Full Face Under $50: Essence Cosmetics Haul First-Impressions

beauty, makeup

Hi friends,

I was inspired by Taylor Wynn’s (@taylorwynn), recent “Full Face of Essence Cosmetics” video and I had to try out an (almost) full face for myself! Coincidentally, Taylor’s video coincided with a B1G1 50% off sale on Essence at Ulta, so I was able to snatch up all of the below products, plus the Wet n Wild foundation and Maybelline powder that I already had in my collection (that were both also purchased previously on-sale), for a grand total of $46.67 before tax. With that being said, all of these products retail for $62.86 before tax, so you can get an amazingly affordable, full face of makeup for under $70, no matter if there is a sale or not. However, I of course always recommend you holding out for a sale and keeping your eyes opened to all available coupons! Now, let’s get into what I think of the makeup. 🙂

Essence Extreme Lasting Eye Pencil: $1.50 (Normally $2.99)

I got the nude shade of this pencil, and while it is very pigmented, it was a bit more crumbly than I would have liked and irritated my eyes a bit. However, I think that was partially due to having not worn makeup in quite a few days (keeping it real here in quarantine), so I will continue to test.

Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara: $1.50 (Normally $2.99)

I’ve used this brow gel once before and I still love it. Fantastic amount of pigment for the price with a nice, small brush.

Essence The Blush: $1.50 (Normally $2.99)

I really loved this blush formula! I got the shade “Befitting” and it compliments my skin tone really well.

Essence Sun Club Matt Bronzing Powder: $3.99 (Normally $4.99)

Okay, y’all, I adore this bronzer. Easily my favorite product (besides the highlighter). I got the shade for blondes and it warms up my complexion so well, without being orange at all.

Essence Primer + Studio HD Hydra Primer Spray: $2.49*

A decent setting spray! Does bring some glow to your skin and settles the powdery look down to make you appear more skin-like.

Essence Fresh + Fit Awake Primer: $2.99

This thing brings the glow in a really intense way! I like it so far, but will have to let you know more once I have more time to test these products out.

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara: $4.99

I used this mascara once in the past, but recall not liking it because it was difficult to take off. However, with my current DHC oil makeup remover, I had no problem at all. I do like the amount of volume and length that it brings to my lashes for every day, but I like my Urban Decay Perversion mascara for more volume for night.

Essence Camoflauge + Matt Concealer: $3.99

On first impression, I really like this concealer for every day! It is definitely medium coverage and has a really thin texture.

Essence Brighten Up! Banana Powder: $4.99

This stuff really does brighten your under eyes right up, but it did make my under eyes look a little dry. However, I did add more powder than I normally would since I’m trying to stop the inevitable mascara transfer from my oily skin during the summer, so that experimentation could be a factor (or it could be the concealer. TBD!).

Essence Spice Up Your Life Eyeshadow Palette: $4.99

I liked the eye look I ended up with for the three shades I used, but the shades I did use were definitely the hardest to blend that I’ve used in a long time and are quite crumbly. However, for $5 for a palette with this amount of shades, that is a heck of a deal. But, if I’m honest with myself, I would personally purchase one of Melted Chrome Eyeshadows in retrospect, as I think I would have gotten more use out of that.

Essence x Ulta Beauty Collection Girls United High Shine Lip Gloss: $1.50 (Normally retails for $4.99)

The shade that I purchased is no longer available on Ulta’s website, but I do like the formula. Essence’s lip gloss formula is supposed to be great in general, so I don’t think you can go wrong there (but you may be able to prove me wrong!).

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be My Highlight 01: $4.99

This highlight is just so great! It brings a really natural glow to your face.

Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Liquid Foundation: $3.25 (Normally retails for $6.49)

Mentioned my thoughts on this foundation here.

Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder: $4 (Normally retails for $7.99)

Mentioned my thoughts on this powder here.

What are your favorite Essence products? I will keep y’all updated as these products make their way into my collection (or go into the donate pile).

Love y’all,


Mini Makeup Collection Declutter


Hi friends,

One of my favorite YouTubers, Jessica Braun (Insta: @itsjessicabraun), has a really curated makeup collection full of things that she loves after doing multiple declutters. Her intentionality with quickly getting rid of makeup that doesn’t work for her or is expired has motivated me to look at my own collection in the same way. With that being said, for makeup that didn’t work for me but is in good condition and can easily be sanitized, I do put aside for donating to Project Beauty Share, which is a fantastic non-profit in Washington State that provides beauty products to women in need.

Check out my quick, mini declutter below, explaining what I’m getting rid of and why:

Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Lipsticks: A couple of years ago these were all the rage, and I obviously tried multiple colors out. However, I quickly realized they aren’t the best formula and even at the low price tag aren’t worth it in my opinion.

Tarteist Glossy Lip Paint (Shade: Orchid): I do not love this formula, (and especially not in this shade). Very patchy.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil (Shade: Strawberry Milk): This honestly is just pretty meh. Not the best formula and I’ve decided I just really don’t use eyeshadow sticks.

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick (Shade: Rebel Red): Definitely not the best liquid lipstick formula out there. This stuff gets EVERYWHERE.

Ruby Kisses by Kiss Ultra Matte Super Rich Lipstick (Shade: Nude Rose): Even though this is very budget friendly, this is just another meh product. Save your money and avoid the very drying texture.

KVD Vegan Beauty – Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks (Shades: Lovesick and Santa Sangre): Aside from these being quite a drying formula, I just don’t need anything from the formerly Kat Von D brand in my makeup collection (these were made pre-re-brand).

MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Eye Shadow Colour Stick (No longer in production): Not creamy at all, very difficult to apply.

MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque (No longer in production): Not pigmented at all. One of my least favorite products I have ever purchased, but I didn’t want to get rid of it because of the heftier price tag. But now, BYE BYE.

And last, but not least, a bunch of nameless samples from my former ipsy subscription that I popped into my magnetic palette. I honestly loved my ipsy subscription and had it for multiple years, but I ultimately decided that I wasn’t going through the samples quickly enough to justify the cost.

If you’ve done a recent declutter (and not just in your makeup collection), due to quarantine or otherwise, let me know in the comments below!

Love y’all,


My Current Foundations: The Good, The Bad, and The Meh

beauty, makeup

Hi friends,

How are y’all doing on this Monday? As I stared at my makeup collection earlier (as I got ready today for a dear friend and co-workers’ social distance, drive-by birthday parade), I thought it would be fun to do a run-down of the foundations that I’m loving, the foundations that I don’t like but am trying to get rid of, and foundations that are just okay. Here is a look at my current foundation collection (from left to right), as well as my closest shade matches (down below):

*L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear – As my #2 favorite foundation, this one is such a gem. Lasts so well on my oily skin, has a true satin matte finish, and the shade below is a great match for me that blends in without making me look as ghostly as I actually am.

Estee Lauder Double Wear – A cult classic. I used to love this one so much more, and I’m glad to still have it in my collection for special events, especially in the summer, but it can look heavy really quickly.

Milani Conceal & Perfect – I wish I liked this one more. It is definitely one of my “meh” foundations. It’s not my favorite texture (it is a thicker liquid and leaves a film-like feeling on your face), and is not a good shade match.

*Wet n’ Wild Photofocus – This is one of Tati Westbrook’s favorites, so I obviously had to have it for my own. While it doesn’t smell great, this is a good foundation. Not great, but good. And it is definitely a good shade match for me.

*NARS Radiant Longwear – My all-time favorite foundation that I love so dearly (and of course is the most expensive I’ve ever purchased). I will repurchase this over and over again. Also the best shade match for me that I’ve found.

Maybelline Superstay – So many people love this, but I quickly found out it isn’t my favorite. This most definitely forms a film on your skin post-application. And lemme just say, if you are ultra fair, you may actually want to give this a go, because this shade is one of the palest that I’ve ever seen.

*MISSHA BB Cream – This is a recommendation from the amazing Jessica Braun. I am in love with this one. It is so easy to throw on and gives you a low-medium coverage that’s perfect for every day. It will be interesting to see how this does on my skin in the summer, because it is GLOWY, but I really enjoy how healthy it makes my skin look.

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR – Another one on my naughty list. I’m just trying to mix this in with either the NARS Sheer Glow or the Dior Backstage to use them up, as this is the lightest shade, which is ridiculous, because it is me in my tannest dreams.

Dior Backstage Face & Body – This is another meh for me. I don’t love how fragranced it is and it isn’t a good shade match for me, but I do think it can look pretty on my skin.

NARS Sheer Glow – Bad bin. Not worth the price, terrible shade ranch, and clings to all of my dry patches.

Wet n’ Wild Cushion – It looks like this one may be going out the door for Wet n’ Wild, which is sad, because I do like this product. It is so great to give you a light layer of coverage if you’re trying to quickly run out the door to run errands.

What are some of your favorite foundations? Or what should I steer clear of? As always, I have products that I love from all of these brands, but for anything that didn’t work for me, it just wasn’t meant to be!

Love y’all,


Beauty Products I Regret Purchasing


Sometimes, products don’t work out for you, even if they have tons of positive reviews and are beloved by others. Below is a look at products I regret purchasing and why they aren’t my favorites. As a disclaimer, just because I don’t love them doesn’t mean that they won’t work for you, and if you love them, then keep on loving them! Also, I have other products that I love from all of these brands. 🙂

MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance Primer – Pink Radiance

This doesn’t do much as far as true “radiance,” I just see a lot of glitter on my skin. Also, this does nothing to help with the duration of my foundation, which is what I’m really personally looking for in a primer.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation – Siberia

This doesn’t give me enough coverage and does not last long on my skin. If you’re looking for a NARS foundation, I would HIGHLY recommend my all-time favorite, the NARS Longwear Radiant Foundation. This shade is also terrible on me, and I believe was the only shade even remotely in my very fair shade range when I purchased this. But, it does look like the shade range has expanded (I wear Mont Blanc in the Longwear Radiant, as reference).

Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15

This foundation is THICK, and not in a good way. I really don’t like the whipped texture and feel like it slides off my oily skin super quickly. Also, the lightest shade at the time that I purchased is now the fifth shade up, so that just goes to show how orange it looked on me and how much the shade range has thankfully expanded in the past couple of years!

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow Palette

These did not blend well for me and all of the tones are a little too similar and look muddy.

*Exuviance SPF 35

So, this has been re-branded and the version that I have has been recently discontinued. I’m currently only keeping it to use as a body SPF because of how heavy and sticky it feels on my face. My makeup just slides off any time I wear this underneath. However, the new version may be a new formula…but, I personally don’t plan on finding out. 🙂

ABH Blush Trio – Pool Party

This is very pigmented and I do like the tones mixed together, but the amount of glitter in the one shade gets into the rest of the pans and leaves noticeable glitter on the face.

L’Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold All Day Volume Hairspray

The SMELL. I can’t handle the smell. I also don’t think this has anywhere enough hold for a hairspray. If you do decide to purchase this, only get the unscented, unless you want to smell like expired, musky perfume all day long.

Tartelette Tease Clay Eyeshadow Palette

I have many other eyeshadow palettes from Tarte that I prefer over this one. Although the tiny size is great for travel, I feel like this formula doesn’t blend as well as my other Tarte eyeshadows.

CoverGirl Exhibitionist Waterproof Mascara

I bought this to wear when we were going to be on a lake and it felt like all of my eyelashes fell off after I wore this. It took foreverrr to get off and was super thick on my lashes, so I’m afraid to try the non-waterproof version.

Garnier SkinActive SPF 30 Moisturizer with Hyaluronic Acid

I’ve used the SkinActive line before, but this particular SPF burned the crap out of my ultra sensitive skin and I quickly discontinued use.

Do you have any products that you regret purchasing? Let me know in the comments below.

Love y’all,


All-Time Amazon Favorites

beauty, fashion, makeup, travel

Oh, Amazon…the convenience, the never-ending supply of goodies to search for, the list goes on and on. Below you will find my All-Time Amazon Favorites and why I love them:

  1. A Million Sloths Coloring Book
    • This has been so much fun to relax with these past few weeks. Every page is cuter than the last!
  2. Stainless Steel Gold Band
    • I purchased this on sale a few weeks ago for about $5 (my best Amazon tip is to try and save things in your Wish List so you can be alerted when there is a price fluctuation, as they are constantly changing their prices), and I love it! I’m allergic to so many different types of metals and this one has given me no problems thus far.
  3. Travel Wallet
    • So, so great for travel! I believe this was a recommendation from Alyson Haley and I snapped it up before our honeymoon. The compartment for the pen and all of the receipt pockets are so handy!
  4. Record Player
    • This was Tyler’s Christmas gift two years ago and we have absolutely loved it! This was a recommendation from my friend Matt, who always has this version, and he is the one person you always must trust on a technical purchase of any kind!
  5. Black Sherpa Jacket
    • I bought this during the teddy bear jacket craze about a year ago and haven’t looked back since. So, so comfy!
  6. Makeup Storage Tower
    • I have two of these and they are so worth it. Clean quite easily as well!
  7. Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote Insert
    • If you have a Neverfull, this insert is a MUST HAVE. So helpful for organization in such a gigantic bag.
  8. Collapsible Water Bottles
    • We used these while hiking in Iceland and they were a game changer. So convenient and took up no space in our suitcases.
  9. Bioderma Micellar Water
    • While you can purchase Bioderma a lot of different places, Amazon is my favorite and easiest.
  10. Camera Backpack
    • Another purchase for hiking in Iceland, this backpack is so nice and protected my camera so well (another Alyson Haley recommendation). My only complaint is that it doesn’t have a compartment to hold a water bottle on the side.
  11. Power Adapter
    • Alyson Haley recommendations strike again on this one. 🙂 We have traveled with this every time we have gone abroad and it works so well, especially with the multiple USB ports!
  12. Mirrored Sunglasses
    • Bought these for our Vegas trip (travel guide coming this week!), and have gotten so many compliments on them!
  13. Black Sunglasses
    • A blogger favorite, these designer dupe sunglasses are my absolute favorites! I’ve got a big head and lots of hair, so the size of these do not intimidate me haha!
  14. Grey Nightgown
    • I hadn’t owned a nightgown in years and decided to pick this up on a whim to wear as cute PJs to a bachelorette party. I’m OBSESSED! It is so soft and comfortable!
  15. Facial Razors
    • These were a Jaclyn Hill recommendation and I love them! I don’t use them on my entire face, just between my eyebrows, above my eyebrows and on my upper lip.
  16. Pearl & Acrylic Hair Clips
    • So fun, so trendy!
  17. File Folder
    • I am a self-proclaimed paper hoarder and this helps keep all of my mess somewhat organized!
  18. Pearl Headbands
    • I love the pearl headband trend so much that I wear one at least 3 days a week now. So chic for work while keeping my hair out of my face!
  19. Silver Cleaning Wipes
    • Honestly, these are my #1 favorite Amazon purchase of all-time. I had no idea they existed until I saw someone recommended them on Instagram and they have brought all of my sterling silver jewelry back to life! I hadn’t been able to wear one James Avery bracelet in particular for years because the oxidization on it was so bad, but now it looks brand new!
  20. Clothing Rack
    • I have a cloffice in our current house since we are low on closet space, so this clothing rack was a must-have! This thing is loaded down with so much stuff and is crazy sturdy.
  21. SPF Moisturizer
    • Amazon is my favorite place to buy this cult-favorite moisturizer I mentioned in my skincare post a few weeks ago!
  22. C Initial Necklace
    • This is a dupe for a much more expensive, discontinued designer necklace and is one of my favorite jewelry pieces that I own.
  23. Jewelry Cleaner Pen
    • I LOVE this jewelry cleaner pen! So easy to use and convenient to travel with.
  24. Laptop Backpack
    • I desperately needed a new laptop backpack for work and this one has been wonderful so far. So many compartments, a great laptop protection sleeve and very sleek.
  25. Fabric Defuzzer
    • Another example of a product that I never knew existed, this recommendation from Katey McFarlan Hellman is MAGICAL. I’ve used it on comforters, leggings, ottomans, you name it!
  26. Missha BB Cream
    • And last, but not least, this Missha BB Cream. This is one of the best tinted moisturizers I have ever used, c/o Jessica Braun.

What are your Amazon favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Love y’all,


Products on My Wish List

beauty, makeup

Hi friends! How are you doing? Things are honestly pretty crazy for the Wallaces because of our work, but I hope you are also taking the time to calm yourself and your mind during these ever-changing days. While I personally have been doing a good amount of online shopping to stock up on clothing and jewelry that I’ve been wanting for quite a while (shop small wherever you can, my friends!), I surprisingly haven’t been making any makeup purchases. BUT, I do always have a running list of products on my radar. If you’re looking for any new makeup, especially during the next leg of Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, then take a look at my wish list below:

  1. e.l.f. Cosmetics The New Classics Eyeshadow Palette
  2. Maybelline TattooStudio Brow Pomade
  3. Physician’s Formula Healthy Powder
  4. Flower Beauty Blush Balm
  5. Make Up For Ever Matte Velvet Blurring Powder
  6. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
  7. Pur After Glow Highlighter
  8. Milani Silky Matte Bronzer
  9. Maybelline City Bronzer
  10. Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer
  11. Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink – Ground-breaker
  12. Covergirl TruBlend Undercover Concealer
  13. Wet n Wild Photo Focus Loose Setting Powder
  14. Milani Prep + Set + Glow Powder
  15. Honest Beauty Cream Blush
  16. Colourpop Lunch Money Highlighter
  17. Alter Ego Sahara Eyeshadow Palette
  18. Almay Lip Vibes Lipstick
  19. Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist
  20. Colourpop Pretty Fresh Setting Mist
  21. Natasha Denona I Need A Nude Lipstick
  22. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot – Painterly
  23. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
  24. Flower Beauty Light Illusion Concealer
  25. L’Oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara

If you have any products that you think I should add to my list, let me know in the comments below!

Love y’all,


Favorite Skincare Products


Now that the majority of us are self-distancing and quarantining ourselves at home, there is no excuse for not upping our skincare routines. While I can personally admit that I have let mine slack lately and have just been cleansing, I am going to jump back on my moisturizer/eye cream/treatment train tonight. For context, I have extremely sensitive skin, rosacea, and have a history of severe, cystic acne. I also definitely have combination skin, being very oily in my t-zone, but also frequently having dry patches all over. Below you will find some of my all-time faves:


Moisturizer + SPF:

Night Cream:

Eye Cream:

Cleansing Oil/Micellar Water:



What are your favorite skincare products? Let me know in the comments below.

Love y’all,


Favorite Content Creators on Social Media

beauty, makeup, travel

Hello friends of the Internet! Obviously, you are someone who is inclined to read blogs because you are doing that very such thing as we speak (thank you for that, btw). I, too, am constantly reading blog content from my favorite bloggers, as well as spending just as much, if not more time, watching videos from my favorite YouTubers. If I’m not curled up reading a good book in my spare time, I am undoubtedly reading a blog post, watching an Instagram story, listening to a podcast, or catching up on the latest YouTube videos in my subscription feed. I appreciate so much the knowledge I have gained from the various content creators I follow, and hope to be that same kind of resource to you through my own content.

Here is a list of my favorite content creators and a glimpse at the awesome content that they produce. *Side note: I follow all of these content creators on multiple platforms, especially Instagram, and recommend that you do the same as well. **Side-side note: A separate podcast list will be coming soon. I count that as a secondary category in and of itself.


Katey McFarlan Hellman – Chronicles of Frivolity – @kateymcfarlan

Haley – Alyson Haley – @alyson_haley

Emily Gemma – The Sweetest Thing – @emilyanngemma

Dani Austin – Dani Austin – @daniaustin

Whitney – Blonde Atlas – @blonde_atlas

Ashley Donielle – Ashley Donielle – @ashdonielle

Victoria Metaxas – VictoriasStories – @victoriametaxas

Tanner Mann – The Life of a Woman – @tannermmann

Brooke Broughton – Southern Sociality – @brookebroughton

Lexi Broughton – Styled State of Mind – @lexibroughton

Ashley Robertson – The Teacher Diva – @ashleyrobertson

Courtnee Rodgers – Personally Styled Blog – @courtneerodgers

Emily Herren – Champagne & Chanel – @champagneandchanel

Cara Greenstein – Caramelized – @cara_melized

Kate – Lone Star Southern – @lonestarsouthern

Courtney Kerr -KERRently by Courtney Kerr – @kerrently

*Ashley Flowers – Crime Junkie Podcast/audiochuck – @indyashflowers, *Brit Prawat – Crime Junkie Podcast – @britprawat, @crimejunkiepodcast


Taylor Wynn

Tati Westbrook

Jessica Braun

Casey Holmes

Rachel – RachhLoves (&RachhLovesLife)

Conagh Kathleen

Nikkia Joy

Kelsey Impicciche (&BuzzFeed Multiplayer)

Safiya Nygaard

Allie Glines

Mariah Leonard

Sharon Farrell

Jaclyn Hill

Love y’all,


Favorite Haircare Products for Curly Hair


This is my head of hair:

Very big, very curly and very blonde. My hair is in its natural state about 90% of the time, unless I have a professional blow it out and straighten it, because my manual dexterity and upper body strength is quite questionable. I have a mostly loving relationship with my hair, as it is my “calling card” so to speak, and is also very handy when someone is trying to find me in a crowd. With that being said, I have had a lot of time to figure out my favorite products for curly hair. Below is a list of my all-time favorite products.

If you would like for me to add a step-by-step routine, leave me a comment below or a comment on this post on my Instagram, @thatgirlcarlyelizabeth.

Shampoo (Drugstore & High-End):

Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Shampoo

Drybar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo

Conditioner (Drugstore & High-End):

Not Your Mother’s Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Conditioner

Biolage Advanced Keratindose Conditioner

Drybar Brightening Ale Conditioner

Living Proof No Frizz Conditioner

Deep Conditioner/Treatments:

Not Your Mother’s Matcha Green Tea & Wild Apple Blossom Nutrient Rich Butter Masque

Kenra Professional Brightening Treatment


Drugstore: Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Detangler

High-End: It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-in Product


Drugstore: Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining Cream

High-End: Bumble and bumble Bb. Styling Creme, Kenra Professional Curl Defining Creme 5, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment


High-End: Sebastian Shaper Plus Extra Hold Hairspray

Dry Shampoo:

Drugstore: Got 2b Fresh It Up Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo, Batiste Original Dry Shampoo – Clean & Classic

High-End: Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo, Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

Love y’all!