September 26, 2015

Splurge vs Steal: Fall Edition

Splurge vs Steal: Fall Edition

It's Fall, y'all! It's also been a hot minute and a half since I've done one of my "Splurge vs Steal" posts! I thought now would be a great time seeing as there are a ton of things I've been lusting after but can't justify spending the cashola on now that I have 2 kiddos #priorities. Soooooo I can take the savings and spend it on everyone's favorite purchase: DIAPERS! Make sure to scoot over to my friend Corianne's adorably authentic blog for a fun little "Weekly Roundup" post she put together on my all time favorite topic: FALL! There are some really great blogs featured for you to discover! Creep away! 

All of the "splurge" items you see above are things I legitimately want or have been wanting (aside from the curling wand...I already own the "steal" version and love it! And the Becca tint...I just bought it) It's way easier for me to explain makeup purchases to my husband as opposed to a pair of $230 booties when I already own 6 pairs "just like them" (his words not mine). But for all the other items I was determined to find suitable alternatives and thought I'd share them with you guys! I feel like I also need to tell you that the "steal" version of the rubber boots are buy 1, get a pair 1/2 off right now (limited sale) so grab a friend and go in on them together and get them for even less! 

Rainboots for puddle jumping! | Splurge // Steal
Clubmaster Sunnies for those crisp sunny days! | Splurge // Steal
Eyeshadow Palette with yummy plummy tones! | Splurge // Steal
Ankle Booties that go with evvvverygthing! | Splurge // Steal 
Lip & Cheek Tint in a deep berry shade! | Splurge // Steal
Buffalo Plaid Coat screams "lumberjack chic"! | Splurge // Steal
Liquid Lipstick the ULTIMATE beauty item for Fall! | Splurge // Steal
Curling Wand for those perfect tousled waves! (Sometimes Amazon pricing changes from day to day so the price on this may vary a bit. You can always Google "NuMe coupon codes" for killer deals on these wands for the NuMe website) | Splurge // Steal
September 23, 2015

Transitional Fall Makeup Tutorial

Did you read this title and go "um....what in the heck is a transitional Fall makeup tutorial, you nitwit?!" Well, hopefully you left out the name calling, but I've been called worse so let's proceed. What I mean by "transitional" is that while yes, technically today is the first day of Fall, there are a ton of people who are not quite yet ready for full on FALL makeup (i.e. deep vampy lips, plum cheeks, mocha drenched eyes) for the record, I am always ready for every and all things related to Fall. I hate Summer. I hate the heat, I hate the clothes, I hate the sweat, I hate the heat, I am not fond of the sun, I hate the heat. You catch my drift, eh?

But I always take myself ever so gingerly into a Fall makeup routine. I like to work my way in slowly since our weather here in the Pacific Northwest is usually still pretty warm and sunny in September (try as I might to drop it like it's hot for some damn rain, naw-what-I'm-sayin'?) and it doesn't truly feel like the crisp, cold Fall until October. I want to really appreciate all that Fall has to offer in the arena of makeup colors, ya feel me? That alllllllll being said, I wanted to create a look that is super wearable, but had some autumn vibes running throughout to get me through the end of the month until I can start looking all "Morticia Adams" for you guys. Get ready for some questionably dark lips come October/November/December, y'all. I'm going balls to the WALL.

We'll start with a naked face....geez, maybe I AM prepping you for Halloween after all! (Don't be scurred!) None of the following photos are filtered, just good lighting and my new Nikon D3300 so you can see as much detail as possible. Get nice and comfy with my pores, everyone. They're here to stay.

1 | Apply a medium to full coverage foundation of your choice to entire face and blend, blend, BLEND the hell out of it with a dampened Beauty Blender. (Here I used Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation).
2 | Dot on concealer with finger as shown here. Don't feel like you have to be all "Instagram worthy" with this step, that shit is just going to get blended as well so no need to turn this into an art form. Ain't no one got time for that. Or maybe you do. This is a no judgment zone. I used Maybelline Master Conceal but I've also really been digging my Tarte Creaseless Concealer for this step. It's just kind of an acquired taste as far as consistency goes (super thick) so the Maybelline is more "for the masses". Then again, blend this out with the same dampened Beauty Blender (this is where the pointed end is super helpful, especially under the eyes and around the nose and mouth).

3 | In the photo on the left, I am pointing to the color I used to contour, which you can see is the darkest shade in the palette. I used NYX Contour, Correct, Conceal palette and to keep it super simple, I just used a foundation brush to gently "paint" on the darkest color as demonstrated in step 4. This is such a great way for novices to play around with contouring because it is very difficult to get harsh lines this way. You really have to brush with intention to get your shadowing to show up, so there aren't many "OOPS" moments.
4| I left my contouring very dark and harsh here so you can see where I painted it on (we'll blend in a moment). Below the cheekbones, bordering the forehead, along the jawline, under the chin. Then you guess it....I blended it all out with a light hand using a Beauty Blender. Then I just set my nose, forehead, chin, inner cheeks and undereye area with a good setting powder.

OMG. If you guys don't know about Nonie Creme's new line Colour Prevail, allow me to introduce you.

This is a new line that is all about giving you luxury products and packaging with an affordable price tag. I was super fortunate and was sent some really gorgeous products from this line to try out and I was blown away by how well they performed. Right now you can find them at Walgreens,, and Look how pretty this packaging is! The butterfly wings! The gold! I totally dig it.

5 | This is the Bashful Beauty Multi Stick in color "Coy Coral" that can either be applied directly to your cheeks and lips, or you can do what I like to do with these kinds of sticks, and use a blush brush to swirl around on the product and then apply to the cheeks like you would a traditional blush. I love applying cream blushes this way because it gives the prettiest airbrushed look. I haven't applied it yet in step 6 because I wanted you to see my blended-out contour. I applied my multi stick right above my contour line along the apples of my cheeks and blended up into my hairline. These multi sticks are great for people like me because I can toss it in my handbag and either apply it directly to my cheeks and lips out of the tube, or I can use my fingers. And this color is soooooo dreamy! This is a KILLER dupe for Nars The Multiple in Portofino!
6 | Take a blush brush and swipe it over the multi stick until you have a nice even amount of product on your bristles. Gently swirl over your cheeks in an upward, circular motion. If you are using your multi stick as your lip color, you can either dab it on with a finger to get a pretty, subtle wash of color. Or you can apply it right from the tube to your lips for a more dramatic look. I did not use this color on my lips for this look, however. We'll get to that part!

7 | My eyes were SO simple to create. I used all MAC shadows on my eyes. Apply MAC shadow in "Twinks" to your entire lid, stopping where your eyelid creases. Apply MAC shadow in "Texture" to your crease. Using a blending brush, blend your crease color taking it just up onto your brow bone slightly. Don't be afraid to open your eye while you're blending so you can see where you're laying your color. Sometimes you need to bring it up higher than you think and that's difficult to see when your eyeball is shut. Then use a clean stiff angled brush to trace your bottom lash line with MAC shadow in "Amber Lights". Inner corners of the eyes is MAC shadow in "Phloof".
8 | After you've blended the daylight out of your shadow. Apply a thick line of black liner on your top lid only. I use Almay Liquid Eyeliner. It is my baby. I buy it in bulk. It dries truly matte. It doesn't budge. It is gentle on the eyes but is SO pigmented. It is under $10. Go buy it. Then curl your lashes and apply a hefty dose of black mascara. When in doubt....add more. And then some more. I also dropped in about 10 individual Ardell flare lashes (medium length) on each side for a little extra sass appeal. Brows are Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in "Caramel". Just fill in with a light but steady hand, using short strokes to mimic the look of brow hairs. If you don't follow me on Instagram, I posted a before/after photo of my brows so people can see that homegirl does NOT carry these brows with me naturally.

9 & 10 | Here's another multi-tasking product for you! It's a lip liner on one end and a lip color on the other! I used Colour Prevails Lip Design Sheer Colour/Liner Duo in "Burnt Pink" (it's the top stick pictured in step 9). This is such a perfect shade for Fall, especially if you're not keen on wearing darker colors on your lips. The liner is really easy to work with and creates a nice, blended line that is impossible to make look harsh. Then you just flip the stick over and apply the sheer color! I'd describe this color as the lovechild of MAC "Spirit" and "Twig" and then sheered out just a smidge. Absolutely gorgeous and so wearable.

And there you have it! Kicked up and warmed up just a notch from those Summertime faces! Kind of makes you want to run out in your Ugg boots and puffy vest and snag yourself a Pumpkin Spice Latte, right?

September 18, 2015

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! It's been a minute and a half since I've done a "favorites" post and there are a few little nuggets I've been swooning over the past few weeks/months that I thought I'd share with y'all! Let's just cut the crap and get right down to it, shall we?

The Brows | Okay so let me first tell you I own Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, her Duo Brow Powder AND the Brow Wiz (pictured above) and while I ADORE each one in their own way (hey...kind of like children!) I have been obsessed with the good old fashioned pencil these days. I will go on record by saying I have YET to find a pencil that compares to the Brow Wiz. The formula is unmatched, it doesn't budge, the twist-up mechanical end gives you a skinny and sharp application every.single.time. and there's just something about the spoolie that is even superior to's like it perfectly brushes out harsh lines without effing up all your hard work. But the best part is it is the ONLY pencil I have found that makes it possible to mimic tiny little hairs as opposed to harsh lines, which is what we're all trying to achieve. And if you're anything like me, which is a naked mole rat, being able to fake having actual brow hairs is a NECESSITY. Case in point...(you can see here it looks like I have textured brow hairs towards the inner brow when in fact, that's just skin, baby!)

The Foundation | I really wanted to hate the new Too Faced Born This Way foundation. Why? I don't even know. Maybe a combination of the kitschy name and the price tag turned me off. Maybe I'm just a dirty hipster at heart and want to hate popular things. But some things are popular for good reason and lemme just tell you: it rocked my sockolas off. It is such beautiful coverage and the finish. THE FINISH. Get thee to Ulta or Sephora or wherever is closest to you that carries this foundation and give her a go. I wear shade "Ivory". And real quickly, I have reallllly been liking this It Cosmetics CC Cream. Guys - this line shouldn't be overlooked. It might not be the sexiest and attention-grabbing, but it deserves your attention. This CC cream is fantastic coverage and I adore the pump applicator. I wear shade "Fair". If you follow me on Instagram, you know how I feel about the Deluxe Buffer brush by Morphe. It is a MUST if you are using the Too Faced foundation. It gives the best airbrushed finish. It's on sale right now for like, $14. I suggest you swoop.

The Lips | I finally caved and tried the Lorac Alter Ego lipsticks because they were a part of the 21 Days of Beauty at Ulta and it was only $8. I'm so glad I did because this shade "Girl Next Door" is the exact shade of pinky coral. It's a flat finish with no shine which I have also been digging lately. I believe they're still on sale for $8 as of right now. Hurry.

The Perfect Boyfriend Jeans | Aren't we always on the lookout for the perfect jeans? If you're a fan of the slouchy-without-being-dumpy "boyfriend" style, this pair by Madewell is amazing. And they're on KILLER sale right now for $50 and I even got free shipping!! There isn't much that Madewell does that I don't like. I celebrate their entire catalog (Office Space reference anyone?) I am typically a size 4 or 6 and I wear a size 27 in this style. They run kind of roomy.

The "Bra" for Your Lashes | I got a sample of this bad boy and loved it so much I bought a full sized tube. I was never a fan of lash primers before I used this one by Tarte and now I'm hooked. This stuff makes even my cheapo $6 Cover Girl mascara look like I'm wearing $30 YSL mascara.

The Skin | There are quite a few products here so in the spirit of saving time, I'll link up the two StriVectin product reviews HERE so you can read about how much I lurve them. that just leaves us with two more! Firstly, this cleanser by Nip+Fab that I picked up at Ulta is fantastical! It's really economical (under $10) and a teeny tiny bit goes a long way! It comes out kind of fast so you think it's going to be a thinner, liquidy consistency, but once you start applying it to your skin, it's somehow thick and substantial. Almost honey-like. It has glycolic acid in it which is my forever BAE (yeah...I said Bae...I'm trying to be like the cool kids) so if you have sensitive skin, this may not be your guy. BUT if you have tougher, lackluster skin that needs some oomph and a bit of brightening up, get your hands on this stuff. It sloughs off all the old, dead skin without peeling your face off. You'll love it. I also grabbed their Dragon's Blood Fix Pads and Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads and Serum and have really been digging those as well. I use the Dragon's Blood ones in the morning and the Glycolic Acid ones at night. Lastly, I snagged a full-sized bottle of this Pur Minerals Miracle Mist during the 21 Days of Beauty event at Ulta for TEN DOLLARS (regularly $19). I'm soooooo loving it! I use it to set my foundation and it gives the prettiest finish (makes my full-coverage foundation and powder look like skin...not makeup). It can also be used just as a mist to moisturize and energize! You can use it on your face and entire body and it smells absolutely divine. Perfectly citrusy without being "cleaning product-like". So refreshing!

Voila! Hope you enjoy these little diamonds in the rough as much as I have been! What have you been loving this month? Shout it out below! Thanks so much for stopping by!
September 9, 2015

My Favorite Facial Mask for Fall

Ever since I could remember, I was obsessed with masks. I think it goes back as far as 7th grade. My dad worked at The Bon Marché in downtown Seattle and he always used to bring home goodies from the cosmetics department for my mom and me (this is probably where my love of beauty products stems from!) We had a giant drawer in our bathroom dedicated to our Lancôme, Estée Lauder, Clinique, Elizabeth Arden items, perfume bottles, lipsticks, blushes, you name it, it was in there! I distinctly remember him bringing home a jar of the iconic dark green Borghese Fango active mud mask. I had never used it before and was so excited to dig in and see what magical things it would do to my 13 year old skin. I slathered it on, let it dry, and rinsed it off to uncover a super smooth, glowing complexion. I was hooked. Ever since then, I made it a weekly habit to take some extra time (usually Sunday nights) in my skincare routine, to apply some type of mask. "What's the point of this lame-ass nostalgic story, Colleen?" you might be asking yourself...well, I guess to prove to you that since then, for eighteen years (you can do the math to find out how old I am...) I've been using and experimenting with different masks. Some good, some bad, some very bad, and then some like the one I'm going to tell you about that have totally changed the game as far as my skin is concerned.

I was fully expecting to "like" this mask that was sent to me c/o StriVectin, but I wasn't expecting to see such drastic results after just one week. If you're unfamiliar with StriVectin, they have a solution for just about every single skin type you can imagine. If you know me personally and know me well enough to see me without my makeup on, you know I have pale skin with reddish discoloration and pores large enough to swim in. I rarely take photos of my face up close and personal without a stitch of anything on it, but for the sake of total transparency, here is my skin immediately after I rinsed off my Instant Revitalizing Mask. Keep in mind I've been using this mask 2-3 times a week, in conjunction with their Advanced Retinol Pore Refiner for the past few weeks so it's been doing its "thang" for a bit. Please ignore the ridiculously dark circles under my eyes. I have a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 week old infant at home and we all know what that can do to a lady's sleep....#TeamNoSleep #ItIsntHappening #ILookLikeAHag

Aside from the dark circles, this is the best my skin has looked in quite some time. I'll be damned if I can't find a wrinkle and I seriously can't believe how smooth my forehead is! I'm hoping with continued use, the redness around my nose and cheeks will start to diminish as well.

The last thing I want to note about this mask is that even when it "dries" it doesn't get that tight, crackly finish that we're all so used to. It stays moist (ugh I hate that word) and is so conditioning! I was worried that it would leave my face feeling slick and greasy after rinsing but that just wasn't the case. It felt clean and plump, without feeling tight. Just what we all want, right??

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