Tag: beauty

Amazon Beauty Favorites

August 22
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So if you haven’t noticed, I’m addicted to Amazon. Honestly, any time I can order something online and have it delivered to my home is a win. It is not that it is so hard to go buy a new lipstick or whatever, it is just annoying to have to remember to do it, to make the stop, and then to not buy the entire store while I am there. Also, I don’t actually spend much time in normal stores like Target or CVS. I buy my groceries at Aldi and Costco so to go buy a mascara is a special trip.

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Anyways, because of this I have been shopping for beauty products on Amazon more and more over the last year. Also, I have been using this as an excuse to try out new drugstore brand products. Hello saving $$!  My newest thing has been to use the Amazon subscribe and save option to subscribe to my favorite holy grail items so I always have them on hand.  The best part? When you subscribe to five items you get 15% off, and the prices are already low to start.

FYI this is not a sponsored post. Yes, a get a small commission if you buy anything from my Amazon links, but I am just sharing because this is awesome. 

So, on to my personal Amazon favorites. These are the items I am subscribed to. I get them every six months and if I don’t want an item one month I skip it.

This NYX concealer is my favorite. It is just as good as a $20-30 product for less than $5.  I have thin pale skin so without a concealer I totally look like I have a black eye.

My favorite moisturizer is a great Amazon staple. Sometimes I cannot find it in the store so knowing I can grab it on Amazon is helpful.

I am always a sucker for a new mascara so having one delivered is great.

This primer is a favorite. Super affordable and just as good as other pricy options.

This eyeliner is less than $4 right now. Cannot be beat. I use a liquid marker style liner on my top lids but I love these for the bottom as you don’t have to sharpen it. I keep one at home and one in my bag for on the go.

Other favorites include this NYX dewey finishing spray, ELF lip exfoliator,

All my Amazon beauty favorites as well as other favorite products are available on my Amazon page. I try to keep this page updated with my favorite things that are on Amazon. Remember, I do get a small commission from purchases, but that does not affect your price.

What are your favorite Amazon beauty staples? Share them in the comments or tag me in a photo on Instagram, I’m @_amberdowns.

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Summer beauty favorites

May 30
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Every year around this time I start to change up my daily makeup routine. With the warm days I tend to wear less makeup and reach for items that have lots of SPF and don’t melt off my face in the heat and humidity.

A few months ago in anticipation of summer I asked on Instagram about BB cream suggestions. I received lots of great suggestions and decided to start with the cheapest and work my way up. This BB cream is super cheap and on Amazon Prime. For me, one of my main needs in a foundation is something that wears all day and I don’t always get that with a foundation, let along a BB cream. This one gives me that and a great full coverage. I keep finding myself going for this in the mornings, even in place of my high end foundations.

Even on no makeup days I apply moisturizer. This gives my skin something to keep it healthy and protect it from the sun. I have been wearing this one for some time and have been very happy.  I recommend SPF 30+, especially here in the south.

I have a confession. I am the worst about reapplying lip products throughout the day. That is why I am such a big fan of longwear lip products. In the summer I am even more focused on wearing longwear lip products because with the humidity and pool time I have a hard time keeping the stuff on. For this summer I am loving this shade. I can put it on in the morning and not worry about it all day. This one is great too, but a little more pricy.

So of course with the summer, sunscreen is a must. I of course apply it to my face via moisturizer every morning, but I also like to hit my shoulders or other exposed skin when I get the chance. This one is a favorite, but a little on the expensive side. This is a great budget option.

My last summer staple is waterproof mascara. I don’t pull it out often, but I aways grab a tube each summer for those pool and beach days with friends. I like to keep it minimalist, but I have super light eyelashes so just some waterproof mascara (along with moisturizer) makes all the difference.  I haven’t tried a ton, but this one is pretty good so far. Always double check when you purchase that you are in fact buying a waterproof item and save it just for wet days! I use these pads to remove waterproof mascara.

So those are my simple summer favorites. Like I said, I don’t wear tons of makeup this time of year, but I still want to look good and take care of my skin even on pool days and in the humidity. What are your summer favorites?

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Current Amazon favorites

April 27
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Y’all know I love Amazon. For me, any time I can order something from them instead of stopping at the store to grab it is a win. In an effort to save time I am focusing on Amazon orders more and more. Honestly, knowing the item will be there in two days without checking four stores for the item is so worth it. Run out of soap or mascara? Boom- two days. (Or same day for some items.) So I figured I’d share a few of my current Amazon favorites.

I finally jumped on the Micellar water band wagon and I am already in love. For some reason when this product became popular I just figured it was some hyped up water so I ignored it. This “water” is great for removing makeup and sweat at the end of the day. I squirt some onto a few sheets of toilet paper to wash away the grime of the day. As a person with dry sensitive skin this is awesome. Also, it will take the place of makeup removing wipes on those days I am too lazy to do anything more.  I have this one from Amazon. (Wouldn’t this be great in a small bottle for travel?)

I’ve talked about it before, but if you need a basic mascara L’Oreal  Paris Voluminous Original Mascara is a great deal. Right now it is only $5.50 for a tube. This item is also available for the Subscribe and Save option. With this you get the item delivered every 1-6 months and you save 5% on each order. If you subscribe to five our more items you get 15% off everything. Once I finally pick my subscription items I will share them here on the blog.

You know this e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer has been one of my go-to items for awhile now. It does the job just as well as other brands and has great, useful packaging.  Try some of there other varieties as well to find your favorite.

Although I would like to try some other concealers, I find that my go to keeps being this NYX HD concealer.  It does the job as well as anything else and is only $5 or less. I use this along with NYX Dark Circle Concealer   to combat thin skin and blue tones under my eyes. #palegirlproblems.

So I was going to talk about some home stuff I have purchased, but it looks like this became a beauty only post. I am totally ok with this.

Ok, I will share one more. Although I did not buy this eyeliner on Amazon, I will next time. This L’Oreal eyeliner is super simple and a great everyday basic. I use it for a simple line on my upper lashes and can smudge it out with the bottom if needed. I also use it for lining my lower lid. Although I like something a little more dramatic for evenings, this stuff is great for everyday wear.

 

 

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My Five Favorite Hair Products

March 7
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I do not consider myself a hair expert at all, but I discovered some hair products that really work for me. I have slightly wavy that is thicker than you’d imagine. I wear my hair both straight and curly and use product and heat for both styles. I use a mixture of drugstore and department store products and of course love inexpensive options when available. These are the products that are my favorites.

My favorite hairspray is Kenra Volume Spray 25. This hairspray has a great hold for all styles and keeps my hair in place whenever needed. The bottle is a little pricey, but you don’t need to use a ton so it is worth it and lasts for some time.

Although I have a decent amount of hair I often find that I am lacking body at the root. I fix this I use Aquage Uplifting Foam before I blow dry to really pump my roots. I don’t blow dry every time I wash so I don’t used it all the time, but when I do it is worth it. This product was introduced to my by Kate at The Small Things Blog and is finally available at Ulta.

Over Black Friday weekend last year I tried two Not Your Mother’s products as they were on sale at Ulta. Not Your Mother’s Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray is amazing. I love using texture spray on clean hair to give it a little extra hold. It also works as a light hairspray on days I touch up curls. It has become a total staple on my vanity and is great to help make styles last.

The other product Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. I use this dry shampoo on day two and three hair to take away some of the oil from my roots. I have tried many dry shampoos and this one is my current favorite. It cannot be beat for the price and it goes on sale regularly.

I don’t always flat iron my hair, but when I do I use  L’oreal Sleek it Flat Iron Spray. This spray is applied to damp hair before drying and protects hair as well as makes it super sleek after it goes through the iron. I was without for a few weeks and my straight hair was just not the same. This is also a great item for the price .

These are my favorites, what are yours? I am always looking to try something new!

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Favorite skincare products

January 26
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So tonight while doing my evening skincare routine I realized I haven’t done a round-up here on the blog of my favorites skincare products. So here I am with freshly cleaned and moisturized skin to share them with you.

A little about me and my skin. I had oily skin as a teen but somewhere between 18 and 30 I developed dry dull skin. Honestly, I don’t even know when this happened, I just realized one day that I was still using my teen acne prone skin products and I did not need them anymore. At that point I tossed the clean and clear and grabbed the SPF moisturizer.

Most of my skincare products are drugstore items. Skincare is important and worth spending money on, however I have not yet taken the time to find what high end products I really need. Within the next year I plan on trying out some higher end products and focusing on anti-aging.

My all time favorite moisturizer is CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30. I have been using this for a few years now and it is the perfect mix of moisture and SPF. I love that it comes in a pump bottle so it is less likely to be contaminated like a tub can. Bonus: The bottle is exactly 3 oz and fits nicely in a quart-sized bag. Perfect for your carry on!

This second product is a little more pricey but lasts a long time and is worth it. I received the Lancome  Visionnaire Crescendo™ Progressive Night Peel from Lancôme a few months ago and love it. This peel is a 14-day chemical night peel that rejuvenates skin and removed dead skin cells without leaving your face red or irritated like a real peel can. As my skin has aged and become more dry I have felt that my skin needs more than just moisture and this product helps remove those dead skin cells that make my skin dull and bland. After doing the 14 day process I use the product about twice a week to maintain.

If you are interested in a type of peel but do not want to go as far as the above product you may like the ELF Gentle Peeling Exfoliant. Although this product is not as strong as the other, it does help to remove dead skin cells without causing irritation. In fact, this is one of the few products that I feel throughly cleans the skin without leaving it feeling tight and tingly.

Although I generally remove my makeup with a facial soap I sometimes find myself super tired at the end of hte day and don’t want to take the time. For these days I keep a pack of Kirkland Signature Daily Facial Towelettes in my room to clean my face without water. Although I don’t like using these daily, they are great for once in a while and for travel.

My last product for today is  Jojoba oil . I use this oil as a facial cleanser here and there to help clean the sebaceous filaments on my chin. This is a skin problem of mine where the hair follicles on my chin collect oil and dead skin cells. For years I struggled with why my chin always seemed to have clogged pores and tried forever to remove them, usually via exfoliation. Well it turns our they don’t go away but I can cleanse them with oil with a process similar to the oil cleansing process. I do this about once a week which keeps the area clear of buildup and helps my makeup apply nicely. I love this as a cleansing process, however it is more time consuming then a regular wash so I don’t do it all the time.

So these are my favorite products. I sub out items here and there and have others but I like to keep things fairly simple. I am looking to ad a vitamin C serum to my regimen in the near future but have not found one that I love, especially when looking at the price tag. If you have a favorite please let me know!

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Favorite department store products

April 30
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Favorite Department Store Beauty Products. My favorites for Ulta and Sephora.

 

I love finding great products at the drugstore, but sometimes its worth spending the cash and getting the high end item.  These are a few of my favorite department store products that are worth every penny.

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Naked 2 Palette by Urban Decay 
I am sure you’ve heard about the amazing line of Urban Decay Naked products. They basically exploded a few years ago.  Well, in case you haven’t tried the shadows, they are amazing.  I know that $50 sounds like a lot for eye shadow but this palette will last a long time.  I’ve had mine for two years and it’s still going strong.  If you’re a eye shadow person this is worth the cost.  What makes it so great?  These shadows are perfectly pigmented to provide the perfect color application.  Not to heavy, not to light.  Also, the palette comes with enough colors to give you severals looks from a day at work to a night on the town.

 

 

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade
Brows are in and with this product my brows stay on all day. I used to use a cheap brow gel and half way through the day my brows were gone.  With Anastasia they are “on point” until I take my makeup off.  This little tub was only $18 and has lasted me way over a year and I still have a ways to go.  I use it with a E.L.F. brush instead of the one they sell.

 

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Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush
I discovered these blushes through fellow blogger Kate at The Small Things Blog.  She raved and raved about them so I figured I’d try them out.  Turns out she is right.  These really are lovely blushes.  They are well pigmented and go on smooth.  They last all day for a great look.  I own blissful and Tipsy.  Look around and find the color that works best for you.

 

katKat Von D  Lock-it Tattoo Foundation
I did my own makeup for my wedding.  One of the things I was concerned about was my foundation so went searching for a super strong all day foundation.  I wanted something that would cover any blemish, conceal redness and issues, and last 12+ hours.  I found this in the Kat Von D Lock-it foundation.  Now, I have to admit that was not a brand I had every really thought was worth it, but it is.  Her products stay all day, something very important to me.  I mix this with a little bb cream for everyday use to thin it out a little.  I get the best application with a stippling brush, but a beauty blender would be great too if you’re into that.

 

Interested in how you can save money on department store beauty products? Check out my post here.

Have you tried any of these products?  What do you think?  Of course everyone is different and what works wonders for me may or not be your cup of tea, but these are just some of my faves.  I have an order coming in next week from Tarte so you can look forward for my thoughts on those products as well.

 

 

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How to save on high end beauty supplies

March 4
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High end beauty products seem to be the kinds of items that don’t really go on sale.  You might get a free mini product with purchase or something, but you just don’t see the same sales as you do with clothing, food, and other items. Regardless, I do have a few tips on how to save money on high end make products.  Try these out and see how much you save!

Six secrets to saving money on department store makeup (1)

1. Although most of us generally purchase items through Ulta or Sephora, brands also have their own websites which actually go on sale sometimes. Urban Decay has sales quite a bit and they put items on clearance.  I was able to grab their Naked Flushed palette in Native for only $11 during a sale. (regular $29.)  Its still on sale for $15 here.

Add yourself to the email list for Urban Decay, Tarte, Too Faced, and whatever other brands you like. Look out for emails about special deals.

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2. Every December Sephora sends out an email/and or regular mail to their members with a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase (More for VIB Rouge members)  This is great time to grab a new foundation or other expensive item right be before the holidays.

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HSN, thats right, the Home Shopping Network carries a few nice beauty brands.  Join (for free) and receive emails with nice coupons.  I have used $10 of a $20 purchase coupons to get mascara half off.  Check it out, they always have a discount or sale going on.

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3. Still want to buy your items at Sephora? Download the app Ibotta and get $10 back on a $50 purchase at Sephora (excludes JCP locations.)  BONUS:  Join through the link above and get an extra $10 back when you redeem your first rebate.  That’s $50 worth of products for $30.  (even less if you combine with another tactic mentioned here.)

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4. Ok, so you still want to buy your products at your regular store or site.  That’s ok, you can still save a little buy purchasing with a gift card.  Ok, not any gift card, but one from a gift card resell site.  I have used this technique many times to save on expensive items including my dishwasher! Read the fine print, but generally these can be used in store or online.  I find the best deals with an app called Raise.  Currently, when you join Raise for free using this link you will receive $5 off your first gift card order.  Most cards are electronic so you will receive it within a day.  Some cards are physical so they may have to arrive in the mail.  Just check before you buy.  I found cards for Sephora inside JCP for up to 23% off and regular Sephora cards for 10% off.  An Ulta fan? I found cards up to 10% off.

 

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5. Lastly, if you are shopping online at all you NEED to be using Ebates.  Ebates is a free cash back program that gives you cash back for almost every purchase.  Generally you can get between 2% and 10% back on beauty sites.  This trick works in combination with the online options mentioned in this post so double up!

 

Have you used any of these tricks before?  Did they work well?  Do you have other suggestions?  Share in the comments!

 

Note: This post contains referral links.  When you sign up for a free service via these links I receive a small commission.  Often, you will receive a discount, bonus, or extra promotion as well. Its a win-win!

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Favorite drug store beauty products of 2015

February 24
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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you purchase an item from a link on this page I may receive a small commission.  This does not affect the price you pay. 

My 6 favorite drugstore products of 2015- Why I love these frugal/ budget friendly beauty, hair, and skin products that you can purchase anywhere. AmberDowns.net

 

I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few of my favorite drugstore products of 2015.  I love to use drug store products, but hate buying them and finding that are not as good as advertised.  Below are a few products that i feel are as good as high end items at a fraction of the cost.


CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor (On sale at Amazon for only $6.99 with $2 off coupon!)
I have a huge problem with lipstick wearing off.  I have tried practically every brand and within an hour its gone.  I ran across this in CVS one day and grabbed it on a whim.  Well turns out its amazing.  Yes, it is a liquid product which is a little more drying, but it comes with a super cool clear coat that locks in moisture and provides shine.  I have tried other high end brands of liquid lipstick since this product and although they work, this one is just as good and half the cost.

 

Maybelline Baby Skin Instand Pore Eraser  $4.49 on amazon
I started using primers about a year and a half ago and let me tell you, they are amazing.  Now, you will notice this produce is not advertised as an primer, but it is.  I had been pretty loyal to Smashbox, but $36  was starting to get a little pricy so I tried this.  It’s basically the same thing and makes my makeup application dreamy.  (Yes, dreamy.)  Even if you’ve never used a primer before, for $5 this is worth a shot.  (Trust me!)

L’oreal SLEEK IT Iron Straight Heatspray

Ok, this product is awesome, but it might just over do it on claims. I discovered this on sale at Target last year and have been in love ever since.  I use it on wet hair before blow drying to reduce frizz and leave a silky smooth texture.  I also use it before using a flat iron and it really helps reduce the crazy bulky feeling of my hair.  I love that it doubles as a heat protectant spray, so that is on less item to buy.  As a resident of Florida I deal with gross frizzy hair all the time and this really helps combat the issue.  I also use it before curling for a little protection.  Does it last three days?  Maybe in the winter, but lets not get too crazy.  Besides, for $5 what more could you ask for?

Herbal Essences NAKED Dry Shampoo

This product is from the naked line that Herbal Essences came out with.  It claims 0% paraben and colorant; It also comes in a pretty matte can. I am a dry shampoo lover; as an owner of colored red hair I avoid shampooing whenever possible.  I have trained my hair to go at least 2 days between washing, but sometimes it gets a little oily by the 3rd day.  This is where the dry shampoo comes in.  I have tried every drugstore dry shampoo and it wasn’t until this product that I found my favorite.  This dry shampoo, unlike other brands, goes on clear and does not leave an icky white residue.  Perfect for those of us with darker hair and roots, and those who don’t want any more gray then necessary.  I spray this onto  my roots area, let it sit for a few minutes then brush out and style as usual.  Viola! Another day without washing my hair.

Sally Hensen Complete Salon Manicure

This nail polish has been around for a few years now but I continue to enjoy it.  At $7.99 a bottle it is one of the more expensive drug store polishes but its worth it.  I have the biggest problem with nail polish chipping and wearing off too fast.  This polish, along with a good bottom and top coat really do last and make painting your nails worth the time.  This polish goes on sale all the time so keep an eye out.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30 for Normal to Dry Skin

This is my current go to morning moisturizer.  This product delivers the moisture my normal to dry skin needs as well as provides a great layer of sun protection.  (Super important!)  I love that it is in a bottle with a pump instead of a a tub as this keeps the bacteria and germs from my fingers out of the rest of the product..

Have you used these products?  What do you think?  Do you have some favorite drugstore beauty products? Share them in the comments!

 

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