Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream Review

October 30, 2020

Mackenzie's Notes

Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream - Light/Medium

In my daily routine I was using Laura Mercier's Oil Free Foundation, and found that during winter that was too drying for me, emphasizing dry spots.  I used to break out regularly in the past, but I haven't recently and didn't need such a full coverage everyday.  Therefore I was dotting the product where I needed only, making my face look splotchy and uneven. I decided to look into some BB creams since I was looking for an even complexion, light/medium coverage and the benefits of SPF.

I have recently tried out three separate BB creams: Garnier, Clinique BB cream and Smashbox BB cream. I will be doing a review on the Garnier because it's the one I like the most and have been using regularly. In the future I will review the Clinique one as it is a close contender and similar to the Garnier, and Smashbox I have to play with it a bit more before reviewing it.  

Before you read the review, I have light/medium skin tone with yellow undertones and I have combination/oily skin with a very oily T zone and dry patches on my nose, under eye area and around my mouth.  I hope you find this review helpful and I hope you give BB creams a chance as they can be wonderful when you find the right one.

Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream Claims:
SPF 15 sunscreen. Instantly: renews; brightens; evens; hydrates; protects. This all-in-one formula combines intense moisturizing skincare with Vitamin C + Mineral Pigments for instant miracle skin transformation: Evens skin's tone and complexion. Blurs imperfections (like blotchiness and fine lines). Boosts radiance. Moisturizes for 24-hours. Protects with SPF 15 UVA/UVB sunscreen against the harmful effects of the sun - the no. 1 cause of skin aging. Vitamin C + Mineral Pigments. Formulation facts. Dermatologist tested for safety. Non comedogenic - won't clog pores. Gentle to skin. Non-greasy. For even tone.
The amount here would be enough to cover your whole face! That's why it looks a little darker than it would when blended out
Pros: Price wise, you get a lot of product (2.5 oz) for approximately $11 dollars (give or take with coupons or your location); a pea sized amount is also all you need to cover your entire face. This is pricey for a drugstore product, but keep in mind that higher end ones such as Clinique ($37/1.4 oz) and Smashbox ($39/1 oz ) retail for much higher price. Also, the drugstore BB creams such as Maybelline ($9/ 1.09 oz) and L'Oreal ($10.99/1.0 oz) are in the same price range plus you get less product. I like the packaging with the flip cap and you can store it easily standing up. Color of product comes close enough for me to wear it in public, but it's not a complete match since it has more pink undertones. The cream gives you light/medium coverage and sometimes I add two layers for added coverage; other BB creams I've tried don't come close to the pigmentation of this one (L'Oreal, Maybelline). The cream applies wonderfully on, emollient and easily blend able since you can play around with it for a while before it sets (which could be a con too).  I'm glad it's non comedogenic, and so far so good, I haven't broken out or had any weird happening in my skin (but will let you know if it happens since that is one of my main concerns). 

The product has great lasting power, doesn't settle into fine lines, stays put the whole day and looks great even after 10+ hours. I also bought this product for its hydrating claims, and I can say it definitely does that wonderfully for 24 hours; I have no more dry patches and my face doesn't feel tight like it used to. After applying it, my complexion is also very even, flawless and dewy and I love the way I look when I wear it (got a few compliments on my skin when wearing it yay). Last but not least, love the fact that includes SPF since some BB creams still don't (what's the point then..and L'Oreal I'm looking at you!), and it's nice to know you're applying Vitamin C (for brightening and evening purposes) and mineral pigments to your skin.  I use this product everyday now, and even though it has slight negatives, I love wearing it!

Cons: There are two main things I am unhappy with in this BB cream and that is the color and the oiliness of the product. There are only two choices in terms of color, Light/Medium (which I own) and Medium/Dark. I have a light to medium complexion with yellow undertones; while this color is close enough, it has a pinkish orange undertone to it and is too dark for my skin. I wish there were more colors to choose from because with a heavy coverage pigmented BB cream like this, color should match the skin. This formula of this product is very hydrating and emollient which is great for the winter time, but it takes a few minutes to set and makes my face look a little shiny and oily! It feels slightly sticky to the touch originally, so I definitely recommend applying it and waiting for about 5 minutes for it to set and then finishing it off with a powder. I apply the cream before I get dressed so that in the meantime it can settle into the skin.  I then use L'Oreal's Natural Mineral Makeup in Natural Ivory (also has SPF 19) as a powder, and this actually lightens up the product and matches it to my skin  better, so I recommend doing that.  It also transfers easily on my towels and when I blot even though I set it with powder.

Grade: 4.5/5

Thick consistency but is emollient and applies easily and blends well into the skin
L'Oreal's Natural Mineral Makeup in Natural Ivory and a fluffy Ecotools brush to set the BB cream
Hint: I learned it is also better to use less product than more! You can see here how orange and shiny it looks with two layers. If you need more coverage in certain places, just use a concealer or a foundation, it will look much better and be a lot more efficient!
1. 2 layers of BB cream applied 2. Layers of BB cream set with powder 3. Final look!

Reader's Recommendations: Would love to hear all about your BB cream adventures! Do you have one you absolutely love? How about one we should stay away from? Let me know.

Stila Convertible Color Cheek/Lip Stain 'Peony' Review

October 29, 2020

Mackenzie's Notes

Stila Convertible Color Lip/Cheek in 'Peony'

This Stila product was included in the Sephora favorites sampling kit 'In the glow' that i purchased a few days ago.  This has won the Best Cream Blush for In Style's Best Beauty Buys for the past 7 years so I couldn't wait to try it!  Out of all the other products, this was one that caught my eye and was very excited to try; I have never really tried any cream blushes and specifically any Stila products either.  I'm glad it came in the kit because I absolutely love this! It's my warm toned go to blush right now and I can't wait to gush over it with you guys! The full size product is .15 oz and retails for around $25 at a Sephora store and online.  It is marketed as a convertible color, to be used both on the cheeks and lips; I apply it with clean fingers, by tapping it on the apples of my cheeks and lips.

I have the deluxe sample size but I will buy this full size, I love it that much!
I apply it using my (clean) fingers, by dabbing the color onto the apples of my cheeks
Pros: The color is so beautiful and perfect for my skin tone! It is a nude darker peach color, that looks so natural.  Most other coral peach colors are too bright for my skin - they look unnatural and make my skin look muddier (if that makes any too bright of a lipstick on an extremely tan face). This cream is very pigmented (I wasn't expecting it!) but not so pigmented that you can't layer it or use it because it gives you clown face.  It's easily blend able and sets quickly enough. The product lasts up to 8 hours even without being set with a powder of some kind, which is great for me, and fades away naturally after that.  As a note, Sephora carries several colors in this product and you can also get varying colors and shades depending on your skin.  This has the slightest playdo scent to it in the pan, but none when you're applying or after.  It's nice that this product has dual uses, it's great for traveling and when you're in a pinch; I carry this in my purse now, love it that much!

Cons: The one downside is the way the cream works as a lip cream.  Unfortunately I found the formula for lips too drying and it took me a lot of product (more than for the cheeks) to get a decent lip coverage. Strangely enough, the color also looked more nude/brown on the lips as opposed to the warm peach on my cheeks, and I didn't really enjoy the color on my lips as much.

Grade: 5/5
(L) One swatch, Blended out swatch (R)
Such a pretty, natural color! Great for light/medium skin tones
 Reader's Recommendations: Have you tried this particular product? What did you think? Do you have any other cream blushes you would recommend me? Would love to hear your thoughts and tips!

LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub Review

October 28, 2020

Mackenzie's Notes

Lush Lip Scrub Popcorn Flavor

My sister picked up the Bubblegum Lush lip scrub the other day, and I thought I'd try the Popcorn one.  I've been eyeing these lip scrubs since last winter, but didn't know if this was a necessity at the time to splurge on or not, but I decided to go for it now since people have raved about it. Plus, I'm also a sucker for salty sweet things (sea salt chocolate and salted caramel mocha anyone?). This product retails for $8.95 at Lush stores and online and the full size (0.8 oz) product comes in a cute glass pot. Since I don't suffer from dry or chapped lips, this product is definitely a luxury for me but it makes for a great little indulgence and a nice stocking stuffer for the Holidays!

Cute and efficient packaging
It really is scrumptious lol
Pros: The lip scrub has a light sweet vanilla scent and tastes great, just like caramel popcorn! It has a salty taste from the sea salt which is also a nice exfoliant.  I do enjoy the fact that it's edible because depending on where I am at it might be easier to just lick your lips clean instead of wiping them off with a napkin. The packaging is nice and sturdy and great as a travel product. Lush is also known for their commitment to organic and natural products and not testing on animals, so that is always a Pro in my book. Most of all, the lip scrub works great, my lips felt were smooth after using it and my lipstick looked great on! So if you get really chapped lips in the winter, I definitely recommend this product, it will help you greatly and it's a fun and enjoyable routine at the same time!

Cons: Even though $9 dollars isn't an exorbitant amount, I still think this lip scrub might be a little overpriced. I was comparing it to another organic company (Wax Wonders candles) who sells their lip scrubs for only $4. And just thinking that there are lots of recipes on how to make these at home, it is definitely an indulgence.  This particular one is pretty dry and it is hard for me to pick up from the container and spread on my lips; whenever I try to take it out of the pot I spill some out since it doesn't stick to my finger. I wish the consistency was more like that of a paste.

Grade: 4.5/5
Exfoliating granules are surprisingly small but on your lips they definitely make a difference! I'm glad they're not bigger
Great ingredients and things to live by for LUSH
Consistency of the product is on the dry side, and that's how much I would need per use
Reader's Recommendations: Have you tried this lip scrub and what did you think of it? Have you tried making your own lip scrub at home? How else do you keep your lips nice and hydrated during the winter months? Always curious and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

Miranda's Lip Exfoliant - LUSH Lip Scrub Bubblegum

October 28, 2020

Lush Lip Scrub Bubblegum Flavor

I have had a love, hate relationship with Lush.  I love their bath bombs and lotions and masks because they are organic products with lots of health and fun benefits (pink bath bombs with glitter for the win!).  However, for the hate part, I've had several skin reactions to their soaps and I really dislike the smells of their perfumes and scented sticks - who wants to smell like mulch and cut grass? If you have sensitive skin, I'd highly recommend not buying the soaps or trying a sample first because some of the materials and ingredients used can affect your skin's and body's reactions.  Also, some of products have expiration dates and that maybe why some products are not as good closer to the expiration dates.

With that being said, one thing I do love from Lush is the lip scrub and exfoliant.  I've used this item before but never got around to reviewing it.  So with the cold weather approaching, I  bought another little jar of the Lush Bubblegum lip scrub.

Lush Lip Scrub Bubblegum 
0.8 ounces - also check the bottom of the jar which lists the expiration date
Miranda's Notes:

Pros: I have really, really dry lips because I constantly bite and fidget with them...bad habit I know. I've tried the old toothbrush trick and brown sugar trick but I either scratch my lips or get breakouts.  So homemade, isn't the best way to exfoliate lips and mouth area if you have sensitive lips.  What I love about this scrub is that it works in cleaning the lips of any dry skin and it moisturizes due to the oil ingredients so your lips don't feel dry after using the scrub. 

The way I apply it is put a bit of product on my finger and rub it until the particles melt or go away. I go beyond the lips area and exfoliate around the chin, laugh lines, and under the nose just to get rid of any dry patches. If you want to be more sanitary, you can scoop the product with a q-tip or stick and then rub with with your fingers.  The small granules are enough to exfoliate without hurting and going all over your face.  The scrub smells like bubblegum and tastes sweet like sugary bubblegum - I don't think the smell and taste are that strong so this shouldn't deter you from buying it.  When using it, the scrub may get in your mouth, especially if you focus on your inner lips, but the scrub just tastes like sugar so not bad all.  

Overall, I use this once a week and more if I anticipate I'll be wearing lipstick because it simply works.  I highly recommend it because it is a reasonably priced item that is effective and long lasting.  Oh...and my boyfriend noticed the difference, hehe so it's boyfriend approved (his words not mine).   

Cons: The only reason why I didn't give this one a 5 out of 5 is because whenever I accidentally ingest some product (because after all it is on your lips), I can taste the oil and my mouth gets oily.  I find it that very yucky and I end up having to drink water afterwards.  But this may be inadvertent with every lip scrub or lip exfoliant. 

Grade: 4.8/5
Organic basic, ingredients 
Fine, sugar sized texture appropriate for the sensitive area around lips
Jar is tiny and easy to carry but don't be fooled, a little bit of product goes a long way and lasts a year

Egyptian Cleopatra Halloween Makeup Tutorial

October 26, 2020

I was going to dress up as Cleopatra last year and my boyfriend was going to be a mummy, but due to the weird weather that day we didn't get a chance to go out. I think of Cleopatra as having a gold/bronze complexion with sharp features, with a strong eye look full of teals and golds; she would have short blunt bangs and dark straight hair. I had so much fun creating this look and I'm so happy with how it turned out! This look is very affordable and easy, great for when you find yourself unprepared right before Halloween.  I don't like spending too much on a costume, and I usually use clothes, makeup and accessories I already have; it is not hard to look like a queen with few products and on a small budget with some creativity!

Costume Guide:  
This look is heavy in accessories so feel free to throw on as much golden jewelry as you want! I'm wearing an H&M beaded necklace, a gold JLo top from Khols and a head piece I purchased from Ricky's for around $4. For the makeup I mainly used Laura Mercier's "Color Bloc" from the Sephora In the Glow kit, the ELF Disney Maleficent palette, Wet n Wild's "On Cloud Nine" and a teal NYX eyeliner.  I added some sparkle with a blue round confetti that I cut in the shape of an Egyptian 'cat eye' and attached it with eye lash glue. If you can't find something similar, use a different color eyeshadow (I tried a dark magenta and it looked beautiful, very rich!) to fill in the cat eye, or any other rhinestones or glitter will do just great!

What would Cleopatra pose like? Probably not like this :)

I draped some of the diamond strands over the top of the crown so my eyes wouldn't be covered; this also made the crown look more elaborate
I was inspired by Kim Kardashian's contouring guide so make sure you research that if you're not familiar with it
I made my eyebrows golden and concentrated teal around my eyes to make my eyes pop
This is how the hairstyle looks like without the crown! I loved it - faux bangs
Hair Guide:
Since I thought short and blunt bangs were an important part of this look, I created faux bangs by braiding my hair forward and pinning it straight across my forehead afterwards. I brought enough hair from the crown to cover my forehead and I created a dutch headband braid; I then teased the resulting 'bangs' hair to give it a fuller effect. I teased the rest of the hair at the roots and straightened the rest. For an in depth tutorial on the dutch headband braid, check out YouTube, that's how I learned!

Garnier BB Cream 'Light/Medium', Laura Mercier 'Color Bloc', Benefit 'High Beam, Nars 'Laguna', various size brushes from big to small
 Makeup Guide:
 1.  To achieve a sculpted bronze and glowing face I used face contouring products heavy in shimmer and with a pearl finish; I was inspired by Kim Kardashian's contouring guide.  I first applied Garnier's BB Cream ($13) all over the face and set it with a shimmery powder from the Color Bloc. I contoured my face strongly with Nars' Laguna and Laura Mercier's Color Bloc copper shades using a small brush for added drama and precision. I then highlighted with Benefit's High Beam the high points of my face and also set that with a shimmery hold powder. 
Elf's Disney Maleficent palette, Wet n Wild Mega Liquid Eyeliner and Kohl eyeliner 'Black, Laura Mercier 'Color Bloc', Wet n Wild "On Cloud Nine" palette, NYX Teal eyeliner and blue costume makeup crayon
 2.  I began my eye makeup by priming my eyes with Elf's eyelid primer, since we want all the colors to be very bright.  Next, I drew the eye shape with the Teal NYX eyeliner and filled it in with a teal costume makeup crayon as a base. I packed on the Browbone shade from the "On Cloud Nine" Wet n Wild palette in the middle of my eyelid and near my tear duct following the eye shape I originally drew. I then darkened the outline of the eye shape using Elf's "Forest of Thornes" (it's such a gorgeous color!) and lightly blended that out. Next I lined my eyes with a black liquid liner, following the shadow and blue confetti add on; I made the bottom eyelash line thicker than the top for added drama. I added a copper/gold color on the brow bone and brows to look gilded, and darkened the rest of the eyebrows with a black Kohl pencil. I used a shimmery brown color near the bridge of my nose to give the look a sinister touch.

Laura Mercier 'Color Bloc', Wet n Wild Matte 'Think Pink' lipstick, and some gold glitter or pigment 
 3.  For the lips I used the Think Pink lipstick and padded on some Color Bloc copper shadow on top. I then concentrated some gold powder on the cupid's bow and in the middle of my bottom lip.

I hope you enjoyed this Cleopatra look and that you try it out for yourself! For other Halloween looks take a look at gothic Marie Antoinette, a Pretty Witch and a Sugar Skull.

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M. 

Heart Pastel Nails - OPI Mod About You, Revlon Charming

October 26, 2020

OPI Mod About You | Revlon Charming 211

Pastel nails with heart detail nail art
For today's nails, I wanted to do a soft, pastel look because I will be dressing up as Marie Antoinette.  I also absolutely loved the H&M Lana Del Rey ad campaign and was surprised to see all the pretty pastels for a fall and winter collection.  So keeping in mind that bright pastel colors are not only for summer and spring, I opted for a pink nail with heart nail art accents in a soft lavender color.

I didn't have a lot of time because I had my class coming up ( classmates see my nail color changing daily) but if someone wants to go above and beyond, I'd recommend adding a heart on each nail with a different color. I also have a baby blue polish, some peach glitter, and more lavender - they would each work together great and make the nail art more elaborate. But ...again...because of my class and you know...worrying about graduation and final exams, I did two hearts and called it a day - but it still turned out so pretty. 

Revlon Charming and OPI Mod About You (how cute are these names, they even go together) 
Inspiration Colors: Photo Credit: H&M 2012 Collection
Miranda's Notes:

OPI Mod About You
Pros: The color is a chalky pink with a lot of white undertone.  The formula is opaque so two coats are more than enough.
Cons: I had trouble applying because the polish was streaky - this may have been my older bottle but I vigorously shook it and added some nail polish remover to soften it, and the formula was still streaky.  So after applying the second coat, I only waited a few seconds before I applied the top coat.  As a tip, applying the top coat when the color polish is still sticky helps even out the color and brush strokes so there are no lines.  Because of the consistency, I am also noticing chipping after only two days.
Grade: 3.5/5

Revlon Charming
Pros: The color is a soft white based lavender.  The formula is soft enough without being runny, and two coats create an opaque effect.  I've used this polish before as a full nail color and there was not a lot of chipping after one week - again, the consistency of the formula improves the chances that the color will wear longer.  Because the polish was not runny or streaky, the hearts were easily traced with the tip of the brush.
Cons: None at all, this is a great polish - Revlon has really improved their polishes and the price is right.
Grade: 5/5

Where's My Chauffeur Essie 2012 Holiday collection could also fit as a blue pastel 

NOTW OPI Nein Nein Nein Ok Fine! - Fall 2012 OPI Germany Collection

October 25, 2020

Nails of the Week -  OPI Germany Collection - Nein! Nein! Nein! Ok Fine! (yes..that's the name on the bottle)

Miranda's Notes:

So this past weekend I visited my sister in New York City and we decided to both do our nails with the Fall OPI Germany collection - she chose Suzi and the 7 Dusseldorfs.  I've been wearing a lot of light and pink colors and when I swatched Ok Fine (because I don't like to repeat this whole Nein Nein part), I absolutely fell in love with the color.  It's got that "noir" feeling  around it and yet it's not completely black and harsh on the hands.

Pros: The color is a beautiful mix of grey, green, blue, olive, and black.  In the sunlight, the color has a green-brown undertone but indoors, the color looks like a black-grey.  For strong opacity, I only had to apply two coats and a top coat. It's been a couple of days now, and the polish has not chipped at all but that's because OPI has a great formula.  So if you're looking for longevity, this polish does not chip easily and is quite long lasting.

Cons: As I've mentioned, I don't like the name.  This whole Germany collection has funky names, but this one especially is long and non-fun.  But more on the serious side, the formula from my bottle was a bit runny, and I ended up having polish on the sides of my fingers - so make sure you have a q-tip with nail polish remover nearby because things will get messy.  The runny formula doesn't make it streaky which is good, but on the the other hand (get the pun), it's difficult to clean up.

Grade: 4.7/5

Pattern with Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen - nails look dark without being a harsh black 
The inspiration for the nails was fall flowers - I wanted something playful but still being weather appropriate.  I ended up putting gradient polka dots with a Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in order to make the manicure look girly.  Surprisingly, this color has worked great with all my outfits - from lighter colors to darker the colors, the grey undertone from Ok Fine fits with everything.  So, if you want to wear a fall color without reaching for the black nail polish and looking like a 90's goth kid, Ok Fine is the perfectly sophisticated dark color.

mod-inspired, 60's fashion, 60's inspired, fall florals, fall flower pattern, boston university fashion, fall fashion,
Inspiration Photo Credit: from 
Color combination that will work well with an accent nail or nail art: white, gold, and light peach. 

ELF Disney Maleficent Giveaway Winner Announcement

October 25, 2020

When ELF released the Disney palettes, my sister and I secretly went to Walgreens to buy each other the palettes. I bought my sister ELF Disney Maleficent and she bought guessed it...ELF Disney Maleficent.  So rather than returning the second extra palette, we decided to do a giveaway :) Thank you to everyone who entered and we appreciate our wonderful followers who support us and our blog! We really enjoyed reading everyone's comments - they were all such great ideas for Halloween!
Cute Halloween packaging
Congratulations to Michaela from the Yousoldtheworld blogspot who won the giveaway!! We hope she enjoys all the pretty ELF colors and wears an exciting Halloween costume :) Happy Halloween!!

NOTW OPI 'Suzi and the Seven Dusseldorfs': Fall 2012 'Germany'

October 22, 2020

OPI Germany Collection - Suzi and the Seven Dusseldorfs

Mackenzie's Notes

It was time to change my manicure this weekend and I decided to try OPI's "Suzi and the Seven Dusseldorfs" from their Germany Fall 2012 collection. This is a metallic purple magenta color with pink shimmer that applies opaque in one or two coats. This color is very royal and would be great for the new Baroque trend (see Dolce and Gabanna Fall 2012 collection) which mixes dark rich colors with shiny golds and luxe materials. I would probably wear this color with some gold and black accessories since it complements the purple wonderfully!

I'm usually a creme finish type of gal but I decided to spice things up after seeing it and loving it on a girl on the subway. The color is very pretty, the formula is great since no chipping so far and OPI is so opaque and luscious in their colors and pigmentation. This color would probably look great on someone with a fair skin tone, but since I have a yellow middle tone skin tone I feel like it makes my hands look a bit dirty and greasy (lol if that makes sense) because of its metallic finish. The other OPI color I tried before, "My very first Knockwurst", complimented my skin tone a little better and was a better color for me to wear to work.

I'm glad I tried this color out because you can always go a little crazy on your manicure!  I'm excited to try more new release colors from this collection (and the Skyfall OPI collection) so stay tuned.
Doesn't that look so rich? Great for fall
 Fall 2012 Baroque inspired Collections
Ignore the blue reflections, it's mostly a magenta purple color
Cougar earrings from Forever 21

 Reader's Recommendations: Have you tried this color, and what did you think about it? What's your favorite purple color? Have you tried wearing the new Baroque trend? Let me know, I'm curious to see how this color showed on your skin tone!