Vol.1: Beauty Claim-Buster!🤓

Hi Friends!

I thought it would be a fun and (unique?) series to start on my site. I want to feature some of my new-ish products in my collection and review them strictly by answering the product claims from the Brand themselves. 

These can be products that I love, those that I really like, or feel kind of “meh” about, and even products that decide to move forward to candidates “with more experienced skill sets” than me.

Job Hunting Probs, amirite?

Think of the product claims as a sort of benefit “checklist”, and we can see how my experience coincides. I’ll also add in notes on things that I noticed that were really horrific or really awesome that may not have been mentioned. Overall, I’ll try to keep this concise and informative!

Keep in mind, these are my experiences. I’m not a perfect “test subject” and product claims are often purposefully vague. The claim that a cleanser can “Improve the look of skin…” is broad and open-ended, and ultimately left to the user to determine if the change is seen or not. I think there’s also a psychological component to the cosmetic industry, kind of like, “Hey, wait, this cleanser really did improve the look of my skin come to think of it!”

See what I’m saying?

The sometimes fuzzy language seen on cosmetic labeling has more to do with the lack of FDA oversight more than anything (here in the USA, anyways!).

*Takes off Pharmacist hat*

 


**For the purposes of this post, I’ll list each claim. Then my response as a True or False statement. Remember, the statement isn’t truly “true” or “false”, I’m just explaining my experiences with each benefit the brand is suggesting can be seen with the product


Ciate London Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer 

The Claim: “A lightweight, multitasking primer to hydrate, brighten, and improve skin’s texture—all while prepping for long-lasting makeup. Featuring watermelon extract droplets that activate upon contact to quench and energize the skin, the silky cooling pink base actively brightens, while refining pores and texture.”

from http://www.sephora.com

T or F? Mostly all TRUE! Hydration and brightening effect were seen right away–my face felt very plump and had a very healthy look to it, it also looked brightened from the slightly dewy look of the primer (not oily/wet).

As for improving my skin’s texture…….I can’t say I’m confident it does. It may help minimize some pores around the center of my face/near my nose during the wear, but not enough to confidently agree with this claim. I don’t know what the brand was implying but, just in case–I certainly can’t see any long term benefits so far from using this product in terms of “texture improvement”.

 

 

The Claim: Delicately watermelon scented, this unique aqua serum primer grips foundation for long-wear and that just-applied glow”

From http://www.sephora.com

T or F? True—but just one thing- The consistency of the primer is definitely water-based. Ciate uses the word “serum” to imply that it is more of a thin consistency, I personally would have used gel. I don’t know if that even matters, but I felt it was worth saying.

  • It does “grip” foundation— I’m thinking of the Milk Hydro Grip foundation, but the Ciate is not as intensely sticky as the Milk one. This one does leave you with some degree of tackiness, but not nearly as much as Milk and I find the staying power also superior.
  • just applied glow” —this is absolutely true. I would almost describe this as a comfortable softening, gloss-like look to the skin. I can/have worn without makeup and I have also used it as a daytime moisturizer- it super refreshing and a nice pick-me-up to start the day.
  • And yes, it is absolutely true that this primer smells like watermelon heaven— if you’re a watermelon lover like myself, prepare to be a fan.🍉🍉

 

So with these features, I won’t draw any final conclusions. This is simply me, as a consumer, sharing my thoughts and opinions with another consumer. I think it’s interesting for you to read over my reactions to the claims, and think about what YOUR thoughts are. Do you think the claims were sufficiently met? Do you think the product had enough claims? Were they too vague, too specific, etc.? If you’ve used it, what was your experience?

I love when we, as a beauty community, can continue to challenge and engage each other. Rather than creating posts like “here’s the product, I used it, I loved it..”, (which I still have and will post,—no shade or judgement!!!), I want to more purposefully try to TALK about the products.

So please, SHARE!! 😉


 

FYI: This Primer Retails for $28.00 USD for 40mL/1.35oz product at Sephora

 

Thank you for stopping by,

xo

Jena

 

 

 

 


FTC: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are honest and my own. No affiliate links used. Some statements were directly taken and sourced from http://www.sephora.com

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SPRING Makeup Inspiration

SPRING Makeup Inspiration

Hey everybody!

Last Saturday, I was casually scrolling through my Instagram feed when I found this STUNNING makeup look posted on Smashbox Cosmetics’ UK account.

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Every element of the look just spoke to me and I had to stop and admire how gorgeously fresh and bright it is for Spring. I’m not sure if its the combination of colors, the mix of tones, or the perfect balance between bold and soft glam that just really makes the perfect statement for me.

I just LOVE this look and it inspired me to look through my collection to see if I could pull something similar together. I’ll chat about the key products used to create my look:

All products linked in each product description section! 

 


Here’s what I ended up using:

Foundation:

1-to-1 Mixture of NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Liquid Foundation & NARS Sheer Glow Foundation 

  • I wanted a full-coverage base to look hydrated but not overly glowy [these two are my HG combination for a perfect makeup day!]

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Setting Powder:

To create that bright and fresh under eye the model has, I pulled out my Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. I LOVE this powder to visibly brighten dark areas, with a smooth/semi-matte finish. It NEVER gets cakey or overly dry on me!

Blush/Bronze/Highlight: 

Blush: In order to keep the emphasis on the eyes and lips, I decided to reach for a more subtle blush that still looks great in photos, so for this I decided to use the shade “Dallas” from Benefit Cosmetics. This is such an interesting product to me— it looks pretty unassuming in the pan, but takes on such a gorgeous and unique color once applied. LOVE!

Bronze: I don’t really see where they applied a very heavy, defined contour on her. It looks more like they used a matte bronzer to give the cheekbones a little bit more of a “pop”. For this, I used the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder  in the hollows of my cheek, along my hairline, and my neck/jawline. This is probably my favorite bronzer of life…….its just so freakin good.

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Highlight: You can really tell where they focused her highlight, mainly on the high points of the face. It looks like a more glow-from-within type of product was used for this, so I decided  to use my beloved Dandelion Twinkle Powder Highlighter from Benefit Cosmetics (this one from Essence Cosmetics would also give a similar effect!).

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Eyeshadow:

This was the most fun group of products to get together! The combination of her hazel eye color and the shades the artist used just mesmerize me. This look would be especially gorgeous on brown/green eyes.Her crease is pretty defined with a warm reddish-brown tone, so I knew right away what the perfect product for this was: The ABH Modern Renaissance Palette .

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This is the photo of the palette looking shiny and new from Amazon.com.

  • It is definitely a better representation than my photo of the boldness and beauty this palette has!

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Shades Used:

  • Mix of “Raw Sienna” and “Burnt Orange” shades in the crease with a fluffy brush–this creates the perfect “not too warm, not too cool” transition shade
  • I took the same shades on a more defined, dense eyeshadow brush to deepen and darken the crease area for further definition.
  • Next (with a light hand), I took the shade “Red Ochre” with a defined crease brush for the slight pop of red she has.
    • Take your time to slowly build the color up, this shade is VERY pigmented. 
  • Then, I went back to “Raw Sienna” on a fluffy blush and softly blended away any harsh lines.
  • For the brow bone highlight, I used “Tempera” for the perfect addition of brightness — this is one of my favorite shades of all time to lift and brighten the eye!

As you can see in this photo, my palette is VERY well loved. (It has been dreary and cloudy outside, so the lighting in all my photos is pretty terrible–sorry about that!)

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*For that GORGEOUS purple shade she has on the lid, I used my Laura Mercier Caviar Eyeshadow Stick in “Plum”. For more control, I applied with my fingertip and patted it on my lids until I reached the desired color intensity.

Finally, To sheer out any harsh lines between the lid and crease area, I then went back in with a fluffy blush with “Raw Sienna” from ABH to complete the shadow!


Eye-Liner: 

It looks like she has her top eyelid tightlined with a matte black liner, and possibly a very thin line just above her lash line. To achieve this look, I used this pencil liner from Sephora in “black lace”.

Her bottom inner eye area looks very open and bright, so I decided to add in this Wet n Wild Brow Highlighter to mimic her a wide-eyed look. (This is basically an 8-hour night of sleep in a pencil!)

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Mascara:

I don’t think the model has any false lashes on, and mascara appears to have only been applied to her top lashes. I used THIS mascara (my FAV of all time) to give my lashes volume and length.


Lips

This was the trickiest part of the look to re-create. I’m still not 100% happy with how the lip combo turned out, but my lipstick collection is mostly neutral. I would consider her lip color shade to be a true fuchsia, so I had to pull out my pharmacist hat to do some mixing and investigating to DIY it! It was difficult to find a combo that wasn’t too purplish/vampy, or too soft of a pink.

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I’m sure a single lip product similar to the one in the photo already exists–please send me suggestions if you know of something closer! I think it might be Smashbox Cosmetics Always on Matte Lipstick in “Throwback Jam”

 

Here’s the products I ended up using:

The Kaja Cushy Vibe High Pigment Lip Stain in “Cashmere” .

This is such a COOL product-it has a soft whipped consistency and the pigmentation is unreal!

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Next…..I topped it off with this NARS Velvet Lipglide in “Rapture”. If you’ve never tried this line of lippies from NARS, you should! The formula is like an ultra-pigmented lip gloss that is SO comfortable to wear. It’s a very unique consistency!

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Here’s the swatches separately and then mixed together— I really sheered out the Kaja product and applied it in thin layers to lighten it. 

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Here’s the final look I came up with!

 

 

I’m definitely not a pro MUA or model like in the photo, but this was SO FUN!

I think that’s the beauty of makeup and the entire creative process; you can find something that excites you and sparks inspiration, then add in personal touches to make something of your very own.

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 **I have to give credit to the makeup artist’s Instagram account that came up with the look —@heatherjacksonbeauty posted on @smashboxcosmeticsuk

The model in the photo on Instagram: @che1seaelizabeth

Also, follow ME on Instagram 🙂 @jj_beautyblog


 

I hope y’all can all take some time this week to find a source of inspiration and create something! I know that’s what sparks the most JOY in my life!

What are y’all’s sources for drawing inspiration in your makeup, beauty, or just life in general? Please share in the comments!

 

Thanks for reading!

xo

Jena

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored and all products were purchased by me. Opinions are honest and my own. Some links are affiliate.

Source photo from Amazon.com and @Smashboxcosmeticsuk Instagram 

FAVORITE Stick Foundations

FAVORITE Stick Foundations

Happy Monday Y’all!!

I feel like stick foundations are definitely having a major “moment” in my life. I wanted to hop on here and list out my favorite ones. I like to reach for a stick product when I want to pull a really pretty makeup look together fast and get out the door. Something about the stick formulas just agree with my skin and tend to work best for me. The easy and effortless blend-ability of these formulas can literally blur and perfect the look of the skin in seconds. Each one has little nuances that make it great in a unique way.

***I should also add that all these foundations (except this ONE) are MOST ideal for dry, normal, and combo skin types.

All products are linked with each product description and again below!


Let’s Discuss……..

 

MAKE UP FOR EVER — Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation

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I don’t even know how I can adequately explain how good this foundation is. It’s my first foundation stick love and has a special place in my makeup-loving heart!

When I take a break from using this and come back to it, I have to ask myself why I would use anything else? Of all the stick products, this one probably makes my skin look best. It’s “HD” and designed for photography/being on camera, and there’s a reason for that. It just perfects and smooths my complexion unlike any other.

The coverage is full but doesn’t look heavy— I’d wear this everyday. The finish is gorgeously skin-like and natural. It does get more radiant throughout the day on me, but not in a way that looks greasy or overly oily. It sits on the skin like an absolute DREAM! I like to use a foundation brush for maximum coverage and minimal product loss. This is just one that has to be seen to be believed.

  • It retails for $43.00 USD for 0.44oz\12.5g of product
  • Cost is approx. $3.44 per gram.

 

This one is SO worth the splurge! 

 


HOURGLASS— Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

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Of all the foundations mentioned in this post, this one is the most VERSATILE for ALL skin types (dry, oily, normal, combo). This guy packs some serious pigmentation, and it doesn’t take much product to get SUPER FULL coverage. With my dry/normal skin, I don’t have to set this with any kind of powder and it lasts all day.

This effect this one gives off is sort of hard to describe. For me, the finish isn’t dewy/radiant or “skin like”, but I wouldn’t classify it as matte either. It is just a true natural finish that doesn’t budge all day. All foundations discussed today (and my foundation collection as a whole) tend to get more radiant and glowy throughout the day, but this is one of the few exceptions. It blends seamlessly (as the name suggests) and provides crazy coverage that feels ultra-lightweight.

This foundation is IDEAL for special events or more glam makeup days– it photographs beautifully. Because it can withstand more oil or moisture-filled conditions, this is one of my favorite summer foundations. It is the perfect middle ground finish and looks absolutely gorgeous no matter what!

I also love the triangle bullet it comes in— you can be super precise on application for sculpting/contouring.

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The packaging just screams luxury to me— it’s one of those products you want to stop and admire on your vanity. HOURGLASS knows how to put out game-changing products, and this is no exception.

This beauty retails for $46.00 HERE


BareMinerals — Complexion Rescue Hydrating Foundation Stick

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This is another dry-skinned person’s dream! The consistency is very creamy, but it has a unique gel-like feel that provides a cooling-sensation when first applied. I’ve raved about this product in a previous blog HERE, so I won’t ramble on it again too much–But WOW is it such a great foundation!

The coverage is more on the medium side for me, but it just smooths the skin and makes the complexion look freshly hydrated! This is a great foundation for day-to-day and creates a radiant “no makeup-makeup” look.

The packaging is also very luxe; it comes in a gorgeous gold tube and has a magnetic clasp to seal the formula from drying out.

  • It retails for $32.00 USD for 10g of product and is available for purchase HERE

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I really LOVE this one and I’ll definitely keep it stocked in my collection. I’ll repurchase a darker shade soon for summer!

 


Makeup Revolution –Fast Base Stick Foundation

This is the most recent addition to my collection and it completely blew me away!

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The formula is rich and creamy, and it glides right on to create a gorgeous second-skin finish. The application is seamless with a foundation brush—you can create a fresh, full coverage look in seconds. It’s one of those foundations where you look in the mirror at the end of the day and feel so pleasantly surprised at how good your skin looks.

Makeup Revolution puts out great formulas on SO many different products for crazy-affordable prices! The fact that this super high-quality product only costs $9.00 astounds me. In my opinion, this gem has outperformed tons of high-end foundations that have similar claims.

If you’ve been wanting to check this one out, DO IT!


 

Shop My Favorite Sticks:

 

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So is anybody else a big foundation stick fan? Which ones are your favorites and what brand should I try next? Comment all your thoughts below! 

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

xo

Jena


 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored and all products were purchased by myself. Opinions are honest and my own. Some links are affiliate. Thank you SO much for supporting my blog!

WANDERLUST Eyeshadow Palette

WANDERLUST Eyeshadow Palette

Hey everyone!

I checked the mail today and found a literal rainbow waiting for me—the Wanderlust Palette by Profusion Cosmetics!

I couldn’t wait to get it unboxed and get behind the camera. I resisted my urge to swatch it right away, and managed to get a few photos.

For now, I’ll just share my first impressions and include photos of swatches. I will definitely spend a little time playing with it to provide a more thorough review. I was just too excited not to share! 🌈🌈

 

She is definitely a beauty!

This 21-pan palette is available at a very affordable price of $10.00 USD. It also comes with a brush that seems like it could be pretty promising.

I have to say, my eyes were immediately drawn to this section of the palette. Something about that green and brown! 💚

 

Now, let’s swatch!

First Row:

Shades are listed and shown in left to right. The first photo was taken with no flash, the second with flash.

Shades: 

  • Illusion
  • Tranquil
  • Chill
  • Serious
  • Frosting
  • Gravity
  • Love Story

If I’m being honest, the top row was pretty underwhelming. Many of the shades were gritty in texture and were pretty difficult to build up pigmentation. A number of shimmer shadows had more glitter than I usually like, so I would plan to experience some fall out and use a tacky primer before applying these. Despite a few disappointments, the shades “Chill” and “Love Story” did look more pretty in person and just didn’t photograph very well.

 

Second Row: 

Shades shown and listed from L to R:

  • Majesty
  • Hypnotic
  • Jade
  • Stormy
  • Splash
  • Regal
  • Nimbus

Photos of Second Row:  No Flash (top), With Flash (bottom)

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The second row is where the magic really starts to happen. I really love the green shades here and those blue shades are SUPER vibrant. It might take some courage to play with the brighter colors, but they are beautiful shades.

 

Third Row:

Shades Listed and Shown from L to R:

  • Coast
  • Statement
  • Nostalgia
  • Cruise
  • Enigma
  • Retro
  • Go Girl

Photos of third row: Top Photo (no flash) ,Bottom Photo (with flash)

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I really appreciate the different shades of brown in this row— its a good mix of warm and cooler-tones. This gives a great variety of transition shades for different skin tones and can correspond well with whatever look you want to achieve. It might be worth pointing out here that there’s no black shadow— I know many people like having that as an option for a more well-rounded palette. The blues in this row are bold and beautiful, the pigmentation for these are apparent right away and I love the shades chosen. Although they are bright, something about them seems a little bit more wearable than other blues I’ve seen in colorful palettes. I also love the unique jewel-toned hue that “Cruise” puts off. The “Go Girl” shade is probably my favorite color in the palette and gives me all the pink Barbie vibes!


Based on first impressions, I think this is palette is really pretty and I can’t wait to see it live in action. I will definitely put some time and effort into seeing how these shadows perform in application and provide details on my final thoughts. As mentioned earlier, it is a very affordable option for the quality and shade/texture variety. Most importantly, it inspires me to step out of my neutral box and play with some color!

**I purchased my palette HERE

So what are y’alls thoughts on this palette? Is anyone planning to purchase? If you already have it, I’m so curious to hear from you! Comment below!

Thanks for reading!

xo

Jena

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored and I purchased the products myself. Opinions are honest and my own. Some links are affiliate.

Major Beauty Product Nostalgia

Major Beauty Product Nostalgia

Nostalgic Makeup

Nostalgia is such a weird thing; at the same time, you can feel a little happy and a little sad. Reflecting back on another time in your life can help you appreciate where you’ve been and understand where you are now. (Too deep? Sorry.)

I’ve always had such a fascination with makeup. As a kid, I can remember being at my grandmother’s house and going through endless drawers of beauty products. She had all kinds of free gifts from department store makeup counters or old lipsticks and blushes she insisted were “too bright” so I should take it. I would have the time of my life swatching things and being so excited to go home and add it into my polka-dotted makeup caboodle.

Still to this day, I find my 28-year old self feeling giddy to go to Sephora, Ulta, or the makeup aisle at the grocery store. I love looking back and thinking about a few products that really sparked my love of beauty and helped define my personal makeup style.


Let’s Go Down Memory Lane….

 

 

NARS Blush in “Orgasm”

This is probably an old favorite for many people and not the most original choice, but boy do I love this gem. I can remember first starting to wear it in high-school. I was embarrassed to say the shade name “Orgasm” to my mom, so when I needed to re-purchase one I would just say that I needed more “NARS”. The peachy pink shade of this blush is just timeless—it looks great on everyone and pulls together just about any look. I would load this stuff up on this old scratchy brush I had and go to town with the application. I literally think this is the only blush I wore daily throughout my high school and college years and there’s no telling how many times I’ve repurchased it. I can remember frequently scraping the last few bits of powder out of the pan so that none would go to waste. Still to this day, I’ve got a regular size compact of it and a travel size as a back-up. I love my “NARS” so much!

Revlon Illuminance Cream Eyeshadow 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know why I was so drawn to these cream shadows, probably because I wasn’t good with eye makeup brushes and I could just dab this stuff on with my fingertips. I remember sitting in front of my bedroom window with a small mirror in natural light and thinking this was the best makeup product money could buy. It had such a luminosity to it I’d never seen in eyeshadow powders, so I felt like some kind of 16-year old makeup guru patting it all over my lids. I loved the rose gold/warm tones and would use this little pallet in all sorts of ways. When I bought the Metals one (pictured to the right), with a few darker shades, I felt like the edgiest girl in school (I wasn’t).

Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer 

I can distinctly remember walking around Sephora and spotting this compact on the display shelf. I thought it was the most unique, beautiful product that I had ever seen. Of course, I begged my mom to get it for me and the rest is history. I don’t think I understood at the time what a “bronzer” was or how to correctly apply it. Was this a blush? Was it a bronzer? I didn’t know but I would take my single very old brush and dust this stuff carelessly all over my cheeks and forehead. I probably re-purchased this 4 or 5 times, mostly due to it getting broken or lost. I’m still a sucker for leopard and I would buy it again if ever re-released in a heartbeat.

Britney Spears’ Perfume

 

One of the highlights of my life at the time (and probably now) was in 2000 when I saw Britney Spears live in concert. I was a super fan and loved everything about her. Naturally, when she started releasing fragrances I would have to buy them all. First came Curious, then there was Fantasy. For years around the time of their release, it was always understood I would be needing a new bottle for my birthday or Christmas. I proudly displayed and admired the bottles on my bathroom vanity or a shelf in my bedroom. I would douse on her perfumes anytime I left the house, there was no such thing as “too much”—-I practically bathed in the stuff. My mom always joked she knew I was getting ready to go somewhere when the smell of my perfume made its way all the way downstairs from my room upstairs. When I smell these scents to this day, I feel instantly nostalgic and thankful.

 

I have to say,  this was probably one of my favorite topics to put together so far! It’s so fun to look back and think about how much you loved something or how happy it made you feel; I would encourage y’all to do the same. With the constant release and availability of new products, it is so easy to forget about the things you loved first.

As we get all the new let’s not forget to appreciate the old, shall we?

So what beauty products make you feel nostalgic? Is there anything you want to re-purchase? Let’s chat about it!

xo,

Jena

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTC: This content is not sponsored. Opinions are honest and my own. Some links are affiliate and images are from Amazon.com