Facial Radiance Illuminating Moisturizer by First Aid Beauty Review

So y’all know that I have been searching high and low for an all over face illuminator. See my reviews here and  here . I’ve been wanting my skin to GLOWWWWWW! My goal has been to find a product with a golden glow versus a pearl or champagne glow. Whether or not it also has a moisturizing effect is an added bonus. Have I found a winner???

I went into Sephora and asked one of the team members for any recommendations. If you are a woman of color, you know that it’s hard to ask a white person for recommendations because a lot of times they do not take into consideration the difference in skin tones. Therefore, they will recommend products that will complement their complexions, which is completely understandable. I knew that before I asked the girl to help me, but I still asked anyway. She led me to every single product with a pearl tint. LOL! I just laughed to myself and she actually ended up directing me to a black lady who she felt would provide better assistance. I was so grateful because she hooked me up!

She introduced me to this amazing illuminator by First Aid Beauty called Facial Radiance Illuminating Moisturizer (retail price: $34)! I swatched it on the back of my hand and my face should have turned into the heart eye emoji because that’s literally how I felt. I was immediately in love! All I could see was the perfect golden glow on my hand and I couldn’t WAIT to apply it to my face!

Scroll down to read the rest of the review…


The next time I did a full face, I tried it out! If you look at the pictures below, you see that there is a brush applicator attached to the tube to make for easy application. I actually do not use the brush to apply it to my face. I place a couple of dots on my forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin and then rub it in with my hands and then blend it with a wet Beauty Blender. Pictures really don’t catch the glow, but, the glow is THERE! It is stunning! My skin was radiant and (even though my skin is generally blemish free) it smoothed out the appearance of my skin.

It’s a lightweight moisturizer, which really isn’t enough for my dry skin. That’s not a big deal to me. I just apply Aquaphor before applying this. After I applied this, I continued with my makeup routine by applying bb cream all over my face and the rest of my makeup.

I think I can end my search for an illuminator because I do believe I’ve found a winner! I definitely rate this product a 5 on a 1 to 5 scale!

What’s your favorite illuminator? Let me know in the comments!

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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box | November 2016

Alright, so it’s time to PLAYYYY…Sephora style! I look forward to receiving this box every month! Each month, the box is filled with 5 handpicked samples (plus a fragrance) for $10! I can do without the fragrances because I don’t wear perfume. You also get a cute bag every single month. Also with this subscription, if you are a member of the Sephora Rewards Program, you will be able to use the card received in each box for 50 bonus rewards points on your next in store purchase. You also get free one-on-one tutorials on how to use the products in your box. In the few months that I’ve had this box, I haven’t used the tutorials. I should probably make some time to try one out.

Anyway, this month’s theme was “Best in Glow.” When I received the email announcing the theme, I was super excited because I have been on a mad hunt trying to find products that give my skin the “glow from within” look. So, did any of the products achieve this? Let’s see below!

Are you a glow getter??? 

Cover FX Illuminating Primer, $38.00

This primer preps skin for makeup application. It has a light reflecting mineral complex and it helps eliminate dullness. You apply this product onto clean, moisturized skin since this is not a moisturizer. If you view the video at the bottom of this post, you will see that it has a nice glowing effect. Looking at it on my forearm, I’m thinking that it will be too light light for my complexion since it has a pearly tint. I need products with a golden tint.  I will try it on my face one day. A little goes a long way, so you will not need a lot of product for a full face.

Also, according to the product details, Cover FX’s complexion perfecting formulas are a go to for sensitive skin because they are irritant and paraben-free.

Sephora Collection Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Pin Up Ink, $12.00

I used to wear glosses all the time before lipstick became my go to. I am trying to get back into wearing glosses just to change up my look. This gloss is not sticky and is very hydrating. It has a hot pink hue, so I am not sure if I will ever really wear this color. I am not really a pink lip kind of girl. If glosses are your thing, I would recommend this one! It comes in 38 other colors, so you will definitely find one that you love!

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Rose Gold, $29.00

I like eyeshadow sticks because they are multipurpose. You can use them as a shadow, liner, or even a highlighter depending on the shade. Since this one is a rose gold, you can use it for all purposes. The shadow is very pigmented. It glides on so smoothly and blends easily. It is also buildable, which will allow you to apply multiple layers to give you an opaque glimmer. This shadow stick comes in 10 other shades.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, $39.00

Who doesn’t love a good moisturizer!?! I know I do because I HATE having dry skin! This moisturizer leaves me skin feeling hydrated and soft! This product leaves your skin looking healthy and luminous.

GLAMGLOW THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment, $69.00

I was not able to try this product out because it is not for sensitive skin. It is good for normal, oily, combination, or dry skin. According to the product details, it is a non-drying hydrating mask that leaves your skin instantly moisturized. “It moisturizes, restores, replenishes, and calms the skin. Dewdration™ boosts and locks in moisture for a dewy and youthful result while HydraPack™ leaves skin with an instant silky, soft, and supple feel. GreenEnergy™ smooths and energizes the skin, giving you a healthy-looking, glowing complexion.” Also, from looking at the reviews, it is worth the $69 price tag because about 65% of the 1,241 reviews give it 5 stars!

Have you tried any of these products? If so, what were your thoughts?

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Laura Mercier Foundation Primer • Radiance | Review + Swatches

I have been searching high and low for a product that will give me that lit from within glow. I have used the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Pure Gold and it pretty much gives me the look I’m going for. However, I have not been 100% satisfied, so I’ve been trying to find another option.

Last week Sephora had the 20% off sale for VIB and VIB rouge members. I figured that would be the perfect time to stock up on some products and try out some new ones. I went into Sephora and asked for some recommendations. It didn’t matter to me whether the product had moisturizing properties or if it was just to be applied on top of a moisturizer. I just needed a glow. The lady recommended the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance, among others. I thought I would start with the Laura Mercier one. It sells for $36.

The product is a lightweight, creamy gel. It isn’t a moisturizer, so you should apply over your moisturizer, but under your foundation. Once the product set, my skin still felt dry. However, it did reduce the appearance of imperfections. The illuminating effect has a pearl tint, which on my skin tone made me look ashy. The tint is more suitable for fairer skin tones.

Overall, this product did not work for me since it felt dry and the pearl tint made my skin look drier. But, this product is still a good product and if you have fair skin and are looking for a product that gives you a light glow, this is the one for you!

Do you have any face illuminators that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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Play! by Sephora | October 2016

The coveted Play! by Sephora box has arrived! I was so excited for this subscription to finally be made available in my area. When this subscription first started, it was only available in select locations. It is finally available in the 48 contiguous United States. You can click here to subscribe.

Anyway, I have been getting the Play! by Sephora box for a few months now and I really like it! Sephora is my favorite makeup store, so it only makes sense that I would be subscribed to their beauty box.I like this box because I know that more than likely they will have new products (all sold at Sephora) that I have been wanting to try and they’ll have products that I have never even heard of.

Each month, the box is filled with 5 handpicked samples (plus a fragrance) for $10. I can do without the fragrances because I don’t wear perfume. But, maybe after all of these samples I receive, I’ll start trying some out to see if I can find a scent I like. You also get a cute bag every single month. I use them as makeup bags until they get dirty then I’ll just throw it away and get a new one. Lol! Also with this subscription, if you are a member of the Sephora Rewards Program, you will be able to use the card received in each box for 50 bonus rewards points on your next in store purchase. You also get free one-on-one tutorials on how to use the products in your box. In the few months that I’ve had this box, I haven’t used the tutorials. I should probably make some time to try one out.

Alright, so let’s see what I received in my box!

How cute is the bag?

Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat, $24.00

Peach tones are the color trend this season, so I wasn’t surprised to see this shade of lipstick in my box this month. I actually like the color, even though I believe I already own a very close shade.  Neither are extremely drying. Since this shade is lighter on me, I will use a darker liner to make it more wearable.

The Estee Edit By Estee Lauder Flash Photo Gloss, $20.00According to this product’s description, it is supposed to brighten your teeth and it can be worn alone or on top of your lipstick. I didn’t really notice a difference in my teeth. However, the gloss was moisturizing and was not sticky at all. For the price, I will not be purchasing. I’ll stick the the clear Beauty Rush glosses from Victoria’s Secret that are 2 for $12 before paying $20 for one.

Farmacy Skin Dew Hydrating Essence Mist & Setting Spray, $44.00

I read several reviews about this product on Sephora’s website where people were complaining about the spray nozzle on the bottle. The complaint was that instead of spraying out as a mist, it came out as a stream. That was true for the first couple of squirts. However, when I tried to spray it the third or fourth time, it came out as a mist. A lot of product comes out, so you definitely need to be at least 10-12 inches away from your face to keep from drenching your face and having to redo your makeup. I like how fresh the spray smells. I do feel like it made my skin feel a little sticky. I think I’ll continue using my e.l.f. Illuminating Mist & Set spray.

Erborian Bamboo Creme Frappe Skin Reviving Fresh Gel, $43.00

I really liked the way this gel smelled. It was very refreshing. What I didn’t like is how tight it made my skin feel. It’s not a product that I’ll be using in the future.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil, $71.00

As I’ve stated in previous posts, I am very particular about what I put on my hair and since this is a hair mask, I will not try it out. But, for those that are interested in this product, it is supposed to strengthen strands while enhancing color and shine. You should apply it after shampooing, let it soak for a couple of minutes, then lather and rinse. The prickly pear seed oil is deeply nurturing for the hair and skin.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris, $92.00

I’m not a big perfume person, but I love the floral and fruity scent of this product. I may actually wear it one day when I want to feel sexy!

Have you tried any of these products? What were your thoughts? 

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The Original Makeup Eraser Review

Do you get tired of purchasing makeup removers? Do you feel like no sooner than you purchase a makeup remover it is time to repurchase because you have already run out? Well, that’s how I’ve been feeling! Enter The Original Makeup Eraser by Makeup Eraser. I purchased it from Sephora for $20.

It is a reusable cloth that removes your makeup with only warm water. The cloth is so soft and it is free of chemicals! It removes all kinds of makeup, including stubborn waterproof makeup. The texture of the cloth does not irritate your skin like a normal washcloth or towel would. However, you still should not rub too hard. All you have to do, is wash the cloth before your first use, which can be done in the washing machine. Then when it is time to remove your makeup, drench the cloth in warm water, rub your face to remove the makeup with the side of the cloth without the tag. Once you are finished, removing your makeup, flip the cloth over to the side with the tag to exfoliate your skin. Then, of course, moisturize and you are good to go! Your skin will feel refreshed! 

Photo courtesy of Sephora

This cloth lasts up to 1000 washes, so you will definitely get your $20 worth. It measures 7 inches wide by 16 inches long and comes in 3 different colors (pink, red, and black). The red is limited edition, so get it while you can! I purchased mine in black because, just in case my makeup leaves stains, I do not want to see it. Even though, most of the reviews say the makeup washes right out. I didn’t want to take any chances!

What do you think about this makeup eraser? Will you try it?

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Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask Review

Last summer, I had read about this Bite Beauty lip mask on another blog. I wrote it down on a list of products I wanted to try. I have finally purchased it from Sephora and am kicking myself for waiting so long! I am in LOVE! I am always excited about trying new lip moisturizers, but I couldn’t see myself paying $26 for one. But, I have dropped the $26 and do not regret it!

I purchased the lip mask in “natural.” It contains a “bio-active blend of organic agave nectar, jojoba oil, vanilla CO2 extract, and triple amount of antioxidant trans-reserveratrol found in red wine.” In other words, this product is amazing! The natural oils help make this product moisturize your lips for hours on end! The consistency is much thicker than a petroleum based product, as this product does not contain petroleum or gluten. It’s thick without being sticky, a plus in my book because I hate sticky lip products! I will definitely continue to use this before bed and under my lipsticks that have a very matte formula. I expect this product to last me quite a few months since a little goes a lonnngggg way!

It may be a little difficult to get the product out of the tube due to it’s waxy consistency. However, if this happens, just hold the tube in your hand to warm it up some. This will melt the product which will help make it come out of the tube a little easier.

Have you tried this lip mask? Let me know what you thought about it in the comments!

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Nails of the Week | Ciaté London Pool Party and Comic Strip

After receiving my order from Sephora which included these nail polishes, I couldn’t wait to try them out! Pool Party is the perfect royal blue creme nail polish! It is a true blue and I LOVE it! What I was picturing this color to look like when I purchased it is exactly what it was when I received it! The only thing I did not like about this polish was the brush. The brush was round which made application kind of uneven. Also, the polish is not very opaque. It took three coats to get the opacity pictured below.

I used Comic Strip on my accent nails. It is a matte glitter. I had to apply about three layers to get the amount of glitter pictured because as I would brush the polish on, it would move the glitter around. But, even with the few mishaps I faced with these nail polishes, I absolutely LOVED the outcome and I think these two colors together are quite awesome!

What are your thoughts on this polish? Have you ever tried Ciate London polishes? Let me know in the comments. 

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Ciate London & Formula X Nail Polish and Kat Von D Lipstick Review + Swatches | Mini Sephora Haul

Recently, I was going through my nail polishes and realized that I didn’t have many new polishes. That means I had to re-up! Straight to Sephora’s website I went! I decided to purchase three mini polishes from Ciate London. I purchased a couple of polishes from this brand last summer. I don’t remember the quality of them, but the colors are so pretty that I couldn’t resist adding more to my collection! They are $8 each on Sephora’s website and when you purchase 3, you get $6 off! That’s a pretty good deal! In the picture below, from left to right, the three colors I purchased are Antique Brooch, Pool Party, and Comic Strip. Antique Brooch is described as a deep rose gold glitter with a hit of pink. Pool Party is a deep azure blue. Comic Strip is a multi tone glitter. I will probably use this color on my accent nail when I use Pool Party. Click here to purchase the polishes. 

I also purchased the Kat Von D vs Formula X set. It included 3 mini lipsticks and 3 mini nail polishes. Each lipstick is paired with a matching nail polish, which I really liked. But, I really purchased this set because I have never tried any lipsticks from Kat Von D, but I have heard rave reviews about her products so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try them. The nail polishes are really just an added bonus! The first color duo is called Lovecraft. The lipstick and nail polish are described as being a mauve pink nude. I hated this color! It looked horrible on my skin tone! I will probably give this one away to one of my friends with a lighter complexion. The second duo is called Bauhau5. This is my favorite color out of the entire set. The lipstick and nail polish are a deep raspberry. The lipstick is a perfect match to my skin tone! The final duo is called Homegirl. It is a black berry color. This color was the reason I really purchased the set. The color looked really good on, however, it applied really splotchy and I did not like that. But, that happens a lot with really dark lip colors.

The lipstick formulas are very matte and will definitely need a lip scrub and moisturizer applied before putting on the lipstick. Click here to read about my favorite lip exfoliators. Also, the nail polishes are all very pretty colors. But, from my experience with Formula X polishes, the quality is not all that great. They usually only last a 2-3 days before the polish starts to chip. However, since they have such a wide variety of gorgeous colors, I do not mind wearing their polish. I just wear it when I know I will have time to change it within a couple of days. If you love this set and want to purchase it, click here. It currently sells for $29.50.

What are your thoughts on this set? Do you think I should give this set away in my next giveaway? Let me know in the comments!

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NARS Velvet Matte and Satin Lip Pencil Reviews + Swatches

Every year during your birthday month, Sephora offers a free gift with a purchase during that month. Last year, Sephora offered a set of two NARS Velvet Matte and Satin Lip Pencils. I have fallen in love with lip pencils/crayons this year, so I was super excited to get this as a gift. I have been meaning to write this review since I first started my blog back in November, but I kept pushing this one to the back burner. Now, I have time to write about these lip pencils.

The first color is called Rikugien. It can be purchased here for $26. It is a sheer, rose pink color. When I first tried it out back in September when I got them, I was not a big fan of the color. I don’t usually like tinted lip glosses, so I just tucked it away. However, after trying it on again a few months later, I kind of started to like it. I figured it would be good to wear on a day where I’m just running out to the grocery store and don’t want to put on lipstick, but still want something with a little color. The formula for this lip pencil is very satiny. It wasn’t sticky and it went on smooth. That’s always a plus in my book!

The second color is Cruella. It can be purchased here for $26. If you know anything about me, you KNOW I love a good red lip and this color does not disappoint. I LOVE this shade of red. It is a scarlet red. However, what I did not like about this particular pencil is that it was extremely matte, which means it was very drying. Some mattes can be moisturizing, this one was not at all. In addition, the color faded quickly. I felt I had to keep reapplying it and I hate having to do that with my lipstick. For the quality of this matte lip pencil, I could never see myself paying $26. I literally only wear this lip pencil when I am going out for a really quick run.

Scroll down below to see pictures of the actual lip pencils and swatches of the colors.


Have you tried either of these lip pencils? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments! 

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My Lip Regime

So, I am absolutely crazy about my lips. My lips are my favorite feature on my face. With that said, that means I must take great care of my lips. I am so crazy about my lips that I have about four products that I put on my lips BEFORE applying lipstick. Below I have outlined the products and my process. Enjoy! 🙂

First, I outline the area outside of my natural lip line using the e.l.f. Lip Lock Pencil. I use this to keep my lipstick from feathering or budging outside of my lip line. It sells for $3 on e.l.f.’s website.

Second, I line and fill in my lips using the No Bleeding Lips Secret Lip Liner. It is an invisible liner which I prefer to use as my daily lip liner because I don’t have to worry about finding a lip liner that complements the lip color I am wearing that day. It sells for $15 on Sephora’s website.

Next, I prime my lips using Aquaphor (sold at any drugstore or grocery store and sells for approximately $4) and MAC Prep + Prime Lip, $16.50 on MAC’s website. I probably don’t have to use both, but I started and I just can’t stop. lol! I use both of these to moisturize my lips before applying my lipstick, no matter what kind of lipstick I am using. I do this because my lips dry out really easily, which is even more of a problem when wearing lipstick.

Lastly, I apply my lip color of the day and GO! Easy peasy!

What is your routine for applying your lipsticks and glosses? What products do you use? Let me know in the comments!

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