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!


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…;-)


Makeup Minimalist


“The best way to enjoy your favorite things every day is to only own your favorite things.”

When I became a mom, my normal everyday routine got flipped upside down in those first few months of newborn life.  Suddenly, everyday beauty rituals became obsolete and I distinctly remember asking my husband (while halfway crying) how moms ever have time to curl their hair in the morning.  Why did I ask my husband that?  As if he could ever answer the question! Sneaky, sneaky you are post-partum hormones…

Since then I have streamlined my hair and makeup routine and I have gotten rid of anything I don’t use on a daily basis.  Friends, this is huge coming from a MAKEUP ARTIST.  I have so many beauty products it’s ridiculous.  But I slowly learned that if I only had what I truly needed and loved that getting ready in the morning could be enjoyable if not, delightful.

Today I want to reveal how I was able to minimize my routine but also keep what I had around me beautiful and purposeful…


There is no magical formula for streamlining your beauty items because everyone is different in how they do their makeup but I do have a few suggestions.  Adopt a one item in, one item out mindset.  Stick to the basics and keep one of each: face primer, foundation, foundation powder/setting powder, blush, bronzer, eyeshadow primer, one eyeshadow palette, one brown eyeliner, lash curler and mascara. You should also have a lip color that you love and goes with anything.

Click here to read a post on my favorite everyday lip glosses, this will give you a good idea of what colors to look for.


Next, clean out your makeup bag or the area where you apply your makeup.  Alcohol your eyeliners and lip liners and sharpen them before putting them back into their homes.  Clean the edges, lids and mirrors of compacts and palettes with a baby wipe.  Items should be easy to spot and not look cluttered as a whole.  I adore these darling glass + gold trays from Target. They allow your makeup items to lay flat while making them easy to spot. Bonus points: these trays are on sale and would makeup a fabulous Christmas gift for someone!



Next, clean and organize the top of your makeup vanity.  I prefer to have close to nothing on top of the table I do my makeup on.  It’s so incredibly refreshing to wake up and start your day with a blank slate.  While searching for makeup vanity inspiration I found an underlying component in all of the pictures that I loved, fresh flowers.  




Fresh flowers make any bathroom look expensive, no matter how small or big your room is.  It’s one of the cheapest things you can do to make your space look elegant but also clean and inviting.


I’ve recently been using the Honest Company Lavender Hand Sanitizing Spray and I plan to purchase a second one for my makeup bag.  I think it’s a genius idea considering that cold and flu season is upon us.  How perfect would this be to use right before you begin makeup in the morning to prevent germs from spreading?  Also, can you tell that I’m married to a nurse? 😉



Last but not least, decide on a brush set that you love.  Stick to coordinating colors and create a beautiful template with it.  I adore the Bold Metals Collection from Real Techniques because I am a huge neutral lover in general.  These brushes are so beautiful and would look stunning next to your newly cleaned makeup items.


And for the record, how adorable is their new Miracle Diamond Sponge applicator?  This is art in itself!


If money is tight but you feel the urge to live a fabulous life, buy 1-2 brushes at a time.  Another great option is Sephora because their brushes are always in stock and you can pick between all black or all silver.  OCD freaks UNITE!  And don’t forget to add brush cleaner too.  If you keep it near your brushes in an easy-to-see spot, you’ll clean your brushes MUCH more often.  I like Sonia Kashuk’s brush cleaner because it’s gentle and smells like lavender.


What’s weird is when I started this journey of becoming a minimalist (don’t worry, it’s transferred into every area of my life), is that it happened unintentionally.  I was an overstressed mom who felt like she hardly had time for anything.  Flash forward a year later and I truly appreciate the things that I have, each and every single item.  Getting ready is a joy and I’ve found staple products that work well and look good on me.  You’ll be surprised at how different you feel once you clean out the unwanted and welcome the new.

And for the record, it’s much easier to straighten your hair as a new mom than it is to curl it. 😉


Troubleshooting For Brows

Life can be hard.  Brows can be hard.

I’m here to make one of the above easier for you today.

Brows can be tricky.  You might think you have it all figured out only until you step into natural light and see how dark (or how orange) they actually look. You also might think you have it all figured out only until someone says “you did your brows today.”  Or maybe you’ve tried SO hard to give yourself a “natural” arch, only to wipe it all off and throw your expensive brow pencil out the window.

Friends: I am here to help.  There should be a crisis line for problems like these but there’s not.

Call me. Or read on for common problems women have and how to fix them.

Disclaimer: It is always best to get your brows waxed by a professional that you trust before you try to work your “brow magic.”  This is important because it not only cleans up the brow but it also helps you find your natural shape if you plan on filling them in or if you want to make them look slightly fuller.



Crisis #1

“I don’t know what color I need!”

Answer: Taupe will always be the most “universal color” for a one-size-fits-all approach.  Start there if you’re truly undecided.

Blondes & redheads pair best with a blonde or taupe shade. Redheads: I would advise staying away from anything too warm or auburn toned.  Anyone with hair darker than sandy blonde can jump up into the brunette and chocolate shade ranges.  Look at the colors in your hair and look for a shade that is 1-2 shades lighter than your darkest color.

To make life super easy: head to your local Sephora and checkout the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil collection. They have TEN shades so that everyone is able to achieve beautiful brows. Can I get an amen? #handpraise

Crisis #2

“I tried filling my brows in and they look too heavy and too dark.”

Answer: Start with a taupe or light brown eyeshadow and an angled eyeliner or eyebrow brush. Begin by tracing the other shape of your brows.  Remember in grade school when you would take your crayon and trace the outer shape of your picture and then color the rest on the inside? Same idea!  The reason I suggest to start with a powder is because it is very natural and very forgiving and it leaves less pigment than a pencil would.  I use eyeshadow as a brow powder all the time so don’t think that you need to buy a special color or product just for that. Once you’ve skimmed the perimeter, go back and fill in the inside.  Hold your liner brush so that the smaller end is putting upwards towards your forehead.  This is very important.  And make sure that you are brushing it outwards and upwards.

If you’re happy with the results from the powder you can stop there or if you need more “pop” you can go back with the Anastasia Brow Wiz and lightly flick small hair strokes into the brow. Tiny little flicks.  You are literally mimicking the tiny individual hairs.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, take a few steps back from your mirror and look at your brows.  Look at them in relation to the rest of your face.  Do they look a little too heavy? Take a spoolie brush and press in into your brows, touching the skin, pressing it down to diffuse the product.  This is such an important step because SO many women would be much happier with their results if they did this step.

You can buy a spoolie brush separately, or it often comes on the other end of a double-sided eyebrow brush.


Crisis #3

“I can’t find my natural shape!” or “I want a bigger arch!”

Answer:  We can also say a prayer of gratitude because Anastasia has heard our cries and created the ever-so-clever brow stencils!! These are amazing!!!

The set contains 5 shapes and is broken down by size of arch.  Like anything, it can take a little practice and I would advise by starting with a powder and brush first before attempting the pencil or cream.  These stencils are so helpful and you might find after repeated usage that you don’t need the stencil for everyday help.


Ok friends, it is my hope that today’s post truly helped you and motivates you to find something that works well for you.  And I would LOVE to see the results!! Snap a selfie of yourself and use the hashtag #blushingbrows!

If you find that you still need a little more brow 911, call or text 785.393.9991 to setup a brow consultation with me.  This includes a brow wax and tutorial on how to fill in your brows while using the proper products.

Stay tuned for tomorrow to find out what brow products I recommend! 



Lipliner :: The Natural Way

I love me a good lipliner.  How else are you supposed to “turn that frown upside down?” Women who use lipliner are women who have it together.  Much like a picture frame shapes a picture, so does liner to the lips and face.

Today I want to give you a few easy steps for making lipliner look natural but also believable. More than half the battle is finding a good color so that it doesn’t look too obvious.

In the picture above I used Sonia Kashuk’s liner in “Pink Whisper.”  I also frequently use Makeup Forever lipliners in “2C” and “3C.”

Here are my top tips!

  1. Line lips but do so at your discretion.  You can line the outer rim of your lips if you really want to go for it (this is called cheating the line) or you can just trace the shape directly onto the perimeter.  If you are “cheating the line” the liner will be more on your skin than the lips itself.
  2. Make sure you really define the bottom of your lower lip, just above the center of the chin.  Don’t be afraid to make this area a little extra dark with the liner.
  3. Blend and diffuse the line gently with your ring finger.
  4. Apply lip balm and diffuse anywhere that needs a little softness.
  5. (Optional) Apply a shimmery ivory eyeshadow onto the cupid’s bow for extra dimension.

And that’s it!

It sounds so simple but by doing these few easy steps your lips will resemble that of Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s!  *A little birdie told me this is actually how she does her lips too, and when I say “little birdie” I mean stalking RHW’s makeup artist on YouTube.  You’re welcome.


Your lips will look so natural but also have a beautiful shape to them. Cheers to looking like a natural goddess!





Get the Look: Lauren Conrad


I absolutely adore this look Lauren Conrad recently wore for an interview with E News! I decided to break it down and recommend a few key products for achieving a look similar to hers.  One of the main reasons I love this particular look so much is because she always has a beautiful complexion with perfectly complimenting lips and eyes.  Lauren’s skin is her best feature and with such a great canvas like hers, you don’t need much else!

Here are a few shots of her look:

As you can tell, the cheek highlighter and matte pink lipstick make this look. It’s so fresh and gorgeous and I love it for summer, especially for nights out! Lauren is also sporting a full brow and of course, her signature cateye.

I decided to copy the look and here is a list of products I used…IMG_2811

Eyeliner: MAC Blacktrack Fluidline with the Sephora #90 angled liner brush.  I also went over it with the Buxom eyeliner in black to fill in any spaces of white between lashes.  The best way to get a clean “flick” is to go back and clean it up with a wet Q-tip.

Brows: Lorac Eyeshadow with angled liner brush. This creates a full yet soft look.

Mascara: Maybelline Voluminous in Black

Blush: Honest Beauty Cream Blush in “Truly Exciting” with Sonia Kashiuk “Rosy” cream blush on the apple for a good pop.

Highlighter: Becca Cosmetics “Moonstone” in powder, and lots of it! Only apply it on the cheeks though.

Lipliner: Palladio “Tickle Me Pink” fill and line the lips with this. It helps with staying power and prevents lipstick from bleeding.

Lipstick: MAC “Show Orchid” Apply with a lip brush for better precision. If you apply too much of a high intensity lipstick it can easily transfer, everywhere! Use a lip brush and layer it on softly. Less is more!

*Lauren is wearing Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in “Carina” in the interview shown below.

Click play to watch the video!


Question and Answer Video Session

Let’s talk shop, shall we?

I am answering your beauty & skincare questions today & I broke it down to 3 videos because I LOVE talking about skincare and makeup!


Liquid Foundation Tutorial

Hey Guys!

In the video below I show how to apply liquid foundation of which you can use ANY brand of liquid foundation with this technique.  I also explain how to add a quick + natural contour to your everyday routine.



BLUSHing Bride :: Sarah


We all have professional buckets lists right? Things we want to accomplish in our career and lifetime? I have ones both big and small and one of those things on my list included doing bridal makeup for a true and natural redhead. Maybe it’s because my hair falls into the strawberry blonde category, maybe it’s because redheads photograph so well in pictures, maybe it’s because you never really see natural red hair to begin with…

Sweet Sarah.  Sweet, sweet adorable Sarah made those dreams come true for me, and boy did she pull through.  Not only does she look like Ariel the Mermaid, I am prett-y sure she is in fact a real life Disney princess.  She is so sweet and so lovable that I can only hope every bride I work with in the future is half as nice as she is.

So onto the good stuff and the reason why we’re here…Sarah’s makeup details.

Let me shoot a disclaimer here right now and tell you that Sarah just has gorgeous, luminous skin on her own.  We enhanced it with the Bobbi Brown foundation palette and the L.A. Girl Pro Concealer.  We used a MAC eyeshadow for her cheek + nose + lip highlighter (yes you can do that.) The eyeshadow color if I remember correctly is called “Naked Lunch.”

We did a soft shimmery smokey eye with a small cateye liner and for that I love the MAC Fluidline Gel.  I apply it with an angled brush and it’s the best I’ve found for staying put all day and not creasing on the lid.  I also swear by the Benefit Stay Don’t Stray eyeshadow primer, it’s an absolute MUST for wedding day makeup.

For blush, we used the Benefit Rockateur blush.  For lashes, we used Ardell in #110, a great go-to.


For lips, we used a combination of my favorites…the Sonia Kashiuk Lip Liner in Petal, the Kardashian Beauty En-Joystick in Babydoll, and the Palladio Lipstick in Surely Pink.

Lastly, I sealed her makeup with the great Model in a Bottle setting spray for sensitive skin.  This stuff will SEAL THE DEAL with makeup application and it’s perfect for brides who need their makeup to last all day and night!

What do you think of Sarah’s wedding day makeup? Is it something you see yourself wearing?  I love it because I think she looks like such a fresh and beautiful bride!


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How To Get A Summer Lovin’ Glow


I honestly don’t think there’s anything I love more than a dewy + glowy + fresh makeup look.

Ok.  OBVIOUSLY my family and friends do not count in this list.

That aside – what is more beautiful than breathable complexion with a highlight for days? And for summer? Fuhgedaboutit.  Give me a tinted moisturizer, a beauty blender and a highlighter and send me on my way!

To get a look similar to the ones above is easier than you think.  Tinted moisturzers are perfect for summer because not only do they have spf, but they’re the lightest coverage you can get next to powder.  (I’m not a lover of powder foundation. I think most people use way too much, it doesn’t cover well, looks “cakey” and ages them too quickly.)

When you combine tinted moisturizer with a Beauty Blender and your favorite highlighting product and you’ve got a summer routine that’s achievable in seconds.  The skin will absorb both products faster than anything else and the Beauty Blender is great for really pushing the product “into” the skin as compared to “on top” of the skin.  It’s perfect when you want that truly natural look.



Tarte carries one of my favorite tinted moisturizers and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Sonia Kashuk liquid illuminator.  Here are two ways you can use the above 3 products…

1.) Mix both products onto your hand and blend with your wet Beauty Blender.  Stipple onto skin all over.  This method is a great way to “fake” a glow and works best for dry skin types.

2.) Apply tinted moisturizer in the same way as the same above, let dry.  Pump a drop of the luminizer onto your hand.  Stipple onto the top of your cheekbones (should sit on the outsides of the lower bottom corner of your eyes.)  This works best if you’re normal to combination skin, or oily.

You can also apply a bit of the illuminator to the apple of the cheeks and under and above your brow bone arches.  This goes for either skin type and is strictly a matter of personal likeness/opinion.

Disclaimer: When I use the world “stipple” I simply mean that you want to press and “dot” the product onto your skin.  You don’t ever want to lay the blender (or your makeup brush) onto your skin and do nothing but swirl it around.  The only thing that does is push the product around (and off!)  

Here is an amazing video of why Beauty Blenders are brought to you by the oh-so-talented makeup artist Kandee Johnson.  It also goes over why knock-offs are a waste of money and how to clean and use it properly! Enjoy!!