top picks

Four For You!

Hello, loves!

Today I have another round of Four For You!  Here are some of my latest obsessions:

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera

_DSC0175

It’s here!  I have been dying to get my hands on one of these instant cameras for a while now, so when I found one on sale for just $70, I knew it was time to pounce!  This little guy will definitely come in handy on my vacation this month, and will also help me capture some cool snaps of my year abroad.  Side note: I haven’t actually used the camera yet because I totally forgot to order film with it (lol) but I can’t wait to try it out!

2. Baublebar Emoticharm Bracelets

_DSC0206

I am head over heels for these emoji-inspired bracelets — how cute are they?!  I got one of these (the heart-eyed one) for my birthday and was so obsessed with it, I decided to order two more (the kissy-face and the smirk) to have a little set!  They’re so fun, and I got them on sale for just $10 each.  These are definitely my fave pieces of jewelry so far this summer!

3. Revlon Nail Polish in #771 “Clear”

_DSC0224

Okay, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect base/top coat for a while now, and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found it!  I cannot get over this Revlon polish — it’s truly a lifesaver!  I can use it both under and over my nail polish without a problem, and it dries super fast, so doing my nails no longer requires setting aside half of my day to allow enough dry time (thank God!).  It also keeps my nails looking super shiny, which I love, and it doesn’t get any weird creases or bubbles.  It helps my nails stay chip-free longer, too!  Ugh, I just can’t say enough how much I love this — and for $4.99, you can’t beat it!

4. L’Oreal Paris Collection Exclusive Lipstick in #600 “Doutzen’s Nude”

_DSC0229

Confession: I 100% copied my older sister on this one!  She had this lipstick for a while and I totally fell in love with it, so I bought one of my own…and I’m so happy I did!  It’s the perfect subtle light pink shade, especially for my fair skin, and it’s great for the summer months when I keep my makeup lighter.  I can swipe this on quickly for a natural look and be good to go!  It also doesn’t dry my lips out, like some lipsticks, which is obviously also a plus!

So there you go…four for you, Brenn Coco, you go, Brenn Coco!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard
beauty

‘Scara Spice

Hello, loves!

If there is one makeup item I could never live without, it’s mascara — no question about it!  I love love love lashes.

I often layer my mascaras, and I always have a few different tubes in rotation.  Today, I have a teeny little review of one of my current go-to mascaras — Maybelline’s Lash Sensational!

_DSC0215

I have the waterproof formula in Black Pearl, and I love it — So let’s break it down!

Claims: “Introducing Lash Sensational Black Pearl: our unique fanning brush and new liquid formula with black pearl captures and volumizes lashes from root to tip” – Maybelline’s website

Packaging: As much as I hate to admit it, a lot of times I do judge a product based on its packaging.  I love the packaging of this mascara!  It’s a sleek, fairly large tube, in soft pink (almost a rose gold) with a satin-y finish.  No complaints from me!

Wand: When it comes to mascara, it’s all about the wand.  Seriously, it’s usually what makes or breaks your lashes!  The wand on this mascara is actually pretty cool.  It’s plastic, which is what I usually prefer.  It is curved, too, which I typically don’t go for…BUT in this case, I really like it.

_DSC0216

Now, here’s where the wand gets interesting.  If you look closely at the above photo, you’ll see that the bristles on top are longer than the bristles on the bottom…this is not an illusion, it’s intentional!  Maybelline recommends you use the shorter bristles first, to reach the roots of your lashes, then flip the wand and use the longer bristles to fan out your lashes.  Use this trick to get the best results from the Lash Sensational!  (It actually works).

Formula: When you first use this mascara, you might notice that it seems like a very wet formula.  This will fade a little though, and will dry out a little after a few applications.  I’m not really an expert on what exactly is good or bad about any given mascara formula…but I do know that I like this one!

Results: This does wonders for my lashes.  I have a hard time deciding between length and volume, so I like mascaras that give me a little of both.  Maybelline says this formula will volumize, and it does…not a whole lot, but it definitely adds some oomph.  While this mascara doesn’t claim to lengthen, I definitely think it does that as well.  This is one of the few mascaras I actually like by itself, without layering other mascaras over or under it (a timesaver, for sure!).

One thing I really love is that this mascara keeps my lashes soft.  I can’t stand when mascara makes my lashes feel flaky or crunchy — I like them to be feathery and still feel like eyelashes!  This one definitely keeps ’em soft.

I also have to add that this keeps my lashes clump-free — a major plus!

As far as the black pearl luminosity — I’m not totally sure.  When looking closely at my lashes, I do sort of see a little bit of a luminous/pearly shine.  But I mean, they’re eyelashes…who can even really notice a slight pearly touch on your little lashes?  Honestly, if it didn’t address it on the packaging, I don’t think I would have noticed.  But it’s not a bad thing!

Last but not least, I have one tiny not-so-ideal component…it’s a little stubborn.  Definitely not the easiest to wash off.  But give it a little more effort and you’ll be good to go — not a dealbreaker in my book!  They also offer a washable formula, so I may look into trying that out!

Bottom Line: I’m a huge fan!  Definitely recommend this for anyone who likes their lashes to have length and volume, remain feathery, and be free of clumps.  I’m pretty picky about mascaras, but I really do enjoy this one.

Have you tried the Maybelline Lash Sensational?  I’d love to hear your opinions!  I’d also welcome any mascara recommendations, as I am always looking to try new ones out.

Hope you enjoyed!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard
beauty

Take a Brow

Hello, loves!

Today, I’ll be offering a little step-by-step how-to (or brow-to…ugh, I instantly regret typing that) guide for how I get my eyebrows in tip-top shape!

A little disclaimer: I am by no means an expert in anything beauty-related — I try to be relatively low-maintenance with my beauty routine and typically opt for drugstore makeup over high-end.  But I know what works for me, and who knows?  Maybe it’ll work for you, too!

So, let’s get into it!

1. Tweeze

_DSC0183

I don’t have the time or money to get my eyebrows waxed or threaded in a salon, so I tackle them all by myself!  I pluck mine pretty often, as I like to keep up with them so they don’t get too unruly — I also think it’s less painful to do a little bit at a time!  I like to use these scissor-like tweezers from Revlon.  They are available with either flat or slanted “blades” (I prefer the flat ones!) and are super easy to use.  Make sure to pluck in between your eyebrows, as well as any stray hairs underneath, but never pluck above your brows.  Also, be sure you’re not over-plucking!

2. Tame

_DSC0188

Next, I apply a clear mascara (usually this one from Maybelline) to keep my brows neat.  No need for a lengthy explanation here — just glide the brush along your arches from the inside to the outer edge, making sure to account for your natural arch.  Tip: brush slightly downward from the height of your arch to the end of your brow to avoid getting a rounded or flat shape.

3. Fill

_DSC0193

I’m not a huge fan of filling in my brows with a pencil, as I think it can sometimes make them look overdone and artificial.  Instead, I opt for this brow powder from NYX.  They offer a limited variety of shades — I use #05 Brunette — but you should be able to find one that works for you!  The key is to go slightly darker than your natural hair color, but not too dark.  Using a small angled brush, I apply the lighter shade (right) on the entirety of my brows, then add the darker color (left) from the arch to the end, just for a little dimension.  I then brush through with an eyelash & brow brush, from the inner corner to the outer.

(Note: if you’re wondering what that off-white circle in the palette that I have ignored until now is, it’s eyebrow wax!  While I’m not super into the wax in this palette, it can be substituted for the clear mascara I use.  Just apply with a small angled brush before applying the powder!)

While this NYX palette comes with tiny applicator brushes, I use larger brushes, as I think they are easier to use and give better results.  I’ve been using these ones from e.l.f.  They’re great brushes, and inexpensive — I paid $4 for both!

_DSC0194

Here’s a close-up of the bristles (e.l.f. Small Angled brush, left, and e.l.f. Eyelash & Brow brush, right):

_DSC0195

And that’s it — my everyday brow routine!  Easy enough, right?!

I hope these tips help you keep your brows lookin’ lovely.  Have any additional advice for eyebrow maintenance?  Let me know in the comments!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard
top picks

Four For You!

Hello, loves!

Hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather and the summer vibes that come with it — I know I am!

Today, I have a fresh batch of Four For You.  Here are my latest faves!

1.  Milani Baked Blush in “Luminoso”

_DSC0184

I did it.  I finally gave in and tried the holy grail item that everyone raves about — and I loved it.  I’ll admit I was skeptical about this peachy blush, as I tend to gravitate towards cool tones for my makeup.  I kind of thought it would disappoint me.  But when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong, and I was definitely wrong about Luminoso!  It gives me the perfect healthy glow and I can’t stop reaching for it.  If you haven’t tried it yet, don’t wait another minute!

2.  Kate Spade Passport Holder

_DSC0192

Okay, I’ll admit it — this summer is basically just one long countdown to my study abroad year in Ireland, beginning in August!  I am so hyped about it, and I cannot wait to go abroad.  This passport holder from my girl Kate will most likely be my favorite travel accessory.  I adore it, and am so excited to put it to good use!

3.  Urban Decay Naked 2 Eyeshadow Palette

_DSC0064_DSC0189

I have loved this palette since I received it as a Christmas gift, but I have been especially into it as of late!  I have found myself reaching for these shades on the daily to create a variety of natural looks.  The shadows are very versatile and can work with any skin tone or eye color.  My favorite shades?  “Bootycall” (third from left) and “YDK” (third from right).

4.  Lush Ocean Salt Self-Preserving Face and Body Scrub

_DSC0212

This thing is a little jar of magic.  Seriously, I am obsessed!  Real talk: I was a little panicked when I saw that I had accidentally picked up the self-preserving version of Lush’s bestseller, but I am so glad I did!  While it’s not as colorful and has finer salt crystals, I like it better than the original.  It’s a lot gentler and seems to make my skin smoother and brighter than it’s original counterpart — I swear it’s helped clear up breakouts, too!  It also still has the same yummy scent and is chock full of ingredients like lime, vodka (yes, really!), coconut, and avocado. Added bonus: it’s vegan!

There ya have it…four for you, Brenn Coco, you go, Brenn Coco!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard
top picks

Four For You!

Hello, loves!

I am (finally!) sharing another round of Four For You today!  Have a look at my latest faves!

1. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray

_DSC0048

My prayers have been answered!  I have been blessed/cursed with the straightest hair.  It’s great when I want a sleek style, but when I want a little texture, my hair sometimes won’t have it.  This spray has been a game-changer!  I’ve found it works best for me when I wash my hair at night, spritz this throughout my damp or dry hair, and braid it.  I’ll wake up, take the braid out, spritz a bit more, and style it with my fingers.  Ta-da!  Perfect beach waves.

2. Real Techniques Bold Metals Brushes 

_DSC0052

Okay, someone pinch me.  I have been long overdue for some new face brushes but could not find any that seemed worthy — until I stumbled upon these in Ulta!  I went for the Arched Powder (#100) and the Tapered Blush (#300) brushes and I am in love.  Not only are they excellent brushes, they’re totally glam, too.

3. Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

_DSC0057

This has been my go-to primer for a while now, but I’ve just started to really appreciate it (better late than never!).  Seriously, I love this primer.  It helps my makeup last all day, keeps me matte as promised, and most importantly, doesn’t give my face that slimy feeling other primers do.  So, I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks, Rimmel Stay Matte.  You’re a true homie.

4. Essie’s “Play Date” Nail Color

_DSC0054

I love a good Essie.  This purple color is a fun way to incorporate my favorite color into my beauty routine!  It’s one of my absolute favorites for the spring & summer months.

There you go…four for you, Brenn Coco, you go, Brenn Coco!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard
beauty

Beauty and the Least

Hello, loves!

Spring’s in full swing, which means summer is not too far behind!  I’m planning on making some changes to simplify my everyday makeup routine for these next few months, so I figured I’d share my plans with you!

1. Switch from Foundation to BB Cream

I have done this for the past couple summers, and it’s been so good for my skin.  BB creams are lighter than foundation but still offer plenty of coverage.  Just make sure to grab one with SPF to protect your face from UV damage!

2.  Simplify my Eyeshadow

I usually devote a lot of attention to my eyeshadow on a daily basis, sometimes using 4 different shadows for one look.  But during the summer, I plan to keep it simple and use only one or two shades to give myself a fresher, more natural look.

3.  Give Up Eyeliner

I know…the thought scared me at first, too!  I have already started to make this change, and I’m really loving it!  As someone who used to do a defined cat eye every single day, I never thought I’d feel comfortable without wearing any eyeliner whatsoever.  But I tried it for a few days, and I really liked how soft and natural it made my face look — I looked a lot less harsh without thick black lines on my eyes!  And contrary to my expectations, no one commented on the difference or asked if I was sick…good signs, for sure!

4.  Put Away my Dark Lipsticks

I am all about a deep berry lip color — it’s been my go-to for a while!  But for the summer, dark colors can sometimes be too much.  So for the next few months, I’ll be working pale pinks and nudes, which are more seasonally appropriate and low-maintenance!

I am so excited for the summer months, when I can put less time and effort into my makeup.  After all, less time spent on makeup means more time spent relaxing and having fun!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard
top picks

Four For You!

Hello, loves!

I’m back today with the second round of Four For You!  I have found myself reaching for these items nonstop throughout the past week, and I simply can’t get enough of them.

1. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Perfume

_DSC0031

I have had this perfume for just a little while now, and the honeymoon phase is still going strong!  This scent is a blend of violet, sandalwood, & vanilla (according to the description on sephora.com!) and is truly magical.  Above all, it’s mature and classic, which is exactly what I want in a signature scent!

2. Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Liquid Eyeliner

_DSC0035

I am VERY picky about eyeliner, and even when I try new ones out, I somehow always find my way back to Maybelline.  This ink pen is super user-friendly, and lasts so long without smudging!  Perfect for a sophisticated, everyday cat eye.

3. Cake Batter ChapStick

_DSC0039

While I tend to gravitate towards minty lip balms, there’s something about this (limited edition!) flavor that I’ve just been loving.  I’ll admit, this was a total impulse buy at the checkout line in Target, but I have absolutely no regrets!

4. Mint Swarovski Alex and Ani Bracelet

_DSC0047

I seriously adore this bracelet!  It’s delicate and gorgeous, and as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong with this minty-blue color.  I will definitely be donning this bangle a lot during spring and summer!

So there you are — four for you, Brenn Coco, you go, Brenn Coco!

XOXO,

Brenna

Standard