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Perfect Dupe for the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick + Review of City Color Liquid Lipstick


the perfect dupe stila liquid lipstick city colors be matte

I’ve been in love with the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick for months now.  It’s my go-to lipstick.  There is definitely a learning curve with applying liquid lipstick but it’s totally worth it once you get it.  I love how quickly the formula sets and how matte it looks all day.  The Stila liquid lipstick also has good staying power.  The color stains your lips which means it doesn’t patch up or break apart in patches.  So, your lipstick looks good all day.

The only sad thing about the Stila Liquid All Day lipstick is that it costs $22.  So, I went on the hunt for the perfect dupe.  And I’m proud to say that I found it.  The perfect dupe is the City Color Be Matte Liquid Lipstick.  I have the liquid lipstick in Crunk, which is the perfect fall shade.  This color actually reminds me of the Stila vinyl lipgloss in terracotta which is no longer available for sale.

The Perfect Dupe

This dupe from City Color has great pigmentation.  It can go on in one swipe, but I’m not skilled enough to get the right shape and steady line in one swipe so I generally need like three. But the applicator has a tear drop shape that is similar to the Stila applicator.  Plus, both of these liquid lipsticks have a sweet frosting scent that is amazing!

These liquid lipsticks dry down completely matte and leave your lips with a gorgeous color even at the end of the day.  Since it is a completely matte finish, I would recommend applying some lip balm before applying.

I really hope City Color comes out with more colors in their liquid lipstick line.  And did I mention that these liquid lipsticks only cost $8!  Yup, time to pick up one in every color.

**Disclaimer: I received the City Color Be Matte Liquid Lipstick free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

The Benefits of Vitamin C Serum for Your Skin + Review of Jan Marini C-esta Serum


vitamin c serum

If you suffer from deep cystic acne then you understand the struggle.  Skin texture is virtually impossible to cover up and extremely hard to get rid of.  But the idea of at-home derma-rolling seems scary and unsafe.  So, I turned to serums.

Lately, I’ve been using the Jan Marini C-esta Serum.  This serum is packed with vitamin C, which is one of my favorite skincare ingredients!

The Benefits of Vitamin C Serum for Your Skin

Vitamin C is not just great for giving your immune system a boost, it’s also amazing for your skin.  Vitamin C increases collagen production which helps to brighten and tone your skin.  Your skin naturally becomes more dull as dead skin cells pile up and sometimes exfoliation just isn’t enough especially when you’re going through a breakout.

And if you have cystic acne, physical exfoliant can be too harsh and even painful.  So, an AHA or BHA toner will be perfect to gently exfoliate the skin without further damaging it.  Follow-up the toner with a vitamin C serum to increase collagen production and help your skin heal faster.

A high-quality vitamin C serum can also reduce the damage from UV rays and prevent premature wrinkling.  The Jan Marini Vitamin C serum is gentle and effective.  The serum is virtually scent-free so it won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin.  Plus, the serum has hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin.  This serum is also packed with vitamins B and E so it’s perfect for every skin type.

For more information, on the science behind why vitamin C is so amazing for the skin, click HERE!

Before and After

This first photo is before using the serum.  You can see the texture of my skin especially on my cheeks and all the marks and scarring from past breakouts. My pores are also a whole lot more prominent in this photo.

vitamin C serum

This second photo is taken after a full month of using the Jan Marini C-esta serum.  My scarring is reduced and overall skin texture is smoother.  Plus, my pore size is reduced also! Just look at what a month can do!

vitamin c serum

Have you tried a vitamin C serum before?  Which one is your favorite?

**Disclaimer: I received the serum free for reviewing purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

What To Look For in A Good Dry Shampoo? + Tips for Good Application


good dry shampoo

Honestly, I can’t live a week without dry shampoo.  Washing my hair is just too much effort after a long day at school and work, so dry shampoo it is.  But before I tried, all the dry shampoos at the drug store, I had no idea what I was looking for.  I didn’t know what was good and what wasn’t?  So, here’s a how-to guide for anybody new to dry shampoo.

What makes a good dry shampoo?

A good dry shampoo should:

  • Absorb oil
  • Add texture (without being crunchy)
  • Leave no white-cast
  • Smell good
  • Has a good nozzle
  • Bonus: add volume

A good dry shampoo should not:

  • take five minutes to rub in
  • leave a white-cast
  • have a sticky residue
  • smell weird
  • make the hair look dull/ lifeless
  • weigh down your hair
  • sprays a very firm stream at your hair and leaves you with an awkward white dot that takes 20 minutes to rub in…(trust me, I’ve been there)

One of my favorite drugstore dry shampoo is from HASK!  They have a variety of dry shampoos for a variety of hair textures.  Personally, I’ve been loving the Charcoal dry shampoo from HASK.  It has a fresh citrus scent that is (currently making me miss summer) great for day two hair when my hair smells like the stir-fry dinner I made last night.  Plus, it has long-lasting oil absorption without al the gross sulfates and parabens found in many dry shampoos on the market.  With HASK, my hair smells good, feels good, and looks good.  No more dry, dead, or zombie-looking hair here!

Tips for Best Dry Shampoo Application

  • Don’t spray too close, even with a good nozzle you can get a concentrated amount of dry shampoo if you spray the bottle right by your head.  Always use the bottle as a measuring tool and spray the dry shampoo on to your hair a bottle length away.  (I actually learned this from YouTube! LOL all the things you can learn…)
  • Don’t just spray and go, take a few seconds to rub the product in, so that the product can absorb the oil and actually freshen up your hair.
  • Spray a light coating over mid-shaft to strands for the perfect, tousled look

**Disclaimer: I received the products free for reviewing purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own.**

healing blemishes

The Key to Healing Blemishes Quickly: Cleanse, Tone, Treat, and Nourish


Is it just me or does it seem like blemishes comes in pairs?  Here’s how to treat those little monsters and help them go away faster!

The Key to Healing Blemishes Quickly

Healing blemishes can seem like a daunting task.  However, you can easily treat it with these four easy steps:

First step is cleansing.  When you cleanse well, your pores are clean.  Clogged pores are a major factor in skin breakouts. But be careful to not over-cleanse because you can dry out your skin be depleting it of all its natural skin oils.  The production of excess sebum is another major factor in skin breakouts.

After your face is clean, tone, tone, tone.  A toner with AHA or BHA helps chemically exfoliate the skin to improve skin cell renewal.  This will give you smoother and more radiant skin.  Once my toner is on, I like to apply a mask.

Masking can heal and nourish your skin.  One of my favorite things to do is double-masking.  I apply a purifying mask over my breakouts and a hydrating mask over the rest of my face.  The purifying mask extracts all the gunk out and the hydrating mask leaves my skin feeling soft and plump. Once I wash these masks off, I like to treat myself to a sheet mask.  They help my skin recover quickly from breakouts by balancing out the pH in my skin. Some of my favorite sheet masks have tea tree oil, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammation properties.

Once the serum has absorbed into my skin, I remove the sheet mask and treat my skin with benzoyl peroxide (another anti-bacterial topical cream).  Then, I apply a vitamin C serum and lock in all the goodness with a hydrating moisturizer.

What To-Do When You (Accidentally) Pop it

The key to healing blemishes quickly is to not pick at them.  But someimes, you can’t help yourself.  Once you’ve picked at your skin, it’s time to do some damage control.

Here’s how you can prevent the blemish from scabbing over.  You have two options:

  1. Acne patch
  2. Sheet Mask

I’m not a dermatologist and you might not want to disobey the rules on most masks (where they tell you specifically not to put on over open wounds), but I like to apply a sheet mask after picking at my acne.  It calms down the inflammation and helps the bump to smooth out.

My favorite sheet masks to use lately are from WHEN!They are super hydrating and calming to inflamed skin. Plus, the sheets are made of a soft cotton that feels super luxurious.  The pack always comes with excess serum that I love to apply all over my body.  Once my sheet mask is dried, I remove it from my face, treat the blemishes with benzoyl peroxide, and hydrate my face with a calming moisturizer.  Then I apply an acne patch over the popped blemishes and go to sleep.

In the morning, my skin feels softer, smoother, and looks more radiant.  Plus, the blemish has significantly decreased in size and looks less inflamed because the patch extracted all the gunk.  There’s something really gross and satisfying about pulling the acne patches off your face in the morning.  Or is that just me?

Share any tricks you have for treating a breakout down below!

*Disclaimer: I received the WHEN masks free for reviewing purposes.

All opinions expressed are my own.**

5-minute makeup routine

The 5-minute Makeup Routine + Makeup DON’Ts to Avoid

I used to believe that the five-minute makeup routine was impossible. Like how am I supposed to conceal, contour, and smoke out my eyes in five minutes?  Well, the answer is simple you can’t.

For an everyday (or I’m-super-late day AKA I pushed the snooze button too many times day) the 5-minute face is a life-saver.  It evens out your skin tone, brightens up the face, and polishes your look in just five minutes.  You might have rolled out of bed today but no one would know the difference.

The Essentials for a 5-minute Makeup Routine

Foundation, no concealer (gasp!) I know.  Let me explain…a medium coverage foundation will even out skin tone, hide redness, while still letting your skin peak through.  So, your skin looks like skin and not a mask.  When you conceal without taking the time to blend it out properly, you’re quickly left with cake-face or mask-face.  Both of which are scary especially if they’re pale.  I’m currently having scary clips of IT popping up on my YouTube feed and I’m still recovering…

The next essential is Brows.  They may be a pain in the neck to do, but they frame the face and polish up the makeup look.  Don’t worry they don’t have to look completely even.  Brows are supposed to be related not identical.  (And I’m pretty sure on most days, my brows are like distant cousins rather than sisters LOL.)

Last on the list is lipstick.  You can go with a MLBB or bright color.  Either way the lipstick brightens up your complexion and makes you look more awake. When you apply foundation sometimes you can look washed out especially when your lips are bare, so give some life to your face with a great lipstick!

Honestly, I’ve gotten the “are you okay?” comment way too many times in my lifetime.  My reply is always the same, “I’m fine. I just don’t have makeup on.”  Let’s avoid that encounter all-together shall we?

The 5-minute Makeup Routine

For these quick-makeup days, I love cushion foundations.  I look for medium coverage cushion foundations, so they even out my skin tone and conceal the redness from whatever breakout I’m currently experiencing.  Then I fill in my brows and apply lipstick.  VIOLA! We’re done.  We look alive, well, and still have time for our morning coffee.

What are you morning makeup essentials? Comment down below!