Favorites

My Ombré Journey!

I’m excited to sit down and blog about my hair, because I know most of my girlfriends are getting really tired of talking about it. I have a hair problem. I get bored constantly. Sites like Instagram and Pinterest really don’t help my wandering eye when it comes to hair color. I’ll see a snapshot of something I like, and I need to get it done by the next day. Before the fall, I used the Redken Chromatics line in my hair, went all over dark, and got rid of my ombré. I regretted it the next day. Then I decided to cut my bangs. I regretted that too. When I started thinking about what I wanted my hair to look like, I was horrified to realize that I wanted my hair to look just like it did before I colored it, and cut my bangs. I have played around with touching up my own ombré, but when it comes to going from dark to light and using a lot of lightener on my hair, that’s when I call my stylist.

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I get my hair done by the lovely Lydia at The Parlour in Bedford. She was the first stylist to ever give me the ombré look, and I completely fell in love. Ombré can go really wrong really quickly, and she has it down to an art. She will study and really think about what will give me the messy, gradient look that I am after, and I have never left with that dreaded demarcation line of bleach halfway down my nape. I always have people complimenting my hair (funny enough – the compliments stopped when I got rid of my ombré…) I have come to accept that I am extremely boring with my hair. It’s straight, or it’s wavy. This means that I need dimension to my hair. When it was all dark, it looked so blah. I have a lot of very fine hair, which loves to stick to my scalp and look super flat. When I have different dimensions in my hair, I feel like it makes me look more put together. When I use my curling wand, I try to push my curls for as long as I can. I hate blow drying my hair, so I try to wash my hair once or twice a week. (Yay for dry shampoo!)

So, I got my first round of ombré done in November. It wasn’t as light as I wanted it to be, but I didn’t expect to go from super dark to a beige-y blonde beach babe in one visit. They use a new product called Olaplex in my color now, which is supposed to be amazing for preventing damage while using lightener. I went back this past Monday for round two, and it is really starting to come together.

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As you can see, it lightened up quite a bit. The pieces that were already lightened from last time went to that beige based blonde that I am after, and the darker parts on the top layer of my hair still have a warmer tone to them. By my third visit the process will be complete! My hair feels great now, I definitely needed a trim. I also had to get some very fine foils near the top of my head to break up my regrowth. My natural hair is lighter than the dark color I used in the early fall. That left me with a beautiful skunk effect. Luckily Lydia took care of that!

If you live near the Halifax area and are interested in a change, I highly recommend Lydia ESPECIALLY if you are considering the ombré look. I have put some snapshots of The Parlour below. It feels like you are walking into a celebrity closet. It’s the most feminine place I know of!

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Does anyone have any quick hair styling tips? I’m talking like 5-10 mins … I need so much help with my hair.

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

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January Favorites!

Can anyone even believe the first month of 2015 is over yet? I have yet to really think of any resolutions, but I did just get a FitBit, so maybe I will jump on the fitness train. (Ok- I couldn’t even get through typing that without laughing!) I loathe exercise. I also love food. Food and I have a relationship that is so strong, I can’t see us ever parting ways. We always agree with eachother, and we love in harmony.

Luckily for me, my beauty favorites of the month don’t have nearly as many calories as some of my favorite foods – so let’s jump into my most reached for products for this month!

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YSL Black Opium: This fragrance has had my heart all month. I loved it as soon as I smelled it, and it’s a rare fragrance that Almira, Sabah and I all like. It is a warmer, deeper scent, but isn’t overly musky or offensive. You have to smell this next time you’re out!

Number 7 Microdermabrasion: I just reviewed this product a few days ago on the blog. I haven’t reached for it for awhile, and boy am I glad it’s back in my life. This product gives you such an amazing exfoliation. Smooth skin and less irritation than a lot of other scrubs that I have used! I highly recommend this.

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Sonia Kashuk Eyes on Neutral Palette: I have used this every single day since I got it. No joke. And I am falling more and more in love. These shadows blend so beautifully, and they are all matte. I will be buying a back up of this, hopefully if I can find one at Target before they shut down.

Cover Girl Ready Set Gorgeous! Foundation: I was surprised with this foundation. I have a full review coming this week, so stay tuned for that. The gist of it is, it doesn’t settle on my dry patches, and the coverage is really nice. I’m in the shade 120, which works for me, but I could have actually gone a shade lighter. (I’m translucent not very tanned in the winter.

Benefit Puff Off!: This product really smooths out my undereye area. The adorable packaging is not only eye catching, but practical. Keep this sucker in the fridge, and use it in the morning! It can be layered underneath another eye cream, and will iron out those undereye bags for you before (or after) you apply your makeup!

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Garnier Damage Eraser Hair Mask: This was recommended by Tiffany D on YouTube, and I am really happy with it. It is so nourishing, but rinses clean and doesn’t leave my fine hair looking or feeling heavy. I’ve actually used this as my regular conditioner for awhile and I love it. I purchased the shampoo from the same line, but haven’t tried it out yet. Here’s hoping I love it!

Aveeno Ezcema Care Hand Cream: This has been a favorite for a few months! I finished a tube completely, and promptly repurchased. It’s the only hand cream that doesn’t irritate me when my Ezcema is flaring up on my hands. It makes me think that Oatmeal must be a truly magical ingredient.

What were your favorites this month!?

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

Exfoliating: What you need to know to get glowing skin!

Exfoliating. Just let that word roll around in your head for a few seconds. exfoliating… Oh I just love the way that sounds.

I am an absolute exfoliating junkie. Anything that promises to slough off dead skin and make my skin smoother, and more radiant? I am game. Someone could tell me that battery acid was an effective exfoliator, and I would definitely consider it. (I have good friends that would talk me out of it, luckily!)

Your skin will naturally go through it’s cycle, and exfoliate itself every 28 days. Which is wonderful right? But like everything else, as we age, things change. Our cell turnover slows down, leaving us with more and more dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. This will make the skin appear dull, and prevent our skincare products from properly penetrating. If you are using (especially an expensive) skincare regime, and not using an exfoliator, you are throwing money down the drain! Luckily, there are many different products on the market that we can use to speed up the process, and keep that skin glowing!

I have tried many different techniques for exfoliating. Manual, chemical, peel offs, powdered exfoliants … If it’s on the market, I have tried it. I have been using my Benefit Refined Finish, and as happy as I was with it, I recently went back to using an old favorite, and I am falling in love all over again.

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Number 7 Total Renewal Microdermabrasion Exfoliator is one of the finest exfoliators I have ever used. The micro beads are so fine and leave my skin feeling incredibly smooth, but not irritated. It rinses very clean, and doesn’t have any irritating scent to it.

I use this product about twice a week, or after days that I wore heavier makeup. Being someone who uses a Clarisonic once a night, I sometimes don’t get the satisfying smooth feeling after using an exfoliator. That’s what got me hooked on this product again. So smooth… I could just rinse my face over and over. My skin has really started looking better, and I have noticed that my products are sinking into my skin much better than before I had this product at my sink.

What is your favorite method of exfoliating? Manual Exfoliation is definitely mine!

Have an awesome weekend everybody!

-Sara

Follow me on Instagram! @girlmetblush

Review: Smashbox Try it Kit!

Confession: I get a small huge rush when I see deluxe sized samples of products. I understand that I have mild hoarding tendencies when it comes to makeup. But, I am a Beauty Blogger and it is what it is. I need to review new products, I need to compare and try different things so I can hopefully in the long run, save you guys some money and help you make good choices. And the bloggers among you help me do the same!
So when I see that a product I wanted to try comes in a mini size, or even better, in a kit FULL of mini sizes, I will break out into the running man. This is what I did when I saw the new version of the Try it Kit by Smashbox.

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Full Exposure Mascara, 24hr Eye Primer, Photo Finish Primer, and the cutest mini Eye Shadow trio you will ever see in your life. For $22.00 CAD.
This is an amazing deal.

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First off, I can say I would never buy the large size of the eye primer that comes in the kit. The large size is 12ml, and the one that comes in the set is 4ml. So, it’s a third of the size, but anyone that has used this primer knows how little you need. Even if you are “all about that base”, I would be surprised if you could finish a full sized one before it dried up, or the formula changed. I would much rather buy the Try it Kit, and benefit from the other three products, if I was keeping them for myself or for gifts, those other three products are totally worth it.

This kit is totally worth the purchase. I thought we would end the blogging week on a positive note. I am signing off for the weekend and I will talk to you guys again on Monday! I have a big weekend coming up, so make sure to follow me on Instagram and keep up with what’s happening! (@girlmetblush)

-Sara

Review: Sonia Kashuk Eye On Neutral Palette!

So the cosmetics ban that I took part in from early October 2014 to January 1st 2015, is officially over. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be was horrible. There were so many launches, not to mention all of the limited holiday sets. Lucky for me, Sephora dropped the ball this year with their Superstars kit. That was my biggest fear. But, it was so similar to last years kit, I had no angst about not picking it up.

This palette however, has been taunting me. Sonia Kashuk was never available where I live, until Target came to town. (And that worked out really well – they will be closing down their stores and getting out of Canada soon. Which is truly sad for a multitude of reasons!)

When I heard the news that Target would be closing, I had to jump on this ASAP, because they were always sold out when I was there. Luckily there were two palettes left. One was opened and swatched. Which on a side note, infuriates me. And there’s no way somebody swatched this, and decided not to take it. They swatched it, fell in love, and then took a new one home with them. Seriously, I could vent my retail pet peeves all day. If you see something that you want to try and there is no tester, just BUY it. If it’s not your cup of tea, bring it back. That way at least the stores inventory stays current, and they can properly order the stock. If there are 6 open swatched lipsticks, the stores computer won’t automate an order for that if it shows there are 6 on hand. Leaving other customers super frustrated that they can’t get the product they want.

Anyway- rant over. Let’s switch to a more positive tone. Hello Palette…

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This palette includes 12 shades. All neutral. All matte. (Talk dirty to me!)

I don’t care how much makeup you have. If you don’t have this, find it immediately, and bring it home.

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I wouldn’t change a thing about this palette. I love all of the shades, they swatch beautifully, blend easily, and do not crease on my eyes. I’m actually having anxiety about only having one. When I find a product like this, I will completely use it up. This palette gave me exactly what I was expecting from the Lorac Pro shadow palette. (The matte shades at least!) I think I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like the Lorac shadow palettes.

I can mix these colors up, to work in my brow, and the matte black is amazing. I love the sleek packaging, but of course, I wish the large clear window was a mirror.

This palette was $19.99 CAD, and worth every penny. When Target starts marking their stock down, Sonia Kashuk and I are going to have a reunion. And it will be serious.

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This palette would provide you with endless looks, from super basic, to a beautiful smoked out eye look. Light shades, dark shades, transitional shades… They are all here.

Thank you Sonia Kashuk. Truly. Thank You.

Who else loves this palette?

-Sara

Things I’m loving: Soft Peachy Pink Lips!

Hi everybody! How’s it going? I often have people ask me if I ever get tired of makeup. It’s my full time job, and my hobby, so I pretty much eat, sleep and breathe makeup. My answer is always no, I never get tired or bored of it, because if you ever find yourself in a rut, there are always a multitude of new products coming your way.

Other things that keep me constantly occupied are shades. Neutral shades, bright shades, rosy shades … I could go on and on. Lately my makeup obsession has been fuelled by Peachy Pink lipstick shades. These are 5 of my current favorites.

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We will start from the top and work our way down to the bottom.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Cognito: I love this shade. I just picked it up at the drugstore, and I mainly use this to layer on top of some darker coral shades that I have. It gives the perfect highlight on the bottom lip, and works well with my other lipstick formulas.

NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Smooch: I absolutely adore this color. My only gripe is the packaging. The top falls off sometimes in my makeup bag, and as you can see in the picture, the bullet has taken a beating. I get compliments on this lipstick all the time, and it was crazy inexpensive. I like the formula, but you need to be sure your lips are very well exfoliated and moisturized. These types of shades tend to show flaws on the lips, so a good lip care regime is an absolute must.

Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rebel: The name of this really doesn’t fit. When I think Rebel, I don’t exactly think of a soft pinky peach color. However, this is stunning. These have a minty smell to them, incredible shine, and feel great on my lips. This formula is the perfect amount of stickiness for me. If it makes a gloss last longer on my lips, I’m okay with a more sticky formula as long as it doesn’t feel uncomfortable. I wouldn’t wear this in a wind storm with my hair down, but in general, this is a wonderful product.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Let’s Get Naked: I wonder if I will ever be able to pick up this lipstick without shaking my booty around, and repeating “Let’s get Naked” in a high pitched semi- creepy voice. So far, no luck. It happens everytime. This was another newer purchase, as clearly I am stalking every brand for their version of this color. These lipsticks are absolutely amazing. The formula is wonderful, and they are definitely the most hydrating lipstick from the drugstore that I have found.

Wet n Wild 903C Just Peachy: Ahh the one that started it all. This was the first color I tried that sparked this borderline unhealthy obsession. I have a YouTube Guru to thank for this find. These are super inexpensive as well, and I won’t lie, the formula can be a hair drying. I usually top this with a gloss, or layer a lip balm underneath of it. I feel like this color would look amazing on lots of different skin tones.

I could go on and on, but for right now, those are my top 5 picks.

What is. Your favorite shade to wear on your lips? Do you guys go through phases with your color choices as well?

-Sara

5 Mascara Empties with Reviews!

Mascara is something that I go through really quickly. Normally I stick with my HG Hypnose by Lancôme, but being a beauty blogger, I am constantly being asked my opinion on different mascaras.

So, going through my empties, I realized that I had 5 mascaras to throw, and thought I would separate these into their own post.

Let’s get into the reviews!

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Essence Get Big Lashes: So you know that feeling when you see a $3.99 mascara, and you think … What if this could be my HG? What if it wasn’t a dry, flaky mascara that I would regret purchasing? This my friends, is sadly the negative part of trying new things. I am not too upset over it since it was so inexpensive, but this mascara did nothing for me. Large brush, dry formula, and flake city. If you want to try an Essence mascara, I’d recommend the Extreme Crazy Volume in the pink tube.

Lancôme Grandiose: I have a full review on this mascara, and I have to say, I love it. The packaging is just divine, and the wand really does make application super easy. I thought it we gimmicky at first, but this mascara fans out my lashes, gives me length and volume, and doesn’t flake on me. Totally worth the splurge for a tube of this.

Rimmel ScandelEyes Rockin’ Curves: I don’t get this mascara. I don’t like the formula, it flakes all over my face through the day, and I just don’t understand the wand. I appreciate when companies come out with new wands, but the shape of this one doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make it easy to get close to your eye, let alone the smaller lashes in the corners. If the formula was great, I would give it some credit, but this one just didn’t work for me.

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L’oreal Telescopic: I have mixed feelings for this mascara. I know it’s a lengthening mascara, and it does give me length, I just wanted more from it. How I ended up using this was layered underneath a more volumizing mascara to get my desired look. It flaked on me a little bit, but nothing that was too bad. If you are blessed with thick full lashes, and just want something to comb them through and add length, if give this a try. If you’re like me and prefer drag queen lashes even on a Tuesday morning, I would skip this one!

Maybelline Lash Discovery: Oh how sad I am that this is gone. This isn’t available where I live, so I don’t know when the next time I’ll be able to get my hands on one is. I originally got this for my bottom lashes (and it worked amazing for that!) but I progressed to using it on my top and bottom lashes until the tube was gone. The teeny tiny brush was just so easy to work with, and it never ever clumped on me. Zero flakes by the end of the day. I love this product and will be stocking up the next time I see it!

What mascaras have you been using lately? Has anyone tried the new Cover Girl Bloom mascara?

-Sara

Review: Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation!

Hello lovelies! I have for you today, a review that makes me super happy. I feel ready to say, that I have found a compact powder foundation, that works wonders for me. If you are looking for a quick, medium to full coverage powder foundation, that doesn’t make your skin feel like it’s being sucked into a vacuum cleaner, than keep reading. (Does anybody else get crazy tight face from most powders?)

Now, let’s get into the claims for the product. This is what the company says about the product on their website.

“An eight-hour wear, powder foundation formulated with Light Filter technology and long-lasting photoset polymers that acts as a photo filter for your face.”

“Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation provides two filter effects in one portable compact. It features a double-sided sponge, and it lets you create a buildable and customizable, sheer or full finish. The Light Filter Technology acts as a photo filter to leave skin looking flawless: transparent particles diffuse light in various directions, blurring imperfections while still keeping the subject in focus. Non-drying, non-caking, and non-settling, the particles in this oil-free foundation are translucent so that the pigment’s true color always comes through.”

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Upon first swipe, I immediately said to Sabah, “I hope this doesn’t give me tight face!” The coverage was serious. The first day I tried this was New Years morning, so it’s safe to say that my skin was by no means in great shape. Sabah and I were rushing to the theatre and I didn’t even make myself put a moisturizer on. I won’t lie, with no moisturizer on, I did start to feel my skin tighten up a bit after application. Alas, it was my own fault. I know better than to not moisturize my skin every day and night religiously.

I wore this product alone, no concealer, no blush… Nothing. And let me tell you, my skin looked awesome. It didn’t overly cling to my dry patches, and when I went to wash my face that night, I still had coverage. I agree with the eight hour wear time, and I was also surprised to see that the double sided sponge actually made a difference. When you see the sponge for the first time, you can see that one side is slightly more fluffy, providing more sheer coverage, and the flip side is more of a traditional sponge that will provide more coverage. That being said, as soon as both sides of the sponge have powder on them, it gets hard to tell which side is which. And honestly, I’ll use the sponge for about a month, and then I’ll throw it out and replace it with a new one anyway.

After using this with a moisturizer underneath, and realizing that it completely took away my sensation of dryness, I have given this my stamp of approval.

My only word of caution for you, is the colors seem to swatch much darker on the skin than they look in the pan. Originally when I saw the full color line, I picked up shade 4 for myself. I have a talent for being able to judge what color I need for a foundation without actually having to apply it. But when I tried shade 4 it looked so much darker on my skin. I ended up with shade 2, and that’s a great match for my un-self tanned skin. I always find that Smashbox foundations run darker, so I guess that is no surprise.

This product retails for $48.00 CAD and in my opinion, is totally worth it. Like I said, get yourself to a counter if you can, and match yourself, rather than guessing your shade online.

Will you be trying this new foundation?

-Sara

Review: Maybelline Matte Lipsticks!

Hey everybody! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I have been a little MIA on social media and on the blog, as I have had a death in the family, and spent all weekend in the hospital. That along with trying to get myself back in the blogging groove has just proved to be too much.

None the less, I did want to get a review up today, as these lipsticks have been around for awhile now, and I don’t want to be too far behind. These Maybelline Matte Lipsticks come in 8 shades, even though some blogs I have read say they have 10 shades. Maybe Canadians didn’t get sent the full line? Either way, there really is something here for everybody.

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Shades from left to right: Ravishing Rose, Lust for Blush, Daringly Nude, Mesmerizing Magenta, Faint for Fuchsia, Touch of Spice, Craving Coral and Siren in Scarlet.

My favorites in the bunch are definitely Touch of Spice, Lust for Blush, and Faint for Fuchsia.

These lipsticks provide a matte finish, but their formula does have an oil base so they are very comfortable on the lips. Upon first application, you will have the slightest sheen on the lip, however a quick blot from a tissue will take care of that if you are after a true matte finish.

The wear time on these is definitely acceptable, however if you plan on having a meal, or drinking excessively, I would definitely bring your tube with you for some touch ups afterwards.

These lipsticks are really rivalling if not beating my higher end lip products, and for the price ($10.99 CAD) you can’t go wrong. Definitely try these out, if you are on the hunt for a matte lip color that won’t completely dry your lips out!

And as always folks, this is a drugstore item. Never ever, under any circumstance, pay full price.

Have you tried these lipsticks yet? What is your favorite shade?

-Sara

2014 Favorites! Makeup Edition!

Well, it’s here. The last day of 2014. As with pretty much every year, there have been some big highs, and some big lows. Alas, here we are, we got through it. Keeping on the high note, I am here to let you know some of the best makeup products that I used this year. It was hard to narrow it down this much, but only the best came through!

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Lancôme Waif Eyeshadow: This shadow is amazing. Super basic, and super useful. I use this alone to conceal veins and redness on mornings that I need to be super quick. It also makes the perfect transition color, or exaggerated crease color. It has a matte finish, and I have completely finished one already. Lancôme just sent me another one along with a few other products, so I am happy to have one back in my collection!

Clarins True Radiance Foundation: This was a newer favorite for this year. This foundation gives great coverage, and a wonderful finish. It makes my dry skin glow, and really seems to neutralize redness. I use the shade 109, and couldn’t be happier with it.

Lise Watier Rouge Fondant Supreme Lipsticks: These lipsticks are so hydrating and creamy. I love that the shade names are all names of Iconic women. (I would love them to make one named after me … Hint Hint Lise Watier, I like fuchsia and pinky nude colors) They wear beautifully, and never leave me with that dreaded ring around my mouth.

Elizabeth Arden Brow Pencil: This brow pencil blew my mind. I finished the whole thing, and continue to use the spooly on the end of this product with other brow products. It blends the product perfectly, but doesn’t remove too much of it. It is by far my favorite brow product I have used this year, and if you use the Anastasia Brow Wiz, you should give this pencil a try. It’s a little cheaper, and I much prefer it.

Lancôme Hypnose Mascara: This has been a favorite of mine for years. This mascara gives me volume, length, with no clumps, and it doesn’t flake on me. I also fell in love with Lancôme Grandiose this year, but after much debate, I’ve decided to stick with the original Hypnose as my must have.

Maybelline Color Elixirs: These lip elixirs give you the most beautiful looking lips. And they make your lips feel like pillows. My favorite color from the line is Caramel Infused. These are not sticky, and they don’t gather near the edges of your lips. (Something my boss likes to call grossness) They wear so nicely, and everytime I wear these, people ask me what I am wearing.

Essence Silky Touch Blushes: I am just as shocked as you that these blushes made favorite status. I have purchased so many blushes in 2014, and I continue to reach for my Essence. These are so inexpensive, but the pigment is amazing, and they last all day on my skin. My favorite one right now is shade 40, which is now discontinued, so the anxiety about hitting pan on that is starting to creep up. These blushes made me put my hourglass blush palette away. And my Dior Glow. That is a serious accomplishment …

Benefit Porefessional: I used so much of this product this year. This product is awesome at blurring out fine lines and pores. Near the end of 2014, Smashbox launched a pore minimizing primer that I love as well, but I have to give the favorite status to Benefit. I introduced this to my mother this year, and she is now obsessed with it too. My favorite way to use this product is on days that I don’t want to wear any other face makeup. It evens out my skin texture and I swear it calms down my redness too.

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Dior Creme De Rose Lip Balm: First things first. Is this getting discontinued or not!? I think this is one of the worst products that “cries wolf.” It seems like people are always losing their mind that this is discontinued, but I continue to find it. And stores tell me it’s still a core product and not phased out. Either way – this lip balm is amazing. I love the scent of it, and no other lip balm has ever made my lips this soft. I wish they could make it in a stick form, as I hate sticking my finger into a lip balm jar, but this loves on my nightstand, and I’ll continue to repurchase!

Lise Watier Aurora Highlighting Powder: This is a limited edition product from the Winter 2014 collection, and let me tell you, if you get your hands on this, you are a lucky son of a gun. This is an absolute favorite for me, but if you can’t get your hands on it, opt for the Highlight 101 from Laura Mercier.

Well, that concludes the favorites of 2014. Now it’s time to get a pretty dress on, pour some champagne, and ring in the new year with those you love.

Here’s to an amazing 2015, with lots of new launches, and minimal discontinued products!

-Sara