DUPES DUPES DUPES!!

Here is a list of 13 makeup dupes that will save you a ton of $$$!

  • NYX Liquid Suede lipstick in Soft Spoken ($7) is a dupe for Kat Von D’s liquid lipstick in Lolita ($20)
  • Elf baked highlighter in Blushed Gems ($3) is a dupe for MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle ($32)
  • NYC matte bronzer in Sunny ($4) is a dupe for Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer ($29)
  • Prestige Cosmetics eyeshadow in Hocus Pocus ($7) is a dupe for MAC’s pigment in Blue Brown ($22)
  • NYC loose translucent setting powder ($4) is a dupe for the RCMA No Color powder ($10)- this is just a cheaper, easily accessible option for the RCMA which is already pretty inexpensive.
  • Essence Make Me Brow ($3) is a dupe for Benefit’s Gimme Brow ($24)- I swear this is the same product in different packaging.
  • ColorPop Ultra Satin lipstick in Mess Around ($6) is a dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in Sepia ($20).
  • Mixing distilled water and vegetable glycerin ($6 on Amazon) is a dupe for MAC Fix + ($22)- the Fix + does have more ingredients than just these two, but water and glycerin are the main two and this basically does the same thing.
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in London ($6) is a dupe for Kylie Lip Kit in Exposed ($30)
  • Aztec Secret Healing clay mask ($6-8) is a pretty good dupe for any of the Glam Glow Mud Masks ($70)
  • Wet N Wild Mega Last lipstick in Just Peachy ($2) is a dupe for MAC’s lipstick in Kinda Sexy ($17)
  • Wet N Wild Mega Last lipstick in Mocha-Licious ($2) is a dupe for MAC’s lipstick in Verve ($17).
  • Makeup Revolution matte blush in Nude ($5) is a dupe for MAC’s blush in Melba ($22).

Hopefully this post was helpful and you learned about some new makeup dupes!

Instagram: @marinaleebeauty

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Must-Have Oils for Beautiful Skin! 

This is going to be a lengthy post but you might learn something new! 

I’m back with another skin related post, but I find that using oils on a daily basis is key to any skincare routine and, over time, will improve the appearance and quality of my skin. I do have oily skin and a lot of people think that addin more oils to oily skin just makes everything worse BUT it is the complete opposite! I like to think of it as combating oils with MORE oils. 

If you have oil my skin already, this just means that you have excess skin oil (also called sebum). By applying oils into your skin, it kind of works as a trade off and your skin will start to produce less oils naturally. 

1. The first oil is pretty common and one that everyone raves about. Yup, it’s coconut oil. As you already know, coconut oil has an endless amount of uses that are not just related to cooking. The main ways that I use coconut oil in skincare are as an eye makeup remover and as an under eye cream. Eye creams can be crazy expensive and a lot of people do not realize that the best eye cream money can buy is coconut oil! I apply this every night to the under eye area and I notice a difference almost immediately. 

2. Next is another oil that is quite popular. Argan oil. Aragon oil is a fantastic natural moisturizer and is also great for your hair. You might have noticed that a lot of makeup and hair care products are advertised as containing Argan oil because of its natural hydrating and smoothing properties. These products can be a little pricey and nothing is as good as just using the real thing in its natural form! I like the Josie Maran Argan Oil but you can find this oil at any health food store or Ulta for way cheaper. 

3. Next is tea tree oil. This oil is a dream come true for anyone with acne prone skin. Again, tea tree oil is advertised a lot in different beauty products that can be expensive. Purchasing tea tree oil itself is actually way cheaper and you get a much more concentrated, natural product when you buy the real thing. This oil is known for its acne fighting properties and can be used as a spot treatment that will work wonders! You can also add a few drops into your facial cleanser to help clear up your skin. ALSO you can add a few drops into your shampoo, focusing it on your scalp, and you will definitely notice how clean your hair feels and that there is none of that “residue” of product left in your hair. Be careful with this oil though because too much can dry out your skin and cause it to produce more oils! 

4. Next, rose hip seed oil. Rose hip oil is known for containing essential fatty acids that helps to reduce dark spots and scars while being very hydrating. I find that this oily absorbs into the skin easily and is not greasy. Rose hip oil is amazing for anti-aging purposes as well. I know I am young and do not need to be worrying about anti-aging, but I know I will benefit from this in the future. I apply this oil every night after my moisturizer and focus on pressing it into my skin rather than rubbing it. This is my favorite facial oil to use, but it can be used anywhere on the body and gives the same results. 

5. Last but not least, Vitamin E oil. This oil is packed with antioxidants that your skin loves. I like to use this as a body oil when I get out of the shower (I mix a little in with a body lotion). It makes my skin really soft and is great if you have dry skin. This oils is great for achieving naturally brighter and glowing skin. 

And that’s it for this skincare post! Hopefully this was helpful and you learned something new! 

DIY: Acne Spot Treatment

This DIY is going to be short,sweet, and extremely easy and affordable! I have tried quite a few store-bought spot treatments and the only one that has really worked for me is the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. The only thing is that this little bottle costs $17. Yes, you do get a lot of product and it will last a while, but I still wanted to play around with some of the natural products I had at home.

I apply two things to my skin everyday: Pure 100% aloe vera gel and tea tree oil. Both of these products are great for acne spots and acne-prone skin types. Both of these have anti-inflammatory properties and tea tree oil especially is known for its acne fighting capabilities. Because of this, I decided to mix the two together to create my own spot treatment.

The steps to this DIY are very simple. All you need to do is mix about a teaspoon of aloe gel and about 5 drops of tea tree oil. You could measure this however you want to, but this is just what I like to go by. I keep this mixture in a little jar and use it on pimples whenever they come up. I notice that overnight the redness has reduced and the pimple decreases in size or sometimes even goes away completely if I take care of it early enough.

I apply the mixture onto the blemish morning and night after my skincare routine with a Q-Tip and pat it in a little with my finger. Then, I use a daily moisturizer overtop.

I hope this post was helpful and you learned something new!

SWEAT-PROOF Concert Makeup

Going to an outdoor concert in the middle of the summer is equivalent to sitting on the surface of the sun, especially in Texas. I always get excited to do my makeup for concerts, but I struggle because I already have oily skin and the heat on top of that just makes it even worse.

BUT, I have figured out which products hold up against sweat and heat rather than just melting off of my face. These products stayed in place the WHOLE NIGHT and when I got home after the concert, my makeup still looked perfect and not shiny at all! I am not going to list every product that I used, just the ones that are typically the first to go. I will say, I did use a few different base/ priming products to really ensure that my makeup would last all night and stand up against the heat and sweat. It might seem like a lot, but it worked extremely well and did not feel heavy and thick on the skin at all.

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  • First, I applied the Murad Oil Control Mattifier SPF 15 all over my face and neck. I rubbed it in a little, then focused on really pressing this into my skin. Side note: it is extremely important to wear an SPF, especially if you are going to be out in the sun.
  • Then I sprayed my face with my DIY Primer Water (I have a whole post and ingredient list for this DIY in a previous post- check it out!). This stuff works extremely well, I definitely recommend making your own!
  • Next, I applied the Nivea Mens Post Shave Balm all over my face.
  • Then, last for the primers, I applied the Makeup Forever Step 1 mattifying primer to the areas of my face that I get really oily. This stuff is key to achieving this sweat-proof makeup. I cannot say enough good things about it! If you’re oily- buy this stuff, you need it in your life. When using it though, you want to make sure to only apply it to oily areas because it is pretty intense.
  • For foundation, I used my L’Oreal Infallible Pro- Matte liquid foundation and set it with the Pro- Matte powder. This combo is sweat-proof and feels lightweight on the skin while being full coverage.
  • The last product that is great for hot, sweaty days is the MAC Pro Longwear concealer. I used this under my eyes and as my eyeshadow primer. IT WILL NOT CREASE. The consistency is on the thicker side, but it will not budge and sets nicely.

These are all the products I used for my summer concert makeup! I cannot stress enough how well this combo worked for me, but if I could recommend one product that really made a difference, it would be the Makeup Forever primer. It is the best mattifying primer I have ever used and I was amazed by how well it held up. Hope this was helpful!

Makeup Guide: The Best Primers For Oily Skin

These are my favorite primers to use that I know will keep my makeup on all day while also keeping the oil and shine to a minimum. A couple of these options are unconventional products that are not advertised as makeup primers, but they still work great!

Vegetable Glycerin

primer

Glycerin is the key ingredient in any makeup primer, so having it in its purest form is the best way to prime your face for makeup. I mix a couple of drops in with my daily moisturizer and apply that to my skin before applying my makeup. It will get extremely tacky, which is a good thing because then you know your makeup will really stick to your skin. Glycerin is great for oily skin in general because it really controls oils while moisturizing the skin at the same time (without causing greasiness or extra shine). I got this Now Solutions 100% Vegetable Glycerin on Amazon for about $6.

Nivea Men Post Shave Balm

primer 1

Y’all are probably sick of hearing about this stuff but it really is a great primer for oily skin because again, glycerin is one of the main ingredients. It will moisturize the skin as well and lock makeup into place.

Monistat Chafing Relief Gel

primer 2

I have also talked about this odd priming product in a previous blog post, but again, it is a near perfect dupe for the Smashbox Photo Finish primer. It has all the same ingredients and is way cheaper! It might seem a little strange to put chafing gel on your face, but it works like a charm and wont break you out (unless the Smashbox primer does). It has that typical silicone gel texture that glides over skin and smooths out any large pores.

Makeup Forever Step 1 Matte Primer

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THIS STUFF WILL KEEP YOU MATTE ALL DAY! I feel that no matter how oily your skin is, this will be your best friend. It works so well that you almost need to be careful using it and only use it on the places that you get oily. If you apply this onto dryer areas, it might ball up under your foundation, so I recommend focusing this mainly on your T-Zone. This primer stands up against oily skin the best, in my opinion.

**Sephora hint: If you purchase two of the 0.5 oz tubes for $17 each instead of just buying one 1.0 oz  tube for $38, it ends up being a few dollars cheaper and they are more travel friendly! **

100% Aloe Vera Gel

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I have mentioned this product as a great primer in a previous post as well. Ale Vera gel is a great primer because makeup sticks to it very well and it will glide over skin, filling in any large pores. Aloe also has anti-inflammatory properties, so this is great for irritated skin that is prone to acne and inflammation. Just make sure that you are purchasing no color added, 100% aloe gel.

Murad Oil Control Mattifier

primer 4

Last but not least, this Murad product works as a great primer for oily skin! It is not marketed as a primer, but it basically is. It is a thicker consistency and feels more like a moisturizer/ sunscreen (it does have SPF 15), but it is tacky and does a great job of controlling oily skin. I love this stuff and I do not think  I can live without it!

** Another oily skin tip- remember to always wear a facial sunscreen under your primer and makeup or on no makeup days! This is extremely important and will also help with oily skin. **

I hope this post was helpful! All of these products can be used under makeup or on those no makeup days when you still want to keep your oily skin under control.

DIY: Fabric Chokers

Chokers have made a huge comeback and because of this, they can be a little expensive, especially the eclectic- looking fabric and lace ones.

This is probably the easiest and cheapest DIY I have ever done and I can’t believe I did not think of this sooner! It only takes one simple step to create your very own fabric chokers.

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I had a bunch of these circular elastic headbands that I just never wore and the idea popped into my head! If you do not already own headbands like these, you can get them really cheap at Forever 21, which is where I got all of these from (and it is still cheaper to buy a headband than an actual choker). The best part about this DIY is that you do not need to worry about going out and buying anything else because the only thing you will need is a headband and a pair of scissors!

All you do is cut the band that goes under your hairline in half- that’s it! When you go to wear it around your neck, just tie the lose ends in a double knot (it is still easy to untie). You could take this to the next step and actually purchase jewelry- making supplies to make your DIY choker look more professional, but it was good enough for me just to cut and tie it.

Hopefully this was helpful and gave y’all some ideas!

DIY: Smashbox Primer Water

 

The Photo Finish Primer Water from Smashbox Cosmetics has become a huge hit in the beauty world. The only downside is that it retails for $32! For something this basic and easy to recreate, I could not justify spending that much money when I could easily recreate it myself at home!

primer water

 

Ingredients you will need and their purpose:

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  • An empty spray bottle (this recipe yields about 4 oz.). I just used an empty Mario Badescu Rosewater spray bottle, but you could find these really cheap anywhere.
  • 4 TB-Witch Hazel- can be found online or at any grocery store. Mine contains alcohol, but if you have dryer skin, witch hazel containing zero alcohol is preferred. Witch hazel is nature’s astringent and is great for anti- inflammatory skincare purposes.
  • 2 TB-Glycerin- I got mine off of Amazon for around $6. Glycerin is the key ingredient in any priming product it is known for making makeup stick to it (this is why the Nivea Men’s Post Shave Balm is a great primer). It has a syrup-y consistency, but it will stir into the rest of the ingredients just fine.
  • 1 TB-Rosewater- you can get this cheap online or in a health foods store. Rosewater is great to add not only because it will make your primer water smell great, but it helps with controlling excess oils, maintaining the skin’s pH balance, and has anti- inflammatory properties as well.
  • 1 TB-Coconut water- also available in any grocery store. Drinking coconut water is key to achieving radiant and hydrated skin, so I like to just add a little bit for extra hydration.
  • 5 TB Distilled water
  • Optional- add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice like tea tree, lavender, etc.

Once you have collected all of your ingredients, mix them all together until it just looks like regular water, then pour the mixture into your spray bottle. One of the great things about this recipe is that if you run out, you can always make more without having to buy more ingredients (or another $32 bottle of the Smashbox one) because there will be a lot of extras.

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And that’s it! Now you have your own primer water that will work just as well as the Smashbox one! You can spray this all over your face and let it air dry before applying your makeup, after you have applied your makeup, and throughout the day to freshen things up. You can even use this without any makeup at all to put some life and hydration back into your skin.

Definitely give this recipe a try and save yourself some $$$!

5 Different Ways To Use Vaseline In Your Beauty Routine

 

Vaseline 100% petroleum jelly is a very common inexpensive household product that can be used in a variety of different ways. In this post, I am going to list 5 unique ways to incorporate this miracle product in your daily beauty routine that you may, or may not, have heard of before! vaseline

  1. Lip mask- Vaseline is extremely moisturizing and thick enough to be used as a lip mask. Apply a generous amount to your lips before you go to sleep and leave it on overnight. You will wake up with lips that are extremely soft, smooth, and moisturized! You could also mix a little bit of granulated sugar in with some Vaseline and use this as a simple and effective lip scrub.
  2. Clear brow gel- Sometimes when I just want to tame my brow hairs before running out the door, I will just scoop up a little bit of Vaseline with my fingers and swipe it through my brows to keep them in place. Vaseline is also said to help grow out your brow hairs, so this is like a two-in-one.
  3. Clear mascara- Again, when I am in a hurry and do not feel like putting on mascara, I will run some Vaseline through my lashes with my finger. The Vaseline gives your lashes a wet look, so it will make them look darker and thicker. Vaseline is also really hydrating for your lashes and over time, will make them appear thicker and longer naturally.
  4. Under eye moisturizer- Before you go to sleep, after you have gone through your normal night time skincare routine, you can apply just a little bit of Vaseline to the under eye area for extra hydration. Over time, the moisturizing properties of petroleum jelly will really help with fine lines and aging. This will also not cause breakouts.
  5. Base for powder highlighter- I love this trick! Before you go in with your favorite powder highlight, dab a very small amount of Vaseline on your cheekbones and then go overtop with the highlighter. This acts as a clear balm and will really intensify the highlight.

 

Hopefully y’all learned something new! Vaseline is something that everyone already has and the number of ways it can be used it never ending!

What’s In My MAC Palette?

I LOVE the empty MAC Pro palettes! For the empty palette alone (inserts not included), they are only $8 and FREE SHIPPING on the MAC website! I love these palettes because they are sturdy and great for traveling. I definitely recommend using a little extra magnetic tape on the bottom of the pans (for non- MAC shadows) for a better and more secure hold.

I have a double sided pro palette which holds my ABH contour kit shades and some Wet N Wild blushes that I depotted, but I am just going to show my single one today because I personally think the colors are more exciting. Also, both the double and single sided palettes are $8. Purchasing these empty palettes will save you a ton of money because on the MAC website, the eyeshadow pans are only $6 rather than purchasing the pan in the compact. The individual pans from MAC come with a magnet already on the bottom so you can just pop it in the palette! This will also save you space and help declutter your makeup stash.

** If you depot 6 MAC eyeshadows, you can bring back the empty compacts to a MAC store and trade them in for a free eyeshadow or lipstick!**

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I like how the cover is clear so I can see my shadows. The plastic cover is very thick and not as flimsy as the Z-Palette covers.

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From Left to Right:

Prestige Cosmetics eyeshadow in “Hocus Pocus” (great dupe for MAC Blue Brown pigment)

Makeup Geek eyeshadow in “Stealth”

MAC eyeshadow in “Greensmoke”

MAC eyeshadow in “Sketch”

NYX eyeshadow in “Flirt”

MAC eyeshadow in “Star Violet”

Makeup Geek eyeshadow in “Bitten”

MAC eyeshadow in “Copperring”

MAC eyeshadow in “Antiqued”

MAC eyeshadow in “Bronze”

MAC eyeshadow in “Swiss Chocolate”

MAC eyeshadow in “Corduroy”

Urban Decay eyeshadow in “Lost”

MAC eyeshadow in “Soft Brown”- THE BEST TRANSITION SHADE EVER

MAC eyeshadow in “Satin Taupe”

MAC eyeshadow in “Nylon”

MAC eyeshadow in “Tempting”

The four square pans at the bottom are from a Sephora Desert Sunset eyeshadow palette from a while ago (I think it was limited edition)

The two rectangular pans are “Blackout” from the UD Naked 2 palette and “Blackheart” from the UD Naked 3 palette (I also depotted all the shadows from my Naked 2 and 3 palettes and put them in another pro palette, that way I could toss the bulky packaging and have them all in one spot).

I hope y’all enjoyed this post and go out and buy your own Pro Palette or saw some shadows that you really liked. It is so satisfying to depot eyeshadows and reduce some of that clutter!

How To: Tighten Pores & Improve Your Complexion

This is a very easy and inexpensive way that I like to do once every two weeks or so to really shrink my pores and give my skin a little extra TLC. This works extremely well and you will definitely notice a difference in your skin after just one use!

 

Products you will need:

  • Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($6-8, you can find this online or at a health food store).clay
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • A manual complexion brush/ Clarisonic (or something like this). I use just a typical complexion brush, but anything like this will work just fine.

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Here are the steps:

  • Mix equal parts of the clay and white vinegar in a small bowl (a teaspoon full of each is plenty) until the consistency is a liquidy paste.
  • Immediately apply the mixture to your face and neck evenly (if you let it sit in the bowl for too long, it will dry out).
  • Let this mask sit on your face for about 10 minutes (it will get stiff quickly and if you experience a slight stinging sensation, that is just the vinegar in action!).
  • After letting the mask sit for about 10 minutes, run your complexion brush under warm water and gently massage away the mask. This does get kind of messy, but the clay cleans up easily and is totally worth it!
  • After all the mask residue is gone, pat your face dry with a clean wash cloth or paper towel.

That’s it!

This is extremely easy and does not take too long to see great results! You can do this in the morning before you do your makeup and go about your day, or at night before you go to sleep.