Filed In: Beauty

Gel Eyeliner Pots: Favorites Review

Lady in Violet, a Houston based blogger reviews 3 gel eyeliner pots including Bobbie Brown Long Lasting Liner, Smashbox Jet Set Eyeliner and Tarte Clay Pot eyeliner.

Hello Friends! I hope you all had a fun weekend.  Mine was really fun. We took my grandma to a Rockets basketball game for her birthday, and it was really fun.  Plus, they won.  I have another makeup review for you today, and it’s all about one of my favorite products.

Many have that one makeup item that they always have to put on to feel put together.  Mine is eyeliner.  A few years ago, I was introduced to gel eyeliner pots.  Sephora was out of my favorite liquid eyeliner, and the sales girl suggested the Smashbox Jet Set eyeliner pot.  I fell in love and never looked back.  I have tried a few over the years and wanted to share a few of my favorite ones.  A few important factors for me are longevity, how easy it goes on, and does it transfer to my eyelid crease by the end of the day leaving an ugly and random black line.

SMASHBOX JET SET EYELINER –  My favorite thing about this one is how easily it glides on.  Some pots are a bit drier, so you have to do a couple swipes to go across the eye line.  This one is the perfect consistency to go on smooth in one swipe, and it leaves a nice thick dark line.  It dries quickly too, so no worries of accidental smudging.  This eyeliner also lasts all day with no need for a retouch if heading to happy hour after work.  Of my 3 favorites, this one has the most cross transfer to the eye lid crease.

BOBBI BROWN LONG WEAR GEL EYELINER – I tried this one out because I have heard so many good reviews of Bobbi Brown products.  This one applies a nice thick line that lasts all day.  It is the driest of the 3 which can make it need an extra swipe to go fully across the eyelid, but it also means it dries fast so no accidental smudge worries.  It does have a small amount of cross transfer by the end of the day.  Honestly, this product is good, but I think you can find better for a lower price.

TARTE CLAY POT LINER – This is my favorite of the three.  It’s the lowest price by $1 and has very minimal cross transfer to the eyelid crease.  The line is thick, dark, and lasts all day.  This one has the softest consistency of the 3.  If you have been using a drier eyeliner pot, you need to be very gentle when swiping out color, so you don’t plunge your brush deep into the pot. I would do this a lot the first few uses out of habit.  Once I adjusted to it, I loved how easy and smooth it went on.  It takes the longest to dry which can sometimes lead to smudging if you are not careful after applying.

These eyeliner pots are the perfect hybrid between a pencil and a liquid liner.   I loved the look of liquid, but hated applying it.  One wrong move and you would have to take all your eye makeup off and start over.  The thicker consistency of these gel eyeliners makes it SO MUCH easier to apply, but still have that liquid look.   If you feel the same way about your liquid liner, you should definitely try one of these out!


Best Drugstore Foundations | Current Fave Four

Lady in Violet, a Houston based blogger shares her best drugstore foundation with a in depth review.

About a year ago, I decided to change up my makeup routine and switch over to liquid foundation.  I have spent the time since trying a variety of different brands and formulas.  Today, I am revealing the best drugstore foundations that I have come across over the past year and a review on why I recommend each one.  I based most of my rating on coverage, longevity, and pore blurring abilities.  In each review, I tried to find a drawback because let’s be real no product is perfect.  I personally like hearing both the good and bad of products, so it was important to me to share that with you too.

This was the first foundation I tried when I made the switch to liquid.  I started here because it had great reviews and the most affordable price tag.  It is the least expensive of all 4.  I prefer a matte no shine finish, and I love that about this one.  I found this one worked great for redness coverage, but I still needed a little concealer to fully cover the dark under eye area.  The coverage length is probably the worst of the four, and I noticed a little pore sinking by the end of the day.  If you pair this one with a primer, it greatly enhances the pore coverage and longevity!  It comes in 24 different shades.  I love foundations with lots of shade options, because it increases the odds of finding the perfect match to my skintone.

Of all 4, this one has the best coverage and lasts the longest.  This foundation covered everything from a little redness to a small undereye darkness.  It blurred my pores and didn’t sink into them throughout the day.  By the end of the workday, my foundation coverage still looked much like it had after first applying.  Downside to this one, the number of shade options.  I could only find 12 different options online, and my store seemed to have less than that.

This one gets a big boost for the shade options, 35 in all!  The coverage lasts a full work day and then some which is great when you have a happy hour planned after work.  This one was my favorite for surviving our hot humid weather.  It covered both redness and a darker under eye area.  Okay, I couldn’t think of a negative on this one.  It’s a pretty good foundation, probably why people love it so much.

The first time I applied this one, I did not think I was going to like it.  It combines a foundation and moisturizing with Olay.  This makes it go on to start with a dewy look, but it sets more matte after a minute.  The added moisture really makes my skin glow all day.  No pore sinking and all work day coverage plus happy hour.  This one was the best of not sinking into fine lines and forehead wrinkles.  It still does a bit, but the best drugstore foundation I have found for this.  The downside to this one, it is one of the more expensive drugstore foundations I have tried.  Also, I think the added moisture can sometimes make it hard to apply evenly if I don’t let my spf morning moisturizer fully soak in before applying.

So which was my favorite?  If I had to buy again, I would probably go with the bottom two.  I loved all the color options and coverage of the Revlon one, and the Covergirl’s added moisturizing helped keep my skin glowing and prevented pore and wrinkle settling.


Winter Skincare Routine

Houston Blogger Lady in Violet shares a winter skincare routine for women to use in the mornings and evenings.

Houston Blogger Lady in Violet reveals her skincare routine for the morning and at night.

The best day and night winter skincare routine to survive cold weather dry skin.

Morning:  IT COSMETICS c/o No. 50 Serum  |  PIXI  c/o Hydrating Milky Mist  |  CLINIQUE Smart Moisturizer
Night:  CLARISONIC Mia 2  |  TULA Exfoliating Mask  |  GLAMGLOW ThirstyMud Mask   |  CLINIQUE c/o Treatment Oil |  DR. DENNIS ROTH Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum |  CLARINS Multi-Active Night Cream

Last year, one of my goals was to improve my skincare routine.  I tried multiple products and various routines, and by the end of the year I felt I had a pretty good routine going.  Then I went and had a facial in December.  I was surprised to hear that I needed to be moisturizing and exfoliating more often to reduce dryness and the amount of dead skin cells I had causing those fine lines I was trying so hard to erase.

I went back to my cabinet of products and re-worked my routine.  The seasons had changed and my skincare routine needed to as well.  After a few weeks of playing around, I feel like I found a winter skincare routine that is helping my skin glow and stay hydrated.  I kept some of the products from my previous routine, added a few more, and changed up my overall application schedule.  Below is my step by step winter skincare routine for anyone looking for a little change up of their regular routine.


I hit the gym most weekday mornings, so my routine starts with a quick face wash in my post workout shower.  After my shower, I apply this serum/primer to help hydrate and provide all those beneficial anti-aging nutrients to my skin.  A little goes a long way with this product, and I love how moisturizing and thick it is.  I allow this serum to soak in while making my coffee before moving on to the rest of my morning routine.

I use this hydrating mist under my morning moisturizer to add even more hydration to my skin.  I lightly spritz it on and let it set for a minute or two usually while I straighten my hair for the day.  After trying a few different morning moisturizers, I ended the year back with this Clinique one. I loved the results I received from using it for a couple months, and I have yet to find another product that helps moisturize and even out my skintone as well as this one.  Plus, it has SPF which is a major bonus in my skincare book.  I allow all these products to set and soak in before starting my daily makeup routine.


Every evening my routine varies just a little bit.  I rotate hydrating, exfoliating, and using my anti-wrinkle retinol serum.  I typically exfoliate 2-3 times a week, hyrdrate-3-4 times a week, and use my anti-wrinkle serum 1-2 times a week.  While every week is a little different depending on my schedule, I try to do a 2-1-2 routine, with the  2 days of hyrdating followed by either exfoliating or my ant-wrinkle serum.  Some weeks I will only put a day between exfoliating.  I really gauge how my skin looks and feels to determine which I need more of.

All of my routines start with a thorough face cleansing removing all the makeup from the day.  For my hydrating days, I will apply my hydrating mist followed by my night moisturizer or do a hydrating face mask followed by my moisturizer.  I try to do the mask at least once per week.  For exfoliating days, I will do either my Clarisonic exfoliating brush or an exfoliating face mask usually followed up with my treatment oil.   Occasionally, I will use my regular moisturizer instead of the oil.  I find that while effective, my anti-wrinkle retinol serum can be a bit drying in winter months.  For these months, I’m only applying 1-2 times a week.  When I apply it, I only apply this one product to my skin.  I know other products can interfere with retinol, so I don’t want to apply anything that will take away from it’s effectiveness.

Overall, I have been really happy with my results this past month or so using this routine.  I definitely can tell a difference in my skin from early December.  It’s not as dull from too many dead skin cells clogging pores and enhancing fine lines, and I really feel my overall hydration has greatly improved.  Do you make any changes to your skincare routine with different seasons?  Any products you swear by during the winter months?  I’d love to hear about them!


My Top Ten Beauty Products of 2016

Houston Blogger, Lady in Violet shares her top ten beauty products of 2016 incuding it cosmetics, peter thom roth, olly, batiste, revlon and more.

Every year I try lots of new beauty products, and this year I thought it would be fun to share my top ten beauty products of 2016!  I stuck to products that were new to me this year or late last year.  Some products were gifted by the brands and others I purchased on my own, but I held them all to one main standard – Would I buy this again?  Keep scrolling to see who made the final 10 cut and which one product I consider life-changing!

10. St. Moriz Tanning Mousse and Ulta Application Mitt –  I have tried airbrush tanning before which was pricey, and tanning lotions which smelled and left my palms orange, but this tanning mousse and mitt changed my fake tanning game.  I decided to put these together as 1 item because you really need both to have the full benefit.  This affordable self-tanning mousse looks natural and lasts days with a natural fade.  The glove helps the application go on streak free and leaves the palms of my hands clean.  The smaller mitt is perfect for face application.

9. c/o Olly Hair & Nail Vitamins –  I am the worst at remembering to take vitamins.  You usually have to take them with food, and I don’t eat breakfast until I am at work which means I always forget caught up in work things.  I’m trying to grow out my hair and decided to try a Hair and Nail vitamin for some support.  After taking 2 months to go through a 1 month supply of the pill form, I decided to give these gummies a go.  They taste amazing, and I haven’t missed a day yet.  I love the little mid-morning or post-lunch sweet treat.  While it hasn’t been long enough to comment on growth, I definitely notice that my hair looks much healthier lately.

8.  Wet Brush –  This brush is a hair game changer.  Previously, I used a wide tooth comb to brush out my hair when wet fighting through tangles.  This brush easily slides through my hair smoothing out tangles without any discomfort from pulling.  It also helps prevent breakage that can occur when brushing your hair while wet. A good thing when you are trying to grow out your hair.

7.  c/o It Cosmetics CC+ Your Skin But Better Foundation –  I have two foundations on my list, the biggest separator is the price tag.  This foundation makes my skin look flawless.  In my opinion, 100% worth the price! For starters, it contains SPF so one less thing to worry about putting on in the morning.  It has color correcting properties that help even out your skin tone and cover blemishes.  I stopped using my color correcting sticks once I started using this foundation.   I also don’t really use primer with this product as it doesn’t sink into my pores or fine lines like other foundations.  Any product that can help speed up my makeup routine and make my skin look amazing is a win!

6.  Sigma Brush Mat – I hate the task of cleaning my makeup brushes.  I typically do mine once a month with the exception of my foundation brush which I do more often.  This mat makes the cleaning process a little more fun and the ridges really help deep clean your brushes.  I feel like I use less soap and time.

5.  c/o Clinique Smart Custom Repair Moisturizer – I was originally sent the whole Smart skin care line to try out.  The moisturizers were amazing at evening out my skin tone and keeping my skin hydrated.  I loved it so much I even bought it for my mom.  I did try a few other morning face lotions, but none gave the same great results.

4.  Revlon Colorstay Foundation – If you want a great drugstore foundation, this is it.  The coverage is pretty amazing and lasts all day.  I rarely used my color correcting sticks with this one.  It didn’t overly sink into my pores or fine lines.  I would occasionally pair it with a primer which only enhanced the way this foundation made my skin look.  Another plus to this product is the wide range of color options.

3.  Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask – Hands down, my favorite mask! I do this mask every other week, and my skin glows after I’m done.  It does a great job of exfoliating away your dead skin cells so they aren’t clogging pores and causing fine lines while leaving you with smooth healthy glowing skin.  Side note on this one, it does have a slight tingle after first applied.

2.  c/o It Cosmetics Tighlight 3in1 Mascara – Can we talk eyelashes game changer!  I hated the damage mascara was doing to my lashes, so I would often skip days going mascara free which probably made me look tired. It was the only way to keep my lashes healthy.  This product works as a mascara, a mascara primer, and can be used as an eyeliner.  I use it for both mascara, mascara primer, and sometimes to help break up any clumps.  On regular work days this mascara can stand alone to create long thin lashes.  When I’m heading out and about with my gals, I will wear this under my mascara to coat and protect.  The big thing I love about this is that it conditions my lashes with nourishing ingredients so they can stay healthy and long and I cannot look half asleep skipping my mascara.


1.  Batiste Dry Shampoo -This product changed my whole hair game and morning routine.  I wish I would have known about this product years ago.  I can now go about 4-5 days between shampoos which helps keep my hair stronger and healthier.  I have naturally curly hair which means when I wash it I then have to blow dry and straighten it.  Lots of heat damage.  Now I just do a quick straightening touch up in the morning, spray my dry shampoo on, wait a few minutes before shaking off excess and my hair looks as good as clean day one hair.  The price tag is AWESOME coming in around $8 depending where you shop.  I always keep two on hand, so that I am never caught with dirty hair and no dry shampoo in the morning.

There you have it my favorite beauty products of the year.  Did any of your favorites make the list?  See any products you want to try in 2017 or have a product you recommend for me to try out? I am always up to try something new.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ringing in 2017!  Stay safe and I will see you next year!

XO- Karen