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!

November 23, 2014

Beauty Stocking Stuffers Under $10

Beauty Stocking Stuffers Under $10

What is it about stocking stuffers that gets me all jazzed?! Ever since I was a wee, feisty, redheaded tyke, I've always had a thing for them. It's like getting a bunch of tiny presents! I thought it would be kind of cool to stick with the beauty theme and show you guys some awesome little stocking stuffers under $10 (a lot of the ones I chose here are actually under $5!) These would also make fun little Secret Santa ideas for the work place if you have a beauty product junkie to buy for! I included the specific brands pictured in the below links, but feel free to just use this list loosely to spark your gift-giving imagination!

Nail Polish Remover Pads | I freaking love these things. I keep them in my purse for nail emergencies. Super easy to use.
Love & Toast Handcreme | I really like this brand. Comes in a lot of fun scents that aren't obnoxious and the packaging is really funky and cute!
EcoTools Makeup Brushes | I am a BIG fan of EcoTools for many reasons, but the biggest reason is they are made incredibly well and are priced insanely low. They don't shed, they're super soft and they wash beautifully. They have fabulous little starter kits that are a great value. (Click here for other kit).
Facial Cleansing Wipes | There are so many brands and options to choose from, I'm just digging these ones right now which are great for pesky breakouts and getting sweat and bacteria off your face and chest after the gym. Effective but not too harsh, either. Also great for teenagers!
Razors | This is one of those great stocking stuffers that everyone needs but no one likes to buy for themselves. I like disposable ones so I don't get lazy and end up with a dull blade for months. Just toss it and move onto the next.
Lip Balm | I swear this is like a staple of stocking stuffers. I remember getting just about every single brand and flavor of lip balm and chapstick since I was a kid and I still love getting it. I'm loving these Softlips Cubes right now! They feel so good on the lips and the packaging looks like a cute, colored ice cube!
Mini Makeup Palettes | Around the holidays you'll see all sorts of cute little mini palettes. Mostly eye shadows and lip colors, these are awesome ways to play around with new colors and they fit perfectly in those holiday party clutches! This one from Sephora is a surprisingly perfect inclusion of neutral and cool smokey tones.
Cleanser | Again, like razors, this is one of those things that is great to receive and is a total necessity.
Cotton Swabs | Perfect for eyeliner cleanup. A bathroom vanity necessity.
Soap | The possibilities are endless here, but I stumbled on this one during a recent Target trip and it smells soooooo good. Crisp, fresh and has a lovely lather. You can also find it at Ulta.
Eye/Lip Liner Sharpener | This is one of those quirky little beauty items that I can never have enough of. I'm always managing to misplace them. What's the deal with that?! I love the double-sized ones that can sharpen standard sized pencils as well as jumbo pencils. This one is particularly nice because you can flip the cap open and get all your shavings out.
Sephora Collection Face Masks | I LOVE that these come in so many formulas/colors! There's literally an option for everyone and they're only $6! Choose from: Ginseng (Toning), Pomegranate (Energizing), Rose (Moisturizing), Pearl (Brightening), Green Tea (Mattifying) & Honey (Nourishing).
Nail Polish | Again, you have thousands of brands/colors to choose from in this category, but I'm loving the Ulta nail polishes these days. The formula is incredibly opaque and long lasting and there is a great shade collection.
Travel Size Hair Products | These are a great idea for stockings. Shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, volumizers, hair powders....just about every type of product comes in a mini size these days and they're perfect for travel and also just for trying out new brands without committing to the high price tags. Ulta is a great place for finding lots of different luxury line brands most of which are under $5.

What are some of your favorite types of stocking stuffers? I'm always on the lookout for different ideas!
November 21, 2014

Aroma Soap Lab Review and GIVEAWAY!

I have a confession to make. Until recently, I looked down upon "natural" bath products. I always passed right over them because I immediately thought they'd all smell like the inside of an incense shop and would leave a weird, beeswax film on my skin. Obviously somewhere along the way I had been introduced to a sub-par bar of soap or lotion and had just grouped them all into the same category. What a buffoon I was! Luckily, I've since been shown the way.

All of Renee's soaps are:
Biodegradable : Great for camping & lake bathing!
No animal testing
No parabens
No mineral oil
No sodium laurel sulphate
No phosphates

I first met Renee, the owner/maker/designer/curator of Aroma Soap Lab in a Zumba class I walked into last February. She was immediately friendly and easy-going and she smelled SO good! But...I just met her, so I thought I'd save that stalker-like compliment for a more appropriate time (I'm still waiting, like a creeper, for my chance). I didn't learn until months later that she made her own soaps, scrubs, bath salts, lotions and shampoos. I can't remember how it came up, I think one of the other gals in class had asked her if she could get more soap. It was then that my ears perked up. I learned that Renee is a regular vendor at our amazing Farmer's Market that we are so incredibly blessed to have in our town. She has a beautiful booth (if you click here you can see some photos scrolling through of her setup at the market) where she offers her full inventory and even allows you to test out some of her incredible products!

Renee hooked me up with some serious goodies. I already knew I wanted to tell you guys about the Sea Mud Tea Tree Mint Facial Scrub ever since she gave me a sample a while back. But I also got my hands on 5 different artisan soap bars, the best smelling body scrub I've ever smelled, a hair and body moisture balm that comes in a nifty push-up style tube and a couple of her moisturizers. Basically, I was up to my eyeballs in fancy schmancy bath products. You can bet your sweet ass I locked myself in my bathroom and gingerly tested and tried each and every item she gave me over the past couple of weeks so that I could give you guys a rundown. Here goes!

First up....the Sea Mud Tea Tree Mint Facial Scrub/Mask. HOLY MOLY. Ever since I tried the little sample of this, I quickly dubbed it my "Biore Strip in scrub form". With only ONE use, this scrub pulled every ounce of gunk out of my pores on my nose, cheeks, forehead and chin. I couldn't believe how clear my pores were! You can either use this as a scrub, or you can apply it, let it sit on skin like a mask for 5 minutes, add a tiny bit of water and then massage into skin in small circular motions to remove all the gunk and dead skin cells. The mud is fabulous for removing impurities and the tea tree oil provides antibacterial properties. This scrub smells like the most delicious spearmint gum. I know that's kind of a whack description, but it's accurate. TRUST. This comes in a lovely little glass jar that can be reused for all sorts of things. See? Maybe I am more "green" than I give myself credit for!

 Pictured here is the Wild Desert Rose Olive Oil Soap. It was too pretty not to show you. Isn't this GORGEOUS???

You obviously saw the photos above of the beautiful box of 4 soaps (which is what I'm giving away to one lucky reader!) You can choose any 4 soaps from the following scents:

Wild Desert Rose, Havana Bay, Namaste Dragon's Blood, Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Sandalwood Patchouli, Cool Citrus Basil, Unscented Exzema Goat's Milk, Pink Sugar, Energy (Citrus), Wild Mountain Honey, Pomegranate, Kentish Rain, Anise Mint Charcoal, Nag Champa, Ancient Sedona, Twilight Woods, Tea Tree Mint Sea Clay, Brown Sugar & Fig, Exotic Lavender Vanilla, Coconut Lime Verbena, Cedar & Saffron, Eucalyptus Mint, and Spice Market Tea.

For my own personal 4-bar box, I chose Oatmeal Milk & Honey (smells like a delicious oatmeal cookie), Pomegranate (smells like ripe, juicy berries and oddly enough, kind of reminds me of holly berries which is perfect for the holiday season), Energy (smells like a, orange, vanilla dreamscicle), and Tea Tree Mint Sea Clay (smells like the same delicious spearmint gum I described above). All of these soaps rinsed so incredibly clean and left my skin feeling soft, supple and fresh. No residue, no dryness, no stripping. Renee also surprised me with a bonus bar of the Spice Market Tea scent which smells EXACTLY like the tea you can get at Pike Place Market. This particular scent needs to "cure" on your shelf for 3 weeks before use. But the upside is, it makes your whole room smell like Heaven!

I'm typically VERY picky about body scrubs. Even some of the scrubs I've purchased from high-end spas and department stores leave a greasy, slimy residue on the skin and also on the bathtub! YUCK! The last thing I want to do after using a body scrub is feel like I have to re-wash my skin and then immediately clean my bathtub! Talk about a relaxation killer! As I hesitantly opened this scrub, expecting the same experience, I was first caught off guard by how beautiful and clean this smelled. I chose the "Kentish Rain" scent which is cool, crisp, not too feminine, not too masculine and oddly comforting. I was then completely shocked when I rinsed it off and my skin felt like a newborn baby's with NO greasy residue! This is hands down the best body scrub I've ever used (and I've used more than I care to admit). You get a very hefty 8oz jar for only $12.50! The coolest thing is you can choose from ANY of the soap scents I listed above! So many choices!

This chunky little container is a push-pop style delivery system and contains a moisture balm that can be used on skin, dry elbows, cuticles, feet, dry knees, etc. I also love this stick for taming fly-aways and pesky little baby hairs around the hairline. I chose the Vanilla Lavender scent (very calming) but you can also choose from: Pink Sugar, Coconut Lime Verbena, or plain unscented which would be a fabulous addition for mamas of babies to tuck in the diaper bag!

Lastly, I tried two different moisturizers, a whipped shea body butter that looks like thick whipped cream (I tried the Lavender Vanilla) and the plant based hand and body lotion (I tried the Coconut Verbena). These were some of the nicest moisturizers I've ever used. I can't even describe how good the coconut verbena scent is that she does. It instantly took me back to Kauai and made me think I was relaxing on a tropical beach. The shea body butter is SO thick and applies so nicely. It was a much welcomed surprise for my dry, crackly skin on my legs and knees after shaving.

Here's the fun part! Enter to win your OWN box of 4 soaps of your choosing! All of the scent options are listed above (beneath the beautiful photo of the Wild Desert Rose soap). I will reach out to the winner and collect your shipping address as well as your 4 desired scents! You can either keep it for yourself, or this would make a perfect holiday gift for a very lucky gal (or guy!) Enter via Rafflecopter widget below and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
November 11, 2014

Top 10 Picks | Nordstrom Sale (ends 11.11.14)

Top 10 Picks | Nordstrom Sale

1 | Trouve Reversible Biker Jacket | I can't get enough of moto style jackets. I'm obsessed with this one because it's reversible! It's like having two jackets in one!
2 | Sara Bella Mixed Media Pendant Necklace | This pendant is so pretty! It keeps catching my eye! It comes in quite a few colors and I love the length and how substantial it is. This would make the PERFECT gift for all the women in your life and the sale price is under $30! I mean.....c'mon!
3 | Steve Madden Galleryl Pump | I know the thought of leopard print scares a lot of folks away, especially in high heel form, but it's time to expand your horizons, ladies. Wearing leopard print on your peds is such a fun way to incorporate some playfulness into your wardrobe without screaming "I'm sassy!" from the rooftops. It's more of a whisper. And they go with more than you think. These would look SO right with a slim fitting black pant with a straight leg, a pair of cuffed boyfriend jeans or a simple black sheath dress. The possibilities are endless!
4 | Lily White Faux Leather Inset Sweatpants | Say it with me now: Fancy. Sweatpants. Okay, that's a bit of an oxymoron, but I'm loving all the new sweats out right now that could totally make an appearance in public without you feeling like the Hot Mess Express. How cute are these pockets? I'd pair these with a cool retro pair of sneakers, a slim fit hoodie and a sleek, longer length jacket over the top.
5 | Adam Tucker Me Too 'Prescott' Flat | I'm always on the lookout for a stylish pair of flats that go with everything. In my experience, paying a little bit more for a quality pair is worth it (these ones are real leather). My flats get some serious wear these days, because....#momlife. How cute is the bow? So feminine without being obnoxious. The color selection is faboosh, too!
6 | Vince Camuto 'Kallie' Leather Boot | Everything about these Vince boots fit the bill. Real leather: check. Stylish: check. Just rugged enough: check. Unique detailing: check. Killer price for a quality pair of leather boots that will go with everything.
7 | Lush 'Perfect' Tunic Henley | I just love a tunic style top that doesn't look "dumpy". These blousy ones by Lush fit like a dream and I adore the color assortment. They have basic black and white which would be fabulous additions to any wardrobe, but check out the periwinkle, sea blue and green aqua. Such gorgeous and wearable colors!
8 | B.P. Studded Satchel | Um, can we just acknowledge for a moment that this great satchel is under $30?! It's almost a foot wide and 10 inches high, so it's sizeable and would fit tons of your stuff. It's faux-leather and the studding is so special! Plus it comes with a detachable cross-body strap for more options. Also comes in black. 
9 | Zella Live In Reversible Leggings | I can't count how many pairs of Zella leggings I have. They are incredible and live up to the hype. Thick, stretchy, NOT see-through, long enough for tall girls, wide waistband, ability to pull the waist up high so there's no "love handle situation"...they're my fave.
10 | MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Rosie' Sunglasses | Just because it's Fall (and soon to be Winter) doesn't mean you don't need a stylish pair of shades! I've had my eye on these ones for a while and they're finally on sale! They come in tortoise shell (my fave) and a sleek and sexy black.
November 7, 2014

Allow Me to Introduce Myself...and Also to Rant

I've gotten quite a few new readers over the past week so I thought I'd take the opportunity to say "Hello! Welcome! Hope you stick around!" and also to set the record straight on a few things...

I want to talk about something that's been bothering me a bit lately. Not enough to completely derail me, but enough for me to passive-aggressively write about it. People have interests and hobbies. What makes people interesting and unique is that everyone's interests and hobbies are unique to them. When someone tells me that they're into writing, or basketball, or scuba diving, or horses, I don't assume that's ALL they're into. I don't assume that the only conversation they're capable of having is pertaining to that one particular thing they like.

I like beauty products. I like writing about them. I like being the person my friends and family can come to with questions about these things. Is this the ONLY thing I'm interested in? Is makeup and hair the ONLY thing I'm capable of talking about? NO! Why would you assume just because I write a blog mostly about something so fun and yes, at times, "frivolous" that I'm a frivolous person? I don't do my hair and makeup to impress others, I do it because I enjoy doing it. It's my art form. It's what I went to school for and was trained professionally in and something I take pride in. Just because you don't take it seriously doesn't mean I don't or shouldn't. It's a way for me to express myself and nothing makes me happier than helping others express themselves as well!

But guess what? I'm also a wife and a mother who goes bare-faced and un-showered a lot of the time. I am surrounded by boys who like to play rough and burp and fart and play with trains and trucks and I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Those are my people. I take my family more seriously than anything else in the world. I love Jesus and I hope He can forgive me for my potty mouth every day (I need prayer for that, by the way).  I love to cook. I love to read. I love to research various oddball things until my eyes feel like they're going to pop out. I like having incredibly deep, hilarious, silly, honest, meaningful conversations with my friends. It's imperative to me that I can be depended upon. I like making people laugh. No, I love making people laugh. I love feeding people and entertaining and making them feel at home in my home. I don't necessarily enjoy politics but I take them very seriously. I like old movies. I like classic rock. I like weird trivia about old movies and classic rock. I like giving gifts and seeing people's faces when they open them. I like spending time with my incredible family and I don't feel deserving of their amazingness most of the time. I like irreverence. I like when people are honest and real and a little "unhinged".

I believe in being real before all else. Real is beautiful, even if real means being covered in spit up, and baby shit and boogers 85% of the time. But I also believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty sometimes. There is no shame in the desire to put on some extra mascara and red lipstick every now and again if it makes you feel good for whatever reason that day. Shame on anyone who makes you feel silly for that. Don't let them project their shit onto you. I slap on false eyelashes sometimes because I'M the one who likes how they look, NOT my husband (trust me...he wouldn't know the difference anyway, he's usually just annoyed I'm taking so long to get ready).

There's so much more beneath the surface of people than we sometimes give them credit for. I think we can all be a bit guilty of that at times. It's just as easy for me to see someone talking or writing about *insert cause or interest here* roll my eyes and pass judgment on them because it doesn't apply to me or my life, but that's so unfair. Who am I to judge someone for something that they genuinely enjoy or are passionate about? Isn't that what makes us 'us'?

I guess what I'm basically saying is, next time you see me amplifying a blog post about the differences in eyeliner consistency (or whatever else) don't assume I'm some bimbo who can't hold my own in a conversation with you about current events, or your job, or my job, or our families or the weather or ANYTHING else a normal person would chat about. Just because I work in a superficial industry doesn't mean I'm a superficial human. It is possible for a person who gets giddy over lipgloss and skincare products to also have values and convictions and to truly believe that beauty does come from within. Yes, I'm raising a boy right now, but that doesn't mean I'm not capable of maybe one day raising a strong daughter who believes in herself, speaks her mind, builds others up and can differentiate playing with makeup for fun as opposed to using it as a tool to gain acceptance. If I end up only raising boys, they will be raised to respect women for their brains, their wit, their inner "meat" as I like to say. Not for how well they highlight and contour.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I forgot to put on some deodorant this morning. And I might take an extra 30 seconds to touch up my eyeshadow in the process.
November 4, 2014

What I'm Loving These Days

Oh hey there! Sorry I've been M.I.A. I wish I had a cool story to tell you about where I've been and what I've been up to, but truth be told, I've just been a lazy sack the past week and a half! HOWEVER, there have been a handful of little gems I've been completely loving lately that I thought deserved a shout-out and I wanted you all to know about my little dream team of products! Without further ado...

Mario Badescu Glycolic Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion | This one has somewhat of a misleading name. It's not a cleanser and it's not a lotion. It's toner. I knew that going into it since I knew what I was looking for (and I know some manufacturers sometimes call toner "lotion") so luckily I was not surprised. What did surprise me was how well this stuff worked. I had unfortunately broken out along my jaw line and chin area which is rare for me so I knew it was either stress or hormones. I had been reading great things about this toner so I thought I'd try it. Let me say this: breakouts were GONE within 2 days. And the rest of my skin is glowing and bright. Now, if you have sensitive skin, this is not going to be your jam. It can be a bit harsh due to the glycolic acid. If you have sensitive skin but are still dealing with congestion and breakouts, give their Alpha Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion a try instead. It's formulated for sensitive skin. This line has something for everyone and the price points are so affordable. I highly suggest going to Nordstrom or Ulta and giving them a shot.

Almay Liquid Eyeliner | I have been looking for a liquid eyeliner that dries to a matte finish and doesn't have a felt tip for ages. The only one I've been able to find is by Napoleon Perdis and I just don't want to spend $30 every time I need to replace my liquid liner. This one by Almay is absolutely incredible and it's under $10. It dries matte (yay!) and the applicator is this funky little pointed silicone tip. It takes a skilled hand, so if you're not a liquid liner aficionado, it's going to take some practice. I'm so obsessed with this little diamond in the rough. It's damn near perfect.

L'Oreal Boost it Blow Out HeatSpray | Picked this guy up on a whim at Target because I was out of volumizer and I was too lazy to stop by professional beauty supply and restock my Kenra spray foam. While this one isn't quite as good as professional products, it did knock my socks off for a drugstore product under $5. If you have fine hair that needs a little "oomph" before you blow dry, give this guy a shot. It also doubles as a heat protectant which is fabulous for those blow drying and flat ironing (or curling).

MAC Lipstick in "So Chaud" | The silly widget picture above is not showing the correct color BUT I am obsessssssed with this color lately. It is the perfect orangey red with the best satin/matte finish. It's not as intense as "Lady Danger" and it literally looks good on every skin tone. Fair, olive, dark, this is a color that every adventurous gal needs to own. Get it, love it, and then thank me later when everyone and their monkey's uncle has complimented you on how sexy you look.

L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Dramatic Lengthening & Intensifying Mascara in "Carbon Black" | This is one of those mascaras that either you love or you hate. I'm in the former camp. I have always been a fan of the L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions mascara, but this one is even more intense. I'm able to get the most ridiculously dark, long, plump lashes with this stuff. The brush is super skinny and flexible (that's one of the things I love but others hate) and you have to be a bit skillful in order not to get 'spider lashes' but that's never an issue for me. Plus, sometimes I just love a good Drag Queen lash. Sue me. Because of the brush, I'm able to reach even the tiniest of lashes and make them POP!

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat | I feel like I talk about this top coat a lot. I don't even care. It deserves an endless amount of praise. Why? Because it dries FAST. I mean, 30 seconds fast. And the finish is super glossy and perfect. You can find this at Ulta but it's expensive there. If you have a Sally Beauty Supply in your area, it's about $3 to $4 cheaper. Sometimes you can find it on Amazon, too. I will never use another top coat ever in my life. Ever. Don't even try me.

What products have you been loving lately? I'm always on the lookout for must-haves to add to my collection!
October 28, 2014

Monat Global Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive | Review

Every once in a blue moon, a hair product (or products) comes into your life, and your world is forever changed for the better. Such was the case for me recently when I had the opportunity to test out Monat Global's Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive. This oil is no joke. If you are just joining Let's Talk About Lipstick for the first time, let me let you in on a couple little tidbits that you may find useful in regards to this review. One, I am deep in the throes of growing out a very sassy pixie haircut (which I loved, but am ready for something new) so I am desperate to hang on to whatever growth I can between trims of old, dead ends. Secondly, I am a licensed Cosmetologist which means I can get my hands on the very best salon products at cost. This is not me bragging, just explaining that I've spent an embarrassingly large amount of scrill on hair care products #justbecauseIcan (and many times, have been left wondering what the big deal was with some of them). The only thing I can say about it that isn't technically complimentary is that it almost works too well. Meaning, it can be a bit heavy for my fine hair. I had to do a bit of experimenting with it to determine the best method for application for me personally, but once I did BOY HOWDY did I fall in love.

I like to use Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive as more of a nighttime treatment as using it daily on my dry hair can weigh it down a bit. If you have thicker, longer hair, this may not be an issue for you. After a shower or bath, when my hair is still damp, I apply a few drops around my hairline and a few more massaged into my entire scalp. I also add a few to the midshaft and ends of my hair, concentrating on the very ends of my hair. Then I loosely twist my hair into a clip and sleep with it in and just rinse out for my morning shower. Since I've been using this product, my hair has totally transformed into sleek, shiny, healthy hair AND the best part is I have been able to stretch the time between trims due to my ends being much less damaged and dried. If you are growing out your hair, I highly recommend introducing this oil into your routine. Plus, it smells like fresh orange peels and makes me feel like I'm at the spa!

How it works:
    •Protects skin and hair from damaging environmental influence
    •Helps naturally replenish sebum (the skin and scalp’s natural oils)
    •Alleviates dehydration caused by harsh cleaners and styling products
    •Replenishes the hair and skin by absorbing quickly and completely
    •Delivers significant shine, strength and manageability

Abyssinian: The Key ingredient in Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive. From the crambe abyssinica plant native to central Africa, it’s a rare and unique combination of fatty acids prized for their ability to do everything from mimic the effects of silicon for unbeatable shine; lubricate the hair deep into the follicle; and protect and coat each strand.

Baobab: The renowned baobab trees have grown for centuries in the arid climates of India and Africa, and its exotic oil from the tree’s seeds are rich in antioxidant-rich palmitic acid and Vitamin F.

Buriti: The fruit of Africa’s Moriche palm – known as the Tree of Life – is one of the world’s richest sources of beta-carotene, which moisturizes and nourishes.

Camelia: Also known as tea-seed oil, it’s ultra-hydrating oil responsibly harvested from China that cleans the scalp and pampered dry stands thanks to its abundance of Vitamin E and polyphenols.

Carrot Seed: Specially sourced from the mountains of Switzerland, it’s rich in Vitamin A to condition the scalp, plus Alpha Linolenic Acid for anti-inflammatory protection.

Monoi: Selectively sourced from the warm tropics of Tahiti, it’s a restorative oil rich in Omega 3 and fatty acids to heal damage and promote growth from the root.

Meadowfoam: This oil is sourced right from the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Named for its flowers’ resemblance to white foam on the ocean, meadowfoam oil is another outstanding source of Omega 9 fatty acids for shine and sheen.

Moringa: Ancient Egyptians prized Moringa Oil for its nourishing properties, thanks to antioxidants and Vitamin E, which help combat skin fatigue, plus clean and purify the scalp.

This oil is so pure and high-quality, that it can also be used on the skin. I have used a very small amount and applied it to my clean face and neck as well as used a tiny bit as a cuticle oil. I also love it for my dry elbows and knees. 

Lastly, I wanted to tell you about the shampoo and conditioner I had the pleasure of testing. These two babies were real 'show stoppers' for me. I was completely expecting to just try them and get nice products that smelled nice but not much above and beyond that. Plus, I was a bit skeptical of the "leave in" conditioner which was a cream or lotion-like consistency because I was wary of it weighing my hair down. The only leave-in conditioners I've used have been weightless, spray-in types and I've never been completely impressed. Let's start with the shampoo:

I tried the RENEW shampoo. I instantly loved the scent, but I was really impressed with the rich, creamy lather. It felt very luxurious and rinsed very clean. What I liked was that after I rinsed, my hair didn't feel straw-like as it typically does after shampooing and before conditioning. It felt clean and smooth without feeling greasy.

Apprehensively, upon exit of the shower and gently towel blotting my hair, I applied a dime to nickel size amount of the leave-in conditioner you see here:

Oh my goodness. This stuff was like heaven. Any doubts I had about this product were quickly diminished when I blow dried my hair. I typically have to apply some type of root lifter or volumizing product. I skipped that step so that I could get the real results of the conditioner and I was AMAZED at how light it was! It instantly absorbed into my hair and I'm not kidding, it left my hair with so much volume and body I ran downstairs and made my husband feel how thick my hair was! (He was not as excited, but who cares?!)

In summary, these products are definitely worth the hype. This is a prime example of high-quality products doing exactly what they say they will. I haven't yet had the opportunity to try the other lines they offer, but if they're anything as great as the Oil Intensive and the Renew Shampoo and Conditioner, then we definitely have a winning product line on our hands.
October 27, 2014

Fill In Wrinkles While You Sleep | Rodan + Fields Acute Care Review

Over the weekend, I had the honor of trying out Rodan + Fields brand spankin' new product from their Redefine line of skin care products. It is called Acute Care and it is revolutionizing the way we treat and target our deep set wrinkles. Each box of Acute Care contains 10 sets (1 pair per set) and is recommended you use 1 set (2 patches) every third night for a month. These nifty little patches were clinically tested for use around the eye area, however, there have been great success stories (scroll down for video of success stories) from customers using Acute Care on other facial expression lines. I personally do not have substantial wrinkling around my eye area, so I chose to apply one patch on a pesky forehead wrinkle and the other on the deeper set smile line on the left side of my mouth. Since I only had one application to use, I wasn't expecting to see much as far as results go. Imagine my surprise when I woke up and removed the forehead patch and my annoying wrinkle was not just "lightened" but completely gone! As in, non-existent! From one use! I can just imagine what a full month's worth of these puppies can do for those who have deep set crow's feet, intense folds between the brow area and severe expression or "smile lines" around the mouth! Seriously exciting stuff!

So, how does Refine Acute Care work you might be asking? Here's an excerpt from the official press release:

"Each ACUTE CARE patch holds more than one hundred microscopic liquid cones that melt into lines and wrinkle for smoother, more youthful looking skin. When used at night, these treatment patches fit comfortably under the eye or above the lip, to quickly and painlessly smooth targeted lines and wrinkles for a naturally younger looking appearance. REDEFINE ACUTE CARE Skincare for expression lines delivers hyaluronic acid and peptides that produce visible results in the majority of users from just one use. Further benefits are seen and sustained with continued usage."

These "liquid cones" that they speak of are instantly noticeable when you apply your first patch. It almost felt like a gently velcro being pressed onto the skin. Not uncomfortable or painful at all, just an interesting sensation. You want to make sure you apply the patches to freshly cleansed and dry skin without any of your serum or moisturizer applied yet. After you've applied your Acute Care patches, then you can continue with your nightly moisturizing routine. Here's a really handy video that explains exactly how to apply:

Here's a nifty action shot of me with my Acute Care patch on my now non-existent forehead wrinkle...

You can see they are clear once applied. My husband didn't even know I had them on!

Here's what they look like before the backing is removed from the adhesive edges. I tried to get a close up so you guys could see the detail of the texture. Those little "bumps" are the microscopic liquid cones that do all magic! I was instructed not to rub back and forth once applied to my face as this can damage the cones, but rather to firmly press down on Acute Care's Liquid Cones (vertically) which will melt the line defying peptides directly into the wrinkle. When you wake up in the morning, you just gently peel the patch off and remove the residue with either a cleansing cloth, or your normal morning cleansing routine. Wait a couple days and repeat the whole process over again on the third night! So easy!

How to get your hands on Acute Care: contact Alisha either by visiting her website or emailing her directly at or if you have any further questions. You get a pretty sizeable discount if you sign up as a Preferred Customer. See below for pricing details.

OPEN STOCK: Available January 2015
Retail: $220
Preferred Customer: $198
Consultant: $165

Now for the results. This video was put together of customer's results from using Acute Care. Pretty impressive stuff!

What a great product to add into your 2015 New Year routine! If you are looking to make some serious changes this upcoming year, Acute Care is a perfect addition to helping you look and feel your best. What a fabulous alternative to going "under the knife" to treat the areas of your face that have always bothered you!
October 24, 2014

The Yummiest Manicure on Earth | Jamberry Wraps! {GIVEAWAY}

Nail wraps! Nail art! Nail appliques! Nail design! Funky nails have really taken a step forward in the past few years. Experimenting with different textures, prints and designs has become very mainstream and now easier than ever with Jamberry! I had the pleasure of playing around with these awesome wraps today and I have to say, I'm hooked. I was a bit skeptical to the whole "oh you can get so many manicures out of one sheet!" line...but truth be told, YOU CAN! I'm not even kidding! I got an entire manicure (all 10 fingers, last time I checked) and still had a ton of wraps left over! I chose "Sugar Rush" because HELLO they were sprinkles! I could I not?! Here's what was left of my wraps after a full manicure..

It barely looks like I used any and I still have enough for another complete manicure (plus some larger ones for my big toes) or if I really wanted to stretch it, I could use them as "accent" nails and paint the remaining nails a solid color. Such a great value! I totally dig these for multiple reasons, but the biggest perk for me, being a mom of a very active toddler is there is no dry time! I should have filmed me applying these because literally halfway through my manicure, my son woke up from his nap and I had to go grab the little rascal out of his crib. That would have been soooo unfortunate had I just applied a fresh coat of polish to my digits. I got him all settled and just finished right up! Each set of wraps has the application instructions printed right on the packaging which is really helpful, but if you for some reason lose the package, you can find the instructions online. If you scroll down past the written instructions, there are a couple useful videos you can watch if you're more of a visual person.

I could go on and on about all the great things about these little wraps, but I'll let this cute little chalkboard do the talkin' for me!

And now...for quite possibly the coolest thing I've seen in the "nail art" arena in quite some time...Jamberry Nail Art Studio! The ability to design your own wraps! You can upload pictures, prints, textures, etc. from online and have them "printed" onto your nail wraps! How cool would that be for a personalized gift for a friend?! I am really obsessed with Tartan plaids right now so I just "Googled" 'tartain plaid', found one I liked, and uploaded it into the design studio and look how cute it turned out (bottom left) so cute for Winter! I also did a Google search for "twinkle lights" because...why not...and look at the other one I created (bottom right). As you can see, the possibilities are endless! You can have text printed on them as well which would be so cool for a special occasion (bridal parties, milestone birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)

After you check out the application techniques that I linked up above, here are a few super helpful tips that Jill gave me that made application a breeze and ensured my manicure would last as long as possible.

1 | Nail prep is EVERYTHING. If you don't push back your cuticles fully or use alcohol/white vinegar/acetone (this is what I used) to get the oils off your nails before applying the wraps they won't stay on for as long or go on as smoothly
2 | If you have a choice between a wrap that is a little too big or a little too small, go for the smaller one.  You'll get bubbling around the edges if the wrap is on your cuticle at all.  
3 | When you first put the wrap on your nail, be sure to smooth the wrap first down the center (from cuticle to tip) and then from the center down the sides.  That way you can avoid getting a crease at the center tip of your nail.  
4 | When removing the wraps, fight the urge to just peel them off because that will damage your nail.  If you soak them for a few seconds in acetone they come right off and won't damage your nails at all.  I've been using Jamberry nonstop for five months and I have no damage to my nails because this is the way I remove them.  

If you are interested in hosting an online Jamberry party, Jill will get you all set up and do all the work! All you have to do is invite any Facebook friends you think might be interested and she'll tell you what's next! No worrying about having people over to your house, you can do it all online! Contact Jill HERE or you can email her at if you have any questions. It's a great way to earn free wraps!

And now for the giveaway! Enter below for a chance to win an entire sheet of wraps! One sheet will give you at least 2 manicures! Here are all the different wraps to choose from (over 300 designs!) Make sure you notice all the categories to the left so you can see just how many options there are! I think out of all the categories, my favorite is the "Graphic Punch" category. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
October 23, 2014

Equitance Brightening Serum & Spot Corrector Review

I love a good serum. I love collecting as many as I possibly can and seeing which one will give me the flawless skin they all promise. Luckily I have never had any adverse reactions or horror stories with any of them, but I have used a few and wondered to myself "uh....what's supposed to be happening here?" If it was a drugstore or bargain serum (geez that sounds like an oxymoron now that I see it typed out...not that you can't find a great serum at the drugstore! But I digress...) then I don't feel quite as bad if I don't see results after a few weeks. However, if it is a serum I forked serious dough over for, I want it to work dammit! Is that too much to ask?! I think not.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I was asked to test and review a serum by Equitance called the Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector. My first response was a hearty "YES". I pulled up the website and started doing some research and let's just say this: Mama liked what she saw. It was as if this serum was designed just for me. It promised to fix the two things that bother me most about my complexion: dullness and hyper-pigmentation. When it arrived in the mail, I tore open the package, read all the literature and ran right upstairs to cleanse my face and get to applyin'! What happened next was what dreams are made of.

When I woke up the next morning around 10am (yes my 21 month old sleeps in like a teenager and sometimes I reap the benefits SUE ME) I went and looked in the mirror not really knowing what to expect. I noticed a very even complexion staring back at me. No redness, no blotchiness. It must have been a fluke. I repeated the same steps the next night, this time applying a thin layer of my Alpha Hydrox lotion over the top of my new miracle serum and hopped into bed. When I awoke the next morning, my skin was even more toned, even and bright. I was shocked that after just two uses I was able to tell a noticeable difference. I typically don't run errands without applying even a quick coat of a BB cream to even things out, but the Equitance Serum + Spot Corrector is giving me the skin I remember having in high school! I no longer feel like I need to put anything on to leave the house! My skin looks and feels smooth, even, bright and youthful!

For the price, you get a very generous amount of serum. You only need a tiny amount (smaller than a pea) to cover your entire face and neck (don't you forget your necks, girls! Ever!) Here is the exciting part! I have a coupon code for all of my beautiful readers for 15% off their purchase of this dream serum AND if that wasn't enough, you'll also receive a FREE Equitance Trial Skin Care Kit (value $37) How cool is that?! Make sure you enter code: INFL15 at checkout to get this offer (offer expires 11/20/14).

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. +Equitance USA  +Influenster +Influenster #equitance
October 21, 2014

TEMPTU Airbrush Makeup | #TEMPTUDaynNight Campaign

How to "vote" for me:
2 | "Share", "Like" or Tweet my link to automatically be entered to win $200 of your own on the TEMPTU website! Good Luck!

When I asked a number of my friends what came to mind when they heard the words "airbrush makeup", a staggering amount said things like "something I'd have a professional do for a wedding or special occasion" or "not for everyday" or "perfect for actors on TV or in movies". The next thing almost every single one said was "I've always wanted to try it!" followed by "it seems like it would be too complicated to figure out!" Well guess what....? Total bologna! I'm here to tell you, even the clumsiest of gals can look Beyonce flawless with this bad boy!

When TEMPTU reached out to me and asked me to create a "classic day" look for their #TEMPTUDaynNight campaign using their TEMPTU Signature Starter Kit, I was beyond thrilled for two reasons: 1) I have always wanted to try airbrush makeup and 2) I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to show you all just how easy it is to use airbrush makeup for everyday use! I was so stoked that I got assigned the "day look" because I wanted to prove that I could achieve my "everyday look" using airbrush makeup without getting too complicated. I was going for healthy and flawless and I wanted my skin to glow, not be covered up with tons of layers. The best part (besides looking like a porcelain doll) is that there are no brushes to mess with or clean up (so hygienic!) You get to choose each color when you build your kit which is so much nicer than getting stuck with random "one size fits all" colors that don't work for you. I was expecting to receive a big, bulky machine in the mail and I was so surprised that the entire kit was so portable and easy to pack up! The entire kit, including the AIRpods, fit into the cute, clear zip tote pictured below! Perfect for travel!

 Products used:
 TEMPTU Signature Starter Kit: 004 Sand Foundation, AIRpod Blush in Sheer Berry, AIRpod Highlighter in Champagne

Let's get started shall we? Here's how to apply! Make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. You want to hold your airbrush about a palm's distance (4-6 inches) away from your skin and work in small circular motions. Start with the areas that need more coverage, for me that's my inner cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. A little bit goes a long way so pull back and inspect your work often. You can always build up more coverage if needed.

In the same small circular motions you used for your foundation, keep your airbrush the same distance from your face and apply your AIRpod blush to the apples of your cheeks and up slightly to meet your hairline. I was worried I would apply too much so I started about 6 inches out and gradually got closer until I achieved the intensity I was going for for my day look. You'll know exactly where you're applying your makeup because you'll feel the air coming out of the airbrush. Product won't come out (just air) unless you "pull the trigger" at the top so don't be intimidated! You're in complete control. Say it: "I'M IN CONTROL". There now, feel better?

Lastly, you're going to apply your AIRpod Highlighter right along your cheekbones just slightly above where you applied your blush. I also applied a little bit down the bridge of my nose and right above the cupid's bow of my lips. I wanted to look like my skin was lit from the inside!

That's it! You're done! I completed my look with a neutral eyeshadow palette of browns and taupes, drew on a line of black liner then smudged it out on my top lid, applied a hefty dose of black mascara and a pinky-nude cream lipstick.

If that isn't flawless skin, I don't know what is. Completely un-retouched, un-filtered photos. Just good old-fashioned flash photography and very bright lighting. I mean, LOOK at this highlighter! It is making my heart skip a beat!

Here is a before & after of me with absolutely nothing on my face (left) besides moisturizer, and after (on the right) with my finished "classic day" look. Fresh, healthy, glowing and pulled-together.

I love that you see SKIN and not makeup. This is the epitome of high-def and the most extraordinary part is it felt like I didn't have a thing on my face. It felt completely naked! Perfect for foundation-phobes (you know who you are!) This is the perfect secret weapon that every gal needs in her arsenal. You can most definitely use it for everyday, and it is a MUST HAVE if you have any sort of photos being taken (weddings, prom, senior pictures, family photos). You will look absolutely flawless in every single picture. If I can make my skin look like it does in the above photo, complete with giant pores, a few zits, sun spots and redness all over, then anyone can!

How to "vote" for me:
2 | "Share", "Like" or Tweet my link to automatically be entered to win $200 of your own on the TEMPTU website! Good Luck!

October 15, 2014

Trend Watch: Liquid Lipstick

Trend Watch: Liquid Lipstick

It seems like everywhere I look these days, liquid lipstick is popping up. You may see it under other names like "lip lacquer", "liquid lip color" or "long wearing lipstick or lipgloss". This stuff rocks. If a highly pigmented classic lipstick and a super shiny gloss got together, did too many Jäger-bombs and had a little baby, you'd get one of these little darlings.With the exception of the Lime Crime Velvetine which has a velvety matte finish (hence the name...clever devils). What I love about liquid lip colors is how comfortable they are on the lips, similar to a cushy gloss. Yet, the color payoff is unrivaled. Luckily the manufacturers of most of these have figured out that a small, tapered sponge or brush is the best way to apply these so most of them can be applied right out of the tube. It makes it incredibly easy to be precise and in most cases, skip the lip liner! If you haven't experienced this awesome lip trend but you think you're ready to pull up your big girl panties and hop on board, here's what you need to know:

1 | Just like your skin before your makeup, make sure your lips are moisturized. Certain finishes really draw attention to dry, peely lips and this is one of them. If you need to, exfoliate beforehand using a clean, warm, damp washcloth to gently massage lips in small circular motions. Or you can use my favorite lip exfoliant

2 | I like to give my kisser a quick "once over" with a swipe of a basic lip balm and rub my lips together.

3 | Pick your poison! Open up your liquid lip color of choice and take a look at the applicator tip. Most of them are pointed or tapered which makes it easy to get into the corners. If you're worried about making a big mess and looking like Twisty from American Horror Story (don't even GET me started on that friggin' clown!) then you may want to employ the help of a good old fashioned lip brush. My favorites are small and somewhat pointed at the tip. Always synthetic bristled. Something like this or this. Use this to kind of trace your line along your natural lip line on both top and bottom lips. Then use the applicator to fill in the rest.

4 | This is important: do not rub your lips together like you would after applying traditional lipstick or gloss. Most liquid lip colors need to "set" and you won't get the intended look if you go rubbing those lips together! This part is probably the one where most people take some getting used to since I really think it's in our DNA as women to immediately rub our lips together after we've applied anything to them. Resist that urge! 

That's basically it! The great thing about these formulas being long-wearing is you won't have to worry about re-applying. Quite a few of the formulas have a stain quality to them so even if the gloss factor diminishes a bit, you are still left with a gorgeous wash of color on your lips! Have you tried the lip lacquer trend yet? Which is your favorite?

October 10, 2014

My Experience with Warby Parker Glasses

I've been meaning to try Warby Parker for quite some time now. I like how they operate and I like how easy it seemed to get a hold of some seriously fashionable prescription glasses (or sunglasses!) for under $100. I decided on my own, to try their "at home try on" service and see just for myself what the quality was like and just how simple the process was. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember seeing my post a few months back about how I ordered my last glasses online and how easy that process was. Warby Parker takes it a step further. Although there are a ton of "virtual try on" services available where you can choose the glasses to appear over your newly uploaded photo of your face, you still don't get to touch, feel and look at them from various angles. You don't get to see if they're comfortable on your nose and ears. With Warby Parker, you get FIVE whole days to wear them, model them, snap endless selfies in them and get feedback from your trusted pals to see which ones you love (or loathe). How cool is that?!

Here's how it works:

1 | Head over to Warby Parker (read some very cool stuff about the company while you're at it...they're pretty groovy).
2 | Choose either the "Women" or "Men" category and start perusing their frames (you can choose 'Optical' or 'Sunwear')
3 | You can either set all your search criteria here, or you can just scroll through all the insanely adorable frames.
4 | Let's say you found one that strikes your fancy, click it, and then choose "Home try trial" from the right hand side of the screen (they'll let you know if the frames are unavailable for try on).
5 | Add to cart then choose 4 more styles to try (they even recommend frames you might like based off of your choice!)

Once you've chosen your 5 pairs, you'll go to checkout where you'll be asked for your credit card number. Don't worry! You'll only be charged $1 as kind of a "safety deposit". Here's what they say: "Home try-on must be secured with a valid credit or debit card. Your card will be validated with a $1 authorization charge. You will not be charged for the frames unless you do not return them."


My 5 pairs arrived in less than 48 hours. All of the instructions are inside of the box, but it's basically like Netflix. You take them for a test run, note which ones you love and then when the 5 days is up, package them up the way they came and send them back (there's a prepaid shipping label you just slap on the box then drop off at a FedEx, UPS or USPS). All returns and exchanges are on them! No questions asked! If you don't like any of the frames, just send all of them back and you don't have to worry about a thing. You can keep trying them until you find your dream glasses! If you do end up wanting to purchase a pair (or three) you'll need your prescription so that you can enter it in online.

Here are the 5 pairs (4 optical, 1 sunwear) I chose to try on!

I adored this pair! I don't know if I would have ever chosen this style if I was in an optical boutique, but I thought I'd get a little funky since I was in the comfort of my own home and I ended up loving them! They're so fun and I love the chunky tortoise shell pattern! They're called Kimball in Marzipan Tortoise.

This pair was a bit safer and while I really liked them, they weren't quite as sassy as I am used to. They were more of a rectangle shape and were very classic. It's kind of hard to tell in the photo, but they had a slight pinkish tint to them. So cute! These are called Annette in Petal Tortoise.

These green ones were super fun! These would be a great addition to some more wearable colored frames as I think I might get sick of green every day (even though it is my favorite color). I really liked this shape which was kind of a mix between a rectangle and square. This one is called Arthur in Green Spruce.

I. Am. Obsessed. With. This. Pair. Again, totally different from what I'd normally choose but holy CRAP I love everything about them. I never thought I could wear rounder frames but I loved how these looked on my face. And the honey color and the gold arms are so dainty and feminine! This pair may need to find its way into my collection. This is called the Chandler Ti in English Oak

And last but not least. We have the cutest sunglasses on the face of planet Earth. I almost fainted when I saw these. So chunky yet so chic! And again....more tortoise shell but this one is smokey!! I die. I loved how these felt on, so comfy and they covered so much of my eyes and face which is SO important to me when I'm looking for sunglasses. This little doll baby is called Banks in Sea Smoke Tortoise (even the name is sexy!)

I could instantly tell that these glasses were made incredibly well and designed to last. You can read all about Warby Parker's design process here. All in all, I would highly recommend going through Warby Parker if you're looking for new glasses. The process was so painless and you don't have to worry about annoying salespeople bothering you when you're trying to choose your frames. It's a win win WIN!

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