July Favorites

Some of these may be carry overs from June since I, you know, never blogged about them. And this is going to be long  because of that and 100 points to Gryffindor if you make it through this entire post! And shockingly there were no fails, but that’s probably because I’ve forgotten about them. Also, this pic is just full of May favorites I’ve already blogged about, so if there’s anything you see that isn’t mentioned, go to this post. Is it super lame that I’m not retaking the picture so it actually reflects this month? Probably. I’ll change it out later (I say that now, but I bet I won’t).

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THE FAVORITES

Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette ($42)
I mean, whoa. Not only is this palette full of rich, beautiful colors, it has a great mix of mattes and shimmers (unlike her Self-Made palette, which is one of the most disappointing palettes of my life). The formula has changed as well, and while there’s a pretty decent amount of kickback, you’re also getting buttery smooth, super pigmented shadows that perform better than any others I’ve used. Worth every penny, trust me.

RCMA No Color Powder ($12)
This translucent powder is everything I’ve ever wanted to set my face with and more. It’s velvety, performs beautifully, blends out and has no flashback, and it keeps me as oil-free as any product possibly can for a pretty decent amount of time (I am a terribly oily girl).

NYX Matte Finish setting spray ($8)
This is hands down the best setting spray I’ve found at the drugstore. It doesn’t smell awful, it works really well, and I love the matte finish. This is awesome if you have naturally oily skin!

Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence ($17)
For those of you who’ve been following me awhile, you know I’m deep down the rabbit hole of Korean skincare. I’d been really unhappy with my last essence (it literally did nothing, and I didn’t understand why people raved about it), so I decided to give this one a shot and wow. Now I understand why people love essence. It basically fixes everything about your skin in one little bottle. It also has a pleasant, mild scent, and a serum-like texture.

ColourPop Cosmetics Ultra Satin Lip in Dohee ($6)
This is a collar with @imjennim and to be perfectly honest, I purchased it because she’s Korean and we need to stick together. But it turns out that this is honestly one of my most favorite liquid lipsticks ever — if I didn’t have a gazillion others, I’d wear this all the time. The texture is perfect, it wears really nicely (and pretty long, too), and the color is bombtastic.

Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara + Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant mascara
Ok, I know I’ve mentioned both mascaras in other posts, but lemme tell you, one day I thought “Maybe I’ll combine them and see what happens,” and that is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. I have fantastically short lashes that are primarily covered by my monolid, but two coats of Smoky Extravagant (I don’t even need a lash curler anymore) topped with one coat of Better than Sex (honestly, whoever named this has never had sex) makes for some great volume, curl, and length.

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer concealer ($26)
Ok, so if you read my May Favorites and Fails, then you’re probably wondering why on earth this is on this list right now. Guys, sometimes my first impression of a product is really really horrendous and then over time, I realize that it’s actually awesome. I think the combination of my skin’s texture at the time + not using the right setting powder contributed to me not liking this concealed, but honestly it’s amazing. It’s NOT crepe city as I originally thought, it has incredible coverage but is really lightweight, and it lasts through the day really well. The scent is awful, though. I’m still sticking with that — straight up wall paint, but it does dissipate pretty quickly. I retract my previous review that it’s a fail, and I’m absolutely going to repurchase.

Mario Badescue Enzyme Revitalizing Mask ($20)
Hahahahahaha both of May’s fails ended up on my favorites list this month. Go figure. Same as the Tarte concealer, my first impression was bad and then over time, I used it more and fell in love. Also like the Tarte concealer, the scent still sucks, unfortunately, but I’m pushing through.

What were some of your favorites last month? Did you get your hands on a bunch of the newest releases?

ColourPop Lip Products: A Full Comparison

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I have a well-documented love of ColourPop Cosmetics – I purchase items from the company nearly every month and have at least one item in every one of their categories, ranging from super shock eyeshadows (the best eyeshadows of life) to the brow pencil to their highlighters and bronzers. My knees go a little weak whenever they release something new — the collaborations are innovative, the seasonal collections are beautiful and well thought out, and the products continue to improve all the time.

Jerks. The whole lot of them.

Because I’ve made myself something of a ColourPop connoisseur, I get a lot of questions from friends and clients about what differentiates each of the lip lines and what’s best for their needs. And, of course, I have at least three products from each line (of course) and at least one of every finish because I am so extra like that. In this post, I’m going to outline every single one of them, their pros and cons, and hopefully you can decide what it is you want (although I really think you should want it all).

For starters, all Lippie Pencils and Lippie Stix (regardless of finish) are $5 each. FIVE DOLLARS. All Ultra Matte Lips and Ultra Satin Lips are $6 each, making them the least expensive liquid lipsticks on the market that are also really, really, really fantastic.

Lippie Pencils
These are your basic lip pencil (matte finish) — nearly every lipstick has a coordinating pencil, so you can be pretty well guaranteed that your lip pencil stash will grow exponentially. These are the best lip pencils I’ve ever used — they’re so super duper creamy and have a great lasting power, plus they don’t bleed into the skin (and keep your lipstick from doing so as well). Despite having several brands of lip pencils, I tend to only reach for my ColourPop because they’re superior to all others.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

At time of publication, there are 60 Lippie Pencils from which to choose, from neutrals to bright reds to even a fantastic aquamarine perfect for spring and summer (and the especially bold.

Lippie Stix
These are what started it all for me. I’d heard great things about their lipsticks and decided to buy just a few, and then I won the Spring 2015 collection in its entirety, and my lifelong addiction was born. They come in eight different finishes:

  • Sheer
  • Cream
  • Glossy
  • Hyper Glossy
  • Satin
  • Pearlized
  • Matte
  • Matte X

The Glossy and Hyper Glossy are not my favorites, but that’s largely because I’m not particularly fond of gloss in general. The sheer made its debut last summer and didn’t catch on very much, and I don’t know why because it’s a great formula. It still has a really nice pigmentation despite being called sheer (although even as I say this, I have to admit that I only have one in that line). The cream and satin are like your basic lipsticks you can buy from nearly every brand, except theirs are highly pigmented with an excellent wear. I’ve yet to try the pearlized, although there is currently only one shade. The matte were absolutely my favorite finish in the entire collection, but then … then, you guys, they released matte x.

A moment of silence for the matte x.

This is the greatest lipstick formula of life. It’s SUPER matte but also magically hydrating, leaving your lips feeling velvety all day long. Despite not being branded as a longwear item (like liquid lipstick), it has an incredible longevity that lasts easily through eating and drinking. I recommend this one for anyone who likes a matte finish but doesn’t like the issues that may arise with a liquid lipstick.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

At time of publication, there are 79 Lippie Stix from which to choose, which means you’ll need to save up $395 to own the entire collection. I think that’s entirely worth it.

Ultra Matte Lip
These were the first drugstore-priced liquid lipsticks to hit the scene. There have been some complaints about the packaging (some leakage issues) and dryness (like, major dryness), but overall, they’re some of the best liquid lipsticks you can buy even in comparison to higher end. They’re also *coughs* the same thing as the Kylie lip kits, while being INSANELY cheaper, and you don’t lose your soul or dignity by purchasing them because they don’t have a Kardashian name attached to them. I own three from the line (so many lipsticks, so little time) and have no complaints about them — I haven’t experienced leakage or any dryness worse than other brands, and their longevity has been awesome. Midi and Solow last through even burgers and fries (no, seriously), and Trap only needs a little bit of touch-up post eating. I will say they aren’t the best for touch-ups like other brands I’ve used — they have a tendency to get a little crumbly when you layer them, but that is a pretty small price to pay in my opinion.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

At time of publication, there are 47 Ultra Matte Lips from which to choose with fun names like Chilly Chili, Kapow, and Shimmy. All the cool kids are buying them.

Ultra Satin Lip
These the newest collection to hit ColourPop’s site (the matte x are still Lippie Stix, so I consider them the newest line), and they’ve made waves. A longwearing (though not transfer-proof) lip product with a satin finish and nice stain, it’s pretty innovative. They apply like a liquid lipstick without the massive dry lip experience, and because they stain the lips, even as they wear off, it’s very gradual and subtle. I’ve only had one dud in the four I’ve ordered (though one I haven’t worn yet), and that was Botanical, so I haven’t included it in my swatch photo. It applied patchy and crumbled off my lips, with little to no stain, but the others have been fantastic. They’re lipstick elevated, and I’m absolutely reaching for them more than traditional lipsticks.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

At time of publication, there are 24 fantastic satiny colors from which to choose. Because there are so few, that obviously means you can buy them all (except Botanical. I wouldn’t recommend that one). These are especially great for travel!

So. 210 beautiful lip products all calling your name, no more than $6 apiece. Which will you purchase first???

May Favorites and Fails

May was a pretty decent month in terms of new discoveries (in fact, not one item here is one I’ve been using for forever and have suddenly decided I love it — I actually purchased all these or began using them in the month of May). I will try to get a YouTube video up about these soon!

THE FAVORITES

Beauty So Clean Wipeout Brush Cleaner
I mean, this is the best disinfecting in-between deep cleanings spray I’ve ever used ever. Glamzilla mentioned it in her favorites video, and I was perusing Beautylish one day, saw it, and figured I’d give it a shot. The price point is not my favorite, but it works SO SO well. I even had a couple concealer buffing brushes that had been stained and no other brush cleaner (solid, soap, what have you) was taking care of it. Beauty So Clean literally made them white again. I sound like an awful informercial, but the stuff is gold.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

ColourPop Cosmetics Matte X collection
My next post is going to be a full comparison/rundown of all the different finishes of ColourPop lip products (because you know I own at least one of every type BECAUSE I AM SO EXTRA). Matte X is hands down my favorite — hydrating, mega matte, super pigmented, comfortable, wears well, $5 a pop, vegan.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

H&M Bronzer
Naturally the shade I purchased and am madly in love with is sold out (Natural Bronze). I know I’m really late to the H&M makeup game, but they were having a sale on select products and free shipping (the H&Ms in my area don’t carry makeup), and I just went for the gold. This bronzer is so buttery velvety good with a fantastic color payoff and blendability. Seriously get yourself one today — $9.99, and it’s better than most high-end bronzers (for real). Packaging is a little flimsy but still looks chic.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant mascara
WHY. IS. NO. ONE. TALKING. ABOUT. THIS. I kept receiving samples of this from Sephora and would kind of let them expire before tossing them because people are raving about Too Faced Better Than Sex (also a favorite, so no shade here) or Benefit’s mascaras (honestly some of my least favorites of all time), so I figured it wasn’t worth trying. False. This is the best mascara I’ve ever tried — my favorite combo is two coats of it plus one coat of Better Than Sex on the tips, and I have super long, luscious, curled, defined, separated, volumized lashes. It’s so so so good.

Tony Moly Cat’s Wink clear pact
If we’re going to be really honest here, I don’t know that this powder is any better than any other pressed powder in existence. But the package is shaped like a cat, and till you use it enough, there’s a cat paw embossed on it. Like, honestly, that is why it’s one of my favorite products. I just love cats.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

Ofra Cosmetics You Glow, Girl highlight
I finally got my hands on this highlighter after everyone and their dog had been using it for months and months. A collaboration between Ofra and the DupeThat girls, it’s such a unique color that I had to have it. It’s a little pink, a little frosty, a little silver, a little lavender, and the formula is incredible. Like the most pigmented highlighter of my entire life — a little goes a very long way.

THE FAILS

Tarte Cosmetics Rainforest of the Sea Aquacealer concealer
So the problem, naturally, is that I am now stuck with a $19 concealer (bought it on sale from Tarte directly) that smells like house paint and leaves my under eye area looking the worst it possibly could. Crepe city, it accentuates everything I couldn’t possibly want accentuated, and the smell is just so so strong and off-putting. I keep hoping that perhaps my undereye area will suddenly become flawless and perfect so this concealer won’t end up in the trash, but I’m afraid it probably will. If you don’t have the smoothest baby butt skin under your eyes, this is a huge no.

Mario Badescue Enzyme Revitalizing Mask
An esthetician friend of mine said, “You need an enzyme mask,” and Mario Badescu is a good brand, plus it was on sale at Ulta, so I bought it. First of all, it smells like public restroom cleaner — I can’t think of any other way to describe it. Slathering it all over your face is a test in futility because of the scent alone. Second, it doesn’t appear to actually do anything. Now perhaps my skin is already just so perfectly revitalized that I don’t really need it, but it seems to me the more likely option is that this particular mask is pretty meh. I’ll continue using it till I run out, but hard pass on it, and unless it starts doing something magical on my face, I won’t be repurchasing.

LE Makeup: The Sephora Minnie’s World of Color palette

This isn’t really a review on the product — I’m debating whether I’m even going to use it at all or just leave it as a collector’s item on display. If I do decide to use it, then expect a complete review! I can tell you how they swatch on the arm but as of now not how they perform on the eye.

However, I swatched the entire thing and wanted to go into more detail about each shadow than I could in an Instagram caption, so hopefully you’ve come from Instagram to check this post out. Make sure to subscribe to my blog so you can get regular reviews about all the latest and greatest makeup products (including a LOT of cruelty-free)!

This palette is $45 and holds within it 20 eyeshadows and a mirror, all of which are removable so you can use the case as a clutch. That, in and of itself, is the cutest idea ever, and it would make for an extremely adorable purse when you’re going out with friends or on a date.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

Overall, I think the price is extremely comparable to other Sephora LE palettes and very competitive with other higher end brands. Since it’s Disney themed, all the shadows are named appropriately, and there’s a good range of mattes and shimmers and neutrals and color. Let’s take a look inside!

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

I love that there are four larger neutrals in the center that you can use as base colors or transitions, but overall the pan sizes are pretty small. I actually found it difficult to swatch the smaller shadows with my finger without making a mess in the rest of the palette because of their size. There are some really amazing shadows in this palette, and unfortunately some real duds.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

First off, I created this collage and permanently deleted the original photos before realizing I put rows 1 and 2 out of order, so I’m really sorry about that!!! I’ll review each row in the order that they appear in this photo to avoid any confusion. These swatches were all done without primer.

ROW TWO:

  • YOO-HOO! This is a mint green satin finish. It’s unfortunately not very pigmented, and I had to build it up quite a bit on my arm, but it might be a lot better over primer or concealer (as could be the case with all the shadows that didn’t swatch well). I kind of think this particular shade is difficult to formulate because both Anastasia Beverly Hills shadows that are similar are also lacking in pigmentation.
  • EX-BOYFRIEND This is a shimmery silver greige with some lavendar undertones. It’s pretty buttery and pigmented but a little on the chunky side (it blends out pretty well, however).
  • SOME LIKE IT DOT This is a metallic bronze/gold. I think this is one of the best shadows in the entire palette — it’s pigmented, smooth, and has a really nice finish.
  • MICKEY’S SQUEEZE This is a glittery lavendar with a satin finish. The color payoff of this shadow is only mediocre, and the glitter makes it SUPER chunky. I would expect a pretty good amount of fallout when using it for an eye look, unfortunately.
  • BLUE RHYTHM This is a very pale blue matte finish. It’s one of the worst, if not THE worst, shadows in the entire palette. It applies patchy and has barely any color payoff at all. It does feel very velvety and may perform better with a brush, but it’s pretty awful when swatched.

ROW ONE:

  • FLIRT IN A SKIRT This is a medium cool-toned brown matte finish. It barely shows up at all, even after several layers, like Blue Rhythm. I found this to be the case with nearly every matte shadow in the palette.
  • HELLO, MICKEY! This is a cool-toned bright pink matte finish. It’s oddly chunky, despite being a matte (usually that occurs in glitters or metallics), and it applied patchy.
  • PUT A BOW ON IT This is a bone colored matte finish. It would be perfect for setting your eye primer or for a very subtle highlight under the browbone.
  • DAISY’S MY BFF This is a bright white matte finish. This isn’t a super pigmented white shadow but would also be a great option for a subtle highlight under the browbone or for the inner corner.
  • I’M ALL EARS This is a black matte finish. I have a lot of better black shadows that are much more pigmented, but this isn’t terrible. It would be good for smoking out the lower lashline or blending out black eyeliner.

ROW THREE (This is by far the best row of the entire palette):

  • PUPPY LOVE This is a pale yellow-peach matte finish. Another good option for setting primer or for a subtle highlight, but I think it would also look good on the entire lid for a neutral no makeup look.
  • STARLET This is a soft metallic peachy pink. I think this is a gorgeous shadow that is perfect for spring and would look incredible on  the entire lid for a soft look.
  • RED CARPET ARRIVAL This is a silver metallic with some subtle beige undertones. Like Some Like It Dot, the color payoff and texture of this shadow is awesome. It would look incredible on the lid, the inner corner, or under the browbone depending upon what sort of look you’re creating.
  • GIRLISH APPEAL This is a shimmery aubergine shade satin finish. It’s unfortunately a little chunky, but it blends out well and has better pigmentation than many of the other shimmers in the palette. I love that it’s a darker shadow in the palette but not too moody.
  • SO DEMURE This is a navy blue satin finish. I really like this shadow a lot — despite it also being a little chunky, it blends out well and is a really gorgeous shade. I love that it leans a little more towards a rich royal blue than a dark, cool-toned navy that you find in a lot of other palettes.

ROW FOUR:

  • MISS MINNIE This is a metallic coppery red. This swatches much more subtly than it looks in pan, but it’s still a really gorgeous color that I think would build up well. I think it’s kind of an odd choice for Minnie, but I suppose a bright red shadow wouldn’t be very popular.
  • BIG SHOES TO FILL This is a glittery goldenrod yellow with a satin finish. Like Mickey’s Squeeze, this is a super chunky shadow due to the glitter. It is a gorgeous color, however, and is perfect for spring and summer.
  • PICK ME UP AT 8 This is a matte neutral brown. Since all the other matte shadows in this palette are pretty terrible, I was surprised by how AWESOME this particular shade is. It’s very pigmented and one of the best shadows in all.
  • WHOOPEE PARTY This is a matte blue-violet. This is unfortunately lacking in pigmentation and blendability, but I think it could work really well over a white or black shadow base. It’s such a gorgeous color that’s pretty unique.
  • BE MY BOW This is a metallic gunmetal silver with a satin finish (the metallic is to indicate that it’s like metal rather than a metallic finish). This shadow isn’t too bad at all — it’s pretty pigmented and smooth and would look great with any glam look.

I was surprised by how many misses I found in this palette because Sephora shadows are usually pretty good. I own the Jem & the Holograms LE palette and am very happy with how incredible all the shadows are. It seems to me they spent more time and effort on the packaging for this palette rather than what’s inside. However, as I mentioned before, these might be a lot better over primer and blended out using brushes. I do own a lot of shadows/palettes by brands that swatch beautifully with one swipe on clean, unprimed skin, however.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this palette, though. The packaging is some of the absolute best ANY company has unveiled, and the fact that you can convert it into a clutch is so awesome. If you’re a Disney lover, you should really consider adding this to your collection!

To purchase your own, click here.

April Favorites and Fails

Look at me being so johnny on the spot with this month’s favorites/fails, instead of posting it halfway through the following month. *pats self on back*

This is my accompanying post to my latest YouTube video (go check it out now!), so I might not go as in depth here as much as usual since I expounded upon them (and showed swatches) in that video.

THE FAVORITES

Bath & Body Works Shower Gel
They’re cruelty-free! Yay! I’m not sure when they made that transition, but I’m super stoked because their scents are always so delicious, and now I can buy them guilt-free. I purchased six from their Spring 2016 collection of tropical scents, and they’re all INCREDIBLE. I especially love that the scent lasts on the skin throughout the day!

Skin Food Black Sugar Mask
Holy grail skincare product. I ran out of it a couple weeks ago, and my skin is AWFUL because of it. I didn’t realize how much it was helping till I didn’t have it, and now I’m so sad! If you’re interested in learning more about Korean skincare, check out this post.

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Photo found here

Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Setting Spray
This is such a good setting spray for less than $5! I have very oily skin, and I find that it helps my makeup last a lot longer throughout the day for a fraction of the cost of other setting sprays. Definitely check it out!

House of Lashes Lash Story
If this isn’t the cutest way to store your falsies, then I don’t know what is. This sturdy, book-like case will hold ten pairs of your favorite false lashes, plus two mini HoL adhesives (the best glue in the game).

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Photo found here

Wet n Wild brushes — blush, flat top
I purchased the entire set online awhile back (came to the huge, enormous total of $28, so … yeah they’re pretty economical), and there are some hits and misses for me, but the blush brush and flat top are so awesome. I use the flat top for my foundation, concealer, and setting powder and love the results!

Morphe Brushes — M432, M507, M523, M527
I picked up these brushes after watching Jaclyn Hill’s favorite Morphe brushes video, and I LOVE them! They’re honestly some of my favorite brushes in my entire kit right now, and I’m definitely going to purchase them for my client kit as well.

ColourPop Cosmetics Brow Pencil
I still love my ABH Dipbrow Pomade, but the NYX Micro Brow Pencil has been COMPLETELY replaced with this brow pencil. It’s creamy, pigmented, and it lasts all day. The spoolie on the other end is very sturdy and the perfect size, and I’m not sure I’ll find another brow product I like more!

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Photo found here

Tarte Cosmetics Park Ave. Princess Amazonian Clay waterproof matte bronzer
This is the perfect bronzer for a fair-skinned girl’s contour I’ve ever used. It’s the perfect amount of pigmentation and offers a nice warmth to the skin without being too orange. I love to use it as my contour or bronzer, depending upon how defined I want my cheekbones.

Makeup Geek single eyeshadows
I own Peaches & Cream, Creme Brulee, Latte, Frappe, Cherry Cola, and Americano for my travel palette, along with some duochromes and foiled shadow singles. I use the neutrals almost every single day and just love how well they perform. If you haven’t tried MUG shadows yet, you need to!!!

ColourPop Cosmetics Ultra Satin Lip –– Spritz
This is one of the latest lipstick lines from CP, and it doesn’t disappoint (sort of … more on that later). Think of the Ultra Satin Lips as the sister to the Ultra Matte Lips for people who don’t like drying liquid lipsticks. They’re not transfer proof, but they do stain the lips for a more gradual wear-off effect. Very comfortable, very inexpensive.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

H&M Basics jersey tee
Not makeup related, I know, but for real these are the best, comfiest, cheapest t-shirts I own, and they’re really high quality. They’re elbow-length sleeves, thin enough for hot weather, and just the softest shirts you’ll ever wear. Buy them all.

ColourPop Cosmetics creme gel liners
I own four of these (Best O, Honeydude, Spritz, and Zulu) and am remarkably impressed with how long they stay in the waterline (hours upon hours upon hours) with zero smudging or wear-off. Check out my full, in-depth review here.

THE FAILS

NYX Tinted Brow Mascara
Nope. Gross. It just looked like I did the worst job filling in my brows on its own, over pencil, and over Dipbrow.

NYX Tres Jolie Gel Pencil Liner
This lasted maybe a couple minutes in my waterline and then smudged and wore off. Mega return!

ColourPop Cosmetics Ultra Satin Lips — Botanical
I feel like this particular color was just a huge dud because it performed COMPLETELY differently than Spritz. It bled into my skin, was patchy, cakey, and it didn’t stain my lips enough for them to not look just terrible when it wore off. Huge fail.

WHEW! You made it through, gold star. What were some of your favorites in April? I feel like the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette WOULD have been one of my favorites if I hadn’t just completely missed out on it. *le sigh*

Makeup Review: ColourPop Creme Gel Liner

I’m not even going to pretend like I’m not addicted to ColourPop products. I had a modest stash and then won the Spring 2015 collection, which propelled me into the world of CP addiction. From their Super Shock Eyeshadows to their highlighters to their blushes to their Lippie Stix to their Ultra Satin Lips and everything in between, I’ve got at least one product from each category. It’s inexpensive, it’s cruelty free, it’s highly pigmented, and it’s one of the best brands in the industry.

Not so recently, they unveiled a new product: creme gel liners and gel liner pots. I’m kind of a stickler when it comes to my eyeliner, and I’ve been so unhappy with many of the pencil/gel liners I’ve used, that I was kind of skeptical about them. But then everyone was raving about them, and for $5, I decided to take the plunge. (I have not tried the gel liner pots yet — I’m very happy with plain black winged liner and don’t really ever “accessorize” it with other colors. I may in the future.)

The Price
$5 a pop, which means you can buy a boatload of them, in varying colors, for around the same price as one Marc Jacobs (previously my eyeliner pencil of choice, simply because it sucked the least).

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016 — from left: Best O, Zulu, Honeydude, Swerve

The Packaging
Here’s where we run into an issue. It’s sleek, white plastic (like all their other products — similar to their lip liner except it’s self-sharpening, which is nice and not because the tip is perfectly pointy when you first receive it and then never again after you use it), but they have a problem with the eyeliner sometimes flying out and breaking. True story. Of the four I own, one has this issue, and I find myself popping it back into the pencil. It’s pretty annoying and something I don’t want to deal with, even when the product is inexpensive.

The Product
This is the best eyeliner you’ll ever use for two reasons (aside from the cost, which we’ve already established is bangarang).

  1. It does not go all smudgy. The problem with creamy gel liner pencils is the smudge factor, and when you’re like me and have a prominent lower lid, even tightlining your UPPER lid creates under-eye smudges. Not cute. I wore Swerve (black) for about 12 hours today, including gym time, and at no point did it smudge even the teeniest tiniest bit. They’re literally the only pencil I’ve ever used to be that steadfast.
  2. It stays in the waterline like glue. I’ve worn all four in the waterline, and they last like no tomorrow. The problem with the waterline is obviously the water part — it’s the most susceptible to moisture, which can kill makeup dead. While I did notice it wore off in the lower waterline more than the upper, the fact that I got 7 hours out of it today with little to no transfer is amazing.
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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016

Final Verdict
This should really be the only pencil you should be using on your eyes because it’s simply the best. Aside from the whole liner popping out occasionally, I have zero complaints about it otherwise. It’s creamy, it’s pigmented, it has incredible staying power, it’s inexpensive, and it comes in every color you could possibly want and more.

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Skincare Review: K-Beauty

Back in October, I decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was surrounding the Korean 10-step skincare regimen. I’d always taken certain parts of my skin pretty seriously but after befriending an esthetician and learning more about skincare just by being a certified MUA wanted to do more. Initially, I thought 10 steps was the craziest thing I’d ever heard till it occurred to me that I was doing 6-7 steps every night anyhow, so what were a few more steps. Especially if it meant I’d look like this:

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Photo found here

ROTFLOL I won’t ever look like that because I have adult onset acne, scarring, hyperpigmentation, and I lack a professional photographer and Photoshop.

Anyhow, the first step for me was to figure out exactly what all those ten steps entailed, and it wasn’t that scary. (Okay, reading about snail slime was scary, but the rest was pretty normal.) I’ve linked all the products I use and they are (some are American brands because I am in love with them):

  • Makeup Removal — I personally use eye makeup remover for my waterproof makeup and false lash glue and then a Micellar water for the rest of my face.
  • Oil Pre-Cleanse — when you have oily skin, words like “oil” sound counterproductive, but what I’ve learned in the past few years is that oil is often AWESOME for people with oily skin. It actually aids in slowing down the production of oil and makes you break out less.
  • Foaming Face Cleanser — especially if you have acne-prone skin, the last thing you want to ever put on your face is a harsh, acne-fighting cleanser. It will dry you out like crazy and probably not actually help with the acne. A gentle cleanser will do you fine, keep you hydrated, and you’ll see better results.
  • Exfoliating mask — Korean products are almost always gentler than their American counterparts, so when I say exfoliating, I’m not talking about that horrible walnut-shell based apricot scrub that is literally only good for the soles of your feet. Their sugar scrubs are gentle, hydrating, and leave your skin feeling baby butt soft.
  • Sheet masks — these are just flipping awesome. You put one on, you look like a robber, and then 30 mins later you have the best skin ever.
  • Maintenance masks — on the days I’m not using my sugar scrub or a sheet mask, I’m either not masking (don’t do one every day or else your skin will hate you) or I’m using a clay-based mask. I prefer TruSelf Organics or LUSH.
  • Toner — American toner is harsh, strips skin of everything you want your skin to have, and then it doesn’t appear to do much. HOWEVER, Korean toner is completely different — something to do with the type of alcohol they use (sake). I tried to read up on it, but my eyes kinda glazed over and all I can say is after about 6 months of use, my skin has never dried out from my toner.
  • Essence — this is kind of a mystifying product that helps with fine lines, wrinkles, hydration issues, acne, and the overall tone and texture of your skin. It’s magic.

At this point, I know you’re thinking, “This is already too many steps,” but here are some good reasons why it’s completely worth it. First off, if you already have good skin, this will elevate it to AMAZING and will prevent fine lines, wrinkles, dehydration, etc. from hitting your skin prematurely. You’ll be 50 and no one will know. If you happen to have awful skin like me, well … you should have started it way earlier than I did, but know that the texture, tone, and scarring on your skin will lessen over time, and you’ll be able to prevent gross stuff from happening in the future. Let’s get back to it.

  • This is were I apply my acne gel/cream. The general rule of thumb is the thinner the product, the earlier it goes on your face. My acne cream turns it into an 11-step regimen, and the idea is that if you’re doing this, you won’t need acne cream, but I have special hormones lucky me.
  • Serum — I never used serum before because I didn’t really understand what it was for. It’s amazing and life changing, and you need to find one that tackles what you want it to and use it every day.
  • Emulsion — I’m going to be real honest right now. I don’t quite get why this step exists, and I don’t really see results like it says I should. But FOMO, so I keep using it just in case it’s actually doing amazing things on my face.
  • Daily SPF/Night Cream — daily SPF is so insanely important. It helps you avoid skin cancer and chemotherapy for starters, and it also keeps your skin youthful and less wrinkled. Night cream is a thick, rich cream that keeps you hydrated while you sleep (and can also firm, tone, brighten, etc. — choose one that tackles what you want because there are a bazillion out there).
  • Eye Cream — find one that works for you. Make sure you apply it using your ring finger only, patting (never ever rubbing), and only along the orbital bone. Avoid the actual eye area because it can make you blind, lead to infection, etc. And don’t use something too thick as a jumping off point or you might end up with milia, like me. Which is great.

My experience with Korean skincare was, for the first couple of months, really anticlimactic. I didn’t see the results I expected to (although it certainly didn’t make my skin worse), and I felt like as soon as I ran out of the products, I would go back to my old routine. For the record, I am still using all the same products I purchased back in October — their longevity is kind of insane — and I realized that my skin is actually the best it’s ever been. Ever in the history of my life. And I’m never going back.

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Photo copyright Daisyhead by Mary 2016 — NARS All-Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer, Rimmel Kate Moss Contour Palette in Coral Glow, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Over time, the products I use might change (I’m still on the fence about the Missha essence, but the SK-II is so crazy expensive, I’m not sure I want to go there yet), but I’m pretty happy with what I chose initially — all I did was head to Amazon, look for each product and purchase the most positively reviewed that wouldn’t break the bank.

I do recommend visiting a dermatologist for any major skin concerns. I spent a lot of days in a derm’s office while I was trying to deal with my adult onset acne when it first hit, but I became so frustrated with how little the prescription creams and pills were working (and how much they were tearing up my skin) that I decided to take matters into my own hands. The Koreans, as it turns out, really know what they’re doing when it comes to skin. Trust me, I’m Korean.