Caitlin Cosmetologist | A Beauty and Lifestyle Blog by Caitlin Emily Anne
Caitlin Cosmetologist is a combination of all things beauty, wellness and personal development. You will find affordable beauty and style tips and tricks. I also share a lot of cosmetology knowledge and my everyday experiences as a busy twenty-something.
Have you ever heard anyone say that your products will only be as good as your makeup tools? It may not be true across the board but there are definitely some tools, specifically brushes, that are better than others. Even though I want brushes that will give me a flawless application – I can’t justify spending a lot on them. Good news! I’ve found some hight quality brushes at affordable prices. Here are my favorite affordable makeup tools, including brushes. All are under $30 but most are $15 and under.
My Affordable Makeup Tools
I tried a Beauty Blender and I did like it. But, I just can’t bring myself to repurchase it every few months like they suggest when trying to stick to my budget. [I do clean mine but sponges of all kinds are known to get gross after a while and since I have acne prone skin I don’t want to mess with that.]
The Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush is SO good. A lot of other bloggers rave about it, too. It’s a higher price point than other items in this post but it’s still cheaper than many others at Ulta. [I got mine from Amazon.]
The only brush I like better than the Sigma Kabuki is the Morphe M439 Deluxe Buffer Brush from. It buffs like a dream and is only $15!
The Real Techniques Setting Brush is my favorite for my eye area and T-zone because it’s small enough to concentrate powder in the areas I used concealer. If you like to bake, this would be a great option.
I love how big the Real Techniques Powder Brush is. It sets my whole face quickly.
I like the shape of the bronzer brush from the EcoTools Define and Highlight Duo. I prefer to just add some warmth to my face with bronzer and it works well for that.
The oval shape of the Real Techniques Blush Brush applies blush perfectly!
You can’t have a fabulous highlight without a fabulous highlighting brush. I like the fan brush in the duo I mentioned before but the Sigma F35 Highlighter Brush is another one that’s amazing and worth the money. [Also got this from Amazon.]
I have to admit that the only Morphe products I have are brushes. I used points at Ulta to get these eyeshadow brushes. I’m impressed by the quality!
An eyelash curler is so basic but absolutely necessary for big lashes. Remember the brand NYC? Their lash curler was the best but it’s no longer available so I’ve been using the Eyelash Curler from Elf. It’s only $2 and it does give a nice, tight lift.
I like to keep a spoolie in my makeup area to brush my eyebrows in the right direction after washing my face or while I’m doing my makeup. But since one comes on the end of like every brow pencil I have, I like that the Eyelash & Brow Wand from Elf is only $1.
Great makeup tools are definitely a good investment but I appreciate when they are an affordable price!
OMGosh, this post is sooo overdue. I’ve been in a love affair with Tarte Amazonian Clay for over a year and haven’t shared a review here on the blog. So, let’s get to it. I would have to say that this is my favorite foundation. I currently have a handful of foundations in my collection, so I don’t use it every day. But, I keep it stocked and in heavy rotation. It’s my favorite for a few reasons: coverage, lasts ALL day, ingredients. But I’ll share more in a minute.
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click and/or make a purchase.
I’ve seen people say that Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation is too heavy or that you shouldn’t wear it everyday if you’re acne prone. And I disagree. One of the best things about this foundation is that it balances your skin. I technically have combo oily skin. But, because the oily parts of my face are super oily, I cater to that. In the past I had issues with the normal parts of my face drying out or getting flaky during winter but as I’ve repaired my skin’s moisture barrier I find that I have less issues. Amazonian Clay mattifies the oily parts of my skin while keeping the normal parts, well, normal.
In the past when I was reviewing foundations, I would use specific categories/details to help me decide if I liked it. We already know I like this one but I’m still going to use those categories to explain why I love it so much.
Coverage: This is a matte, full coverage foundation but it doesn’t look dry or cakey on my skin.
Consistency: I prefer buffing this foundation all over my face with a brush (like this one) and then using a sponge (currently using this one) for extra coverage where needed.
Wear: As I said before, this lasts all day on my skin. It controls oil without much creasing. I blot at lunch, apply a little powder and it looks great for the rest of the day.
Color: I usually struggle finding a foundation that matches my fair skin but Fair Sand is a great match for me.
Scent: Many foundations I’ve tried had a very strong fragrance that was almost appalling so it used to be a big factor for me. Honestly, I don’t notice a scent with this.
More About Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation
This foundation is oil-free, vegan and matte. In addition to Amazonian clay it contains vitamin E, mineral pigments and SPF 15.
At $39 it’s a higher price than what I was used to. But, to me it’s worth it. I don’t have to buy a new one often – it lasts a while. In an attempt to help my skin I’ve been looking for primer, foundation and concealer (the products that directly touch my skin) with the least amount of “bad” ingredients possible (while still reasonably within my budget) so I really like that Tarte doesn’t use parabens, mineral oil, triclosan, phthalates, SLS or gluten in their products. They’re also cruelty free. And the products are great quality. They’ve definitely become one of my favorite brands! Read my review for another Tarte foundation here.
I’ve been using this primer and this concealer with the foundation. And set it all with this powder and spray. I keep the Amazonian clay finishing powder in my purse for touch-ups.
Have you tried Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation? What’s your favorite foundation?
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I had so much fun with my color of the year makeup post last year that I wanted to do it again. I’ve seen some negative responses to 2019’s color, Living Coral, but I really like it! I’ve always liked coral tones on myself as it seems to warm up my skin. These specific products or shades may not work for everyone but, this post is meant to be fun. I’ve included a few products I currently have and a few that I would love to add to my makeup bag.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pantone’s Color of the Year, it’s a color chosen to signify current times and promote direction of designs and brands. They describe Living Coral as “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.” That just sounds pretty doesn’t it? Read more about Pantone here.
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click and/or make a purchase.
It may not be realistic to wear coral makeup everyday. But, it sure is a fun addition to normal products. I think the coral shadows would look great smudged along the lower lash line! And a coral lip makes a great statement color with a neutral look. All of these shades remind me of spring and summer. I’ll be wearing coral when the weather warms up.
I’d love to say that I’m welcoming 2019 with open arms…but I’m a little timid. I’ve put a lot of pressure on the new year and I don’t feel ready for it to start. I hate to be cliché but when I heard Ariana Grande’s song “thank u, next” I thought it perfectly described how I felt about this year. Pretty humorous that a song about failed relationships makes me think about my year, but it is what it is, haha.
2018 taught me love
2018 taught me patience
And 2018 taught me pain
It wasn’t my worst year but it wasn’t my best either. It taught me a lot but I’m over it.
Thank You, 2018
At the end of each year I enjoy looking at my analytics and seeing what my readers liked and how my blog has grown. So, let’s take a look at 2018!
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click and/or make a purchase.
Created an “Instagram Links” page to help connect Instagram followers with my blog
Celebrated 3 years of CC in June
Updated several areas of the site including the menu bar, shop page and bio page
Life Big Events:
The bank I was working at sold and we went through months of change into a conversion with the new bank
Paid off my car!
Paid off a student loan!
Moved into my own apartment!
Started a new job, in a new office on a new floor
My boyfriend moved to a different city
Celebrated 2 years with my boyfriend
Went back to my college for homecoming
2015 and 2016 were a bit of a mess. 2017 was better…2018? All over the place. The shrugging girl emoji was my emoji for the year because so much was happening and it was hard to keep up. Resolutions seem to have a bad connotation but I do like to set goals that will help me make positive lifestyle changes. I wasn’t going to pick a word for the year but after reading the post I wrote last year and seeing many other people share theirs, I decided I wanted to.
So, my word for 2019 is steady.
There are a few words that I considered, including momentum and persistence. But, I wanted to choose something a little different. The definitions I found for steady are: regular, even, and continuous in development, frequency, or intensity; calm; steadfast or unwavering; resolute. FYI, resolute means set in purpose or opinion or characterized by determination.
The last 2 years I focused on development. I did pretty well but after the big changes this year I feel like I’ve gone backwards with my mindset and wellness. I chose steady because that’s how I want to feel at the end of the day. Regular, determined, purposeful and confident. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed by it all like I do now. I want to feel in control of my emotions.
Oh boy, I feel like I have so much to work on with myself! But, I’ll never feel good about it if I’m too hard on myself. So, that’s my biggest goal. I also want to keep budgeting and achieve more financial goals. I want to celebrate big things and small things and overall feel at peace with where I am in life.
As for my professional life? Consistent growth and development. I hope to continue a good work/life balance.
AND I want to make my blog a high priority again. In 2018 I made the choice to focus on quality of content and not pressure myself to get posts out if I didn’t feel like they were ready. But, that caused me to over think a lot and I ended up putting CC.com on the back-burner more often that I would’ve liked. Learning to write and edit more quickly will help a lot. I spend so much time revising and changing what I wrote that it takes days to complete one post. This is a passion project for me – I want to enjoy the whole process! I’ve come up with a few idea on how I can re-focus my love of the beauty world and continue to share my mental health and wellness journey with those that need it.
I hope you enjoyed this review of the year as much as I did.
I’m so grateful for 2018. But, I’m exhausted, too. Thank you, next!
THANK YOU so much for your support in 2018. Here’s to new opportunities in 2019!
I’ve officially been someone’s girlfriend for 2 years now. (Well, since the middle of October but I just couldn’t get this post right *shrugging girl emoji*.) That’s still strange to me. I spent all the years before that being the girl who was always single – that guys weren’t interested in. Always the 3rd wheel. Or sometimes the 5th. The few times I thought I found someone, I was tricked or hurt by guys that didn’t want the same things. I didn’t understand how relationships worked for other people. To be honest, it still baffles me sometimes.
Part of me feels silly making a big deal about a 2 year dating anniversary because most of my friends are married, have kids, or have been with their boyfriend for much longer than 2 years. Plus, I’m probably the last person to give advice on this topic. And after all, it’s about strong, independent women around here. But, I want to share this with the many women who’ve had the same relationship struggles I have.
We’re All On Our Own Journey and This Is Mine.
Watching other people be in relationships, I did sometimes feel like I was missing out. But, until this relationship I didn’t really know what it was I was missing out on. I guess when I think about it now, it’s not just 2 years of dating someone. It’s 2 years of knowing someone who will be weird with me, of loving myself, and working through struggles.
For most of this relationship I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. I was worried that I would fall short of some expectation.
Honestly, most of the last year of my life I felt that way so this just added to it. Between starting a new job, finding out that job was ending, moving to my apartment, moving to a new desk in a new office on a new floor at work to start my new job, and all the little things in between – it’s been an interesting year. Talking about anxiety and over thinking. *grimmacing emoji*
I’m going to admit – there are many moments I wish I had acted or spoken differently. But I learned from all the changes and all the things I did and said.
So, Here’s To You – Single Girl.
The girl who can’t seem to find a guy who likes her, who doesn’t feel pretty enough, or can’t seem to make a relationship work. I’m not gonna repeat all the clichés -don’t settle, etc. But, really. Keep the faith, someone is out there for you. Don’t think less of yourself because you’re not a girlfriend. And certainly don’t stop doing life the way you love because someone doesn’t love it, too. You’re not necessarily missing out. Your journey is yours. I firmly believed that I had to love myself first before I could love someone else. I still believe that. So, I spent a lot of time working on myself and when I felt I was healed and ready I signed up for an online dating app and put myself out there. You can read about my online dating experience in this post from last year.
I know, I know. It’s easy for me to say. I used to think that when I would read articles like this! For most of my relationship I still related to my single self because that’s all I knew. Well, that and rom coms. So I really DO get it.
To My Single Self
Speaking of my single self – here are the things I wish you knew back then:
Being in a relationship is hard.
Someone will love you – even with all you quirks and flaws.
You will be able to forgive each other and make it all work.
Don’t unload all the baggage you’ve been carrying around – you aren’t the same person now.
You don’t have to change yourself be a girlfriend.
Your boyfriend will help you see things about yourself that you couldn’t see before.
Don’t just wait for a man who gives you heart eyes just from a text – BUT one that always makes time for you and cares about why you’re upset.
Keep praying, the right person for you WILL come along.
I don’t know how long this relationship will last or what the future holds. But I do know that I am forever grateful for this man being in my life.
To J, thank you for showing me that I do truly deserve love and that I am capable of giving it. That being emotional or over thinking doesn’t mean I’m any less than you [or anyone]. For understanding that sometimes I just need to cuddle and other times I need a drink. For telling me I’m pretty when my hair is on top of my head and I have acne scars on my chin – not because you think I want to hear it but because you really think so. As Russell Dickerson would say, “You make me better than I was before, thank God I’m yours”.
These pictures were taken during our trip to Dubuque, IA for my college homecoming. It also happened to be our anniversary weekend. The top of the hill above is one of my favorite places on campus in Dubs – such a pretty view!
During this stressful holiday season please remember you’re not alone. Single or in a relationship – you are loved.
There are many trends I’m loving this season but, let’s be real. I’m also making an effort to invest in versatile basics that I’ll actually get my use out of. So, rather than just talk about styles that will be big this year I wanted to share wearable fall trends. Meaning, ways to actually wear some of this season’s biggest styles.
I’m thankful that many styles from past years are in again this year. It sure saves me some money. Like scarves and booties! If you have a pair of mules- get them out of the box and ready to wear.
As always, all items mentioned are under $50 – cuz ya girl knows about sticking to a budget. There’s only 1 exception to that but it’s on sale at the time of this post- I couldn’t find any similar items under $50. I tend to shop at the same places (mostly Target, haha) so for this post I tried to branch out a little.
This post contains some affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click and/or make a purchase.
Neon/Bright: Bright colors can be intimidating especially if you’re pale like me. I briefly saw an article on Facebook showcasing neon sweaters. I’m pretty confident I can pull that off. This v neck sweater (comes in multiple colors) could be paired with jeans and ankle booties. Size up for the oversized sweater look that’s also super in. It would also look nice with black pants and cute flats for work, in your normal size of course. This crew neck sweater is a little more structured and has cozy in the name (more on that trend later) so how can you go wrong? It comes in lots of colors and in regular, tall and petite sizes!
Leopard: Oh, leopard. I hope you never go out of style. In high school and college I prefered zebra print but I’ve come to embrace leopard as a neutral. However, I can see why you might not want leopard pants or tops so instead- accessorize with it. A scarf or a loafer are excellent ways to combine 2 trends in one and get more bang for your buck.
Mustard: This color screams fall. I like the details of this front-tie cardigan. Now, I don’t think I look that great in mustard, personally, so a purse is more my style. Or this purse! I actually used to have a mustard purse that I loved. But, some of the fabric split so I got rid of it. If I buy a new purse- it’ll be mustard. Or gray, but probably mustard.
Bralette: When I first started seeing bralettes on Instagram I thought they were impractical. But, then I realized that on nights and/or weekends when I want to be cozy I wear a sports bra with something loose fitting. So, why not wear a cute lace bralette with an oversized sweater or pullover instead of a regular old, sports bra? Nothing wrong with feeling girly while wanting to be comfortable. I’m looking at this one and this one.
Cozy: I mean, who doesn’t want to be cozy in the fall? I don’t like feeling sloppy, especially outside of my home, but I’m all about sweatpants and tops that are oh-so comfortable. Last year, fleece/sherpa pullovers were all over my Instagram and I think they’re back this year. I want to get my hands on one because they look dreamy and soft. They remind me of the fuzzy North Face jackets (we called them Teddy Bear Jackets, lol) some of my friends had in college but much cheaper. If I’d rather wear an oversized sweater and jeans or leggings- this one looks great (and is also a bright pink!). I have a sweater with this same material and it was my go-to for road trips last year. You could even pair it with a bralette. Again, 2 trends at once!
Blazer: I’ve always loved blazers and am so happy they’re back. I love the stripes on this one because I totally need more stripes in my wardrobe. There’s a solid color, too, if you’d rather. I like the knit boyfriend fit – it makes a blazer a little more breathable. It could be worn for work or something more casual depending how you style it. I think this blazer would look really nice paired with a satin lace cami and straight leg dress pants for the office.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas for looks this fall and into winter. Of course there are so many other combinations or ways you can wear these trends.
It’s Friday of a 3 day weekend, woo hoo! I have all next week off from work, too! It’s really more of a staycation but I’m getting together with some friends, am looking forward to lots of self-care, and have a trip planned for the weekend. It should be wonderful! Do you any plans for the long weekend?
Which of these wearable fall trends would you wear?