Today we cover some AMAZING gift ideas at unbeatable prices. I would consider this a gift that I have, finding these deals and steals. Originally I had planned not to include anything outside of makeup but then I realized that as a mother/daughter/sister/friend, we ALL need ideas for gift giving!

I shall step up to the plate and offer my sacrifice…

Here we go!


1.) Brushed Metal Cake Stand, H&M $17.99


A few ideas with this one: it makes a great hostess gift (especially if you add yummy treats on top), it can hold a small vase of flowers along with making a great table setting, it’s great to keep next your sink to hold your soap bottles…

I also love the idea of this as a gift for a mom (from siblings) with a few new perfume bottles on top & and don’t forget a pretty bow!

2.) Clarisonic (Mia 1) $109 with Coupon Code


I cannot say enough great things about my Clarisonic face brush. Hands down nothing compares to how well it cleans your face and how soft it makes your skin feel. I was able to find an amazing discount code from Clarisonic’s website. Just enter the code “SHOPANDSAVE” at your checkout and receive $20 off! That beats any other online deal!

3.) Sonia Kashuk Lipliners $7.99 at Target


I’ve blogged about these liners before and also here, and the fact that they are only $8 each (and carry an amazing color selection) means that you should have at least 2 or 3 on hand. Also great for stocking stuffers and girlfriends! The SK liners are also a great option for your wedding day!

4.) Honest Beauty Creme Blush $22


Between this and the Tarte BB Tinted Primer I recently blogged about, I would say these are the top 2 best makeup products I’ve EVER used. The finish that this creme blush gives is second to none. It’s the best way to keep your skin looking hydrated in the winter months and it gives a beatuiful glow in the summer months as well. I love this color shown above “Truly Thrilling” for this winter season as well as the “Truly Exciting” shade.

5.) “All Nighter” ColourPop Eyeshadow Foursome $18


Can we just take a moment for the simple fact that a regular-sized Urban Decay single eyeshadow retails for $18 at Sephora? And this ENTIRE SET is $18!! Ahh!! These colors are gorge-us and they have pigment like nobody’s business. My favorite way to wear these are wet and while doing so they take on a 2D effect. These shadows look best on the lid with a matte shade in the crease and they also work great as a bottom eyeliner. Best part? They’re all neutral and you can combine them with any other shades you already have at home!

6.) “The Good Times” Ultra Matte Lip Kit by ColourPop $18


Quite honestly I don’t get it. I don’t understand how ColourPop puts out amazing products at such low prices. FIVE lipsticks for $18? Is it because they know we’ll be buyers for life and never buy another brand again?

I picked this set because you get a good variety of everything, a merlot, a poppy red, a dusty rose, a cool toned pink and a flattering nude. And I think any of these shades would pair perfectly with the eyeshadows and blush above!

I also love how CP always includes 3 different shaded skin tone swatches next to their products. This helps show how the color will “fall” on our own skin tones…



7.) Penn Light 1 Globe Mini Pendant $79.20


Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover it with lights like these. I could probably put one of these guys in every single room in my house and it would just “work.”

I love it for a little boy or girl’s room and I also love it for kitchen lighting. It would look adorable with 2 or 3 in a row above an island or above your kitchen sink! See also: bathrooms.

8.) Viv + Rae Lily Cloudy Rug, $85 and up


Ok so I just love this rug for a playroom. To me it embodies the magic of kids and it helps entice daydreaming. And you’ll be happy to hear it also comes in pink for us girlie girls!

9.) Star-Patterened Throw $24.99, H&M


A few ideas for this blankie: it makes a great newborn gift (who says you can’t pre-buy?), it would look adorable hanging over a bench in the mudroom or, you can include it in the Christmas Eve pajama present for your kids along with a good book or movie to use it with.

10.) Pottery Barn Silver German Glitter Letter Ornaments, $2


Man-oh-man are these a great gift idea! PERFECT for teachers or that someone who is hard to buy for. They look great on the tree and they also look magical hanging over your mantle. You can also use them to spell out a special word if you wish. Here is another initial ornament that’s similar as well…


11.) “Bambi” Choker $33.50 @ Nordstrom


If we’re going 90’s style it better be in solid gold. Case in point, this metallic choker. It’s neutral, it goes with everything and it’s a more stylish version of the ones you’ve already seen.

12.) H&M V-Neck Camisole Top, $12.99


I think I need about 12 of these, for $13 bucks are you kidding me?? I love it for work (you better believe I’ll be sporting this in the facial room) and I love it for play of course. It’s great for date night and the shine makes it holiday appropriate…which brings me to gift #13.

13.) Leith Floppy Felt Hat, $12.98 (50% off) @ Nordstrom’s


I got this hat for my birthday and have no fear, it’s as fabulous as it looks. At first I didn’t realize how stylish I would feel until I actually put it on and realized that I needed a better coat to accentuate it. Don’t you worry, I pulled through and found the CUTEST coats for it…

14.) Free People Midnight Bomber Jacket, $54.60


At first I thought, “that gray hat has to be worn with a trenchcoat.” And then I nixed that idea because it was too predictable, I needed something a little more modern than that. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this bomber jacket and the fact that it comes in 3 colors!

I love all the colors but I think the red paired with the gray hat is very “Christmasy” but in a good way. Red is so festive and the gray hat keeps it toned down.

15.) H&M Mauve Faux Fur Jacket, $49.90


I have to admit, I also love the idea of wearing that gray hat with this adorable dusted rose faux fur jacket. This would look so, SO cute with the previous metallic v-neck cami and gold choker! I’m daydreaming about it now…#addtocart.

16.) ASOS Chiffon Satin Pajama Set, $28


Last but not least…

Listen, when I turned 30 (yesterday, literally) one of the first thoughts that honestly came to mind was how I needed a few pairs of nice satin pajamas and let me tell you why:

Nice pajamas make you feel extravagant, they are cozy, they help create a beautiful 24/7 wardrobe, they look beautiful no matter where they reside – in a closet or on a hanger, they hold value in that you strive for quality in all areas of your life.

How many of you watch a good movie with someone beautiful like Michelle Pfeiffer in it, and do you notice what she wears to bed? Sorry but it’s not your 2007 Turkey Trot 5K t-shirt. It’s often something in silk or chiffon and it assists in creating a relaxed and serene atmosphere before you fall asleep. These soft colors and silky fabrics help relax your mind and promote your way to more rejuvenating rest…and what’s better than rejuvenating rest?

All these gifts.

Just kidding.

Happy Shopping…

I hope you enjoyed this 2016 gift guide and comment below on what you plan to purchase for yourself or loved ones!





Sometimes we need a little inspiration…

The holidays are here and it can be a fun time to experiment with makeup so I decided to create a digital “lookbook” featuring holiday makeup looks to inspire you.  In the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve I will be showing you product recommendations and tips & tricks for amping up your holiday game-makeup style!

Today features the 1st volume, a fabulous spotlight on dark lipstick.  I know it’s a little “out there” but I am obsessed with dark lipstick.  If you are nervous but willing to try, start at a color you’re comfortable with and work your way up to a darkened hue.  You can also try buying a lip liner a few shades darker than what you normally wear and pair it with a medium toned lipstick you already have in your makeup bag.  Apply the lipstick and liner like you normally would but gradually add more lipliner to the outer corners of your lips, working your way in.  Stop when you feel comfortable and use your ring finger to blend it in if you need to.


Dark lips are not for date night, they are for girls night and weekend brunches.  Boys do not appreciate dark lipstick the way we do so do not even try to go there.  I had my gorgeous model Taylen pair the look with a far side hair part and messy beach waves.  This counter-balances the dark lipstick perfectly along with the soft and cozy oversized sweater.


Not only is Taylen gorgeous, but she’s also a talented hairstylist and styled her own hair for our shoot!  She used “Beach Waves” spray by Loreal Professional to create this look and I think it added an amazing look and texture to her hair.  Excuse me while I go buy 15 bottles!

For lips, we used NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Transylvania.”  I also used the NYX lip liner in “Dark Red” to shape her lips before I filled them with the stain.



Taylen currently works a Studio 39 Salon in KCMO.  To make an appointment with her, call 913-827-6271.




The Secret To Understated Glam

I am all about looking as glam as possible, at all times.  However lately I’ve been turning towards a more natural approach to beauty application.  There is a time and a season for everything (like double sets of lashes on New Year’s Eve), and there’s also a time for truly just looking your best…polished & pretty, but also natural.

Here’s where my secret comes in…

The secret to looking your best but also fabulous, are small strip false lashes.  More specifically, the Ardell #110’s.  They are so light and natural that no one would ever be able to tell that you have them on.


Olivia Palermo has admitted to often wearing false lashes and it’s one of the quickest and easiest ways to spruce up your weekend look.  It looks great in pictures and it pairs well with any eye makeup look or lipstick color.  It’s neutral but it’s glamorous.


The trick is to curl your lashes very well before you glue the fake ones on.  Once they are on, curl them again.  This makes a world of a difference.  It’s what lifts them up higher to your brow, opening your eyes up.  Here are a few tips to applying the strip lash:

  • Apply all eye makeup, including eyeliner
  • Curl your lashes
  • Apply glue to your false lashes, allow the glue to get tacky, waiting a good 7 seconds
  • Pick up the lash in the center with your tweezers, apply it to the center of your lid
  • Use the tweezers to grab the inside of the lashes and press into the skin
  • Use the tweezers again to grab the outside edge of the lash and press into the skin
  • Allow the glue to dry for a good minute and then curl lashes again, follow with mascara



Fall Makeup Inspiration


I love me a good tradition…every year for Halloween my aunt would make two different pots of soup and nothing gave me greater joy than stopping at her house for comfort food with friends and family.  The air is turning crisper and people are finding ways to incorporate pumpkin into both their food and their front porches.

If you’re a girlie girl like me, you delight in the fact that a new season brings on a new color palette to play with.  Fall and winter are often associated with darker colors and maybe even a few jewel tones along with it.

But today I decided to re-invent the wheel.  Instead of reaching for my deep plum or burgundy lipstick, I tried out a new “look” am I’m in love with the results.  I’ve been a fan of messy hair for years now and love a super tousled look.  After scanning through my Instagram, I saw a video of a girl and I loved her makeup.  She had giant but natural lashes on top and bottom with a rosy pink matte lipstick on.  And then it clicked for me, this is my new fall uniform: messy hair, pink matte lips and giant lashes!


This look is SO easy to do and it would great for both day and night, especially with a little added matte cocoa shadow on the lids and it looks great with dewy skin or matte foundation.


The lip color in the pictures is actually a liner by Sonia Kashuk & the color is “Pink Whisper.” Lipliner as a lipstick is because it’s SO easy to apply and you can throw a lip balm on top of it and not worry about it smearing like other sticks or glosses.  Beautiful and put together?  Sign me up.


This liner is only $8 bucks, for that price you can buy two and keep one in your bathroom and the other in your purse for touch-ups!



In yesterday’s post, I blogged about an adorable glass + gold tray on sale at Target that would make a great Christmas gift.  Why not throw in the $9 lipliner and be friend/relative of the year? Just a thought…;-)


BLUSHing Bride :: Erica


All throughout my makeup artistry career I have been beyond blessed with the clients I have worked with.  Every single bride I meet makes me want to go out and have coffee with her the next week.  Every single bride I meet is generously kind and she radiates from inside out.

Meet Erica.


I. Just. Adore. Erica.  I am currently trying to figure out which Disney Princess category she falls under. Erica has beautiful taste and she was such a dear to work with.  She also earned bonus points from me because she remembered to purchase the lip products we used at her trial to have for touch-ups on her big day.  This is vital girlfriends!


Like always, we played up Erica’s best features.  For her skin, we kept it a dewy glow with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer.  I have blogged about this TM before and y’all should know by now how much I love this foundation.  Technically it’s a tinted moisturizer but it covers like a foundation and because it’s such a lightweight formula, it photographs beautifully.

For her eyes, we kept them soft and smoky and added false lashes.  Lashes always elevate your look and they are what makes a bride look like a bride.


For her cheeks, I used a stain by Lorac called Rosy Glow.  It’s a powder stain and and it’s the perfect amount of rose and shimmer for someone who is more olive-toned or who has a darker skin tone.


For lips, we stuck with a neutral shade and we used a combination of Makeup Forever lipliner, lipstick, and NYX gloss.  And as if Erica couldn’t be any more adorable, her hubby does in fact have a man-bun. Hashtag YES. #moderndayjohnnyandjune





Congratulations to the happy & beautiful couple!





One of The World’s Best Kept Beauty Secrets


We all know that hashtag that has been used all too excessively on Instagram & Facebook…

It sounds dramatic…and it is…

But if you ask any author of said hashtag, this post most often ignites a spark of passion and excitement…

I’m talking about:


When I started to think of an introduction for this post on one of the World’s Best Kept Beauty Secrets that’s honestly the first thing that popped into my mind.

I can’t:

believe I was spending a buttload of $ on eye makeup remover when I could’ve been using this instead…believe I was using a product that contained SEVERAL toxic chemicals to take my mascara off when I could’ve been using one single ingredient instead…believe that no one else really knows or uses this as their actual eye makeup remover because it’s SO easy…believe how inexpensive this is!

In case you haven’t figured it out…

I’m talking about using olive oil as your eye makeup remover!!!

I’m sure we’ve all heard it but how many of you guys have actually tried this??  It works so well, taking off any and every trace of eye makeup you have on including eyeliner and shadow! I love that it’s as “clean” and natural as you can get while costing next to practically nothing. The bottle pictured above is what I purchased from Target for about $5 bucks and it comes in a huge size, a whopping 17 oz.!  Do you know what size most eye makeup oil removers come in?  Anywhere from 3-4 oz.  So you’re getting about 6 times the size with the olive oil bottle at a fraction of the cost!! Annnnd it’s all natural. #icant. #icant. #icant.

Here are my top tips…

Wet a washcloth with warm water and apply about a 1/2tbsp of oil onto your washcloth.  Hold on each eye for about 30 seconds before you proceed to wipe off your eye makeup.  Then, use a different area of your wet washcloth to wipe off any excess oil.  (This should feel nice and soothing on your eyes since it’s still warm.)  Then, proceed to wash your face with your normal cleanser and water.  Be sure that you’re rinsing your eye area well, especially if you are oily or acne-prone.

And my favorite part about this cleansing process?  You are removing your eye makeup first so you don’t have to worry about black mascara/liner running all over your face and looking like that character on the cover of the American Horror Story tv show.


We’ve all been there.

Pass this post on to every one you know so that instead of spending our money on eye makeup remover, we can spend it on something more fun, like lipstick!!



beautifully BLUSHed: Miss Leah


With as many a bride that sits in my makeup chair I have an equal if not, exponentially greater amount of bridesmaids that sit in it before and after them.  Every girl needs her “gals” and I have the greatest time meeting and learning about the wedding parties I’ve had the pleasure to primp and polish.  If it’s hard to tell, I am as girly as they come so having the chance to have “girl talk” and “play with makeup” is my dream job.  Actually, is that a real job?? Lucky me.

I love how there’s a million pictures and posts on social media of bridal makeup but sadly there’s hardly ever a focus on bridesmaid makeup, which I think, is just as fun.  Bridesmaids always want to look beautiful, but they also want to look a little more enticing on their friend’s wedding day too.

Enter Miss Leah.

Oh cute and adorable and Leah.  She’s the classic case beautiful bubbly blonde.  And when she came in for this “Bridesmaid Makeup Inspired” look, she had been dating her boyfriend for over 6 years.  She had had her fair share of bridesmaid duties…

Until that week.

He proposed!

So now that I’ve had a chance to doll her up as a bridesmaid, I’ll get to do it again as a bride!! And easy for me, she’s going to look GORGEOUS no matter what she plans on wearing for her big day.  Let’s take a look at a picture that inspired this look, one that I found on Instagram and loved because hardly ever do I use gray eyeshadow.  And I thought this look was so beautiful and the fact that the artist used some type of cream or glossed eyeshadow gives it such a fresh + modern twist on bridesmaid makeup.


We started with my absolute favorite eyeshadow primer, the Benefit Stay Don’t Stray.  It’s a game changer. I’ve used almost every eye primer that Sephora carries and then some and nothing holds the product and produces pigment like this little dove does.  Go get it girls!!


$26 Available at Sephora or Ulta

I decided to play with a cream eyeshadow base and mixed a few shades together to achieve a look similar to the one on Leah.  I mixed a little bit of the Maybelline “Vintage Plum” on my hand and of Elf Cosmetics “Ain’t That Sweet” cream shadow.  Here are the colors below…


I ended up mixing the Vintage Plum shade with the shimmery Elf cream so that it would give off more of a glow on camera.  You want to be sure that when you’re using cream eyeshadow that you’re applying it with a cream shadow brush.  Nothing will make your job harder, if not impossible, if you’re not using one.  Here’s my favorite…


Pro Cream Shadow Brush #28  ::  $20 Available at Sephora


So I applied the creams from the base of her lash line up into a little bit above her crease.  You only have so much drying time with cream shadows so you need to apply it quickly.  Some women prefer wear cream eyeshadow because unlike powder, it doesn’t fall on your cheek below and there is no messy clean up.  Creams also have a greater staying power and they produce greater pigment as well.

Once the cream dries, you can set it with a translucent powder to prevent creasing and caking on the lid.  Once you do that, take a matte gray eyeshadow with a round crease brush and apply it into the crease of your eye.  This creates a little more depth and dimension and looks great on camera.  Make sure you fully blend that powder on top of your cream, otherwise it will look harsh and unblended.


If you fancy, you can add a highlighter shade into the brow bone and under your arch for extra glow and shape to the eye.  Next is the fun part, the eyeliner.  You can go back and use the vintage plum shade as a liner with a small angled brush or you could use a black or chocolate shade…plum and taupe would be equally pretty as well.

Again with 38293 options, use the same shade liner on the bottom or use the opposite.  If you did the vintage plum shade on top, use a taupe liner on bottom.  If you did black on top, use vintage plum on the bottom.  This is the only time I love math because the number of options are endless.

As always, set your liners with a similar shaded powder to prevent creasing and increase longevity.

Lastly, we ended with a peachy cream blush and matching lip color.  The overall look was dewy and moisturized so I kept that up with a very “glossy gloss” on the lips.

Leah4What do you think of Leah’s final look? Are you eager to try a cream blush for the first time? Sound off in the comments below!


BLUSHing Bride :: Shannon

Shannon1Every so often I am lucky enough to work with a good friend on her wedding day.  Even though Shannon and I are from different towns, we grew up dancing in the same studio together and we’ve known each other ever since.  I am so lucky and honored that Shannon wanted to use me for her big day- she’s such a beautiful girl!

Shannon3Like 95% of my brides, Shannon wanted to look like the best “made up” version of herself. Natural but still glam.  After all, you only get married and wear an expensive dress and jewelry once.  We kept the complexion smooth, creamy but also matte.  We did a neutral smokey eye with shades of taupe, chocolate and champagne. What many girls don’t realize is that a smokey eye doesn’t have to be a palette of black and gray shadows, it can also be a combination of any shade range of colors, from dark to light.  I truly feel this best highlight’s a bride’s eyes and defines them without overshadowing her whole look. Especially when you use more warm colors like chocolate, plum, and taupe.

We did a light shimmer on the cheekbone courtesy of the Urban Decay Naked 1 Palette (yes you can use eyeshadow, it’s all relative.)  Cheeks were kept a light rosy pink with a matching lip color and gloss.


As always, false lashes make a huge difference…


Seeing Daddy for the first time, always a memorable shot!



Mother of the Bride makeup…just as stunning as her daughter!



And of course, a picture with her handsome groom…


Hope you have a Happy Wednesday!


All Photos by J. Smith Innovations Photography



Favorite Celebrity Brides

cbbannerThere is something so glamorous about an unlimited budget, top hair and makeup professionals, and an abundance of flowers to outshine the Steel Magnoilas wedding.  Celebrity weddings let us fantasize and wonder what a dream wedding really would be like.  I’ve put together a list of my favorite past celebrity brides who had exquisite hair and makeup on their wedding day (after all this is a beauty blog.) Each bride is so different, both in real life and in “fantasy world.” I hope brides that use social media to find inspiration can use this as a tool to help determine the look you’re trying to achieve for your big day. And I hope this list includes a few of your favorites too!


1.) Princess Kate Middleton


OBVIOUSLY the duchess is #1 on this list, she should be #1 on every list!  Because we all have images from the Royal couple’s big day ingrained in our minds I decided to post this rare photo of the Kate and Will after the ceremony when they were heading to the reception.  Kate has let her hair down and changed the top part of her dress.  How beautiful and radiant does she look? You may have heard that Kate worked with a pro makeup artist to practice and do her own makeup for her special day. I’ve included the tear sheet of the exact products Kate used below.  While I absolutely admire her will to look “normal” and like herself on her wedding day, I would STILL suggest hiring a pro.  I know I am biased but I did my own makeup for my wedding day and there’s times where I look back and regret it.  To think I could’ve kicked my feet up and had a mimosa during that moment makes me cringe.  You want as much pampering as possible on this day and having a pro takes away so much unwanted stress.



The perfume Kate wore, IlluMinum White Gardenia Petals.


2.) Hilary Duff


Although Hilary was a relatively young bride at the time she exchanged vows she managed to pick such a classic and timeless overall bridal look.  I adored her dress and it pairs SO well with her jewelry, hair and makeup.  A giant bun will always be in style (in my opinion) and she knew that because her hair was the star of the show, she needed to keep her makeup muted and complimentary to the hair.  If she would’ve paired her big hair with a bright or bold lipstick she would’ve been in line for Barnum & Bailey’s. Her eyes are soft and smokey and her light tawny pink lip color is one that compliments but doesn’t fight for attention.



And because I love pictures of people getting their hair and makeup done, here’s one of Hilary before she had her hair fixed and dress on.  Can you believe how much hair changes a look? Her updo takes her look to a whole new level.



3.) Ivanka Trump


Ivanka has very few pictures from her wedding day on the internet and it suits me just fine because this picture is worth more than a thousand words.  She is SO stunning and while her makeup look is extremely similar to Hilary Duff’s, her hair is entirely different.  Ivanka’s hair is such a classic/vintage style that it will look timeless in photos.  Ivanka just got it right with every avenue of being a bride.  Her skin complexion is luminous and hydrated.  I am betting she used a cream blush for her beautiful glow which also helps avoid cakeiness.  Her eyes are surrounded with shades of chocolate and she has a few individual lashes, maybe a tiny strip of lashes on the eye.  Her lip color is the perfect combination of both nude and pink so she doesn’t look washed out and I LOVE how she has a super glossy lip.  It’s the most fresh and modern thing about her look and I think she nailed it.

4.) Gabrielle Union


Ok, this look is 100% perfection e-x-c-e-p-t for the fact that I so so wish Gabrielle would’ve added a few long false lashes to the top of her lash line.  Other than that? One of the most gorgeous brides I’ve ever seen.  She kept it soft and simple with hair and makeup but yet she still looks polished and beautiful.  A soft taupey plum in the crease and a nude lip take you oh-so-far as a bride.  I love how her hair is just a tiny bit messy too.  It’s a trend I predict to see in future brides.


5.) Lily Aldridge


I almost didn’t post a picture from Lily’s wedding because she has very little to no makeup on. But, her overall look is so beautiful that I had to include it.  As an artist I love seeing brides in a million different ways and she definitely comes from the less is more family.  I love her hair down, soft and wavy, and she looks like such a romantic bride because she doesn’t look too “frou frou.”

6.) Chrissy Teigen


Oh Em GEE. Chrissy Teigen cannot be human. It is not fair.  cb16

Of all the brides I’ve selected, they all have a common theme…they all look like the best, most polished version of themselves.  They’re not reaching for heavy contours and heavy amounts of metallic eyeshadow.  Chrissy has great brows and those were shaped well for her wedding day. This makes a HUGE difference.  Don’t be the bride or bridesmaid that needs an infinite amount of tweezing that morning (some girls can turn red after tweezing.) She again focused on the eyes and went soft on the lips.

What I love most is that Chrissy changed her dress 3 times and ended up with this FUN dress for the reception while literally letting her hair down and opting for a dark smokey eye. I tell my brides about this option or if they’re considering doing a bold lip for the reception.  I say why not and it gives you more than one look for photos!



Are there any brides you would add to this list? Sound off in the comment box below!





Top Eyeshadow Palettes for Fall

So I know I’m jumping the gun here just a little bit for fall makeup picks, but can we just agree that I’m great at planning ahead? I am in fact a makeup artist so color, in the form of a palette, will 100% knock my socks off everytime.


These palettes all have something in common- I want them.  Kidding, kind of.  They are all PERFECT for creating that smokey eye that 99.9999% of my clients ask me for when they hop in my chair.  Listen up girls, the biggest secret I can give for achieving a smokey eye is using SEVERAL colors to sweep and wash the lid in a layered format.  They can be any set of colors really, they just have to range from dark to light.  Think of your eyelid as a horizon.  You want to see a fading of those colors blended into a chocolate/maroon/black/navy liner at the eyelid.  And if you really wanna get down to Chinatown, you will use any of the medium to dark shadows in your palette as a liner and follow it with (thin) liner on the bottom as well.

See how this gorgeous model’s eyeshadow completely encircles her eye? Do this. And don’t skip your bronzer, blush and a pink gloss either.  If you do skip those steps, be prepared to answer why you have the flu.



So let’s get to it.  I am so excited to add these to my kit this fall that I might have to make a mall run sooner than I thought.

 (It’s also a greeeeat idea to add these palettes to your Christmas gift idea list since some of these are a MAJOR steal!!)


1.) LORAC “The Skinny Eye Shadow Palette” in Navy, $15 valued at $133

Available at



2.) LORAC “They Skinny Eye Shadow Palette” in Nude, $15 valued at $133

Available at


3.) LORAC “Pro to Go” Eye/Cheek Palette $38 valued at $210

Available at

If I wasn’t a makeup artist and I could only have one palette in the entire world it would have to be THIS one.  I’m a total sucker for matte shadows and the fact that it comes with a pink and peach blush along with bronzer rocks my world.  $38 bucks and you can throw it in your purse if you need to!


4.) LORAC PRO 2 Palette $42, $111 value

Available at

In all actuality, if you need a new palette or you have zero shadows, splurge on this.  I can’t even call this a splurge for $42 dollars because most single eyeshadows start at $19 for SINGLES.  I’m a huge fan of LORAC because it both delivers and it’s an awesome price point.  You will not be disappointed.  This girl has pigment for days and she’s all matte on top, all shimmer on bottom!




5.) Sonia Kashuk “Eye Couture” Matte Palette $19.99

Available at Target

Again, I am obsessed with matte shadows and this mini palette looks like a dreamboat to me.  Moms listen up! This palette is PERFECT for your preteen that needs a lifejacket if she’s just starting to dabble in makeup.  Aside from the super dark black shade, she really can’t mess it up!



6.) Tarte Cosmetics Limited Edition “Rainforest After Dark” Colored Clay Eye & Cheek Palette, $38

Available at Sephora and



And for a MAJOR teaser alert, myself included.  Coming this Fall in November, the LORAC MEGA PRO.  I can’t even…I will wait in line rain or shine for this bad boy!!