My Current Skincare Routine (Morning and Night)

Recently, my passion for the beauty industry has shifted more towards skincare than dramatic makeup looks. While I still love makeup and enjoy its opportunity for artistic creativity, I have really been making skincare my #1 priority. After all, having skin is the key to a great makeup day!

I have tried so many different skincare products and am finally 100% content with my current routine. I use very simple, natural products and they have made the biggest difference for my skin. I currently have NO TEXTURE and NO ACNE! Occasionally I will get a little hormonal pimple, but it goes away in a day or two if I keep up this routine.

I have oily skin, but these products (with the exception of a couple) can be used for all skin types. I am not an esthetician or have any kind of professional training when it comes to skincare, but this routine has worked so well for me and I wanted to share!

My Morning Skincare Routine

Step 1: Cleanse with the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

  • This cleanser is meant for normal to oily skin. If you have dry skin, the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is a great option!
  • This cleanser contains hyaluronic acid and has a liquid/gel texture
  • Sometimes, I will also just splash my face with water and skip cleanser in the morning.

Step 2: Tone with Witch Hazel/ Apple Cider Vinegar 

  • One of the worst things you can do for your skin is use a harsh astringent that contains alcohol. Witch Hazel is an all-natural toner/astringent and is completely alcohol free.
  • I will alternate between Witch Hazel and Apple Cider Vinegar for this step.

Step 3: Moisturize with the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion

  • This is a lightweight moisturizing lotion and is great for all skin types!
  • Contains hyaluronic acid as well.
  • I also mix in my daily facial sunscreen with the moisturizer just to save a step.

*** ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN ***

*** Once a day, I will apply a Manuka Honey mask. I use pure Manuka Honey and will leave this on for at least 30 minutes/ 1 hour. I have an entire post dedicated to my love for Manuka Honey and how much it has helped my skin so check it out!

My Evening Skincare Routine

Step 1: Oil cleanse with 100% pure Sweet Almond Oil

  • I do this regardless of whether or not I am wearing makeup that day. This oil works great for breaking down makeup (you can also use coconut oil, but almond oil is not as heavy).
  • I like to oil cleanse before using my normal cleanser because I find that it makes my skin softer and actually helps my skin to produce less oil naturally.

Step 2: Cleanse with the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

  • This breaks down the oil really well, but you could also dampen a washcloth with warm water to gently remove the oil before this step.

Step 3: Tone with the Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner 

  • This toner is great if you have textured skin and/ or acne scarring.
  • I NEVER use an exfoliant scrub on my face because it is way too harsh and can actually irritate the skin and cause more acne/ scarring.
  • Glycolic acid is an amazing chemical exfoliant and I have found that this toner has really reduced my acne scarring drastically. It also works great with helping new pimples to go away quickly without leaving a mark.

Step 4: Moisturize with the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion + Rosehip Seed Oil

  • To boost the moisturizing benefits even more at night, I add in a few drops of 100% Rosehip Seed Oil to that same moisturizer. The oil absorbs really well into the skin and is great for acne scarring and has amazing anti-aging benefits.
  • If you have dry skin, I recommend the CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream. This is a very thick and luxurious moisturizer that will help get rid of any dry patches you might have. I have gone through 2 jars of this stuff and I even love it with my oily skin!

*** As an added beauty tip, I will use a clean mascara wand to apply Vaseline to my lashes every night before I go to sleep. This has made my lashes grow like crazy!

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Product Review: Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation 

This foundation has been out for quite some time, but I was on the fence about purchasing it because there were so many mixed reviews.

I was really looking for a foundation with incredible staying power as well as coverage and this one seemed to meet those characteristics based off of its description and name. So, I ignored the reviews completely and decided to try it out for myself! I purchased this foundation about three weeks ago (in the shade 4.0) and have been testing it out since.

Keep reading for my full review on this foundation and to find out whether or not I think it is worth repurchasing!

About the Product

According to Sephora, this foundation claims to…

  • give a full coverage and completely matte finish
  • is waterproof
  • is oil-free
  • will last “all night”
  • comfortable enough for everyday wear
  • contains 25% pigment (about THREE TIMES as much pigment as their Naked Skin foundation)
  • says there is no need to build coverage or apply multiple layers
  •  diffuses light to blur flaws
  • mattifies skin and absorbs oil to reduce shine throughout the day
  • says to allow foundation to set before choosing the right shade for you (oxidizes, they suggest choosing a lighter shade if you are between shades)
  • comes with airless pump which makes it possible to get out every last bit of product
  • comes in 25 shades

 

My Thoughts…

I will start with my preferred method of applying this foundation. I tried applying it with both a kabuki brush and beauty sponge and definitely prefer the brush. I find that it drastically improves the coverage and blends the product out easier and faster. This foundation gives FULL COVERAGE. A little bit goes a long way, so the 1 ounce bottle will last quite a while. You do not need to build this up whatsoever, otherwise it might look a little too cake-y. While the description says this foundation gives a completely matte finish,  I find that it is more of a natural-matte finish on my skin. I do not mind this at all though because I do not like when matte foundations make my skin look flat and dull. One of my favorite things about this foundation is how long it lasts! To me, this foundation lasts twice as long as the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation. This was a major element I was looking for in a foundation and this one met that need 100%. The description did not specify in hours how long the foundation was supposed to last, but I did end up sleeping in my makeup one night (I know this is terrible for your skin and I do not recommend sleeping with your makeup on) and when I woke up the next morning my skin still looked flawless. This being said, the claim that it will last “all night” (hence the name) stands to be true in my opinion. The foundation also claims to diffuse light to blur imperfections. I agree with this statement 100%! Right when I apply the foundation, I notice that my skin instantly looks flawless and my pores are blurred. Even though this is a full coverage foundation, when I look into a magnified mirror, my skin still looks like skin and I cannot see the foundation just sitting on top of my skin.

 

I did find a few downsides to this foundation as well. While the shade range is pretty extensive, the undertones of the shades are not. The undertones are either very pink or very yellow. I have neutral-olive undertones and the shade that matched me best was 4.0. This shade, for me, is very yellow though and I do need to blend it down my neck and a little on my chest for everything to match. In Urban Decay’s defense, their description does claim that it will oxidize and that you should wait for it to dry down before choosing a shade. I have noticed that fuller coverage foundations tend to oxidize the most, so this is not a deal-breaker for me. 4.0 is slightly too yellow, but it was the only shade that matched me the best. The description also claims that the foundation is comfortable enough for everyday wear. I do not really agree with this claim for two reasons: 1) I personally do not like to wear full coverage foundation, or foundation at all, everyday and 2) I find that it is slightly too heavy to feel comfortable even if I did wear it everyday. This foundation is no BB Cream, and for that reason I think it is just slightly too heavy and full coverage to be comfortable wearing just on casual days. The claim that this foundation absorbs oils is something else that I do not exactly agree with. I still do get pretty shiny in my t-zone, BUT the foundation does not break up in that area which is a huge plus for me!

Final Thoughts

So… would I repurchase??? The answer is YES! While there were a few cons, I really do like this foundation and will most likely continue to repurchase it. When I go all out with my makeup, this has been my go-to foundation since I purchased it. I love how full coverage it is while not looking like a thick layer of makeup on my skin. The undertone is slightly off, but this is something I can fix by mixing in other foundations/foundation mixers. This being said, I do think that UD should add in shades with more neutral undertones to accommodate many more skin shades.

If you have been on the hunt for a full coverage and long lasting foundation- give this one a try! AND if you have been hesitating to splurge on this foundation specifically like I was, remember you can always get a sample from Sephora or try it out in-store first!

 

Glam Vampire Halloween Makeup

One of the easiest ways to put together a last minute Halloween costume is to play around with makeup! I if you don’t have time to go shopping for a costume or just don’t want to spend the money, creating a look out of makeup and whatever you have already in your closet is always a creative and inexpensive option!

The vampire look is pretty typical, but that’s because it is so easy!

Keep scrolling to see the look I created, as well as a full list of products I used.

FACE

  • L.A. Girl Pro Coverage foundation in fair
  • Skipped concealer
  • Set my entire face with the Maybelline Fit Me Lose Powder in the lightest shade
  • Contoured using the Tarte Clay Play Face Shaping palette (mixed all of the contour shades)
  • Skipped bronzer, blush, and highlighter.

EYES

  • Used the red shade from the Morphe 35B palette mixed with the shade Bitten (deep red) from Makeup Geek on the inner half of my eyes. I also brought these colors into the crease slightly as well as the bottom lashline. I used whatever color was left on the brush to smudge it down to wear I would normally apply concealer to enhance the look.
  • Used the shade Blackout from Urban Decay (rich matte black) in the outter V of my eyes. I also brought this down to the lower lashline and smoked it out slightly.
  • I created a dramatic wing using the NYC black liquid liner.
  • Applied a pair of Ardell Demi Whispies
  • Used a black eyeliner to line my waterline and applied a coat of mascara to my bottom lashes.
  • I used a cool-toned light purple shade to create the veins under my eyes with a liner brush.

BROWS & LIPS

  • Filled in my brows using a dark brown cool-toned shadow from the Tarte Clay Play palette
  • For the lips, I used the Katy Perry x Covergirl lipstick in shade Perry Panther (black lipstick) just on the outer edges of my lips. I filled in the center with the Wet N Wild Catsuit liquid lipstick in shade Video Vixen. I blended these together with my finger to create an ombre effect.

 

*Choker is from Sam Moon

Glam Sugar Skull Halloween Makeup 

Hi everyone!! I am back with another glam Halloween look and I am so so excited about this one! The image below was my inspiration for this Sugar Skull makeup look. This makeup was done by @christianthemua on Instagram and when I came across this picture I knew I wanted to recreate it! I love the color scheme and how the warm tones give this a fall vibe as well. I kept my look pretty similar for the most part, while also simplifying the look slightly.

As always, keep scrolling to see my recreation of this look as well as a full list of products that I used to create it. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @marinaleebeauty!

 

FACE:

  • L.A. Girl Pro Coverage HD Foundation in fair (this is really a light medium shade, it matched my skin perfectly).
  • I skipped concealer and contour today since it would have been covered up by the eyeshadows anyway.
  • I used the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in black bean to sketch out the cheekbones and blended out the harsh lines with a matte black shadow to create a gradient effect.
  • I used a terracotta blush shade from the BH Cosmetics nude blush palette to bronze my skin and under the cheekbone shading.
  • I used the same NYX eye pencil to sketch the cross on my forehead, nose, and to sketch outlines petals on my chin. I used a black felt tip liner to help with line precision.
  • I applied a gold metallic shadow overtop of the black jumbo pencil on my nose for more dimension.

EYES:

  • I used the same NYX jumbo pencil in black bean as a base for the navy eyeshadow in order to make the color pop more.
  • I used a matte navy blue shadow from my Morphe 35B palette and patted this overtop of the black base. I also blended this slightly into the crease.
  • I used a mixture of MUG “Bitten” eyeshadow (burgundy) and a bright red shade from the same Morphe palette to shade all around my eyes in a circular area. I also used this to blend out the blue shadow.
  • I applied a thin winged bright yellow liner for a pop of color. The liner I used was the NYX Vivid Brights liquid liner in Vivid Escape.
  • I applied a pair of Ardell Demi Whispies
  • I used the same yellow liner to apply dots under my eyes as well as a bright cobalt blue liner from Wet N Wild.
  • I used a black felt tip liner to sketch the “sockets” around the red eyeshadow and the teeth (apply lipstick first).

BROWS & LIPS

  • Filled in my brows using the ABH Dipbrow pomade in medium brown
  • lined my lips with the Elf Matte Lip Color in Riach Red.
  • I applied the NYX Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard overtop.

The ONE product I use that saved my skin!

I already have a post raving about the magic skincare powers of Manuka honey, but I wanted to post an updated review of this amazing product!

About a year ago, I started suffering from a random outbreak of hormonal acne all along my cheeks and jawline. It was extremely frustrating and I tried so many different products to try to fix the issue. I finally landed on Manuka honey and I have been using it pretty much every day since! Using Manuka honey regularly as a topical skincare treatment has decreased my texture, acne scarring, and uneven skin tone by about 99%!

Keep reading to find out how I use Manuka honey as a skincare treatment, purchasing tips, and other benefits of adding Manuka honey to your everyday skincare routine.

This picture above was taken in natural lighting with no filters or photo editing. I am also not wearing any makeup whatsoever. I do have a little bit of discoloration under my eyes and around my mouth, but any acne scarring and texture that I used to have has completely gone away!
Manuka Doctor is the brand of honey that I use! There are other great brands out there, but this is the one that is available in-store at my local grocery store. It is also a great price for Manuka honey (about $21 a jar).

 

Manuka Honey vs. Regular Table Honey

One of the main differences between Manuka and regular table honey is their origin. Table honey tends to be very inconsistent when it comes to quality, origin, age, and contents. On the other hand, Manuka honey comes from the Manuka plant, which can only be found in New Zealand. This means that there is no inconsistency in its origin and is better regulated in terms of its contents. Another reason why Manuka honey is far superior to table honey is its higher concentration of antibacterial and ant-inflammatory properties; this is measured in MGOs or methylglyoxal. Some studies show that the MGOs in Manuka honey are found to be nearly 100 times greater than in regular table honey. You will also often times see numbers such as 10+, 15+, or even 25+ on the labels of Manuka honey jars and this is the measurement of how potent the anti-inflammatory properties are in that particular jar of honey. This score is referred to as the UMF or Unique Manuka Factor. The higher the UMF, the more expensive the honey is.

 

Purchasing Tips

  • Make sure it says “Product of New Zealand” on the label. This is extremely important because anything labeled as Manuka honey that is not from New Zealand is not authentic Manuka honey.
  • I recommend purchasing a Manuka honey with a UMF score of 15+ or more. You will still receive benefits of a 10+ honey, but this is closer to just regular table honey.
  • Make sure you are purchasing from a reliable brand. I like the Manuka Doctor brand because it is reputable and their product is 100% genuine raw Manuka honey.
  • There is no such thing as cheap Manuka honey. If you come across a product that is significantly less expensive than most, it probably is not the real thing.

 

How I use Manuka Honey

I like to use Manuka honey as a daily mask or as a spot treatment. Before applying the honey, I always make sure that my skin is clean by using a gentle cleanser or micellar water. I apply a few globs all over my face and spread it around with my fingers. I like to leave this on for as long as I can, but a minimum of 30 minutes. Sometimes I will even leave it on for a couple of hours if I am just hanging around the house! I pretty much use the exact same steps when using the honey as a spot treatment. I dab a little bit onto the blemish with my finger or Q-Tip and let it sit there for as long as possible. When I am ready to take off the honey, I rinse my face gently with warm water and pat dry with a towel. My skin feels extremely soft and hydrated afterwards!

Also, if you tend to pick at your blemishes and the results are red, swollen bumps all over your face, Manuka honey will be your best friend! Since it is so high in anti-inflammatory properties, it soothes the skin and reduces irritation extremely well. This being said, Manuka honey is also great for ant bites, mosquito bites, dry patches, burns, and other skincare issues.

 

Other Benefits

  • Anti-aging benefits with consistent use
  • Can help in reducing dark under eye circles
  • Works as a great spot treatment for acne
  • Extremely nourishing and hydrating for the skin
  • Helps reduce skin texture and dryness- great for people with Eczema
  • Less expensive than many other high-end skincare products- plus this is a natural product with no added chemicals!
  • High nutritional value- add it to your tea or as a substitute for regular honey!
  • Helps boost immune system

And the list goes on and on!

 

 

** Information in this post was based on my personal experiences using this product. The factual information about Manuka honey itself was pulled from a few sites: Livstrong.com, thehealthcloud.co.uk, manukahoney.com

MOTD: Modern Grunge 

I pulled out my Carli Bybel x BH Cosmetics Deluxe Edition palette to create today’s makeup look! I also added a bright yellow/green winged liner to add a pop of color to a typical grunge-y makeup look.

Keep scrolling to see more pics of the look I created and, as always, a full list of products that I used.


EYES:

  • Primed my eyes with Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
  • Used the Carli Bybel x BH Cosmetics Deluxe Edition palette for my entire eye look (except the liner). I used the two warm brown shades in the crease, deep purple on the outer corners, and metallic purple shade all over the lids.
  • Applied a coat of Essence Lash Princess mascara (black and blue tube)
  • NYX Vivid Brights liquid liner in shade Vivid Escape
  • Ardell “Demi Whispies” lashes
  • Marc Jacobs black eyeliner pencil

FACE

  • Used Tarte Shape Tape concealer shade light/medium as a foundation
  • Tarte Shape Tape concealer in light sand to conceal
  • Set the face with Wet N Wild Photo Focus finishing powder in tan beige
  • Set under eye area with Essence matte setting powder
  • Bronzed my skin with NYC Sunny matte bronzer
  • Contoured with the Fiona Stiles contour powder in Ahiko
  • For blush I used a light cool toned pink shade from the BH Cosmetics Nude Blush Palette
  • Highlighted using the pink highlight shade from the Carli Bybel x BH Cosmetics palette
  • Filled in my brows only using the Essence Make Me Brow brow mascara (dark shade). I did not want to fill in my brows too much so that they had a messy and feathered look.

LIPS

  • Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Stunning
  • NYX Butter Gloss in Madeleine overtop

 

MOTD: Juvia’s Place Masquearade Palette 

For today’s look, I used the Masquerade Palette from Juvia’s Place (mini)! The shades in this palette are gorgeous, pigmented, and easy to blend.

For a full list of products used and more pics of this look I created, keep scrolling!


EYES

  • Juvia’s Place Masquerade Palette (mini)- Zobo in the crease, Makeda all over lids, Calabar in the outer corner
  • NYC black liquid liner
  • Covergirl SuperSizer mascara
  • Ardell Demi Whispies

FACE

  • Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation
  • Tarte Shape Tape concealer
  • Maybelline Fit Me loose setting powder
  • Tarte Clay Play face shaping palette (contour shades)
  • Maybelline Fit Me blush in Deep Wine (old formula)
  • Smashbox x Casey Holmes Spotlight highlighting palette (gold)
  • Elf Cosmetics baked highlighter in Moonlight Pearls

BROWS

  • L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in brunette

LIPS

  • Rimmel x Kate lipstick in Boho Nude

DIY: Distressed Denim Jacket 

Distressed denim jackets have become a huge fashion trend recently, but this also means that they can be a bit pricey. For today’s DIY, I took an old denim jacket that I had bought previously at a resale shop and decided to create my own distressed denim look for a fraction of the price!

What you will need:

  • A denim jacket (you can find denim jackets at resale shops for a few bucks)
  • Tweezers
  • Hobby knife/exacto knife
  • Grater/ microplane zester (a file or sand paper would also work well)

I started by using the hobby knife to cut slits wherever I wanted to have holes and frays. Then, I used the tweezers to pull out the blue threads so that only the horizontal white threads of the material were left. To add a more distressed look to the jacket, I used the microplane to rough up the frays even more as well as the stitching of the jacket.

Before

After

Hope y’all enjoyed this DIY! Let me know if you have any questions!

Smokey Black & Violet Halo Eyes 

I was inspired by makeup artist Linda Hallberg, yet again, to recreate this black and violet smokey halo eye look. This is not an exact replication of Linda’s makeup, just my own more wearable take on it!

Keep scrolling to see pics of my recreation as well as a full list of products used!

 

(pictured above: Lina Hallberg’s look)

Products Used:

EYES

  • MAC eyeshadow in Soft Brown as a transition shade
  • NYX medium deep purple shade in the crease (sorry I do not remember the name of the shade because I depotted it from its packaging, but any shade will work!)
  • Tarte “Onyx” (matte black) eyeshadow from the Clay Play palette on the inner and outter corners of my eyes. I blended this shade slightly into the crease with the NYX purple eyeshadow I mentioned earlier.
  • Applied MAC eyeshadow in Star Violet (metallic pinky-brown plum shade) to the center of my eyelids using my finger.
  • Blended out the edges with a little bit of the black shadow so that there were no harsh lines
  • Applied a pair of Kiss Blooming lashes

FACE

  • Wet N Wild Photo Focus foundation in shade bronze beige
  • Tarte Shape Tape concealer in light sand
  • NYX HD Finishing Powder (pressed) in banana to set the concealer
  • Elf Cosmetics Cream Contour Palette (lightest contour shade)
  • Tarte Clay Play palette (middle contour shade)
  • MAC Give Me Sun bronzer
  • The Balm Cosmetics InStain blush in shade Pinstripe
  • To highlight, I mixed the Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in The Sweetest Bling (pink undertone with an iridescent violet shift) with the Makeup Revolution baked highlighter in Radiant Lights (pink undertone)

BROWS & LIPS

  • L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer in brunette
  • Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit matte lipstick in Rebel Rose