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Despite having dabbled in makeup artistry back in the day, I had never tried the famous Smashbox ‘Photo Finish’ foundation primer that launched the brand into pro status. It’s been on my to-do list for a while, and after a 3 month road test of another primer that turned out to be fine but not great, I was ready for something new. While perusing for some post-holiday exchanges I spotted a great little Smashbox ‘Try It’ Kit and knew the time was right.

smash box try it kit

I’m always on the prowl for something new and this box was filled with goodies! The samples are all a great size too. Almost two weeks and I have plenty left to experiment with…

  • Photo Finish Foundation Primer Obsessed! The old primer I was using clogged my pores a bit, but in the week and a half I’ve been using this my skin has cleared right up. Plus, it definitely does the job of keeping my makeup in place all day. I find myself powdering my oily noisy maybe once during the day compared to the 2-3 times I was before. I’m hooked.
  • Photo Finish Lid Primer This is some heavy duty shadow primer. I’ve never had my shadow stay like this. I used a little too much the first day and felt a little heavy, but I got the application right the second and was really wowed. Not a crease, not a fleck of missing shadow at day’s end.
  • Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx Long wearing yet smudgeable! I’ve been using this every day happily, but it definitely calls for a more heavy duty eye makeup remover. I’ll be keeping this in my regular rotation, on those days when I want a little more
  • Lip Enhancing Gloss in Illume Super glittery, maybe a bit much for my taste, but this might work well layered over a lipstick or another gloss. Cute, but not my favorite.
  • Full Exposure Mascara Fabulous! Super lush lashes, great brush. If I wasn’t completely in love with my eyelash extensions, this would be my new reuglar mascara. I love a thick, dramatic lash and this one really does the trick.

smashbox try it kit

Next on my list is to try a new foundation and powder, and after this round of winners, I’m thinking this other BB Cream & powder Smashbox ‘Try It’ Kit might be exactly where I start.

Check out my full beauty wish list here:

raudette_beauty_faves

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CoverGirl‘s new line inspired by the newest Hunger Games, Catching Fire is fabulous! The costumes and styling here are so fun and glamorous. Gorgeous color combinations! I’m definitely inspired to try something a little different with my makeup tomorrow.

covergirl hunger games power
covergirl hunger games fishing
covergirl hunger games livestock
covergirl hunger games technology
covergirl hunger games lumber
covergirl hugner games mining

images via covergirl
h/t to gradient lair

Check out my full beauty wish list here:

raudette_beauty_faves

 

I am thrilled! Always a winner in these, sometimes a few. And now I have a new favorite…

BirchBox

  • theBalm Stainiac Lip & Cheek Stain This is the perfect soft pink. I don’t often use a cheek stain because bolder blush is usually the look I go for, but for a lovely, slightly flushed, natural look, I would definitely recommend this. It provides just the right tint for either lips or cheeks.
  • Shea Terra Organics Deep Pore Facial Cleanser My new favorite thing! I’ve been lamenting over the loss of my favorite exfoliating cream for a while now and haden’t found anything that will do the job right, until now! My skin is bright and clean and free from dead, flaky skin. I’ve been using it every other day – I already ordered a full bottle!
  • Alison Raffaele Reality Base Foundation Although the color I was sent wasn’t quite right (I guess I didn’t quite communicate how truly pale I am!), the texture of this foundation was quite nice. I usually wear a full coverage foundation, but this light oil-free version is great for a more natural, moderate coverage look.
  • DDF Wrinkle Resist plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum The days I wore it my skin felt softer and my pores definitely looked minimized, but I broke out a bit and there might be too much stuff going on here. At least for my skin.
  • ChapStick Hydration Lock I’m a big chapstick fan. I generally always have one in my purse. This one is a bit more hydrating and heavy duty than usual. A little too matte for my every day go-to, but I’ll keep it around and it will definitely do the job when needed this winter!

Want to try BirchBox? Sign up here.

birchbox

happy weekend

I’m staying in with a sick little husband tonight.
Here’s a little link love for the weekend…

I love this outfit like whoa. Especially that jacket. 
Lucy Liu is so damn lovely.
The magic of creating cheekbones.
Definitely into the midi dress trend.
Current food obsession.
This quote and this face.
The best pants for always. On sale!
Kinda makes me want to start watching this show again.
Sally Draper is growing up fast.
How to bitchface. Hilarious. 

Also, it’s friends & family weekend at kate spade! Save 30% off with code FALL13FF through Sunday.

image via the shiny squirrel 

 

 

 

 

Now that I’ve cut my hair, I’ve only managed two styles so far, smooth & sleek and a little tussled. It’s been a few weeks now and definitely time that I start mixing up the routine. The first one that caught my eye was Indie Jane‘s faux side shave. I’ve been a little green with envy over the side-shave look, but am not quite brave enough to take the plunge. This is the perfect way to give it a little test run!

[click each of the photos for the tutorial]

indie jane _ faux side shave
indie jane _  faux side shave

This gorgeous updo from Keiko Lynn is a lovely way to dress it all up a bit. I’m going to have to work on my scarf tying abilities!

keiko lynn _ short hair updo

And for super special days, I love the look of this vintage style victory roll. And that color is just gorgeous!

modcloth victory roll

xoxo.

I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of trying new products every month! Each box I’ve gotten has been full of fun new items, and at least one clear winner that’s made it into my regular rotation. This month? A bright new exfoliating cream, and maybe a couple other things too!

Birchbox 6

  • Keratherapy Keratin Infused Daily Smoothing Cream If I went for a sleek look more often, I think this would be my go-to, but for my fine, limp hair, it was a just a bit heavy for every day. I’ll probably use this a few times, but not enough to justify buying it.
  • Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss Definitely moisturizing! The color didn’t have a lot of staying power, but it left my lips feeling soft and smooth. Like it, but not love it.
  • Ruffian The Crowdsourced Collection in Fox Hunt Gorgeous! This is quality nail polish. Just one coat did the trick and the color is vibrant. Now I just need to find the perfect deep blue to pair it with for fall…
  • Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray This hair spray is pretty fabulous. It holds, but leaves my hair feeling natural. No helmet head here! It’s a little on the pricey side, but just might be worth it. I don’t know if I can go back to my old drug store brand after weeks of better hair days.
  • Grand Central Beauty SMART Skin Perfecting Polisher I love an exfoliating cream. There was a Clinique one I used for years that kept my skin bright, but was discontinued. They had a close replacement, but it’s a little too gently for my combination skin. This could be my replacement. It definitely packs a pow. My skin felt bright and new after only one use, but just like other exfoliators, try not too use it too often or you’ll end up stripping your skin. This one will be perfect twice a week to slough off the dead, dull skin and bring back a little radiance!

Want to try BirchBox? Sign up here.