April 1, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things (These Days)

Heyyyyyyy-O! I wanted to do a quickie post for you guys on a few things that have really been rocking my socks off these past couple of weeks! You'll have to excuse the lame, cell phone shot above, I was drinking my afternoon coffee in the front room, slouching on the sofa like a bum and realized the lighting was pretty dang good! I'm also wearing all 3 of these products in this photo. This shot is 100% unfiltered and un-retouched (you can tell by the bumps on my chin and the scar on my chest that I acquired a few years ago from a bad P90x accident...damn you, Tony Horton!!) I noticed the "flaws" a bit better when I was viewing the pic from my iPhone so maybe if you're reading this review from your phone as opposed to a desktop, you'll see my gigantic pores a bit better (you've been warned).

But I digress. This foundation is L E G I T. For me, anyway. I know that foundation is subjective and can be a bit of a tricky ho depending on what skin type you have. Personally, mine is combination with a pretty oily T-zone (especially my nose and inner cheek area where my pores are the largest). I wanted to give it about a week or so to tell if I realllllllly liked it or not and the jury is in: I reallllllllly like it. I just applied it with my fingers directly to my face, no brushes, no Beauty Blender (gasp!) just my clean digits. The consistency is a bit thicker than a traditional liquid, but not quite as thick as a cream or souffle, it would fall somewhere in between. I was worried it would be too thick to distribute evenly on my skin but it really did a lovely job. Very even and smooth. I noticed as I was working it in that I could feel the oil absorbers in there. Definitely not "gritty" but if you've ever used a facial primer that controls oil (kind of like the discontinued Smashbox oil controlling primer....which I miss terribly by the way) that's kind of what it felt like, which gave me comfort that it would in fact last longer than a couple hours. The other main thing I like about this foundation is that I barely have to use ANY setting powder! I typically always use a high def powder of some sort and I just don't have to with this foundation. Not immediately anyway. I find that a very light dusting on my schnozz in the afternoon is all I need! It has great medium to full coverage and seriously does last all day. I just wish there was more product in the package...however, since a smaller amount goes a long way, I'll be interested to see how long one tube lasts me. If you are a gal who needs a bit more coverage and likes a satin matte finish, go give this a shot!

In the same product line as the foundation, L'Oreal came out with a setting spray which is supposed to be similar to the Urban Decay "All Nighter" Makeup Setting Spray (4oz) which I love BTW. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with this one! For the price, it's a really great way to experiment with setting sprays to see if you even really like them or not (since this one is about half the price as the UD one). Sometimes you can find the trial size (1oz) of the Urban Decay sprays for anywhere from $10-$14 but you're only getting a very small amount as opposed to the L'Oreal one (3.4oz) which is only a couple bucks more. This spray isn't something I use every day, but for days I want my makeup to last allllll day or I have to apply my makeup in the morning and need it to look just as good in the evening, this spray is wonderful. I also really like it if I need to "refresh" my makeup halfway through the day as it gives somwhat of a healthy finish to the skin which is great especially if you've just applied a fresh layer of powder. Don't be afraid of spraying yourself; it's a very fine mist and it comes out extremely evenly. There are no globs or areas that get more wet than others.

Lastly, but certainly not least, is one of my all time favorite mascaras that has just been remastered and reformulated. I received this mascara complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes and I was so jazzed to see if I noticed any real differences in formula. Here are the claims from YSL:

"The most emblematic "false lash effect" volume mascara, now with an all new Lash Care formula. Its secret is the Triple-Intensity Formula: intense volume, intense color and now intense care. The nylon fiber brush coats each lash in deep color and maximum volume from root to tip, while B5 Pro-Vitamin strengthens and protects lashes."

My take: basically the addition of this new "Lash Care formula" is supposed to do all the above aforementioned stuff, PLUS keep the mascara from drying out in the tube so quickly (which in my opinion was the only turn off from the original formula). This mascara doesn't mess around. With one swipe, it gives really incredible super dark black pigment which I LOVE. The brush bristles on the wand are the same as the original which I am so glad they didn't mess with. It's not a silicone brush, but rather a traditional brush head but with each bristle going in a different direction. They did this on purpose to make sure each lash is completely coated in product from the first swipe. This mascara not only has incredible pigment, but it gave me those big, fluffy, doe eyes that I'm always after. I always hate having to choose between length or volume when shopping for mascara because I WANT BOTH, DAMMIT! This gives it to me. I am wearing it in the above photo and you can see how long and fluffy and dark my lashes are. Every time I use this mascara I am reminded why some beauty products are worth the extra pennies. It is just a very high quality and consistent product. Period. Also note that this mascara comes in waterproof as well as a few other colors. I have black, but my other favorite is 05 Burgundy which is kind of a cross between plum and brown. LOVE it on brown eyed girls!

Well, ladies and germs, that's all I have for you right now! I've been a little lazy in trying/reviewing products lately because as it turns out, when you're growing a human while also chasing a 2-year old human around, you just don't have the energy to slap on your makeup as often as before! I promise to make a better effort as Spring/Summer is here and all the fun and exciting new products start rolling our way!

~ Colleen
March 16, 2015

Bridal Makeup for a South African Princess

This past weekend I had the pleasure of doing makeup for one of the most gorgeous brides on the planet. She just also happens to be one of the sweetest, most gracious, kind-hearted gals I know. I wanted to share some "getting ready" photos that were snapped using an iPhone 5s (nothing fancy) and tell you all what I used to achieve this look. As soon as I get the professional photos, I'll be sure to share those as well, but in the meantime, you can check out some sneak peeks on their photographer's Instagram as he edits and posts some teasers! His website is right here if you want to see some of the most incredible images in the world: Benj Haisch Photography.

Now...back to the makeup! In these shots, the bride was having her hair done by Hillary Faye Designs. Again, you'll have to check out the final pics to see the finished result, but I can tell you, not surprisingly, it was STUNNING. Go ahead and scroll through the below photos and I'll leave clickable links for products as well as the specific colors used (since sometimes the widget photos don't represent the correct shade used). Specific colors will be listed underneath the "products used" grid.

Products Used (see below grid for specific colors) Some products are not shade specific (ex. primers, finishing powder/spray, etc.)

Foundation // TEMPTU AirPOD Foundation in Warm Ivory (You will need the TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup System 2.0 to apply foundation)
Highlighters // NARS Blush & Highlighting Duo in "Hungry Heart" and TEMPTU AirPOD Highlighter in "Champagne"
Blush // Milani Baked Blush in "Luminoso"
Eyeliner // YSL Creme Liner in "Pure Black"
Eyeshadow // All over lid I used Milani Bella Eyes Gel Powder in "Bella Sand" and then used NARS Eyeshadow Duo for detail work in color "Cordura"
Brows // Sigma Brow Powder Duo in "Medium" (I used the lighter shade)
Lip Liner // MAC Lip Pencil in "Rosy Rim"
Lipstick // I first applied Milani Color Statement Lipstick in "Nude Creme" and then applied Milani Moisture Matte Lipstick in "Matte Innocence" over the top (I couldn't find a link for the second color, but I bought mine at Fred Meyer. You can also find it at Walgreens, Rite Aid and/or Walmart).
Concealers // Both concealers listed were used in the "Light" color. 

I mean...LOOK at this beauty! Pictured with her is her gorgeous sister whose makeup I also did. Absolutely incredible! Once again, photography by Benj Haisch Photography.

March 9, 2015

How I Choose My Makeup To Compliment My Outfits

How I Choose My Makeup To Compliment My Outfits

I often get asked "Colleen, am I supposed to match my makeup to my outfit?" or "does my lipstick need to match my top?" etc. etc. etc. 

Well buckle up, cowgirls! I'm about to take you on a rare journey into the complicated web that is my brain and how I "style" my face to compliment what I'm wearing. If you thought you didn't need to think about the neck up, well boy howdy do I have news for you! Your face can sometimes be your BEST accessory, after all, it's usually the first thing people notice...even if you do have on this season's hottest sundress! Have you ever heard the phrase "she was not wearing that dress, that dress was wearing HER!" Well, there's usually a couple things going on here: the obvious would be lack of confidence, but the not so obvious is lack of vibe or cohesiveness. Take a look at any of the above outfits (which I'm pretty damn proud to tell you I selected each piece at $50 or less...yep...you're welcome!) and imagine it with a bare or "makeup-less" face. It's what differentiates someone from looking totally pedestrian in a killer dress to looking like they stepped out of this month's Marie Claire.

When I'm shopping for an outfit or dress for a special occasion, I typically start with the clothes. On rare occasion will I decide in my head "I want to wear a deep oxblood lipstick and I'll go from there" (not that that hasn't happened...because it has). But 9 times out of 10 I find the perfect outfit and let that steer me in the direction I want to go. The cool thing about fashion and makeup is that for the most part, it's wearable art, which in my mind means it's all subjective, baby! You might get a totally different vibe when you look at #7 above than I did and that's groovy, too! What I hope by telling you what I chose is that you can see how the wheels start spinning in my noggin and maybe inspire you to get a little more creative when you're out shopping for your next date/dinner/event/party/family-get-together. Don't be afraid to get a little bit funky with your bad self!

1 | When I look at this peachy little number, I imagine a girl with killer cheekbones, a sun-kissed tan, and juicy lips. The first thing I would think about would be finding the perfect bronzer that I could really sculpt my face with. I think a fun youthful mouth would be perfect here but I wouldn't want it to compete with the color of the dress so I chose YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in "Dewy Papaya" because it offers a pop of color but it's not opaque like lipstick. It's kind of like lipgloss in a stick form. More sophisticated than gloss and the tube is practically a work of art!  Great way to experiment with punchy colors without having to commit to the lipstick form.
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Lips | Bronzer
2 | This dress screams 60s to me! I picture Brigitte Bardot with teased, tousled sex-hair, LASHES galore and a matte nude lip. It's what would take this seemingly simple white sheath dress and take it up a notch to seem like it was styled to perfection. Everything chosen for a reason. 
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Lips | Lashes
3 | I had two immediate reactions to this dress. The first was a preppy, all-American vibe, and the second was a clean, polished, structural feel. I felt like I could do more with the latter so here's what I chose. I first envisioned a strong lip, but I wanted something more unexpected than red. Nothing is yummier to me than deep navy and bold pink. No gloss, no shimmer, just hot pink. A lip crayon is perfect here because you can line your lips and be super precise (which is so important when working with bright or bold shades) but then you can use the same product to fill in your kisser. No hauling around 14 different products (which would be ideal here because I also envision a very sleek clutch to go with). I would also focus on my brows (as if I ever wouldn't) but here I love the thought of a thick, defined brow paired with the bold lip. Clean skin with a satin finish and a simple eye. Chic chic chic!
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Lips | Brows
4 | This hotsy totsy little striped number is so fun and artistic! Again I thought of kind of a 60s vibe but this time more of an Edie Sedgwick feel! I'd paint on a cantaloupe colored opaque lip, a thick line of black eyeliner, and of course lashes up the wazoo. I might even toy with the idea of dotting on a faux mole just to be sassy! Hair would be teased at the crown then sleek bangs and sides tucked behind both ears.
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Lips (Cha Cha) | Lashes
5 | I absolutely adore the idea of tossing in a bit of edge to a seemingly sweet and girly dress. It would be so easy to make this dress some boring frock you'd see on a sorority girl but given a little more thought, it can easily be taken up a few notches. I think people so easily jump to a red lip when trying to liven up an outfit, but we so often forget about deep plums, burgundies, and brick reds (all of which would work with this dress). The last time I wore this shade of yellowish lime, I wore the prettiest grape juice colored lipstick and it just.....worked. I would keep my lids neutral but still sexy, almost dewy and I'd draw a super thin line of navy or black liquid eyeliner on my top lid. 
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Lips (Possesed Metal) | Lids
6 | Okay so technically I cheated with this outfit...sue me. This is a skirt and a dress (not a top) but I loved the look of the denim with tiny anchors with the floral skirt. Mommy likes to mix her prints and you should, too! Again, the expected thing here would be to go totally feminine, soft colors, blah blah blah but I thought "how fun would it be to give this a 90s grunge-esque face?!" FUN! A matte, muted brick lipstick with a totally matte, pressed-powder complexion! Oh I just love it! I'd style my hair kind of messy with one side tucked behind my ear and I might even include a teeny tiny almost undetectable braid on the tucked side for something different.
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Skirt | Lips | Face
7 | This print is so pretty and instantly makes me think of Summer. I just imagine the girl who is wearing it to look like she's glowing and lit from the inside. Like a fairy nymph on her way to a raging garden party (is that an oxy moron? Just go with it). This is where a gorgeous luminizer would be key. I'd contour ever-so-slightly, then I'd dust luminizer on my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, above my cupid's bow and under my brows. Lipgloss is so "duh" for this look so I'd use one of the new-to-the-scene lip tint oils. They're exactly what they sound like. It's a lip tint that feels like the most luxurious but not greasy, high quality oil on your lips. I'd apply a champagne or rose-gold colored shadow to my lids and a hefty dose of black mascara and I'd either skip liner all together, or I'd apply a moss green pencil liner and smudge the ever living hell out of it with my finger.
---------------------------------------------> Dress | Lips | Skin

Now if this doesn't inspire you to go shopping for Spring clothes, I don't know what will! Go have fun and think outside the box!

February 12, 2015

Love is in the Air! Let's Start the Wedding Planning!

It's February! You all know what that means, right? Yes, it's the month of one of my all time favorite holidays (Valentine's Day) but it is also the start of WEDDING SEASON! For those of us in the industry, whether it be hair stylists, makeup artists, wedding planners, photographers, wedding planners, florists, etc. we all know that now is the time that Brides start piecing together their most perfect day.

Enter Loverly. "What the heck is Loverly?" you might be asking...well, picture a one-stop shop for all things wedding related. Inspiration? Yep. Planning tools? Absolutely. Vendors? You betcha. You can browse the world's top wedding images, search for inspiration by color, category or custom keyword, save your favorites and even "share" to your social media accounts for input and advice! It's like Pinterest only it's all wedding related! You don't have to sift through Pins of recipes and recipes and more recipes! Just focus solely on what you need and forget the rest!

Loverly recently reached out to me telling me about a brand-spanking new launch with Eva Franco, which if you didn't know, designs some of the most sassy, truly unique, feminine-without-being-cheesy dresses. This Eva Franco for Loverly line is all about Brides and Bridesmaids and is SO fresh and unexpected with some of the dreamiest fabrics and textures I have ever laid my brown eyes on! I thought it would be a perfect time to share this line with my readers since so many of you will be asked to participate in weddings this season! So hop on over to Loveryly to start putting together the wedding of your dreams, and while you're there, make sure you take a gander at this GORGEOUS collection! I was asked a few questions which I will answer below! Hope you enjoy my picks!

I was asked to tell you guys which dress (or dresses) I would choose for my Bridesmaids and why...
(Left to right)

Auriela Dress (in navy) | This to me is the bridesmaid dress that every gal wants to wear. It's sweetheart neckline, nipped-in waist and length would look great on any body type but what I reallllly love (other than the color which is a fave) is the fantastic lacy-textured bustier style bodice! It's just the tiniest bit of sexy without going overboard! 

Jax & Paloma Set (in white) | Okay, now for my most unconventional pick and quite possibly, my personal favorite: the Jax & Paloma. I'm in LOVE with the idea of a two-piece for a casual wedding, an outdoor wedding or a wedding where the Bride has a bit of a tongue-in-cheek sense of style (a.k.a. my kinda gal!) This crop-top of course wouldn't work for all body types, so don't go making this decision for your girls if you have any that are a bit insecure of their mid-section. Also, dare I say I may be one of the only women on the planet who kind of digs the thought of bridesmaids in white? I KNOW I KNOW it goes against everything the rules tell us, but if there is a Bride out there who is super confident and wants to buck tradition, this would be suuuuuuch a funky, cool, and fresh idea that I promise NO ONE else will be doing! And I always love that. 

Cecilia Dress (in dusty rose) | This typically isn't a dress style I'm drawn to, but there is something really special about this one that I couldn't take my eyes off of. For one, it is incredibly feminine. I absolutely adore the dainty cap sleeves and the oversize bow on the chest just screams "Parisian" to me! Oui Oui! The lace is so girly and timeless and in this dusty rose shade, so charming!

I was also asked which stood out to me the most. This one was a bit tough for me to drill down to just one because there were so many but if I had to choose one, here's my choice...

Maura Jumpsuit (in navy) | I love a good jumpsuit. The reasons are aplenty, but to me, they represent everything that is chic, strong yet feminine, and fashionable. I can't say that I've ever seen a wedding where the Bridesmaids are wearing jumpsuits, but I'll tell ya right now, the thought of it is so different that it just makes me weak in the knees! Maybe it's the Annie Hall lover in me, but I would just DIE over how cool the photos would be where there are sexy jumpsuit-clad Bridesmaids hooking arms with the Groomsmen! *le swoon!* Talk about making a statement! Bonus points for being able to wear this gorgeous outfit again AND for the fact that it has pockets (a personal must!)

Okay lastly, I couldn't help but grab a few more faves for specific wedding-related festivities...here's what I got for ya!

Rehearsal Dinner outfit:

Courthouse Wedding

"Getting Away" or "Off to the Honeymoon":

Morning After Brunch

Bridal Shower

Alright, that should be enough to get the wheels spinning for you! If you are a Bride or a Bridesmaid, get thee to Loverly STAT! My days of wedding planning are sadly behind me, but that doesn't mean I can't live vicariously through you dolls! Which dresses would you choose?
January 29, 2015

The Multi-Tasking "Miracle Cream" You NEED

Guys. Rarely does a product come along that has me all verklempt. A product that makes me ask myself in a very angry tone "what have you even been doing with your life before now?!" I had been hearing some pretty serious stuff about this "Miracle Cream" by Embryolisse on various blogs, YouTube channels, product reviews, etc. I feel like whenever I hear or read about a product more than 3 times in a week, it's a sign from the Beauty Gods and I MUST own it. That's what happened here.

Enter Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre. The name alone makes you want to hop on your Vespa and head out to the nearest French bakery for an espresso and croissant! Well, if you're like me and don't have a Vespa (or a French bakery nearby) you can still get a little taste of the good life if you get your le hands on this tube of Heaven. This stuff is so luxe and SO moisturizing without being oily or greasy!

Here's what this little badass brings to the table:

1) As a moisturizer: apply to clean skin and let it "sit" for at least 5-10 minutes before applying makeup.
2) As an eye makeup remover: apply a small amount to two cotton swabs or cotton balls and gently sweep across eyes from brow to lash line until all traces of makeup are gone. You can massage excess product into your eye area as a great gentle eye-area-moisturizer.
3) As a makeup primer: gently massage into skin and neck for a healthy glow. If there is any excess, you can massage into neck and décolleté. 

If you want to try before you buy, you can also find this little diamond in the rough at Sephora and I believe there is a smaller size available if you're a commitment phobe and want to start small. 
January 25, 2015

Drugstore Beauty Routine : Pregnancy Edition

Drugstore Beauty Routine : Pregnancy Edition

Oh heeeeeey, guys! Remember me? I'm the broad who just up and left ya for over a month with no new posts and nothing to do but peruse through old material! First of all, I am so sorry for my absence. For those of you who don't know me personally, I've been busy dealing with the first glorious month of pregnancy (read: insane nausea, fatigue and general slug-likeness). Basically that means I've been too lazy to come up with anything to write about because, well, I've been unable to muster the motivation to get myself ready like a functioning member of society. Whelp! Luckily I'm through the woods and into my second trimester and finally feeling like a human female again! That means showering on a regular basis, slapping some makeup on and (kind of) doing my hair! CanIgetahellllllyeah?! 

When I was pregnant with my now 2-year old son, I was super sick through my first trimester, however, I had beautifully clear skin. This go-round was a totally different story. My hormonal breakouts were E-P-I-C. It was like my chin was a breeding ground for pesky zits. All sizes were welcome! Tiny pimples, medium pimples, large painful pimples, I wasn't discriminating! Once I would get rid of one, three more would come to it's funeral! The truly annoying thing was, for the first time in my life, I also had sensitive skin! It wasn't like I could treat the whole area and be done with it, I had to treat each and every spot, being careful not to disrupt the surrounding skin which would get incredibly dry, red and irritated. ARGH! I needed a new approach. I decided to take 3 gazillion steps back and pare my routine down to the bare essentials for the first time in my life and guess what?? It worked! I'm not saying this is going to be the magical answer for everyone, but this is what worked for me. Maybe it'll do the trick for someone else out there as well. 

Firstly, let me just say that I STOPPED using my Clarisonic brush during this little "outbreak". Although my love for that thing is stronger than platinum, when you're experiencing flare ups, it's best to just gently rest it on the counter, explain how you just need a little space, and when things have calmed down in the epidermal arena, you'll be back, ready to slough off some dead skin and eager to pick up your love affair hotter than ever! Trust me, it's for the best.

Step 1 | Before using any cleanser, I've been removing all of my eye makeup and most of my face makeup with facial cleansing wipes. I've been using the Kirkland ones from Costco which I really dig, but any brand will do. Try to find some formulated for sensitive skin. Get as MUCH makeup off your face as possible and then move on to cleansing.
Step 2 | I picked up Avalon Organics Vitamin C Cleansing Gel from Target on a whim because I liked the gentle ingredients, and for whatever reason, the citrus scent really helped with my queasies. Any other scent made me want to hurl. If you're particularly sensitive to fragrances, just grab one that is fragrance free. A tiny bit of this cleanser goes a long way (love that!) Just make sure you remove all of it as it can leave a slight residue if you're not careful to rinse completely clean with luke warm water. Then PAT (not rub) your skin dry with a clean towel.
Step 3 | This "step" is optional. Or rather an "as needed" step. I'm not big on slapping copious amounts of zit cream on my face when it's being super touchy (and when I'm preggo) so I am a huge lover of organic tea tree oil for those painful, underground zits. I put a little bit on a Q-tip and just "dab" it onto the offending spot. Let it sit for a few minutes, then move on to moisturizer. Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It's basically the bomb.
Step 4 | I grabbed this moisturizer by Neutrogena for sensitive skin and HOLY MOLY I'm in love. I wish I would have discovered this earlier in life. It is incredible. No scent. Oil free but incredibly moisturizing. Doesn't leave a film on the skin and it has SPF. It's like finding the perfect mate. This is my new all time favorite basic facial moisturizer and I am going to make sure it is always on my bathroom counter. 
Step 5 | Have you seen these mini Vaseline tubs?? They are so damn cute! I am loving the rosy lips one for daytime because it leaves the slightest rosey hue without looking like you're wearing gloss. I also have the "creme brulee" flavor which I use at night. I find them at Target but I've seen them at Rite Aid, Walgreens and online as well. Ahhh! So cute!
Step 6 | I'll be real honest with y'all. I've been LAZY when it comes to my makeup lately. Unless I have actual plans like dinner with friends, or a get together or something, I just can't find the motivation to put on a full face. I've been a looooong time fan of Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (I use color "Light") I'm sure you know if you read my blog regularly, so I decided to grab the foundation, which is the same "format" (sponge tip applicator) as well. It has great medium to full coverage but is very light on the skin, similar to a BB cream in weight. I literally just twist the top, rub the product all over my face, blend it in a bit with my Beauty Blender and then pop my concealer under my eyes, around my nose then BOOM I'm done. A bit of cream blush, my eyebrows, some black mascara, and I'm out the door.
Step 7 | This really isn't a "step" but it is just a no-brainer. Water. Drink it. Then drink more. Then follow that up with more water. I adore my LifeFactory glass water bottle. I have the orange one pictured, but it comes in a ton of different colors. Also you should know, they make wine glasses and they are pretty much the cutest things on the planet. As are their baby bottles. See? A product for every stage of your life! 

Okay, that about sums it up! Please note that now that my skin is back to it's regular self, my routine is about to change yet again as I'm receiving my entire line of Rodan + Fields Redefine Regimen tomorrow and can't WAIT to start documenting my results for you guys! They're sending me over $400 worth of product so I'm like a giddy kid on Christmas Eve! Stay tuned for some mind-blowing before and after shots!

December 4, 2014

How to Wear Pantone 2015 "Color of the Year" - Marsala

Pantone Color of the Year 2015

It's that time of the year again! And I'm not referring to decorating for the holidays (although, it's also that time, so...get to steppin' if you haven't already!) It is the day that Pantone has chosen their "2015 Color of the Year" which sets the tone for all kinds of fashion, beauty and decor trends! I'm sure everyone remembers last year's color "Radiant Orchid" which was such a bright, punchy shade and it was such a blast to pull together some different ideas on how to wear the shade. If you missed that post CLICK HERE for reference. This year's color choice has been a bit of a hot debate. There are some people out there that have their panties twisted ALL up in their business ends over this color choice! Those not very fond of the shade are saying it reminds them of rust, dried blood, etc. To which I say "psssshhhh!" Such is the beauty of subjectivity. Not everyone is going to dig what's "in" and that's okay! I love marching to the beat of my own drummer, and if that means genuinely loving a controversial color SO BE IT! But can we all just take pause and laugh about how ridiculous it is to be debating the "color of the year"? Like...can we all agree that this argument is the epitome of a First World problem? Okay, now that we've decided on that, let's get down to the nitty gritty. (Also, for the record, I'm a BIG fan of the color Marsala. There, I said it. Now you know what camp I fall into.)
When I first heard that this year's color was "Marsala" I instantly thought of chicken Marsala, because, well...I'm food motivated in every aspect of my life. Then I took a step back and thought of the very specific shade of Marsala wine and I started conjuring up different swatches of the beautiful muted wine shade. It's as if wine + mauve + muted rust, and earthy mushrooms all decided to get together, have a ménage à trois, and somehow create a baby. There you have Marsala. I sat down and started thinking of all the makeup shades I've worked with and worn and then compared them up against our color swatch. If you're trying to figure out how to incorporate a specific shade into your lifestyle, I usually recommend letting the color or swatch be your guide. Look at it and decide which familiar objects come to mind and then use that as your guide. 
Here is a photo from Pantone's website showcasing a beautiful Marsala sofa, some throw pillows with the shade tossed in, a muted Marsala silk skirt, and a handsome devil holding a Marsala colored script in his hand. I love how they give you some ideas for what other colors work with it. How AMAZING does that dusty blue blanket look draped over the back of the sofa?! Marsala + dusty blue = L O V E
Marsala is not quite Merlot (too much purple), not quite burgundy (too much reddish brown), and not quite mauve (a bit too muted) but it definitely has qualities of each. I absolutely adore the color Marsala on leather goods. It's so rich and buttery and unexpected but it's more updated and modern than a traditional burgundy. I tried choosing a couple different lipsticks in this shade because it is THE color to wear on your kisser this season. I think I have a bit of a soft spot for it because it takes me back to 90s makeup which we all know is having its mega-moment right now! Anyhoo, I'll let you guys decide if you can see yourself incorporating this badass shade into your wardrobe, makeup or house and I'll leave the links below for the items up in the collage should you be so inclined to check any of them out! 

Here's to a Marsala-drenched 2015!

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