Sunday, May 3, 2015

Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners Review



Lip liners are a subject just as neglected as blush has been around here. As I explore more makeup products and techniques I've truly learnt what each item is for and why each one is essential. I'd always just stuck to the basic Mac lip liners for the rare occasion I'd apply one and although they do the job, they've never had me overly impressed. I certainly still do not apply a lip liner on a day to day basis since I prefer something quick and easy but have definitely discovered their purpose of late. Upon hearing that Smashbox was releasing lip liners in the Always Sharp style I so adore from their eyeliner line, I didn't rush to give them a try. And now they have become the ones I reach for whenever I am planning on a lip look that will last several hours.  


What Smashbox has to say about them: "Ditch your sharpener but stay sharp! What it is: a long wearing, water resistant liner self-sharpens every time you twist the cap off"  

Continue reading to see exactly what I think of them!


Pigmentation: The color intensity is unbelievable on all three of these shades. This intimating quick and easy application which is just what they are all about.  

Finish: These are certainly of matte finish but not so much so that they absorb all moisture from your lips just after being applied, as those formulations often do. I often top these lip liners with some lip gloss if I am looking for a less matte look, I've worn them both ways though and love each look. 

Formulation and Consistency: Because they are of matte finish, they are certainly on that slightly drier side but they do not pull and tug on the lips as they go on, making application comfortable and hasty.  


Lasting Power: Long wearing is the name of the game with these. I know that there are some people who's lips hold products better and mine are right in between in that aspect. I've only discovered a handful of lip products that actually stay put on my lips through it all for 24 hours or more and these are members of that club for sure! When topped with a gloss they last about half the time as when worn alone or with a matte lipstick and oily food consumed will definitely break them down as it to be expected. Regardless, the long wear aspect is there with these in a big way!

Scent: None that I've noticed, and that's never a bad thing in my opinion since many people are really specific about scents. 

Packaging: I've mentioned how much I adore the twist sharpening design Smashbox created with their Always Sharp EYE liners. The idea is genius, simply twist the cap on and it brings up more of the pencil when necessary and gives the pencil a sharpened tip without having to turn to an additional sharpener. An even, pointed tip is what you get every time! 

Fuchsia

Variations: 16 different shades are offered on the Smashbox website ranging from mauves, browns, pinks, plums and even a gorgeous red! 

Price: $20 is a bit steep in comparison to what's offered at the drugstore but with the lasting power and excellent formulation here, I think the price is quite worth it. 

Violet

Overall: The shade "fuchsia" is my favorite shade amongst those I've tried. It's the perfect pink, not too bright for my complexion but not overly mauve or muted either. It will certainly be a lip shade I sport often throughout Spring and Summer. I honestly can't think of one thing I don't venerate in regards to these lip liners and I certainly can't wait to try many more of the shades available.  

Ruby

Have you given any of these lip liners a try? If you have, what did you think of them? If you haven't do you want to?

Let me know in the comments form, along with any other opinions you may have, I love hearing from readers!


Thanks so much for stopping in! 

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XX. 
Gigi. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What's In My Rebecca Minkoff MAB Bag? + Video


Today's post is something a little different. A little more fun. The last time I did one of these was way back when I started my Youtube channel in 2013, so it's definitely about time I do an update. I'm also really excited about my new Rebecca Minkoff MAB (Morning After) Bag which I recently purchased and absolutely love toting around. My every day bag choice is usually one of this size that can literally hold everything I can possibly need to get through a day of work and travel. If I am just going out for the evening or to run errands, I will just grab my wallet or wear a smaller messenger style bag. Watch this weeks youtube video here, to see the specific items I keep in here if you are curious or need ideas of what to pack your bag with. You can also read till the end of the post, where I will insert the video as usual. 


Some of the details I love about this bag: 

The gold hardware, I have always been a fan of the gold and rose gold look in bags, so obviously that detail makes me very happy. 

I also love the large pocket at the front which is perfect for keeping my phone safe and accessible at all times. 

The cobalt blue lining with black polka dots is both adorable and stylish!

The fringed leather pieces hanging from the zippers, although I feel like they may get damaged pretty easily. 


I was reading my last what's in my bag post and noticed some similarities. I'm clearly still carrying the same deodorant (a new one, but the same brand), the same nude lipstick I have cherished and repurchased for years and other basics like sunglasses, headphones and phone chargers. Back then, I used to have a makeup bag in there as well, but I no longer feel it's necessary. Instead, I like to stick to products that last all day and don't require touching up at all. The only makeup I keep in my bag are those lipsticks which I don't often find myself using anyways. I may throw a powder and fluffy powder brush in when summer rolls around and my t-zone gets oily, but besides for that I haven't been carrying around any additional makeup bag. 


Here is what I keep in my bag most of the time and what was in there at the time of the video. Although the contents vary from time to time, this is basically what it usually ends up looking like. 

My Apple Iphone
Sunglasses Case and Sunglasses
Apple Charging Cube and Wire
 Headphones
My Coupon Book
My To Do Lists Notebook
A Water Bottle
Juicy Couture Wallet 
Wipes 
Gum 
Mints
Metro Card
Foldable Hair Brush with Mirror
Victor & Rolf Flower Bomb Roller Ball Perfume
Epipen (Because summer is coming and I'm allergic to bee stings)
 Hand Sanitizer with Aloe  
Sticky Notes Book
Soundlogic XT  Battery Charger
a Pen
A Small Axe Deoderant
Blistex Lip Ointment
Nivea Kiss of Shimmer Radiant Lip Care
*Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Lacquer in "Pink Social" 
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in "Nearly There"




I hope you enjoyed getting a little peak into my purse. I feel like I simply carry my daily essentials but I guess that is different for each person and what their day looks like. What do you carry in your bag that you feel is really important in getting you through the day? Let me know in the comments form, I love hearing from you!

               

If you liked this video please let me know by giving it a "thumbs up",  you can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel here.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

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XX. 
Gigi. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

26 Sushi & Tapas Kosher Restaurant in Miami Florida, My Review

As a foodie, new restaurants to explore have me just as excited as a recipe of my own that comes out of the oven as perfect as I imagined. This is why planning a trip anywhere involves a whole lot of research and list writing in regards to where we are going to eat. My husband and I had very little time to spend in Miami several weeks ago, but we made good on every single moment. We ate out for Breakfast, Lunch and Supper daily which is something we rarely do when we're home. That's why it's called vacation I guess. Along the way, we came across so many fantastic restaurants although there were also those few that had us a little less impressed as will always be the case. Today, I am talking about one from the former category. At 26, Sushi+Tapas, it was such a fabulous experience from start to finish and the food was honestly better then anything I have ever eaten anywhere. It was the first place we went after getting off the plane and dropping off our bags so you can imagine the traveling had us famished. We ordered ALOT of food and were therefore really able to get a feel of what the place was all about I believe. Please excuse my poor array of iphone photos, I'm still kicking myself for once again forgetting my dslr!  If you are visiting the area, it truly needs to be added to your agenda, from start to finish we were really impressed. 

Here is some of what we had:   


Miso Soup- This was just the thing since my husband was dealing with a serious virus during our entire trip. As of now, no miso soup I have ever had anywhere compares! A real miso soup includes actual cubed tofu, fresh shitake mushroom and herbs of course, an example set for other restaurants, indeed.  


The highlight of our meal and the dish we cannot stop gushing over were these nitro faux scallops! Watching Gordon Ramsey send back scallops not cooked to his liking in Hells Kitchen had me very curious and 26 really hit these on the nail! From the perfect batter, to the fish inside and unique sauce, this is a dish I will never forget. 


One of the only items I was slightly disappointed over was this sunshine salad. I was expecting a lot more from the ginger carrot vinaigrette which should have packed a big punch although I didn't notice any flavors from it at all! Maybe it was a poor choice of ingredients as well, for some they may meld well but for me they fell short. 


Our sushi pick was the Pink Dragon and it lived up to it's exciting name. Perfect, bite sized, tightly rolled pieces are what was served which is just what I like best. No items falling out, no stuffing your face, and a tasty sauce to bring it all together too. 


An environment is also what makes a restaurant experience pleasurable and that was certainly a part of ours. Our waiter was friendly and helpful, the service was expedient and the modern design of the place with an outdoor seating area to boot had me very impressed! 

I also got to have a chat with some of the staff and hear about the history and meaning behind the restaurant and their cuisine which had me embracing the place even further! Another visit to this restaurant the next time I visit the area is definitely in order. There are so many dishes on my list to try and a kids menu is included as well, so we know we'll be covered with that if necessary. 

26 Sushi & Tapas is located on 9487 Harding Avenue in Florida. Phone number- 305-570-2626. Read their online menu here, to see if it is a place you too would enjoy dining.

Have a kosher restaurant you love or are curious about? Let me know which it is in the comments form below as I always enjoy eating in new places!  

Thank you for stopping in!

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Gigi.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe


I have a recipe for you all today! One that I have whipped up many times but have not gotten around to share yet...story of my life, am I right? I know that after a long Pesach holiday full of diet cheating, high calories and cholesterol the last thing anyone wants to hear about is more treats. This one though is forgivable. It's muffins, the cupcakes cousin who has to fill in when necessary. But these are no ordinary muffins. They taste amazing! Moist on the inside and outside, yes there is such a thing.


It all started with a container of greek yogurt that I thought I would try and definitely love. Everyone seemed to be talking about it. I should have purchased a flavored version to begin with because those are unbelievably tasty and have now become a morning staple, but I had the plain kind and I didn't love it...I digress. I now needed to find a home for this greek yogurt before it ended up sitting at the back of the fridge, forgotten, spoiled and then in the garbage. So I made muffins.


Your mouth is surely watering at this point, just as mine is. Every time I look at these I remember that I really need to whip up another batch. There's no excuse why not, they are slightly on the healthier side (feel free to make them even healthier using almond or whole wheat flour if you'd prefer) and the whole preparation takes less then 10 minutes, even mixing them up by hand. And finally without further ado, here is the recipe: 


Greek Yogurt Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yields: About 12 Muffins

Ingredients:

2 Cups White Flour
1/2 Cup White Sugar
A Sprinkle of Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
10 Tablespoons Plain or Flavored  Greek Yogurt
2 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Ghiradelli Milk Chocolate Baking Chips

Method:

1. Sift all of the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and then mix them to combine, well. 

2. Add the liquid ingredients- vegetable oil, greek yogurt and eggs as well as the chocolate chips to the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and mix well to combine. 

3. You should have a slightly thick consistency of batter at this point, one that would not easily slip off of a spoon.

4. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin pan with muffin liners. 

5. Use a baking spray to slightly grease your muffin pan and add about 2-3 heaping tablespoons of batter to each space. 

6. Bake for about 18 minutes and allow to cool before serving. 

I really hope you will give my greek yogurt chocolate chip muffin recipe a try! Don't forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what it was like if you do! And feel free to tag me on instagram or post your photo on my facebook page as well. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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XX.
Gigi.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Makeup That Lasts Part 2: 11 Specific Products I Personally Stick to & Love for Long Lasting Wear

At the beginning of the week, I began this two part series talking about my tips for choosing and applying makeup products to have them last longest on your face. It is something I get asked about all of the time as a makeup artist and beauty blogger. From preparing the skin for makeup, to blotting lips I covered so much of it all there, so please do go check it out! We all want our hard work to stay in place and so I'm covering another topic I get asked about alot and that is some of my specific product favorites to use in achieving a look that actually lasts for hours and even days when necessary. I chose one product from each category but for some there are a few I could probably recommend. If there is something missing, it is because I have not found one I like enough in the long wear aspect to advocate. Also, these are all products I have personally used for a long time. Any that have been sent to me by the company to try as samples will be marked as such. Please keep in mind that I would not commend a product for being great if it weren't. All opinions here are my own honest ones! Any products I have already reviewed in full will be linked, so just click on the title to have a look. Also, as you will notice, there are no skin care products here and that is because as I mentioned in the previous post, I do plan to share my exceptionally simple skin care routine here on the blog in the very near future, so look out for that if it is something that interests you! Now lets get into the products I stick to time and time again for a long lasting makeup look:


For the Face:

1) Mac Prep+Prime Skin Base Primer- This has been one of my most used primers both in my makeup artists kit and for my own personal makeup looks over the years. This is because it is lightweight, doesn't have my makeup slipping around and creates a great barrier between my skin and the makeup, therefore helping it stick around for longer!  

2) Makeup Forever HD Foundation- Of all of these products this is probably one of the newest to me as I've only had it for a couple of months now. Regardless, I can say it is a foundation that stays put on my skin for hours at a time. Every time I wear it, I look at myself in the mirror at the end of a long day and marvel at how fresh I look! Look out for a full review coming soon.  

3) Mac Pro Longwear Concealer- This concealer is obviously formulated by Mac to be long lasting on the skin and it truly does do just that. The great thing is that depending on shade choice I have found this formulation to work amazingly well both in my under eye area and on blemishes or imperfections I'd like to ensure stay covered for hours at a time! 

4) Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder- Since beginning to wear makeup back in the 8th grade, I've had my share of pressed powders to try and this is one I just keep going back to because of how well it performs. It is certainly my favorite of those available at the drugstore as well! I've found that when using this with a large fluffy powder brush and lightly dusting the product over my face, I can keep oily areas (in the warmer months) beautifully matte and set my liquid products so that they do not move around at all throughout the day.

5) Urban Decay Deslick (Oil Control) Makeup Setting Spray- When the Skindinavia and Urban Decay setting sprays were first becoming popular, I was making my very first order from Sephora and threw one into my cart on a whim. I am so happy I did because there is nothing better for keeping makeup locked in place. Even my eye makeup seems to stick around longer when I use this stuff! I'm currently using up a bottle of this which is marketed for "Oil Control" and I think I like alot better at the end of Spring and Summer time when I am oily in certain areas of my face. In general, the "All Nighter" version is a good one all around and will be what I re-purchase next. 


For the Eyes and Brows:

6) Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in "Painterly"- If you've watched any of my eye makeup tutorial videos, this product needs absolutely no introduction because I've made use of it in almost every one! It's just really the greatest at keeping shadows on the lid without having them crease up or lose pigmentation at all. My cream shadow collection is extensive, but this is the one I turn to most. 

7) Mac Blacktrack Fluidline Gel Eyeliner- When tightlining and lining the lower waterline, I find this to be most long wearing. That said, I have yet to find an eyeliner in pencil, gel or liquid that I absolutely adore for the lower waterline and upper lash line because although this one sticks around really well, it does not last on me for more then 24 hours.   

8) Diorshow Waterproof Mascara- I haven't made much mention of this mascara and that is because although it is of the most long lasting lash products I've ever tried, it is not my favorite formulation. Therefore, I will always go in with a different mascara first that does a good job of volumizing and separating my lashes and then do a second coat using this to set the mascara in place.  

9) Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Eye Brow Pencil- This is another one of those products I've only had for a couple of months. At the same time, it far surpasses any other brow product I've ever owned. Something about the way it was formulated has it in your brows for days unless you specifically go in with makeup remover to get it off. I love how well it sticks around and I'm so happy to have added it to my daily makeup routine. look out for a video or post all about my brow regimen pretty soon!


For the Lips:

10) *Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liners- Lip liners are actually one of those products that tend to last on my lips no matter what. There are very few that I can actually attest to giving me 24-30 hours of wear though as these truly do. I will be reviewing these in full in the next week or so, so keep an eye out for more details on these!





11) Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipsticks- Although I have discovered some regular matte lipsticks like the ones from Wet N Wild and Mac that really hold up on me well, these liquid lipsticks are the ones I turn to for special occasions. They stay on my lips for hours and do not crumble, change color or lose pigmentation at all throughout the day. The only thing that can actually get them off in fact is oil and a lip scrub, that is how fabulous they are! If you were looking for a Shabbos and Yom Tov lip product- this is the one.

Do you have some products of your own to recommend? Please do speak up in the comments form below, we can all benefit from hearing from you! 

Thanks so much for stopping in! 

Stay updated:

Don't forget to follow me with Bloglovin' 

You can also follow me with:
Google Friend Connect (left side bar)/Email/InstagramFacebook/TwitterPinterest / YouTube

XX. 
Gigi. 
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