Monday, April 27, 2015

Studio 35 Beauty: Brush & Sponge Cleaner Review

If any of you lovelies out there are like me, you can get stuck in a bit of a rut sometimes with certain things in your life. You know that specific brand of coffee or coffee shop has what you like as far as flavor and ability to perk you up. You know that specific eyeliner has the best formula to stay on through sweat and rain and exciting first encounters with that cute guy at Whole Foods. For me, my rut is with brush cleaner. When I first started wearing makeup 6 years ago, I was introduced to brushes and cleaning from my MAC cosmetics-obsessed roommate. MAC Cosmetics brush cleaner was easily accessible, didn't break the bank and worked quickly. My habit was instantly born.

 I was shown how to properly clean my brushes from a MAC makeup artist the day I picked up my first bottle of the MAC cleaner, and have been using the same method ever since:

Step 1: Take a piece of paper towel, fold in half.
Step 2: Squirt MAC brush cleaner on a portion of the paper towel.
Step 3: Take dirty brushes and wipe on wet area of paper towel in a gentle, swirling manner so bristles don't splay until brush in clean. Take dry portion of paper towel and squeeze excess cleaner from just-cleaned brush. 
Step 4: Lay to dry.

 I have used this method to clean my brushes for the last 6 years and my brushes still look amazing. I am proud to say my brushes have kept their shape. It's fast, easy, mess-free, and I usually end up using at MOST two pieces of paper towel per cleaning due to being able to clean multiple brushes on a sheet of paper towel. For the longest time, to my knowledge the only other kind of method to clean brushes was with soap or water. That's how tunnel vision I was with brush cleaner, until I ran out of my MAC brush cleaner 2 weeks ago and I didn't have the money to purchase a new one. I had no choice but to look for a drug store version and the only one I found was the Studio 35 Beauty Brush & Sponge Cleaner. 

This brush cleaner is half the price of the MAC cleaner and more easily accessible than the MAC version since everyone has a Walgreens near them. That's where the pros end. Now to start in with the cons. I have cleaned my brushes 3 times since purchasing this and I'm at the point where I want throw my mostly-full bottle away. The method is much more time-consuming and wasteful. In the time it takes me to clean 5 brushes I could've cleaned 15 with the MAC cleaner. The Studio 35 Beauty cleaner requires water, and this process wastes A LOT of it. The steps to cleaning your brushes with the Studio 35 cleaner are:

Step 1: Wet brush hairs or sponge, then liberally spray on brush cleaner.
Step 2: Massage the cleaner into the rush or sponge.
Step 3: Rinse with water until it runs clear.
Step 4: Gently squeeze out excess water and blot with paper towel.
Step 5: Lay on flat surface to air dry. Do not dry brushes in a vertical position.

You still use paper towel with this product, but now you have to run water for every single brush. This product is not as effective at cleaning brushes either. All 3 times while using this cleaner, I have had to wash some of my brushes at LEAST 2-3 times. If you really can't afford or don't live near a MAC or Ulta or Sephora, soap and water would be much more effective than this cleaner. 

I've hunted down other brush cleaners to try so a post will come soon about my next go on testing out brush cleaning products.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ipsy Unbagging - April

Hello lovelies! Normally I do my Ipsy unbaggings via video but I thought I would switch it up today for better product detail. It's been a while since I've made any videos due to a 2 month-long illness that at one point had me without a voice for 3 weeks straight. Luckily that ended just in time for me to throw some clothes in a suitcase and run down to Tampa to be a bridesmaid in my best friend's wedding last week. I'll be starting up again with videos in the next week, and my fingers couldn't be happier.

Ipsy Unbagging - April

This month has me over the moon with the amazing products I received. Some months are better than others, as with any subscription service, and this month is one of my favorite ones that I've received to date.

 What I received:

Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in "Shimmering Black: $18.00
 You can't see it but there are silver flecks in this black eyeliner. I've tried Mally eyeliners before and I loved them, so I'm really happy this came in my bag.

I'm starting to branch out and try new shades of blush. I was in a blush rut for many moons but this particular shade makes me ready for sunshine and beach days.

Theorie Argan Oil Ultimate Reform Hair Serum: $5.99
  I'm not overly excited to try this one since I already own a lot of hair serums but maybe this one will be the magical serum to rule them all.

The Balm Nude Dude Palette: $36.00
( I received a single eyeshadow sample from this palette - the eyeshadows aren't sold separately)
I keep hearing about The Balm products from the people I follow on youtube, so I squeaked when I saw this in my bag.

Mullein & Sparrow Lip & Cheek Tint: $22.00
I dove into this bad boy already and I'm in love. It feels sooooo good on the lips, and smells wonderfully organic. It adds the prettiest tint to your lips and cheeks. This may become one of my purse regulars.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Jewelry Spotlight: Adorn the Hunter

Over the years I've discovered some amazing accessory companies that I've featured on my blog, but like anyone in the fashion industry, I'm always on the lookout for another amazing company or piece to shed light on. 5 days ago when stumbling around on Instagram I found that company:

This independent accessories company based out of Texas is one of the most affordable accessories company I've come across in years. The most expensive thing on their site is $35, while the least expensive thing being $2. With a range like that any wallet size can afford them, and they have some of the cutest designs outside of Charming Charlie.

Adorn The Hunter

My favorites

 Perfect for Monday mornings. 

In the 3 years I've been living in the deep swampy south, I have yet to see a full-grown gator. This ring is probably the closest I'm going to get to seeing a full-grown one. That's perfectly fine with me, since this adorable ring can't bite me.

 I've been collecting elephants since I was a senior in high school - if the trunk is up that means it's good luck. Not only is this watch good luck, but if you can't make it to Coachella, you can still feel like you're a part of the action with this funky addition to your outfit.

I'm mildly obsessed with all things bee & honey related. I had a beautiful pair of sterling silver bee earrings until I lost one about 2 years ago and I've been heartbroken ever since. These will make a perfect, and perfectly affordable, replacement.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Trend: 70's Style + How To

With the internet still buzzing about the most recent fashion weeks, everyone's minds are on the trends for this year. One of the biggest trends has been the comeback of 70's style and I've seen it everywhere from the runways to the big stars all the way to the racks at the consignment store down the street. 

I've always loved the styles of the 60's & 70's - nothing makes me happier than an embellished pair of bell bottoms and sky-high wedges. Some of you may be a bit nervous to take on this trend, so to help I've put together an outfit with a modern take on the trend and every piece is $50 or under to make your wallet and wardrobe happy.

The Trend

The Outfit

70's style

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Men's Skincare Spotlight: Evolution Man

I've talked a lot about skincare and makeup in the last few months, and while men and women can both wear makeup and look fabulous, I haven't really talked about men's skincare products.  If you're a guy or you know a guy who's skin needs some TLC, then keep reading.

I first discovered Evolution Man 3 1/2 years ago right before Christmas. My boyfriend at the time was an avid scuba diver (he's where I got my love of diving from) and he was constantly experiencing dry skin. He didn't know how to properly take care of his face, so with all the salt water and wind he was exposed to, his skin was dry, flaking, and red - it wasn't good to say the least. As a Christmas gift I picked him up two Evolution Man items because they had an 50% off code and the products sounded better than any other men's products I had seen.

After one week of my ex using the products, his skin had noticeably improved. After 3 weeks, his skin problems had completely cleared up. We were both floored at the results. When I met my husband I saw he had the same skin problems, except his problems are caused from eczema (and also lack of skincare). My husband has a hard time remembering to use his products every day, but even the few days a week that he remembers have made a huge difference in his skin's appearance. During our poor times, we've alternated with less expensive brands to see if we could find a great alternative, but the best results hands down have been when he uses Evolution Man.

The Dream Team

Evolution Man

Not only have I see two guys use this stuff, I've tried it myself. It feels really good on the face and it's very light-weight yet moisturizing. If you or a guy you know has oily or combination skin, I feel like this product would work just as well due to the fact that it's oil-free and so light on the skin.

I call these two products "the dream team" because they really are. My husband used the Cleanse & Shave from them for a little while, and it works wonderfully, but he actually prefers another brand. A review of that brand will be coming in the future <.3