Beauty

2014 Favorites

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Beauty Favorites

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural – Medium Deep
MSF natural is hands down my favorite face powder.  I can use it all year round and it enhances my base, whether it’s foundation or a tinted moisturizer.  I can double up on it as a setting powder for under eye concealer while I’m traveling as long as I use a light hand. Sometimes I feel like the shade Medium Deep is a bit too dark in the dead of winter, but this summer I found out that MAC recently made a MSF natural a half shade lighter than Medium Deep so I may invest in it.  It’s an investment worth it too, I’ve had my compact for over two years now.

Sigma F88 – Flat Angled Kabuki
I own all of the Sigma kabuki brushes, but I always settle with the F88 over the others.  I feel like this one works the best with any kind of foundation, liquid, powder, cream, and whipped.  It can also blend a little bit of concealer in a pinch.  This brush over all the others tends to clean up better than the others, not that a stained brush affects how it performs, but it just feels better when you can see the brush clean.

NYX Powder Blush – Dusty Rose
This is my go-to blush for every day, traveling, and the blush I carry in my handbag for touch-ups.  I love it so much I own two of them so I don’t have to go back and forth from my collection to my handbag.  The finish of this blush is mostly matte, but the color adds a natural glow to cheeks and can be layered.  I tend to use an angled contour brush to apply this blush, which is the same brush I use to apply the Benefit Rockateur Box Blush, another favorite blush for the year.  The Benefit blush is similar to the NYX blush except for the added shimmer finish to it that acts as a highlight for the cheeks.  When I first purchased the Benefit Rockateur blush I didn’t like, but it’s definitely grown on me.  I like to layer both blushes with cream blushes and the Benefit blush works best on my skin color in fall and winter.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Paint – Rich Russet & Peachy Apricot
I’ve read mixed reviews on this product, but I really love these!  I only have the two shades listed above, but both offer an easy one eye shadow look.  You definitely need to wear an additional eye shadow primer under these like Urban Decay Primer Potion, but I don’t mind the extra step.  This product can be used with fingers or a sythnetic shader brush to apply the product evenly over the lids then if I’m feeling like I want some more dimension I add a light brown the crease and a white to the inner corners.  With an eye shadow primer these shadows last all day, I even wore it to a pool party and accidentally dipped in the water and the shadow stayed in place.  You can also use these as an eye shadow base if you want a more bold look.  These are also great for traveling!

Mario Bedescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream*
I discovered this eye cream this year by accident when I received it as a piece of gratis at my job.  My eye area is very dry, more dry than the rest of skin, and very sensitive.  This was the first time I’ve had an eye cream that has hydrated enough that I can feel comfortable wearing under eye concealer.  It also keeps minor patchy spots that I tend to get on my eye lids at bay.  There is no scent that I can detect with this product and the half ounce lasts since you only need a small amount to get the job done.

Curly Sexy Hair Curling Creme
This is my holy grail curling creme for my naturally (very) curly hair.  I tell everyone to try this no matter what level of curl their hair is on.  This product works with your natural curl while taming frizz and holding the curl all day.  It doesn’t add any additional curl to your style, but for me that’s perfect.  I buy these bottles by the bulk at Ulta when it’s on Buy 2, Get 1 Free.  If you aren’t ready to commit to three bottles of the product, try the Curly Sexy Hair Color Safe Curl Defining Conditioner and the Healthy Sexy Hair Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner.  The three products together work wonders on my hair!

OPI Nail Envy
I use this product almost daily to keep my nails from peeling and it doubles up as a base when you paint your nails.  I attribute this product to the health of my nails.  Now that my nails grow a significant length I can keep a manicure for a few days during the week.

Wide Tooth Comb
Any old wide tooth comb or detangling comb is the best for curly hair.  I keep mine in the shower and then use a normal comb after conditioning my hair.  Generally, brushes aren’t the best to use on curly hair so I tend to keep away from them.

Conditioning caps
You can buy conditioning caps at drug stores, Target, Ulta, or Sally’s for pretty cheap.  I get mine  CVS on a BOGO half off and throw them out after one use.  I shampoo my hair, layer on my hair mask of choice, and place a conditioning cap over top.  I usually do this on Sunday mornings and relax for a bit with a face mask on for about 15 minutes and then rinse out the conditioner.

Random Favorites

Blender Bottle*
I know this sounds crazy, but this bottle really is the best thing ever.  I love the size of it, I have a 28 ounce, and it’s perfect for water at the gym or running errands because I can throw the bottle in my purse and I know it won’t leak.  I make protein shakes in this for a quick breakfast on the go, mix vitamin C packets, and water flavors in this bottle.  This is hands down the best bottle ever no matter what you’re using it for.  If you’re a gym goer like me I definitely suggest investing in one just to keep in your gym bag along with a protein mix for an after workout shake.

Sons of Anarchy
I watch the entire series of Sons this past year and it quickly has become one of my favorite TV shows, in my top five for sure.  I started in early spring and watched the series finale this month.  I can’t say I was surprised by the finale, but it was poetic and I can live with it.  I don’t quite know what exactly it is that I love about this show, maybe it’s the family aspect or the hierarchy of it all, but I couldn’t get enough of it once I started watching it.  You can find six seasons of SOA on Netflix and can purchase the final season ITunes

Slow cooker
This year I jumped on the slow cooker bandwagon and I’m never going back; I am cooking in a Crock Pot for the rest of the my life.  One of my favorite recipes is a fall soup that I found on Pinterest that contains sweet potato and barley making it a filling lunch.  I usually freeze half of whatever recipe I cook so I have lunch made for about two weeks.

Most of these favorite products I packed for my upcoming trip to Iceland because I know that they’re the products I can use without having to think about it.  Next year I’m hoping to find a higher end foundation that I fan add to my favorites list and keep working on my personal records for the gym.  I just purchased lifting straps to help with my grip strength since I’m getting to a weight that’s hard on my hands even with gloves.  Hopefully, my 2015 favorites includes blogging, as I’ve added to the top of my New Year’s resolutions list.

Links noted with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links.


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MN | IIFYM | lifts heavy objects | macro-friendly & meal prep recipes, fitness, lifestyle blog | angela@angelasbalancedlife.com

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