Review | July Favorites | 2016

Review | July Favorites | 2016

I purchased a lot of new products this month, and it’s really difficult to narrow my favorites list down to only 5, but this is my attempt to do just that! I also experienced some “oh no’s” this month, and I’ll document those in a separate blog. As always, my reviews are 100% non-sponsored. I don’t receive any PR, and I pay for all of my products 100% in order to provide you with a completely honest, unbiased review. So let’s dive in and get started!

  1. Farsali Rose Gold Elixer – I’m sure you’ve seen all the gorgeous YouTubers and IGers raving about this product. I caved in and had to give it a try, and I’m glad that I did. This is a beauty oil infused with many great essential oils and flecks of gold. It can be used directly on the skin as a moisturizer or blended with foundation to give your face an extra glow and take away the dryness or cakey look that some foundations have. I usually apply this directly to my skin every morning and let it soak in a while before applying my makeup. I also use it as a nightly moisturizer after cleansing my face and applying my routine skincare regimen. I’ve been using this product since it arrived on July 8th. I typically like to give skincare products at least 2-4 weeks of use before reviewing them because no skincare product magically provides instant results. However, this is a product that truly provided noticeable results in my overall skin appearance within the first few days. It gives me a youthful, healthy glow, and it improves the overall look of my face with and without makeup. I feel like it truly helps my makeup apply easier, and everything just looks better when I use this product. I honestly haven’t tried to blend it with my foundation yet. I have applied it just 5 minutes prior to putting on my foundation, and I felt like this product needs more time to absorb into the skin or else it will give you a greasy, sweaty look that isn’t flattering. When I applied it 30 minutes – 1 hour before my makeup, it helps give my makeup a more flawless, “healthy glow” appearance. I have combination skin that is really dry in some parts and normal in other parts. I can’t really speak to how this product will work for oily skin, although I believe it would be an excellent moisturizer to use in the evening even if you can’t use it in the morning as part of your makeup routine.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: This product is available directly on the Farsali website. 

COST: Farsali Rose Gold Elixir is available in 2 sizes: 30 ml bottle for $54 and a 15ml bottle for $35. Right now they have a 2 bottle special of the 30ml for $99.95, and I highly recommend that bundle. This product is frequently out of stock, so you don’t want to risk running out.

2.  Sigma Spa Express Brush Cleaning Mat – I honestly don’t know how I made it this long without this little treasure. It makes cleaning brushes fun, easy, fast, and thorough. It really is amazing to see how clean your brushes can get when you use this mat versus trying to clean them using only your hands and soap. It is gentle enough where it doesn’t cause any harm to your delicate, expensive brushes but strong enough to get into areas that you didn’t know existed and get them clean as new. The mat comes in 2 sizes, a full size and the Express size. The Express is big enough for me and will fit into the average bathroom sink. It contains 7 different textures designed to clean all brush sizes. The left side is for small brushes and the right side is for large brushes. It has different textures for cleaning and rinsing  It is patented so that nobody else can copy the great technology that Sigma developed.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: The Brush Cleaning Mats are available directly from the Sigma Beauty website. Be sure to sign up for their email newsletter to be informed of sales events.

COST: The Express mat is available for $25. If you want the full size mat, it’s $32.

3.  Artis Brush Oval 7 – I realize that the Artis brushes are a little more costly than most people want to pay for makeup brushes.  However, I never realized how important proper tools (brushes) were until I started biting the bullet to pay more for good quality brushes. They make such a difference in how your makeup applies, how it blends, how it looks, and even how much product you have to use. If you can’t justify the expense of a full set of Artis brushes and want to know if there’s just 1 in the set that can do just about everything, say “hello” to the Artis Oval 7 brush, one of the newest brushes in their lineup. Trust me when I say that this brush truly is worth the price tag. You will actually earn a return on your investment because this brush allows you to use substantially less products to achieve the same look. The Oval 7 is the perfect size to apply foundation and powder. It can even blend in your contour and concealer. Artis brushes are densely packed with their own fibers called Cosmofibers. If you use a liquid foundation or other liquid products, the product will never settle down deep into the fibers of the brush or get absorbed in the brush fibers as it does with most other brushes. The end result is that you’ll use way less product than you usually do… actually about half the amount. Add that up over time and you can see how this brush easily pays for itself. The brush is so soft and it feels really nice against your skin. It provides a flawless, airbrushed finish. I prefer this over using the Beauty Blender. Yes, you heard me right. That’s blasphemy to say, I know. Haha Please note that Artis brushes are designed to use on yourself and not to apply makeup on someone else. This is very important if you’re a makeup artist looking for professional brushes to use on clients. The design is specifically made to fit into the hand of the person applying it to their own face, and they won’t be effective or easy to use on others. They are coming out with a hand-held brush without a handle, and that may have more flexibility to use on yourself or clients.

WHERE TO PURCHASE: Artis brushes are available at multiple stores now. You can purchase directly on the Artis website. Their website also has a list of stores that are authorized retailers. I highly recommend checking them out on That’s where I bought most of my Artis brushes because HSN and Artis partnered up to provide unique sets and deals that are only available there. For example, I bought a set of 3 brushes with the cleaning pad and solution for just $95 (individually it would have costs upwards of $150 elsewhere). HSN also frequently offers the brushes on Easy Pay, allowing you to divide the cost into 3 to 5 monthly payments when using a credit or debit card. That makes it much easier for most people to afford them. I bought my Oval 7 on the Beauty Bar website. They had a coupon for around $15 off my first purchase, and that was a huge savings!

COST: The Oval 7 by itself retails for $60 in the Elite Mirror style. They have different “styles” available for different prices where the appearance of the handle is different.

4. BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Split Pans – I was on the fence about purchasing any of the BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Split Pans since I already had purchased the limited edition face palette. The split pans contain a combination split of a mineral blush and one of the champagne collection highlighters. Two of the pans contain Champagne Pop and the other two options contain Prosecco Pop. I was on the fence because the full face palette (a limited edition palette that is now sold out at  contains both of the Jaclyn Hill highlighters in Champagne Pop and Prosecco Pop. It also contains the shade Amaretto, which is one of the blush shades available in the split pan. So if you have the face palette already, be careful not to double purchase a shade that you already have in the split pan unless you just want a backup or something small to throw in your purse. I purchased the split pan in Flowerchild blush and Champagne Pop. Flowerchild is really a beautiful shade that I didn’t previously own. It’s a peachy pink shade with golden highlights. One thing to know about the blushes in these split pans is that the formula is different from the original full size blushes sold. BECCA is changing their formula of all mineral blushes so that they will last longer and not expire as quickly. They say that they are still the same quality as the original, they just don’t go bad as quick. They are made in the USA, which is important. As most of you know, the BECCA Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette was discontinued after realizing the quality did not meet the standards of other BECCA products. We then learned that it was manufactured in China in order to expedite production for the launch. However, that problem doesn’t exist with this product. They are really wonderful. Between the face palette and split pan, I have literally been wearing these every single day since I bought them both.

The split pans are available in the following combinations:

  • Champagne Pop and Flowerchild
  • Champagne Pop and Hyacynth
  • Prosecco Pop and Amaretto
  • Prosecco Pop and Pamplemousse

WHERE TO PURCHASE: The BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Limited Edition products are exclusive to Sephora. You can find them at your local Sephora or on their website.

COST: The split pans are $38 each.

5.  Lancôme Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara and Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner – Lancôme, in my opinion, makes the best mascaras on the market. They are widely known and admired for their quality mascaras. I have personally used them since I was a teenager, about 25 years now. They have never failed me, and I return to this brand without fail. Yes, I’ve tried other brands along the way hoping to find something that actually fulfills its claims of long, thick lashes, but nothing else has held up to the hype as Lancôme mascaras do. Lancome frequently comes out with different lines/names/types of mascaras, and honestly, you can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose from their lineup. Their Definicils mascara is the top selling one in their line. I have to choose a waterproof formula no matter which one I choose.  I wear contacts, so I’m constantly rubbing my eyes or applying drops to my eyes. I also have allergies so I have to wear something that is waterproof. Last month I bought the Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara out of their lineup, and it doesn’t disappoint! It is absolutely beautiful, not clumpy, and it provides full, thick volumous lashes whether you have naturally full lashes or not. If you want extra bang and fullness, check out their mascara primer called CILS Booster XL. It will really plump up your lashes and add extra thickness and length to your lash look.

The next product I purchased and recommend is their waterproof eyeliners called Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner.  This is a double-ended eyeliner that contains a twist-up eyeliner on one side that never has to be sharpened and a blending sponge on the other side. It glides on very easily and doesn’t smudge or budge once it’s set. You can apply this to your waterline without any issues. It’s made to last through tears or just about anything. I personally apply a primer to my eyelids and lower eyes before ever applying any eyeliner, and that will help this stay on all day and night without looking like a raccoon at the end of the day. It is very difficult for me to find eyeliners that don’t smear and smudge below my eyes, making me look like I have black eyes. This product and the Stila eyeliners are the only ones that I can wear without worrying all day. I love the fact that this eyeliner has the double sides with the smudging sponge. I use it every single time I apply this mascara and it’s so convenient to have it all together in one product.

WHERE TO BUY: Lancôme products are available at most major department stores such as Macy’s and Dillard’s. You can find some of their products at Sephora. You can also purchase directly from Lancôme’s website. I like to wait for the Gift with Purchase times at Macy’s and Dillard’s to get my Lancôme products since you can usually get a nice gift bag with HUGE samples (even full sized products) and a cosmetic bag free with a minimum purchase. I never have to buy some items because of deals like this; I’m always able to get my Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover for free this way (the best there is), as well as some skincare products, eyeshadow and blush palettes, and other stuff. You can’t lose at that time of year.

COST: The Hypnose Drama Waterproof Mascara retails for $27.50. Most of their other mascaras are around the same price range if you want to look at their other options. The Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner retails for $27.


Farsali Rose Gold Elixer

Farsali Elixer

Sigma Spa Epress Brush Cleaning Mat

Sigma Express Brush Cleaning MatSigma Express Mat


Artis Brushes – Oval 7

Artis Brushes

BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Split Plan in Champagne Pop (highlighter) and Flowerchild (mineral blush)

BECCA Champagne Split Pan

Lancome Hypnose Waterproof Mascara and Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner (Gift with Purchase also shown in this photo – Purchased from Dillards)

Lancôme Mascara and Eyeliner



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