August 30, 2015

Bronze Glow & Sculpted Brows with Mary Kay and Project Runway

I have been a fan of Project Runway for YEARS! My brother would probably kill me for telling you this, but we used to sit on the couch and watch it together and try to predict who would win and who would get booted before the contestants even started showcasing their talent--we're super judgmental like that when it comes to Project Runway #alwaysjudgeabookbyitscover. Just kidding, don't do that, kids.

So when I was asked to recreate two totally different looks that were featured on Project Runway using products that Mary Kay® Global Makeup Artist Luis Casco used, I was like "um YEAH!" Mary Kay® shipped all the beautiful products and provided tutorials for the two looks (Bronze Glow and Sculpted Brows). Keep reading below to see how I achieved each look and what products I used to get there. I hope you enjoy! Don't forget to answer the question below this post in the comments section for a chance to win a Mary Kay® prize pack!

Bronze Glow
This is SO totally a look I would wear on a daily basis, especially during spring and summer. It is so fresh and youthful and the bronzer is the PERFECT shade of a cool toned bronze, which is so hard to find and has just the right amount of shimmer. If I had to choose my favorite product from this look, it would be the Mineral Eye Color in "Amber Blaze". It is seriously one of the most gorgeous eye shadows I have ever used and trust me--I've used more than I care to admit.

Here's how I achieved this look:
  1. Using the Powder Brush, apply the Bronzing Powder in Light-Medium to the high points of the face that the sun would naturally hit to create a sun-kissed look.
  2. Add the Mineral Cheek Duo in Spiced Poppy over the bronzer with the Cheek Brush.  Use the highlighter shade on top of the cheek to give shine.
  3. Using the Eye Color Brush, apply Amber Blaze and Gold Coast Mineral Eye Colors to the eyelid.  Apply Precious Pink Mineral Eye Color to the crease to add more warmth and dimension.  Apply Gel Eyeliner in Jet Black to the base of the upper lashes.  Apply a couple of coats of Lash Love Lengthening Mascara. 
  4. Add a metallic hint to the lips with NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss in Beach Bronze.

Next up was the "Sculpted Brows" look. Here are all the lovely products used to achieve the below face...

Sculpted Brows
This look would be gorgeous for fall or winter or even holiday parties. I love that the focus is on the brows and lips, which is so current. I made sure my complexion was flawless and free of any bronzer (so hard for me!) I wanted to seem almost like a porcelain doll so that the attention would be on my brows and lips, not my contouring. Let me just say...this lip color is SO cushiony and comfortable. I'm not typically a fan of lipsticks that aren't a matte or flat satin finish, but this one felt so incredible on my lips. Almost like I was wearing gloss over the top!

Here's how I achieved this look:
  1. Use the Mechanical Brow Liner to fill in the brows following the natural growth of the hair.  Use the Eye Smudger Brush to apply Hazelnut Mineral Eye Color to the highest points of the brows to give more color and emphasis.  Follow with the Brow Gel to set the brows in place.
  2. A soft eye color is best for this look.  Pat on Rosegold Mineral Eye Color with your finger and use the Eye Color Brush to blend.  Brush on Crystalline Mineral Eye Color as a highlighter under the brow to create contrast.  Apply Black Eyeliner to the base of the upper lashes to shape the eyes.  Apply Lash Love Mascara in Black.
  3. Apply the Mineral Cheek Color Duo in Juicy Guava to the cheeks with the Cheek Brush and blend.  Then apply the highlighter color to brighten the face.
  4. Apply True Dimensions Lipstick in Spice ‘N’ Nice to the lips and sculpt the lips with Dark Chocolate Lip Liner.  Blot the lips with a Beauty Blotter tissue to create a longer lasting semi-matte look.

Which look would you personally wear yourself and why! Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a Mary Kay® prize pack of your own!

Feel free to visit the Mary Kay® website, follow them on Facebook and watch their videos on YouTube for different look ideas, videos, tutorials and more!
Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 8/31/2015 – 9/27/2015
Be sure to visit Mary Kay’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

All products were provided to me by Mary Kay Inc. but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
July 1, 2015

Review of Smile Brilliant Custom Teeth Whitening

Tooth Whitening by Smile Brilliant

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love coffee. The bolder, the darker, the stronger the better! But with this love of coffee comes a couple consequences: one is a mean caffeine headache if you've ever skipped a cup, and the other is unsightly yellowish, stained teeth (ewww). Along with my love affair with coffee comes my obsession with keeping my teeth white. If you've been reading my blog long, you're probably familiar with a few other teeth whitening techniques I've used and been happy with. Things like baking soda & peroxide to activated charcoal for those who are sensitive to chemicals but still want bright pearly whites! These are still fabulous options for those who want a more natural approach, but for those of us out there who want an at-home option that rivals what your dentist's office can provide (for a fraction of the cost) there's a way to get it!

So, imagine my delight when I was contacted by Smile Brilliant to try their at-home, professional strength, CUSTOM teeth whitening system! After reading up on the product and some reviews and deciding if it was something I was interested in (I'm picky like that) I replied with a hearty "YES!" What set them apart to me were two main components: 1) they send you ALL the materials to make your own personal mold for your very own trays that only fit your mouth AND 2) they have a desensitizing gel step that you use in conjunction with the whitening gel to make sure you are keeping the integrity of your tooth enamel in tact and not suffering the agonizing and dreaded pain and sensitivity that so many of us avid teeth whiteners experience. An added bonus is this entire system retails for $119 when you'd easily be spending close to the $500 range to have it done at your dentist's office. Sock that extra money away for a little weekend getaway or night out on the town to show off your new and improved chompers! 

Here's what comes in the kit:

You get all the materials needed to create your own personal "teeth mold" to send back (padded envelope and postage are also included) they even send you extra in case you make a mistake! You just take one disc of the white "stuff" and one disc of the blue "stuff" and mix them together in your hands until its all one color, evenly distribute it through the provided trays and then place in your mouth by pressing up evenly into your teeth (top teeth) and straight down (bottom teeth) making sure not to slide them forward or backwards. Be careful not to wiggle or wedge the trays at all as this will cause your final custom trays to fit too loosely, therefore not providing the optimum whitening effect.

Here's what mine looked like. I let them dry overnight before I sent them back in the mail. They even shoot you an email letting you know they received your molds and keep you posted on the tray making process and when they've shipped out your new personalized trays! The customer service at Smile Brilliant is incredible. If you have any questions during the process, there is always someone available via phone or email to help you out!

Then you get a cute little plastic travel case with your new unique-to-you trays inside! The final trays are clear and nice and thin. They're not hard like I thought they would be (similar to my retainer) but they're quite flexible and easy to use! You're ready to start whitening! The individually packaged syringes are included in your original kit, along with the syringes of desensitizing gel. There's a great, detailed instruction card with plenty of instructional photos that explains how to use your gels (and about how much product to use) along with helpful tips and tricks. However, if you prefer to watch videos, there are awesome tutorials on YouTube. If you have specific questions, checkout their FAQ section.

Here are my teeth before I started my Smile Brilliant process. You can see some staining on the surface as well as in between my teeth (thanks a lot, Starbucks):

Here is a shot taken after the very first application where I only wore my trays for about 30 minutes. Pretty incredible! I see at least a shade or two difference after only ONE half hour application!

You can really see the white spots on some teeth and an overall brightened up appearance. The spots start to disappear after a couple more sessions. In the spirit of being completely honest with my readers, I wanted to also note my gums in this photo. I used too much gel and it ended up seeping out of my trays and onto my gums causing some white spots and even a little "burn" down on the bottom gum line. After I corrected my mistake and started using the correct amount of product, this didn't happen again and my gums were just peachy keen! The reason I'm telling y'all is so that you don't make the same mistake I did. I didn't notice any sensitivity on my teeth from using the gel, but my teeth are pretty strong. I did always notice some tingling and slight burning on my gums if the gel leaked out. You could always use a different whitening gel with your new custom trays if this gel doesn't work the best for you personally. Smile Brilliant is one of the only teeth whitening companies that offers 100% personal fit trays (instead of a one-size fits all mouth guard type of tray which NEVER gets all the nooks and crannies of your mouth).

And are my final results after using my trays every few days for about a month! The really cool part about using Smile Brilliant, is after your initial treatment (3, 6, or 9 syringes depending on the kit you choose) you really only need to "touch up" your teeth about once a month if you notice any staining! I love that I don't have to worry about whitening every day or even every week. Low maintenance is what we're all after right? What I really liked about my results, are that all my surface stains are visibly gone, but my teeth don't have that unnatural "blue tint" to them like I would get when using whitening strips. I always felt like I was going to glow under a black like (like Ross from Friends....anyone remember that episode?) This just felt like I have bright white, but still natural looking teeth!

Smile Brilliant is doing a really amazing contest right now where you can enter to win the entire kit for FREE! If you want to enter CLICK HERE! 

Here's their website link if you missed it above: Smile Brilliant 

If you enter my code "talklipstick" at checkout, you'll get 5% off! SCORE!

Thanks so much for reading and don't forget to enter the contest!
May 31, 2015

What's In My Hospital Bag // From a Breastfeeding Mommy

What to Pack for the Hospital // The Breastfeeding Mama

Hey there ho there! Sorry for the delay of this post, time just got the hell away from me this weekend! Who can of hands.

I'd like to first preface this post by saying this is by NO means a black & white list of things you need. There are so many obvious factors that will affect what you include/leave out of your own hospital bag when you go to have your beautiful babies. Things like: personal preference (duh), whether or not you have a vaginal delivery vs. cesarean delivery (after care is very different...again...duh), whether or not you formula feed vs. breastfeed (formula feeding moms are obviously not going to need nipple cream & shields....unless you're into that sort of thing which WHO AM I TO JUDGE?!) You catch my drift though, eh? I just wanted to share what worked really well for me the first time around, and any new things I'll be adding to my list this time around. Everything pictured above is currently packed away in my duffel bag as we speak (aside from my iPhone because we all know that bitch is permanently in the palm of my hand.) I tried grouping these items into little categories so that there wouldn't seem like a myriad of random items below. I will be doing an additional post for what's in my toiletry bag (i.e. what makeup (very little) I'm packing, deodorant, toothpaste, shower essentials, etc.) so stay tuned for that!

Here we go!

1 | Comfy robe // My mom bought me this robe in grey for the hospital when I had my first son and I still wear it constantly. I bought it in a really pretty lilac shade for this time around. Macy's always carries it. It is the softest, stretchiest material and it's cozy without being hot (which is a MUST for new moms because hot flashes are NO JOKE). It's stretchy enough that you can wear it around your baby bump and then it washes up like a dream so you can continue wearing it around the house after baby comes. Super easy for nursing, too.
Comfy pajamas // I had a cute flannel sleep shirt to change into last time and I just didn't like it. Too bunchy and warm (even in January). I found this nightgown for this time and I have to say IT IS SO DAMN SOFT! It's the lightest material, somewhat "cool" to the touch, and the top will be so easy to just pull down and pop a boob out to nurse. I got mine in the snake print because it matches my robe perfectly. Size wise, I'm 5'8 and at 35 weeks pregnant I weigh 178lbs and I ordered a size large to accommodate my chesticle region (34D). If that helps.
Granny panties // Alright first-time is not the time to try to be cutesy with your undergarments. Please trust me on this. I highly suggest utilizing the ugly mesh "panties" they supply at the hospital, at least for the first day because they are going to need to house the giant diaper-like pads you'll be wearing after you deliver. If you absolutely MUST pack your own cotton panties, I love these ones from Jockey (go with dark colors like black and charcoal, they wash up the best and won't show stains). Are they cute? Hell no. Are they comfy? Oh yeah. And they are plenty high enough to keep your pads in place AND if you end up needing an emergency c-section, they will not cut into your incision which is SO IMPORTANT to keep in mind.

2 | Your own pillow from home // The hospital obvi supplies you with pillows, but this is one of those things you'll be so glad you brought from home. Make sure your pillowcase is unique enough so you don't mix it up with the hospital's. I bought this 2-pack of jersey t-shirt material pillowcases from Target. They have cute little coral triangles on them and they are so soft!
iPhone or camera // For obvious reasons like communication and taking photos.
Charging cord // you don't want to it to go dead on you before you an tell the world your bundle of joy is here!
Portable Wireless Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker // SO nice to have if you want to pump your own tunes/playlist while in labor or at any time during your stay. This one is so small but works like a champ and is even waterproof! It's a killer deal on Amazon.

3 | Your own towel // The ones provided by the hospital are about the size of a postage stamp and are not soft. Treat yo'self and bring your own.
Flip flops for the shower // don't want your feet on the floor of a shower where you just don't know who has been in there before you (some things can't be cleaned by Tilex). Just grab a cheap pair of rubber ones from Target or Old Navy that can get wet. If you get them cheap enough, just toss them out when you're done so you don't have to pack them to come home.

4 | Going home outfit for you // I absolutely love having a nursing tank or two at the hospital. So comfy and so much easier than worrying about a nursing bra when you're just trying to keep it comfortable. I grabbed this 2-pack from H&M so I could have one for my hospital stay, and a fresh one for going home in. I also grabbed these super cute sweat pants that are totally comfy but not sloppy looking. I'll be delivering in July so I'm not too concerned about a jacket or sweater, but if you want to bring one, this is my current favorite hoodie from the men's department at H&M. I have it in light blue and mint green.
Slippers // If your feet are swollen after birth, these can also double as your shoes for heading home. I hate socks so I wore slippers when I was wandering the hospital hallways in my gown and robe. Make sure they have a non-slip sole. No one needs a pregnant broad falling in the hall! These are my favorite by Minnetonka.

5 | A big weekender bag // You obviously need a big duffel bag to carry all this stuff in. I found the one pictured at Target but it's been so popular it keeps selling out (and getting restocked) online. You can probably find it in store if you do a search for it. I also almost bought this one which is adorable in real life.

6 | Nipple balm // Again, the hospital will provide (most likely) Lansinoh brand nipple balm, which is actually totally great and I highly suggest stuffing it in your bag so you have extra, but if you want your own, bring it. My favorite is by Zoe Organics which you can either buy on their website, or at select Target stores and online. I also adore Earth Mama Angel Baby if you can't find Zoe Organics.
Nipple shield // This is not a must but it was a LIFE SAVER for me when I had my first son. He had some latching issues at first and this ensured he was able to latch on and start suckling. This is a must-have for women with flat or inverted nipples. I am partial to the Medela brand over the others because it is thin enough and there is an area that is "cut out" where their little nose can rest against your actual breast as opposed to a plastic shield. One of those things you might not think about until you start nursing. They come one to a pack, so if you want 2, know that you'll need to buy two packages.
Fenugreek // Again, not a must unless you have supply issues, which you won't know until your milk comes in. I was freakishly paranoid that I wouldn't make enough milk which turned out to be the total opposite (I was like an entire farm of dairy cows) but I made sure to have a high quality fenugreek on hand if I felt like I needed some help in the supply area. I will warn you: it makes you smell like maple syrup. The scent will come out of every pore in your body. You might want to warn your husband ahead of time that you are not making pancakes or maple bacon, it's just your new "scent"....I speak from experience. You can find fenugreek at any health food store or in the vitamin section of most grocery and drug stores.
Nursing pillow // Once again, this is not an absolute necessity. I packed this one when I had my son and it was really helpful, especially for back support. But since I got to the point where I could literally toss a boob out and nurse anywhere, I'll probably save myself the room in my bag and skip it this time around and just use a pillow to put under him. However, I suggest having one at home. They make nursing on the sofa, a chair, etc. so much easier and keeps your back from hurting from being hunched over. A Boppy will also work, I just preferred this brand because it was a bit more "stiff" which was great for support, plus it had a strap to go around your waist so it doesn't shift and it also has a little attached bag so you can keep nipple balm, shields, breast pads, etc. tucked in there so they're always handy.

7 | Dermoplast Pain Relieving Spray // This will be provided by the hospital (keep asking for it and tucking cans in your bag to take home, don't feel bad, this is the kind of shit your insurance pays for...UTILIZE IT) but I HIGHLY suggest picking up a couple more cans from your local drugstore before you get home from the hospital just in case they limit you. It is TOTALLY brilliant. It is a numbing spray that is so nice to have for your poor lady bits after delivery. You can either spray directly on, or if you're really tender, spray it onto your clean pads. It will help numb and reduce some of the pain which if you're like me and have a 3rd degree tear AND an episiotomy, will be your best friend while you're recovering. Oh also!! I forgot to include in the above photo, but Tucks pads are a lifesaver. The witch hazel in them are so soothing to your southern parts and you can also lay them along your pads for some extra cooling and soothing. Every time you change your pad, lay some fresh Tucks pads down until you start to feel like you're healing up.
Always Maxi Overnight Pads // You're going to get awfully tired of the giant adult diaper-like pads they send you home with from the hospital. You also won't need them after a day or two and will be ready to switch over to a heavy-flow maxi pad and then eventually, a lighter flow pad. But these are the ones I used and liked. Make sure you get the overnight ones because they are long enough in front and back to protect your underwear and keep you from leaking. I was very fortunate to be ready to switch to a lighter pad after a couple days and when I did, I used the Always Infinity Pads which are incredibly absorbent but so so thin you barely know they're there. 
Vitamins // I'm a huge advocate for vitamins. I've really been loving this new line from Target called Olly. If you're in the hospital for a few days (or more) you'll want to make sure you remember to pack your vitamins. If you don't want to lug the giant bottle with you, just make sure you pop out enough to fill a little pill container or Ziploc baggie. I picked up the Olly Postnatal kind.

I know this probably seems like a lot, but like I said above, you can read through and determine whether or not you think you'll be needing everything listed. Never underestimate the power of Amazon Prime where you can get free 2-day shipping or in times of dire need, overnight shipping is usually only $3.99. My husband and I utilized our Prime membership almost daily in those first few days home from the hospital, especially with nursing gear.

Lastly, do not forget to take home a Peri bottle they should provide you with at the hospital. Ask your nurse before you leave for one. Trust me.

If you aren't having a baby anytime soon, feel free to "Pin" this or send to an expecting friend in case they need some pointers on what to pack!
May 20, 2015

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale Picks

 It's here!! The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale! Now let me just say....there is a LOT of merch on sale. I really tried to keep my picks to under 20 items as not to overwhelm you, but there is SO much more I could have included. Here are items I either already own, or have had my eye on for months that are now on sale. Enjoy!

I own this cardigan wrap in about 4 colors. It's one of Nordy's top sellers which is why it's always available and there are a freak ton of color choices. It is smooth on the outside and fleecy on the inside. Cozy and warm but because it is a fly-away style, you can wear a tank underneath so you don't get too sweaty.
Was $58 Now $39.90

I blame my parents for getting me obsessed with this bag. I own it in 3 different colors and it is just the perfect tote. As a mom, I love that I can fit all sorts of baby and toddler items inside of it and it still looks streamlined and chic. It doesn't close on top, but I like that so I can easily reach in for wipes or my wallet or whatever. This is a killer price and I'm so in love with this classic 'Peanut' color! Perfect with black, navy or brown!
Was $278 Now $166.80

This style sandal had to grow on me, but now that it has, I'm in love. SO comfy, so simple, and I love this warm pink color!
Was $60 Now $40.17

Here's another item I own in just about every color. I wish I would have discovered HUE leggings during my first pregnancy. The ones pictured here are the denim style. They have plennnnnnty of stretch without losing their shape. I love that the rear looks like real jeans but the waist is an elastic waistband. If you need a size reference, I am 5'8 and 140lbs (not pregnant) and usually wear a 'Small'. Right now I am 33 weeks pregnant and I'm wearing a 'Medium'.....and my bump is not small. I just shove the waist band below the giant crest ;)
Was $40 Now $23.98

Everyone needs a good classic maxi skirt. They look perfect with a slouchy t-shirt or a fitted tank. I love that this one is long enough that it's not an "ankle biter" and the ruching on the top sides is SO flattering.
Was $48 Now $19.90

Um....basically the most perfect sunglass style. Flattering on every face shape and the color is really pretty. The price almost made me faint. Snatch these up before they're gone. They'll go quickly.
Was $120 Now $67.76

My heart has always beat rapidly for anything tortoise shell. I own this watch in rose gold and it's just lovely. I need this one though because it's so classic and it matches literally everything.
Was $225 Now $134.90

How cute is this maxi dress?? There are a few different color choices and I think I like the grey tones best, but what a flattering cut! So comfy, too!
Was $68 Now $39.90

I own these sandals in the charcoal grey color and I get about a million and seven compliments on them whenever I wear them. I got mine at Macy's and I paid full price (UGH) but I think it's a sign that there are gold ones and they are on sale here. *grabs wallet* They aren't the most comfortable sandals, but they're worth it because they're so damn cute.
Was $48.95 Now $29.37

I am SO mad I didn't wait a week to pick up this bag! I really wanted it as my hospital bag when I go have my 2nd bambino this July! Herschel makes incredible quality backpacks and duffles and this print is to die for! Now that it's under $50 I may need it to have on hand for all those weekend trips we'll be taking (fingers crossed).
Was $80 Now $47.98

This is just a perfect slouchy v-neck boyfriend sweater. Everyone needs one. End of story. 
Was $59 Now $26.55

This bag also comes in black and white and I originally had my eye on it as a diaper bag. I ended up going in a different direction, but HOW CUTE would this be as a diaper tote?! Le swoon!
Was $198 Now $118.80

I really like how this brand of jeans fits. They sell them at Macy's also, but this style is so cute on all body types (skinny, straight, curvy, plus size, etc) and the price is so incredible. They can easily be dressed up with a cute heel or wedge boot.
Was $89 Now $53.40

I. Die. Seriously. Who doesn't need a leopard print wedge espadrilles? These are even cuter in person.
Was $100 Now $59.90

Okay......let's get one thing straight. If you don't have a "Cloud Robe" as they've been so affectionately nicknamed, you NEED one. My husband got me a baby pink colored one way before we were married as a Valentine's Day gift and I STILL wear the hell out of it. They are absolutely incredible.
Was $98 Now $65.66

Another super cute maxi dress perfect for Spring and Summer. Again, this style is really flattering on all body types. Very "forgiving" without being slobby. Plus this rose color that's popping up everywhere is evvvvvvverything.
Was $58 Now $38.86

I have this t-shirt in a few colors and it fits like a dream. I recently found a pretty good knockoff at Target, but at this price, it's a better deal for the original! Again, very flattering and looks really nice in person.
Was $28 Now $9.90

May 19, 2015

Spring Lipstick Favorites // Oranges & Corals

I've really been into warm lipsticks lately. Let me rephrase that: I've really been into warm lipsticks when I have the energy to shower, do my hair, slap on some makeup and look presentable lately. I am always on the hunt for fun colors and I love seeing them on other people to see what they look like with different hair colors, skin tones and eye colors. It just makes lipsticks "come alive" rather than seeing a swatch on a hand (which don't get me wrong, is still super helpful). These 4 have been making their way into my Spring rotation more than any others from the orange/coral/warm pink family so I thought I'd give them a quick shout-out. Let me warn you that the BEAUTIFUL YSL Rouge Volupte shade you see in the bottom righthand photo (it's called 'Rose Paris 27') is discontinued (wamp wamp!) Don't you hate when that happens?? It is the creamiest, prettiest, warmest pink and I am cherishing it like it's spun out of gold because....well... this is it for this tube, baby!

Here are the swatches on my hand with and without flash so you can get a better idea of the color since they showed up a bit light on my face in my bright white bathroom.

Top to Bottom:
YSL Rouge Volupte 27 "Rose Paris" (Discontinued...but you can shop the other colors HERE. This is hands down one of my all time favorite lipstick formulas in just about every shade they make so you really can't go wrong.)
NYX Round Case Lipstick "Peach Bellini"
Revlon Colorstay Matte Balm "Mischievous"
NYX Butter Lipstick "Lollies" (I find that this one works best if you first use a lip primer like the e.l.f. Studio Lip Primer & Plumper or the Cargo HD Picture Perfect Lip Primer since this formula can be a bit patchy when applied.)
May 15, 2015

Favorite Nude Lipsticks for Fair to Light Skin

Hola my little Chiquitas! I bring you this blog post live from my couch while I lie here eating Sour Patch watermelons, Swedish Fish, and Grape Red Vines. I'm in my 32nd week of pregnancy and well, let's just say the cravings for everything gummy is REAL. I mean...grape Red Vines?! I've never even had them until tonight and suddenly I needed them like the deserts need the rain. Anyhoo..I tell you all this because A) I'm hoping the format of this post comes over okay since I'm plunking it out on my iPhone with sticky candy fingers...and B) I likes to keep it real y'all.

Let's move on shall we?

It's Springtime here in the PNW and we've actually been getting some awesome weather! Now, I'm a fan of a good nude lip year round, even with snow underfoot, but there's something about the climbing temps that prompts people to start thinking about a lightened-up lip. I thought it would be a great time to share with you guys my CURRENT favorite nude lipsticks (since we all know the list of favorites is an ever-evolving one and may be totally different next year!) Some of these are "true nudes" and others I'd consider a "MLBB" which in the makeup world stands for "my lips but better" shade. Something with a bit more color and oomph.

I will say that the YSL Rouge Volupte in "Nude Beige" will ALWAYS AND FOREVER be in my top 3. Even when I'm 95 years old. It's THAT perfect. If you've never tried YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick, get thee buns to a Nordstrom immediately if not sooner, and try one out. It's the creamiest, dreamiest, most pigmented, perfectly hued line of lipsticks this side of the Mississippi. You won't regret it.

Here's the lineup. We'll go from left to right top row first.

1 | MAC "Hue" $16

Now...I say these are MY favorites because they work on my skin tone which is fair to pale with peachy undertones. I have dark brown almost black eyes, no freckles, and strawberry blonde hair. If that sounds nothing like your coloring, there's a chance these colors may not be a good match. But if any of you have seen me rocking a nude lip and have wondered what I'm wearing, chances are its one of these 6. Another little tip when you're shopping around for a new nude, if you don't have the time or patience to go in person to try lipsticks on yourself, utilize Google image search and Instagram hashtags! There are always so many different types of skin tones and colors wearing various lip colors and you can usually find someone with similar coloring wearing the shade you're wondering about. It helps to have a specific color in mind so you can search for it.

I hope this helps at least a few of my pale sistas! We gotta watch each others' backs! What are some of your favorite nude lipsticks??

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
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