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Essential Makeup Brushes

Up until 3 years ago I only had three makeup brushes. One for eyes, one for blush, and one for face powder. Clearly, even though I loved all things makeup, I was clueless about the importance of brushes for a great makeup look. They can take your makeup game from rookie to pro. While I am no pro at doing my makeup (my liquid eyeliner applying technique still needs TONS of work), I have paid attention to the tools that pros use. Here’s the brushes that made the cut:

  1. Foundation brush (face)- I like to use a round, compact brush for applying my foundation. Since I alternate between liquid and powder foundation, I use two different brushes (but they’re essentially the same).
  2. Blending brush (eyes)- As I started watching more and more YouTube makeup tutorials, I started noticing that they all had one thing in common: all makeup artists used a blending brush for their eye looks. It´s a game changer and I´m not exaggerating. If you´re creating an eye makeup look, even if you´re just using one color, it´s definitely a MUST.
  3. General Powder Brush (eyes)-  This is a no-brainer must. You need a brush to apply the eyeshadow to the lid, and I´m pretty sure you all have one already.
  4. Smudging/eyeliner (eyes/brows)- I bought a dual smudging/eyeliner brush on Sephora on sale and it´s surprisingly versatile. It´s one of my most-used brushes. I use the eyeliner for eyebrows too.
  5. Blush brush (face)- This is another no-brainer, essential brush. You need a good brush to really blend the blush, so it looks as if radiating from within, as if the color on your cheeks is a natural flush.
  6. Loose Powder Brush (face)- This brush is especially important for us with oily complexions. I have several powder brushes, but my favorite one is a fluffy one that is still slim enough to really layer the powder under my eyes.

And that´s it! These are my all-time essential brushes. I never go without them, and even if I´m doing my makeup on my car (which happens more often than it should), I still take these six brushes with me. What about you guys? Do you have any other brushes that should be on an essential´s list? Or do you think I have too many? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Weekly Beauty Routine

New year, new resolutions… Right? But this time, instead of focusing on the same “lose weight, eat healthy” shit,  I am instead focusing on creating a regular weekly beauty routine. Ok, who am I kidding, that’s one of my other resolutions. But in this post at least, I’m going to focus on my newly established beauty routine.

I have my morning and nightly routines pretty worked out. I rarely go to bed without washing my face because I know that if I do I will wake up with a guaranteed zit. But I never used to be consistent about masks, deep conditioning my hair, doing my nails, or even cleaning my brushes regularly (I know, you’re all cringing right now). That’s why I decided that 2017 was going to be different on that front. I decided to work out a “weekly beauty schedule” and stick to it. And so far, I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to do it pretty well. Here’s how my weekly beauty schedule looks:

beauty-routine-1

Even though it’s pretty self-explanatory, I’ll go over it really quickly. I’ve added links of all the products I use so you can check them out if you want.

Sundays– I recently started working from home, so now I don’t actually use my makeup brushes as often as I used to. However, since my skin is so acne-prone, I still like to clean my blending sponge and foundation brushes once a week even if I only used them two or three times. I use baby shampoo and a drop of tea-tree oil to clean my brushes, but another good trick is to use dish soap and olive oil, as demonstrated by Michelle Phan in this video.

Mondays– Since I am a member of ipsy.com, I have a trillion makeup bags. For those of you that have never heard of Ipsy, probably no one since it’s pretty popular, Ipsy is a beauty subscription that for $10.00 a month sends you personalized beauty samples. I like it because it gives me a chance to try new products that I wouldn’t have otherwise found. Anyway, the products come in a pretty makeup bag, so you can imagine how many I’ve accumulated over the past three years. If I don’t schedule a moment in my week to switch makeup bags, I’d probably use the same one for six months (true story).

Tuesdays– For my mask day, I use oil-absorbing masks, or calming masks. I like to alternate between Boscia’s peel-off masks, a dual scrub and clay mask from Clinique and Paula’s Choice oil-absorbing mask. I know that Glam Glow is supposed to offer a great selection of masks, but I haven’t tried it yet because it’s so expensive. I’m open to suggestions on any other good masks.

Wednesdays– As I said in a previous post, I like to do my nails at home. I don’t like gel manicures, so my manis last up to a week (on a good week), but mostly gets chipped in four days. I try to give myself a pedi once every two weeks.

Thursdays– Since I have oily skin, I am really wary when it comes to moisturizing masks. I tried Karuna’s oil-free sheet masks and fell in love. Love love LOVE to relax before going to bed while wearing one of their sheet masks. I may look like a ghost or a weird creature while I have it on, but it leaves me feeling refreshed. I’ve even falling asleep with the mask on.

Fridays– I’m not going to lie. This is where I’ve failed. I only did it once at the start of January and for some reason forgot to do it last week. I’ll definitely do it more regularly though. I put coconut oil on my ends, leave it for like half an hour, then washed my hair. I have to admit that I didn’t notice a difference right away, but I’m hoping that once I start doing it regularly I’ll see noticeable results.

Saturdays– Finally, I finish my week with a mani (I just change the color since I file my nails on Wednesdays) and while showering I use Dr. Brandt’s PoreDermabrasion exfoliator.

And that’s it! I know routines are not for everyone, and I’m sure most of you remember to do this without adhering to a schedule. However, I’m one of those people that likes to write every little thing that they have to do, and having a beauty schedule really helps me remember that if I want to have the best skin possible, I have to do more than just wash my face morning and night. If you’re anything like me, I hope this helps.

The Only Hack You’ll Need For A Perfect Mani + Pedi At Home

 

I love giving myself mani + pedis. I rarely go to the salon, and prefer to give myself DIY manis and pedis in the comfort of my home. The only problem with that is that I have a horrible pulse. My left hand is so shaky that by the time I’m done my right hand looks like my manicurist was a 5-year-old. I know that with practice you’re supposed to get better, but I’ve been giving myself manicures for a couple of years now so I don’t know when that “experience” will kick in.

What I used to do to remedy my problem was give myself a manicure at night or at a time of the day when I was sure I didn’t need to leave my home anymore so no one would see the mess. Then, as I did some water-related tasks, like washing the dishes or taking a shower, I would try to get the excess dry nail polish off of my cuticles, and skin. It worked, but it wasn’t a fast or reliable method. Needless to say, the times when I didn’t plan the timing of my manicures well enough and had to go out unexpectedly after doing my nails were mortifying.

I had tried many tricks and products that were supposed to help “erase” the excess polish around the cuticle area and leave a flawless finish. I tried one from Sephora + OPI that was like a marker dipped in polish remover, but that didn’t work very well. It was too thick and the polish remover didn’t do much.

I had also tried to dip an eyeliner brush in nail polish remover and swipe around the area, but that didn’t work either. Yes, it was more precise, but the remover didn’t work as well as I needed. Therefore, I resigned and just tried to avoid going out after doing my nails.

That is, until the other day. I was going down the rabbit hole that is YouTube and found a genius tip in one of Kelli Marissa’s videos (I discovered her channel that same night. Oh how my life changed). In order to clean my mani after the mess, I had to use 100% pure acetone, not just some old plain nail polish remover! This was so simple. I was so close before. Don’t judge me for not figuring that one out by myself.

So that’s it, that’s the hack. And oh my god does it work. Since the acetone is so strong, the nail polish vanishes instantly. I just kept wiping the eyeliner brush and voilá. Perfect manicure. Keep in mind though, that since pure acetone is so drying, you should put some cuticle oil or some lotion to hydrate your nails afterwards. I added the link to the video in the post, she gives great tips on how to do a perfect manicure at home.

I hope this helps someone out there. It’s not the most inventive hack there is, and I’m sure I was probably the last woman on Earth to find out about it. But just in case there’s someone out there that loves to give herself mani + pedis and sucks at the painting part, like me, this is for her.