Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Holiday Party Look = Simple

I'm still in the rarely-wears-makeup-anymore camp, so I wanted to go for a full face for my office holiday party this year. Creativity with makeup comes naturally when I wear it daily, but since I'm only an occasional user these days even classic looks can seem like "too much makeup" on me. My dress is mostly white with black accents (and rhinestones!) so I felt I was giving off a Snow White vibe. Rather than plan a look to elaborate the theme, I just grabbed my e.l.f. Snow White Beauty Book and followed their tutorial. Quite lovely, no?

Other products used:

Some silicone primer I got in a subscription box a year ago (forgot the brand - obscure. e.l.f. mineral   primer is about the same, I just didn't have a bottle open).

Wet'n'Wild Cover All Cream Foundation in 816 Fair/Light

e.l.f. hd concealer in fair

beauty blender sponge (forgot how much I love these!)

e.l.f. pressed mineral foundation in light (I love this, it blurs pores like loose mineral foundations do).

e.l.f. studio tone correcting powder in cool

e.l.f. lengthening & defining mascara (I was going to use Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara but I'll be damned if one month into using it the bottleneck that scrapes off the excess broke! Cheap mascara FTW!)

Hmm, that's it.  Like $35 in makeup. Would have been over $50 with the Too Faced mascara, but I don't think I'll be buying that again (sadface). Would definitely buy that e.l.f. gloss in Brett from the Snow White Beauty Book again - such a pretty pink-red!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Top Ten Vegan-Friendly Brands (and Favorite Products!) - Summer 2014 Edition

Hey guys! I still read your blogs and I'm not dead, I've just basically quit blogging.  Having a little one is not something I want to miss a second of <3
That said, I have been wanting to share my favorite go-to products because I just haven't been sated lately without my blogging outlet.

Beauty Vigilante's Top 10 Vegan-Friendly Brands (in alphabetical order, not order of preference):

1) Acure Organics

I mentioned them a year or so ago, after I'd heard about them from PinksoFoxy on youtube.  They have amazing response time with their e-mail (or they did; I haven't had to contact them since I initially reached out a year ago).  Most of their products are vegan, and they are WONDERFUL and affordable!  I have only tried a few things of theirs but they are my staples now.

BV recommends: Argan Oil, Brightening Facial Scrub (reminds me of Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate but without the chemical exfoliation aspect), and Facial Cleansing Gel (smells like delicious lemon candy!).

2) Beauty Without Cruelty (BWC)

Admittedly I haven't tried much of their makeup because it is really pricey, but I am a fan of their (reasonably-priced) hair-care products (specifically, their shampoos and conditioners).

BV recommends: Rosemary, Mint, and Tea Tree Shampoo & Conditioner (helps with scalp irritation and smells nice, if you like rosemary as I do).

3) Crazy Rumors

Delicious and adorable lip balms that are 100% vegan but work excellently!

BV recommends: Red Velvet, because I'm a cocoa butter nutter.

4) e.l.f.

Everything but their essential line brushes are vegan. I think the internet extolls this company's value enough, so I think I needn't explain.

BV recommends: New this year moisturizing lipstick line (my new favorites... I even prefer them to my Too Faced La Cremes!

5) Kiss My Face

BV recommends: I love their fragrance-free moisture shave and Face Factor SPF 30 is my daily moisturizer/sunscreen that doesn't break me out.  Of course, these two favorites are vegan but check their thorough website if you want to check the veganity of any particular product.

6) Pacifica

100% Vegan!  Adorable packaging, reasonable prices, all-around great products = love.  Their cosmetics are nice, although a little sheer - fair warning.

BV recommends: I love the Tuscan Blood Orange scent in their new hand cream formula.

7) Real Purity

Honestly I've only tried their lipstick samples, but they shipped out fast and I really like that they are lead-free and fragrance-free.

BV recommends: I'm in love with Lavender Rose, Pink Parfait, and Rose lipsticks.  Just FYI, the Rose lipstick is an almost-dupe of Too Faced Bon Bon lipstick.  It pulls pinker but it's a lot cheaper and I think it's also more flattering.

8) Red Apple Lipstick

I've also only tried their lipstick samples, but their website is AWESOME and their founder answers e-mails!  They are sadly a bit too pricey, but they will be a welcome splurge when I'm looking to buy pregnancy-safe lipsticks.  Their products are all free of any allergens, too, which is awesome :)

BV recommends: I fell for the lipstick shades Hibiskiss, Mix & Mingle, and New York

9) Too Faced

Adorable packing, top-notch quality, handy vegan product list... this brand is definitely my go-to high end indulgence!  I am such a Jerrod Blandino fangirl ^.^

BV recommends: BB Cream, Absolutely Flawless Concealer, La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream, Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush, Exotic Intense Eyeshadow in Enchanted Garden (works amazingly well in my brows and as liner), Better Than Sex Mascara. Honestly, I recommend the non-Vegan products, too! I gift them to my sister all the time :)

10) Wet'n'Wild

They also have a vegan list and are so easy to come by in the U.S.  Pricing is fab, and the quality of many of the products definitely exceeds the price point.

BV recommends: Color Icon eyeshadow trios in Don't Steal My Thunder and Walking on Eggshells (must-haves!), CoverAll Cream Foundation (one of the best foundations I've ever tried, including compared to Chanel and Armani), MegaLast lipstick in Smokin' Hot Pink 905D (doubles as a gorgeous blush... which appeals to my minimalist side).

I hope you found this post useful!
As a little life update, I moved house and it has been so stressful and exciting.  I adore my new digs and my little girl is loving the extra space to play in.  Life is so good and busy so I don't expect to return to blogging, but of course I still will continue to read blogs and comment so don't be a stranger ;-)

Sarah S.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What's in My Makeup Bag

Using the products listed below, except I omitted the Too Faced Beauty Balm, Juice Beauty powder, and Juice Beauty lipstick, and I have butterLONDON Lippy in Rosie Lee on my lips.
Highly original topic, I know.  I'm in a "minimalist" phase, and in my fantasies this is ALL the makeup I have (but of course, that isn't the truth). Someday, maybe!

I'm listing the items in the order I'd put them on because the photo is too random :-P
Lip Balm - Crazy Rumors Root Beer (my favorites are Cola and Red Velvet)
Tinted Moisturizer - Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm in Vanilla Glow (I did a side-by-side comparison one day with Elf Tinted Moisturizer in Light Beige, and as a moisturizer I preferred the Elf! Plus, it's a more makeup-bag friendly size and it's cheaper.  I'm trying to use this (very good) product up and I probably won't repurchase... once I get through the backup I already have...)
Primer - Elf Mineral Infused Primer (I've tried SO MANY primers and this is hands-down my favorite.  Yes, I love it more than Hourglass Veil Mineral!  It has that slick, velvety feel of the Smashbox primer but it's much cheaper and it doesn't make me break out.  It just makes my foundation smooth on like butter and my pores seem to disappear under my cheapest foundation... like all those other primers are supposed to do but never have for me.  Other primers I can think of that I've tried: Too Faced Primed & Poreless and Primed & Poreless Pure, Make Up Forever HD, Bare Minerals Prime Time, Benefit The Porefessional, L'oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base... I'm sure I've tried more but this Elf one is still the best I've tried and probably the cheapest, too.)
Foundation - Wet'n'Wild CoverAll Cream Foundation in 816 Fair/Light (like a match made in budget heaven with the Elf primer.  It lasts all day in conjunction with the primer and also resists transfer (a HUGE problem I've had with most foundations.  Hourglass Immaculate went back to the store for that problem). 
My pores are nearly invisible with this duo and I don't even set it with powder most of the time.  It's a little off color-wise and the color selection is pathetic (7 shades, I think) but I just love the consistency and performance of this product so I let the imperfect shade not bother me.)
Concealer - Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer in Perfect Nude (not HG but pretty darn close... it creases under my eyes if I wear it alone and don't set it with powder.  It creases far less over the Elf primer and WnW foundation even without powder.)
Powder - Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty Simply Flawless Pressed Powder (I don't usually use this, to be honest.  It doesn't really prevent the concealer from creasing under my eyes.  It does, however, help to blur the look of pores when I wear this alone with tinted moisturizer which is pretty darn great.  For setting my concealer I prefer Elf's HD Undereye Setting Powder, which is not in my makeup bag.)
Blush - Elf Studio Blush in Twinkle Pink (is what Nars Orgasm is supposed to be, but Orgasm makes me look rashy; it has too much red for me.  The only complaint I have about this is it has glitter (which I don't mind but others might) and so-so-lasting power (but it's cheap so I just re-apply once during the day.)
You may notice the lack of bronzer and highlighter.  I don't usually wear either, but if I need highlighter the pinkish shade in my eyeshadow trio is gorgeous.  I don't like wearing bronzer most days because I feel like it brings out my pores... even matte, expensive ones.  I like to keep attention off of my cheeks because I have acne scarring, too.
Eye Primer - Elf Essential Eyelid Primer (This $1 elf one works just fine... I do get some creasing once in a while, but that happened with UD's primer on me.  The best primers I've ever used are Lime Crime (who doesn't consistently label their primer as Vegan on their website so it makes me uneasy... but I do own it currently) and Too Faced (not vegan, and much too drying to use every day.)
Eyeshadow - Wet'n'Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells (I have a backup or two, but if they discontinue this I'm rioting!  The pink shade is perfect for lids and the closest I can get to MAC All That Glitters (since they are no longer cruelty-free).  It's also great for highlighting cheekbones.  The light shade is fine under brows and on the inner corners, but it is a little sheer.  The bronze shade is perfect for either crease or lids on its own.  The blogging world loves this trio and I'm just another raver :-)
Brow Filler - Too Faced Exotic Intense Eyeshadow Single in Enchanted Garden (I can't find anybody else on the internet advocating for using a shadow with any glitter/shimmer like this one to fill brows, but I seriously cannot tell the difference between this and my beloved Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Pencil in Medium Brown once applied.  It sticks around on my brows all day without setting gel and I can't detect any of the fine gold glitter in my brows in person or in photos, so I let this product multi-task as my brow filler and my eyeliner/crease darkener.  I don't even have to wet my angled liner brush.)
Eyelash Curler - Japonesque BCA Travel Lash Curler (I don't really need this unless I'm skipping mascara.  The mascara I use pushes my lashes up and holds them that way.)
Mascara - Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara (It's not even waterproof but it holds/creates a curl  in my lashes!  This is amazing stuff, and I was a VERY happy girl when I found out it's Vegan :-)
Lipstick - Alicia Silverstone for Juice Beauty Purely Kissable lip color (A pinky nude that is okay... I prefer my Elf Mineral Lipstick in Runway Pink, but to be honest both smell a little funny to me... I'm really picky about how my lip products smell, and want them all to smell like candy ;-)
Blotting Linens - Boscia (Alas, is no longer cruelty-free but I bought loads of these before they decided to sell in China :*(  I'm still going to use them up... at least they aren't made by P&G.)
Bag - ecoTools by Alicia Silverstone (came with brushes I swap out when they are dirty for these Elf ones... both are great.)
Brushes - Elf Studio Powder Brush (I use it for powder but it's great with most foundations, too.  I can apply the Wet'n'Wild CoverAll Cream Foundation and blend so quickly and nicely with my hands over the Elf Mineral Infused Primer, however, so I don't use the brush for foundation.)  Elf Angled Blush Brush (A great size and shape for my cheeks.) A synthetic Coastal Scents brush I don't know if they make anymore... not numbered.  Elf Contour Brush (Awesome.) ecoTools Angled Eyeliner brush (I don't think they make this anymore, which is a serious travesty!  If you can get it in a discontinued kit or something, I recommend it because it's the best angled brush I've ever used).
Whoa, this post wound up WAY longer than I originally intended... but that's because this is also sort of a "Perfect Minimalist Makeup Collection" post for me.  All I'd add are my two favorite lip colors of the year:  Elf Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Movie Star (glossy sheer-but-buildable red) and butterLONDON Lippy in Primrose Hill Picnic (glossy pinky-fuchsia that makes my teeth look whiter).
If you read all that you win all the KitKat bars I have leftover from Halloween!
Sarah S.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Angry Pixie

Happy Halloween, lovelies! 
Sometimes Halloween makeup is minimal.  We went the non-scary route this year, and I've got a no-makeup look so I can pass as more child-like.
I did, however, wear primer (elf Mineral Primer), foundation (wet'n'wild CoverAll Cream in 816), concealer (Too Faced Absolutely Flawless Concealer in Perfect Nude), blush (Sleek Pixie Pink), and mascara (Flower Lash Knockout).

You know you've got a good husband when he's willing to dress up as Peter Pan so you can be Wendy with your baby as Tinkerbell.

Evy really got into character ^.^

gif from mrwgifs.com

She's just mad she can't eat any candy yet ^.^

Monday, October 21, 2013

And the Pixie is Back

Not having the best hair and skin day, but I keep it real on this blog (har har...).
Husband said he counted like 7 gray hairs in my bangs alone 0_0
Lots of gals try out the pixie cut once in their life, and after the agonizing experience of growing it out, vow "Never again!"  I'm sort of the opposite.  I keep trying to grow my hair out and then I loathe the feeling of hair on my ears and neck... eventually on my shoulders... I just feel more like myself with this unconventional hair cut.  Who knows - maybe it'll wind up dyed red again, too!

Style Concept (Inspired by Into Mind)

Long time no blog!  Missed you all <3
I'm always finding myself inspired by Anuschka Rees via her minimalist style and beauty blog Into Mind.  She has that elusive "chic simplicity" I strive for down pat, and wonderful tips on how to streamline your own style.  Her recent post, the anatomy of a seasonal style concept got me giddy to define my own style of late.  I used her template and put this together:

F.Y.I. I also re-chopped my hair into a pixie!  I must admit to myself I am just not a hair person.

Do check out Anuschka's amazing blog - the design of the blog itself is simply divine!

Monday, July 15, 2013

FOTD and My Current Edit

Hi lovelies!  Long time no see, but such is life, sometimes.  You understand... I've been catering to this diva's every whim ;-)

Her bib says "It's all about ME!" and she appears to be ennumerating her demands with her fingers, no?  :-D And yes, friends, those are legwarmers <3

On my hubby's birthday we went out for sushi, and I actually managed to put on some makeup:

Finding decent light and covering a bad skin year day are entirely another issue, but I tried!
Growing out a pixie cut is also brutal.  I might cave and chop it all off again soon...
Anyway here's the deets: 
Boscia Vital Antioxidant Moisturizer SPF30, OCC Skin:Primer, Wet n Wild CoverAll Cream Foundation in 816 Fair/Light (this stuff is AWESOME guys, and only $4!  Didn't need powder), Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full-Coverage Foundation in Light worn as concealer (daylight is harsh, so I wanted to keep my coverage lighter than concealer allows), Too Faced Ultra-Flush Blush in Cocoa Rose
And let me just say my skin is REALLYREALLY bad right now, so this combo covered the redness, not the texture. I'm telling you, the redness is ALLOVER, you guys.  I'm seriously considering trying the acne.org regimen... anybody tried it? It's vegan :-D
Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Taupe, Lime Crime Eye Primer (still vegan? The packaging says yes, but their website doesn't make the claim anymore), Pacifica Mystical Supernatural Eye Palette (so pigmented and smooth, my favorite eyeshadow brand of the year), Wet n Wild Fergie Turn up the Volume Mascara (website says it's vegan, but packaging lists beeswax -not synthetic beeswax- as an ingredient)
Nothing. At least my lips don't suck right now :-P
Also, you may be shocked by this next photo:
This is my current makeup collection edit (not pictured: the two foundations mentioned above, six Butter London Lippies, three Too Faced La Creme Lip Creams, and a few Glassy Gloss Lip Gels and Megalast Lipsticks from Wet n Wild).  Don't worry, I didn't chuck out all the rest; a lot of it is in my two Muji 5-drawers in a closet or at the office in my desk.  I did shove off a lot to my sister, though.  I've been scaling back and trying to keep only my favorite things, because I just wasn't liking how my massive makeup collection was haunting me at my vanity.  Every time I'd pass by it would snicker and scold me for my hoarding and neglecting and my wallet would weep at the waste.  This edit looks fun and functional, while also being manageable.  I really feel I can do most of the everyday looks I sport, plus several of the fun looks I usually gravitate towards (yeah, there are two red eyeshadows there).
That's all my nail polish now, too D: Gasp! (ok, I have a few bottles at the manicurist's).
If you want me to identify any of the bits, let me know in comments below... also, tell me how your makeup collection edit is going right now?
Sarah S.