Best BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge Dupe! Sonia Kashuk Makeup Blender

Lately, I’ve been on the hunt to find a replacement for my BeautyBlender. While I love that makeup sponge, it’s hard for me to spend $20 every time I need to replace it (which means I usually end up using it for MUCH longer than you’re supposed to… 🙈). Thankfully, I stumbled upon these Sonia Kashuk Makeup Blender sponges, and they’re only $7! I loved the idea of saving 65%, but only if the quality didn’t suffer.

My first thought was that I loved the chic design. It’s a black and white marble pattern, and I actually loved it so much I resisted using it for almost a month! I didn’t want my makeup to dirty it up.😂 It has a flat base perfect for applying foundation and a pointed tip great for areas like under the eyes and around the nose. If you remember, the Flower Beauty sponge didn’t have a tapered enough tip for me to apply makeup to those areas well, so I was hoping this sponge performed better.

As you can see, this thing is HUGE. Like, comically huge. I included my (quite dirty) BeautyBlender for comparison, and I’d estimate the Sonia Kashuk sponge is almost twice as large. On the left is the sponge dry, and on the right is the sponge after I dampened it. If you aren’t familiar with beauty sponges, most of them are recommended to be used when damp. When wet, they absorb less product and allow for a more even, sheer application.

I ended up loving how huge the sponge was, since it cut down my application time by almost half! My foundation and concealer went on smoothly, and the sponge worked great with my setting powder as well. I pumped my favorite foundation  directly on the sponge, and I used less product than usual but got wonderful results. Even though the tapered side was large, the shape was still perfect for using under my eyes and around my nose.

No exaggeration here, people. This is my favorite makeup sponge I have ever tried…BeautyBlender included. As far as I can tell, it’s only sold at Target, which is an added perk as I’ll take any excuse to go there! For a fraction of the cost, perfectly applied makeup, a quicker application time, and a beautiful design, I couldn’t ask for anything better! This will definitely be my new go to makeup sponge!đŸ™ŒđŸ» Do you have any other BeautyBlender dupes I need to try out? Comment below and let me know!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

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Perfect Summer Waterproof Brows with Bella Brows!

Who is ready for summer? It’s already heating up here in Texas, so I’ve been spending every minute I can in my parents’ pool! I usually go for light makeup on pool days that will protect my face from the sun and hold up in the water. This Bella Brow eyebrow sculpting gel from Alluricare is PERFECT for summer days because it’s…you guessed it…waterproof!  

Each kit is less than $15 and comes with everything pictured above: eyebrow stencils, a dual-ended spoolie/angled brush, and the eyebrow sculpting gel. Directions are printed on the back of the box to help you with application.

The available colors are (from top to bottom): Dark Blonde, Auburn, Brunette, or Brown/Black. The Dark Blonde shade was the best match for me and is a cool-toned shade that would work best on darker blondes or ladies with light brown hair. 

I found the eyebrow stencils a bit tricky to use, so I simply followed the shape of my natural brow. I used the angled brush to get product off of the gel wand, applied in strokes that matched my eyebrow growth, and then used the spoolie to evenly distribute the product. When I first applied the gel, I used the brush on the wand directly, but it was hard to control and applied much too dark. However, applying with the angled brush solved that problem.

As you can see up close, the product defines my brow shape without looking too dark or dramatic (which is what I prefer)…though please excuse my non-groomed brows… 🙂 The blonde shade may be too cool-toned for me, but overall I found it to be a pretty close match. 

According to their website, “Bella Brow contains a premium blend of tiny hair-like fibers combined with specially treated pigments that easily attach to your skin and hair.” I can attest that these pigments attach to skin and hair VERY easily! If you happen to apply some of the gel where you don’t want it, you will definitely require a makeup remover to get it off! 

That brings me to my next point; THESE BROWS WILL NOT BUDGE. Once you’ve applied this product it is THERE. TO. STAY. Make sure you have a good makeup remover (this one is my favorite) handy to remove this product as it claims it can last for up to 3 days. I haven’t attempted to keep it on that long, however, vigorous rubbing with soap and water wouldn’t remove my arm swatches at all! I had to use micellar water to get those off, and I use the same method to remove it from my brows.

Overall, I am very pleased with Bella Brows! I think the price point is great for the quality and amount of product you receive. I’m so excited they sent me some to test out just in time for them to become an integral part of my summer makeup routine!

If you want to try Bella Brows for yourself, you can use the code 10OFFNIGHTAL at this link for a discount! Let me know if you love them as much as I do, and tell me your favorite waterproof makeup in the comments!

Primer: Nivea Men Sensitive Post Shave Balm

Foundation: Covergirl 3-in-1 Foundation

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 

Setting Powder: Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder

Eyeliner: Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Ultimate Naked Palette

Eyeshadow Primer: Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensational

Blush: Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso

Highlighter: Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Palette

Bronzer: Physicans Formula Bronze Booster

Brows: Bella Brow Eyebrow Sculpting Gel in Dark Blonde

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

I received this product for free to review, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

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Best at Home Teeth Whitening! (+GIVEAWAY!)

**Don’t forget to enter the $149 giveaway at the bottom of this post!**

One of the #1 duties of a beauty blogger is to take selfies. Hundreds and thousands and millions of selfies. Fine, I may be exaggerating (though not by much), but the fact remains that I spend a lot of time taking and looking at pictures of myself. This inevitably leads to me analyzing every inch of my face.

Do I need to tweeze by eyebrows? (Yes. Always yes.)

Did I blend my contour enough? (Nope. Never.)

Are my nostrils different sizes? (Left is definitely bigger.)

Are my teeth white enough? (ENTER SMILE BRILLIANT.)

Smile Brilliant provides dental quality teeth-whitening for a fraction of the cost you would pay your dentist (we’re talking less than $200!) for the Exact. Same. Treatment. AND, the exact same RESULTS! Even better? You get to whiten your teeth on your own schedule from the comfort of your own home. Let me back up.

The kindest, most helpful employee at Smile Brilliant reached out to me a few months ago to see if I would be interested in trying their whitening kit. A few days after filling out a quick questionnaire, I received a package containing everything I needed to create a mold of my teeth. This alone would have been worth the price of the kit. I felt like a mad scientist…er, dentist mixing the paste and creating my impressions. Such a fun experience!

I mailed back my impressions and received my custom whitening trays less than two weeks later. I loved that the trays were made specifically for my teeth unlike whitening kits you can buy at the drugstore. They really allowed the gel to cover every nook and cranny of my smile. Plus they came with a convenient case perfect for storage and travel.

The whitening kit came with several syringes of Teeth Whitening Gel and Desensitizing Gel as well as extensive instructions on how to use both. The process varies depending on your desired results and personal tooth sensitivity. For example, the recommended whitening session time ranges from 45 minutes up to 3 hours. A little goes a long way with the syringes as well; each one contains enough gel for three to four treatments!

The trays were comfortable to wear, easy to apply gel to, and simple to clean. I performed a few whitening sessions, but during one session, I began experiencing some gum sensitivity. My sweet Smile Brilliant consultant assured me that is totally normal. She also recommended many solutions, including a simple fix of applying vaseline or coconut oil to my gums to prevent irritation. The quick and helpful response time was actually one of my favorite things about Smile Brilliant. Every question I had through this entire process has been answered thoroughly and honestly!

After a few treatments, I realized that I was already pleased with the natural whiteness of my teeth, so unfortunately I don’t have any dramatic before and after pictures to share in this post. Luckily for you though, there are tons of real life results you can see over on Smile Brilliant’s Instagram account. Their review page is also full of incredible smiles and praise. Below is a before and after example from a fellow blogger, Nyema of Steps to Serendipity. See her full Smile Brilliant review here.

Pretty impressive, right??

I may decide to utilize my unopened syringes before they expire (they conveniently have quite a long shelf life according to Smile Brilliant), and, if so, I’ll update you with some “after” pictures then. Who knows what my incessant selfie analyzing will result in? 😉 Considering that seeing results generally only takes around 2 weeks (or less!), I may sneak in some whitening before my next big event! In the mean time, I wanted to share my positive experience using the whitening kit and receiving exemplary customer service from Smile Brilliant with you.

Perhaps the best news of all is that Smile Brilliant is giving you a chance to win your OWN whitening kit! Enter through the link below, and good luck! If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, use code hootsofanightal15 to get $15 off!

**SMILE BRILLIANT GIVEAWAY**

**This product was gifted for review by Smile Brilliant, but all opinions are my own.**

*Giveaway is open for two weeks. You MUST enter through the link to be counted.  Giveaway is for $149 credit- and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents.*


How to Whiten Your Teeth

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wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation

wet n wild recently (ish?) released a new line of Photo Focus products, that they claim will help you achieve flawless, camera-ready makeup in any lighting condition. With the liquid foundation priced at only $5.99, I was anxious to try it out!

The wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation, has a wide range of 20 colors, so hopefully most people can find a matching shade. I debated on which color to try, and wound up purchasing Nude Ivory. It’s an excellent match for my skin! (I think, at least? Feel free to let me know if I’m way off. 😂)

The packaging is convenient, and has a sort of spatula wand that makes it very easy to distribute the product onto your face. I use about 2 spatula’s worth (if that makes sense), and blend out the foundation with my Beauty Blender or wet n wild’s flat top brush. 

I think the coverage is medium to heavy, which I prefer. I did still go in with Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer to brighten up my under eye area, but I was pleased with how well the foundation covered my natural redness. 

I’ve been using this foundation off and on for a couple of months now, and I feel like I definitely need to set it all over with powder, or it makes my skin very greasy. I have combination skin, and usually setting my T-Zone with powder is enough to keep me oil-free all day, but that isn’t the case with this foundation. I use the highlighter side of wet n wild’s contour palette to set this makeup, and it works great. There is also a complimentary wet n wild Photo Focus powder, but I haven’t tried that yet. Just be warned that unless you have very dry skin, I would definitely set this foundation with powder.

Aside from the oiliness, the wear time on this foundation is pretty good. If you typically touch up your makeup, I’d guess you won’t need to do so until about four or five hours of application. If you’re naturally oily, one blotting sheet around that time and you should be good to go for awhile longer.

Another point I wanted to mention is that this product definitely has a bit of a chemical smell. It does fade once it dries on your skin, but if you’re sensitive to smells, maybe give this one a whiff in the store before purchasing. 

The main claim of the Photo Focus line is to prevent flashback regardless of lighting conditions. I used natural light to take the photos above (as I usually try to do), and I definitely see pretty flawless results. I haven’t tested this makeup with a flash or in different lighting conditions, but in daylight at least, I’m very pleased. 

At only $5.99 (or less if you can find a coupon at your store!), I would definitely recommend this foundation. If you want a medium to high coverage look, and you’re willing to put in the effort to set the foundation, there aren’t many downsides to this product! 

wet n wild has definitely stepped up their game in the last few years, and this wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation is no exception! Have you tried any other products from wet n wild recently? Let me know!

 

Primer

Nivea Men’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm (Full Review)

Foundation

Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Foundation in Nude Ivory

Concealer

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair 15 (Full Review)

Setting Power

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche

Contour

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche

Bronzer

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Blush

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (Full Review)

Highlighter

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink (Full Review)

Eyeshadow Primer

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded (Full Review)

Eyeshadow

Urban Decay UD XX Vintage Eyeshadow in Gash (burgundy shade)

MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Blanc Type (brow bone)

Eyeliner

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx (Full Review)

Mascara

Covergirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara (Full Review)

Eyebrows

Ulta Brow Powder in Medium

Lips

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Red Velvet (Full Review)

Tools

Beauty Blender

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Wet n Wild Large Eyeshadow Brush

Wet n Wild Crease Eyeshadow Brush

Wet n Wild Contour Brush

Wet n Wild Angled Liner Brush

Wet n Wild Flat Top Brush

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

 

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Global Purpose: Connect to Positive Change

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank

And when you can improve the world on your weekly grocery shopping trip, why wouldn’t you? …but I’m getting ahead of myself. If you are blessed enough to live in the great state of Texas, you have graced the hallowed doors of H-E-B. Next time you’re there, head over to the H-E-B Blooms section and seek out the Global Purpose display. You won’t be disappointed.

Global Purpose is owned and operated by native-Texan Kaylynn Jordan and her husband Jon Jordan, and assists others in achieving more sustainable and humane practices. According to their company, they provide “education and income opportunities for women and children living in vulnerable communities, including India, Haiti, and Uganda.” Can you imagine impacting that many lives with your weekly trip to buy groceries?

Global Purpose was kind enough to send me a sari scarf, wooden bangles, and a drawstring bag from their Village Artisan line, and each item is beautifully handmade by women in India. I loved reading about some of their artisans and what an impact this opportunity has made in their communities. It’s not a coincidence that I’m sharing their mission on International Women’s Day. A quick story about one of their artists, Uzma shows the strong affect she has on her fellow artisans: “Not only does she teach the kantha stitch but she, with her life, teaches them to believe in themselves, to work hard and honestly, and to treat others with dignity and love.” Doesn’t that sound like the kind of person you want to support with your purchases?

If there is anyone that deserves attention today, it’s purchase with purpose companies like Global Purpose. They are directly impacting the lives of others by creating positive change in communities that need it. I’m so thankful I learned about their incredible work, and I cannot wait to purchase more of their items the next time I visit H-E-B. I hope you’ll do the same!

If you want to learn more about Global Purpose, you can find them online here:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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