Beauty Products you should NOT waste your money on.

If you're gonna read and take anything from this post, let it be this: your hard earned money is better spent & invested in skincare, an eyeshadow palette & a good foundation.

If you follow my Snapchat & Instagram…or just know me on some level in person, you know I am REALLY into makeup. No, I am not going to start a YouTube channel. Its not my jam. I just want to use my blog to talk to you ladies (and gents, guys wear makeup too) about make up n stuff. In this post, I have listed all my favorite products (tried and true) but more importantly, I have focused on the items that are cheaper & in similar quality as high-end (looking at you literally any mascara.) With that said here is my list:

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I am no longer buying or trying from companies that test on animals. I still have some in my collection but I am no longer buying anything new thats tested on animals. Every brand I recommend to you is cruelty free and/or vegan. L’Oréal, Cover Girl & Maybelline might have good shit, but I refuse to buy and use it and this is MY PERSONAL preference. You do you boo.
  • Do not spend more than $15 on a liquid lipstick. Both NYX Cosmetics and Wet’n’Wild have good ones. But know that these cheaper formulas do take more than one coat to achieve that full opaque look. Colourpop also has incredible lip stuff for fraction of the cost. If you wanna spend more, I personally enjoy formulas from: Kylie Jenner CosmeticsJeffree Star Cosmetics and Bare Minerals (smells like chocolate.) Liquid lipstick is not for everyone. If your lips are on the dryer side, it can make them look worse. People buy this stuff mostly because it stays on ALL day.
  • Do not spend big money on a blush. I was doing my make-up few days ago and I put NARS Orgasm ($30.00) on one cheek, Milani Baked Blush Luminoso ($7.00 at Target) on other, and absolutely LOVED Milani far more. It is a gorgeous peachy blush with little sheen. Could serve you as highlighter AND blush. Luminoso color is GORGEOUS, subtle and you can really build it. Blushes are ONE type of make up where you don't want intense pigment, unless you want a slab of unnatural color on your face. Milani has other baked blush shades too and if they are anything like Luminoso, I might be due for another trip to Target.
  • Do not spend big money on a highlighter. I cannot believe I’m even saying this because my collection is nothing but high end, but over the past month, I've been using ONE and one and only highlighter: Physician’s Formula Butter Highligher in Rose Gold. Its about $11 at Target. It has a near putty texture that just blends onto the skin flawlessly. I am OBSESSED with it.
  • Do not spend big money on a bronzer. Speaking of Physician's Formula brand, they have an incredible Butter bronzer that has achieved a cult level status at this point. It literally smells like vacation, has the right amount of orange & gray in it so you don't look yellow & fake...but also not muddy. Sadly, this is the ONLY cheap bronzer I can personally recommend because 99% of drugstore bronzers have shimmers and I'm a matte bronzer kinda bitch. My blush & highlighter already have enough sheen. Its all about personal preferences. Shimmery bronzers make my face look dirty.
  • Do not spend big money on brushes. (This can go along with the Beauty Blender.) In the past year or so, I have reached for my $2.50 Wet'n'Wild all over brush more than my $50 Marc Jacobs one. Cheaper companies have found a way to make incredible synthetic brushes that feel soft without destroying your wallet. Be mindful of the TJ Maxx and Marshall brands. I have bought a ton from there since they are so damn cheap...and threw away a ton. They are flimsy & itchy. Stick with known brands if you are interested in building a good, long lasting collection. You cannot go wrong with Real Techniques, Morphe & Wet'n'Wild. Also, BH Cosmetics....fucking hell. Amazing quality, super low prices. I have a couple of sets and they are still serving me few years later. BH Cosmetics also has TON of great eyeshadows, blushes, contour kits, lipsticks for very cheap.
  • Do not spend big money on liquid highlighters. They are so damn expensive for what they actually are: impractical. This is not the type of product you use every day. I shelled out $42.00 for custom highlighter drops from Cover FX and used it a handful of times. Should have kept my receipt and returned it because its a useless product and I could get some good skin care for that $. Its a good product, but its shimmery intensity calls for special occasions and its not wearable for every day. In meanwhile, I've been playing with the brand new Physicians Formula Spotlight Illuminating primer and its subtler, more every day kinda product and gives skin a nice glow. If you are super oily, stay away from liquid highlighters. Unless you like that oil slick look on your face. Liquid highlighters are a tricky item which is why no more than $15.00 should be spent on it.

Basically, Physician's Formula has been KILLING the game lately with their excellent, affordable products. I'm still in testing stages of their new Healthy Foundation. So far I am loving it, it looks gorgeous on skin (but doesn't last as long) so I don't wanna recommend it too soon. I need a good solid month or two of testing.

Other cruelty free and/or vegan brands that I heartily recommend: Pacifica & Pixi Beauty. They are more mid-range priced but the quality is top-notch. Pacifica is for that really natural, subtle look.

Obviously take everything on here with a grain of salt. Your $ - your business. I feel like I have enough experience & wear test to help you save money because there are items out there you SHOULD be shelling out your coin for. $30 NARS blush is not worth it. Putting that extra $30 towards good skincare is a WAY better investment.

I hope this list is helpful. I didn't recommend anything I haven't bought, tried and used. And not just for a day or week...we are talking at least a year span. I have wasted enough $ on shit that I barely use or was not up to par and was TOO LAZY to return. Not anymore. I've become more conscious of how much I'm spending and what I'm buying. If a $50 foundation is not a flawless bitch putting my kids through college....shit is going back. Do not be afraid to return stuff and don't waste your money on products I listed above. I promise you, its not worth it.

My method to clean & disinfect makeup sponges

I am a HUGE proponent of using sponges to apply...basically everything on my face: liquid foundation, loose powder, putty highlighter, primers, and all other creams (blush, contour etc.) I love this system because brush bristles tend to scratch my face and my skin is so damn sensitive, a butterfly can fart in my direction and I will break out or have inflammation. Acne and enlarged pores have always been an issue and I also have combo-dry skin that's usually very dehydrated. With all that said,  damp makeup sponge for me is a way to go. I can press the product in, bounce it against my face, add bit of hydrating from its dampness and sheer out some of the product for more natural look.

Big downfall is the cleanliness. Sponges attract A LOT of bacteria. These sponges get dirty like a mofo even after one use. Usually, you can keep on using the sponge for weeks at the time, but with my skin sensitivity, I use a different sponge every day and on Sunday nights, I clean them ALL. Its a routine and a habit I created for myself. You do NOT have to go to this extreme. This works for me. How do you clean these sponges since they soak up so much oil & foundation? Well, I have a bulletproof system for you.

Disclaimer: if you've been using your sponge for a month and not cleaning it, the problem is you and not my system. Clean your brush otherwise you are pressing PURE bacteria against your face.

What you need:

1. Any soap. Liquid or bar. I use bars that are infused with TEA TREE OIL because tea tree is a natural antiseptic. It has a STRONG scent. I buy these soaps at Amazon, Target or TJ Maxx.
2. Cooking Oil. Not a joke I swear. Oil will break down foundation. My preferred choice is Viva Natural Coconut oil but you can use anything you like. I like using coconut oil because I don't wanna waste my delicious olive oil. Its too expensive. This is important step. Oil is what helps soap do its job.
3. Hot water (comfortable enough for you to handle.)


Steps:
1. Run your sponge in hot water until its completely soaked and enlarged.
2. Take coconut oil and rub it all over the sponge, especially on the dirtiest spots, gently squeezing and rubbing it in your palms. Coconut oil will get to work immediately and start breaking down the product. Do this for a minute or two.

3. Rinse the sponge. Hot water will usually get the oil off.
4. Take your bar of soap and rub the saturated sponge against until its nicely coated.

5. Massage the sponge for a minute. Makeup will literally pour out of it.
6. Rinse well.
7. Usually I repeat this soap step but you don't have to.
8. Leave overnight to dry.

The whole thing takes less than 5 minutes. If you do this often, your sponge will last longer (especially if you're using $20 Beauty Blender) and you wont be using a dirty sponge on your face. It seems like a chore but your face is the only one you got. Treat it well.

Before & After

 Tip: if you are not using tea tree oil or any other type of anti-septic, put your sponge in a bowl with water and microwave for a minute. That kills the bacteria as well. 

I hope this was helpful. Feel free to reach out, ask questions, tell me what you do...