If you’re like me and love a good mini, you’ll know what a joy it is to find your favorite products in pint-size forms. I’m always picking up minis in the travel aisle of Target, and I thought I’d share a few of my new favorites.

The pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner is a toner you apply to the skin after cleansing and before moisturizer. One of my skincare icons, Caroline Hirons, has done a whole post on this stuff & all of its awesome benefits. If you are looking for an acid based toner that will brighten your skin and help to gently exfoliate, you’ll love this stuff.

The Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water is my go-to makeup remover. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s a great dupe for the Bioderma micellar water. I love having the travel size because it lasts for ages and is perfect for an extended vacation or trip. You can also refill the bottle super easily which I love. It removes everything except waterproof mascara and is a gentle, scent-free cleanser for those days when you don’t want to wash your face.

Lastly, the Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial is my favorite moisturizer of all time. It’s a rose-scented cream with a whipped texture and is a super hydrating, brightening nighttime moisturizer. The travel size has lasted me for nearly a year now, and is about half the price of the full size.

Long live the minis!!!!


It’s that time of year again! The round up of 2016’s best beauty products. This year, I threw it all into one compact video for your viewing pleasure.

It was the year of the highlight, contour, and brow. We saw thick, runway inspired brows of a variety of shapes and styles – both natural-looking and drawn on. Nearly every major makeup brand released some sort of highlighting and contouring product – and some of the drugstore brands seriously impressed me this year. I found my new favorite foundation in the L’Oreal Infallible Pro Glow, and even invested in a few higher-end products (truly shocking).

Beauty trends are obviously always evolving, and I generally maintain a pretty similar look each year, but I think 2016 was the year of incredible inexpensive products. My new favorite brushes – from Morphe Cosmetics (generally $25 and under), my new favorite eyeshadows and lip products – from Colourpop, and newcomer Glossier bringing mid-range minimalistic beauty products to the market. 

I’m very pleased with this year in beauty, and am happy to share a couple of new favorites with you! If you’d like to read up on favorites from New Years’ past, read on:

2015 Best In Beauty

2014 Best In Beauty

2013 Best In Beauty

What were your favorite products of the year?


Ah, dry skin. For years I believed that all foundations were evil. That they all brought with them the horrors of “cake-face” and the wonderful highlighting of all of those little dry patches around my nose. I believed that there could not possibly be a foundation for me, and that my face was forever doomed to be a patchy, dry, exposed mess.

That being said, obviously at some point I realized that my foundation woes were totally unfounded. I discovered that a good base & foundation combo could hydrate my skin, while leaving it free of irritation and redness. Today I’m sharing with you my top five foundations for we parched folk.

Base & Primer


For a very long time, I did not believe that primer was something that actually did anything. I’m including a moisturizer and a primer here because I feel that they truly prolong my makeup, and keep my skin looking fresh and glowy underneath my foundation.

The Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer is a gel-like moisturizing primer which provides a really nice layer of moisture to the skin before beginning your makeup. It is formulated using coconut water and probiotics which refresh your skin and leave it feeling super quenched. Too Faced is also a cruelty-free brand, and the product is vegan & paraben free.

My absolute favorite moisturizer is the No. 7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream for Dry/Very Dry Skin. It’s super moisturizing, not greasy, and it absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving it feeling smooth & hydrated. I use this before applying my makeup (my foundation has SPF, otherwise I’d use a daytime moisturizer with SPF), and it makes my skin feel super healthy.



I’ll be rating these using a couple of different factors. First up: coverage. How well does it cover up blemishes and hyperpigmentation? Secondly: Finish. Does it give a luminous, healthy glow? Does my skin appear hydrated and quenched? Third on the roster: shade range. How many skin tones does the foundation line accomodate? Are there three pale shades or a good selection across the spectrum? Finally, hydration. Does my skin feel hydrated? Do I feel like my face is moisturized and not crusty af??? Oh and SPF because PROTECT YOUR SKIN PEOPLE!

The Favorite

My favorite foundation – the one I’ve been using for the last month, is the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation. It has a runny consistency, and applies with a sheer coverage that is easily buildable. My shade is 202 Creamy Natural. The foundation is super lightweight on the skin, and gives a super natural glow which leaves skin looking fresh and dewy. It claims to have a 24-hour wear time, which I can’t attest to, but it does last on even the longest, hottest days on the skin.





SPF: 15

The Brit

The next foundation, which I’ve raved about in many-a-YouTube video is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation. It has a gel-like consistency and comes in a glass bottle with a pump, which makes for easy and hygenic application. The foundation gives a medium coverage, similar to the Pro-Glow, and applies super easily and well over dry skin. The shade I use is Vanille, but their color range is super limited.





SPF: 0

The Fancy

Next up is the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. I wrote an entire post praising this foundation a few years back, and I totally still love it. It’s the most high-coverage of the bunch, and it gives more of an airbrushed finish than the others. It doesn’t give as much of a hydrated feeling as the others do, but it’s the best in terms of coverage/finish performance. The shades I’ve tried all pull a little yellow, so they’re not great for red undertones, but I always come back to this one. My shade is Punjab.





SPF: 0

The Innovator

Next up is the cushion foundation. This is generally a great formula for drier skin. I love the L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion, but the one I’m currently using is the Troipeel H+ Cushion, which I wrote about here. I actually prefer the L’Oreal cushion, mostly because of how much easier it is to get, and the larger shade range. Cushion foundations go on with a sponge applicator and have a thicker consistency, which provides better, buildable coverage. They’re super hydrating, but can be a little less hygenic (I fear sponges in general).





SPF: 0

The Classic

Finally we have the Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation. This one is my least favorite of the bunch because the shade I have totally doesn’t match my skin, but I love the formula. It’s sheer, but a bit thicker, so the moisture level feels higher than the others. This one definitely feels like a foundation, so you don’t have the same lightweight feeling you’d get with something like the Pro-Glow. This one is a little better for acne-prone skin, as it’s non-comedogenic and won’t clog your pores.





SPF: 0

Do you have any amazing foundation choices for dry skin? I’m always on the hunt for the best of the best, though I’m pretty smitten with the Pro-Glow.

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I’ve been a neutral eye gal for a while, but over the last couple of months I’ve been really experimenting with color on my eyes. I pulled out the good old Urban Decay Electric Palette for my NYC Pride eye look and never looked back.

The other day I went into my local Rite Aid and saw these gorgeous products perched in a special display. After seeing the price tags and doing a little moral debating in my head, I grabbed these two.

They’re from Wet n Wild’s Spring collection, and they’re gorgeous. The first is their Geometric Highlighting Powder in the shade “Where The Dreamers Go.” It’s a gorgeous pastel highlighter that swatches with a pearly, cool-toned glow.



The highlight is very subtle, but absolutely gorgeous if you have fairer skin or are looking for a more subtle glow. It’s not super buttery to the touch, like the BECCA highlighters, but it gives a beautiful subtle shimmer – and it’s only $3.00.

The shadows are the absolute best. I’ve loved Wet n Wild’s shadows for YEARS. They are super buttery and have incredible pigmentation for the price. This is the Eyeshadow Trio in “To-In-Di-O I Go Go” (what even is that name).


The top shade is a gorgeous shimmery peach shade, the middle is a matte lilac shade, and the bottom is a shimmery turquoise/baby blue shade. They don’t look as bold in the photo, but they’re very true to the shades in the pan on the skin. These are incredibly buttery and SO pigmented. I’m absolutely in love. The top shade would be perfect for any neutral look, or in the inner corner for a highlight. The blue and lilacs would make a gorgeous mermaid-y combo on the lid & crease. Can you tell I’m obsessed?


I’m loving the pastel look at the moment. Have you tried Wet n Wild’s eyeshadows? What do you think?


When I found out Ariana Grande was releasing a fragrance – I was pumped. I’m a big Ari supporter and I guess the idea of smelling like her was appealing. She’s always been the queen of sweetness – with her innocent fashion & hair choices and simple makeup looks (just forget about that latex bunny mask for a sec, okay?), and I’m not surprised that her newest fragrance, Sweet Like Candy, is equally adorable.

A photo posted by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande) on

Ariana Grande, one of TIME’s Most Influential People of 2016, releases her newest fragrance at midnight tonight on Ulta.

The fragrance is described as:

A luscious burst of sugar-frosted blackberry and juicy Italian bergamot sparkles with sweet addiction, while creamy cashmere woods whipped with a delicate touch of pink floralcy will keep you coming back for more. The final wink is sure to delight with velvety layers of crème de cassis, fluffy marshmallow and sexy vanilla blended together to leave a head turning, alluring trail.

Honestly this sounds like the pinkest and fluffiest fragrance of 2016, and I am so down. The fragrance is built in three layers, which dry to reveal various scents:

Sweet Addiction (TOP): Blackberry, Italian Bergamot, Pear

Delightfully Dangerous (HEART): Jasmine Sambac, Plummeria, Dewy honeysuckle

Sexy Wink (DRY DOWN): Crème de cassis, Marshmallow, Cashmere woods, Sexy Vanilla

The bottle itself is even adorable, with a creamy pink exterior and a fluffy pom pom attached at the neck. IT LOOKS SO FLUFFY.

I wouldn’t expect anything less than a complex, sugary-sweet perfume from the queen of sweetness herself, Ariana Grande. I’m pumped for this release and will be in Ulta ASAP to sniff it up, I’m sure of that. The 3.4 oz bottle rings in at $59.00, and the smaller sizes go down in price from that point.

Are you as pumped about this as I am?


The incredibly talented makeup artist, Taylor LeBlanc, first caught my attention after her makeup look was reposted by Anastasia Beverly Hills on Instagram. I clicked through to her profile (@irritayted) and discovered her amazing makeup artistry and knew I wanted to chat with her. I sent her a message and we had a little chat about makeup artistry, social media, and her favorite beauty products.

Miranda Feneberger: Thanks so much for talking to us Taylor! When did you start doing makeup professionally?

Taylor LeBlanc: I actually didn’t get super serious with my artistry until I began my journey with Sephora nearly 2 years ago. Before working for Sephora, I freelanced here and there usually during prom and wedding season, but never as frequently and as serious as what I’m doing now.

MF: Did you always want to be a makeup artist?

TL: I wouldn’t say I knew I always wanted to be a makeup artist, but I definitely knew that it was a path I wanted to travel down at some point in my life. I’ve always loved makeup and applying it on myself. I considered going to school for makeup artistry once I finished high school, but ended up deciding against it because I didn’t think I could make any money. It ended up finding it’s way into my life, so I’d like to think this is what I was meant to be doing all along.

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MF: Has your artistry changed at all since you started working at Sephora?

TL: My artistry has changed and improved tremendously since starting my position at Sephora. When I started, I was afraid of color and I wore nothing but neutral mattes. Almost 2 years later and there’s no color, finish, or medium I won’t try and wear. I find myself changing and improving every single day, and in the makeup industry you just have to in order to be successful.

MF: I understand you’re studying graphic design in school – does that affect the way you approach makeup?

TL: Technically I’m not longer studying, I’m officially a graphic designer as of a few weeks ago! I don’t know if I would say it affects how I approach makeup in regards to artistry, but it definitely affects my judgement of packaging and branding of products.

MF: Do you think art imitates life or life imitates art?

TL: I would say art definitely imitates life. I often find myself creating things based on how I’m feeling, my surroundings, colors, textures, etc. I definitely take inspiration for all of my art based on the world around me.

MF: What are your ride or die makeup products?

TL: Choosing ride or die products is difficult for me since I am always trying not to be biased considering what I do! However, if I had to choose, I would say my ride or die products are: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade, the Beauty Blender, Sephora Collection Pro Contour Brush #79, Dr. Brandt Pores No More, Cover FX Custom Cover Drops, Too Faced Hangover X Primer, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eyeliner Crayon, Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stains, and Makeup For Ever Ultra HD Foundation and Concealer.

MF: In your experience, which type of makeup product should people splurge on and which should they save on?

TL: I tell all my clients that if you are going to splurge on anything, splurge on skincare. At the end of the day, makeup is only going to look as good as the skin you are putting it on top of! At the same time, when you take care of your skin and it looks better, you end up wanting/needing less makeup anyway! While there are some good cheap products out there, 9 times out of 10 you are paying more for something because the ingredients in it are better and safer for you. Makeup wise, I definitely feel that spending a little extra money on a good foundation and good tools to apply it is a good idea!

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MF: What’s your favorite part about your job?

TL: Anyone who knows me, or even just follows me on social media, knows how much I love my job, but my favorite part of my job is actually an even tie between two things. The first is that my job does not restrict my creativity. It allows me to have complete creative freedom and completely express myself the way I never could before. I’ve never felt more like myself and more comfortable in my own skin. The second, is that my job allows me to aid other people in addressing and embracing their insecurities while allowing them to feel good about themselves. The reason I started using makeup was because I was insecure, and from there it stemmed into more of an art form, and I never had anyone there to guide me along. The thought that I get to do for other people what I wished someone would have done for me, is incredibly rewarding.

MF: What pushed you to start posting your makeup looks on Instagram?

TL: I’ve been on social media for years; from MySpace, to Facebook, to Twitter, to Tumblr and now Instagram. I’ve always been pretty active on social media no matter what platform I was on, but it wasn’t until Tumblr that I discovered the power of it. I started posting the usual casual selfie on my blog every once in a while, and after a bit they started actually getting reblogged and liked quite often. After that, I started getting messages from people regarding my own makeup and asking about products, etc. So I started posting more photos focusing on my makeup with product breakdowns so that other people could try out the products I was using, and from there I would post them on Instagram. A lot of the people who were following me on Tumblr, also followed me on Instagram as well. This is definitely the most consistent and creative I’ve been with my looks though! Ultimately the main reason was just for curious people!

MF: Has social media affected the business side of your life at all?

TL: Social media has most definitely impacted my work. It has it’s pros and cons, as any makeup artist will tell you. I find myself becoming very inspired by the other artists I’ve been able to connect with through social media, so it really pushes me to be more creative and innovative. At the same time, social media really makes it hard to be a makeup artist that does actual client work and not just makeup on themselves. So many people see these photos online and come to me wanting to look just like that, but the reality of it is that everyone has a different skin type, tone, texture, etc. We all have different face shapes and features and what looks one way on one person will not look the same on another, and a lot of people don’t understand or realize that. While the photos of the makeup you see online are beautiful and it’s wonderful to have reference photos, those photos aren’t exactly realistic for most people. Trying to explain that to clients without sounding rude or offensive is very difficult.

MF: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

TL: I am currently pursuing Senior Artistry with Sephora, so in 5 years I hope to be excelling in that position. Beyond that, I just hope to be constantly improving, thriving and happy in my field!

MF: Thanks so much for chatting with us, Taylor – it’s been a pleasure!

TL: You’re absolutely welcome! Thanks again for doing this, I am insanely flattered and humbled.

Follow Taylor LeBlanc on Instagram @irritayted

Follow High Voltage on Instagram & Twitter to stay in the loop about everything we’re up to.

Read our last interview: Talking Comedy & Memes With Vine Star Kurtis Conner.


This month has been awesome for beauty. Between all of the new launches this month in addition to those announced for July – the beauty world is a happening place to be.

I’m here to share this month’s best in beauty and let you know about all of the amazing things coming out in July – as always, please suggest any of your favorite products in the comments.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette | This orangey, red-toned palette is as lush as they come. Decked out in baby pink fuzzy packaging, the palette is a beautiful sight to behold – not to mention DAT PIGMENTATION DOE.

Jeffree Star Beauty Killer Palette | The first eye palette from Jeffree Star Cosmetics, released this month, was the bright & jewel toned Beauty Killer Palette. All ten shades are vegan & incredibly pigmented (at least the swatches look amazing).

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops | A beautiful combination of a liquid highlight and a foundation fixer-upper, these drops pack a glowy punch. Use them alone or mixed into your foundation or concealer for a dewy light look.

Too Faced Born This Way Concealer | I’ve heard this will give my Urban Decay NAKED Skin Concealer a run for it’s money and boy am I excited. A spinoff from the foundation of the same name, this concealer is the it face product in the beauty world right now. I’ll be testing out this one in July.

Check out my favorite products this month (new & old) here:


BECCA x  Jaclyn Hill Split Pan Blush/Highlighter Duos | Jaclyn Hill, one of my favorite beauty YouTubers, has announced the newest expansion in her Champagne Glow collection. They’re split pan compacts bearing one half highlight, one half blush. The highlight shades are Prosecco Pop and Champagne Pop and the blushes are Pamplemousse and Amaretto (from her palette) and two new shades – Flowerchild and Hyacinth.

Jeffree Star Limited Edition Summer Liquid Lipsticks | Makeup Guru / YouTuber Jeffree Star whose liquid lippies have taken the world by storm has announced new limited edition shades for the summer. He’ll be releasing 5 summer shades (which by the way are watermelon scented) and they’re gorgeous!

What launches are you excited for in July?


Everyone loves MAC. The early days of the beauty internet were basically a shrine to the pigments, brushes, and products MAC is famous for. The company is a staple in the beauty world, and for good reason. Here are my all-time holy grail MAC products.


I’ll start off with one of my holy grail MAC brushes – the 217. It’s a natural bristled tapered flat brush with the best blending ability I’ve ever seen. MAC brushes are not cheap, so if you’re looking for an affordable alternative Morphe makes a really similar one. Love love love this brush and use it all the time.

Another favorite product is their Cleanse-Off Oil. It’s a medium-thin oil cleanser that removes waterproof makeup flawlessly. It’s the only thing I’ve found that really removes my Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner and Diorshow Waterproof Iconic Overcurl Mascara. It’s on the pricier side, at around $30, but I use it sparingly and find that it last ages. It also comes with a pump, which makes everything that little bit more convenient.

My last potion favorite is the MAC Fix + Setting Spray. I really do find that this sets my makeup better than anything else. It works great as a final mist for the skin after makeup, but I also spray it between layers if I feel that my makeup is looking cakey. I like to do my foundation, concealer, and powder and set that once, then finish bronzer/contour/eyes/blush and set again. Absolutely love this stuff. You can also spray it onto the end of a brush and dip it into shadows to give them stronger color payoff (this works really well with shimmery or foiled eyeshadows).


MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot

One of my new favorite MAC products is their Paint Pot in the shade Soft Ochre. It’s an eye base with a slightly peachy/yellow tone, so it blends well into fairer skins. I use it as an eyeshadow primer, and love it because it covers up lines & veins on the eyelids. I find that my shadows do last really well over this product. It’s a great base to use if you’re working with lighter shadows and have darker skin as well.

Another Product I love is their Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul. I got this off a recommendation from Esteé of Essie Button years ago and it’s been my holy grail ever since. It delivers a beautiful peachy-mauve sheen. Love this blush, and I find that even with my heavy hand I don’t go overboard.

MAC’s Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul

Warm Soul’s formula is very similar to Rosé Spritz from the new BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Face Palette. I’ll insert a comparison below. Rosé Spritz is pinker while Warm Soul is peachier, but they give a similar effect on the cheeks, but definitely aren’t exact dupes.

MAC Warm Soul vs. BECCA Rosé Spritz

Lastly in the face category, I wanted to mention the MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer. I’m in the shade NW20 and I used to absolutely love this stuff. It’s a great full coverage concealer and it photographs really well. I’ve since replaced it with my Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer, but this still holds a special place in my heart. It’s on the thicker side, but it’s still very blendable.

MAC Soft Ochre, Warm Soul, Pro-Longwear Concealer


MAC Lipsticks in Chili, Cosmo, and Ruby Woo

I am a fiend for MAC lipsticks. I think they make some of the most classic, wearable shades. I’ve gone through my fair share over the years and these are the three that come out on top consistently.

The first is my go to natural shade, Cosmo. I find that it’s a perfect nude for my lips, and it’s in their Amplified Creme formula which is pigmented and very creamy. This one is new to me but I already know I love it.

My second favorite is the classic blue toned red, Ruby Woo. It’s the Retro Matte formula which is incredibly long lasting, but also very drying. I would recommend seriously moisturizing before using this one, but it’s gorgeous. It’s very flattering on all skin tones.

Lastly, I had to include Chili. It’s their regular Matte formula, so it’s not as drying as Ruby Woo, but it’s a beautiful burnt, auburn/red shade. It’s very similar to Russian Red, but a bit warmer. This looks beautiful on olive skin tones.

MAC Lipsticks in Cosmo, Chili, and Ruby Woo

So there you have it, my holy-grail MAC products. I actually haven’t included any eyeshadows because I really don’t love the MAC eyeshadow formula. I’ve never found one that I like more than something else in my collection. I also have tried a few MAC powders and foundations and haven’t fallen in love with any of those either.

As always, I’m open to trying new products, so leave me your suggestions below!


So if you’ve been following along with us for a while, you might remember the original Bioderma freakout. It’s been a cult classic in the beauty world for years, and I stopped using it last year after falling in like with the Garnier Micellar water.

The ladies at Bioderma USA reached out to us and asked if they could send some over so of course I was like DUH. I’ve been using it now for about a week and I’m honestly wondering why I ever stopped. It works best when squeezed onto round cotton pads and used before cleansing the skin (as a makeup remover).

I also love to use Bioderma to cleanse my skin in the morning. After sleeping in lots of lotions and potions, Bioderma provides the perfect morning gunk removal (you’d be surprised how much stuff is on your skin in the morning).


The product is a micellar water, which is essentially water made of “micelles” – tiny little molecules of cleansing oil which are attracted to dirt and oil. The idea is that they draw gunk out of the skin, but don’t dry it out because the suspension is primarily oil. You don’t need to rinse it, and it can work as a cleanser, makeup remover, and toner.

The texture is similar to water, with a slightly slick, smooth feel. The water doesn’t leave any oily residue on the skin, making it ideal for on-the-go, quick makeup removal. Makeup artists, models, and just about everyone on YouTube raves about this stuff, and rightfully so.

We actually did a little giveaway of the adorable travel size over on our Instagram! Make sure you’re following us.

A photo posted by High Voltage (@highvoltagemag) on


The lovely ladies at MK Universal were kind enough to send over two products from their line. They sent over the Acsen Oil Cut Cleanser and the Troipeel H+ Cushion. 

I was emailing back and forth with a lovely girl named Jenny, and she asked me a little bit about my skin, and asked me to send her some photos of my face in natural lighting. I told her that I had sensitive and dry skin, and she sent over the products she thought would suit me best!

The Acsen Oil Cut Cleanser is a cleansing gel. This line is for acne prone and sensitive skin (ac+sen).

The instructions I received from Jenny at MK Universal said to apply the product using dry hands to your face and massage in, then emulsify with water. I found that the product removed most of my face makeup but it definitely did not remove my eye makeup, and stung a little around the eye area. The product basically works like a cleansing oil, but is oil free. The product’s main ingredient is Papaya Extract. Read more about the product here.

My favorite product was the Troipeel H+ Cushion. This product is essentially a cushion foundation.





The product is awesome. It uses skin-healing ingredients and technology to keep the product fresh and heal your skin while you wear it. The color match was PERFECT for me, and I love the texture and wear of this product.


My full review can be viewed below! Please, if you speak or read Korean, let me know what shade I have! You can also read more about this product here.

Jenny sent me a few links for you guys to purchase these products but the products seem to be sold out. Jenny assured me that if you have any questions, you can message their Facebook page here! They’re happy to help with the purchasing process if you guys are interested. Both products are around the $40.o0 mark. Personally, I’d skip on the cleanser (my OSKIA one is just too holy grail), and grab the cushion. I love it.

Have you guys tried cushion foundations? What are your favorites?

sign off