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I love e.l.f. makeup. While some of the products are hit or miss, there are some really great gems in all of the lines! Some of the products are still in the package because it came in two orders

Mineral Foundation (Light): I currently use BareMinerals, so when I saw this I wanted to give it a try. I’ll review it and do a thorough comparison to BareMinerals later.

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Mineral Eyeshadow Primer (Blush): I wanted an inexpensive primer because I use a one even when I don’t wear eyeshadow (I have oily lids and don’t want my mascara to smudge). This color is not how it is pictured on the website but I still like it.

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Studio Hydrating Under Eye Primer: This product looked very intriguing. The photo reminded me of my Benefit “That Gal” primer so I had to throw it in my cart. So far, the two seem relatively similar. I’ll do a review.

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Studio Moisturizing Lipstick (Coral Cutie): I’m loving the orange lip trend and wanted to give it a try without spending too much. The formula was creamier than I expected, a pleasant surprise. I’ll try and do a summer look with this bold color soon!

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Studio Concealer (Ivory): This color is too orange but I’ll play around and see if I can make it work.

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Studio Makeup Lock & Seal: I’ve started experimenting more with wearing my loose shadows wet as liner and I thought this would be a great product. Plus with summer coming up, a little extra staying power never hurt. So far, I really like how it works and think it definitely increases the staying power of my eye makeup.

Comes with a brush and small mixing pot

Comes with a brush and small mixing pot

Studio Tone Correcting Powder in Cool: The product is, eh. It is not the best quality powder and is pretty chalky. It’s a decent setting powder but I don’t see it “correcting.”

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When swirled together, the color is just an off white

Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Cream (St. Lucia): I am very impressed with this cream blush and bronzer! I like it a lot and definitely gives me a bronze glow without looking too dark.

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First (accidental) Bolt Blogs giveaway went to one of my roommates! My order came with two of this product, so congratulations and enjoy your perfectly sculpted cheek bones 😉

Studio Lip Definer & Shaper (natural/nude): I have mixed feelings about this. I like the rosy colored shade but it is not the creamiest of formulas. The defining side is much too shimmery, but I did use it under my brow bone and liked it.

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Bonus: One end has a built in sharpener in the cap! in Back to Basics and Pearls of Wisdom

Essential Smudge Pot in Back to Basics and Pearls of Wisdom: I originally just bought Back to Basics and was so impressed I ordered Pearls of Wisdom. The pigmentation in the white is not what the bronze is. I would pass on the Pearls of Wisdom. But the Back to Basics has great staying power and is blendable.

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Essential Eyelash Curler: I wanted an eyelash curler for my makeup bag like the concealer so for $1 this was perfect! Bonus: It came with an extra rubber pad.

Tell me, what are some of your favorite e.l.f products? Want me to review anything further in depth? Let me know!

My wish list is always a little ambitious, but a girl can dream, right? Here are some things I have my eye on for the Spring!

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1. Too Faced A La Mode EyesThis eye shadow palette is a part of the Too Faced summer line and I am in LOVE with these colors. They look absolutely gorgeous and overall seems to have good reviews so far. Plus, I love the Parisian, nautical theme!

2. Too Faced MeltedThese “liquified long wear lipsticks” look amazing and super vibrant! I have my eye set on Peony and Coral.

Right now, Too Faced is having a giveaway where you can win the Melted collection AND a matching bathing suit for each color from L*Space! Like Too Faced on Facebook and use this link to enter! http://bit.ly/1tv4ZHE

3. Dior Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Awakening BlushThis blush has been on my radar for awhile now. I think the glow it gives would be perfect for Spring.

4. First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face CreamI running low on my current face cream and think this might be next up to try. It has SPF 30 (great for summer) and looks like a nice all around face cream.

5. Sephora Collection – Classic Mineral Powder Brush #45: I’m in the market for a new mineral foundation brush and I think this one might be the ticket. Sephora brushes have really impressive reviews so I think I’m going to give this one a try.

What’s on your wish list? Have you tried any of these products? Let me know! 🙂

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I’m hoping to cross a few things off my bucket list this summer. Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Graduate High School
  2. Graduate College
  3. Dance like in an old black and white film
  4. Take a hot air balloon ride
  5. Go to a ball. Better yet, a masquerade
  6. Make sushi
  7. Skydive
  8. Swim in a waterfall
  9. Read as many books as possible (a hard one to quantify)
  10. Be in a college marching band
  11. Order a coffee in France in French
  12. Ditch school
  13. Make a mistake. Then, move on
  14. Color my hair
  15. Try something you’ve wanted to do but never have
  16. Star gaze. Then watch the sunrise. Preferably with wonderful people
  17. Run a half marathon (I’m a realist…a full one is a stretch)
  18. Have the kind of night you should regret but don’t
  19. Go camping
  20. Cook a dinner appetizer to dessert
  21. Learn guitar or piano (or just be able to play one song)
  22. Have a Guinness in Ireland
  23. Get a tattoo
  24. Fall in love
  25. Take a multi-state road trip with friends
  26. Win a contest
  27. Attend an awards show
  28. Work at a coffee shop
  29. Go to a Cubs game
  30. Go to the top of The Sears Tower (I refuse to call it the Willis Tower)
  31. Get lost in a museum, preferably the Louvre
  32. Fly first class
  33. Explore Italy
  34. Have a NYE kiss
  35. Attend the taping of a talk show (Ellen or Late Night = top picks)
  36. Shop with a personal shopper
  37. Go on a sailboat

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I have been a loyal Benebabe since my first benefit purchase. I was in my early teens when I developed an interest in experimenting with makeup. I used a tinted moisturizer but wanted a little something extra to help perfect my skin. In Ulta my search quickly became overwhelming due to my lack of knowledge about the rows of numerous face products. My mom, who is not a huge makeup person, didn’t know where to guide me exactly either. We walked down the block to the new Benefit store, and I fell in love.

The woman at the counter was helpful, sat me down, and went over all of my options with me. I settled on the Some Kind-a Gorgeous Foundation Faker (great compact – cream to powder) and was instantly sold on the company as a whole. I loved the packaging, the atmosphere, the customer service, and most importantly, the products.

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I wanted to put a list together of my Top 5, but really struggled. So here are my Top 7, with an honorable mention to my Fluff Shadow Brush. Unfortunately, it no longer seems to be sold. I apologize for including something you can’t buy, but I use it on a daily basis so I couldn’t go without mentioning it.

High Beam ($26): Liquid highlight

Liquid luminousness. That’s what this product is. When I’m in a hurry, I mix together 2 parts tinted moisturizer and 1 part That Gal with a few drops of High Beam and my face has a healthy glow. When I have time for a full face, I use it to more strategically highlight my face i.e. cheekbones, brow bone, cupid’s bow (I wouldn’t recommend using it down the center of your nose). It’s my favorite liquid highlighter.

 That Gal ($29): Brightening face primer

I swear by this brightening face primer. In my opinion, it’s the best. I think it is slightly hydrating so it’s perfect for the winter but by no means greasy in the summer. I mix it in with my tinted moisturizer when I am pressed for time and I think it adds that extra “oomph” my face needs. If I have ever applied too much concealer, I use this to blend it out and it looks less cakey. It might seem counterintuitive to add a product to an area where you want less, but trust me, it works.

They’re Real ($23): Falsies without the falsies mascara

I hated this mascara at first. I thought it was just terrible. A year later, I got a sample size in a gift set (I received as a gift) and gave it a second try. I fell in love. I don’t know what was different this time around, but something changed. It makes my stick straight lashes hold a curl with separation and volume.

Erase Paste ($26): Brightening concealer

I have terrible purple discoloration under my eyes. I also have dry under eyes. This is my ticket. I still have to use an eye cream with this product, or at least make sure I have That Gal on underneath. This concealer really does brighten with its peachy undertones. Note: you do have to set this concealer, use a light powder and light hand because it is a thicker concealer and you don’t want too many products layered under your eyes.

POREfessional ($31): Pore blurring primer

I love this primer. It makes my skin silky smooth and leaves a lovely canvas for your foundation whether it is liquid or powder. I only have a sample size at the moment but I will be purchasing the full size when I run out.  I concentrate on having it in my T-zone and then just blend out from there.

Hervana ($28): Pinky boxed blush

It is shameful how much stress this decision gave me: which blush do I include? I do own/have owned: Coralista, Bella Bamba, Hervana, Dandelion, and Rockateur. I love them all so much. The only reason I grabbed for this was because the color of the year is “Radiant Orchid” and this blush fits in so well with that. I use Coralista and Dandelion year round. They are great no matter what. I used Rockateur from the time it came out up until pretty recently when I started back up with Coralista and Hervana. I like wearing Bella Bamba best when I have a little more color in my face during the summer. I love them all and you won’t be disappointed with any of them!

*Bonus points: they are all slightly scented and have a matching lip-gloss!

Gimme Brow ($22): Brow-volumizing gel

I like big brows and I cannot lie. This brow gel gives me just that. The light/medium matches my brow color exactly but I went with the medium/deep because I wanted something slightly darker to give me bolder brows. I also bought this when I was wearing darker lips for the fall and winter, so I wanted my brows to help balance everything out. It is not too dark with a nude lip, though. It tames, appears to thicken, and adds a nice tint.

*Tin is from the 2013 Holiday Collection set

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Are you a Benebabe? Which products are your favorites?

Remember when you were so excited that you were finally going to be 10? In the weeks leading up to my birthday, my sister called me a double-digit-midget. I didn’t mind the nickname because it still implied that I would finally have a decade of life under my belt. I wasn’t going to complain about earning that title. Turning 10 was hardly revolutionary but then again, everything seems more exciting when you have a youthful lens on life. It was three long years from here until another milestone came (unless it was your golden birthday in-between) and the promise of becoming a teenager brought new hopes and dreams. Then permits, drivers licenses, and lastly, being an adult! Don’t wish it by! They whispered, but no one ever really listens.

Currently, my roommates and I are dealing with real people adulthood life issues. What do you do when your apartment floods? Subsequently, what do you do when it seems (in my opinion) no one is willing to help you? I was fortunate to grow up with many privileges that I know some are not as fortunate to have. When I would go shopping at a store with my friends, I was upset when I was not treated with the same level of service as my adult counter parts. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand why my dollar was valued less than a dollar in the hands of a 40 year old. I feel this same sense of frustration now. Despite my signature being on the lease of my apartment, along with my four friends, I feel as though I am not being treated with respect and basic common courtesy. I’ve been told, “It’s the reality of the situation” and “That’s just the way things are.” I’m struggling to understand why things have to be that way though.

So before this gets into full on rant territory, let me leave you with a few things I have learned:

1. Enjoy the now. If you still live at home, thank your parents/guardians/the wolves that raised you

2. Do your research. Especially when apartment hunting, make sure you read up on your landlord, the building, issues people have had in the past. Ask around. Make sure you do a walk through of the unit you will specifically be signing for. Ask if there has been, say for example, water damage in the past. Be thorough.

3. Be polite, even when others are not. This is coming from someone with a short temper so I understand how hard this one can be. Do your best to be as polite and sincere as possible, without the sarcasm, no matter how snarky you may feel.

4. Go with your gut. Stick up for what you believe is right and find friends to help you along the way.

I couldn't have said it any better myself, Jack

I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Jack

TGIF friends, I’ll keep you posted.