Best Makeup Brush Cleaners

best brush cleaners to clean makeup brushes

With the panic surrounding COVID-19 and everyone washing their hands frequently, I wanted to draw some attention to the often ignored makeup brushes sitting on our counter. Makeup brushes are a hotbed of bacteria, with caked in product that needs to be cleaned regularly. The most ideal method of cleansing is with shampoo and warm water. This method can be time consuming and requires and overnight dry time. There are shorter ways to get our brushes clean, which helps keep our complexions clear of acne and infections. Plus, with all of the time spent indoors, it gives us something to do! Here are my 4 favorite ways to clean makeup brushes:

 

  1. JAPONESQUE Makeup Brush Cleanser (click here to shop): This formula can be a bit on the greasy side, which makes this the most ideal for lip products that are highly pigmented. It also works wonders on eyeliner brushes, or soft fibered bristles that can be difficult to clean at times. The scent is refreshing and Ulta has the smaller, travel sized portions with a pump.
  2. Cinema Secrets Pro Professional Makeup Brush Cleaner (click here to shop) : Cinema secrets is in a tie for being my favorite. It cleans the brush hair rapidly, doesn’t leave behind a residue, and have a cinnamon scent. This is the best for foundation brushes, because it doesn’t leave behind a film that can be transferred to your complexion. It can be a little dry, so make sure you reshape the brush fibers while they are still wet.
  3. MAC Brush Cleanser (click here to shop): If I had a pick a #1 choice, it would be this one. The brush cleanser only requires a little bit of product, and it gets to work quickly. It suds up, almost like a soap, and leaves the brush fibers clean and conditioned. It dries quickly, but not as quickly as the Cinema secrets. I do feel that it doesn’t dry out the fibers as much, which makes this my top pick.
  4. Sephora Collection Color Switch Brush Cleaner (click here to shop): So this isn’t exactly a cleaner, but I do find this ‘color switch’ super useful. This is basically a highly textured sponge that you run your brush over to remove product. I think this is super helpful when you’re traveling because it cuts down on the number of brushes you have to pack. The sponge itself can be cleansed with brush cleaner or soap and water.

Spring + Summer Lip Products

spring summer lip products

  1. Colourpop Lippie Pencil in ‘BFF2’: click here to shop
  2. Colourpop Lippie Pencil in ‘BFF3’: click here to shop
  3. Kkw Beauty Nude Lip Liner in ‘2.5’: click here to shop
  4. Kkw Beauty Nude Lip Liner in ‘3’: click here to shop
  5. Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kit in ‘Twenty’: click here to shop
  6. Dose Of Colors Lip Liner in ‘Nitty Gritty’: click here to shop
  7. Nars Precision Lip Liner ‘Hyeres’: click here to shop
  8. Rimmel London 1000 Kisses Lip Liner, Zenzero: click here to shop
  9. Mac Lip Pencil in ‘Plum’: click here to shop

best lipsticks for summer from ulta and sephora

  1. Kylie Cosmetics Matte Lip Kit in ‘Twenty’: click here to shop
  2. Patrick Ta Silky Lip Creme in ‘She’s Confident’: click here to shop
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in ‘Hudson’: click here to shop
  4. Buxom Full Force Plumping Lipstick in ‘Icon’: click here to shop
  5. Morphe Mega Matte Nude Lipstick in ‘Commit’: click here to shop
  6. Morphe Matte Lipstick in ‘Tempt’: click here to shop
  7. Kkw Beauty Nude Creme Lipstick in ‘Nude 5’: click here to shop

summer makeup and fashion must haves (2)

  1. Nyx Butter Gloss in ‘Fortune Cookie’: click here to shop
  2. Hourglass Unreal Volumizing Lip Gloss in ‘Truth’: click here to shop

Amazon Beauty Finds You Need

spring makeup affordable on amazon

 

With Spring approaching rapidly, it’s important we all have our hair, skin and makeup all sorted out. The transition from Winter to the warmer months means we have to re-vamp a few things in our routine so we can look and feel our best. Here are a few products from Amazon that will take your look to the next level:

Buxom Plumping Lipstick in ‘Icon’: This lipstick formula has a bit of a tingle and provides a slight ‘plumping effect’. If that sensation is a hard ‘no’ for you, skip out on this and go for one that doesn’t say ‘plumping’. I personally don’t mind it and the color is absolutely stunning. Good corals are hard to come by. In the past they have looked chalky or ashy, but this is the perfect blend of warmth and pigment. (click here to buy)

Banila Co Cleansing Balm: It’s 2020 and that means we have all graduated from using makeup wipes as our primary method of removing makeup. I do think wipes have their place in your routine, i.e. removing swatches or dried on liquid lipsticks. But within the last year, I’ve switched to using a cleansing balm to remove my makeup as Step 1 of my nightly double cleanse. This product warms up in the hands and quickly breaks down makeup so you can easily rinse it off, without tugging or pulling on the skin too much. My personal favorite way to remove the balm is with warm water and a muslin cloth. (click here to buy)

Hourglass Ambient Light Palette: Not all highlighters are created equal, and thank goodness for it. Honestly, I don’t know if I even classify this as a highlighter, because it’s actually more of a filter. Truly, dusting this on gives you this airbrushed, filtered look that I’ve never gotten from another powder. This has luminosity, but it’s not the bling bling highlighter of 2014 we all use to wear. This is pretty pricy, but a little goes a long way and it’s changed my makeup look significantly. (click here to buy)

Rimmell London ‘Zenzero’ Liner: Lipliners make my world go ’round. Everyone has their one product that they are obsessed with and for me, it’s liners. If I were to ever start a makeup line, it would be liners in every shade of browns, nudes, and tans. They’re hard to come by and when you find a winning color with a great formula, you have to hold on tight. I found these liners at the drugstore many years ago, and ever since then, they have been my favorite. More than MAC, NARS, MAKE UP FOREVER, or any other high end brand, these have always performed better. The color is a warm, toasty mahogany and compliments most skin tones and lipstick shades. I particularly love the way it’s paired with the Buxom lipstick in the color ‘Icon’. (click here to buy)

DUO Brush On Lash Glue: Lash glue is critical for flawless makeup. For me, I like this formula because it dries quickly (much faster that the glue in the DUO tubes). It also dries clear, because I don’t always wear eyeliner and I don’t want to commit to the black glue. Also, I love that you can control how much product is applied because it’s simply brushed on, rather than squeezing out glue and transferring it onto the lash band. I feel that this is comparable to the House of Lashes glue in the drying consistency, but it doesn’t take 100 years to get off your eye. (click here to buy)

Hourglass Gloss in ‘Truth’: Gloss is back y’all. Honestly, I’m thankful for it. Liquid lipsticks totally had their moment, but there’s nothing like a youthful, glossy nude that wears all day and doesn’t transfer all over the place. I typically don’t spend a ton on glosses, but I kept hearing how fabulous this formula was so I gave it a try. Working in sales means I cannot have my makeup move all over the place and I can’t stop to touch up a ton either. This gloss adheres to  the lips well, without moving too much. It does have a bit of a tingling sensation because it’s supposed to plump, but I don’t mind that. It wears off after a bit, and the color range is gorgeous. (click here to buy)

Bed Head Urban Antidotes Recover Shampoo and Conditioner: When I turned 32, I noticed a shift in my hair texture. It became a little more coarse, and drier. I know I can do my part to eat more foods with fatty acids, but I wanted to repair it externally as well. I switched my shampoos from the ‘clarifying’ formula to this much more hydrating one. Also, I’ve been skipping blow dries and letting this conditioner soak in to provide maximum hydration. The scent is fruity and fresh too, which is a double win for me. Within a few washes, I noticed a difference and will keep you all updated. (click here to buy)

Tomorrow is Monday + Fall Perfume

Tomorrow is Monday + Fall Perfume

 

You may think that when I discuss my morning routine, it would be filled with products, rituals and of course makeup. And although that is part of my day, it’s not what I really rely on to master my morning. If you streamline your day, you streamline your life. What this looks like for me is being able to maximize my time to get dressed while making a few decisions as possible. Keeping my options limited allows for me to pour more energy into what matters. Believe or not, I do a full face of makeup everyday. Although I’m fairly fast at doing my makeup, it’s important to me that I don’t start my day feeling rushed or hurried. When I do feel like I’m lacking control of my time, I become anxious and often forget important things. So I thought it would be fun to share a major tip that I implement so that I can truly dominate my day and still be ultra glam.

I have to thank Marjorie for this hack. I think her maternal instinct was spot on when she helped me feel more prepared for each day. Early on in life, I struggled with anxiety and although I still struggle with bouts from time to time, it’s gotten much better than it used to be. Okay so here’s the tip: lay your entire outfit the night before. If I have my outfit laid out the night before, it helps alleviate so much of the panic I experience in the morning. When I say outfit, I actually mean every last bit of the look. This includes undergarments, accessories, and even perfume. I keep the steamer, lint roller or anything else I might need close by, or just take care of the clothing prep the night before. Eliminating the stress of having to plan a coordinated look has been, hands down the most impactful life hack.

The reason I include fragrance is because I hate having to step away from dressing to go grab and spritz it on. The fragrance I am OBSESSED with right now is kind of a surprise. It’s from Bath and Body Works and it’s called ‘In The Stars‘. I caught whiff of this on a co-worker and I immediately knew it was a scent I would love. The scent has hints of amber and sandalwood musk. It has a but of a spicy flair and it’s perfect for Autumn. I also love that this bottle is tiny so it fits nicely in my bag, and I can take on the go with me. I know when we hear ‘Bath and Body Works‘ we think of candles but I highly encourage you to try out this perfume!

How to be the ultimate host

how to host a guest

With the Summer months upon us, it’s super important to make sure that our house is up to par with the hosting situation. I mean, to be honest, my guests haven’t ever really complained, but it’s a paranoia of mine to be a lackluster host. I take a ton of pride in hosting because I would hate for someone to stay with me, and feel like their needs weren’t met. This is definitely a common trait that my husband and I both have, being that he is exceptionally accommodating as well. We don’t have the largest house, in fact our 2 bedroom town home suits us well. We have made sure that every nook and cranny of this place has a touch of luxury and comfort. Recently, I swapped out a few older decor items from some new goodies, all from Amazon. Since I work full-time as a nurse, I rely on Amazon quite a bit for literally everything. What isn’t shown in the photo up above is my little signage that I keep in the guest bedroom which lists our wi-fi information. I know it’s nothing revolutionary, but it is important to remember that your guests will at some point need to enter it on a few different devices.

Winsome 92436 Luggage Rack with Shelf: A luggage rack is kind of a no-brainer when you think about checking into a hotel, but when you’re at someone’s home, it’s just as helpful. If you think about luggage, it’s drug across the gross airport floor, through a ton of countries and cities. You don’t want your guests to have to set their luggage on the ground and dig through it, nor (eck) set it up on the bed. To avoid this catastrophe, it’s best to have something for them to rest their belongings on. This luggage rack is one the highest rated ones on Amazon, and you can easily paint it to match whatever room you’re placing it in. It just happened to match the room we have, so I left it as is.

Kate and Laurel Sylvie Female Baby Bunny Rabbit Animal Print Portrait Framed Canvas Wall Art by Amy Peterson, 23×33, Gray: For the guest bathroom, I wanted to keep the palette neutral, but still have personal touches. Since the paint is Behr ‘Elephant Skin’, I stuck with a grey theme and snagged this ultra cute framed canvas of a rabbit. T jokes often that I look like a rabbit, so I thought it would be perfect for the space. The same artist has a few different animals done in this format. Her other pieces are super cute and I’ve even seen some similar items like this at Home Goods.

Genteele Non-Slip Memory Foam Shaggy Bathroom Mat, Water Absorbent, Super Plush Bath Mat, Washable Bathroom Rug (17″ X 24″, Gray): Okay, so you’re probably thinking that it’s kind of silly to swap out your bathmats, but hear me out. Bath mats are one of those tactile things that resonate with your guests. It’s one of the first surfaces they feel when they wake up and groom, and it’s important that they feel as plush as possible. I ordered these based on the reviews and I am SO happy with them!  They feel like a cloud and have a luxury look to them as well. It was important that the pile fibers weren’t all the exact length/height. The variety of heights makes them look more expensive and they come in a few different colors.

AmazonBasics Zippered Storage Bag with Window: I know that most linen comes in its own plastic/vinyl bag, but I always throw that out. The plastic isn’t breathable, and it’s kind of tacky to me to keep the bag with the photo of the bedding around after purchase. When preparing linens, I always wash and place bedding into these breathable canvas bags. They come in a few different sizes and colorways, and fit neatly under the bed. It keeps the look cohesive and organized, and not like a department store.

ModLux Spa Slippers – 12 Pairs of Cotton Velvet Closed Toe Slippers with Travel Bags – Thick, Soft, Non-Slip, Disposable Slippers – Fits Most Men and Women – Perfect for Home, Hotel, or Commercial Use: When T and I got married, we knew our guests would dance the night away. We also anticipated that many girls would want to kick off their heels and get comfortable, so we provided slippers in all sizes for the guests. From that point on, I have always purchased a variety pack of unisex white slippers from Amazon and kept them in the guest bathroom/bedroom. It’s just a little touch that the guest can take with them, because honestly, I wouldn’t wash and re-use slippers that have been worn anyway. I can get a little squirmish when I think about hotel amenities and wished that they had more items that can be taken or thrown out like slippers and robes. These slippers come in a variety pack of sizes and always get compliments from guests that stay.

Capri Blue Petite Jar Volcano White Candle, 4 Ounce: Blue Capri candles are kind of a cult favorite, which is no surprise because it smells absolutely heavenly. The fruity, sweet scent is light enough to offer a fragrance, but not too overbearing. The candles comes in a few different colored jars so you can always find one that works for your space. It also comes in a few different sizes, but since I was placing on the sink and I wanted to be conservative, I went with a smaller size. I also find that even though it has a slightly tropical scent, it still burns nicely in Fall and Winter.

Bourina Throw Blanket Textured Solid Soft for Sofa Couch Decorative Knitted Blanket, 50″ x 60″,Off White: Throw blankets are must because they are inviting and make a space more approachable. I feel like you can easily spend a ton on a cute statement blanket, but I came across this super inexpensive blanket and fell in love. Because the weight of the blanket is so light, it drapes nicely and doesn’t take away from the rest of the decor. I don’t personally love the zig-zag pattern, so I just flipped it over and let the plain side show. The part that makes the blanket look a little more luxurious is the fringe detail. The tassels are long which hang beautifully off the sofa. I ordered it in ‘Off White’.

Convenience Kits International Women’s Premium 21-Piece Assembled Necessities Travel Kit, Featuring: Fructis Hair Products: Each time I order something from Sephora, I get a ton of samples. Between trying out new skincare and makeup for the blog, and making sure I tell you guys if I like it, I often don’t get around to all of it. So I decided to set aside my samples and arrange them into a basket with some rolled up towels for my guests. They can choose from a little Tatcha, Ole Henriksen and Dr. Dennis Gross. There are sheet masks, Poo-Pouri, and a jade roller as well. I find that because I love skincare so much, it’s important that guests get to indulge a bit too. If you don’t have an arsenal of product to offer, I highly recommend getting this kit for men or women from Amazon. It has everything a guest could need, and it comes in a toiletry bag. My tip is to ditch the toiletry bag and place it in a basket or cute tray to make it feel a little more personal. These toiletry kits are kind of a one-stop-shop and can even be purchased for yourself if you’re not very product specific.

What You Need From Amazon

summer makeup and fashion must haves

You guys know the amazon obsession is absolutely real. Amazon is such an incredible site for streamlining your life if you are on the go, a little last minute, or just really don’t love shopping in person. As their selection for clothing and accessories is only getting better, I really wanted to take some time to highlight some of the fabulous pieces they have right now. Here in Dallas, where the sun is absolutely unforgiving, I try to find a happy medium between looking like I just left the pool and being season appropriate. The items I got this week have totally been great Summer staples, and I know you guys will love them to.

FLOYU Button Down Romper Women Solid Color Short Sleeve Casual Summer Short Jumpsuit with Pockets: This linen romper was a tricky one for me at first. I loved the fabric, simplicity and color, but once I tried it on, I wasn’t so sure. I wore it anyway, because I firmly believe that if you act like you can pull something off, you typically do. And guess what? I got a ton of compliments at an influencer event I went to. The event was at Sunglass Hut Northpark and they had makeup artists from Glamsquad doing touch ups, cute refreshments and all access to the seasons newest styles. It was such a fun event and I started to feel like I looked a little less ‘Prince George’ as time went on. I also noticed that it didn’t wrinkle as quickly as my other linen items, which was as total plus.

STHUAHE 3PCS Hair Bands,Women Handmade Lovely Style Cloth Cross Knot Hair Hoop Hairband Headband Headwear Hair Accessories by Beauty Hair (multicolor): When it doubt, just ask yourself, ‘What Would Blair Waldorf Do?’. Just kidding, because although she was a style arbiter, we all know she was a total bully. But one thing we cannot take away from her character was the ability to inject headbands into a ton of her looks. Right now, headbands are all the rage, but truly, I never stopped loving them. They are such a great way to pull hair away from the face, add a touch of volume to the crown, hide dirty hair and the list goes on. I wore the yellow striped headband to a concert last night and did I mention that it was an outdoor concert?! It was brutal, but fashion over function for me and I did not want to put my hair up. So this headband was a great compromise and kept me (semi) cool. It comes in a three pack and there are a ton of cute designer dupes on Amazon too. I just ordered these cute “Gucci-esque” ones, and they are arriving with ‘Same Day Shipping’ eeeek!

Natural Chic Hand-Woven Round Handle Ring Toto Retro Large Casual Summer Beach Handbags (Yellow Grass 15.7×12 H inches): Straw Summer totes are an essential, but I struggle to pay a ton for them, simply because they aren’t really bags. They are meant for the beach, and when I see some that go up as much as $50, I kinda die inside. I wanted to upgrade my summer bag situation from the Cult Gaia dupe everyone had, to something softer with more flexibility. I also knew that even though I am a babe on a budget, I still wanted the bag to have a refined, luxurious edge to it. So I went for a bag that was less  ‘raffia’/straw looking, which can sometimes be a little muted, and grabbed this yellow straw bag instead. I loved the shape and the inside is lined with a creamy linen fabric. It also comes to a drawstring closure so that I don’t have to worry about my stuff falling out, or being exposed like other totes. It is also incredibly lightweight which is nice. The round handles are great for tying on cute little tassels or scarves so you can get some versatility out of it as well.

Kimono Kimonos for Women Beach Cover up Floral Print Short Sleeve Loose Open Front Cotton Cardigans DusterAlthough I am considered petite, I do struggle with one main body part: my arms. I have always held a little weight in my arms and while I am actively trying to sculpt them, I find it hard to expose them outright, even though it’s 500 degrees here. These gorgeous, sheer Summer kimonos are so great for adding coverage to the arms without the weight of a long sleeve. I have to wear this piece with an elevated shoe simply because it drags on the ground when I don’t. I am 5’1 and that is typically not an issue until it’s time to wear floor length dusters. It did come with a sash but that’s not really how I wanted to wear it, but can we just talk about the color scheme here!? I am obsessed with the pattern and pops of turquoise throughout the piece. I wore this with a plain grey tank and some olive jeans and loved the way it worked with some many different colors in my outfit. This vendor has a few different styles and color ways, but this was my favorite. It’s also on prime so how can you resist?!

Levi’s Women’s 721 High Rise Distressed Skinny Jeans, Rugged Indigo, BlueWhen I am not living in denim shorts, I have been reaching for these Levis high rise jeans with giant gaping holes at the knee. I have lusted over these via all the tall beautiful bloggers in Insta. Not being so tall myself, I knew that I was going to have to get these hemmed or cut a raw hem myself. One thing you should know is that these jeans have very little stretch. They pull you in tight, stay in place and don’t budge. Depending on how you like your denim to fit, this could be an issue. I do find that because the holes in the knees are so large, you get a little wiggle room  (and air!). It’s hard to wear jeans when it’s so hot out, but this destroyed pair in the lighter wash is totally great for Summer.

5) AOMEI Women Spring Summer Blouses with Puff Sleeve Sashes Shirts TopsThis top, hands down, is the must universally flattering top in my wardrobe. It wraps at the waist, hides my arms (blah) and cuts off right at the waist so I don’t feel swallowed. I have it in another striped pattern, which several of my readers really loved. When I saw the gingham pattern, I knew it would be a great summer staple as well. The lightweight cotton fabric works well for this heat, and it can be worn with ripped denim shorts, or wide legged white trousers. It comes in a few other patterns, but not all of the fabrics are the same for each top. My striped one is a silk/poly blend and this gingham one is cotton. Both wrap and drape beautifully and you know I am a sucker for anything that ties into a bow.