Wednesday, July 17, 2013

16 Beauty Products for Beginners!

There are vast amounts of makeup and skincare products, so I wanted to write a post for those that are 'beginners'. If you're reading this and you want to know more about what types of products to start with when you're beginning to get into beauty, then just keep reading!


To me, skincare is the first and most important step in achieving healthy, glowing skin. Everything should be gentle and easy to use, without all of those extra bits and ingredients. Starting off with a gentle cleanser like the Bliss Fabulous Foaming face wash gets all the gritty bits shuffled off of the skin, so you're left with a clean and smooth base. Following up, you should use a light moisturizer similar to the Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer. This one is good because it has SPF in it, which is something that you should be putting on every day.

The Base

When it comes to foundation, I'm willing to splurge. I'm not saying that beginners should only buy high end foundations, but I know that they work much better on my skin than drugstore options. This one for instance, is Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation (my HG base). It's the most easy and light foundation to wear, in my book. It's water based, so it's good for all skin types (I have oily skin) and it doesn't make me look greasy throughout the day. The finish is absolutely gorgeous because it's not too dewy or matte. There probably are some good drugstore foundation options, but to me, I would rather spend the money on a good foundation that I know will work, and then use my leftover money to buy other drugstore makeup. 


When using a light base like Chanel VA, it's best to use thin layers and then go over any problem areas with concealer. I haven't found my 'Holy Grail' concealer yet, but this one from Revlon is pretty good for covering redness and spots (as dark circles shouldn't form under young eyes yet). It has a thicker liquid consistency and it looks nicely blended out.


I haven't tried a good setting spray that I really like, so I usually stick to setting my base with powder. I've done a full review on this Covergirl one here. A powder compact is always helpful for touch ups on the go, especially for us oily skinned girls.

The Eyes

Eyeshadow palettes are always handy because they usually come with multiple colors to create different looks with. This Stila one is my absolute favorite! It comes with an eyeliner, 4 matte shadows, and 6 shimmery ones. I've done a full review here. Mascara is also a must for beginners because it lengthens and volumizes the lashes. I've recently done a review on this Revlon one!

The Cheeks + Lips

To me, lip and cheek products go hand in hand. You wouldn't want to wear a bright bold lip with a dark blush would you? No, you wouldn't. I think every beginner should start off their lip collection with a good lipstick and gloss. They don't have to match, but they're always good to slap on. This MAC one is a gorgeous everyday plum shade that's really light and moisturizing. A review of it can be found here. A good gloss can be found at the drugstore without spending a load of cash! I love this one from Revlon because not only is the product amazing, but the packaging looks really high end! A good blush option can also be found at the drugstore. This Revlon one is my HG blusher (review found here).

The Brushes

I think brushes can ultimately make or break your beauty look. I like to buy eye/blusher/powder brushes from the drugstore, but I really spend money on my foundation brushes. All of these are really good quality despite the different price ranges. For the eyes, you really only need 3 brushes: one for all over shadow, one for blending, and one for liner. For the face, I recommend one for foundation, one for powder, and one for blush!

There you have it: my ultimate guide for beginner's beauty products. What are some of the first makeup/skincare products you bought when you were starting out?

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Liebster Award!

Recently, the lovely Debbie from Shapes and Sizes nominated me for the Liebster award! The award is for up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. It's a wonderful way for bloggers to connect and get to know each other!

The rules for the Liebster award are:
  • To answer all of the questions asked by the tagger
  • Nominate new bloggers for the award
  • Create new questions for the bloggers tagged
Questions Asked:

1. If you could would you live forever? Why or why not?

I definitely wouldn't want to live forever. I think it seems to a lot of people that living forever is better than living your life for the amount of time you were given, but death doesn't scare me. I would much much rather go to Heaven than stay on Earth until the end of time.

2. If you had to erase any item from your regular beauty routine, what would it be?

If I had to erase one item, it would be my flat iron. I'm always straightening and curling my hair with my straightener, but it just takes so much time! Even with my haircut, it still takes around 25-30 mins, which would be time better spent sleeping in!

3. What is one item in your closet that you absolutely couldn't live without?

I wouldn't be able to live without a solid colored camisole. I wear those under all of my tops, since I normally go for a sheer or lace tee or blouse. I don't see the fun in showing off my bra, so I usually wear camis everyday!

4. What do you think is an issue in the fashion/beauty industry that should be talked about more often?

I think beauty image and self esteem should be talked about more. Girls seem to have the hardest time with their self esteem because of what they see in the media. We need to learn to love ourselves as we were created because we were all made in the image of God.

5. What do you love about the way you look?

I love my eyes. They're not too brown, but they're not hazel. They are a really light brown that sparkle in the sunlight!

6. What do you love about your personality?

I love my sense of humor. I really enjoy making people laugh so I'm constantly cracking jokes!

7. What makes your blog different from everyone else's?
There are millions of bloggers nowadays, so it can be very hard to stand out. I think that my lifestyle and some religious posts make me different from other 'beauty or fashion bloggers'. My blog is categorized as just one type of blog, it's just a lifestyle blog.

8. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?
Throughout my whole life, I've wanted to be a fashion designer. I always drew clothes and models (not very good though, might I add!) and I've had a love for fashion since I was a toddler.

9. Do you have any beauty/fashion pet peeves?

A beauty pet peeve I have is when girls fill in their eyebrows and they look really unnatural. I hate the look of pure drawn on brows. I think they need to look as natural and flawless as possible. Two fashion pet peeves I have are when girls wear really short shorts and when they wear leggings with a top that doesn't fully cover their bottoms.

10. What five items do you never forget to bring with you on any vacation in any season?
Five items I always bring are:
*Makeup bag
*Cell phone
*Crossbody purse

11. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
It takes me around an hour or so to get ready. Depending on if I'm doing my hair, the time can increase or decrease.

Some questions I'm asking my nominees are:
  1. What is your current everyday makeup routine?
  2. What are some of your favorite blogs?
  3. What is your favorite hobby?
  4. Tell me a favorite memory of your childhood.
  5. Who is your favorite person in your life?
  6. What is your favorite lipstick?
  7. If you could only wear one makeup product in your life, what would it be?
  8. If you could travel anywhere in the world, what would be your first choice?
  9. What is the most worn item in your closet?
  10. What is your favorite hairstyle?
Bloggers I'm nominating:
There you have it! I would love to thank Debbie for nominating me for this award and I hope that all the girls I've nominated will kindly do a post similar to this one! If you answer all the questions and blog a post of your own, I would love to see it! Tweet me your post @nkakimoto or drop by here and leave a comment with your links!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Stila in the Light Palette Review!

I've raved and raved about this palette a million times before, but I realized that I've never done a proper review on it! The Stila in the Light palette is probably one of, if not my favorite eyeshadow palette I've ever bought. It's filled with 10 different neutral eyeshadows (4 matte, 6 shimmer) with one bright blue that is absolutely gorgeous!

The shadows have short and sweet names, which are really easy to remember. Stila's best selling "Kitten" shadow is in the palette, which is so lovely. The shadow sizes are pretty big and you get a lot of product for the money. Some of my favorites that I use daily are Kitten on the lid, Bliss in the crease, and Sandstone in the outer corner and on the bottom lashline.

Top to bottom: Kitten, Bliss, Sandstone

Overall, I really love this palette. The price isn't too steep at $39 and the fact that you not only get eyeshadows but a full Smudge Stick Waterproof eyeliner in Damsel as well!

Do any of you own any Stila palettes or eyeshadows? What are your thoughts on them?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dupe Alert: Nars vs. Rimmel

I'm so excited to share an amazing dupe with you guys! I know that the term 'dupe' is extremely overused in the beauty industry, but I really feel like this one is an excellent pair! Today I'm sharing the similarities and differences between Nars Sheer Glow and Rimmel Match Perfection. The similarities between the two foundations are uncanny! Let's jump into it!

L-R: Rimmel, Nars
Top to Bottom: Nars, Rimmel
As you can see, the two foundations look exactly alike. When applied, they have the same dewy-satin finish, which makes my skin look incredibly natural! The major difference between the foundations is the price. Match Perfection is $7 while Sheer Glow is a whopping $44! They apply incredibly smooth and leave the most lovely finish. I'm not a huge fan of the textures, because sometimes they can feel a little heavy on the skin, but all in all, I love both of the foundations. The main thing I like about Match Perfection over Sheer Glow is the lasting power. Most times, I can wear Sheer Glow for 5 hours without becoming shiny, while with Match Perfection, it lasts for 7-8 hours.

Have any of you tried these foundations? How did you like them?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New MAC Favorite Lipstick + The Big Cut!

After an incredible review from Estee, I knew I absolutely had to go and buy MAC Plumful! It's probably the most gorgeous berry-plum lipstick I've ever seen and I love how it reminds me a bit of Captive, my mom's favorite MAC lipstick.

I've never quite understood the huge hype about MAC lipsticks, but now that I own one that I really love, I completely understand! The formulation is buttery soft and the lipstick itself is extremely pigmented. My lips feel very moisturized without a bit of dryness at all!

And here's me with the lipstick on...

Oh, I forgot to mention I cut my hair today! I'm still having mixed emotions about it, as it's much shorter than I wanted. I'm trying not to fret though, because I know that my hair will always grow back!

Have any of you had a bad hair cut/decision? Have you tried any of MAC's lipsticks? Which ones are your favorites?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's in my Makeup Bag: Summer Edition!

The last time I did a 'What's in my Makeup Bag' post was in the middle of February, so I wanted to do an updated, Summer edition!

The bag

This gorgeous gem was gifted from my mom and I couldn't be happier with it! If you're hesitant and furious with Tory Burch's outrageous prices (but gorgeous bags!) I would start off with one of their makeup cases, such as this one. It's not crazily priced ($55 USD) and it's so beautiful! I love that it's patent, which makes it easier to clean up any spilled product, and the Tory logo is so lovely!

The face

Yes, I know what you're thinking: Why on earth do you need 2 foundations in your makeup bag? I promise I have a good explanation, I really do! I love my Rimmel Match Perfection foundation for everyday wear and the (oh so expensive) Laura Mercier Silk Creme for those days/nights where I need extra long lasting coverage to perfect my skin! The Match Perfection stays put on my face for around 6-7 hours, which I think is pretty dang good for a drugstore foundation. It sits nicely on the skin even in humid Hawaii weather. Silk Creme is amazing because it can be used as both a foundation and concealer! It comes in a rather small tube though, which can be a little annoying based upon the pretty expensive price ($45 USD). Cons aside, Silk Creme is gorgeous and it lasts forever in these Summer nights. I've talked about the Revlon Colorstay concealer many a time (although I do believe I haven't done a proper review on it! *note taken*) and it works perfectly in the humid Summer weather! I buff all of my foundation and concealer in with my Sephora Mineral Powder brush, which is my all time favorite! During the Summer, setting powder is a must have, so I use my Covergirl Clean pressed powder (review here).

The lip and cheeks

As I've said in recent posts, I've been using my Revlon Matte powder blush like nobody's business. It stays put on my cheeks without budging, even in the heat! Lip balms with SPF are essential in the Summer, so I've been applying EOS Summer Fruit and Wet n Wild Juicy lip balm daily (both of which have a decent amount of sun protection in them). My current lip gloss favorite is the Revlon Super Lustrous lip gloss in Kiss Me Coral for the perfect pop of color!

The eyes

I've talked about all of these products before, (here, here) but let's just go with it! I like to use neutrals on my eyes at all times, so the Elf Baked eyeshadow is perfect for adding shimmer and beautiful color! Using my Sephora eye palette (discontinued), I contour my socket line with a matte brown, and I line my upper and lower lashlines with the darkest brown in the palette for a lovely, everyday smoky eye! Finishing up, I add my Revlon Lash Potion mascara to my lashes for gorgeous, fluttery lashes!

The extras

I mentioned this Kate Spade rollerball in this post and I've used it everyday since! The smell is so fresh and floral, which makes it perfect for Summer! I also wrote about the lovely Caudalie Beauty Elixir yesterday here (giving it amazing reviews, might I add). Now for the most random of all, I have a Blues Band harmonica just for the heck of it! I love my harmonica and I carry it with me everywhere, so I might as well keep it in my makeup bag (which I never leave home without)!

That was a longer post than I expected! I hope you enjoyed it and I would love to hear what you all have in your makeup bag for the Summer!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Old Favorites Renewed!

Going through makeup and other beauty products as a blogger makes it easy for me to toss things on the side as soon as I buy something new. I've recently rediscovered some products that I used to love so let's hop into it all!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 

This little gem was something I picked up in Sephora after I read raving reviews (alliteration not intended) on different beauty blogs. I've used up a total of 4 of these 1 oz. bottles within a year and a half. That is a lot. I use this as a toner and as just a mist to refresh my skin from the steaming Hawaii heat. It's incredibly rejuvenating and it feels cool on the skin. It's one of my favorite skincare products hands down!

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation

With only a few drops left in the bottle (*sniff sniff*) I'm trying to use this as sparingly as possible until I can scrounge up the $50 for a new one! This is, no doubt, my favorite foundation ever. It's incredibly lightweight and feels like I'm not wearing any foundation. It also gives light-medium coverage with a natural, satin finish. I'm so in love with this foundation and I really need to get a new bottle! (Starts peeking under sister's bed, between the couch seats, cracks piggy bank open looking for money.)

Maybelline the Rocket mascara

I'm not too crazy about Maybelline mascaras but I can't resist wiggling this one onto my lashes. It adds enormous volume and doesn't add many clumps! Although I love my Covergirl Clump Crusher, this one is making its way up the ranks!

Chanel Poudre Universelle Libre

I'm sorry to say that this exact shade was from the limited edition 'Eclat du Soir' 2012 Christmas collection. It's in the shade 'Reverie' which has gorgeous shimmer in it, perfect as a highlight or all over for a more glamorous look. I was dying to have this in my collection before Christmas (thank you to my sister Megan!) and I have been making good use out of it recently.

Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick

After many amazing reviews from Fleur, I had to go and pick up this S&G Gloss Stick in the shade "Plum Jam". Let me just say how amazing this smells. If you could imagine a vanilla cupcake surrounded by sugar cookies, then you could be smelling this! It adds to most gorgeous color to the lips and the sheen is phenomenal!

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense

As many of you might know, red lipsticks/lip products are my beauty weakness. I could buy every red lipstick in the world even if they all looked the same! These Clinique Chubby Sticks have to be my all time favorites, though. I love the moisturizing layer it adds to my lips and the color applies so smoothly! It doesn't fade quickly, and it doesn't transfer to the edges around my mouth. For only $16, it's a major bargain!

What are some of your rediscovered beauty products?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Covergirl Clean Oil Control Powder Review!

I'm always on the hunt for a good pressed powder because I usually use up one per 2-3 months! While MAC's Studio Fix is on my list, I can't seem to hand over $30 that easily on something that I'll go through quickly. Because of that fact, I'm trying to stick to drugstore powders and see if there are any that I really like! I know that many a beauty blogger have raved about the (now cult favorite) Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder but to be honest, I really didn't like it. Is it bad that I've gone through 4 of the Stay Matte without liking it? Anywho, I'm just going to get into the review of the new Covergirl Oil-Control powder I've been using!

On the powder packaging, it claims:
  • To have shine control
  • Be 100% fragrance and oil free
  • Won't clog pores
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologically tested
It also states that 'For a clean, fresh, natural look. Effective oil-absorbers help skin look fresh and shine free. Wear alone or over COVERGIRL Clean oil control foundation to keep you looking fresh.'

Well that certainly makes the powder sound like a miracle worker to unfortunate oily-skinned souls like me! Let's start off with the pro's:
  • I really love the packaging! It's incredibly compact and I appreciate the fact that it has a mirror.
  • The powder is soft and easy to blend.
  • It feels weightless on the skin.
Now for the cons:
  • It isn't as good as it sounds. Although it just might be on my oily skin, it doesn't last as long as I hoped it would. Around the 3-4 hour mark, I can already feel the oil creeping up on my nose and chin. By the 6-7 hour mark, I am oily on my T-zone.
  • I bought the wrong shade!! 
Overall, I like this powder, but I'm not sure about repurchasing it. I like the feeling of it on my skin, but it's not the best at oil-control (which it should be, since it's an oil-control powder).

Have any of you tried this powder or the Covergirl Clean line? What were your thoughts on it?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

'No Makeup' Makeup!

Confession time: leaving the house without makeup on honestly terrifies me. We all have our flaws, but mine have always tormented me. I think that's the reason why I've always been interested in makeup and fashion. The thought of enhancing the natural beauty of a woman and making her feel immensely more confident with the stroke of a brush or the dusting of a powder makes me beam!

Please pardon the damp hair, I just got out of the shower when I thought of this post! I like seeing how other girls do their makeup to make it seem like they aren't wearing any. You will obviously be able to tell that I'm wearing makeup, but I wanted to do a more natural look without the smoky eye and bold red lip. Let me know what you guys think!

My philosophy on 'no makeup' makeup is that the base is the most important part. I think most women are most frightened by their naked skin. I started by using my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation in B30 and buffed it in with my Sephora Mineral Powder brush to create a skin-like, natural appearance. I set my foundation with my Covergirl Pressed Powder and moved on to my eyes. For the eyes, I applied Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadow in Bikini-Tini all over my lids and then applied Revlon Lash Potion mascara in Blackest Black on my top and lower lashes. For a subtle wash of color, I swept the Revlon Matte Powder blush in Blushing Berry on my cheeks. Last but not least, I moisturized my lips with my EOS lip balm in Summer Fruit and then applied my new Wet n Wild Juicy lip balm in Cherry for a pop of red.

What does your 'no makeup' makeup routine look like? What products do you use?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Revlon Lash Potion Mascara Review!

Let me first start off by saying that this is probably one of the prettiest packaging for a makeup product I've ever seen! It's so girly and attracted me as soon as I saw it. The $5.49 price tag helps too, though!

I'm not a huge fan of buying loads of mascaras. I don't feel that I need to be alternating between $40-50 dollar ones, when they'll expire within 3 months. When I saw this one though, I couldn't resist adding it to my collection! Isn't it gorgeous?

After I read some pretty bad reviews on it, I wasn't expecting the mascara to work as well as it did. Boy, was I wrong! It adds incredible length and volume without the clumps! I never thought I would say this, but this might be a strong competition between the Lash Potion and my Covergirl Clump Crusher for HG mascara!

The magic is all in this (absolutely huge) bristle brush! It loads up the product without any clumping or spider-y lashes!

Here's a before shot:

And after...

There you have it, possibly one of the best mascaras I've ever used! Have any of you used it before? Did you like/dislike it? Why?
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