Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: FINALE + A little chat!

Can you believe it?! Another season of the Emily Awards has come and gone! Huge thanks to everyone who's been watching the videos, reading the blogs, and sharing their kind feedback with me. These videos are incredibly time consuming, but of course, it's incredibly fun to discuss my favorite things! If you already watched the finale video, you noticed that it does not follow the "top 10" format. There are just so many special, specific awards that I do in the finale, along with a really varied selection of products from hair to skincare to body care... it just didn't make sense to put them into a ranking. Anyway... everything I mentioned in the video is listed below! The "buy" links will take you to wherever the product is being sold online, and "more info" links will take you to any other review videos or posts on that particular item.

* Denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Most product links are affiliate links. Best products for skincare, hair, and body are listed in no particular order.

Best Brushes
  • High End: It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Dual Foundation/Concealer Brush (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Up & Up (Target Brand) Brushes (Buy - More Info)
Outstanding Tool
Most Innovative Product
Cutest Packaging
Needs to be In Your Purse
MVP's (Most Valuable Products)
Best Skincare Products
  • Olay or Equate Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths****** (Buy)
  • Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask (Buy)
  • Peter Thomas Roth Gel Masks (Buy Rose - More Info, or Buy Cucumber)
Best Body Products
  • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream (Buy - More Info)
  • Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub (Buy - More Info)
  • Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response Invisible Solid (Buy)
Best Hair Products
  • Tresemme Tres Two Hairspray****** (Buy)
  • Suave Naturals Almond Verbena 2 in 1 (Buy - More Info)
  • Remington Bendable Hair Wraps (Buy)

Again, thanks so much for your support of the Emily Awards over the years! Can we chat for a second? I really try to improve the awards with each passing year. The Top 10 format was brand new this year, and the reason for this was two-fold... the awards had grown so much, I wanted to offer something more concise and definitive for my viewers so true "top" favorites could be easily seen. I just wanted to make the overall viewing experience more fun, exciting, and less overwhelming.

Also- the time it takes to create and edit a video where I'm discussing anywhere from 25 to 35 products per video (times four), plus the special production elements that I add to the Emily Awards for intros, product videos, demos, blogging, etc... it was getting to be a very overwhelming task for one person (yes, I have considered hiring an intern during Emily Awards season... ha!) Anyway, after last year, I felt borderline burned-out... and that's scary to me. I NEVER want to feel exasperated, overwhelmed and like something Beauty Broadcast-related is a chore. I'm proud that after so many years at this YouTube thing, it still genuinely feels like fun, and I think that's something that has helped my channel succeed. But last year being my first year with a new baby... I just had this feeling that something needed to change with the Emily Awards and I was almost relieved to see a viewer suggestion that mentioned paring things down a bit. It was time for something new!

Something I've learned is that the Top 10 format takes more thought than the way I was doing it before! However... it takes less time in front of a camera and less editing. For my current lifestyle keeping track of a busy toddler... that works much better for me! And I just loved being able to actually count down to an ultimate favorite in each one of my videos. And for the Emily Awards "geeks" out there... I enjoyed offering the full category-by-category favorites here on the blog to accompany each video. But I want to keep improving! What things do you want to see next year? Anything more? or less? Any new categories? 

Some suggestions I've seen so far include: having separate categories in the face awards for corrector and concealer, including the number of years a product has won in the Top 10 videos, having longer written explanations for products in the blog posts. Anything else? Please share in the comments section here or send me a tweet! I'll add your suggestion to my list and take them into consideration for next year's Emily Awards. Another thing that I've been thinking about is starting the awards earlier... perhaps in December, but BEFORE the holidays? That way it can feel more like a year-end wrap up, plus it might be useful for holiday shoppers. Just a thought! 

Thanks for reading my rambles here on the blog (I know those who come here are the heart of #beautybroadcastnation!) And I've been asked if there will be a fails video... the answer is yes- I'm working on it! :) Have a great day, everyone!! ♥

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: Best Lip Products!

Click here to watch my Top 10 video!

Hi friends! So happy to share part 3 of the Emily Awards with you! The Top 10 theme continues with my favorite lip products. I wanted to list those out for you on this blog post, but my video will show all of these products on my lips- as well as ALL of the shade favorites that are listed below. The "buy" link is simply a link to where the particular product is being sold online (many of which are affiliate links), and the "more info" links will lead you to my blogs or videos that will explain the products in greater detail.

Top 10 lip products featured in my video!
  1. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick (Buy - More Info)
  2. NYX Slide-On Lip Liners (Buy - More Info)
  3. Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Sticks (Buy - More Info)
  4. Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potion (Buy)
  5. Nivea Lip Balm (Buy)
  6. ColourPop Lippie Stix (Buy - More Info - Info on Sheers)
  7. Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme (Buy - More Info)
  8. Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss (Buy)
  9. Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick (Buy - More Info)
  10. NYX Intense Butter Gloss (Buy - More Info)
While this year's Emily Awards video format has changed to a "Top 10" style, I still wanted to share my full records of the favorites for drugstore and high end in each category. This is basically the selection I chose from to create my Top 10 best of the best. I thought my long-time Emily Awards followers might appreciate seeing this list! The "Best Liquid Lipstick" category was newly added this year.

* denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Not every type of product has winners in both high end and drugstore categories. Most product links are affiliate links.

Best Lip Balm
  • High End: Dior Creme de Rose Balm (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Nivea Lip Balms**** (Buy)
Best Tinted Lip Balm
Best Lip Liner
Best Jumbo Lip Pencil
  • Drugstore: Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick**** (Buy - More Info)
Best Lip Plumper
  • High End: Buxom Lip Gloss/Lip Cream****** (Buy - More Info)  
Best Lip Stain
  • High End: BECCA Beach Tint** (Buy - More Info) ...also a winner for best cream blush
  • Drugstore: Hard Candy Plumping Serum Lipstick** (Buy - More Info)
Best Lipstick
Best Liquid Lipstick
  • High End: Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potion (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme (Buy - More Info)
Best Lip Gloss
  • High End: Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss (Buy)
  • Drugstore: NYX Intense Butter Gloss (Buy - More Info)
Best Pinks
  • Lipstick: ColourPop Lippie Stix in Last Call (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: LA Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Blushing** (Buy - More Info)
Best Berries
  • Lipstick: Estee Lauder Liquid Lip Potion in True Liar (Buy) & Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss in Berry Light (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Black Cherry Tart (Buy - More Info)
Best Reds
  • Lipstick: Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Romance (Buy - More Info) & Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bond Girl (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Cherry Flip (Buy - More Info) & Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss #204 (Buy)
Best Neutrals
  • Lipstick: Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Touch of Spice & Daringly Nude (Buy - More Info)
  • Lip Gloss: L'oreal Extraordinaire in Nude Ballet (Buy - More Info)
There's still one part of the Emily Awards to go... it's the FINALE!

Follow me on social media to stay updated!
Snapchat: emilynoel83 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: Best Eye Products!

Welcome to part 2 of the Emily Awards for 2015! Thanks so much for the supportive and helpful feedback on part one. I've really enjoyed getting to go a bit more in-depth on the 10 favorites featured in each video, so be sure to check that out for swatches and demos of the various items! But if you're browsing the aisles of your favorite store and want a product list for easy reference... here you go!

Top 10 eye products featured in my video!
  1. Cover Girl The SuperSizer Mascara (Buy - More Info)
  2. LORAC Mega Pro 2 Palette (Buy - More Info)
  3. Viseart Sultry Muse Palette (Buy - More Info)
  4. (TIE) Jordana Color Envy Liquid Liner in Black Envy (Buy - More Info), Physicians Formula Eye Booster (Buy)
  5. NYX Avant Pop Palettes (Buy - More Info)
  6. (TIE) Milani Supreme Kohl Kajal Liner in Blackest Black (Buy - More Info), Milani Shadow Eyez (Buy)
  7. Maybelline Define & Fill Brow Duo (Buy - More Info)
  8. Kat Von D Shade & Light Eye Palette (Buy - More Info)
  9. Huda Beauty False Lashes - #7 Samantha (Buy)
  10. NYC City Proof 24 Hr. Shadow Base (Buy - More Info)
As with part one, I wanted to give you my full list of favorites in each category. If you're new to the Emily Awards this year- this is actually how I used to structure each of my videos. I realize this isn't absolutely necessary to accompany my new "Top 10" way of doing things, but I do enjoy keeping records of favorites (been doing it since 2008!) So I thought I'd include you and let you see how everything breaks down! 

Follow me on social media so you can stay up to date on the rest of the 2015 Emily Awards series in the coming days! 
Snapchat: emilynoel83 

* denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Not every type of product has winners in both high end and drugstore categories. Most product links are affiliate links.

Best Eye Primer
  • Drugstore: NYC City Proof 24 Hr. Base (Buy - More Info) & Milani Eyeshadow Primer*** (Buy
Best Cream Shadow
  • High End: Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks***** (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Milani Shadow Eyez Shadow Sticks*** (Buy)
Best Small Eyeshadow Palette
  • High End: Bare Minerals Ready Quad- The Happy Place** (Buy - More Info
  • Drugstore: Wet n Wild Walking on Eggshells** (Buy) & Maybelline Sunkissed Olive (Buy - More Info)
Best Large Eyeshadow Palette
Best Overall Eyeshadow Formula
Best Eyeliner Pencil
  • High End: Marc Jacobs Highliner** (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Milani Supreme Kohl Kajal- Blackest Black (Buy - More Info)
Best Liquid Eyeliner
  • High End: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Jordana Color Envy in Black Envy** (Buy - More Info) & Physicians Formula Eye Booster (Buy)
Best Cream/Gel Eyeliner
Best Mascara
Best False Eyelashes
  • High End: Huda Beauty Samantha (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Koko Lashes #201 (Buy)
Best Brow Product
Thanks so much for reading/watching! Heads up lip product junkies-- the Emily Awards for lips are next!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Emily Awards 2015: Best Face Products!

The 2015 Emily Awards are here! Hopefully you've had a chance to check out my video where I outlined my top 10 best face products of the year! I've never done an "Emily Awards Top 10" before, but I thought it might make it extra clear which products were the best of the best... while ultimately counting down to a number one product. I'll do this for my Eyes, Lips, and Finale videos also! 

  1. Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (Buy - More Info)
  2. ELF Studio Contour Palette (Buy - More Info)
  3. By Terry Hylauronic Hydra-Powder (Buy - More Info)
  4. Benefit Erase Paste in Medium (Buy - More Info)
  5. BECCA Afterglow Palette (Buy - More Info)
  6. Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation (Buy - More Info
  7. Laura Geller Baked Color & Contour (Buy - More Info)
  8. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (Buy - More Info)
  9. L'oreal True Match Pressed Powder (Buy - More Info)
  10. Glossier Soothing Rosewater Face Mist (Buy - More Info)
Still, for those seeking out some favorites in specific categories, I wanted to offer my drugstore and high end picks like I always do, here on my blog. Below you'll see the favorite products listed, as well as links that will direct you to where the item is being sold online (most "buy" links are affiliate links). I've also included "more info" links which will refer you to any videos I've done that offer more in depth information on the item.    

Over the course of the 8 years I've been doing the Emily Awards, new categories are added as needed. This year there is one additional category in the Face awards, and it's for face palettes- those that might combine various shades of blush, highlight, or bronzer, for example. I've tried many palettes of this type this year, so I felt the new category was necessary! 

I hope you're as excited about this new batch of Emily Awards as I am! Follow me on social media so you can stay up to date on the rest of the 2015 Emily Awards series in the coming days! 
Snapchat: emilynoel83 

* denotes the number of years a product has won. Products without and asterisk are first-time winners. Not every type of product has winners in both high end and drugstore categories.

Best Primer
  • High End: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer (Buy)
  • Drugstore: Garnier 5 Second Blur** (Buy - More Info
Best Light Foundation/BB/CC
  • High End: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream** (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Rimmel BB Cream (blue cap)** (Buy - More Info)
Best Full Coverage Foundation
  • High End: Cover FX Custom Cover Drops (Buy - More Info
  • Drugstore: Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation*** (Buy - More Info
Best Concealer
Best Loose Powder
  • High End: By Terry Hylauronic Hydra Powder (Buy - More Info)
Best Pressed Powder
  • Drugstore: L'oreal True Match Pressed Powder****** (Buy - More Info)
Best Powder Foundation 
  • High End: It Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation** (Buy)
  • Drugstore: NYX Stay Matte But Not Flat Powder Foundation** (Buy)
Best Bronzer
  • High End: Too Faced Sun Bunny (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Milani Bronzer XL- Fake Tan (Buy)
Best Contour
  • High End: Smashbox Step-by-Step Contour Palette** (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: ELF Studio Contour Palette (Buy - More Info)
Best Blush
Best Face Palette
  • High End: BECCA Afterglow Palette (Buy - More Info), Laura Geller Baked Color & Contour Palette (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palettes (Buy)
Best Cream Blush
Best Highlight
  • High End: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid** (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: L'oreal True Match Lumi Highlight in Rose (Buy)
Best Mattifier/Touch-Up
Best Setting Spray
  • High End: Glossier Soothing Rosewater Face Mist (Buy - More Info)
  • Drugstore: ELF Makeup Mist & Set (Buy)

Keep an EYE out for part two of the Emily Awards... starring the top 10 eye products!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

NYX Slide On Lip Pencils: Swatches & Favorites!

Hey everyone!
You might remember about a month ago I did a video about drugstore lip products worth trying. In it, I raved about these NYX Slide On lip pencils. (The full name is technically "Slide On, Glide On, Stay On & Definitely a Turn On Waterproof, Extreme Color Lip Liner... LOL.) The NYX Slide On Eyeliners have been around for quite some time, and I absolutely love them and have often compared them to the Urban Decay 24/7 liners in terms of color selection and staying power. So when NYX recently sent me the full line of Slide On LIP Liners... I was SO EXCITED. They sell for $7.99 each at Ulta, and in my opinion, they're the best lip pencils NYX has ever released (and many of their older ones are pretty darn good!) They go on super creamy, they are incredibly long-wearing, don't drift outside the lips into fine lines, and I'm really pleased with the shade selection! So I wanted to show you some swatches in this post, as well as my personal favorites! (Feel free to enlarge any photos for a closer look.)
Left to right: Nude Suede Shoes, Sugar Glass, Bedrose, Sweet Pink, Fluorescent, Disco Pink, Pink Cantaloupe, Rosey Sunset, Summer Tease, Red Tape, Brick House, Dark Soul, Nebula

FYI: All of these shades are matte with one exception- the bright pink called Fluorescent, which has a bit of a pearly sheen. While these can make great liners in the traditional sense of outlining your lips and filling them in with a coordinating lipstick, I really think they're awesome for filling in the entire lip area as well. They apply so smoothly, and then they definitely set for long-wear. You're really going to have to try hard to smudge them! But something else to be aware of, and I've said this in regards to most of the long-wearing liquid lipsticks hitting the market... when you add moisture, you re-liquify the product somewhat, which can cause some transfer. So if you intend to top these with a gloss, or if you immediately apply them over a lip balm, you will notice that they can transfer off a bit more easily. Still a long-wearing product and can enhance the wear of various glosses and lipsticks... but just not as 100% set as they would be when worn alone. 

My preferred application would involve exfoliating and moisturizing my lips when I first start applying my makeup- and then apply my lip liner at the end when my lips have had a chance to really "soak up" that moisture. Another option would be to simply blot the balm off to eliminate excess moisture before applying the liner (if you want the most long-wearing effect). 
The Neutrals: Nude Suede Shoes, Sugar Glass, Urban Cafe 

The Pinks: Bedrose, Sweet Pink, Fluorescent, Disco Pink

The Corals/Reds: Pink Cantaloupe, Rosey Sunset, Summer Tease, Red Tape

The Darks: Brick House, Dark Soul, Nebula

My favorites!
  • Nude Suede Shoes (top left): An awesome cool, slightly pinky nude. Looks gorgeous alone but can boost the staying power of so many nude lipsticks and glosses. 
  • Sugar Glass (top center): Close to Nude Suede Shoes, but as you can see even more clearly in the swatch pictures, this color has more warmth. 
  • Urban Cafe (top right): I'll admit I've never worn this one alone all over my lips like I did for this picture, but I recently realized that I LOVE how it looks over a red to create a pretty ombre effect! I'm wearing it that way in this video
  • Rosey Sunset (bottom left): I love this bright, pinky red... I'm pretty sure I don't have any other liners in this shade. 
  • Brick House (bottom center): Gorgeous alone, but also a nice way to deepen up any red lipsticks that are too bright. I love a good matte red that won't budge!
  • Dark Soul (bottom right): A deep berry red that looks so vampy on its own, but also makes a nice companion for other berry-toned lipsticks. 
I would've enjoyed swatches ALL 14 liners for you, but honestly, as I took each one off (with Bioderma), my lip line became more and more sloppy and it's just really tough with these long wearing products! But my bottom line... you can't miss with this liner formula. If you're looking for a new lip liner, I would totally recommend this range. And even though they are traditional pencils that DO require sharpening... I really don't mind! That's saying a lot, coming from this retractable pencil lover! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • The new season of The Bachelor started last night... while I thought most of the introductions were pretty ridiculous, I can't hate on the miniature horse!!
  • Confession... I still need to unpack a few things from my Christmas travels. 
  • We are going to take Belle to see the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS tomorrow!!!
  • Peppermint Bark coffee actually doesn't taste that bad when it gets cold! (hard to down a full cup of hot coffee around here)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! Nail Goals

Happy New Year everyone!
Have you made any resolutions? I love the idea of a "fresh start" to begin the new year, and I've outlined a number of goals for myself... things like getting more organized, carving out more "me" time, eating more vegetables, blah, blah, blah. But I suppose one of my more minor, but potentially more fun goals involves my nails. I want to stop ignoring them! I've found that when there's a toddler around, it's very easy to ignore a task that requires sitting still, being precise, and drying time. But I truly think that between naptimes and bedtimes, I can probably pull it off every week or two. And I'm not looking to to achieve a super trendy, complex manicure. Just neat & pretty nails and decent looking cuticles. 
What's funny is the fact that as soon as Belle enters the makeup room, she makes a beeline for my nail stuff. Recently it hit me... perhaps these things could be more than just baby entertainment and actually serve a purpose for my own nails again? Let's do it! 
Top to bottom: Estee Lauder Pure Color in Smashed, Revlon Parfumerie in Bordeaux, Essie in Lady Like, Sally Hansen Diamond Strength in Nude Shimmer, Sonia Kashuk in One Fine Day, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Grey Area. 

I figure the first step to pulling off my "Nail Goals" is to get excited about my nail products again. I literally have two shelves of various polishes and nail-related products, so I've pulled out some that I really want to use in the coming months. That's right, I'm shopping my stash! I have some fun deep colors, and also some easy to wear soft shades. They range from brand new polishes like Estee Lauder Smashed (a gift from my friend, David!) to an all-time favorite- Sally Hansen Nude Shimmer.   Just yesterday I got the ball rolling on my "Nail Goals" and pained my nails a festive, glittery gold for New Year's Eve! 
Another aspect of nails that I'm naturally pretty excited about is Jamberry. I've been ordering these nail wraps from my friend Monique, and have used several styles over the past few months. The busy nature of the holiday season and nonstop travel has prevented me from using my wraps as much as I'd like! But it's a pretty easy process, and I've found that they'll last on me for about 3 weeks! I also recently purchased the Jamberry nail dryer, so I don't have to use a blow dryer and I LOVE it. Monique actually sent me that cute "Birthday" style as a gift, and I also have Champagne Toast and Gold Leopard. These can also be fun just as an accent nail alongside a normal manicure. 

So does anyone else have any fun beauty-related goals for the new year? I'd love to hear about them! 

Daily Nuggets...
  • Currently watching football on the couch and munching on popcorn as I write this post. Please, don't be jealous of my mad multitasking abilities. HA! 
  • Recently shared my new planner on Snapchat. I think I'm going to LOVE it!
  • Uploading tomorrow's video - it's my annual "What I got for Christmas & Birthday" haul!
  • As usual, the Emily Awards will be coming later this month. This year they'll have a special twist!
  • I don't want to take down my Christmas decorations!! The interior stuff. The way I look at it, it's more like winter decor... not strictly Christmas. Right?? :)