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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Holiday Makeup without the Sparkle

I enjoy a fun holiday look as much as the next person, but I'm not always in the mood to be sparkly and full of glitter. Ok, I'm never really in the mood for glitter, it's just not my thing.  So I decided to do a fun going out makeup look that would be suitable for the holidays or New Year's Eve as well.

And ignore the plaid... not a party look, but festive!

I hope you like it!

I used the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette to do this look. Here's how I did it:

  1. A light neutral brown blended into the crease (Warmth)
  2. A medium brown all over the lid to start darkening things (Mocha)
  3. Mix a dark brown and black to pack over the lid (Noir and Java)
  4. Pack until the desired darkness is achieved, I didn't want full black so I didn't go all out.
  5. Blend the edges
  6. Add a light color to the brown bone and inner corners (Transforming Pearl)
  7. Use a black eyeliner to tightline and line the lids (Milani Liquid Eye in 01 Black)
  8. Add lots of black mascara (Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes)
To finish off the look I did a light pink blush and neutral lip. What do you think would you wear this for a party?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Holiday Tag

1. Favorite Christmas movie? Song?
White Christmas is the best Christmas movie, if not the best movie ever! It has great songs, dance numbers, and oh the emotions. I love it, obviously.

My fave song is Where Are You Christmas? by Faith Hill and from The Grinch movie. It instantly gets me in the holiday mood.

2. Do you like to stay in your pj's or dress up for Christmas? 
For Christmas Eve dinner I dress up a bit in a Christmas sweater. For Christmas Day I don't do PJs but I do go super comfy... we're talking sweater/sweatshirt and leggings.

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?
With my family at my Grandma's house and then my mom, brother, and I do our own Christmas usually a few days later where we can relax and enjoy each other's company without all the craziness.

4. Can you name all of Santa's Reindeer?
I always miss one... On Donner, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, on Comet, Cupid, ??, and Blitzen. Or maybe I made up a few, who knows.

5. What holiday tradition are you looking forward to most this year?
Presents for my 18 month-old nephew! He should be an absolute blast this year :)

6. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?
Fake, it's so much easier without the cleanup.

7. Favorite Holiday food?
For Christmas Eve my aunt used to always make lasagna with meatballs and sausage. It was really good. This year I think we're trying another type of pasta though so I'm excited to see how that goes. Also, Christmas Day = Monkey Bread (look it up people it's scrumptious).

8. Does your family have a special holiday recipe you like to help make?
Cookies! There is a type of cookie my family has made as long as I can remember. Apparently they're called Krisslings, but my family has always called them dog shit cookies (I know, not appetizing at all). But they're so good!

9. Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?
I'd like to think I'm pretty good. I enjoy adding ribbons and bows and making them look pretty.

10. Have you ever built a gingerbread house?
I think maybe when I was a kid, I don't really remember though. They just seemed like a lot of work for me and not that tasty by the time you could eat them. I much prefer sugar cookies.

11. Giving presents or receiving them?
Although I'm grateful for every gift I get, I really enjoy giving gifts. I like to put a lot of thought into buying presents for people that I think they'll like. The best part is when you get it really right and they're really excited about the gift.

12. Do you open your presents Christmas morning or evening? 
Christmas morning is for stocking stuffers and gifts with my mom, brother, aunt, uncle, grandma, and cousin. Then in the afternoon another aunt, uncle, and cousins come over with a few more gifts. Then we mostly play games for the rest of the day.

No matter what holiday you're celebrating, I wish you peace, joy, and love!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Skincare Tag

Describe your routine in 5 words.
Not what it should be. Even though my skin has gotten better, I still am breaking out and have scarring so I'm still trying to find that product that will really help clear my skin. I'm thinking of trying a product with retinol next.

What's your skin type?
Combination/oily with acne scars and blemish-prone.... erg adult acne! And I'm also trying to do a little anti-aging as I'm getting older.

What is your favorite skincare product?
It might be a tie between The Body Shop's Camomile Oil Cleanser and the MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub. The cleanser breaks through makeup like it's nothing with little effort and leaves the skin fresh and clean without striping it. The scrub is both a physical and chemical scrub; I leave it on for 5 minutes and then scrub and rinse it off. My skin feels baby soft, brighter, and clearer afterward.

Top Blemish Zapper
Tea Tree Oil and products that contain it! Love this stuff for painful new outbreaks, it dries them out pretty quickly.

Face Wipes... yay or nay?
Only when I'm traveling or at the gym. Otherwise I feel you're not truly cleaning your face and it seems wasteful to use all those wipes all the time.

Toner... yay or nay?
Yay! I didn't know if I was a true believer until I started having all this trouble with breakouts. Then I found toners really help even-out the my oil production, treat acne, and give me some non-oily moisture.

High end skincare or high end makeup?
I would say high-end skincare although I don't really own much of either. Budget friendly makeup and skincare for all!

What's the most universal skincare product you've tried?
One of the scrubs: MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Scrub or Yes To Tomatoes Daily Pore Scrub. Everyone can use exfoliation in their life. Exfoliated skin = happy skin!

You're in a drugstore and you can only pick up one item, what would it be?
I'm going skincare... since that's the topic... and it would be Yes to Grapefruit or Tomato face scrub. This stuff is life... it keeps my skin soft and clear! Also a shout out for Burt's Bees chapstick, I could not survive without it.

Top Skincare Tips
#1 - Pay attention! It has taken me almost 30 years to figure out my skin and what it needs. Which is
       Slightly ridiculous.
#2 - Only try 1 new product at a time so you'll know who's the culprit if your skin reacts negatively.
#3 - Be kind to your skin, it's all you've got. When I used to get a pimple or now when my adult acne
       flared up, I would go at it like a bat outta hell! And I did so much more harm than good, my skin
       would get worse, dry, and oilier... just nuts. So when I slow down and go with more soothing
       calming products I have much better results
#4 - Lastly, don't be afraid to experiment. Try toners, physical and chemical scrubs, different
       cleansers, moisturizers, serums, etc... That's the best way to find what you really like! And
       don't forget #2.

My Current Routine

In the a.m. 
I keep it simple in the morning; wipe off the nighttime gunk with a toner-soaked cotton pad (Lush Tea Tree Water) and moisturizer with SPF (Yes To Grapefruit Day Moisturizer).

In the p.m.
Now here's where I get fancy! To cleanse at night I...

  1. Remove my makeup with The Body Shop Camomile oil cleanser
  2. Follow-up with a cleanser (currently I'm using The Body Shop Tea Tree Cleanser, but I'm not in love with it.
  3. Use the Honey Bomb Ampoule as a serum (in the summer, this is what I use as a moisturizer as well)
  4. Eye cream to keep those crows feet at bay (Nourish Organic Eye Cream)
  5. Then as a moisturizer I use Mitchell and Peach face oil... I know crazy thought for oily skin! But it leaves my skin nourished, soft, glowy, and not at all oily :) 
  6. If my skin has those new and painful blemishes, I'll use the tea tree oil at night. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Decor 2015

A caveat: if you don't love Christmas lights, trees, and/or snowmen this post is not for you!

Whew it was a little late this year, and I was getting anxious but my Christmas decorations are officially up! The tree is up, the lights are lit, and the Christmasy candles are out... and I'm feelin' the season!

So here are some of the decorations around my house, take a look at the little Christmas wonderland I've created for myself-

First, out on my balcony is all festive with a tree, presents (there is so much glitter on these!), and lights!

Now for the inside... and yes more trees! This one is made from beads and lights made by my cousins' grandma, I love it :)

And the fun knick-knacky stuff...

Then my snowman themed bookshelf...

A Santa tray for all my coffee and hot cocoa needs...

And now for the tree!

 It's full of ornaments that that are choc full of memories! My Granny would give an ornament to my brother and I every year. Most of them have survived and are on my tree. There are also some from my mom, a few my parents purchased for their first Christmas, and more from my childhood.

Once of my favorite parts of decorating the tree is reminiscing about other Christmases, ornaments, and great holiday memories with my mom.

So there's a sneak peak into my Christmas decor, what's your favorite Christmas decoration?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cheap Simple DIY Haircare Miracle

Hair... I love it and I hate it. But recently although my hair has felt mostly healthy I've been having some interesting issues with it:
  • Tangles that just won't come out (I mean blow drying was a pain)
  • Hair falling out, in slightly alarming quantities
  • Flyaways
  • And overall just a not-as-soft-as-I-wanted texture
I use conditioner (of course) and only wash my hair every other day and have always had pretty healthy hair. And I haven't had tangle issues since I was young. So I went to my best friend, Google, to figure out a way to deal with this.

There were lots of hair mask options, but let's be honest, I'm not gonna waste an avacado or banana on my hair. But then out of all the DIY masks, and oils, and other ideas came a little ray of hope... Apple Cider Vinegar.

I have heard of all the many health and body benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar - Toner, blemish treatment, weight-loss supplement, etc.... so I had a bottle that I'd been holding onto for over a year that was waiting for its time to shine!

And shine it has...

I mix 1 part Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar to 2 parts water in a spray bottle (you can just eyeball this, it doesn't need to be exact.

Then in the shower I shake the bottle and spray from my ends to my roots. I get right in there, to the scalp. Massage a bit and add conditioner. Then rinse out as you usually would with your conditioner. 

You may not notice a difference at first. I really figured it was doing something when I went to brush my wet hair (I know, I know that's bad... but I'm gentle) and there were ZERO tangles, the brush just slid on through. 

After using this every wash for about 2 weeks now, I've definitely noticed less fallout, more shine, and of course softer hair!

Warning... your hair will smell of vinegar for a while! But with a nice smelling conditioner and detangling spray, the smell is usually gone by the time I blow dry (usually an hour after my shower).

This vinegar is well worth the $10 as it'll last you a long while and it will change your hair! Not to mention all the other fun uses you can test with it.

Do you have any hair or skincare secrets from the kitchen?

Friday, November 27, 2015

What I'm Thankful For - Week 4

Well this is the last week... it's officially the end of #ThankfulNovember. As always, I feel so much better when I'm focused on the positive things in my life and have a gratitude attitude. Although this hasn't been the easiest month or year, focusing on the things I can be thankful for really helps my attitude and my overall outlook on life.

Don't get me wrong I get down sometimes, but now I'll have these lists to go back to and remember how truly lucky and blessed I am! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I hope you had a great holiday!

For this week I wanted to focus on the bigger things in life and the important things that I'm thankful for.

I am grateful for:

  • My dog Sage, and cats Styx and Jack - It's so nice to have someone to be happy when you come home, offer snuggles, and make you laugh.
  • My job, home, and car... even though I may not always be happy with these things, I have them and that's something!
  • My family - there's just so much to say about them I don't even know if I'd ever be able to write it all down or truly express my gratitude but here's a few of the things my mom, brother, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, and second cousins do (yep it's a large family):
    • Hugs when I'm feeling down
    • Hilarious (and sometimes disgusting) jokes and chats
    • Laughter
    • A warm welcome
    • Constant support and caring; whether it's through a call, a thank you, a "I'm here for you", a long talk, an invite to keep you from being lonely, or an "I love you"
    • Babies who are learning and growing and laughing and so much fun
    • A mom who's there no matter what (even when I'm sassy)
    • A brother who offers me so much help and is just fun to hang out with
    • A BCF (best cousin forever) who's just like my sister and has been such wonderful support this year
    • Again there's just too much because without my family I just don't know where I'd be in life
  • My health - overall I'm pretty healthy and my complaints are minor compared to so many
See I just have so much to be grateful for each and every day (I might be crying a little as I'm writing this). It's been a rough year for me and the only way I'm surviving and healing is remembering these blessings. I hope you all are able to keep that gratitude attitude going throughout this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tarte Deal = Haul Time

I've been on a self-imposed shopping ban this month as I had a little too much fun last month. But a few weeks ago I was notified of a Tarte deal to pick 7 items for $59! And I was totally suckered in... and I love it! So the ban starts now! No now! Now!

I have been wanting to try Tarte's powder foundation, blushes, and Lights, Cameras, Flashes mascara for a while now and this deal allowed me to do that all at once. I was extremely excited when the package arrived on Saturday... there even may have been some squealing.

So below is what I picked out and my thoughts on the products I've tried so far :)

Makeup Bag
I believe this bag was exclusive to this deal as I can't find it on their site now. It is a nice size bag that is a purple and neutral/gold fabric woven design. It will come in handy for travel (not that I do that much, but maybe).

Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara
I am always on the lookout for a great mascara that gives mega volume, length, and that is waterproof. I've loved the Lights, Camera, Lashes version for the last few years. Unfortunately it's not waterproof and as always I was trying other things. I've heard good reviews of this mascara though, and even though I'm not a plastic brush person, I thought I'd give this a try. I'll report back soon :)

Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation
Another product I'm always searching for; that holy grail foundation. This is another product I've heard good things about. I have tried it and I'd say it's a medium coverage foundation and it has a really nice matte-but-not-too-matte finish. However, on my oily skin it doesn't keep me matte for long throughout the day only around 5 hours or so.

Airbuki Bamboo Powder Foundation Brush
So glad I got this brush to use with the powder. I'm not sure I have another brush that would work. You need a stiff brush to push into the screen and pull out the foundation. Overall though I like the way this puts on the foundation in a really natural way while still providing coverage.

Lipsurgence Matte Lip Tint - Hope
As you may have noticed from this post I'm not a lipstick person, but this came with the set so I'll give it a try... haven't yet though.

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush - Dollface
I've been wanting to try a Tarte blush for so long, and just never took the plunge. Well "hello Dollface" is it awesome (see what I did there? Oh yea)! The color of this blush looks really cool and kind of unwearable but on it gives a really nice glow to the cheeks... you just look healthy. I can't speak to the staying power, but I'll report back if it's any good.

Lipsurgence Lip Creme - Stunning
Same deal as the matte lip tint, this came as a sample with my order. But I like the color so we'll see.

Smoldereyes Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner - Brown
I've been using the Jordana eyeliner in Brown (mentioned here) as I really love how easily it glides on and blends out, but unfortunately it doesn't last as long as I'd like. So I decided to try this Tarte version as a replacement... and oh yea it's worth the extra money! It glides onto the lids like butter and blends out easily, but once it sets it stays! Now every liner will smudge on my lower lash lines due to my dry eye troubles and the constant need for eye drops. But this stuff really lasted through all that and didn't have as much smudging yet it still was pretty easy to get off. I like it!

Well that's the haul that shouldn't of happened, but did. So happy holidays to me, no more makeup until the new year! And Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the states this week!

Friday, November 20, 2015

What I'm Thankful For - Week 3

Wow, this week has been a rough one for me. Work has been... well just grrr! So it's been harder for me to come up with this week's post, but I think that's what makes this all the more important. You know, nothing cheers me up more than remember what I have to be grateful for. You know instead of bitching and moaning that I don't have the best wardrobe, the newest it makeup item, or Thanksgiving outfit, etc... I can focus on the things I do have (and am damn lucky to have!).

So here are the things I've been grateful for this week:
  • I Have an apartment in a nice area and a car. Even though I've been short on funds, I have a place to call home and a car I really like.
  • Christmas music is officially on the radio! (KOSI 101.1 and 107.9 in Denver). Christmas music immediately gets me into the holiday spirit and lifts my mood.
  • Cleaning out my closet. I have been doing a big overhaul of decorations, clothes, and random other things all month. But I finally went through my closet and it feels great! I was really harsh on myself and decided to only keep those things I realistically wear and love. Man oh man the bags of stuff that need to go to the Goodwill.
  • Cozying up under blankets... I love blankets... I love to be cozy... that is all.
  • And in light of what happened in Paris last week (which is awful and horrible), I am just grateful to be alive.
Whoops things got a little serious, but these are what I've been thankful for this week. How about you?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Confessed Lipstick Skeptic

I've definitely mentioned it on here before, but let's do it again. I just cannot jump on the lipstick bandwagon, not a fan. Yet for the sake of argument I have purchased more than my fair share to try out.

So for fun I tried them all on so I would be able to see if I really don't look good for lipstick or if I just think so... doing this I did learn a few things:

  • I own the same four colors multiple times! (Mauvey-nude, coral, pink, and dark red)
  • Most colors wash me out... so I don't know what color suits me.
  • Lipstick brings out the lopsided nature of my lips I never noticed before :(
  • Trying on 10 lipsticks at once (ok in 2 go's) is extremely drying on the lips.
  • Gimme Burt's Bees any day!
For comparison, below is a picture of my normal lip color
Without Lipstick
Here are a lot of selfies with the different lipsticks on; oh so many Ambers!

Lipstick colors:
  • Row 1: Nars Rikugien, NYX Pure Nude, NYX Chic
  • Row 2: NYX Pop, Wet n Wild Think Pink, Ellen Tracy Coral Lip Pencil (no name)
  • Row 3: Wet n Wild Dollhouse Pink, ELF Wine, Nars Cruella
FYI... Nars and Ellen Tracy are not cruelty-free products. The Nars lipsticks came from a Sephora B-day gift and the other was a long ago purchase.

Any thoughts on lipstick? Are you on the bandwagon? Is there a color/brand I should be trying?

Overall, I think it's time to clear out the lipstick collection and maybe try glosses! So there could be another one of these posts in the not-too-distant future!

Friday, November 13, 2015

What I'm Thankful for - Week 2

Another week has gone by in November and I've picked out some of the moments, people, animals, and anything else I've been thankful for this week. Don't forget to join me for #ThankfulNovember on Twitter and Instagram!

This week I have been thankful for:

  • My brother who will always listen to my rants over the phone and offer a kind word or two. Also he's the best to chat with about movies, books, and nerdy stuff!
  • Hallmark Channel Christmas movies... I'm addicted... and I'm not even sorry... and I might be contemplating Christmas decorations already!
  • My nephew who's 1! Seeing him grow and learn is so much fun. Not to mention teaching him how to throw leaves or see how many mini pumpkins he can carry. He was gone this last weekend when we would normally hangout and I missed him!
  • Dog and Cat snuggles to keep me warm on these chilly nights.
  • The fact that I feel I am healing slowly but surely from my separation. I see myself letting go of anger and hurt and becoming more accepting of the situation and hopeful for my future.
These are the biggies for me this week. What have you been thankful for?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November Wishlist

Now that it's in November I'm in full coziness mode. Pretty much every morning I just want to wear the coziest thing in my closet and snuggle up. To achieve the warmth and style I need this time of year I thought I'd put together a wishlist for you all of the items I'd like to add to my wardrobe for the rest of this season and to bring me into winter.

November Wishlist

I promise this wasn't supposed to be an outfit, but when I sat down to Polyvore to put this list together it just turned out to be one... and one that I would totally rock! LOL! Here's a breakdown of the items.

  • Forest Green Nail Polish - I have been getting bored of my nail colors lately. I have a lot of dark blues, dark reds, blacks, and natural colors, which I love don't get me wrong but I wanted something new and fun. So when I thought about it, a forest green seemed to fit the bill. And this one is also iridescent, score!
  • Chunky Knit Sweater - I've seen these on all the blogs I read and they look so warm and cozy! I'm not sure how they'd look on me but this is all imagination people and in my mind I'd rock a chunky sweater.
  • Light-ish Jacket - Jackets are on most of my wishlists; I love them because they instantly make an outfit more stylish and versatile. And this one.... I fell in love with! That color and plaid, and cut, and fabric... swoon.
  • Lace-up Boots - Because of my foot troubles, I'm on a flat, but supportive shoe kick. I love these lace-up boots because you can wear thick or normal socks with them, wear them over or under pants and through most weather. I think these would add function and style to my wardrobe.
  • Pleather Pants - I'm not sure how warm these would be, but I'd like to think they'd keep you toasty. I think pleather pants are great to class up and add a different texture to fall knits.
These are the items I'm lusting after this month (see why I need that weekly thankful list!), is there anything you want to add to your closet or beauty bag this November?

Friday, November 6, 2015

What I'm Thankful For - Week 1

So it's November.... fall is officially here! The leaves are changing and falling, sweaters are out, scarves are making their first appearance, and I'm planning to cook Thanksgiving dinner. As I've said before, and I'm sure I'll say again before the season is up; I love this time of year!

To commemorate this month and the grateful mindset that Thanksgiving brings about I wanted to do a series on what I've been thankful for each week. I will include big things and the little everyday things I've been thankful for as well.

I think we should have a gratitude attitude all year long, but at this time of year I find it especially important at this time of year. We're about to enter the season of "I want, I want, I want" so let's do a little spiritual prepping to stave off the gimme's and focus on the things we value! Won't you join me on Twitter or Instagram for #ThankfulNovember?!

This week I am thankful for:
  • Scarf weather is finally here and I love them.... so cozy!
  • I received word from the doctor that it's okay to walk again - more Sage walks!
  • On that same note, I have a plan now for my feet (plantar fasciitis) and hopefully the pain will get better.
  • Talks with my Grandma - she's a great listener!
  • Coffee, lots of coffee.
  • My cats have been adorable and extra snugly this week.
These are a few of the things I've been grateful for this week, how about you?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Burgundy Fall Makeup

Picture this: it's the year 2000 and a 15 year old Amber is getting ready for school; she's rocking some bootcut jeans, skater shoes, and a band shirt (Chevelle to be specific). She's standing in front of the mirror putting on her makeup which consists of mostly foundation, eye shadow, and lots of black eyeliner and mascara :) What color eye shadow would she reach for? Brown? Blue? Gray? Oh no, red eye shadow was her thing, purchased at non-other than Hot Topic! Oh 2000's (not sure if that's a nostalgia or embarrassment sigh) .... I loved that red eye shadow; it was bold, brought out my blue eyes, and sassy... everything a teenager wants in her makeup look :)

Now that I'm older and maybe wiser I've realized red eye shadow may not be the way to go for me anymore. But I'm just not ready to give up on it fully.

Now enter, burgundy eye shadow; it's red's grown up cousin and it's really beautiful. This is more of a mature take on the look as it's not so primary and bright, but darker and with more brown tones in it.

Keep reading for how I achieved a fun fall look that's still grown-up enough to wear in the day and sassy enough for night!

Prepare yourself for some weird awkward faces :)

I start off with a light brown blending color to keep the burgundy from being too stark.

Then I packed on the burgundy-red color with a flat eye shadow brush. I had to build up the color for a bit and went over with my finger for the last layer to really make it stand out. Blend the edges again with the light brown color.

This is my favorite face by far! I then used some of the light brown to light my under eye area. I think it pulls everything together and grounds it all a bit.

I finished it off with some black eyeliner and lots of mascara. I really love the final look!

This color is great and I'll be wearing it again for sure, I think it did bring out my eyes just like I remember. But it's definitely more grown up in the best way :) Although I still totally want to break out into "All the Small Things" by blink182 and dance around my room, pretending that I won't hurt tomorrow... getting old sucks! Anyway....

Here's the shadows I used for this look:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fallin' Up My Wardrobe

As I've said oh-so-many times before, I love autumn, it's the best season of all. And one of things I love most about this time of year is the fashion. I love layers, long sleeves, scarves, and boots! I thought I would show you a few of the pieces I've added to my wardrobe to bring it into the fall season.

First are some necklaces; once the weather gets cold my necklines start to rise. This means many of my smaller, shorter necklaces would just hide under my shirts. So I bought these 2 long necklaces to drape over my layers and give some interest to outfits. 

Left: Came with the gray sweater below, Right: from Burlington Coat Factory (similar here and here)

Next some warmer tops:

This one from AB Studio at Kohl's came with the necklace above. It's got a soft peplum that hides your bits but isn't shapeless.

This next top is from Coldwater Creek and was thrifted (similar here). I love this style for work; it's comfortable and warm, and goes great with trousers.

Now for some outerwear:

So this vest I actually bought for my Cruella costume, but when I tried it on I thought it would be a great layering piece. It's very warm and neutral and will go great with sweaters.

Finally, this Christopher Banks piece (similar here) I've already got a ton of wear out of. It's a khaki jacket! I've looked for years for a jean jacket but never found the right fit, but I saw this jacket at the thrift store and it fits great. I especially love it with the sleeves rolled up. I know I'll keep wearing this into the Spring!

So these are my updates for autumn. I'm excited for the cozy clothes and the holidays soon to come! What do you do to update your wardrobe for the cooler months?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Kicking Primer to the Curb!

I have been trying to combat this oily skin for quite a while now. It seems that by lunch time my face is shiny and makeup is patchy. It's not a good look!

So I decided to try primers to see what would work; I'd used them before but it always seemed like an unnecessary step in my routine. So I tried BareMinerals Prime Time, ELF Poreless Face Primer,  and sampled Tarte Cleanslate Poreless Primer (not pictured).

I found that none of these seemed to help my problem and they actually made it worse. I would get oilier, earlier in the day. I think it's because all 3 of these primers have that silicone texture. I just can't figure out what that's good for except for filling in pores and fine lines maybe. But I feel like it just made my makeup slide off.

I gave up primers and just went back to foundation and powder and eat with that midday melt away, until a certain YouTuber (Leighannsays) flipped my world upside down! She did a video on how she tried powder before foundation to ensure longevity. 

So I gave it a go and I do think it works so much better than primers. I use the ELF High Definition Powder in Translucent to provide a nice foundation but no coverage. Of course there are a few tricks for a great application:
  • You want to use as little powder as possible, I used a fan brush for a really light application.
  • Just put the powder where you need it; on the t-zone and cheeks for me, don't put it under your eyes.
  • Apply foundation as normal and finish off with more powder if necessary... but be careful of too much powder, you can begin to look cakey (trust me!). 

Finally as an ultimate measure and to combat that powdery-ness I will use a makeup setting spray like Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

I have used this for the day and it helps keep my makeup on through a full day of work and a crazy humid building, but more often than not this is a all-night kind of look. I hope if works for you all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Makeup - Cruella De Ville

I love Halloween! Not the scary, bloody, Halloween, but the dress-up, lanterns, jack-o-lanterns, macabre Halloween. So I, of course, love costumes... choosing what to be and creating a character, it brings me joy.

I was inspired this year by the TV show Once Upon A Time's version of Cruella De Ville. You can see her wicked makeup here. See how I became this great villain below!

First, let me say that you are going to look like a hot mess through most of this make up, but I tell you it'll all come together in the end :)
Ok, so I know there's no breakdown of the eye makeup but my camera wasn't on for those pics :( But here's the step-by-step on how to get this look.
  1. Start with the brows; use a brown-gray to fill in then go over in small strokes with a matte black.
  2. Take a mid-tone gray all over the lid. Bring it up just up to the crease (or for hooded gals, a bit past)
  3. Take a flat brush (I used a concealer brush) to draw a straight line down from the inner corner of your brow to the inner corner of your eye with a dark gray. 
  4. For the ombre effect drag that line with the same brush inwards, then add a lighter gray and drag that inwards.
  5. Fill in the brow bone and the area below with a shimmery white. 
  6. Draw the dark gray across your crease and darken the outer corner for more definition. 
  7. Then add black eyeliner and lots of mascara! We're not going for a wing here, but you can if you like that. Also, false lashes would look great with this look. 
Now for highlighting and contouring:
  1. Use a brightening/light concealer in the middle of the forehead, down the nose, on the chin, and in triangles under the eyes. 
  2. Blend!
  3. Contour with a gray-brown. You want really high cheekbones, so put the contour line a bit higher than normal (If you don't have a contour brush just squeeze down a powder brush).
  4. Also draw on either side of your chin to slim the chin (we're going for angular here). 
  5. For once in your life, don't blend up, blend both lines down and out to darken that jaw line area - I went over the cheekbone line multiple times; we want to see that line a bit. 
  6. Then find an intense highlighter (I used the lightest one from the NYX palette) and go over where you applied the concealer. Also highlight just above the cheekbones to bring them out.
Finally, (whew, I know there's a lot of steps!) the lipstick:
  1. Cruella has a really true red lip, but I decided to go a little darker.
  2. Use a dark red/maroon lip pencil or crayon all over the lips. 
  3. Add a more true or orange-red on top focusing on the center.
Now add a wig, black dress, gloves, and of course (faux) fur! And you are Cruella! See below for the products I used.

Loreal Telescopic Mascara - Similar here (Not Cruelty-free)
ELF Products - From this haul

I hope you all have a happy Halloween and would love to hear what you're going as this year!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall Favorites Tag

I've never done a tag before, so why not now at my favorite time of year, Fall! I got this tag from Jaclyn Hill, and I'm excited to give it a go!
Fall Favorites Tag

Favorite Candle
Yankee Candle Apple Cider... I am obsessed, OBSESSED, with apple and cinnamon scents and this candle is the best I've smelled. It's very apple-y but not over sweet and there's just enough cinnamon to give it warmth. Mmmm... just writing about it makes me want to go home and light that bad boy up (I haven't yet this fall).

Favorite Lip Color
As I don't wear lipstick very often (if ever!) I would just say a really good lip balm is vital to Fall and Winter. I really like the Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm in the original scent/flavor.

Favorite Drink
I love them all! I love hot apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes, hot cocoa, the whole lot! YUM :) I love them in my large 'A' mug at home, or my larger-than-life Starbucks mug (similar here) for bringing on the go.

Favorite Blush
I love the natural rose flush of Milani Baked Powder Blush in Berry Amore. It adds the perfect amount of shimmer to bring out those cheekbones but remains natural. The berry shade just gives you a beautiful flush.

Favorite Clothing Item
In general, sweaters, scarves, and boots... all the time. I just bought these black moto booties and I couldn't be more excited to bust them out. It's just I love them so much I feel I need a special occasion, I know, silly.

Favorite Fall Movie
I had to think on this one for a bit as I'm not into scary movies at all, so that really limits the Fall/Halloween-ish movies. My favorite has to be that throwback Disney made-for-TV movie, Halloweentown and it's continuations. Yes, it's nerdy, but I really enjoy that kid-friendly monsters and witches type of Halloween, just pure fun!

Favorite Fall TV Show
Once Upon a Time! I've watched this show from the start. I wasn't sure how they'd pull off more than one season of weaving Fairy Tales in and out of each other with all the twists and turns one could want. But somehow they've done it! I'll admit last season I stayed away because I couldn't keep up with my schedule, but thanks to Netflix I got caught up through season 4 right before this season started, so I'm ready!

Favorite Thanksgiving Food
I love the mashed potatoes and gravy. I am in charge of the gravy in my family and I'm obsessed with it, yes I'm a little conceited, but trust me it's good.

Favorite Halloween Costume
This year's, but since you haven't seen it yet (coming soon) I'd have to say my fave was when I was about 9 - I was invited to a friend's last minute Halloween party. So my mom dug around the house; with some play clothes, glitter, tights, and makeup she made me into an adorable Cinderella. I was cute!