega supermarket, and if you can't, there's always Amazon! Because of the mold, spray bottle, and mini essential oils, and exact measurements provided in this kit, I recommend first timers to go ahead and buy the kit, and then by the restock ingredients for your next batch. This kit makes approximately 15-20 bath bombs. It is a lot more than the 12 it says it makes on their Amazon page! 

The recipe is pretty straight forward, and as long as you read the instructions, you should not have any problems. Only note I would make is make sure you count how many spritzes of  water you put in (we counted in sets of ten in order to not lose count) so you can slowly see the binding of the ingredients without activating the key ingredients. Also if you're going to use a decorative, such as food coloring, don't use gel food coloring. We used gel which was hard to mix, so I think you may have better luck with liquid food coloring.




I recommend trying to save this recipe somewhere safe if you order the kit, or shameless plug,
bookmark this blog to be able to come back to it time and time again!

Watch our short video below for a demonstration:

video


After 2+ days of drying time, see the results below:






Aren't these the cutest favors and homemade gifts? Tag GlamDestination on Instagram to see your DIY Bath Bombs!

Thanks for stopping by!

Glammie love,

Bex

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Drugstore Superstars: Bronzers

Hey Glammies!  I'm sorry that I've taken so long to continue this series; to be completely honest, it's just that I've really been dreading this particular post.  I've decided that finding a good bronzer at the drugstore is next to impossible.  In an effort to duplicate the glow of freshly tanned skin, most products have glitter in the formula.  While it may look good swatched on your arm, it's not wise to make your face look like a disco ball.  Yes, there are a few matte bronzers, but they unfortunately don't have very much color variety.  As I have tan skin, most don't even show up on me.  I've searched far and wide and came up with this list of bronzers that are "good enough" for me.  I have yet to find my holy grail, but don't worry... I'll keep looking!

Wet n Wild Coloricon Bronzer ($3.99)


Officially, this bronzer comes in 3 shades: Reserve Your Cabana, Bikini Contest, and Take Me to Brazil.  However, I can't imagine who would be pale enough to use Reserve Your Cabana as a bronzer.  It's simply too light (it would be a good highlighter though!).  So, with that in mind, this bronzer really comes in two shades.  Therein lies one of the main problems that I have with drugstore bronzer: there isn't enough shade selection.  The darkest shade, Take Me to Brazil, isn't really dark enough for me to use as a bronzer per se, but when I dust it on my skin, it does provide a nice, luminous, just-got-back-from-the-beach glow.  That brings me to what I love about this product, which is the formula.  As I said before, I feel like it's hard to find illuminating bronzers at the drugstore because they usually have chunky glitter in them.  I was a bit worried when I saw the pan because it looked like there were pieces of glitter, but it doesn't actually translates when you put it on.  The texture is buttery smooth, it applies effortlessly and it has great staying power.  It has a nice sheen to it that mimics a dewy, luminous complexion,  Meanwhile, with SPF15, and checking in at a price point of $3.99 for a larger than standard compact, it's definitely one of the best values around.

NYX Matte Bronzer ($9.00)


As far as drugstore bronzers go, this one is my favorite,  It is very pigmented, easy to apply, blends amazingly and doesn't fade throughout the day.  If I love it so much, why did I say that I have yet to find my holy grail?  Again, it comes down to shade selection.  I realize that it seems a bit silly for women of color to use bronzer, since they're already tanned, but it's actually one of my favorite products to use because a good bronzer has the ability to shape, sculpt and bring definition to a face... who wouldn't want that?  In store, I've only ever seen this particular bronzer in 3 shades: light, medium and deep tan.  Deep tan works as a bronzer for me, but how about the girls who are darker than me?  I'll step off of my soapbox in just a second, but lack of variety for women of color is definitely something that I always get reminded of when I go makeup shopping.  Having said this, I feel like I should mention that, while it seems like I'm crucifying drugstore products, the high-end companies are also guilty.

(I'd like to note that, apparently, this bronzer comes in 5 shades, not 3, as I originally thought.  Unfortunately, the 2 darker shades are only available online at nyxcosmetics.com, and Ulta doesn't even carry them.  This being a blog post about products that you can pick up in store, my point still stands.)

L'Oreal True Match Powder ($10.95)


I know that this powder is technically not a bronzer, but I would be amiss if I left off the product that I use the most for contouring.  If you've read my post about drugstore foundations, you've already heard me sing this powder's praises.  (If not, check it out here.)  The great thing about using a face powder as a bronzer is that there are a ton of colors from which to choose, and you can even pick the undertone.  If you would like to use the bronzer just around the perimeter of your face, in order to warm up your complexion, you can pick a shade with a warm undertone.  If you would like to use it to contour, you can pick a shade with a cool undertone, which can mimic shadows on your face.  The key is to get a shade just a couple shades darker than yours, and you'll be able to sculpt out your cheekbones and define your other features in no time.

So, there you have it!  My drugstore bronzer superstars!  If you want to check out the other blog posts from this series, click here.  Stay tuned for the next installment: Blushes!

Glammie Love!
~Jaz