Monday, December 1, 2014

High-End Holiday Wishlist

Happy December, everyone! 

If you're like me your friends, boyfriend/spouse, parents, sister/brother, etc are all asking you what you want for Christmas. and the obvious answer is, of course, MAKEUP. you know you've been wanting that palette or mascara, and now is the time of year when you don't have to pay for it. So make a Sephora or Ulta wishlist and pass it along. And if you're stumped, here are my ideas for a high-end Christmas wishlist:

1. The Naked Palettes - these will always remain favorites of mine. they're a great collection of earth-toned neutrals with a range of matte/pearl/shimmery shades, and a good balance between warm and cool tones. if I had to choose I'd tell you to pick the original Naked palette or Naked 2. Naked 3 has mostly pinks and isn't that great for beginners. See my review here. (retail at $54 each)

2. High End Mascaras - the three pictured are my absolute favorites that I repurchase often. Urban Decay Perversion ($22), Benefit They're Real ($23), and Tarte Lights, Camera, Action ($20). These are all great for different reasons, and tomorrow I'm going to do a post comparing the 3! Stay tuned!

3. High End Primers - I never used to be a primer girl, but I've been having some major skin issues lately and foundation is pretty much keeping me sane. and in order to hide my bad skin and scars (yes. scars. never had that problem. I am a mess.) primers have been VITAL to keeping my foundation long-lasting. I've been using these two over and over and love them both and definitely think that they're worth the investment. The first is Benefit POREfessional ($31) and Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Pore Minimizing Primer ($39). Expensive but SO worth it. 

4. Lorac Pro Palette - another well-loved palette. this one is great because the entire top row is matte shades, and the bottom is shimmery/pearl shades. these colors are so pigmented and allow you to make tons of different looks. see my more in-depth review here

5. IT Cosmetics Brushes for Ulta, 'Your Superheroes' Set - I love IT brushes, and before they were hard to find unless you ordered from QVC or online-retailers; but now they have created a line for Ulta and I was so excited to get my hands on them! This set includes a powder, foundation, crease, concealer, shadow, and a brow/liner brush. Its a great set with pretty much everything you need and only retails at $50!

I hope this gave you some ideas! I'd love to hear what's on your holiday wish list :) 

Friday, October 10, 2014

just a quick little update to show off my nails.. In honor of the Orioles going to the ALCS!!! :D
I know, I know.. sports & beauty blogging don't really go together.. but I am SO PUMPED FOR THIS SERIES and had to do something a little girly to show that #IBackTheBirds :)

Obviously if you aren't an Orioles fan, these may not excite you, but use the inspiration for your own sports themed nails! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I feel like the coconut oil 'trend' has been circulating for a while now.. but that's a good thing! because coconut oil is SO good for you. it's all natural, obviously, and I use it to cook with all the time. but did you know that coconut oil can be used for WAY more than cooking? its amazing for your skin, hair, lips, etc. here are the many ways to use it in your beauty routine. if you have any other ideas, let me know and I'll add it to my list!

1. lip moisturizer - it feels great on your lips and makes them feel so soft and look so shiny. tip: carry some in your purse in a tiny container and use it all day! 

2. foot scrub - mix a little with some sea salt and use as an exfoliate for your feet, then rinse.  

3. foot moisturizer - after you do the scrub from above, put a bit more coconut oil (without the sea salt) on your feet, put on some socks, and let it 'marinate' all night long. soft feet!

4. deep conditioning hair treatment - put a bit in the palms of your hands and work it through your hair, focusing mainly on the ends. place it in a bun on top of your head and pop a shower cap over your head. let it sit overnight and voila! 

5. body moisturizer - rub it directly on your skin after showering, like a lotion/in place of baby oil

6. eye makeup remover -  believe it or not, just (gently) rub a small amount onto your eyes/eyelashes to remove stubborn waterproof makeup

7. sunburn care - it not only helps to sooth the burnt skin, it repairs the burnt skin cells as well, allowing it to heal much faster

8. body scrub - sort of like the foot scrub, but instead, mix it with sugar. its a great exfoliator! just rinse off in the shower

9. facial moisturizer - just use a small amount just as you would a normal moisturizer

10. cuticle softener - apply to your cuticles to to hydrate and strengthen nails

11. shaving cream - just rub all over your legs, shave, and rinse! then you might as well re-apply to your legs to keep them soft!

12. eye cream - use a thin layer on the delicate tissue around your eyes to prevent wrinkles and sagging.

13. anti-frizz treatment - rub a dime-sized amount of the oil on the ends of your hair to hydrate and tame frizz.

14. after-wax treatment - just get a wax? dab a bit to the area after to help sooth and calm the skin and prevent ingrown hairs.

15. make your own soap - find the recipe here.

16. cold sore prevention - mix with oil of oregano and use at the first sight of a cold sore.

17. strengthen eyelashes & growth - use a clean mascara wand and brush onto eyelashes before bed.

18. make your own anti-frizz hair spray - find the recipe here.

19. static reducer - rub a tiny bit through your palms and run through hair to reduce static.

20. tanning oil - put some coconut oil in a spray bottle and bring to beach.. spray on to keep skin moisturized!

in case you're wondering, I get mine from WalMart.. although I'm sure you can find it any store with all the other cooking oils.
got any other ideas? let me know!

Friday, August 8, 2014

hey guys! have you been on the fence about what products you should toss, and which products have a little bit more life to them? here's a helpful guide on when to keep and when to toss!
xoxox -k

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nars vs Elf- Dupes!

I love to splurge every once and a while- and Nars is one of those brands that is so fun to splurge on. I love their packaging and even the racy names of their blushes, lip glosses, etc.. but I also love a good bargain. Elf has some of the best quality, low priced makeup on the market; and while they do have some 'misses' every once and a while- their blush is definitely a 'hit'. So I compiled a list of a couple dupes for you to try out. Enjoy!

Nars Angelika -- Elf Fuchsia Fusion
Nars Deep Throat -- Elf Candid Coral
Nars Desire -- Pink Passion

hope you all have an amazing week! go put some color on those cheeks! ;-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Knowing your skin's undertone is really important when buying and applying makeup. I think its something that we tend to overlook, and to be honest, figuring out whether you're warm or cool toned can be a bit intimidating. But I'm hoping this makes it a little bit easier for you. 

Keep in mind that skin tone and undertones are not the same. Your skin tone is the color on the surface. It changes all the time. It gets tan or pink when you're in the sun too long, it turns rosy when you're cold. But your undertone is the color under your skin. and it can either be cool-toned or warm-toned.

I'm warning you now, this is going to be pretty long with a lot of information jammed into one post. But keep reading to find out how to figure out if you're warm/cool toned & what that means for you when it comes to picking out makeup, clothes, and even your hair color. 

There are a few ways to test. I actually did all 3 just to be sure. 
(I'm cool toned, by the way)

Test 1: Vein Test
Look at the veins on the underside of your arm/wrist. 
If they are blue, you are cool toned.
If they are greenish, you are warm toned.
(yellow + blue makes green. veins are blue, but when viewed through skin with a yellow 
(warm) undertone, you get green! pretty cool, huh?)

Test 2: Paper Test
When your face is completely clean and at a normal temperature (you aren't overly hot or cold) hold a plain white piece of paper up to your face. 
Take note of your skin's tone in contrast to the white. If it looks yellow or golden, then you have a warm skin color. If it looks pinkish, you have a cool tone.

Test 3: Ear Test
Have someone else pull your ear forward and look behind your ear in natural light. The skin behind your ear is pure in tone and a yellowish or pinkish hue should be readily identifiable. If they see a yellow hue, then you have a warm skin tone. A pinkish tint signifies a cool tone.

So.. are you cool or warm toned? 
Were you one of the weirdos (kidding.. kind of) who had mixed results with those tests? You may be neutral which means you look good in cool and warm tones. Lucky you! 
Now that you know your undertone, here are some things to keep in mind. 

*when buying foundation always buy a shade that corresponds with your undertone. a lot of drugstore foundations now have 'cool' or 'warm' on the bottle so it makes it a lot easier. when buying high-end foundation, you may want to find an expert in the store and tell them your undertone and allow them to help you find the right shade. 

when it comes to choosing the right cosmetics for your undertone, it can be a little tricky. 
in general just remember that if you are..

warm toned: look for peachy pink, orange, coral based colors

cool toned: rosy pink, purple, blue/violet based colors

I have to admit, figuring out if a color was 'cool' or 'warm' was always a hard concept for me to grasp, and there are still times I look at a blush or foundation and have no idea what undertone it would look best with. But it does get easier and the more you do it, the more obvious it starts to become. 

I hope this was at least somewhat helpful! Have a good day everyone. :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I don't know about you but I'm pretty picky about mascara. My eyeshadow and eyeliner can look amazing.. but if I'm having a 'bad lash day' as I call it, it can ruin the whole look. So I tend to stick to the mascaras I know and love. Of course I try new things all the time- you'll notice some of the mascaras on the list are ones I've never mentioned before- that's because I try new ones all the time and fall in and out of love as I continue to use them. But once I find some that I love, I use those daily and repurchase over and over again. 

I always like to mention that these are my favorite mascaras of the moment. Because I'm trying new things, I may discover a new favorite next week. So these are the ones I'm loving right this moment. Also, I consider high-end to be anything that can't be purchased at Walmart, Target, CVS, etc, and usually cost around $20 or more. And obviously 'drugstore' refers to any lower priced mascaras that can be purchased at the stores I named before. Okay, enough rambling.. here's the good stuff!

high end

1. Tarte Lights Camera Lashes ($20) - the brush is my favorite part of this mascara. its sort of short which works really well for me because I feel like I can control it a little better. I have less 'mess' (am I the only one who constantly gets globby mascara on my inner corner lid while hitting those lashes?!). it has a wetter formula than others, which I like a lot. overall this mascara is a hit all the way around. I like the formula, the brush, and how well it lengthens and volumizes. the packaging is a bit strange, but it doesn't bother me.

2. Arbonne Its a Long Story ($36) - this is my every-day mascara because it makes my lashes look long and pretty, but the best part is how easy it is to remove. there is nothing worse than feeling like you have to scrub your sensitive eye area to remove your mascara, or seeing lashes fall out as you're doing it! this is one of the best mascaras because it comes off easily and gently. it is also vegan, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, and clinically tested. so its great for those of us with sensitive eyes. it was also featured in Vanity Fair's beauty blog as one of their top 5 picks. to order contact Kristin at

3. Benefit They're Real ($23) - I don't think I need to elaborate on this too much because this mascara is famous.. probably the most famous high end mascara. It really is great. I love the brush, formula, etc and have been using it off and on for a while now and don't have many complaints. if you're interested in trying a more expensive mascara, this would be a great one to start with, because I doubt you'll be disappointed. 

4. Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara ($20) - I got a full size version of this in my birchbox which was exciting because I actually know people who use this and love it. and I love it as well! it isn't exceptionally lengthening but I love how thick and full my lashes look when I use it. I have to work at it a little extra to make them look as long as I like, but I don't mind because the full, thick, voluminous factor gives it a false-lash look, which I love.


5. L'Oreal Telescopic ($10) - this is another one that I don't think I need to elaborate on too much because I've mentioned it a lot. (like here, here, and here). It has a really skinny brush, which apparently a lot of people don't like.. but I love it! it really allows you to hit every single lash and its the most lengthening mascara I've ever used. the small brush is also great for bottom lashes.

6. Maybelline Falsies ($7) - yet another mascara I've rambled about multiple times.. but hey, at least you know I really like it! (read here, here, or here). This one be my #1 all-time mascara if it wasn't so dang hard to remove! its super stubborn, which is technically a good thing because its long-lasting. but I feel like it isn't all that great for my lashes since I have to scrub so hard to remove it. so I don't use it as much as I'd like. but don't let that keep you from purchasing it because it will make your lashes look amazing. maybe I just need a better eye makeup remover? :-)

7. Maybelline The Colossal ($7) - another great every-day mascara. I really like this one for days when I'm rushing and I just want good lashes, plain and simple. its easy to apply, the formula is a great medium (not too wet, not too dry- although it was pretty wet the first day or so, then it dried up a bit, which I was happy about) and it does a great job at lengthening and volumizing. 

8. Maybelline Volum' Express Mega Plush - ($7) are you sensing a trend here with Maybelline mascaras? I like them! this is my absolute favorite mascara for natural looking lashes. you know those days when you don't want to look made up, but you feel like you need something? this mascara is that 'something'. it is so natural looking but still makes your lashes look nice and long and gorgeous. there are seriously no clumps and it gives the effect that you just have naturally long, beautiful lashes.. you can fool everyone! :-) I credit its gel-mousse formula with less hard waxes. it makes your lashes bouncy and flexible, not hard or brittle. BUY THIS MASCARA! 

best bottom lash mascara:
L'Oreal Miss Manga ($8) - this is pretty new and it took me forever to find it because it was always sold out. I've heard a lot of great things about it, so I had to try it. to be honest, I only like it for my bottom lashes. I don't like the way it looked on my top lashes at all, but that's okay because it makes my bottom lashes AMAZING. I think its the tapered, pointed brush. I don't have long bottom lashes at all, but this gives me the longest, prettiest, bottom lashes EVER. seriously, you need to buy this and try it. 

have any mascaras you think I should try? let me know!
also- would you guys want a post with pictures of the mascaras ON my lashes? it may take a week or so to be able to do that, but I'd love to try it on for you guys to show you guys how they look on. let me know!