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,

CEW

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,

CEW

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,

CEW

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,

CEW

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.

Bloggers:

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

YouTubers:

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,

CEW

10 Favorite High-End Makeup Products

makeup

Hi friends! On Sunday, we talked awesome drugstore makeup. Now, we’re talking fantastic high-end makeup. With a selection that can be found at either your local Ulta, Sephora or Nordstrom, these are all options that you will love to #treatyoself to. But, I will ALWAYS say, you can find products of equal value at the drugstore. These high-end picks just happen to be worth the cost.

  1. NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation ($49)
    • My favorite foundation of all-time. Many a YouTuber inspired me to buy this one, but it is definitely Mariah Leonard’s (@mariahlleonard) holy grail. Full coverage, satin matte and will last on your face until the end of time.
  2. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($33)
    • I don’t currently have this in my collection, but I can’t even tell you how many bottles of this I have purchased over the years. If you need your makeup to last for 10+ hours, this is the best on the market to get the job done.
  3. Tarte Shape Tape ($27)
    • When people think concealer, they think Tarte Shape Tape, and for very good reason. This is the most full coverage concealer I have ever used and I will definitely be purchasing it again in the future. However, it can definitely be a bit drying, so make sure you have a good moisturizer underneath and that your undereyes are especially well-hydrated. My tube has lasted me for at least 18 months as a little goes a LONG way, so you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth.
  4. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39)
    • Hands down one of the most famous makeup products of all time. This loose powder will set your makeup to perfection while giving you a hint of a blurring effect. Also, even with daily use, the container seems to last forever.
  5. NARS Fort de France Highlighting Powder ($38)
    • This fantastic highlighter is another Mariah Leonard favorite and gives you that “wet/glass skin” look without any glitter specks bringing attention to texture on your face. Swipe this on if you want to look like a healthy goddess who drinks her daily water intake recommendation like she’s supposed to.
  6. Benefit Cosmetics “Dallas” Blush ($17)
    • One of the first high-end makeup products I ever received was a Benefit blush/bronzer palette, which I still have to this day and use, even with my beloved Dallas shade crumbling apart (I genuinely need to replace this and am drooling over the newest version, title and link). My favorite blush in the palette, it looks great on so many different skin tones and is very long-wearing. And, since it is a more bronze shade, you can use as your blush/bronzer/contour if you’re in a pinch.
  7. Tati Beauty Textured Neutrals Vol. 1 Eyeshadow Palette ($48)
    • This palette has not been in my collection for very long, but it is so, so special. If you’ve been around the beauty internet space for a while, you probably know of Tati Westbrook, the legendary YouTube beauty guru and owner of Halo Beauty and Tati Beauty. As one of my all-time favorite content creators who I have followed for years, I knew I had to snatch this up during the initial launch and I have not been disappointed. The setup is so unique and the shades are incredibly pigmented and easy to blend.
  8. Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette ($42)
    • A favorite of Conagh Kathleen (@conagh_kat) and Casey Holmes Marlar (@caseyhl91), this warm-toned beauty is my first ABH eyeshadow purchase and I’e loved it from Day 1. It is extremely pigmented, so be warn ed, but it is a dream to blend and is great for event makeup.
  9. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara ($25) [or Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara ($27), or Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara ($23)]
    • At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this gem is another Mariah Leonard recommendation. (Don’t worry, you’ll find out why I adore her and so many other content creators in next week’s “Favorite Influencers” post). Anddd, technically, I am cheating on this one with three recommendations. All three of these formulas give a very similar effect, with amazing volume, length and separation. However, I currently have the Urban Decay in my collection, and I love how it doesn’t smudge, clump or flake.
  10. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in “Pillow Talk” ($34)
    • I have an emotional attachment to this lipstick. I was determined that the one thing I was going to buy at Harrod’s in London would be a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick (this was before the brand came to Sephora), and I waited in line at the counter and bought the LAST ONE in the store. This is the perfect pinky nude color and is so comfortable to wear. And, if it says anything, I am almost completely through the tube, and when does that happen with a lipstick?!
  11. MILK MAKEUP KUSH Fiber Brow Gel ($20)
    • Including this as an honorable mention as I realized I wasn’t going to include a brow product otherwise. Brows are a huge struggle for me and I normally just stick to a tinted brow gel. This one from Milk is very pigmented, easy to work with and stays put in your brows.

I hope you found a new product that you would like to try out! Leave a comment below of what your next high-end makeup product will be.

Love y’all,

CEW

10 Favorite Drugstore Makeup Products

makeup

I adore makeup. I always have. I was the little girl that was begging her mom for “lip” and “eyeblash” from the moment that she could talk. I would hoard play makeup and organize it by color on the vanity in my room. You get the picture.

For me, makeup not only enhances my confidence in so many ways, but also has become my favorite hobby. From watching hours upon hours of videos from my favorite beauty YouTubers for the latest tips and products, to talking about and recommending products with my closest friends (and strangers), applying makeup soothes and energizes me. However, thankfully, both my technique and the quality of products in my collection have drastically improved since I started wearing makeup in the 6th grade to combat my rosacea, oily skin and, at the time, acne. While my acne has substantially subsided, (I do still have spots pop up multiple times a week), I do naturally gravitate towards more full coverage products to cover up my rosacea. Also, with the humid, Southern climate that I live in, I need my makeup to last as long as possible throughout a long work day. And, with that, let’s get into the makeup:

  1. L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear 24HR Foundation ($14.99)
    • Easily one of the best foundations I’ve ever used. High-medium/low-full coverage, satin matte finish, great staying power.
  2. e.l.f. Cosmetics Poreless Putty Primer ($8.00)
    • The best dupe out there for the Tatcha Silk Canvas primer. Fills in pores SO well and helps your makeup to last longer.
  3. Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer – Bronzer ($9.29)
    • Talk about a cult favorite product, and for good reason. Great pigmentation, never looks too orange or patchy. Make sure to get the Bronzer shade though.
  4. L’Oreal Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain ($11.99)
    • If you want a comfortable, non-drying liquid lipstick that will last until you decide to take it off? This is the lady for you. Also, fantastic shade selection.
  5. Revlon Volumazing Mascara ($8.99)
    • An underrated product in the “favorite mascara” category, I really enjoy this one. Great balance of volume and length and does not smudgge or flake on my oily eyelids.
  6. e.l.f. Cosmetics 16HR Camo Concealer ($6.00)
    • This is the product for you if you want a much more affordable version of Tarte Shape Tape, but less drying under the eyes.
  7. Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set ($9.99)
    • One of the best drugstore setting sprays, this will help your makeup last through a long day. But, be warned, it is heavily scented (but I don’t mind it, and it dissipates quickly).
  8. Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Porelesss Pressed Powder ($7.99)
    • Just a good, everyday compact setting powder. She won’t do ya wrong.
  9. Essence Pure Nude Highlighter – Be My Highlight 01 ($4.99)
    • Such a fantastic option for a daily highlighter. Not too bright, no glitter and really does bring a natural glow to the face.
  10. Wet n Wild Color Icon single eyeshadow – Nutty ($1.19)
    • This single shadow will help you create the fastest eyeshadow look in the world. While it looks matte in the pan, it will start to get more and more satin as you get deeper into the shadow. You can use either your fingers or a crease brush to wash the color all over the lid.

Leave a comment with your favorite drugstore makeup product and let me know if you have any questions!

Love y’all,

CEW