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!


The Best Product I’ve Ever Used


Y’all.  Today’s post is huge.  Today I’m sharing the BEST product I’ve ever used in my entire life!!!

There’s a lot riding on this post so I hope that each and everyone of you who purchase this recommendation fall as madly in love with it as I do.

And if you don’t fall in love with it, tell me what works better than this because I have yet to find it.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you…


The Tarte Cosmetics BB Tinted Treatment 12-Hour Primer!  

This primer is everything and more I’ve ever wanted in a product.

It’s a primer but I SWEAR you can wear it as a foundation, it has SPF but it works PHENOMENALLY well as a primer, it has SPF but it still covers like a FOUNDATION…do you get where I’m going with this?

Most primers you could never wear solely on their own but this one knocks it out of the park for coverage, I swear it covers better than most regular foundations that I’ve tried.  Also add the fact that it smoothes out skin texture incredibly well.  This is your primer if you’re wanting to reduce pore size!  I also love that it has a high SPF but that you can’t smell or feel it at all.  That is like the equivalent of calorie-free cheesecake.

This primer can be worn alone or with your regular foundation lineup and it will give you the most flawless complexion you’ve ever had in your entire life.  Yes, I said it.  If you disagree comment below and tell me what’s better because there is nothing.  The Sephora Gods have deemed this primer most fit for everyone in all of the land.

And the absolute best part?

It. Lasts. All. Day.

#MicDrop #Run #NotGettingADimeForThisPost #JustWantToShareTheLove


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!





Finding Your Perfect Foundation

Current Faves (2)

Just this week, an old friend from high school sent me a message and asked me for a foundation recommendation.  She had a list of requirements and she told me that what she had tried in the past wasn’t working well.  It inspired me to write this post because I have SO many tips and tricks for finding the right foundation, no matter what your list requires!

I’m going to break it down for you in simple steps and I’m also going to list a few of my all-time favorites for people who just want a general recommendation.

1.) Decide if you want a light, medium or full coverage formula.  

Light coverage will still show freckles and skin discoloration, medium is a good in-between if you want some coverage but don’t want a heavy finish, and full coverage gives a very opaque coverage.  Think Adele.

Also, do you want a dewy (glowy) finish or a matte (no shine) finish?

Dewy on the left, skin has an overall glow.  Matte on the right, skin almost appears to be powdered.  BlakeSM

2.) Decide if you want a powder, liquid or cream.

As mentioned from tip #1, these 3 textures will often yield the above results.  Powder is light coverage, liquid is medium, and cream is full.  For the record, I will 9.5/10 always recommend a liquid finish.  It’s the most blendable and very few people over the age of 17 can pull off powder (skin has to be nearly perfect for it to sit well by itself on the skin.)  If you have acne or other skin texture issues powder never has and never will look good on top it.

3.) Go to Sephora and find someone to help you.  

This tip will save you 38293 million different ways.  I know some people hate spending $ on “expensive makeup” but you will spend just as much when you buy 2-3 wrong shade foundations at Target or Walgreens.  Tell a Sephora team member that your looking for a new foundation and that you need XYZ from tips #1&2.  And don’t be afraid to be honest with them. Tell them what you’ve tried in the past and why it didn’t work.

4.) Ask for an application of the foundation.

This is why I love Sephora, they will walk you through everything step-by-step.  They will color match you for the right foundation shade, show you what primer and what brush to use and they will apply it in store so that you can see how it looks and feels. This is huge guys, this takes out sooo much of your guessing work.


5.) Decide if you’re ready to purchase or ask for a sample.

If you feel unsure of how well you like the new foundation, ever-so-politely ask for a sample of it.  This will really give you a good idea of how well it stays and pushes you closer to a yes or a no.  But also keep in mind that if you don’t have the brush and primer that they originally used on you, the end-result could be much different.

Following the above steps should help you decipher not only what you need but how you want your makeup to look.  When you feel confident about yourself, it’s makes you feel more presentable to the world.  Polished and professional – that’s my kinda gal! 😉 

Top Picks For Foundation:


Q&A Video Session Part 3

In part 3 of the beauty + skincare questions you submitted, I cover my favorite all-natural brands and how to find the right serum for your skin type.  I also include a fabulous tip for keeping your skin well hydrated!


Q&A Video Session Part 2

I’m back to answer more beauty + skincare questions!

In this video I cover my favorite brands for concealer, tinted moisturizer and sunscreen!



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!!


Beautifully BLUSHed :: Miss Hannah


It is with great excitement and joy that I bring to you a NEW series to the blog, the “Beautifully BLUSHed” series!!!

The Beautifully BLUSHed series will feature different females and inspired themes as a great “how-to” for all of you at home! I plan to cover a wide variety of looks and topics that many of us struggle with on our own and could use a few sneaky tips on how to achieve great results!

If you have a look you want to suggest or want to nominate yourself for a future post, please me email me at!


So now on to this week’s post and the oh-so-adorable Miss Hannah…I knew Hannah would be a great model for the first post because she has such a joy that lights up her face–which can be hard to do when you tell someone they have to take a picture with no makeup on!  I contacted her with only a little information on the blogpost idea and she was more than willing.  Hannah was such a trooper and she posed so well on camera that it’s hard to believe she doesn’t model for a living!

I decided that because Hannah has gorgeous red hair and because redheads almost NEVER like to wear color on their face I that we would shoot for a “Spring Makeup Inspired” post. Red hair obviously has a lot of pigment, it’s vibrant, no matter what shade.  I think so many of my fellow ginger girls (yes I am redheaded) are scared to add any more color to their face and wardrobe when they already have such a unique hair color.  But Spring in my mind means color, pastel, more importantly and I think that by doing light washes of those colors on a redhead can do wonders for their complexion!  I decided I wanted to do a light purple eye with a fun pink lip color for Miss H and I think the results turned out beautifully!!

So let’s start with the before…

HannahBeforeHannah has a great overall complexion and with this look we didn’t want to do anything heavy for the foundation or blush since the eyes and lips would be the focus.

I started by applying eye primer and then sweeping a neutral powder all over Hannah’s lids to soak up excess eyelid oil and prevent any creasing.  These two tips help keep shadow nice and smooth and it also helps the shadow stay on all day long.

I then started sweeping a light lavender eyeshadow on the lid of Hannah’s eye.  I used the lavender shade that comes in the Smashbox Limited Edition “Be Discovered” eyeshadow palette, but any light shade of lavender will do.  Next, you can take a light brown shadow and sweep it into the crease of the brow bone.  This helps to diffuse any eye shadow lines.

Next I took a waterproof brown eye pencil and lined the top and bottom of her lashes.  This is very important for anyone, especially pale-skinned women as it helps trace and define the lash line.  Otherwise your eyes can easily look “lost.”

Lastly, I took an eyeliner brush and dipped it into a deep plum shadow and traced it back over the brown liner.  This helps to solidify the purple eye look and it makes it look more uniform. (It also sets your eyeliner!)



Of course, no doll is complete without false eyelashes so I added several long and medium length individual lashes to her top lash line.  I LOVE individual falsies because they look so natural but also whimsical and playful at the same time.  I bet you didn’t even know she had them on!


I always love introducing new lip colors to women because it’s like finding out you can wear a certain style of jeans you never thought you could.

For Hannah, we used the Kardashian Beauty Khroma Lipstick in “Baby Doll.”  I love how fresh and vibrant it looked on her and it pairs so well with her purple eye look.  Who would’ve thought, two pastels on one redhead!! 😉  We also added a little lip gloss just to make it a little bit softer.


We finished her complexion by filling in her brows with a light powder and then used the Tarte Tinted Moisturizer for her base.  You would never know it but Hannah had just gotten off a long nursing shift (such a trooper right?) and she joked this should be called “The Tired Nurse Look.” One of my favorite undereye products for nurses or anyone that needs good coverage is the MAC Prolong Wear Concealer.  It covers like a dream but it doesn’t cake. Again, you probably can’t tell she has any on because it melts into the skin so well.  I dabbed a hint of a soft pink blush on her cheeks to give her color.  Don’t bail on me now, you can’t put color all over her face and then leave her with no blush, she will look washed out!  The key is to add a light sweep with something that has just a hint of color.

So what do you think? Are you willing to try out this look, redheaded or not? Sound off below!






Eyes That Shine!


Ok y’all, I know that at the top of every woman’s list of “I want” and “I need” is a great undereye concealer.  We all want it and we all buy the newest and greatest product in hopes of amazing eye brightening properties.

Well spend no further! I recently made an life-changing purchase at Sephora and I haven’t turned back since.  The two products that every woman needs to run out and purchase is the Tarte CC Undereye Corrector and the Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer.  I’ve shared in a photo below the products that I used for this post and don’t be surprised that I also used the Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation as my base foundation.  Tarte Cosmetics are the love of my life and I love supporting a company that not only integrates skincare into their makeup products, but that also uses a part of their profits to help those in need.



Brush: it Cosmetics :: Maracuja Concealer “Light Sand” :: CC Corrector “Light/Medium” :: Amazonian Foundation “Medium Sand”

I typically wear Light Sand in both the foundation and concealer, but on the day I took these photos I had used a sunless tanner and so I upped my foundation color to Medium Sand.  A Trick of the Trade – use a concealer 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone, it visibly lifts those unwanted darker areas.

The reason these two under eye products work so well together is because the CC corrector has a purple colored clay pigment that instantly brightens, while the yellow pigment in it diffuses the dark circles. Combined with the Maracuja concealer, it packs a brightening power like NO other!

The best part? You don’t have to use both together, but you can if you want all the help you can get! Follow the steps below…

*Apply moisturizer and eye cream.  When applying the eye cream, use your ring finger and pat/swirl it in both directions.  This helps to avoid pulling the muscles one way. Let dry completely.

*Apply face primer and foundation.  I love the it Cosmetics brush because it really packs a punch.  The control and precision I get with it, trumps all others.

*Apply CC corrector in an upside down triangle shape underneath the eye again with your ring finger. Don’t be afraid to use a moderate amount of the product.  Apply under the ENTIRE eye from inner tear duct to past the outer eye.  In other words, you are fading it from the inside of your eye, all the way to your hairline to wear your sunglass frame goes to connect behind your ear. Obviously don’t put the product into your hair, but it take straight to that stopping point. This gives you that “lifted and wide awake” look that everybody always asks for.  This can be applied with either your finger, foundation brush, or concealer brush.

*Apply Maracuja concealer in the same fashion as the CC corrector but use a smaller amount and don’t lay too much product near your bottom lash line.  Even though it’s called the creaseless concealer, it still creases somewhat.  So until it’s re-formulated, you’ll have to apply it and then be sure to set it with a loose or pressed powder on top.  This is vital and you cannot skip this step.  If you do, it will slide of your face by 12pm. It just will. I’m sorry but sometimes we just have to work a little harder for what we want girls.

**If you happen to find a tiny little crease under your eye around 12pm, just use your ring finger again to lightly pat it in. Very, very softly.

Before and After

The first picture is with foundation only…ets2

And after! Product is smooth, brightened and prepped to last all day!ets3

Also be sure to add either the CC or Maracuja concealer under the high point of the brow and on the cupid’s bow above the lip to add more “lift” and dimension to your face.

And let me end this post by saying that both eye products work to improve skin texture and tone over time with repeated use…as I said ladies “GOOO get this!!!”