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I can’t LIVE without YOU! (Part One)

By Marlee Mortensen, The Blissfully Beautiful Babe

At first, one might think I am talking about a man. Nope, nada, never, not me! Still as single and fabulous as I was before! I am talking about beauty here! These are the top beauty products that I would absolutely be LOST without! Over the last 16 years I have had a love/ hate relationship with beauty products. Love/ hate meaning, I either love them or hate them. There is usually no in between. I am either in awe or in disgust and disappointment! Today, I want to share with you the products that have stood the test of time. I have used many of these products for years, and the new ones I am sure I will use for years to come! So thank you for joining me on this journey and I hope you enjoy learning about new and fabulous products that live up to the hype! This is part one of a two part post! I would also like to point out that I purchased all of these products on my own and this post is not promoted by any of the companies listed! Here we go:

 1. Proactiv 3- Step Skin Clearing System

I used to have perfect skin. There were no pimples in sight until I turned 24 years old. Not long after that birthday, out of nowhere, BAM! Pimples everywhere! And not just pimples, ACNE! I was in great distress! I saw a dermatologist who promptly told me that I had adult acne and would have it for the rest of my life. He prescribed antibiotics and creams which I took and applied with diligence! Nothing helped… Until… PROACTIV! My skin has been silky and smooth ever since. I highly recommend this product to any and everyone with mild to moderate acne. It saved my skin! You can find these products and more at www.proactiv.com.

2. OFRA Cosmetics Vitamin C Cream and Biotech Eye Cream

OFRA is a small, little known, yet completely fabulous cosmetic and skin care company. They are located just up the road from me in Lake Worth, FL. While in cosmetology school this was the cosmetic and skin care line that we used. I cannot speak highly enough of these two products. The Vitamin C Cream, applied nightly, has left my skin silky, moisturized, glowing and gorgeous! The Biotech Eye Cream has greatly improved the dark circles under my eyes and makes me look awake and bright eyed even on little sleep! Check them out at www.ofracosmetics.com.

3. Moroccanoil Oil Hair Treatment

I will start by saying that my hair is dry. It is SO hard for me to get it to look shiny and healthy! When I came across this product I was skeptical. I had used “miracle” oils in the past and was usually very disappointed. They either did not work, or left me incredibly oily and weighed down. The director of my school gave me a sample size of this product to use on clients and I must say, it was love at first blow dry! I used this treatment on women with fine, limp hair, and I used it on women with curly, coarse, thick and dry hair. It is compatible with ALL hair types. You might be thinking, “Really? How is that possible?” The answer is, YES! And, because it is FABULOUS! I promptly purchased a full sized bottle for my own at home use. It has been well over a year and I still use this product every single day. It just takes a little (dime sized) for fine hair, and a little more (half dollar sized) for coarse and thick hair. It leaves your hair shiny, moisturized and not the least bit weighed down. Go to www.moroccanoil.com to find a salon near you!

4. Clinique Shimmering Stripes Blush in Tuxedo Plum

Like I said in my introductory post, my makeup affair began with Clinique at the age of 13. That was 16 years ago! I parted with Clinique a few years later, but was bombarded by emails telling me that I HAD to try this blush. I am honestly not sure if it is even available from Clinique anymore. I purchased it on a wholesale cosmetics website that carries discontinued and overstocked products. Ok, back to this blush. I recently purchased a Z Palette so I was on the hunt for magnetic pan cosmetics to fill it! And this blush is a gem. It is a strip of 4 different colors that goes on flawlessly. I am a big fan of shimmer that makes your complexion look as if it is glowing. This blush gives you that flushed, glowing appearance effortlessly. I usually apply it twice on each cheek but if you prefer a sheer look, once is plenty! I will be purchasing a backup of this blush in case I run out and it is no longer available! This is my favorite blush ever! I got it at www.allcosmeticswholesale.com and I just checked and it IS still available!

 5. MASCARA!!!!!!!

I love a good mascara, although they can be hard to find. I have tried 100’s and these are my absolute favorite! Covergirl hit the ball out of the park with both the Lash Blast Volume and Lash Blast Fusion formulas. I use them together and they are a WIN. You get volume and length with little clumping, no flaking and an intense dark black color! I was recently introduced to Elf Cosmetics and I am in LOVE. More to come in Part Two about Elf, but right now I want to focus on Elf’s Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara. It is part of their Studio line, so it cost $3. I wasn’t expecting much, but boy was I wrong! It is an awesome, super cheap, mascara! I use it with the two listed above for serious, movie star-esque lashes! You can find the Covergirl varieties at your local CVS, Walgreens, and any other drugstore or grocery store in site. You can find Elf’s mascara and tons of other amazing products at www.eyeslipsface.com and also at most Target stores.

 6. FACE- This one is a doozy!

     A- Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer: This is my all time favorite foundation primer. Honestly, it was the first (but not last one) I bought, and I keep coming back to it time and time again! And this primer lasts forever. I use it every single day that I wear makeup, which it approximately 5-6 days a week, and I have had the same bottle for over a year. It only take a tiny, tiny amount for your entire face. I am talking less than pea sized! It rocks! It keeps your makeup in place and flawless ALL day and ALL night! I live in South Florida where over 100 degree temps are normal and above 80% humidity is standard for at least 9 months per year! The cost is less than average at $22 but its performance makes it PRICELESS! Find it at www.bareescentuals.com.

     B- Limited Edition Mary Kay Liquid Illuminator: Once again, I have tried many and this is my go-to! After Clinique I graduated to Mary Kay, then to MAC, then to well, EVERYTHING! My aunt started selling Mary Kay awhile back and I wanted to support her, so I bought a few products. Let me tell you why I love this product. It is sheer, not at all heavy, but gives you a beautiful glow. I mix a small (pea sized) amount in with my foundation and then apply. It sheers out my foundation a little and makes it about the same consistency as a tinted moisturizer. It feels incredibly light and truly does what it claims! Of course I must recommend that you purchase from my beautiful aunt at www.marykay.com/brigittesagon/default.aspx ! Tell her that I sent you and you just might get a special treat! Also, it is Special Edition so don’t wait too long or it may be gone!

     C- Almay Clear Complexion Concealer: There really isn’t that much to say except that this concealer is fantastic. Who doesn’t love a product that multitasks? Why not cover and heal your blemishes all at the same time? This concealer blends flawlessly. I generally use it under my eyes and to cover a random blemishes, which thanks to #1 I don’t have 95% of the time! I also love that CVS frequently runs a promotion that allows you to buy one concealer at full price and you get the second at 50% off. They also run this promotion on the Covergirl mascaras that I talked about in #5. If you dont live near a CVS, most all drugstores carry this concealer. It rocks!

     D- Makeup Forever HD Foundation: I know you have all heard the hype! While part of me couldn’t wait to try this out, I was very skeptical and at around $42, the price was steep! I used to be a makeup snob, but over the years, as my makeup budget decreased, I became very weary to spend such a high amount on one product. I can totally justify spending this much on an eye shadow palette because you get SO many colors. But I decided to give this a try. I walked in to Sephora still unsure if I was going to purchase it. I wanted the Sephora Artist’s opinion. I told him what I was looking for, without revealing that I was interested in MUF’s HD Foundation, and low and behold, the MUF product was exactly what he recommended. I was sold. I got home and tried it out and it WAS a dang good foundation. My only problem was that it was a little too heavy for everyday in the South Florida heat. However, when I blended it with my Mary Kay Liquid Illuminator, it was PERFECT! Like peanut butter and jelly. A match made in cosmetic Heaven. Available at http://www.makeupforever.comand Sephora.

     E- Too Faced Shadow Insurance: The ABSOLUTE BEST eye shadow primer, in my I’ve- tried- them- all opinion! I apply my shadow in the early morning and it lasts until I wash it off in the late evening! Pictured is the original formula but I also love the Candlelight variety. The brightness of your shadows is magnetized times ten when you use either of these primers. They come in squeeze tubes making it ridiculously easy to get just the little amount that you need without wasting any product! I can not emphasize enough how much more “bang for your buck” that you will get out of your eye shadows if you use this primer! You can find this product at http://www.toofaced.comand at both ULTA and Sephora.

     F- Elf Cosmetics Makeup Mist and Set: This is the very first makeup setting spray I have EVER tried, and it really works! I know that several other brands offer a higher priced variety of this product, but in my opinion, if the cheaper version works, why pay more? And let me tell you, this product is worth way more than 10 times its actual cost. Also a part of Elf’s Studio line, the Makeup Mist and Set spray is only $3. I use this product every single time I put on makeup and I put it through the proverbial wringer! In case you didn’t already get the picture, it is HOT and HUMID in South Florida! So, SO hot… So, SO humid! And with the use of this spray in conjunction with the primers listed above, my makeup stays put all day and all night long! Elf’s Makeup Mist and Set can be found at http://www.eyeslipsface.comand at most Target stores.

And the face concludes I Can’t LIVE without YOU! (Part One). These are the products in my real life regimen and have all been tested and proved amazing. The have all become oh so dear to my heart. There are few things I love more than a cosmetic, hair or skin care product that REALLY does what it says it will do. I have also found that the saying, “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince charming”, is completely accurate when it comes to beauty products. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the products that I love and the ones that truly work! Check back soon for I can’t LIVE without YOU! (Part Two).

Love In The Beauty Bonds,

Marlee, The Blissfully Beautiful Babe

  • Carly Hall

    I am not a super fan of foundation, but it’s good insight to hear about Makeup Forever. I’ve been waiting to make this $50 purchase for as long as I can, but I think I will now…Also, going to get the ELF setting spray today, I always look at the line at Target and have never seen this before. Excited!

  • Wendy

    I have to try that ELF setting spray!

  • Marlee

    Wendy and Carly, The Elf setting spray is amazing because it WORKS! And at $3, it can not be beat!

    Carly, I love the Makeup Forever HD Foundation, but make sure you mix it with a highlighting cream. The link for the Mary Kay one that I love is in the post! It dilutes the foundation to just the right consistency!

    xo, Marlee

  • http://www.painted-ladies.com Lyse

    WOW! The Moroccan oil is GREAT! Loved the pictures and the easy access website. It is so hard to find good products out there.

    I would love to read a segment about all the shampoos and conditioners out there.

    Thanks for the info–looking forward to more-


  • Chere Mortensen

    Thanks for the updates. Yes, Covergirl is great for long lashes. I have taken your recommendation for the Lash Blast Volume. Love it.

  • Jerelyn

    I enjoyed reading your recommendations Marlee! I need some new mascara — will try the Lash Blast.

  • Heather Worley

    I really never thought about trying any type of primer until reading your blog. Now I am gonna give it some serious thought and give it a try! Thanks for the website that sells the clinique blush bc I LOVE blushes that shimmer! :-)