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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

New Icy Blonde Hair Cut and Color

I am so excited to share this post with you all! My hair was in NEED of help - it was scary! So I finally bit the bullet and went to my hair stylist, Laura (she's amazing!) to make a change (which I talked about here).

I've been wanting to go icy blonde / silver blonde / platinum blonde / whatever-you-want-to-call-it-blonde for a few months now. I was going back and forth about it, a little afraid. Finally I decided,  "What the Hell?!?" It's just hair and I want something new and fun. I made the appointment and got my Pinterest full of inspiration pics for Laura.

However, I wimped out the day of and decided instead of going full blown blonde, I'd ombre-ease my way into it. So we took the plunge, see below for the huge difference it made!

Let me say, before my cut, this was the longest my hair had been in years. Possibly since I was a child. So I was enjoying it, but I was sick of it. Here was my long ass hair before:

See how ratty it was? And let's not even talk about the color. Nope! Moving on... But as you can see it wasn't super unhealthy or anything just needed a refresh!

And POW! I got one.

I haven't been this blonde since high school. And I can't for the life of me figure out why I didn't do this sooner. Oh well, I'm here now. And I'm glad I decided to ease into the super blonde look, because although I love it, it might have been a huge shock to go full blown.

But as you can tell I'm extremely happy with how the color turned out. Laura was amazing as usual! If you're in the Denver Metro area, I suggest looking her up at Truly You Salon you will thank me! Now the next time I go I think I'll be ready for full on blonde... I think :)

See my other hair colors and cuts from Laura - here!

Have a great day all!

Don't be shy follow me on Pinterest! And Instagram & Twitter - @amberbutbetter

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cruelty-Free at the Drugstore – Walmart

Cruelty-Free at the Drugstore – Walmart

|| Originally Published for Denver Style Magazine Blog ||

Last month I found cruelty-free brands and products at Walgreens (see post here). This month I thought I'd write about a discount store that may be intimidating for those looking to use cruelty-free makeup, Walmart. I shop quite a bit at Walmart for household needs, but after perusing their beauty section I realized what a great option they are for cruelty-free beauty!
Walmart's beauty department has expanded over the last few years or so and they have a good offering of cruelty-free brands, such as:

Physician's Formula
Wet n Wild
Burt's Bees
Hard Candy (unfortunately my Walmart didn't have this in store to try)

When I stepped into the Walmart beauty department, the 1st brand I had to checkout was Physician’s Formula. I love their liquid eyeliners and have heard wonderful things about their Shimmer Strips. After using it for a while now, it’s one of my favorite products! Following along those lines, I nabbed this shimmery pink blush from ELF and I love it! It’s a subtle color but really brings my complexion to life. With these great steals I started to put together my look!

After foundation and concealer I multi-tasked with the Shimmer Strips as a bronzer, highlight, and eye shadow. It’s so versatile and lasts really well throughout the day. I really wanted to define my eyes and make them pop for this look. For this I used a felt tip eyeliner to do a dramatic wing (well if my eyes weren’t hooded it’d be dramatic!). And brought a little shadow and liner to the lower lash line to accentuate my eyes.

I added my mascara and the ELF blush to finish everything up. And then, totally like me; I forgot to do my brows! Oh well, it is what it is, right?! I would recommend that step though, eyebrows complete a look. I finished off with the Burt’s Bees lip balm and a touch (I really mean a touch) of the Wet n Wild Lipstick in this blue-pink neon color.
As you can see, Walmart has a plethora of cruelty-free makeup options for the budget buyer!

Photos by Zanib Flynn || Facebook Instagram

Below are the products I used:
*products not from Walmart

ELF Blush - Glow (not available at Walmart online)

*Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara - Waterproof


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

My Makeup Organization

Well as you may or may not know I've purchased a home and am getting ready to move! I am so excited and nervous to be a home owner again. But this time I went for a condo, so hopefully I'll be more happy with it.

Before I start packing it all up I thought I'd share with you my current makeup storage system and vanity. I really like my setup here. I'm not sure if this is how I'll do it in the new place, you just never know until you get all your stuff in. So I thought now was the perfect time to show you my stash!

The Vanity

I love this vanity I've created; somehow it magically came together really well. I did a DIY on this desk with marble contact paper to make it a little fancier... ooh la la! It adds something extra to the whole area, without being too loud (It's also a great background for pics!). Check it out here.

The chair, I found someone giving away at my last apartment, and the big mirror was a Christmas gift a few years ago (it's actually a jewelry organizer).

With the great natural lighting in my bedroom, I love sitting here and playing with makeup. It's my happy place!

DESK (similar) | MIRROR (similar) | CHAIR (similar)


I found this carousel at Marshalls - my favorite store. It works great as I've organized the brushes by use - face powders, blushes/bronzers, eye blending, eye precision, miscellaneous.

I filled each section with some black sand so the brushes stand up. I can just spin it around to find the brush I'm looking for. As you can see I have a thing for Real Techniques brushes!


Mirror and Foundations

Another Marshall's purchase! This mirror/organizer is awesome! I use it to apply mascara and keep track of my foundations, false eyelash stuff, and setting spray. These are my most reached for products as of late.

Recently, I've been loving using powder foundations again, so I've been switching between this Tarte one (see the haul here) and Bare Minerals original foundation. Both are really great and long lasting in these summer months (where my oily skin glows and glows and glows)!

Makeup Storage

I got these drawers like 12 years ago at Target and they're still going strong. Okay they're a bit grubby and I should shell out for new ones. But they've lasted so long and well! They're the perfect length and depth for my products. 

Here's a breakdown of how I have my makeup organized:
  • Top: Stubby brushes - these are from EcoTools and Tarte
  • Drawer 1: Foundation and concealers
  • Drawer 2: Blush
  • Drawer 3: Bronzer & cream eyeshadow
  • Drawer 4: Individual eyeshadows
  • Drawer 5: Mascaras, eyeliners, and brow products (My favorite drawer!)
  • Drawer 6: Lip products (my least used drawer)

DRAWERS (similar


One the shelf underneath the desk I keep my palettes and makeup bags. Why is it so easy to collect makeup bags, I have way too many and I rarely if ever travel! Oh geez, but I love them :)

I keep my palettes in this plastic bin so they don't fall and get broken. I have this NYX bronzer/highlight palette, It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette, Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette, and Too Faced Love Palette.

I am in love with palettes, I use them all the time and love them! It puts all the colors and finishes you need right at your fingertips. Simple and easy!

So this is my makeup organization! I love that everything has it's place so I can easily find what I'm looking for in the mornings.

How do you organize your makeup? Any tips?

If you're not following on Instagram and Twitter yet you should! Lots of cute animal pics, and of course makeup! Find me @amberbutbetter.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Summer Date Night Look

Summer Date Night

First let me say, I've still not re-entered the dating world (see my toils here) but I put together this look on Polyvore after spotting this dress on Chicwish, and I fell in love with it. 

My obsession with leather jackets and off-the-shoulders is real! I need to go shopping for some of this, LOL! If only to stop writing about them...

My Date Night Outfit

This dress seems really flattering and not only the shoulder bit. The waist nips in a bit to show off them curves (which I have in spades!) and it has 3/4 length sleeves - hello short girls' desire!

I thought this neckline would look great with a tie choker necklace, because it's adds some length to the look without taking away from the dress. Oh an the 90's are back! Or so says the internet. 

Then some good ol' fashioned tan staples to pull everything together. I love that these shoes are a boot/sandal and would be great for the transition from Summer to Fall. And then of course the jacket, swoon! I love that it's tough and warm but a little softer than a black jacket would be. 

To top it off some pink gloss. I did say this was for a date after all. And I had to add some mojitos, because I've been craving them. And aren't a cool drink to order?!?

Join the Discussion

What's your go-to date night outfit?
Any fun date ideas or plans? I just love to hear what other people do (I'm a bit nosy)
What do you think of the off-the-shoulder trend, dead or just begun?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July 2016 Favorites

July has come and gone. It's been a great month in Colorado, but HOT! I've enjoyed though catching up with friends, going to a few festivals/markets, and hitting up an amusement park. But now the month has winded down and I need to look back and think about what I've been loving.

It's been a while since I've done a Favorites post. Money's been tight lately so I hadn't been trying too many new products. But for some reason this month there were quite a few goodies I couldn't wait to share with you all.

I've got a good mix of makeup, skincare, hair care, and fashion for you all. So let's chat about what I've been loving in the month of July.


I think I speak for most women when I say, hair kinks suck! I've always hated putting my hair up fro fear of the lovely mark regular elastics leave. Because these are so thick they don't leave a mark, but still hold your hair firmly in place. Although they seem a little tight at first, they do loosen up and stretch pretty far. I now have these everywhere! And bonus: they're much easier to find in purses, the couch, your car, the floor, etc... Much harder to lose :)

Wet n Wild

Oh liquid eyeliner; one day I love you and want to flaunt my wicked skills and other days I look like some off-the-wall abstract artist practiced all over my eyes. But still, I try and am getting better! 

I really like this eyeliner for a more subtle look with no wing; I just place it really close to the lashline with little strokes. The brown color is perfect for this as it adds definition but isn't as harsh as black can be. And the wear on this is phenomenal! I think it's actually better than the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner. It lasts all day and doesn't transfer on my hooded lids. 

If you love liquid eyeliner or need to keep practicing like me, go out and get this! You won't regret it. 


MyChelle is the first cruelty-free skincare brand I ever tried, and it's been lover ever since. Although I've been using other skincare for a while, this brand always gets my attention. The scrub has especially done wonders for my skin. It's a scrub with little granules, but  leave it on the face like a mask. It does tingle a little from the enzymes... but I feel like it's actually doing something. Imagine little crystalline monsters eating your dead skin, yum! 

When I go to rinse it off, I scrub a bit and then.... it's glorious. My face looks glowing after and is so soft and smooth. It's helped with my acne scars and pores. The tube will last you a long time too as you don't need much to reap all the benefits!

Physician's Formula
Shimmer Strips - Warm Nude

Tati from Glam Life Guru recommended this, so I had to go out and get it. I'm a complete sucker for her reviews. But, there's a reason, she was right. This little box contains magic... no exaggeration. You can use it as a highlighter, blush, and bronzer. And although it's says shimmer in the name and looks super shiny, this gives the most beautiful glow to my skin without looking sparkly. I absolutely love it! No more words are needed.

Mad Love
Keava Sandals - Flower Print

Summer=sandals, but foot issues makes finding cute and comfortable ones a challenge. Last year I was diagnosed with Plantar Faciitis but exercises and insoles have made the problem go away. I don't want to rock the boat though by wearing flat sandals with no support, so I went on the hunt for sandals that weren't ugly and would be good for my feet. 

Enter Target! I found these sandals amidst all the other flip-flops on the back wall of doom. I don't know if you have this trouble, but the shoe department at my local Target is always a disaster and trying to find a shoe I want and in my size is next to impossible. But I found the black version of these to try-on and went online to order the pretty flowers. Because flowers make them awesome!

And I've been wearing these everywhere. They are comfy, although the high arch support took a while to get used to. My #1 sandals of the summer! Woot woot!

That's it, the products I've been loving in July! I hope your month was fun and exciting and you're enjoying the last half of your summer. :)