Winter Haircare and Testing MAC Makeup

After almost a year of having lighter [dare I say blonde at times, eep!] hair, I've quite literally gone back to my roots and had it brought back to a deep chocolate brown.  Recently, my hair has been so dry and damaged and not for a lack of taking care of it! I'm still not sure why it's been so unhappy, but I thought going back to my natural color was my best bet.  As you can see from the photos, I've still got variation in color, but my amazing hair stylist Andrew added a deeper brown back to my hair, basically creating lowlights. I like to think of it as the reverse of highlighting? Not entirely sure that's what this is, but I don't claim to be a hair expert! He then placed a toner all over my hair to soften the remaining lighter bits. After a couple inches were chopped off, my hair now feels and looks SO healthy!  

As a precaution, I'm also swapping back to my go to shampoo and conditioner from the Pureology Hydrate collection. Although the other haircare products I was using were really nice quality, my hair just didn't seem happy with them anymore.  I've heard occasionally switching out your shampoo and conditioner is actually good for your hair, so it can't hurt to try!  I'm also starting to incorporate a deep conditioning treatment each week.  The one I'm currently testing is a sample of Briogeo's Don't Despair Repair Mask.  I started using it before I went back to darker hair, and I did notice a bit of a difference then, so I imagine it'll only help protect my hair now that it's in a healthier state.

Now a transition from hair to makeup! You may not know this, but I'm a sucker for sales and discount codes, and I just couldn't help myself when MAC had 20% off everything a few weeks back! I picked up Christmas gifts for a few people, but naturally I had to try out a few things for myself! I've been meaning to pick up MAC's Fix+ spray, since I've heard it does wonders for intensifying any metallic or shimmery eyeshadows.  All you need to do is spray a bit of it on your brush and dip it into the shadow.  I still can't believe how much it transformed my tried and true Urban Decay Naked Palette.  The colors on my lids are Half Baked [a bright gold], Smog [copper] with Buck [taupe brown] in the transition.

I also picked up a great new mascara with a skinny wand that's incredible for my tiny lashes [and would work well for anyone's lower lashes!].  I tried out a new eyeliner in the color Raisinette [a deep plum] and oh, just a few lipsticks [!!!]. My favorite has to be Mehr, which is a perfect everyday color for me. 

I wanted to experiment with how the MAC matte lipstick paired with my go-to lipsticks, all of which are from NARS. I tend to layer lipsticks on top of each other to create different shades, and the combination of Mehr with NARS Heat Wave is a new favorite of mine! 

For the rest of my face, I used several products I'm running out of. I'm all about decluttering and clearing out at this time of year, and that includes a clear out of my makeup! As a base I used It Cosmetics CC cream and under eye concealer, both in medium.  I set them with the nearly decimated Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. I contoured with my Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in medium [also hitting pan on this guy!]. My blush is the subtle Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure. On my brows I went with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Ebony. I I purchased this for my mom ages ago, but she decided to stick to brow pencils. It's definitely on the darker side than my usual eyebrow powder, but since my hair is quite dark now, and fuller brows seem to be a thing at the moment, I can go back to using this shade.

The final flourish on my face is the Tom Ford Eye Defining Pencil Pen [yes, it was stupid expensive, but I've had it for four months, it's the only one I use, I use it almost everyday, it lasts on my eyes all day and night. It's perfection.  For me, it's paid for itself! Justified!] 

After this holiday season, I'm going on a ban from purchasing any makeup for a while. I have tons of samples to work my way through [loves me some samples!]. Needless to say, I've picked up a shedload of new products this season, and I can't see myself needing anything else until the spring! [when the next round of sales starts, ahh!].  

Addendum: In writing this post, I realized I had a few things to return to Sephora, and some I no longer had receipts for, so I did end up grabbing a couple new bits [one travel makeup palette and a skincare set] with the merchandise credit I received. I believe these items will be popping up in my upcoming travel makeup post [loads more talk on where I'm traveling to soon!]. 

My Everyday Summer Makeup Routine

I get asked about makeup quite a bit; what I wear, what I recommend, what are my favorite products, so it's about time I share some of it on here [even though I'm not the biggest fan of up close unedited photos of my face, but no matter!]. In the summer, makeup doesn't have to be too fussy. On days where I know I won't need to see people much, I stick to my skincare routine and stay makeup free, but below is typically what I wear when I will see humans!

I like to play up my favorite bits of summer: freckles [and I get lots of them!], warm cheeks and glowing skin. Most of the time, I won't even need foundation, just some tinted moisturizer.  As long as what I'm using has SPF, I'm good to go. For this post, I wanted to test out some new products I was gifted recently, which included a foundation and mascara from Chanel [gotta love Duty Free shopping at the airport!]. 

I typically start with concealer under my eyes, around my nose, and on any spots I might have. Right now I'm using Makeup Forever's Ultra HD Concealer in Y31, and though I like its coverage and color, I find the squeeze tube irritating. I much prefer a concealer with a doe foot applicator, but I digress! I blend that in with a damp Beauty Blender [I was iffy about this little sponge at first, but now I swear by them!]. Next is foundation: Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua in 40 Beige is a really nice lightweight formula. I love it because my freckles still peek through, but it covers up any redness or splotchiness my skin may have. I also like that it doesn't feel cakey or drying, since I tend to have dry skin. I set my face with a large powder brush dipped in Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette [I swish it between the two left shades]. All the brushes I used are from a brand, Zoeva, a gift from my mom's recent trip to Germany.

I use a contour brush with Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer on the hollows of my cheeks, along my jaw, on each side of my nose and along my temples. On my cheeks, I went with the Becca Jacklyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette, in a mix of the colors Amaretto and Pamplemoose. I had been washing my blush brush at the time, so I just went with the tip of the powder brush. Using the fan brush [I've never used one until now and I love them!] I dipped it in the highlight color Champagne Pop and brushed that along the top of my cheek at an angle, along the bridge of my nose and on my cupid's bow. 

For my eyes, I used [from the Becca Palette] the color Prosecco Pop, a warm gold on my eyelids, and buffed in more of my bronzer into the crease. I also like to pat on a bit of Champagne Pop just beneath my eyebrows. I used Marc Jacob's black eyeliner along my lower lashes, smudged it in with my finger, and along the water line. I then made quick work [for anyone who isn't great at liquid eyeliner, you know I'm being sarcastic!] of lining the tops of my lids with Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner in Trooper. While my liner dries, I fill in my brows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Soft Brown. Then I'll curl my lashes and swipe on two coats of mascara. I absolutely love Chanel's Inimitable Mascara. There are other more affordable ones I really enjoy, but they're impossible to remove at the end of the day. I hate rubbing at my eyes with makeup remover too much. This one stays put all day [and even overnight if I get lazy] and my lashes look really defined and curled, something tricky for this tiny lashed lady! I throw on a swish of lipgloss, this one being Buxom's Lip Cream in Cherry Flip. In the summer, I always set everything with Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray, and this truly helps my makeup last the entire day, even through the hottest days of summer! Seems complicated, but I promise this entire routine takes me 10 minutes or less to complete [sometimes a bit more if I'm feeling like it, and sometimes much faster if I'm running out the door like I'm about to!].