January 28, 2014

Valentine's Day Beauty

Valentine's Day Beauty

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I love Valentine's Day. Something about being surrounded by pink and red and candy and chocolate gets me all hot and bothered. I'd venture to say it's one of my favorite holidays. I'm well aware that that makes me a bit of a weirdo, but whatevs, as Lena Dunham would say "I own my truth." Let me say this: there are some MAJOR beauty items I've been coveting lately. A few of the above items I already own (I'll let you know which below - linked up in the little numbers above this paragraph) and the others I want B A D. Here's what's up. Get ready to drool.

1. Lime Crime Velvetines in "Pink Velvet". These are insane. They go on like a liquidy gloss but they dry to a totally matte finish that looks like velvet (hence the name) that's completely non-transferable (meaning they won't rub off). My favorite color is "Suedeberry" but this Pink Velvet color is perfect for V-Day.
2. NYX Butter Lipstick in "Sweet Tart". I don't know if you're familiar with NYX Butter Gloss, but if not, it's super creamy, thick without being sticky or goopy and soooo smooth. Well, they made new Butter Lipsticks and they have all the same benefits but with more pigment. They are like buttah on the lips.
3. Too Faced "Better than Sex Mascara". I chose this simply because of the name and the fact that the brush is hourglass shaped like Beyonce. Doesn't get much sexier than that.
4. Lancome La Vie Est Belle Eau de Parfum. I have this and it is unbelievable. It's not my typical fragrance scent but it was a gift and I'm so glad I received it. It's warm, romantic and sweet without being "teenybopper-ish" (that's a word I think). Very sophisticated.
5. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Eyeliner in "Junkshow". Its hot pink liquid eyeliner with insanely gorgeous glitter. I'd wear this with extremely full false lashes and a cotton candy-colored lipstick.
6. Sephora Lips in Bloom Glossy Lip Pencil Trio. I love me a good lip crayon/gloss hybrid. This one has 3 perfect shades for under $20!
7. Um...how adorable is the Too Faced Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush? Swirl all 3 together for a multi-dimensional look, or wear them separately. Save the little box when you've used it up for your stud earrings or knick knacks.
8. Maybelline Master Glaze Blush Stick in "Pink Fever". These are new and I'm stoked to try them. I am a HUGE fan of blush sticks because you can use them on your cheeks, lips and eyelids in a pinch and these new ones are super sheer and supposed to have a "glistening" effect to them.
9. Christian Dior Rosy Glow Awakening Blush. OMG this one is exciting. First off, it adapts to your skin's chemistry and adjusts itself to look absolutely perfect on all skin tones. Secondly, it is rose-scented. Ooh la la! Lastly, because it's Dior, it's milled SUPER fine so the powder is almost creamy, its so smooth. Luxury at its finest.
10. Diorskin Nude BB Cream. This one is almost airy to the touch but it still has great coverage. The groovy part? It has floral water in it which we all know is incredible for the complexion, very calming.
11. Deborah Lippman Nail Lacquer in "Candy Shop". This is another one I own. It is completely over the top and loaded with chunky glitter in about every color you can imagine. I wouldn't recommend this one for a job interview, unless you're interviewing as a cruise ship performer or a backup dancer in a Lady Gaga video. Seriously, it looks like you dipped your fingernails in buttercream frosting and then immediately in sprinkles. Good enough to eat.
12. NYX Sex Bomb Femme Fatale Shadow Palette. This one is all new for Spring! I can't wait to start creating some killer looks with that pink and that charcoal gray! They have another new one called "Adorable" which is....well, adorable. These are great little palettes to add to their already uber popular "Natural" and "Smokey" palettes. Bonus: it's under $10!!!
13. YSL Rosy Blush Palette. I mean, does this one even need an explanation? Just LOOK at it. Rosy pink blush with shimmery gold ripples running through it?! My brain is about to explode. I know it would be wise to save this for very special occasions...but I think running to the gas station qualifies, right?

There you have it! Whether or not you'll be wearing these little devils on date night, or at home by yourself with a lap full of cherry cordials, a bottle of wine and Ryan Gosling on your TV screen (ok that second option sounds WAY better than date night....sorry, honey) rest assured you'll look gorgeous while doing so!

Xoxo lovers!

January 27, 2014

How I Fill In My Eyebrows | Video Tutorial

Hi. My name is Colleen and I have no eyebrows. Wow, that feels good to get off my chest. Well, I do, but they're almost non-existent. This is not from some freak over-tweezing incident or a waxing session gone wrong. They just don't grow. Aside from tweezing or occasionally waxing the blonde peach fuzz above my brows a few times a year, I don't do anything to them in the maintenance category. I am not bragging, I am uber jealous of gals who have full, lush brows. I would love nothing more than to go in with the clean slate of a giant furry caterpillar above my eyes and have a waxer work their magic. It seems like the most amazing brows are the ones that were just freshly chiseled out what was, just moments before, a frothy unibrow. This "tutorial" is more or less how I fill my brows in on the daily. I will film different techniques in the future I'm sure, to give you guys more options, but I felt like this was a very basic starting point. When I filmed and edited the video, the quality was insanely good (like, too good) and when I uploaded it to Blogger it got a bit grainy. So, I apologize in advance for my lack of filming/editing skills, its something I hope to get better at as I continue filming these suckers. If you want to see my mug up close and personal (who doesn't, right? Don't answer that) you can click the little icon in the bottom right-hand corner to expand the video to fullscreen.

I have a few disclaimers before you watch the above tutorial.

1. If you have never had your brows shaped (either by waxing or tweezing) I HIGHLY recommend visiting a professional to give you the initial shaping. It is a tricky thing to do on your own especially if you need an arch or have some serious removal that needs to be done. Once a professional has given you your shape, it is much easier to maintain things at home.

2. I do NOT recommend visiting a waxer that is located inside of a nail salon that offers waxing. I'm sure there are some great ones out there, but finding them is like a needle in a haystack and it's just not worth the few months of embarrassment of growing out their mistakes until you find a better one. Do yourself a favor and visit a specified "brow bar" inside of a department store or a trained esthetician located inside a salon/spa. Some Benefit Cosmetics counters located inside Macy's stores have "brow bars" (check with your local store) and most Nordstrom stores have Anastasia Beverly Hills "brow bars" with highly trained specialists. If you have a beloved salon you visit, inquire with your stylist to see if they have an in-house brow guru that they will endorse for you. Lastly, some Ulta locations have brow specialists, but I would make VERY sure that they have experience and its not just a salesperson who says they can do it.

3. Don't be afraid or intimidated by your brows. It is an area of the face that is often forgotten or neglected and it makes such a difference in your face. If you don't believe me, just click "play" on my video and see what I look like without my brows done. YOWZA. I look like the Irish version of Whoopi Goldberg. No bueno. If you need more convincing, here are some famous faces without their brows. Freaky, right??

Alrighty then! The next time I see you all I better be knocked out of my studded ballet flats by all the amazing eyebrows staring at me! I can't wait!

Everything I used...
NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil, Medium Brown
e.l.f. Cosmetics Eyelash & Brow Wand
NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder, Auburn/Red, 0.09 oz
MAC Cosmetics 266 Small Angle Brush
NYX Cosmetics Wonder Pencil Light
EcoTools BAMBOO 6-pc Makeup Brush Set 1206
January 25, 2014

How to Pull off Nude Lips Without Looking Like a Corpse

LIVE NUDES HERE!!! Sorry...couldn't help myself. But seriously, you know what sucks? When you see a really cute girl that tried to nail the nude lip look and she just looks, well, dead. "Dead" just isn't a look to aspire to, ladies, mmmkay?

If you want to go nude (get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about makeup) follow these simple rules and then check out my all time favorite nude lipsticks below. I will say this: finding the perfect shade of nude for YOUR skin tone can take some trial and error. It seems like (with me anyway) they're either too pink, too taupe, too peach, too brown, too chalky, too something-you-just-can't-put-your-finger-on. I will break up my top picks by skin tone to make it a bit easier. Another fun part about going nude? You get to play up your eyes. My favorite thing to do is draw on a thick line of black liquid liner and pop a few flare lashes on and it's like insta-Brigitte Bardot and we all know it doesn't get much sexier than that.

Without further ado...

1. Moisturize those smackers. There's nothing worse than nude lips (any color lips for that matter) that look all chapped and are peeling all over the place. Lighter colors really draw attention to this so don't forget your lip balm. If you need to exfoliate your lips, use a dry (clean) soft-bristle toothbrush in small circular motions to slough off any dry skin. My favorite balm to use lately is Eos Evolution of Smooth - Lip Balm Sphere Pomegranate Raspberry
2. You're going to want to use your finger to pat on a cream concealer to your lips and just slightly outside your lip line. This helps prime the lips, keeps everything in place and cancels out your natural lip color that can sometimes interfere with a true nude lip. I like using L'Oreal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Crayon Concealer, Light/Medium Warm because I can just draw it on and pat in with my finger.
3. This next step seems weird to some, but don't skip it. Even though you'll be applying a nude lip color, you still want to line your lips with a nude liner. This will not only make everything look much neater, but it will add some punch and most importantly make all the difference between your nude lip looking INTENTIONAL versus you just looking like you have been skipping your multivitamin for your whole life.
4. Apply nude lip color of choice (try to stay away from anything with a gray or too-beige undertone which will wash you out and make your complexion seem sallow).
5. What I call "reverse line" your lips with NYX Cosmetics Wonder Pencil Light. This basically means you are going to trace a very light line around your natural lip line with the Wonder Pencil. This will make your lips seem more plump and draw attention to your cupid's bow. I use this step regardless of the lip color I'm using because it will always draw the lips outward and give the illusion of a fuller pout.
6. Keep your teeth white! This should be a no brainer, but I just thought I'd give you a friendly reminder. Use a good whitening toothpaste, my all time FAVE is Colgate Optic White Enamel White Toothpaste, Luminous Mint  

Voila! You should have a sexy and pouty nude lip! Now, check out my favorites, go forth and GO NUDE!

MAC in "Creme Cup" (Nordstrom, $15)
YSL Rouge Volupte Sheer Candy in "01 Lush Coconut" (Nordstrom, $32)
Essence Lipstick in "Look at Me!" (Ulta, $2.99)
L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour in "Fairest Nude" (Ulta, $7.99)
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in "Sentiment" (Nordstrom, $34)
NARS Lipstick in "Crusing" (Nordstrom, $26)

Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in "Bare it All" (Drugstore.com, $2.29)
YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in "Nude Beige" (Nordstrom, $34)
L'Oreal Infallible Lip Gloss in "Barely Nude" (Ulta, $9.99)
Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in "Naughty Nude" (Sephora $22)
NARS Lipstick in "Niagra" (Nordstrom, $26)
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in "Liar" (Sephora, $22)

January 19, 2014

Every Girl & Woman Needs to See This

I recently did a blog post on various makeup tips for ladies who wear glasses (see here). When I write new blog posts, I usually put an update on my Instagram page letting my followers know that there's something new to check out. One of my dear sweet friends wrote something very sweet underneath that recent photo, something along the lines of "you always look like a model" or something to that degree. While that was a very sweet thing to say, it could not be FURTHER from the truth. I had to chuckle because at the time I read that comment, I believe I was wearing fleece sweat pants, face was freshly scrubbed and I'm sure my hair was all slicked to one side with baby boogers in there somewhere.

I think it's really important to "keep it real" with everyone. I don't wake up with the face that you see in most of my pictures. That's the beauty (or the beast depending on how you look at it) of social media. We can edit, filter, adjust and crop to our heart's content. I like makeup. I like to apply makeup. I have years and years of experience doing my makeup and I am STILL learning new and cool things. What I am about to show you is a before & after of me with NO makeup (nada, not a stitch, no concealer, no primer, just plain moisturizer) on versus a full face of makeup so that you can see just how far makeup can take a person. Please go easy on me and if you judge me, just keep it to yourselves I beg of you. I would have NEVER done this 5 or 10 years ago....my insecurities would have never allowed it. But there is something really beautiful about growing a bit older (translation = not giving a shit). Who knows, maybe having a baby humbles a person (when your nether region is on display for the entire L&D ward to see, you get real comfy real quick with the real you).

I'll show you the start and the finish with all the steps in between so you can see just how much time goes into a refined finished result. I think it's our responsibility as women (especially those of us blogging about beauty and makeup) to be transparent and honest with each other so that we can stop comparing ourselves to each other. Most of the time, I look like the ghoul on the left and not the one on the right. If I'm staying home with the nugget, you can bet your sweet ass I'm not putting on a full mug of makeup. That being said, when I DO wear makeup, I do it because it makes ME feel better. More polished, more awake, more "put-together". If it wasn't something I enjoyed, I would never put this much time and attention into it.

All of the photos I took are UN-FILTERED and UN-RETOUCHED. I swear on all that is good and holy there were no apps, filters or anything else used other than my iPhone camera. The only "tool" used was the flash but only in some (to show detail). Most of the photos were taken in my master bathroom which has white walls and very bright light. I took my "before" photo in front of my bedroom window so you could get the reality of natural light...ugh...helllllo splotchiness, greasiness, redness, dark circles and ginger eyelashes!

Alrighty, now that that's out of the way, here goes......drumroll please..........
                                           BEFORE                                                                               AFTER
Yikes. If I haven't scared the pants right off your body, please continue on. If I've lost you forever, well, it was nice knowing you.

Let's begin. After I applied my daily moisturizer, I used my YSL Teint Parfait Complexion Enhancer in No. 2 Rose Pearl. I hate to tell you but sadly this has been discontinued. Wamp wamp! There are still a couple of shades being made so if you can find it at Nordstrom, ask for a sample. It's a very lightweight, oil free product that I think is just beautiful as a primer. It has almost a powder finish and looks stunning under foundation. You can also use it as a highlighter (I haven't done this) but I imagine it would be a very pretty, subtle highlighter as opposed to a "shimmery" highlighter. But I digress...

Here I am with only my foundation on (above). Don't mind my dirty Beauty Blender sponge to the left...it is clean but stained as the dickens from use. In case you are wondering, there is NO dupe for a Beauty Blender. It is the best makeup sponge ever and NOTHING compares. Trust me on this, I have tried all the cheaper versions. ALL of them. See how blah and boring and unremarkable my face is with just foundation? All one color. We're about to fix that.....

WHOA, nelly!! Now that's what you call one crazy looking beeyotch! Don't fret, my pets. We'll be blending it out shortly. I feel very strongly about this step so listen up. Using your concealer or highlighter after your foundation (instead of underneath it) will make all the difference. This is me with my YSL Touche Eclat in No. 2 applied under my eye area, down the bridge of my nose and all down my inner cheek area in an inverted triangle. This really brightens up the face as opposed to just applying under the eye. Dark circles are no joke and can cast their ugly net all down your face if you let them. I also apply it around the mouth, center of chin and another inverted triangle between the brows. If you have the means to get yourself a Touche Eclat, do it. It's the best out there and has SO many uses. However, if you'd rather save your money for, you know, groceries or something responsible like that, try one of these instead: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch, or Sleek Makeup Luminaire Highlighting Concealer. Once I applied my highlighter/concealer, I pressed it into my skin with the pointy end of my Beauty Blender sponge in a dabbing motion as opposed to a sweeping motion as to avoid "pushing" the product around my face.

Ok, we're getting better but still not there yet. The pic on the left (above) is right after I blended out my concealer. The photo on the right is after I applied my contouring color. You can see the harsh lines under my cheek bones, down the sides of my nose and on the sides of my forehead. Again, don't panic, we're about to blend. I use a matte face powder to contour. Try to use something without shimmer to it, it will look more natural. Here's what I use: click here in shade N7 "Classic Tan". If you use a face powder, make sure to just go a few shades darker than your normal skin color and keep it in the neutral or cool family. Here's the brush I've been using for contouring and it's ONLY $3!!! You can also find it at Target. I finished by setting everything with this loose powder by Makeup Forever. Again, press it into your skin instead of sweeping it across.

Above (right) is after I blended out my contouring lines (with this brush) and applied blush. I typically use the lighter shade (no. 2) of Creme de Blush by YSL but decided to punch it up a bit and use the hot pink (no. 5) today (once again, no. 5 may be discontinued because it is really hard to find, but if you can get no. 2 it is just as gorgeous and what I wear every day) . You can apply with your fingers, but I LOVE the airbrush effect you get when you use a brush with cream blushes. Here's the one I used.

My favorite part. Brows. Usually the most neglected part of the face but honestly, the most important. If you don't believe me, scroll up to my before and after pics and take a look. Seeeeee what I mean?! They frame the entire face! I used Maybelline's Define a Brow in Dark Blonde to basically "draw' in my shape very lightly (top right). You can see I have very sparse eyebrows. I'm kind of like a naked mole rat. After my shape has been determined, I use MAC Small Angle Brush #266 to fill in the outline with a warmer shade in a powder formula, in this case, the far right shade of the NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder.

Pat a little primer on your eyelids and lips. I used NYX Eye Shadow Base in "white". I like using white when I'm using brighter shadows so they really pop.

Here's what I used on my eyes. YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres in "Indian Pink". Click here for more affordable dupe in "Prima Donna". See below for steps.

1) Apply the candy pink (top right in the palette) to entire eyelid.
2) Apply the diagonal shade (bottom left in palette) from the middle of the eyelid out to the outer corners.
3) Apply the warmer plum shade (bottom right in palette) to the entire crease.
4) Apply the deeper, cooler plum (top left in palette) to the top and bottom lash lines using a stiff angled brush and smudge out.

I applied Palladio Retractable Eyeliner in "Eggplant" as closely to my upper and lower lash lines as I could get it. Before I applied my mascara, I do what I always do and run NYX Wonder Pencil in "light" along my lower water line to get rid of any redness. See below.

Apply a hefty dose of black mascara (after curling your lashes, of course). I am obsessed with L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara in "Blackest Black". I buy it in bulk.

Lastly, the kisser. I applied a nude-pink liner and filled in my lips. Then I married up a cheapy lip crayon and a fancy-schmancy gloss. Nothing like mixing high-class and trash! Fill in lips with ELF Jumbo Lip Crayon in "Pink Umbrella" and top with YSL Gloss Pur in No. 2 (omg...I think Gloss Pur has been discontinued also...GAH I'm such a prick for picking all these products that are not available!) You can use this as a suitable alternate in shade "Peony".

Voila! Here you have it! Pic on the left is no flash, no HDR, no filters, just super bright lighting. Pic on right is HDR on, still no flash, same lighting.

Hopefully now you will see that most if not all of my photos posted take some work and they are not my "natural" face. I would like to shake the hand of the lady that wakes up looking like this....I'm sure she's out there somewhere. But she most certainly doesn't reside here.

January 14, 2014

Makeup Tips for Gals Who Wear Glasses

"Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses".....WHATEVER! That ship has sailed and wearing glasses is cooler than ever. With all the amazing frames out there it's even easier to use them as a fun fashion accessory! There is a LOT of bad information floating around online from people on how to wear your makeup if you also wear glasses. Many of the "tips" I have read are the complete opposite of what you should be doing. Additionally, there are way too many "tricks" being suggested and it doesn't need to be that complicated. Ain't no one got time for that! Keep it simple, master these simple rules and then start getting creative.

Here are my top 10 tricks for wearing makeup AND glasses. I promise the two can get along quite nicely if you follow these simple rules. I've linked up some of my all time favorite eye products in each tip, so give it a look-see.

1. Save the bright colors for your lips
Listen...I love neon as much as the next guy (that's not true, I love it WAY more) but your eyes are not the place to experiment with the latest acid-green eye shadow you saw on Demi Lovato last week IF you wear specs. Keep your shadow colors in the neutral family so you don't appear garish and clown-like. Some great palettes to check out are here, here and here. If you MUST use a pop of color, try a jewel-toned gel liner in a contrasting shade from your eye color (i.e. brown-eyed gals try a deep amethyst, blue-eyed beauties go for a warm copper, green-eyed ladies try a rich wine hue in the color 'plum', hazel-eyed homegirls give bronze color 'lionfish' a shot) this will allow you to be playful while still making your eyes pop. Just keep the rest simple. Here's a great example of how very subtle copper shadow makes her green eyes pop!

2. Don't skip the mascara
I've heard so many ninnies say "Mascara sticks to lenses!  You can't wear mascara with glasses!" Well...yeah...if you don't let it dry first OR curl your lashes (see #4). Exercise some common sense here. Apply mascara, wait for it to dry. Put glasses on. Voila! Mascara really opens up the eyes. Don't skip it just because you wear glasses!
3. Use a peach or yellow based concealer under eyes
Glasses can sometimes cast dark circles under our eye area (as if we needed any more of that, amiright?!) Counteract the raccoon effect by applying a creamy peach or yellow (make sure you choose the yellow option if you click that link) under-eye concealer and setting with a very fine milled loose powder like this or this.
4. Curl your lashes
This goes without saying. Every woman with eyelashes should be doing this. Period. Non-negotiable. It's amazing how this one quick step will open up the eyes. And if you have stick-straight lashes, this will help keep them from poking your lenses.
5. Don't go too dark with your shadow
Wearing glasses can make eyes appear darker (and smaller depending on your prescription) than they really are. This doesn't mean you can't carefully apply a crease color, just make sure to keep it above the lid but below the brow bone and keep the color civilized...for example: taupe, light gray, soft brown, gold, etc. (see rule #1 for my fave neutral shadow palettes).
6. Thick frames? Thicker liner. Thin frames? Thin liner.
You don't want your pretty liner getting lost behind those thick horn-rims or your dramatic liquid-lined cat eye overpowering your dainty wireless specs! Make sure to step up your eyeliner game if you're rocking some big, hipster glasses and take it down a few octaves if your frames are very thin or non-existent.
7. Don't forget your skin
Don't think for one second people won't notice your skin just because you're wearing glasses! Make sure to refine your complexion with a suede-finish foundation or in the very least, a BB or CC cream to even things out and create a beautiful canvas. Don't forget a sweep of a rosy blush to the apples of your cheeks.
8. Make sure your brows are defined
This is such a no-brainer that it almost pains me to mention it. Say it with me, ladies: THE EYEBROWS ARE THE FRAME OF THE FACE. They should be shaped at all times but ESPECIALLY if you wear glasses. Here are my two new favorite brow tools: Benefit Gimme Brow brush on fiber gel actually has little fibers in it that adhere to your brows. This is extremely helpful if, like me, you are a naked mole rat and have little to no eyebrows. Fake it til you make it! And Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade. This stuff ROCKS. It's kind of like a mix between a pencil and a powder and is so natural looking. It's smudge-free and waterproof so you don't have to worry about your brows sliding down your face. Use a stiff angled brow brush to apply like this one. If you get over-zealous with product, gently brush up and out with the spooley on the other end.
9. Nude liner in your water line
I'm sure you've all heard that white liner in the bottom water line creates a larger, more "awake" look, however, in my years of doing makeup, I have found that NUDE liner (less expensive version here) looks much more natural and gives a beautifully "alert" look. If you have allergies and your eyes get all red and scratchy, first put some Visine in there, THEN trace your nude liner along your bottom water line. This little trick also works wonders with that pesky little aforementioned dark shadow problem.
10. Tap in a little highlighter/shimmer on lower inside corners of eyes
If you have a pretty highlighter in a pearly shade (pink, cream, beige) tap your forefinger in it and dab it in the inside corners, closer to your bottom lid. This one by Benefit has a concealer on one side and a highlighter on the other. Two birds....one product.

Well there ya go! Hopefully these will keep you from looking like this in your glasses....(in TayMom's defense, I added glasses to her angsty face. That eye makeup should just NEVER happen...glasses or not).

Instead something like these beauties....

Perfectly Coutured

January 13, 2014

How to Wear Pantone's 2014 "Color of the Year" - Radiant Orchid

Let me preface by saying I completely remember saying how much I love Fall and Winter, cold weather, snow, rain, comfort food, etc. My position has not changed. Fall and Winter are still my favorite babies and I will never choose Spring and Summer over them. Ever. That being said, once the Winter holidays are over, New Year's Day has passed and the Christmas tree has quite literally been kicked to the curb, I start getting a little twitchy for Spring trends. It just all seems so fresh! There's nothing new about brights and florals and crisp stripes and patterns rearing their heads each Spring , but there's just something exciting about seeing what the updated versions are going to be! I thought it might be a fun idea to show you what my favorite new items are in Radiant Orchid, the "color of the year for 2014" from Pantone's Fashion Color Report for Spring 2014. If you aren't familiar with Pantone, their words describe what they do best:

"Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The PANTONE® name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retailer to customer."

Translation: They know their shit. 

Before we get started, take a look-see at the below chart of 10 colors and let the drooling commence. This is going to get good. I'm not sure I can choose a favorite. Knee-jerk reaction would be "Hemlock" because it's just such an unexpected and fun green, but LOOK at that "Dazzling Blue"!!! I mean......c'MON.

Alright, kiddlets. Here we go...keep your eyes peeled for this color because I have a feeling it's going to be popping up E V E R Y W H E R E. Which color out of the 10 is your favorite?

Radiant Orchid

4. Ugg "Coquette" Slippers (this color is sold out at Nordstrom but you can join the waitlist)
7. YSL 'Rebel Nudes' Glossy Stain in "108 Violene Out of Control" (I actually own this and the color is beautiful and sheer on the lips. Very wearable.)
9. Kate Spade New York Stud Earrings in "Amethyst/Gold"
11. Stila Color Balm Lipstick in "Gemma"
12. NARS 'Larger than Life' Lipgloss in "Annees Folles"
14. Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in "Between the Sheets"
16. Chuck Taylor Fresh Colors in "Purple Cactus Flower"


Perfectly Coutured

My 15 Everyday Must Haves

My 15 Everyday Must Haves

One of my favorite things each month is discovering new products. New makeup, new skincare, new fashion finds. But you know what? Lately, I've been finding myself going back to the same couple handfuls of items every. single. day. Ever heard that old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"? Well, in this case, these are the 15 items I haven't been able to live without lately. Some of these may be new to you, some may be boring (hello deodorant and toothpaste?!), but all of them are legit. Trust. I seriously wear and use these things almost every time I leave the house. No joke. My husband can attest to seeing me in or using these things more than he'd like, I'm sure. Here's what I'm currently digging and why...

1) Slouchy beanies. The "anti-hipster" in me is cringing over this one. I never thought I'd see the day I started wearing slouchy beanies. However, they're the only hat I like to wear with a pixie-cut. 'Nuff said. I have a few from Target, I have a few from Nordstrom, I have a few from Forever 21. I currently want that one in the collage above because, well, look at that rad berry color. I die.
2) You guys. YOU GUYS. This is my favorite MAC lipstick right now. And we alllllll know how many shades they have in their arsenal. To say this is my favorite is pretty major. It's called "Up the Amp" and it's a super creamy, highly pigmented deep lilac with pink undertones from their "amplified creme collection". It's stupid gorgeous on and instantly gives your look a little "bad assery". Pair it with a clean liquid lined eye and a heavy dose of black mascara.
3) NARS Duo Eyeshadow in "Cordura". I'm so obsessed with this eyeshadow duo. It's heavenly. It's the perfect brown duo. And the best part? I use my pointer finger to apply it. Not kidding. I take the warmer, lighter shade and apply it all over my lid and just slightly above my crease. Then I take the deeper, darker, coolor brown and smudge it along my upper and lower lash line. It's like "How to Get a Smokey Eye Using Your Grubby Fingers: Idiot Edition"....yet....it looks flawless and the colors are pretty on every eye color.
4) Aveda Defining Whip or Whipped Elements (some people call it the former, some the latter...both are correct). When I was fresh out of beauty school and working in my first Aveda salon, I fell in love with this stuff. It's the consistency of whipped butter and it gives the most INCREDIBLE texture to shorter hairstyles. If you have fine hair, this stuff is your jam. It will not weigh it down and it lasts all day. No greasy clumps, just weightless texture. And it smells ri-donk-u-lous (that's a good thing if you're unfamiliar with the term).
5) This is one of those "mom finds" (feel free to roll your eyes...I did, too). This stuff is technically for a babies rumpus, but doubles as awesome hand balm. It's a bit greasy so I wouldn't recommend applying it and playing the harp or anything, but if you have time to apply, massage and let it soak in, by all means DO IT.
6) Is it possible to love your diaper bag? Ugh. Hear me out. I had a diaper bag that I registered for...long story short, this ain't it. I ended up picking this one up myself when C was about 6 months old. Best. Decision. Ever. This bag is SO easy to get in and out of and can so totally double as a general tote bag. It has a pouch for literally everything, it has a shoulder strap AND regular purse straps and it has removable stroller straps so you can remove them when your "baby totin' days" are over. The shiny black exterior looks super chic, too. I'm not embarrassed to wear this bitch on my shoulder.
7) For my 1st Mother's Day "slash" Birthday present (last year) my parents bought me the most uh-mazing pumpkin colored Michael Kors leather tote purse. I loved it instantly. It is the perfect Mom purse (you can put EVERTHING in this thing). Well for Christmas this year, they surprised me with yet another one, this time in the signature MK logo print in a really cool metallic pewter color. The one above is close, but picture it in kind of a silvery shade. It's function meets fashion in every sense of the word(s).
8) Gap "Real Straight" jeans. I love this fit. Pretty self-explanatory. But if you're wondering what my body-type is to see if they'd be your "thang" I have the world's longest torso with a small waist, the world's shortest/ample legs and a serious case of "bubble butt". This is a fit they carry pretty much all the time which is great. I recently picked up a pair EXACTLY like the pair above on clearance in-store for $15. Scha-wing batter!
9) I love Origins. If you aren't familiar with their products, I highly suggest you get thee to one of their counters in a Macy's store. They have one of my all time favorite cleansers in the world, but that's not what we're talking about here. What I'm currently loving for my makeup "days off" (i.e. running errands, etc.) is their VitaZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer. This stuff comes out of the tube white (with teeny tiny gray dots) and magically "adjusts" to your skin tone. It kind of gives you a slight insta-tan and the coverage of a light BB cream (not a ton, but enough to even out your complexion). It has SPF 15 and we all know how I feel about sun protection.
10) I don't know about y'all, but this time of year my scalp is D-R-Y. I drink water. I take my vitamins. To no avail. I need some scalp help! I even have my husband hooked on this stuff and I've been buying it in bulk at beauty supply. Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Hair and Scalp Treatment. It tingles, it smells medicinal (in a good way) and it keeps me from constantly scratching my head. Problem = solved.
11) I'm obsessed with white teeth. It's kind of my "thing". This toothpaste is no joke.
12) Deodorant, you say?! This is my new favorite and I'm convinced I will never switch. Ever. It smells like cucumbers and it works perfectly.
13) Listen carefully. These are the best long-sleeve t-shirts on the planet. Old Navy FTW! They're like this, stretchy, drapey material and they fit like a dream. I buy them in the "tall" option in a size medium and I seriously own all of the colors and hope they make more (don't think I haven't written the company....cause I have). Wash them in cool water and lay them flat to dry and they'll look as amazing as the day you bought them.
14) Okay, this one is kinda funky. This exact jacket pictured isn't the same as I own but it's the closest I could find to what mine looks like. I got mine from my Mother-in-Law a few years ago and it is my favorite item in my closet. It's INC and it's real leather (sorry, PETA). It fits like a glove and it goes with everything. This one pictured above is also pretty comparable in price to mine which is a great "middle of the road" price point IMO. I just don't see a point in spending $3,000 on a leather moto jacket, but that's just me.
15) My nude studded flats from Target! Soooooo comfy. I should have bought 3 pairs of these....come to think of it, I think they're on sale online now so I may need to hop on over and swoop up a couple more pairs before they're gone. I love these. They're smoking-slippers-style with grommets and studs and spikes. You can use them as a weapon in a kick-boxing match in a pinch (DISCLAIMER: I do NOT condone violence....unless provoked).
January 6, 2014

Taking 2014 By The Horns

Ahhhh the clean, shiny slate of a new year. Such promise. So many good intentions. If you're anything like me, you write out a list plunk out a list on your iPhone notepad and feel ready to accomplish anything come January 1. Then, unexplicably, somewhere around March 1 you find yourself all dressed in your fancy new Nike workout clothes while shoving doughnuts down your throat at a rapidfire speed (or whatever else is the complete opposite of what you "resolved" to do differently in the new year.

Here are a few of my "go to" resolutions that I put on my list every year amongst other things:

1. Stop swearing (or cut WAY back)
2. Drink more water and less coffee...or at least drink a glass of water in between each cup of coffee
3. Start running again FOR REAL

The good news? I've started running again. The not-so-good-news? I think I've actually expanded my vocabulary of expletives and I am still going through enough coffee to choke a pony. Baby steps, right?

A few days ago, while on a late-night Friday Night Lights bender on Netflix, I decided to make some new resolutions for 2014. These bad boys are in addition to the steady-eddies I have listed above. Auright, 2014...let's see if I can get my shit together.

4. Give the homestead a bit more sex appeal (that is "curb appeal" for all you prudes). Things like get a new front door (or paint the present one), get some sassy flower pots for the front steps, brand spanking new light fixtures on the garage and light post out front 'cause the ones we gotz now just ain't doin' it for me no more.
5. Lose 10 more pounds. I know, I know. This is so cliched it almost makes you want to punch me, right? I swore I'd have my baby weight off by the time C was 9 months old. Well, I succeeded AND lost another 5 on top of it. However, once I realized I could get the weight that was gained after saying "I do" (ahh wedded bliss, you nasty beeyotch) off of my arse, I decided to aim for my wedding day weight. I have a feeling these next 10 are going to be a mutha trucker to remove.
6. Get my traveling/freelance kit perfected. I really want to get back into doing more freelance makeup and/or makeup lessons. My kit has some incredibly amazing pieces that I feel so blessed to have, however, I feel there is some major fine-tuning that needs to be done so that everything is clean, organized and ready to go at the drop of a hat.
7. Register and train for a 10K.
8. Spend less time on my stupid iPhone.
9. Keep my hardwood floors clean cleaner. Nothing makes me feel less worthy of my self-appointed  Mother of the Year title than my child finding crap I didn't even know existed in the corners of my hardwoods and putting them directly into his mouth. Fuzz, cat hair, bobby pins, paper scraps, food particles...I could go on and on really.....

So there you have it. I feel like these resolutions are new enough to keep me interested but still totally doable. Hopefully by this summer you'll drive by and see a slender, well-hydrated, polite-mouthed, fresh-faced gal sprinting up to her beautiful front door surrounded by incredibly chic flower pots and say to yourself "she did it. She really did it" as you're slowly nodding your head in silent approval. Maybe I'll wave back (if I'm not too busy playing Panda Pop on my phone). What are your resolutions? Did you make any? Tell me what they are in case I want to gank a few of them!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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