Nivea Balm Primer Review

I’m usually not a sucker for over-hyped beauty products. I like to think of myself as a level-headed individual with a keen eye for seeing through the crap, the marketing ploys, the cleverly placed product placements. 

And yet here I am with the Nivea Post Shave Balm, which became a sensation a few months ago across the beauty community when it was revealed that this aftershave makes an amazing makeup primer. It took me a while to get my hands on it since it has been pretty much sold out at most of my local drugstores. Hype, what hype?

After trying this balm out for a few days, I can confirm that it makes a pretty great primer! It’s not the best I’ve ever tried, but I can’t compare a $7 aftershave to my beloved Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer (which, by the way, costs $52 per ounce! OUNCE.)

The aftershave itself is an opaque white color that dries clear. It’s quite watery but absorbs quickly when rubbed into the skin. But if you’re at all sensitive to fragrances this balm has a strong minty, astringent scent that you may have a hard time getting past. 

I have oily skin, and I’ve gotten in the habit of not powdering off my foundation because Estee Lauder Double Wear keeps me matte all day just by itself. However, the first time I used this balm I noticed that my face was looking very, very shiny by the middle of the day. Somehow this balm makes my oiliness worse, so powdering and touch ups are a must. 

Overall, this balm is an awesome alternative to traditional makeup primers if you’re someone on a budget. I can see the watery consistency being good for people with dry skin, and I feel that the slightly sticky texture it leaves on the skin makes my foundation adhere better. So I’ll keep this balm close by on my vanity and hopefully use it up just in time for the next makeup hype to come around. 

Have you tried the Nivea Post Shave Balm as a primer yet? Do you want to try it?

MAC Spice Lip Liner Brown Skin Dark

Patience, a virtue, is not one of my strong suits.

I have been dying to get my hands on the MAC Spice Lip Liner for about two years now, and I finally picked it up just last weekend. A couple of MAC stores I’ve ventured to in the past were straight up sold out of it (sold out!), because it’s so darn popular. For that reason it’s floated on and off of my wish list these last two years, mostly out of spite.

Last weekend I finally held this baby in my hands for the first time. And to be honest, when I swatched it I was a little…skeptical. I didn’t really understand the color. It’s not red, it’s not nude, it’s mostly brown, and looks a tiny bit orange on my skin. I wasn’t sure that it would flatter me, but Kylie Jenner has been rocking this lip liner since day one out of the womb so if it looked good on Kylie it would look good on me (because we’re twins, duh).

Unsurprisingly, this has been my go-to lip shade for the past week. It matches every eye look I do. I throw it on every morning and I love that I don’t have to reapply this again for hours. The consistency is quite creamy for a lip liner. It doesn’t drag too much, but I always make sure to wear this on top of lip balm since my lips are always very dry.

Overall, I love this lip liner. I haven’t made a purchase from MAC in months but now I am tempted to go back and pick up more liners and lipsticks. Which shades do you recommend?

Makeup Sponge Beauty Blender Storage

This makeup storage tip may not be news to some of you, but it’s something I just discovered and had to share!

The Beauty Blender saved my life. Yes, I’m exaggerating. It doesn’t know CPR or perform the Heimlich very well, but makeup sponges are the one makeup product I cannot live without. Side note: I’ve been using the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge for about a month now and love it just as much, if not more than, the Beauty Blender.

But one thing that always puzzled me about egg-shaped makeup sponges is that I never knew how to store them. Enter egg holders.

I bought two stainless steel egg holders for dirt cheap off of eBay, just to store my makeup sponges, and I’m in love. Yes, I created an eBay account just to buy these. No, I will probably never use them to hold actual eggs.

I love these because both my Beauty Blender and Real Technique sponge fit perfectly inside of it, and the wire frame ensure that the sponge dries evenly on all sides, which makes it more sanitary.

If you’re in the market for cheap makeup sponge holders, pick these up! They were the best dollar I ever spent. 🙂


Drugstore Urban Decay Mascaras Review

2015 feels like many days, and many mascaras ago.

While cleaning out my basket of product empties for my 2015 Empties Video (which you can watch here), I pulled aside the handful of mascaras that I’ve accumulated over the year and decided to review them separately, because I think 2015 was my year of awesome eyelashes. Not only did I finally get a handle on my technique, but I also discovered THE secret to flawless, curled, separated lashes that last all day. Read on to find out what it is.


L’Oreal Miss Manga: This was my least favorite mascara of the bunch, despite the fact that so many people in the beauty community rave about it. I wasn’t a fan of the flexible wand, and the fact that I had to do multiple coats to get good pigmentation. It just wasn’t for me. I didn’t despise it, but I won’t be picking it up again any time soon.

Maybelline The Rocket: I liked this mascara a lot whenever I doubled it up with the Miss Manga mascara. The two worked well together and gave me the length and volume that my lashes crave. When used alone, this is a totally decent drugstore mascara, too. I’m curious to see how the waterproof version of this performs – I predict that it would be a total winner! More on waterproof mascara in a bit…

Urban Decay Perversion: I got two samples of this last year for my birthday, and I miss them already. If you want black lashes as dark as the devil’s heart, look no further. The formulation of this mascara is very wet and creamy, so it is quite messy to apply but the final result is worth it, in my opinion. This is one of the few mascaras I’ve used that leaves behind virtually no clumps – a rarity indeed.

Revlon Lash Potion: I got this mascara as a gift almost a year ago, and it does not last all day, or have great pigmentation, but it is shockingly awesome! Ok hear me out – I rarely use this mascara on its own. This is the best mascara to use though if you like using two mascaras at once, like me. I don’t know why, but it really amplifies any mascara that I’m already using. It makes my eyelashes longer and separates any clumps with ease. I highly recommend picking this and trying it with your favorite mascara. You may be surprised!

What I’m using now…

Maybelline The Falsies: Favorite. Drugstore. Mascara. Ever. But I’m cheating a little bit, because this is the first waterproof mascara I’ve ever used, and I’m now totally converted to waterproof mascara. What was my life like before waterproof mascara?! Sad, lonely, and poor, probably. This mascara holds a curl, stays black, lengthens, and volumizes. And your lashes look great ALL DAY. I used to hate applying mascara in the morning only to see that it’s barely visible at the end of the day. This mascara lasts all day, and that’s no exaggeration. It lasts through my sweaty Zumba workouts. It’s hard to take off. It doesn’t want to come off. I love it. It’s part of me. We are one.

Now tell me, what is your favorite mascara? I always love trying new products!

And don’t forget to follow my blog if you haven’t already! 🙂

Glossy Smoky Eye Tutorial

It’s hard for me to rock a smokey eye without looking like a hungover raccoon, but it’s a new year and I’m open to trying new things.

This dark and stormy eye was inspired by El Nino, because it rained almost every day last week and I’ve forgotten what color the sun is. This is L.A., dammit. I’m entitled to drink mimosas on the beach in January.

Smokey Eye Tutorial Dark Skin

After applying my Wet n Wild Take On The Day Eyeshadow Primer all over my lids, I blended the light brown shade from the BH Cosmetics Missy Lynn Palette into my crease as my transition shade. If you’ve been following my blog for more than a day, you’re probably tired of me mentioning this palette. But I’m not tired of it. It’s awesome! The colors are all super pigmented and I have yet to find an eyeshadow that acts as a better transition color for brown skin.

I then pulled out the Smashbox On the Rocks Palette and blended the dark brown color in the palette on top of my transition color, focusing on the crease and outer corners. When layering an eyeshadow look like this, it always helps to start with your lightest colors first and work your way up to the darker shades.

I patted the grey color all over my lid, and then applied the color Creep from the Urban Decay Naked Palette on top of it to build up the darkness that I desired.

To make the look glossy, I patted on the glittery highlight powder from my Sleek Contour Kit on top. This is something I will have to do more often, because as you probably know by now I am a huge fan of glitter, and sparkly things, and French fries.

Smokey Eye Close Up

The most important of those things obviously being French fries.

I’m also wearing the Ardell Baby Wispies Eyelashes. I don’t want to speak too soon, but I think these are the best eyelashes I’ve ever worn. They look natural and are totally daytime appropriate. And they are comfortable. So, so comfortable.

And on my lips I’m wearing Milani’s Teddy Bare Lipstick, which is my favorite nude lipstick for brown skin.

Thanks for reading! And please follow my blog if you haven’t already 🙂