Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Current Skin Routine

enjoying one of my daily smoothies (you can see some of leftover spots I had on my cheek)

ACNE. Ugh.

Even though my skin has never been flawless, I never thought I'd be dealing with acne in my 20s. That's why I'm sharing my skin care routine. For anyone struggling with adult acne, who feels alone: you're not alone, you're not gross. It's going to take some work but you'll get through it!

As a kid I dealt with the same tiny bumps that were on my arm, on my face. I had dry patches on my cheeks every summer, and when it got really hot out I would develop rashes on the backs of my hands. All these ailments were sometimes uncomfortable or embarrassing, but really weren't so bad.

While a lot of my high school classmates were struggling through acne, thankfully, I was spared that terror! Maybe God thought my short stature, chubby face, crazy hair, and gapped teeth were more than enough to deal with at that time? Whatever the reason, I was able to keep a relatively clear face without doing much. 

Then BAM. At about 23 I started developing acne on my cheeks. Slowly, it spread to my chin, then my jawline, and over the course of 2 years I pretty much had acne all over my face except for my nose. Sexy, right? Except by "sexy" I mean, embarrassing, painful, and gross. I figured it had to do with a shift in hormones, but I thought, "There's GOT to be something I can use on the outside that will help hide whatever's going on in the inside." Turns out, I was half right.

I tried ALL kinds of products and remedies, short of visiting an esthetician (that was my last resort). I started out using a number of washes and lotions loaded with artificial chemicals and some pretty harsh stuff.  A few concerns were raised when some of the products I was using were actually bleaching my towels. It got me thinking, "How can I be putting something this harsh on my face??" Even when I'm buying makeup I avoid buying products with harsh ingredients. I don't want want that junk on my own skin and I certainly wouldn't want to put it on anyone else's skin.

Around the same time, M and I decided to change up our diet a bit. Since we cook about 90% of our meals at home from scratch, I try to include some of the healthiest and cleanest ingredients I can. We decided to use better quality (and fresher!) ingredients while maintaining our budget. This change in our diet made me wonder why I was using products containing such harsh ingredients on my skin, when I was making such an effort to keep those ingredients out of the food we eat? Just because they weren't entering my body through my mouth doesn't mean they weren't entering my system (I know I sound like a hippy, but that's ok ;) )

I started researching natural products and remedies I could use on my skin, to get rid of my acne. I read all kinds of articles and got all kinds of advice, but I soon realized the key to finding the right products to apply to my face was this: to choose products that were right for MY skin. No amount of advice or recommendations will help, if it's not right for your own skin. If you're struggling to figure out what skin type you are, here's a guide that I found that has helped me quite a bit.

After hours and months and about two years of struggling with acne, I FINALLY almost completely cleared my skin! I pretty much only have some hyper pigmentation leftover from my acne. What has helped tremendously has been making sure to put the right things into my body as well as onto my body. 

In an effort to get large amounts of fruits and veggies into my system as easily as possible, I decided to start making fruit and veggie smoothies. I bought a pretty inexpensive personal blender to get me started. I read article upon article on spinach and kale and their skin clearing abilities. So that's what I started out with, a little bit of kale and/or spinach, about a cup of strawberries, a cup of whatever berries I could find on sale that week, a banana, and about a half a cup of unsweetened almond milk. I make myself a variation of the above smoothie just about every day. 

another way I enjoy having my daily serving of spinach!

Around the same time, I also began using this jojoba oil on my skin in place of a moisturizer. I still am a coconut oil addict but I read that jojoba oil is a lot more similar to the skin's own natural oils, so I decided to try it out on my face, and I now just use coconut oil on my hair and body. I also eliminated almost all dairy products from my diet, per the advice of this esthetician. I'm still using the Burt's Bees Acne Wash every evening before bed, but I no longer use a toner (I may add one into my routine in the future). If I do have a blemish, or it looks like I'm about to develop one, I dab a bit of tea tree oil onto it. That's it!

To summarize:
  1. I rinse my face with warm water in the morning and pat dry
  2. I apply jojoba oil to my face with a very light touch--rubbing the skin can further irritate acne prone skin and make pimples look even larger and redder!)
  3. At night I dampen my face with water, then I pour some face wash onto my palm and work it into a good lather.
  4. I gently rub my face, finishing within 20 seconds--again touching the skin as little as possible helps reduce inflammation
  5. Rinse the face wash off with warm water and a light touch
  6. I apply a thin layer of jojoba oil all over my face
  7. If I have blemishes I take a cotton swab dipped in tea tree oil and dab it onto the blemish

After about three weeks I began noticing a change. I still had some blemishes and pimples on my face, but no new ones were appearing! I kept at this new routine and slowly but surely, my blemishes are almost completely gone! I'm hoping I'll be able to slowly add dairy back into my diet, but right now I'm ok with only have a tiny bit in my morning coffee.

It took so much work and research and it still takes a lot of effort since I still have to keep this skin care routine up and I make sure to drink a fruit and veggie smoothie at least every other day, to keep the acne away. Hopefully someone else will benefit from my experience and will find some of my tips helpful and effective!

Monday, April 29, 2013

And Life Keeps Moving

We say it all the time like it's some surprise that time keeps marching on but seriously, time has flown

Since my last post in March, M and I have take trips to the cabin, hiking trips, visited family out of town, celebrated a family wedding, got news of a pregnancy in the family, and a slew of other life events. There has been a lot of laughter, a lot of tears, and a lot of donuts and hugs (come to think of it, I want a donut right now!). 

Lately, we've been enjoying some gorgeous weather around here. I have always considered myself a die-hard fan of fall weather, but I feel ready for warmer weather. I really hope I'm not eating my words later when it's 90+ degrees outside and we're melting in our A/C-less apartment! The plus side to warm weather is our proximity to the beach. We pretty much always have a breeze, and it's a short drive to the beach, if we really need to cool down. 

CRAZY to hear myself say I'm happy we're close to the beach! I'm still a mountain-lover through and through, but what can I say? This is where we are right now, this is where we know God has us at the moment, so I'm going to be content in my situation. M and I still have dreams of owning property in the mountains somewhere, but life is too short to be unhappy about a situation that really isn't that bad. Sure, the traffic is awful near us, and it's pretty much always crowded wherever you go around here, but M gets home from work in about 10 minutes, and we're learning to make-do. I've also met some great girls I've been getting together with about once a week and we're all within about 2-3 miles of each other.

I've got some great makeup posts lined up for you that I've been planning for a while now, so I'm excited to finally get them up soon! Let me know if there are any posts or questions you want to see or have answered! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Six Tips for Curly Hair Care

these are the type of photos you get when your husband's not home to take the picture, and you are impatient. ;P

Let me begin by saying, if you have curly hair or you have a child with curly hair, you understand the unique and sometimes terrible struggles that come with having curly hair. Yes, curly hair is beautiful and sometimes I LOVE my hair, but there are other days that I spend at least 45 minutes drying and straightening my hair into submission.

 Before I begin sharing how I care for my own hair, I think I should start with describing my hair so that you can get an idea of which aspects of my routine might work for you.

My hair is big. It's big and curly. If I had been in my 20s during the 80s, I would have been the envy of every young woman who ever used those foul-smelling chemicals to give herself an at-home perm. Seriously. Slap some light blue eyeshadow on me and some acid-washed jeans, and I'd look like one of the actors in Working Girl.

I've got a few tight spirals, mostly corkscrew-type curls.

A few years ago I spent every morning ironing my hair straight and doing every thing I could to get all the curl out. You see, when I was a kid, I had completely straight hair. It wasn't until middle school that my hair started developing this very strange texture. It was puffy and coarse. I had no idea what was going on with my hair (or my body for that matter), and I had no idea that it was actually changing textures. I was miserable at the time. If there were any photos still surviving from my middle school years, I'd share them. Although, I'm pretty sure any of the rare photos I posed for during my most awkward middle school years, have long been thrown away or stored in some place I've managed to forget about.

I remember one night when I was in eighth grade, going over to a friend's house and watching her blow dry her hair with a diffuser and then adding some mousse to it. I loved her curly hair, so I asked her to help me do the same thing to mine. It wasn't until that magical night that I discovered my hair had actually become curly! I couldn't believe it! The puffy, coarse hair I had been tying up in pony tails and keeping locked up in a braid, actually just needed something to keep it together in the little ringlets I had developed.

As it goes with many girls and women (unfortunately) I would eventually learn to despise my natural traits as I got older. Although, now that I'm in my 20s, I find myself turning back to what God gave me, and learning to accept it, and I even often think my hair is pretty.

After all that pain and suffering, ;P I've learned a good deal of what it takes to keep curly hair healthy and looking nice. There are all different methods for maintaining naturally curly hair (here are two that I've researched a bit and taken some tips from: 1 & 2), but this is what works for me!

these are my favorite products for my hair. Here's where you can buy them: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

1. It is important to use the correct shampoo and conditioner. There are chemicals found mostly in shampoos, that will severely dry out curly hair, making it frizzier, more unruly, and more difficult to manage. Here's more on those chemicals. Thankfully, I've found some inexpensive alternatives to the shampoo and conditioner I was using before. My local Trader Joe's carries some options and because more people have become aware of the effects of these chemicals on hair, it is fairly easy to find shampoos and conditioners free of them at most drugstores or big box stores.

2. Consider cutting down on how often you wash your hair. I know, I know, it sounds gross to only wash your hair only once a week, like some people claim to do. If you are the type of person whose hair gets oily a few hours after showering, maybe try only washing every other day. Although, once you change your hair care items to ones that are curl-friendly, you may find your hair becomes less oily since it isn't constantly being stripped of it's own oils (thus having to overcompensate). My next tip will help you on those days in between washes.

3. Find a dry shampoo that works for you. I will probably never again go without dry shampoo! This stuff is a lifesaver and really helps me on those days in between washes. Lately I've been going about 3 days without washing my hair. So after showering--on a day I don't wash my hair--I just spray dry shampoo on my roots, let it sit for a minute, and then I'm good to go! This stuff is also great at giving volume and is awesome for making those occasional blowouts last a few more days.

4. Use a product to hold those curls. Unless you have extremely moisturized hair--with the sun, swimming, showering, styling, etc., most of us don't--it is important to find a product that you can apply while your hair is damp, to hold and define your curls. It can be the difference between having a lion's mane and having that sexy, beachy, I-just-came back-from-an-exotic-island-look.

5. Reconsider your styling routine. Do you brush your hair often? Do you blow dry it every time you get out of the shower? What do you do to your hair after you've applied your product, but it still needs to dry? I have found that brushing my hair with a plastic bristle brush only serves to break, pull, and tear at my hair. I will usually use my fingers to gently brush through my hair while in the shower, after I've applied conditioner. Every once in a while before I go to bed, I will use a boar bristle brush to comb through my hair. This really helps distribute my natural oils to the ends of my hair without tugging at it too much. Then I'll braid it, go to bed, and shower in the morning! Also, while my hair is damp I always take multiple small sections and just twist them around gently, similar to how you might twist the ends of a little girl's pigtails. This really helps define my curls. While my hair is drying, I'm constantly flipping it from side to side. I'll throw my hair over to my left for maybe 20 minutes, then throw it over to my right for another 20. This helps give me even volume all the way around the crown of my head.

6. Every once in a while, get all that build-up out and deep condition! Since my husband uses a cheap-o shampoo that contains some of those harsh soaps (hey, it works great for him!), I'll sometimes use it to get rid of all the icky build up from my hair products and conditioner. I can always tell it's time to get rid of that gunk because my hair looks dull and suddenly like I have a lot more split ends than I actually do! Before I do that though, I'll use the coconut oil ($5-$10 at most health food stores) to moisturize my scalp and deep condition. I discuss my routine for using the coconut oil in my hair here. I then get in the shower and use the cheap shampoo to get everything off (then condition, like usual) and give my hair a fresh start. Viola! Back to beautiful hair!

Remember, curly hair is usually drier than straight hair. Someone once explained it to me by saying, "It is easier for your natural oil to travel down the hair from your scalp in a straight line, than down a curly, windy path." So take extra care to keep that curly hair moisturized and you might just find yourself appreciating your own natural hair! :)

Do you have any great tips for maintaining curly hair?? I'd love to hear 'em!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Basic Brushes to Have in Your Kit

It can be a little daunting trying to figure out which makeup brushes you should have in your makeup kit. Makeup brushes come in different sizes, shapes, textures, and are often made of different types of animal or synthetic hair. It can be confusing which ones to have in order to achieve the look you want!

I thought I'd share a few basic brushes everyone should include in their makeup arsenal, to achieve just about any look: from the woman who likes to wear very minimal makeup, to a woman who loves going with a glam look on a daily basis! 

Remember, I am listing the bare minimum required to get just about any look. These brushes are a great starting point, but I encourage you to experiment and try new things. You may realize you can do without one or two of these brushes, or that you really need something more like a concealer brush, fan brush, or something else!

FYI: all brushes shown here can be purchased here and here

1. Powder Brush

You'll want a big, fluffy, soft brush for putting on powder foundation, applying a setting powder, or a matte powder. I think out of all the brushes, this one is the most familiar. I find it very important that this brush be soft, as I've tried powder brushes that were a bit rough and they can irritate the skin, causing redness. Often, brushes made from synthetic fibers--as opposed to animal hair, like goat or squirrel--tend to be softer and smoother on the skin.

2. Foundation Brush

There are a number of ways to apply liquid foundation, but I think one of the most versatile ways is to use a foundation brush. These brushes can either be dome shamed (rounded top) or flat, and have densely packed bristles. Applying your liquid foundation with a foundation brush will give you the most amount of coverage your foundation offers, and will give you an even and flawless finish. My next favorite tool for applying foundation is to use a beauty blender, which I discuss here. Also, the beauty blender will sheer out the coverage of your foundation since it needs to be damp to use.

3. Blush Brush

Again, I think this brush is pretty familiar to most. You'll want this brush to be soft and full. This brush is different from a regular powder brush, in that it is usually smaller for more controlled application. You normally don't want your blush to go over your ENTIRE face! :P

4. Flat Eyeshadow Brush

A flat eyeshadow brush is perfect for pressing eyeshadow onto the eyelid. When you want precise application--like when applying a pigmented shadow to the eyelid--you want the shadow to stay exactly where you put it. This brush is great for getting precise eyeshadow placement and for keeping the shadow as pigmented as possible.

5. Fluffy Crease Brush and/or Blending Brush

I listed these two brushes together because they pretty much do the same thing, just in different ways and you can substitute one for the other, based on personal preference. When trying to achieve a seamless, smoky eye effect, the fluffier brush is perfect for blending out harsh lines and creating that smoky effect. The less fluffy brush will also buff out harsh lines, it just may take a few more swipes of the brush. It is also really good for getting eyeshadow right into the crease, which allows you to create some great definition.

I hope this guide helps you out a bit, as I know figuring out which makeup brushes do what, or which ones you need to begin your kit, can be confusing. Remember to practice a lot! And don't be afraid to use brushes in different ways. Just because one brush is labeled as a concealer brush, don't be afraid to try it out as say, an eyeshadow brush!

Next, I'll be sharing how I take care of my curly hair!!

*all brushes were purchased by moi here and here!

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Current Favorites

As I slowly add a few things to my makeup kit, I've come across a few favorites and a few duds too. Most often, when I'm going out to pick up a new item, I do a lot of research and I really look into what I want to buy, just so I don't end up wasting my money. That's why when I find great products I want to share my opinion with others. Hopefully you can find a few new favorites for yourself!

I always try to find the item I want at store or website that has a great return policy. Both, Sephora and Ulta have pretty good return policies that allow you to return items that have been used. Whether or not you get your money back or you get a store credit, depends on how long it's been, whether or not you have the receipt, etc. I believe even a few drugstores have similar return policies too. :)

Let's get started!

1. Tarte Clean Slate 360* Creaseless eye primer - This eye primer has definitely surprised me. I bought a sample size just to try it out, and see how I liked it. Before I bought it I tried two of the Urban Decay Primer Potions and I had high hopes, but was pretty disappointed. Everyone raved about them, but my eyeshadow ended up creasing by the end of the day! Not a pretty look. Anywho, my eyeshadow has never creased with this and it's also not a thick, dry formula. It's creamy and goes on clear. I think some of the sticky, tackier formulas, are too dry for someone who doesn't have very oily eyelids. This one works great for me, and I'll probably buy the full size when it runs out!

2. Cinema Secrets Foundation palette in #5 - I recently picked this up while IMATS last weekend, and I ADORE this thing. Even though it says it's a foundation palette, I've been using it as concealer. I was a bit wary to try out a concealer that isn't a liquid since my skin tends to be dry. These creamy type concealers usually end up caking and looking like I have scales under my eyes! Not this one, though! It's really smooth and and very pigmented. It also doesn't crease if I use a thin layer, and set it with a powder. I also love that I can contour AND highlight with the shades included.

3. Lorac Pro palette - I'm sure this palette doesn't need much of an introduction, as it has been a BIG hit in the beauty world. I can definitely see why. The shades are VERY pigmented and creamy. I wasn't going to buy this one since I already have the first two Naked palettes, but when I saw it at IMATS at about half the usual price, I snatched it up! I'm glad I did too, the colors are great and very flattering on a number of skin tones. I have not been disappointed!

4. Sigma Brushes - Again, these probably don't need an introduction, as they've been raved about all over the internet! These are GREAT quality brushes that come at a pretty decent price. A few months ago I was considering buying a few MAC brushes with some money I had saved up, but when I started looking into which ones I'd get I started reading more and more about Sigma's brushes. A lot of makeup artists and online beauty gurus were raving about these brushes and how they were the exact same quality as MAC. So, I used that money to get a few Sigma brushes. I'm thankful I did, because let's face it, MAC isn't cheap!! These brushes are amazing and I ordered a few more recently. I can definitely tell how they've improved my makeup application. I certainly recommend these!

5. Red Cherry lashes - These have become my favorite false lashes. I used to use Ardell's all the time--I still think those are good quality--but I have just found Red Cherry lashes suit me better. I love dramatic lashes for when I'm going out or there's a special occasion, but on most days I just enjoy having fuller slightly longer lashes. Red Cherry's #747S are PERFECT for a subtle but romantic look. I have had a lot of people ask me what mascara I'm wearing because they look THAT natural. Also, even though I haven't found a store that sells these lashes, I order them online and then I have a supply that lasts me months! They are definitely worth looking into if you enjoy wearing false lashes.

Those are my current favorites for you! If you have any questions or suggestions (or a product you love and want to share!), please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments.

Next, I'll be sharing which brushes I think are key to creating any makeup look!

*all items were purchased my moi!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Hope and a Future

a few of my favorite moments. from my instagram account: thelavenderfield

Since this is the end of what most of us see as the holiday season, I thought I'd stray from my usual beauty/lifestyle posts today, and wish you all a Happy New Year(!!), and share some thoughts...

As I peruse my various social networking apps, I see a lot of people reflecting on the past year and hoping for the coming year. Most people had a great year and a few hope for a better one than the one they had.

As I look at these posts I don't feel the same excitement that many people express. I don't find myself sharing in their excitement. I don't find myself making resolutions. I don't feel like it's the beginning of a new season. I don't mean that I'm not excited for the days to come, I definitely am! My life thus far, has been a series of surprises, sweet moments, and unexpected blessings. At this time in my life, I am at a place I never dreamed I'd be, and I feel so incredibly fortunate. 

What I mean is, I don't see the traditional New Year as the beginning of anything really. I think it has to do with something that used to scare me a lot as a child. I remember being a very young and hearing on the radio, news, etc., about doomsday predictions. So-called religious leaders, mystics, psychics, whatever, would predict the world's end at midnight of the new year. I would get so frightened, I would start crying and tell my parents that I was terrified of losing them and my brother. I was so young that even though I had been taught that when I die, I would be with Jesus, I couldn't really grasp the idea of eternity. I was terrified.

My dad would comfort my young mind by saying, "The way we count our days, months, and years, is just something humans have created to help us keep track of time. They're just numbers, God is beyond them." That always did it for me. Even though I was too young to really understand that even when I died, my life wasn't over, I could understand that time was a human construct. Go figure! Lol. 

To this day, I've held onto that thought. Instead of feeling like the tradition New Years holiday is the end of one stage of life, and the beginning of another, I've seen it as just another day. Another day to thank God I've woken up, another day to pray for strength and wisdom, another day to laugh with my husband, another day to begin a new adventure. 

For me, the beginning of a new season has always been marked by events in my life that have really touched my heart, whether they've been good or bad. Times that I have found myself crying out to God, "Catch me here. Catch my heart. I can't keep myself up right now."

New seasons have been marked by beautiful moments where I find myself saying, "I can't believe this is happening. How absolutely beautiful and unexpected. I can't wait to start this adventure with you."

I might be a New Years Scrooge (bah humbug! :P), but I still thankful for all that has happened in 2012, and I look forward to what is to come in the new year. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11
Happy New Year to you and your family!!

Next post: how I fill in my brows!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Beauty Favorites

What a busy few weeks it's been! I'm sure I'm not alone in my rush to buy gifts, visit family, wrap gifts, etc. As always in the midst of the rush, I have to constantly remind myself what this season is all about, and what is REALLY important.

Anyhow, as I've been building my collection and learning makeup application, I've come across a lot of new favorites that I want to share with you! I have a few more products I've recently acquired that I'm testing at the moment, and I'll share those soon.

I hope everyone's Christmas plans are going along smoothly and I will be back soon with another update!

1. Wet n Wild palettes: I ADORE these palettes! They are fabulous shadows at a great price. They have great color payoff--as you can see from the swatch on my fingers--and I believe they cost about $5 at drugstores. I definitely think they can compete with a lot of high end shadow palettes.

2. Tarte blush compacts: If you read beauty blogs, watch beauty videos online, etc., I'm sure you've heard great things about Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes. Let me tell you, they're definitely worth all the hype. They have fabulous color pay off and there is a wide range of shades, including some matte, shimmer, and even a few glittery ones. I am just waiting for the holidays to be over so I can pick some more of these up!

3. Physician's Formula Tinted Moisturizer: I have been pleasantly surprised by this product. I came across it while looking for more natural beauty products. I had heard a few positive things about it, so I picked it up when the drugstore was having a buy-one-get-one sale a few weeks ago. It is definitely sheer coverage and isn't going to mask anything really noticeable but I think it's perfect for a day when I might just be running errands and I don't necessarily want to put on a full face of makeup. It's 100% natural and 80% organic. Lately I've been trying to find products that don't contain so many synthetic ingredients since I know they can accumulate in the system, and may cause problems over time. I read a lot of reviews complaining about the smell, but I love it! It smells like lavender, which happens to be my favorite scent!

4. Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer: This is a fantastic concealer! It is perfect for my dry under-eye skin, and doesn't settle into any creases or fine lines. It definitely isn't a full coverage concealer but it's great for highlighting the under-eye area. Just an FYI: I haven't been able to find this in stores. I purchased mine online.

5. My other Tarte blush! Read review above ^^

6. Stila liquid eyeliner: This has been a great buy! I hadn't heard/read any reviews about this eyeliner, when I decided to pick it up one day at Ulta. I'd been searching for a really good high end eyeliner and just came across this one. It really does stay all day and doesn't come off until I use my coconut oil to remove it. The only issue I have is that it is a bit pricey. I remember using a Wet n Wild liquid eyeliner years ago when I was in high school and it was the BEST. I ALWAYS had people asking me which brand of eyeliner I was wearing. I used it so much the name rubbed off and I eventually forgot who made it (hence, why I never repurchased). After using this, I'm glad I finally tried a high end liquid liner, but I may just repurchase Wet n Wild's, now that I was able to recall who makes my original favorite!

7. Benefit's Boi-ing concealer: This concealer has really impressed me! I didn't think it would cover the dark under-eye circles I sometimes get, but it did the trick! It does especially well in covering blemishes and any discoloration I may have. FYI: build it up slowly. At first, I thought that if I picked up a lot with my finger, it would cover my dark circles better, but it only starts to look cakey. Grab a little with your finger to warm it up and help it melt a bit, and pat on a very thin layer at a time.

8. The other Wet n Wild palette I LOVE! Review above ^^

9. I don't know how I left out 9. Oops!! :P

10. Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation: This is another product I knew nothing about before purchasing. Again, I just really wanted something with more natural products and no preservatives. Let me tell you, this has been one of the BEST beauty purchases I've made. It provides fantastic full coverage that lasts me all day (I have combo/dry skin). I apply mine with a Beauty Blender and it looks like my own skin. I've heard that the coverage is also amazing when you use Tarte's foundation brush, which I do not own, but am tempted to buy when I can. I'm almost certain I will be repurchasing this foundation when it runs out. Great, great product!

There you have my current favorites. :) Please don't hesitate to ask questions or let me know about your own favorite products!

*all products purchased by moi!