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Sunscreen is an absolute MUST for me – and it should be for you too. The sun is the number one ager of skin, and this mama wants to look 25 forever    I’ve tried about a zillion SPFs over the years, and I know what I like. It has to be lightweight, easy to apply, and it’s got to be free of chemicals! So today I’m featuring my top four physical sunscreens that meet all those checkmarks!

PRESS SAMPLE PURCHASED BY ME/AFFILIATE LINKS

Once upon a time I slathered on chemical sunscreens. There’s a few from Supergoop! that are amazing, but I really hate the idea of applying chemicals to my face. Some of them can be toxic, and even harm the oceans and coral reefs. Plus, my skin has changed massively since having babies. It’s now red, reactive, and sensitive, so it just reacts better to physical SPFs than chemical formulas.

CHEMICAL VS. PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? 

Before I get into my top picks, here’s a quick rundown of chemical vs. physical sunscreens. The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens are usually a cocktail of avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone. Octinoxate hates my skin, and instantly causes breakouts, so it’s another reason I steer clear of it. These chemicals work by absorbing suns rays, and changing their radiation effect. There’s mixed opinions on their safety, but in general they are considered safe. Some pros include a thin texture that applies easily, and no white streaks. However, they take 20 minute to take effect, they can clog pores, and they can increase redness from rosacea.

Physical sunscreens are natural agents consisted of Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide (usually a mixture of both), and they actually reflect suns rays by creating a barrier on skins surface. Some pro’s of physical sunscreens are that they go to work immediately, are less likely to clog pores, and they can actually reduce redness from rosacea (a HUGE reason I prefer it). However, a con is they can create a ghostly white cast in photos – or in person if not properly applied. So, for events with photos I always say skip physical SPFs!

4 PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS I LOVE

Now that we’ve covered our bases with physical vs. chemical SPFs, let’s get into the ones I adore for everyday use. These formulas are easy to apply, don’t take much work to absorb, and they feel light on the skin. Physical sunscreens get a bad rap for being heavy or greasy, but newer formulas designed for the face are totally different. I wear one every day, with or without makeup, and have actually seen a visible improvement in my rosacea.

FIRST AID BEAUTY ULTRA REPAIR PURE MINERAL SUNSCREEN SPF 40

I’m going to start with the SPF I’ve been wearing the longest. I first discovered First Aid Beauty when I was pregnant with my daughter in 2012, and I’ve been loyal ever since. This mineral sunscreen is white and thick, but it mixes well with other moisturizers, and it doesn’t take much work to blend it in. It will leave a white cast in photos (when flash is used), but I so rarely take photos with flash that I don’t even care. In person its undetectable on the skin, and it wears perfectly under makeup. It doesn’t leave me greasy, and it truly protects my face from sunburn.

Seeing Ugly Dolls!

Above is an example of the “white cast” I’m referring to in photos. My mom took this photo at the movies in a dark theatre (with flash), and you can see my face looks a bit ghostly. This is one of the only photos I’ve taken with flash in years, so usually my face isn’t affected by the SPF. But, I wanted to point this out so you’re aware.

PAULA’S CHOICE ESSENTIAL GLOW MOISTURIZER SPF 30

This is a bit different than my other go-to physical sunscreens. Instead of being white, it’s tinted to a pale beige shade, and it’s also supposed to impart a glow. It’s super lightweight, blends effortlessly, and it’s got Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. At first I thought this was a tinted moisturizer, but the beige colored formula doesn’t actually leave any color behind so it’s okay to use on all skin tones. Do I notice a “glow” with it? Ehh, not really, but I like how it wears. It’s weightless, doesn’t clog my pores, and it wears nice under makeup. Oh, and it does not have a sunscreen scent at all.  It meets all my checkmarks, and I love the Paula’s Choice in general, so it’s a win for me!

REN CLEAN SCREEN MINERAL SPF 30

I recently raved about this on Instagram, but I wanted to mention it again here. This baby is the first ever SPF released from REN, and it’s got clean ingredients that won’t harm the environment. It also contains a whopping 22% Zinc Oxide, which is huge. Usually formulas are in the 4-10% range. I do wish this had a flip cap, instead of a screw on one, so that’s my one gripe. Everything else I dig. It’s got a spa like scent (think earthy like most natural products), and while it’s thick, it blends decently and within seconds it feels like nothing at all. I tested this at the park on a super sunny day, and my face was burn free – wish I could say the same about my shoulders!

DERMA- E SUN DEFENSE MINERAL OIL-FREE SUNSCREEN SPF 30

My last pick is hands down the best texture wise. It’s really thin like a chemical sunscreen, but it contains 20% Zinc Oxide. The thinner texture makes it the winner for application, and since its oil free it’s great for those who are prone to break outs. I don’t notice any “sunscreen” smell, and like the others it doesn’t interfere with the application of my makeup. It also contains Vitamin E and Green Tea, and it’s on the cleaner side since it’s from a more natural brand.

SHOP MY FAVS!

I’m constantly trying new formulas, so if you’ve got one you love be sure to leave it in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, for more information click here.

The post 4 Physical Sunscreens I love (and wear great under makeup) appeared first on Collective Beauty.

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One of my all time favorite eyeshadow palettes, is the Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette. I discovered it about 10 years ago, and it quickly became a staple in my collection. After going through two – seriously, I hit pan on EVERY shade twice. I took a little break from it, but I’ve finally gone back. There have been some changes from the OG, so I’ve got all the scoop on how this one compares to the old.

PURCHASED BY ME/AFFILIATE LINKS

TOO FACED NATURAL EYES PALETTE

The original palette was a bit chunkier, and came a little drawer that pulled out from the bottom. There was no mirror, and it included look cards to create the perfect “natural eye.” It retailed for $36, and the nine shades included were neutral, easy to wear, and perfect for everyday.

The updated palette is absolutely beautiful! Instead of cardboard, it’s now a sleek plastic with pink lacy details on the cover. It has gold accents, a heart shaped closure, and there’s a large mirror for travel. It now retails for $38, and includes many of the same neutral/easy to wear shadows, with a few newbies as well.

WHAT’S NEW INSIDE

Although most of the shades are the same, a few favorites have changed. They are similar to the originals, but with minor tweaks and updated names. There is one shade that has been replaced with a different color altogether, but it was a problem child anyway, so I was happy to see they did away with it (more on that later).

My biggest hesitation with buying the updated palette, were all the reviews saying the formula changed. The original was really easy to work with. The shadows were buttery and pigmented, and there was no issue with fall out or fading. When I read mixed reviews on the new palette, I was pretty bummed. But, I snagged this on sale, so I figured it was finally time to see what all the chatter was about!

FORMULA UPDATES

Are the shadows still buttery, and smooth? YES! I have zero issues with how they apply and blend. The pigmentation is still great, and Silk Teddy is still every bit as beautiful as I remember (it’s one of my top lid shades). The only difference in the formula (as far as I can tell), is the scent. They now smell like yummy chocolate. It’s actually a really nice update, and reminds me a lot of Tarte shadows.

SWATCHES

As I mentioned earlier, a few shades have changed from the original palette. They include Velvet Revolver (cool matte brown), Cocoa Puff (rich chocolate with gold shimmer), and Nude Beach (pink champagne with chunky shimmer). Velvet Revolver was replaced with Cashmere Bunny a warmer brown, while Cocoa Puff was replaced with a nearly identical shade called Chocolate Martini. The shade Nude Beach was my least favorite in the OG palette. It was hard to work with, and more shimmer than pigmentation. So, I really wasn’t sad to see it go – though the shade itself was super pretty. Instead, we now have Strip Poker, a golden nude.

NATURAL EYES THEN

NATURAL EYES NOW

I no longer have the original palette, so sadly I cannot swatch it next to the new one. But, as you can see from older swatch photos, they are pretty much identical. In fact, the new swatches look more rich and pigmented than the OG.

FINAL VERDICT

I am SO happy I finally decided to try the new palette! It’s every bit as amazing as I remember, but with super cute updated packaging. You can buy this online, and in store everywhere Too Faced is sold. I highly recommend for neutral lovers! SALE ALERT! Snag the Neutral Eyes Palette, and the Matte version on sale for just $32 at Macy’s! Shop the sale here!

What do you think of the new palette? Do you remember the OG one? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

SHOP TOO FACED NATURAL EYES

This post contains affiliate links, for more information click here.

The post Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette: Then vs. Now appeared first on Collective Beauty.

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Hello there, beauties! It’s been a hot minute since I featured a new brand on Collective Beauty. A few weeks ago, the lovely folks at Winky Lux sent over some of their eye goodies, and I couldn’t wait to dig in. Their products are nicely priced, and the packaging is way too cute!

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WINKY LUX

Everything sent over was for the eyes – eyeshadow, liner, brow pencil, and mascara. Upon looking at their website, I see they also offer face and lip products as well. In fact, they are known for their Flower Balms (clear lip balms with flowers inside of them). I don’t have any to review at the moment, but if you want me to feature those items let me know!

In case you’re new to the brand (like I was), they are headquartered in NYC, and specialize in creating on trend products. Their packaging is innovative, and their ingredients are promised to be luxurious. Here’s a little snippet from their site:

We’re saying “Boy Bye” to parabens, sulfates, gluten, phthalates and animal testing. Our cruelty free, high pigment colors are designed to give you all the feels while providing real results. You’re a QUEEN, you deserve all the pretty things. We’re here to make them for you.”

ROYAL KITTEN EYESHADOW PALETTE $25

This gorgeous palette is fit for a queen! It features 9 shadows in 4 finishes, including shimmer, frost, matte, and glitter. The outer packaging is gold and shimmery, and the inside features a large mirror surrounded by fuchsia flowers.

Like most formulas, the shimmers are the best to swatch. They are creamy, and the pigmentation is nice. However, when applied to the eyes, I found they needed to be packed on with a damp brush for the best intensity.  The mattes also swatched nicely, though Crown Jewels and Tea Time felt much drier than others. Those two were also a tad patchy during application, so you’ll need to take your time with them.

The one problem child in this palette is Tiara (gold shadow). While swatching it’s super creamy, but the shimmer is a little chunky, and it makes a mess. I have not tried it on my eyes yet, but when I do I will make sure to use it wet.

SWATCHES

Overall, this palette is beautiful. I really like the shade selection, and the pop of dark pink. A few of the mattes fell short in terms of texture, and the shimmers can be finicky too, but with a little patience you can create some beautiful looks. I had no issues with fallout, or fading, and they didn’t crease either.

SO EXTRA MASCARA ($16)

The star of the show, was this amazing mascara. I have the wimpiest little lashes. They grow straight, point down, and hardly hold a curl. This lengthening formula not only gives amazing volume, but it thickens as well. Upon application there’s no clumping, and it doesn’t make lashes stick together.

The brush is a nice size, and I love that it’s not plastic! I do experience some flaking after a few hours, but I had the same issue with the It Cosmetics Super Hero Mascara (which this reminds me a lot of). Only this one is nearly $10 cheaper.

FELINER LIQUID EYELINER $13

Winky Lux also sent over two of their Feliner Eye Liners (how cute is the name?!), and although they are both labeled “liquid” one is definitely a pencil – so that’s the one we’ll start with. The formula is super creamy, and it glides on beautifully. The color payoff is rich, and it sets nicely for a smudge-proof finish. Like most pencils, I don’t suggest using it to create a wing, but it’s great for the upper and lower lash line, and the waterline as well.

Onto the actual liquid liner, this felt tip has a super black finish and sets nicely for all day wear. It doesn’t flake away or smudge, and it was easy to control for a sharp or thick line. Both liners performed excellent, and when compared to drugstore brands, the price point is only a few bucks higher.

UNI-BROW UNIVERAL EYEBROW PENCIL $14

When it comes to “universal” brow products, most of them don’t work for me. My brows are really dark (almost black), so anything too warm or light just looks so obvious. For that reason, I prefer shades that are cool, but most universals are just a tad too warm and light. However, I decided to try this anyway and I really liked the formula.

The tip is slanted, so it’s easy to apply, and the formula was great – not too creamy, and not too stiff. I was able to get hair like strokes with this, and the formula didn’t break down or look splotchy at the end of the day. It’s not itch proof, but most pencils aren’t. Despite the shade not matching me (see swatch above), I really liked this. If other shades are introduced, I could see myself switching to this.

SHOP WINKY LUX

If you’re in the market for new beauty goodies with gorgeous packaging, and a great price point, then I suggest Winky Lux! The mascara and liners are my top picks, but with a little work the eyeshadow palette can create gorgeous looks. You can shop this brand on their site, or at ULTA, Macy’s, Sephora, and even HSN.com. If you choose to shop on their brand site, you can use Quad Pay to split your payments – making this affordable brand even more affordable!

Have you tried anything from this brand? I’d love to know!

GET YOURS!

Products sent for consideration, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information, click here.

The post Winky Lux Eye Products! appeared first on Collective Beauty.

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When it comes to eyeshadow, I’m super picky about the formula. It’s got to be pigmented, creamy, and easy to blend. There are a ton of brands out there that deliver, but none that knock brights out of the park quite like Urban Decay. This year they launched a ton of palettes – Naked Cherry, Born to Run, Beached, etc. Each was beautiful, but the Elements Palette was (in my opinion) the star of the show!

PRESS SAMPLE/AFFILIATE LINKS

URBAN DECAY ELEMENTS PALETTE

This gorgeous circular palette contains 19 all-new shades inspired by the elements. It retails for $52 at ULTA, Sephora, and Urban Decay, and although it’s limited edition it’s still in stock on all three sites. Plus, you can save up to $25 when you shop the Beauty Insider savings event going on now at Sephora until 12/12.

If you’re a fan of bold or neutral shades, this palette is perfect for you! It’s got a little something for everyone, from the soft browns, to the metallic blues. Even if you shy away from brights, don’t let the shade selection scare you. The blues and pinks can be used on the lower lash line for a subtle pop of color.

In addition to the shade variety, there are also a few different finishes to choose from, including matte, metallic, satin, and shimmer. Throughout swatching and testing on the lids, I found that each finish wore and applied the same. They are creamy, smooth, and blend easily. The pigmentation for the lighter shades is superb, and the metallics look stunning when applied with a damp brush (applied dry they are quite sheer).

SWATCHES + WEAR TIME

Swatches are applied to bare skin, without primer. Most shades were just one swipe!

Although this palette looks gorgeous, what really matters is how it performs. These buttery smooth shadows swatch like a dream, and even better they apply that way too. I had zero issues with creasing, though I did find them to fade a little around the 10-hour mark. I was a bit surprised by that, since I’ve never had fading with other Urban Decay palettes. Still, with a primer you’ll get well over an 8-hour work days wear with this.

Per usual, you’ll want to apply the darker shaders before your makeup, because you’ll have some fall out. Other than that I really like this! I mentioned before that the metallics apply best when wet, but I find that to be the case with any brand. A simply spray of MAC Fix +, or any setting spray onto your brush will make a world of difference with metallics!

SHOP THE ELEMENTS PALETTE

Urban Decay is 100% cruelty free, and this palette is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Be sure to snag yours before it’s gone for good! What do you think of the Elements Palette? I’d love to know!

Product sent for consideration, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information, click here.

The post Urban Decay Elements Palette – Review + Swatches appeared first on Collective Beauty.

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