November 26, 2013

Your Road Map to Top Beauty Deals for Black Friday 2013!



It's that time of year...family, friends, FOOD, thankfulness and let us not forget the biggest shopping day of the year! Black Friday!!!!!! It used to be the norm to wake up early Friday morning and drive to the mall to see if we could find pajamas, digital cameras, sweaters, video games and whatever the "hot" new gadgets are at the absolute cheapest prices. Makes total sense, right? Sluggish, hungover (hopefully that's not just me), gastrointestinal stress from your crazy great aunt's "iffy" green bean casserole the night before totally sets you up for success in dealing with rabid women in track suits driving minivans completely prepared to trample you and your kin to get their hands on that performance fleece for $5.....OR DOES IT?

If that's not enough craziness for you, now-a-days some nut jobs savvy consumers (I group yours truly in here because I have done this myself) wait until their major gut bomb of a dinner has settled just enough to throw on their activewear and head out for shopping at midnight! What in the hell is wrong with me? Don't answer that. Home girl likes a good deal...what can I say? Luckily, there are just as many if not more killer deals online these days. The only thing you miss out on if you don't go in person (other than primo people watching) is a shitty doorbuster which is usually NOT worth receiving someone else's elbow in your kidney just to get it. But that's just me.

Fear not, beautiful people! I have navigated the top beauty deals for you so you don't have to worry about doing it ahead of time. That leaves much more room for you to eat, drink and be merry! I'll try to include as many online discount codes as I can for those of you that prefer to do your shopping on the information superhighway (that's the computer for you whippersnappers too young to understand that phrase).

Lastly, be sure to check out Ebates if you DO choose to shop online. It's super easy and FREE to sign up. I usually always check to see if whatever retailer I'll be buying from is listed on their site first so that I can get some cash back. Most major retailers are included. They just mail you a check for whatever percentage the respective retailer is offering as a "cash back" amount. For example, if you plan on buying anything from Nordstrom, they're offering 5% cash back right now, so whatever your total amount spent with Nordstrom is, you'll receive 5% back in the form of a mailed check. It really is that easy. SO worth it.

Okay...without further ado...here are the best deals in my very humble opinion....


Nordstrom (Cosmetics Department) will be offering over 80 various GWPs (gift with purchase) such as Estee Lauder, Jo Malone, Smashbox to name just a few). Additionally, they will be offering Clarisonic facial brushes for UNDER $100 while supplies last, so this is one in my opinion that would be worth being one of the first in line if that was something you were looking to get your hands on. We ALL know how I feel about Clarisonics...see previous post here. Also, those GWPs make for GREAT traveling beauty kits as most of the contents are TSA approved (read: under 3oz).

Sephora is offering a TON of $10 products both in store AND online. If you visit their Pinterest page here, you can see all of the $10 deals that are available only on Black Friday. Also, they are offering the Clarisonic MiaFirst for $99 (reg. $125) both online and in store (no coupon code required). Here is Sephora's official page for deals, coupon codes and promos: Sephora Deals

Ulta has TONS of doorbuster deals. Most notably are the BareMinerals kits for $10 (reg. $44) as well as Benefit Cosmetics "Lip Lotto" for $18 (reg. $54) that includes 3 FULL SIZE LIPSTICKS. Both of these deals are exclusive to Ulta so you won't find them anywhere else. Also at Ulta, get Cargo's Let's Meet in Paris Mini Lip Gloss Kit for 50% off ($8 regularly $16).

Urban Decay (online starts at 6am PST) has a 6-piece lipstick bundle from the Revolution Lipstick collection for $50 (reg. $132). Colors included: Jilted, F-Bomb, Catfight, Naked, Native and Protest. These are super pigmented, creamy, plumping lipsticks. They also always have an AMAZING sale section to check out. Here's the link. 

Bobbi Brown has a few deals going on. There is a Black Friday "warm up deal" that ends on 11/27 at midnight. You get a full-size lip gloss and your choice between the "eye duo" or the "skin duo". Check it out here. For their actual Black Friday deal (11/28 thru 11/30) get a FULL SIZE Extreme Party Mascara as well as a travel-size makeup remover with ANY order (no minimum). You must enter coupon code: "TGIBF".

Clinique Receive 4 FREE Makeup minis with any $25 purchase + FREE shipping on every order with code "PRETTY" (11/29-11/30). Customers can choose a FREE Deluxe Moisture Trio with $35 purchase + FREE shipping on every order with code "OILY" or "DRY" (11/28 only).

Yes To 40% off site-wide (24 hours only, excludes "bundles"). Cannot combine with any other offers or deals. This is my favorite brand of facial cleansing towelettes.

Macy's just like Sephora, Macy's will be offering the Clarisonic MiaFirst for $99 (reg. $125). Also, they have one of my favorite lines Origins "Greats to Go" set for only $35. Also kind of cute is Elizabeth Arden's Holiday Lip Gloss Set for only $15.

Be sure to check back with most retailers online for Cyber Monday! Just don't blame me if you get in trouble from your boss for not working!

We will be out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday but I want to wish you all an early and very lovely Thanksgiving. Hopefully I will have some great photos to post when we get back. If you'll be watching the Apple Cup......GO HUSKIES!!!

Xoxo,
Colleen





November 19, 2013

4 Steps to Refine the Red Lip Look

You know what's great about rocking a bold red lip? You look "put together" in literally seconds (depending on how skilled you are at applying it) and depending on the hue, your teeth will look instantly whiter. But before you go slappin' on any old tube of red lipcolor without paying attention to the rest of your mug, check out how these 4 super easy steps will really pull your look together.

First and formost, make sure your skin is prepped, primed and in the very least, apply a BB or CC cream to make sure you have a flawless finish. I like a completely flawless finish when I wear red lips, so I have a full coverage foundation on in this picture. I'm wearing Revlon's Colorstay Makeup for Combo/Oily Skin in Sand Beige 180 along with YSL Creme de Blush in #02 Powdery Rose. (I contoured down the sides of my nose, sides of forehead and under my cheekbones, but highlighting and contouring is a whole 'nother post in and of itself).

On the left side, you'll see a completely naked eye. I think it looks tired and ponchy, but if you don't see much wrong with it, take a look at the eye on the right. Polished, refined and almost looks "lifted", larger in size and brighter right? See how the brow frames the eye and gives it more life? This took me less than 5 minutes and only 4 products to do with NO eyeshadow whatsoever! Check out below for what was used on my eye (and don't judge my nubby, sharpened WAY down brow pencil).


 Here's what was used for the eye area and below the photo are some tips and application techniques...


First I filled in my brows using YSL Eyebrow Pencil in 02 (You can see how much I love this pencil as it is almost sharpened down to a nub...it's that good). Eyebrows are SO SO SO important! Check out my video tutorial of how I fill in my brows using a powder and a stiff angled brush here.

Secondly, I used Estee Lauder Artist's Eye Pencil in Soft Smudge Black (sadly this is discontinued, but any black eye pencil will do. This is another favorite HERE.) All I did was drag this THROUGH my top lash line. That's it. This takes some practice as most people are used to drawing a line above their lashes, but drawing it through the top lashes creates definition and fullness without a harsh line. It opens up the eye and really makes it "pop". No liner on bottom.

Then I applied a coat of Revlon's Lash Potion Grow Luscious Mascara to my bottom lashes first (always apply to bottom lashes first. If you first apply to top lashes and then try to apply to bottom lashes, you'll end up opening your eyes really wide to apply to bottom lashes and end up getting wet mascara on your brow bone).  

Lastly, if you don't own the NYX Wonder Pencil I HIGHLY suggest getting one. It comes in 3 shades (mine is "Light" (duh). This thing rocks. You can use it to cover spots, blemishes, freckles, imperfections, line the outermost line of lips for a perfect pout and my all time favorite thing to use this for is an eye rimmer for your water line (that slick part of your inner eyelid right above your lower lashes). Nude liner works SO much better than the old white liner in the water line trick as it is so much more natural and doesn't give you a scary white line around your eyeballs. I have used this bad boy so many times to brighten up my eyes when they look tired and red (which is often...I have a 10 month old baby).

The lip lineup...

There you have it! Perfect peepers to go with your pretty pout in just a few extra steps! Just in time for all of those holiday parties that will be popping up all over the place!

November 18, 2013

25 Gift Ideas Under $50 For the Guys in Your Life

25 Gift Ideas Under $50 For the Guys in Your Life

Alrighty, kidlets. As promised, here are my top 25 picks for all the manly mens in your life. Everything featured here is under $50. Some could work as stocking stuffers, others could be full-blown gifts. Here's what I'm digging...

1 & 2) Wood and bark-esque iPhone cases. So rugged. So masculine. No splinters included.
3) Wooden cube portable speaker for all the times you need to crank up the jams.
4 & 5) Bacon. Need I say more? Yes? Ok, bacon-chocolate-toffee. There. Oh you need something to wash that down with? Here's a potato chip milk chocolate bar. Now wipe that drool off your face, ya slob.
6) All the guys in my life (hubs, bro and dad ) are BIG beer snobs. They hate that term, but if the Croc fits...(actually, don't wear Crocs. Ever.) This is just a cool and affordable growler to have handy for all the brewery tours you have planned with your brahs. Bonus points if you buy it ahead of time, WASH IT, and have it filled with a delicious brew...but that would involve planning ahead which we all know, is not really linked to the Y chromosome in regards to Christmas shopping. Just sayin'....
7) I LOVE this. How cool would you look showing up to a rager with 6 different bottles of craft beer strategically placed in this re-claimed wood 6-pack holder?! I think the ONLY way you would get your ass beat for doing this is if you tell your buddies it's re-purposed wood and eco-friendly. So just shut your trap about where you got it and stick a beer in your pie hole. If all else fails, you could use it as a weapon.
8) Um...it's a chrome pistol mug. That's all the description you need.
9) Besides eating it right out of the jar with a spoon, I'd use this maple bacon almond butter to make "peanut butter cookies" (obviously you'd replace the peanut butter with this stuff) then I'd add crispy bacon pieces and chocolate chips. But that's just me.
10) I think Liam Neeson has these hand towels in his powder room bathroom. You heard it here first.
11) Neat inexpensive chrono watch for kicking around on the weekends.
12) How legit are these slippers? Too legit. That's how much.
13) This herringbone backpack is equal parts functional and stylish.
14) Representin' from the 206?! These Seattle Space Needle socks come in 15 different colors but why WOULDN'T you want them in Seattle Supersonics colors? ANSWER ME!
15) Any Breaking Bad fans out there? I'm toeing the line of obsessive. If you asked Jesse Pinkman if you should buy this shirt, he'd say "Yeaaaaah, bitch!"
16) Zara underpinnings. They have whateva style tickles your pickle (pun intended). I like these ones with pipes and bicycles on them.
17) Like wool? Like leather? These gloves have a little of column A and a little of column B.
18) There WILL be times when a guy feels the need to light a candle. If he's doing it while listening to the new Kelly Clarkson album, at least this one will give him a sliver of his manhood back.
19) Wooden earbuds to match your wooden iPhone case and your wooden speaker. Cause we all know how important it is for guys to match their tech accessories, right? Right.
20) For all the guys who like a close shave but hate electric razors. This one looks way cooler than your Mach 3 from Rite Aid.
21) Who else has been so desperate for an ice scraper that they've used whatever is laying around (CD case anyone?) Enter the Quirky Thor with its extra blade and extra handle to give you more "oomph". Small enough to toss in the glove compartment, center console or side door compartment-thingy.
22) I imagine Ron Swanson drinking his black coffee out of this mug in his cabin.
23) Do you find yourself getting your beautiful crystal decanters of scotch, bourbon and rye all mixed up when entertaining guests? OMG me, too! Here are some leather tags to keep 'em straight. Problem = solved.
24) Okay, sue me....this item is NOT under $50. But it looked so good in the collage and will look even better on your feet (or your guy's feet). I'm obsessed with these and firmly stand by my opinion that every guy needs a nice, leather pair of Chukka boots. Just for shits, here is a nice pair under $50 so I can sleep tonight. I've seen them in person and they look really good, much better than online.
25) This camo print carryall is great for weekend trips, the gym, camping, etc. Fits a ton of stuff and has a shoulder strap if that kinda thing blows your skirt up.

And there ya have it. A pretty cool list of (hopefully) some original ideas for you to add to your wish list (or if the ladies are checking this out, some things to add to your shopping list). Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment which will be ideas for all the annoying adorable couples in your life!
November 17, 2013

25 Stocking Stuffers Under $25 {for her}

25 Stocking Stuffers Under $25 {for her}
Well, folks. It's about that time. If you're like me, you've been scouring different shopping sites for gift ideas for all the groovy people in your life. But let's not pretend like we haven't been noticing a few goodies for ourselves. I do it. Often. I thought it might be a cool idea to put together a few gift idea "sets" for those of you that need a little help with originality. First theme up on the agenda? Stocking Stuffers!! I have found 25 amazingly adorable items that any gal would love to have. Stay tuned for my top picks for the men in your life, awesome kid & baby gifts and finally, couples gift ideas. Here's what I'm asking for....
1) Initial mug. I find it fitting that the "C" for Colleen also has an adorable 3-tiered cake on it. Coincidence? I think not.
2) Look at these incredible stonewear measuring spoons! These can be displayed they're so cute!
3) I mean. It doesn't get much cuter than these animal mugs. And for the price, you can get them all!
4) Two words: cinnamon marshmallows. 'Nuff said.
5) These tea towels from Nordstrom are so cute and funny and will be perfect additions to my tea towel addiction collection. They have a ton with really quirky sayings on them. You can pick out any two towels for $16 (otherwise they're $10 a piece).
6) Essential oil rollerballs (if any guys are reading this, that means little aromatherapy perfume rollers). Stash these babies in your purse whenever you need a little pick-me-up. Included: 05 Headache, 18 Sleep, 06 Passion, 09 Focus.
7) Double pencil sharpener...cause...well...in my case, you can NEVER have too many of these.
8) Neon makeup bag. This one would be perfect to keep my makeup contained in my black hole of a purse because it's day-glow and WILL NOT BE IGNORED.
9) This striped hairbrush is pretty maj, right? That's pretty much all.
10) I'm a big fan of bathroom necessities that come in pretty containers and can double as decoration on your counter. No need to stash this little bottle of mouthwash under the sink like the giant jug of Listerine you bought at Costco. This one is cute enough to display prominently front-and-center.
11) Two-in-one! This is a cute iPhone 5 case AND a great makeup palette! 11 eyeshadows, a blush and a bronzer!
12) Listen to what's packed into this sassy little bag: hairspray, clear nail polish, nail polish remover, emery board, lip balm, earring backs, clear elastics, mending kit, safety pin, double-sided tape, stain remover, deodorant towelette, pain reliever, tampon, breath freshener, dental floss, and adhesive bandage.You'll never be unprepared ever again!
13) I'm a big fan of the #hashtag movement. Now I can wear them on mah bod! With tags like "#blessed", "#YOLO" and "#fearless" to name a few. If they only had one that said #hungry I'd be all set.
14) I love these headbands. They don't pull hair, stay in place and they're super cute and festive. Perfect for the gym or a holiday party! Ver-sa-tile.
15) I love love LOVE the simplicity of these vertical bar earrings. They're simple and just a tiny bit bad ass. They also come in silver for the chicks who can't hang with gold.
16) Since I pretty much only use my phone as a camera (HELLLLO, do people still talk on these things?!) this iPhone case is perfect for me. How cute is this?? And the price? Tah die for.
17) Real leather, cute little bow keychain. Comes in 4 colors. I dig the black one and the gold one.
18) Ring holders are such a simple idea but so genius at the same time. I got a really beautiful crystal ring holder a couple of years ago from my mother-in-law and I seriously use it every single night to put my wedding ring on. I may get a second one for my "fashion" rings and this one is calling my name.
19) These little clutches are great for going out. Stash your credit cards, ID, cash and a lipgloss in here and you're GTG. Plus, it's always nice to get pretty leather items for gifts.
20) Black (real) leather driving gloves will NEVER go out of style. Stash 'em in your glove compartment for chilly mornings when your steering wheel is cold as ice.
21) Little leopard umbrella. Small enough to tuck in your purse. Big enough to keep yourself dry.
22) I'm OBSESSED with Maybelline's Baby Lips lip butters. I have them in every color as well as the new "neon" colors. If not already, get acquainted. I just stumbled on these "Dr. Rescue" medicated ones and need them all.
23) This Kate Spade scent smells really pretty and feminine. I love rollerballs so I can refresh my fragrance without hauling around a bottle that can break in my purse or my child can drink.
24) It's fun to get tasty treats in your stocking so you can indulge on Christmas morning. This cocoa is fair-trade and single origin so you can talk about it to everyone and sound like a big asshole at the same time.
25) These gloves are SO STINKING cute! Cashmere blend and a little bit long so your wrists won't get cold. First world problems...AM I RIGHT?!

You may find yourself asking "where can I find that insane pink sequined Juicy Couture stocking?!" Well, sadly, it's currently unavailable from Bloomingdale's. Limited edition. What cha gonna do, eh?

Coming up in the next couple days will be all sorts of amazing and original ideas for the man-pieces in your life. Yes they CAN be fun to shop for if you know what you're doing. I promise.

Happy gift giving and receiving!
November 11, 2013

Winterize You Skin!

Before I got pregnant (back in April of 2012) I nevvvver drank water. Like, neva EVA. I used to kind of joke about how stupid and boring water was and for that reason, I never drank it. There was water in coffee, there was water in diet Pepsi, that's all I needed to know. Then I learned of the tiny life in my belly, announced my soon-to-be spawn and suddenly EVERYONE started telling me how important it was to drink water. Now, if it were just me involved, I would've told them to pound sand. But since I was going to be responsible for a tiny human soon, I figured it would be a good reason to start hydrating. If for no other reason than to be able to tell the middle-aged woman in line at Fred Meyer "yeah, I know, I just slugged 120oz of water, don't worry." What's my point? Here it is: after my bladder adjusted to all the extra H20, I started noticing how much better I felt all around, and BONUS...my complexion looked incredible all through my pregnancy. No hormonal breakouts, no dryness, bright eyes, supple skin, plumped up crow's feet. I was just knocking back bottle after bottle of water, imagining my fetus swimming around in this glorious aqua pool of Dasani and enjoying my 18-year old complexion. I was a believer (and still am)!

You know what blows though? Sometimes hydrating from the inside out doesn't always work on its own and we need an assist from some heavy-hitters of the 'skin moisturizing' category. 

I long for the days of my youthful youth when I used to look forward to Fall (my favorite season) without any concern of water consumption or skincare routines. It was all about finding the perfect boots, sweaters, scarves and getting my hands on EVERYTHING pumpkin flavored I could find (I guess some things never change). Sadly, ever since I started creepin' closer and closer to the big 3-0, I've noticed the skin on mah face and bod starts getting slightly reminiscent of a fine grit sandpaper around November Uno. I'm asked often about my favorite skincare products so I thought this would be a perfect time to let you in on my favorite lotions and potions of the moisturizing varietal. Try one, try them all, then bask in your dewy, radiant skin! Oh...and don't forget to drink your water!!

First up, Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Lotion. I thought I'd begin with an everyday favorite. I stumbled upon this daily lotion by accident. Since I don't splurge on skincare products for the hubs (I'm a loser wife, right?) I grabbed some for his extremely sensitive skin and had to use some one day when my daily moisturizer ran out. WOW. It's definitely a drugstore gem. It checks all my boxes for a great daily moisturizer: SPF 30: check. Lightweight: check. Non-greasy: check. Moisturizing: double check! Fragrance free: check. Needless to say, I buy it in bulk now and stash them in the bathroom closet so we never run out. It's that good. Don't forget to apply to your neck as well. Neck wrinkles are SO never going to be cool.



This next one could also be considered a drugstore gem AND it is constantly recommended by dermatologists as a good daily moisturizer for all skin types. CeraVe Facial Moisturizer. I have used it before and really dig the thicker formula, it feels a bit more luxurious. It always struck me as odd that this one isn't more expensive. I suppose it's true what they say about not always judging a book by its cover. Had a derm not mentioned this bad boy, I would have never given it a second look. Another cool thing? It comes in a daily formula as well as a nightly formula (obvi the daily has an SPF which you should NEVER skip). Both formulas help repair damaged skin and both are super plumping (thanks, Hyaluronic Acid!)


This next guy is a bit unconventional but hear me out. Trust me, you'll be glad you did. Back when I was working in Cosmetics for Nordstrom, I discovered Clarins facial oils. They were merchandised on an end cap right next to my YSL counter and out of sheer boredom one day, I decided to try a sample to rub into my dry cuticles. Immediately I noticed the amazing scent. It took me back to my days of doing hair in an Aveda concept salon. Earthy without being "crunchy", calming, clean. I was intrigued. I filled a little sample cup, popped it into my pocket for later and told myself I'd try it out on my face that night. BEST. DECISION. EVER. Now, if you would have told my 13-year old self that one day I'd be applying straight up oil directly to my face, I would have rolled my 13-year old eyes at you and gone back to rubbing a Stridex pad all over my nose. Putting oil on oily skin?! That's just playing Russian Roulette with your face!!! But peep this logic. There are GOOD oils for your skin just like there are GOOD fats for your diet. And using a high-grade, lightweight, quality oil correctly (read: usually just a few drops) can actually help control oil production in some cases (depending on they type of oil) AND moisturize the other areas that are parched. Each one of these does a different thing, but my favorite is the 'Blue Orchid'. Here's a super quick cheat sheet: 'Blue Orchid' = anti-aging. 'Lotus' = purifies, refines, tightens pores. 'Santal' = extra moisturizing for dry/very dry skin. In one of my upcoming posts (fave pregnancy products) you'll see the Clarins 'Tonic' Body Oil which is fantastic for skin elasticity on the body. Stay tuned.

 
I think I've saved the best for last. Kiehl's Creme de Corps. I think as females, we are hard-wired to always be on the lookout for the perfect body lotion. This one is the best. Seriously, the best. In the world. Universe maybe. It is a cult-classic for oh so many reasons. I could give you all the cliched "it feels uh-MAZING!" "it's so CREAMY" "it smells DIVINE" lines, but truth be told, you will just know when you use it. Here's a little fun factoid: when you are the Counter Manager at a department store for a specific line, you are expected to sell your line (duh), merchandise your branded products in your cases and on your shelves (duh), and typically use your own line of products when doing makeovers and skincare consults (double duh)....but....this lotion is so incredible that most of us chicks had a bottle stashed somewhere in our arsenal and used it and sold it to almost everyone who mentioned dry skin. Nordstrom has an exclusive giant bottle with its own pump that's not sold anywhere else for those of you that get so addicted you need the "big papa grande size". It's too legit to quit. 'Nuff said.


And there you have it! Happy moisturizing! Let me know in the comments if you have a favorite face and/or body lotion! As stated above, I'm always on the lookout for new members of my club!






October 22, 2013

New & Noteworthy Drugstore Gems

New & Noteworthy Drugstore Finds


Before I get started, I am now on Bloglovin! It's a really cool site where you can keep track of all the blogs you follow all in one place. Check me out!

Alright, now that the business end is covered, let's get down to the fun stuff! I don't know about you, but every month I go into a drugstore or wander the cosmetic aisles of Target, I am overwhelmed with new products! I'm not complaining, it's a foggy haze I love finding myself in...however, for those of you that are looking for a dialed down report of what's new and groovy, here are my FAVE handpicked items of "New Arrivals". Enjoy!

1)  Um...did you guys know that Covergirl has Hunger Games Collection lipglosses?! Well they do! They come in 4 shades (Violet Flare, Firecracker, Glow For It and Turn up the Heat). Slick some on and get pumped for the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere coming out on November 22nd. Also new in this line is their Flamed Out Mascara which gives you some SERIOUSLY thick lashes. No joke. If you're afraid of clumps, go easy with this stuff or have a lash comb handy for in between coats. You're gonna need it. If you like the spider-lashes look (no judgment zone) this is alllll you, baby!

2) The next new mascara out and about is L'Oreal Paris' Voluminous Butterfly Mascara. This guy has an asymmetrical shaped "brush" that is supposed to grab the outer lashes to lift and extend, giving you a "winged out" look. Perfect for a sexy cat eye with flawless liquid liner! Okay, this next one gets me JAZZED. When I was Counter Manager for YSL, we had the most AMAZING product called Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stains. They were a stain/gloss hybrid and they stayed on literally all day (through 5 or 6 iced americanos...but that's besides the point...what I'm trying to tell you is they were test-driven HARD and delivered exactly what they said they would). A little insider tip: one of the ingredients in the YSL formula was the same material pharmaceutical companies use to make the outer coating for gel tab pills. Isn't that cray?! Back to the topic at hand...L'Oreal now has their OWN glossy stain (called L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Laquer Lipstain) which costs far less than the YSL version and has the EXACT same signature brush applicator that makes precise application a breeze. I'd say to use the L'Oreal version for the trendy colors you're not sure about yet (my favorite is Berry Persistent) and save the YSL big guns for the "everyday shades" since they're just over $30 (oh so worth it, I swear). Here are a couple tips you NEED to know with this product (either YSL or L'Oreal, which are both owned by the same company BTW). Firstly, do NOT apply over lipstick. It will not last like its supposed to, and it gets a weird texture. Secondly, once applied, do NOT rub lips together like you would with a lipstick or a gloss. I know this takes some getting used to seeing as its in our DNA as females to do so once we apply anything to our lips, but trust me, DON'T.

3) It seems like every gal I know is always trying to perfect the smokey eye. It's sexy without being slutty (when done correctly) and looks awesome with a nude lip color. Maybelline just came out with their Eye Studio Master Smoky Shadow Pencil in 6 shades. YOU GUYS. This pencil makes it soooooo easy to get a smokey eye. There's literally 2 steps and they're both in the same pencil. No more messing with liners, smudgy brushes, shadows, more liner, UGH. You just draw on your thick liner with the chubby liner end, and smudge the ever-living-shit out of it with the other smudgey end. Voila! Slap on some mascara and you're "ready to PARRRRTY". I don't recommend using these next little goodies with the aforementioned liner. It'd be too much. Tooooo much. Maybelline's Eye Studio Color Tattoo Pure Pigments are great little drugstore gems. They can be a bit tricky if you don't have a steady hand or tend to be messy with loose powders, but if that kind of thing doesn't freak you out, by all means, try these! I highly recommend first using a GOOD quality shadow primer (my favorite are from NARS and Trish McEvoy) and let it dry completely before you start. When I'm applying lighter or neutral shades of pigment, I "press" them onto my eyelid with my pointer finger. All over the lid but no higher than the brow bone. If I'm applying a dark, dramatic pigment to the lid of my eye (black, charcoal, emerald, etc) I use a stiff eye brush like this or this for more accuracy. Then you can take a blending brush and pop on a transition color (usually a few shades lighter than what's on your lid) into your crease and onto your brow bone. My favorite shades are Barely Brazen (a warm nude) and Black Mystery (black with flecks of green and teal).

4) Revlon's new collection called Evening Opulence is eeevvvveeerrrrryyyytttthhhiiinnnnggggg. It is so so pretty and holiday-esque and it makes me want to go to cocktail parties and leave lip marks on glasses of champagne. They have a new Colorburst Lipgloss in a shade called "Embellished" that is the perfect plummy, burgundy with some serious sparkle and shine. I can't wait to get it on my kisser. Next up, Revlon partnered with one of my favorite dress designer's Marchesa to make these beautiful textured 3D nail appliques. My favorites are "Gilded Mosaic", "Crown Jewels" and "24k Brocade" but they're all pretty maj-or.

5) Sonia Kashuk Limited Edition "Jewel of an Eye" Eye Couture Palette. I am a sucker for a good palette. I'm an even bigger sucker for anything that is limited edition. This one has the BEST colors for the winter/holiday season. Don't let the jewel tones scare you off, there are still enough neutral shades to anchor this beauty. I am obsessed with rust-colored shadows. The third row down from the top gets me all twitterpated just looking at it. Sonia Kashuk shadows are seriously pigmented and super blendable which are must-haves requirements. Get your mittens on this one before it's too late.

6) Almay Smart Shade CC Cream comes in 3 color options that make it super simple to match your skintone. Great for sensitive skin and gals looking for light, sheer coverage. I like this one better, however, for a primer under other foundation. Incredibly smoothing and comfy on skin.

7) Alba Botanica makes one of my favorite lavendar suncreens so I was really pumped to learn they have a new CC cream called Even Advanced CC Cream. It's pretty dreamy. It's 100% vegetarian, cruelty free, no artificial colors or fragrance, parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or sodium myreth sulfate. Translation: an awesome choice for sensitive skin. This line is just all in all groovy and this CC cream will have a permanent spot in my bag for "days off" from foundation.

8) Lastly, Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream is L-E-G-I-T. I got a $3 off coupon and little sample packet in my latest Vogue. No lie: I could see a difference after that one use. My skin looked plumper around the mouth (smile lines) and my eyes just seemed brighter and less "tired looking". I can't wait to see what happens after continued use. Here's a bonus: they make a fragrance free version that is just as effective. If you're skeptical, get thee to the magazine section of your local drugstore, grab a November Vogue (buy it...I don't condone sample swiping) and give it a try! Let the plumping begin!

October 20, 2013

S-A-TUR-DAY NIGHT is Alright for a Spa Sesh!

So yesterday, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror in passing. It wasn't good. I don't scare easily, but holy shit. This was frightening. No makeup (yikes), hair lookin' like a teenage boy who couldn't quite master the Bieber swoop (darn), fingernails with chipped red polish and every other nail broken off (grody), and my skin just looked parched, dingy and reminiscent of a morning after a sad, wine-binge (the WORST).

Something needed to be done. And fast. I decided once the man-boy went down for bed, it was time for a good old fashioned DIY spa night! The kind you used to do with your girlfriends in junior high at slumber parties while you listened to Black Street and/or Aliyah and talked about how you were going to be a really successful fashion designer when you grew up (was that just me? Don't answer that.)

If you've never done an at-home pampering sesh, 1) I feel sorry for you and 2) here are the pinch points of how to get down with your bad self.

1) Get your ducks in a row. For me, I gathered my current skincare "holy grail" products and a "new kid" face mask sample I received from my latest Ulta shopping spree.


1: ROC Daily Resurfacing Disks I have been using these bad boys for the better part of a week now and WOW. They are legit. They are pre-moistened, one side is soft and the other is slightly textured for exfoliating. Use the soft side for around the eye area. They make my skin smooth as a baby's booty, clear and oh-so bright! Rinse with warm (not hot) water and pat dry.
2: DDF Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum I got a deluxe sample of this serum in my latest Birchbox. If you don't know about Birchbox yet, I highly recommend it. It's $10 a month and you get some insanely awesome samples (sometimes full-sized) beauty products. It's like Christmas every month in my mailbox. Anyhoo, this serum ROCKS. It's full-sized self is $85 and I can say whole-heartedly that it is worth it. I used to sell $300 face serums when I worked for Nordstrom and this one works better (in my opinion) than some of the ritzy-snitzy products. DDF is one of my ALL time favorite skincare lines so it's not like you're slumming it with this one. It's still a high-quality, results driven line that will blow you away. If you're interested in Birchbox and want to give it a try (you can quit whenever you want) here's my referral code to get started!
3: Warm oil (see #4 down below for specifics)
4: Miracle Skin Transformer Miracle Mud Mask how often do you get a little sample packet of something, use it, toss the empty envelope out and move on with your life with no intention of buying what you just used? If you're anything like me, it happens OFTEN. Not in this case. I love, love, LOVED this mud mask. It had a nice creamy consistency, didn't necessarily give me any "tingling" while on, but the "miracle" happened when I rinsed it off after 15 minutes. I was a bit nervous from the slightly oily feel to my skin after rinsing, but I patted my mug dry and my skin has NEVER looked so even, smooth and clear. My redness was nearly gone around my nose and chin and I swear my pores were smaller. Story in a nutshell: this bad ass mud mask has been purchased and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival.
5: Ladies, if you don't own a Clarisonic facial cleansing brush...WHY NOT?! It is the best small investment you will make for your skin. Period. This is not up for debate. Mine is a limited edition blue leopard print Mia2. You can find them all over the place and different retailers offer different "packages" but typically Nordstrom and Sephora are the best places to purchase from in this case. Get one.

Ok moving on...

2) Push "play" on a funky Pandora channel (personally, I was bouncing back and forth from my 'early 90s R&B channel' and my 'Hall and Oates channel'...I'm not even close to kidding, it was amazing and I highly recommend starting your own. Thank me later.)

3) Lock the door because ain't NO one got time for an errant husband/kid/boyfriend/dog/cat/burglar walking in on you while you're looking like THIS...


4) For my warm oil treatment, I warmed a little bowl of equal parts olive oil and coconut oil (about 1 TBS each) to massage into my scalp. Make sure you don't nuke it any longer than 20-25 seconds...remember, you're going for warm scalp massage, not scalding hot skin graft). If you're very careful and precise, you can drizzle the oil directly onto your scalp like something you'd see in a Maxwell video (wear on old grubby shirt, it stains) OR you can be safe like me, and just dip your mitts into the oil and start applying it to your scalp with your fingers. Concentrate on temple area, top of head and base of hairline by your neck). Once you have sufficiently oiled your noggin, slap on a shower cap (I got mine on Amazon, and if you're feeling REALLY adventurous, you can get this one and make me eternally jealous) or a ratty (but clean!) warm, dry towel will work in a pinch. You'll want to leave this on throughout your spa session to really get the max benefits out of your warm oil treatment. After you're finished and your nails are completely dry, wash out with a moisturing shampoo and conditioner. Lately, I'm loving Aveda's Dry Remedy shampoo and conditioner. Perfect for these chilly temperatures.

5) Start your skincare routine. If you have your own, good on ya. If not, see #1 above for some helpful tips.

6) Get those nails under control. I always use one of those multi-sided filer/buffer doo-hickies like this to shape, buff and shine my nails before I start my painting. I lay down a base coat, let dry, and paint two coats of polish on top (in this case, I was using a random cabernet-colored sparkly 'perfect for Fall' shade), pop an anti-chip coat over your color when it is dry and then finish with a top coat. My base/top coat is the same so you don't have 37 different bottles to keep track of.


7) Lastly, I love slathering my feet with thick lotion and putting on luxurious socks. I am a big fan of Butter London's Kitten Heels Powder Finish Foot Creme it's on the pricey side for a foot lotion, but it's worth it. It smells minty fresh and leaves a dry, powdery finish so your socks don't get all gooey, yet it's still super moisturizing. Now, I would never tell you to go out and buy cashmere socks....actually, that's exactly what I'm telling you. They're AMAZING. They make all my other socks wimper with insecurities and I don't even feel bad for them. They deserve it. The ones pictured below are from Macy's from last year and they are SO soft and warm and cozy, and very reasonably priced. Do yourself a solid, and snatch some up.


When I was finished primping, I finally started feeling human again (read: female) which I'm sure the Boss Man appreciated. Like I really give a rat's furry ass anyway (obviously seeing as I was looking so fly before this spa night went down)...it's ok...he's not suffering. I sauntered downstairs, plopped my freshly-scrubbed self down on the sofa and the Mister and I watched scary movies and were fast asleep by 11pm. This is what I consider a perfectly delightful S-A-TUR-DAY NIGHT!
October 17, 2013

Snow White Lips and My Top Picks for Warm Undertoned & Cool UndertonedGals

I love red lips. Bright red, orange red, pinky red, wine-colored, oxblood...you get the picture. I usually save the deep hues for Fall and Winter and sport punchy, poppy reds in the warmer months (something about rocking a deep, vampy lip in 90 degree weather just doesn't feel right). So now that "sweater-weather" is upon us (when did that phrase get so popular anyway? I blame you, Pinterest) I'm busting out the the blood-sucking varietal! And I'm starting with a new color that I literally just opened yesterday! It's by NYX and it's their Extra Creamy Round Lipstick, the color is called Snow White (no. 569) and it's a DEEP blue red satin formula. If you haven't tried NYX Round Case Lipsticks yet, GET THEE TO ULTA IMMEDIATELY. They feel like buttah on the lips and they cost, like, $4...I know! And if you are an avid Ulta shopper, you'll notice that they often do either "buy 1, get 1 50% off" on NYX or they're having a big 40% off sale. As of right now, it's the former.

But I digress...back to the lips...This color is actually a bit deeper in person. These photos are unedited, UNFILTERED (there's a first for everything, right?) and just taken in my bright white bathroom with the flash on. Make sure your skin is FLAWLESS. Now is not the time to skip foundation or concealer, it's just not. Make sure your brows are on point and for God's sake, ladies, keep the eyes classic and simple. No heavy smokey eye with your vamply lips unless you're going to a costume party as a Robert Palmer "Addicted to Love" video girl. Actually that's a great idea...*makes mental note*. If super dark red lips scare the shit out of you (no judgment) my favorite COOL red lipstick for all you gals with cool undertones is Dior 'Rouge Dior' Lipstick in 999 Iconic. And for you warm undertone gals (can I get a 'what what'?!) my fave warm red is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square. That should be a good place to start experimenting.

:: Here is everything I used to achieve this look ::

After I moisturized my face, I applied:
L'Oreal Paris RevitaLift Miracle Blur Cream all over my face (a little more than half a dime size dollop) applied with fingers.
Revlon PhotoReady Makeup in 004 Nude applied with a stippling foundation brush like this. Dot around entire face and "buff" into the skin using the brush to get an airbrushed finish.
YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch in No. 2 "Radiant Ivory" applied using the Trish McEvoy "Triangle of Light" technique (see here) this feels crazy the first time you try it, but once you do, you'll do it every time you do your makeup. It brightens up the whole face and makes your cheekbones scream "HELLLLLO!!"
NYX "Set it and Don't Fret It" Matte Finishing Powder in Light/Medium all over with a fluffy face brush (I use this one) to set foundation
L'Oreal Paris True Match Powder in N7 Classic Tan to contour underneath cheekbones, sides of nose, around forehead and along jawline.
YSL Creme de Blush in No. 2 "Powdery Rose" applied with fingers on apples of cheeks.
NARS Hungry Heart highlighter duo. Apply the darker shade over blush and the lighter shade along cheekbones.
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Auburn/Red on brows applied with an angled brush (I use this one) and NYX Eyebrow Shaper underneath brows to keep them in shape.
Trish McEvoy Eye Base Essentials Brightening Eye Shadow Primer in "Demure" all over lid before shadow.
NYX The Natural Eyeshadow Palette (from left, I used the 4th color in all over lid up to brow bone, then the 3rd color in in my crease and blend up to just above crease).
NYX Super Fat Eye Marker to draw a thick line on top lashes ONLY.
L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara in Blackest Black on top and bottom lashes.
MAC Lip Pencil in Cherry
NYX Extra Creamy Round Case Lipstick in "Snow White" applied with a lip brush for accuracy.

One last thing...this color makes teeth look CRAZY white. It was an added bonus. When I removed my lipstick later that day, it had a definite blue/pink undertone (which you can't see when it's on) but any lipcolor with this undertone typically makes teeth look very white...just a piece of trivia for you...in case it ever comes up...you never know!

So, for all you ladies out there who say "I wish I could pull of red lips" blah blah blah, YOU CAN! The best thing you can do (aside from mastering the application technique) is wearing it with confidence! Cheesy? Yes. But if you are rocking a red lip with an "I know I look sexy" attitude, I promise NO ONE will be thinking "why the hell is she wearing red lipstick?" They will be admiring your sassy pout and thinking "I wish I could pull off a red lip!"
October 8, 2013

HUGE Urban Decay Sale!

Alert! Alert! Alert! Urban Decay is having a 20% off site-wide Friends and Family sale! Use code FFHOLIDAY13 when you check out! Even better news? The promo works ON TOP of sale items, too! I know...I know...I'm freaking out along with you. Urban Decay has some of my all time favorite items ever. Here are my top picks and suggest you check them out while the gettin' is good!

Urban Decay NAKED Palette in the original "Naked" shades. Comes with an awesome brush. I really can't say enough good things about this sucker. One of the best ranges of colors in one palette I've ever worked with. The pigment is INSANE, the blendability is amazing, they flatter every skin tone...just trust me on this one, buy it and don't look back. 



 Okay, this one is DOUBLE exciting because not only are these the prettiest eyeliners in the world, they're waterproof, they last all day, THEY'RE MARKED DOWN TO $6 AND THEN ANOTHER 20% OFF ON TOP OF THAT! (That was in all caps because I was screaming it at you). There are 9 colors on sale (1999, Binge, Crash, Deviant, Eldorado, Graffiti, Lucky, Lust and Ransom). These glide onto eyelids like a hot knife through a stick of butter. If you have blue eyes, snatch up "Lucky" which is the most killer copper color that makes blue eyes pop like you would NOT believe. Brown-eyed ladies (holler!) look incredible in "Crash" which is a perfect plum.


I've been dying to try out the Naked Skin Liquid Makeup ever since it came out. Now that it's on sale, I have the perfect excuse to try it! I used the "Find Your Shade Tool" and discovered that I am a 1.0 (shocker...I'm one pasty Irish-skinned broad). I plan on applying it with.....

The Optical Blurring Brush. I am a BIG fan of buffing brushes to apply foundation. They give the most perfect airbrushed finish without the streaks that traditional foundation brushes can give if not used properly (or with the right kind of foundation).

Like I mentioned above, don't forget to peruse the "Sale" section since you can use the 20% off discount on top of already discounted prices!

October Picks :: Target Edition

October Picks :: Target Edition
Hi, my name is Colleen, and I am a Target shopper. Can we get real for a second? When did Tar-jay get so sassy?! I have to say, their "stoof" has gotten pretty major. I think it is really cool that chicks (and fellas) have some budget-friendly options to keep themselves looking fly. And while I do think it's important to TREAT YO SELF on occasion with a pricey staple piece, there's ab-so-lute-ly no reason to break the bank on trendy, seasonal Fall pieces that will be so over before you can say "egg nog latte". As a new mom, I find myself walking the aisles of Target at LEAST once a week to grab baby items, so sue me if my eyes have wandered to the clothes, shoes and accessories on my way to the Ella's Kitchen baby food pouches...I'M FEMALE...it's like I can't control it. Anyhoo, these are the items that have been continuously catching my eye either in-store or online. Yo! Clothes and shoes! (I'm talking to you)...you will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine. {Click my collage above and it will take you to my Polyvore profile with all the links if you don't feel like picking them out from below}



Mossimo shirt / 3.1 Phillip Lim cable pullover / Mossimo sweatshirt / Mossimo faux leather jacket / Mossimo clothing / Pants / Merona / Mossimo high heel bootie / Mad Love black chukka boots / Mossimo ankle booties / Mossimo lace up high heel booties / 3 1 Phillip Lim tote bag / Merona wallet / Merona shoulder bag / Necklace / Tortoise bracelet / Stainless steel stud earrings / Earrings / Gold earrings / Nickel free necklace / Snake necklace / Black and white scarve / Sunglasses / Merona studded glove / Merona dots glove / Home decor / Glass jar candle / Xhilaration Juniors Jeweled Sweatshirt - Blue Dream / Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Skinny Denim - Dark Wash / Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Skinny Corduroy Pants - Assorted Colors / Xhilaration Juniors Love High Low Graphic Tee - Pink / Xhilaration Juniors Midi Pencil Skirt - Assorted Colors / Threshold Cable Knit Toss Pillow 20x20" / Xhilaration® Juniors Knee High Socks - Assor... : Target / Xhilaration® Juniors Knee High Socks - Assor... : Target / Jungle Fever Rectangle Kit / Threshold Cable Knit Toss Pillow 20x20" / Threshold Cable Knit Toss Pillow 20x20" / LATTE MUG HOME BW BEADED / iPhone 5c 32GB Green Sprint with 2-year contract
 
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