Tried and Tested: Beauty Product Mini Reviews



It is no secret that I love skincare products. I hoard them like an old lady that loves antiques. They overtake my bathroom, bedroom and office as I slowly test them one by one. I normally share mini product reviews on my Instagram, but wanted a more cohesive way to share my weekly beauty finds with you. Below are four mini reviews of products that I have tried, tested and fallen madly in love with.

If you have been following Al + Lex for a while, you have followed my skin saga while it changes. I have learned that every new product that works helps immensely and you can never have too many products in your arsenal. You can see some past skincare posts with Scratch Goods and Tula.


I stumbled upon Lark Skin Co. one late night stalking Instagram. I had recently been diagnosed with Lyme Disease and was learning the importance of what went into the things I put on my body. Lark Skin Co. only uses ingredients you can easily understand (hello coconut oil, aloe and witch hazel.) As I mentioned above, I try a lot of products. The Lark Skin Co. Aloe + Lime Purifying toner has totally transformed my skin. When I started my Lyme treatment, I broke out in tiny little bumps all over my face. This toner is the first thing that has not just soothed those bumps, but cleared them up. I am now a religious Lark Skin Co. user.


I really want to be a lipstick person. SO badly. I have never found a lipstick that stays on the way I want it to and seems to fit my face. Maybe it is because I have no makeup skills, or because I am oddly picky about what I put on my lips (as you will read below!) I wasn’t expecting to love the Matte Shaker by Lancôme but was blown away by the ease of application and comfort of wear throughout the day. I was sent the color “Magenta” which seems overpowering, but goes on light and is buildable if you want an intense pucker.


I am a self professed lip balm freak. I am so, so picky about what I put on my lips: the smell, taste, texture…I could go on for hours. You know how some lip balms have that weird taste that dries our your mouth? It is non-existent in the Kiehl’s Kiss For The Cure Butterstick Lip Treatment Duo. The clear butterstick goes on super smooth thanks to the coconut oil and protects lips with SPF 25. The pink butterstick lends the perfect tinge of pink to your lips that is universally flattering.  Plus: 100% of proceeds go to Bright Pink for breast cancer educational programs.


Over the past few years, the skin under my eyes has gotten puffy and I get a red tinge to my cheeks. I have tried every trick in the book to sooth my skin. While many of them work well, I love the feeling of this Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask. The mask goes on easily and does not leave a slimy residue like other sheet masks can. The mask leaves my face feeling ultra-hydrated, plumper, and cooler. Cucumber extract delivers high levels of Vitamin C, which are major players in retaining the moisture in our skin. The coconut gel provides intensive hydration and restores the skin’s balance and just flat out smells A M A Z I N G.

If you have any skincare recommendations, I would love to hear them!

<3 Al


In The Blue


Wearing bright make up can be hard to pull off. Smudged orange lipstick? You could look like a clown. Too much purple eyeshadow? You get questions about your black eye. Usually, we stick to demure browns and blacks for fear of looking a little faux pas.

However, the playful wardrobe that comes along with summer weather allows us to think outside the boring box, which for me, means playing with shades of blue. Cool blue tones look good on almost every skin tone, especially the very fair or the extremely dark.

A swipe of blue eyeliner can transform your whole look, and give your eyes the pop you may have needed. For blue or green eyes, it is recommended by Bobbi Brown that gals line eyes with a dark blue pencil and smudge. For brown eyes, a hint of blue/lilac looks best.

There are endless options, but remember one simple rule: do not match your make-up to your clothes. If you are opting for blue shadow, keep the rest of your make-up on the natural side. Do not do a strong lip with a bold shadow or liner, the colors could clash and compete with each other.

My personal favorite, is MAC Eyeshadow in Electric Eel. I can dust it on lightly with black mascara, or wet a thin brush and use it as eye liner. All of the shadows, mascaras, and liners listed below can be found at Sephora or your nearest department store.

1. Estée Lauder Pure Color Stay-on Shadow Paint in Bold Cobalt. 2. Dolce & Gabbana The Eyeliner in 21. 3. MAC Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner in Petrol Blue. 4. Diorshow by Dior Mascara in Catwalk blue. 5. Stila Smudge Stick Water Proof Eyeliner in Turquoise. 6. MAC Eye Shadow In Electric Eel.


blue make up

Calm Dry Skin & A Sunburn

We have all been there. A trip to the beach easily becomes a day in the sun, leaving your skin dried out or worse, a little red. Although it is always important to reapply SPF throughout the day, usually with a body lotion and a separate face lotion for maximum benefits, sometimes you just can’t fight it.

If you find yourself a victim of the suns damaging rays, there is a quick fix to sooth the burn. Try applying a calming mask to your face as soon as you get home and out of the sun. This will help drench your skin with moisture, and sooth the red spots and reduce inflammation. Not working? Store some aloe gel in the fridge and slather it on your face after the mask.

My top favorites would be Yes To Cucumbers, Sephora’s Pearl Mask, and Boscia Cool Blue Calming Mask. None of these masks will break the bank, so go ahead and give your skin some TLC.

dry skin

How To Fake Great Cheekbones: A Beginners Guide

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So…there are a few other things besides Victoria’s Secret model hair that we strive for…one of them being the sunken cheekbones we stare at in magazine pages and on Kim Kardashian’s Instagram. While we don’t all have Gucci Westman to give us the glam treatment, we can definitely do a pretty damn good job ourselves. Shockingly, it is incredibly easy and only takes a few short minutes. Contouring is not meant to change the face dramatically for day to day wear, but it can be a quick improvement to your daily make up routine. I contour my cheeks daily, and add a little extra when I wear a bright lipstick or pull my hair back in a ponytail. It’s that extra “pop” that pulls my look together. I scooped some tips up from Jillian Dempsey, a celeb favorite, and make up Goddess.

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1. Do not draw dark stripes along the sides of your face. This is the #1 contouring mistake women commit.

2. Suck in your cheeks to find the natural line of indentation, as if you are going in for a kiss.

3. Invest in a big fan brush. One with real hair will give you a cleaner application, it is not something to skimp on although it seems frivolous.

4. Swipe contour powder from the hollows of your cheeks, all the way up to your ears with a light hand. Swipe your brush into the powder, and then knock it on your wrist to remove excess dust.

5. Lay your brush just below your ears, and blend like you have never blended before. Blend all the way from your ears to the hollows of your cheeks.The powder should almost disappear.

6. Use a small amount of highlighter that matches your skin tone and has a slight shimmer to even out your look. Apply it to the bridge of your nose, the cupids bow, and the middle of your chin.