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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fragrance Everyone Will Love: Prada Candy

I normally don't do fragrance reviews or recommend that someone buy a certain one because fragrance is a very personal, subjective thing where tastes can differ tremendously from one woman to the next. I don't try a lot of fragrances because normally if I find a couple that I love, I stick to those and they become my signature scents. I don't like to switch it up very often unless something comes along that blows me away. I am not normally into "sweet" scents. I like musky-woodsy-patchouli type "boyfriend" scents as they are so aptly named nowadays. 
Prada's new fragrance "Candy" is a sweet scent that is reminiscent of Pink Sugar but done in a more sophisticated, grown up way. It is so delicious. This is a scent that I think almost everyone would like because it just smells good without being too much of any one note. It's not heavy whatsoever, it is very light and wearable. The composition of the fragrance is an elegant mix of musks as the top notes, followed by some vanilla and then an explosion of caramel at the base. But it isn't too sweet or sugary smelling, it has the right amount of sweet without being headache inducing. And the bottle is gorgeous and will visually make a beautiful addition to your perfume collection. I think that Prada Candy is the gift that you could give any woman in your life and she is going to love it, whether she be 16 or 60. 

Want some great new eyeshadow? Enter to win the brand new, sold out, Urban Decay Naked2 Palette! Sign up to follow my blog, and click the link below!

Unnatural Beauty: A Humorous and Opinionated Beauty Blog: Kicking off 2012 With A Giveaway.. The Urban Decay Naked2 Palette! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Current Favorite Lipstick! New Series..

So since my favorite cosmetic item is lipstick, I am going to be posting a new series where I feature my current favorite lipstick or the lipstick I've been wearing the most often. Lately, my favorite lipstick has been MAC Myth, a very pale fleshy nude with a pink undertone. Not a color for everyone but it could be wearable for most if warmed up a bit with a gloss, or lip liner base.

How I Like to wear MAC Myth:

First, I moisturize my lips but not too greasily, line lips with MAC Stone (a grey/plum/taupe) for definition and to make my lips look bigger. Then I like to take a pink liner of some sort and go over the Mac Stone, making sure the MAC Stone is all blended with no harsh lines, and fill in my lips. This makes the MAC Myth look less "concealer" like. Then I go over the liner with Myth. I don't use a gloss over top but occasionally I will take Too Faced Centerfold and lightly put a layer over the Myth if I want to warm it up. Other ways to warm up Myth is by taking a warm/peachy gloss over it. It's not such a scary shade, I promise. 

Photo Credit

Myth is most comparable to MAC Creme d' Nude, MAC Fleshpot (Myth is slightly pinkier while Fleshpot has a fleshier tone), Gosh Lipstick in Darling, MAC Playing Koi. If you like any of these lipsticks, then you probably already own Myth, its pretty much a classic staple nude.

I Love the Smell of Makeup on Christmas Morning.. Need Some Cheap Gift Ideas?

How many of you asked for some type of makeup product for the upcoming holidays or are giving some type of makeup to someone else? If you want some cheap gift ideas for friends/co-workers/people that you don't want to spend a lot of money on, I am including a great video below. 

So I was thinking, you know how Christmas and similar holidays just aren't as exciting it was when you were a kid? The anticipation you feel as a child to come around the corner, or down the stairs to see the Christmas tree all lit up with tons of presents wrapped so beautifully cannot be duplicated in adulthood to the same degree. However, the next best thing is getting to experience it through my child's eyes. Obviously nothing is more exciting to a child than opening up toys. But I think I experience a similar feeling on a smaller scale when I open up makeup gifts. Makeup to me is like toys are to a child. That is the best way to describe it. Makeup is fun and colorful with adorable packaging and cutesy gimicks. Makeup, like toys, is also vulnerable to being replaced over and over and over to find the next best thing with no real permanent satisfaction in sight. Makeup is but a mere momentary indulgence and the feeling of opening up a brand new makeup item can only be replicated by opening up another brand new makeup item. For me, using the makeup isn't as fun as the anticipation of opening up and using the makeup. As weird as that may sound, it is actually true. Being an adult isn't that fun, I admit. However, getting to indulge in some good old fashioned American materialism on a grand scale once a year is still something to get excited about (while keeping in mind the true meaning of Christmas, of course, first and foremost). And if your memories of Christmas or other holidays aren't very good, then that really sucks because every child deserves to experience the magic of Christmas whether it include one present or 20. The best way to deal with bad Christmas memories is by making new good ones, especially if you have children. Do all of the things you wish you could have done as a child and experience the holidays the way you wish you could of the first time. Better late than never. I'm celebrating two Christmas's this year, one with my husband and kids at the normal time of month and one next weekend with all of my other family flying in to stay with us. So I hope to have some makeup goodies to report soon! God Bless and be safe and happy this holiday season!

Watch the 1st Video for Great Stocking Stuffer Ideas (Beauty-related) Watch the 2nd Video for Building a Drug-Store Makeup Bag Gift

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Just Checking In! A Quick Hi, Happy Thanksgiving!

So just checking in to say I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. I will be mad busy getting my Christmas shopping started and doing all of the fun Thanksgiving cooking and eating! Not to mention some last minute school-related responsibilities. I cannot tell you how much I am LOVING the Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation, seriously. It not only covers everything but it makes my skin look better and my pores even look smaller. It's like a magic potion. Also on my list of current loves, the Anastasia clear brow gel. I had the tinted one for like 2 years and it was all fine and dandy but didn't keep this one pesky portion of my left brow in place. However, the clear gel must have a little bit of glue in its formula because my brows don't budge. Also loving the Revlon Lip Butter in "Gumdrop", a lovely pale lavender-ish shade. Can't say I care for the Berry Smoothie shade I picked up first so I am glad I purchased the Gumdrop. Because its way better.

If anyone goes out on Black Friday to do shopping, please don't be the person that either got trampled over or did the trampling when the doors open. No electronic item is worth the pain, or embarrassment that comes along with being the psycho featured on the news that thinks all her problems will be solved with a $79 DVD player slash toaster oven.

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just a Little Fellow Blogger Shout Out!

Just wanted to say that if nail polish is your thing, you should check out my pal Danielle's blog.
 She is a very lovely follower of mine, a total smarty and lover for both higher learning and makeup and nail polish. She knows her polish, she shows her polish, and she has substance for days. Thanks Danielle, keep up the good work girlfriend! A guest post will be coming your way shortly!
BTW, I am dying for that Essie polish. And all the other colors in that "bling" collection..

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Personal Makeup Thoughts of the Day!

This is a long overdue post. First of all, I have so many products to review for you like my new LORAC Baked Matte Satin Blush in Velvet Rope (drop-dead amazing), Anastasia brow kit, some good drugstore stuff, Nutra-Nail (amazing at-home gel nail system, very long lasting chip proof results for $11), and a bevy of Sephora purchases mostly for Christmas presents unfortunately. I will tell you that it takes an act of God in situations where a Sephora package arrives into my hands that includes gifts for other people that I don't hijack and claim as my own. It's takes tremendous willpower. But those people on my list this year are lucky ladies because I got them (me?) some good stuff!

Next subject. Went to ULTA today because I have a $9 off coupon as well as a $3.50 off coupon to be used on non-prestige items (which means non-good brands). I was in much need of a brow pencil so I thought I'd take a look at a few that got some good reviews. Normally I like the Dior Brow Universal but its nearly $30. I looked at Benefit (too waxy), Too Faced Brownies (pencil form, I prefer automatic, and Anastasia who is the self-proclaimed Queen of Brows. Since Anastasia had  a set where I could get tweezers, brow gel and a brow pencils for a few dollars more than just the brow pencil, I went for it. AND, BONUS, I got a free gift with purchase that included none other than the same dang tweezers I just bought in the kit. Oh well. That always happens to me. Once I bought a couple of OPI polishes, an OPI top coat and OPI base coat. I get to the register and guess what the free gift is? And OPI base coat that doubles as a top coat. Had I known that, I would have dumped the two I had and picked up more pretty colors instead. Drag. 

So this thing always happens to me when I go to the mall, Sephora, or ULTA. I lose all track of the goings on of the outside world. I can only compare it to what people say about Las Vegas when you don't know day from night or noon from midnight because you are just in a dellusional trance that has nothing to do with reality. It happened to me today at ULTA. Prior to ULTA I told myself, you have to hurry up because you have two ginormous papers to write. All of this went out the window when I found myself in an alternate beauty universe where time, school work, and mom duties do not exist. Luckily I snapped back to reality as the store became crowded and the check-out girls voice was filling my ears with a level of annoyance that was unbearable. You know the kind of girl that draws out certain sound in the word she is saying? "I was gonna wear thaaaaaaat buuuuuut liiiiiiiiiike it didn't look good on meeeeeeee." You know what else doesn't look good on you? Talking like a dumb-ass. 

Prior to that interaction, I overheard a makeup artist telling a customer to put back whatever gold eyeshadow she just picked up because, and I quote, "gold tends to make people with blue eyes look tired." While I was over looking at the Bare Escentuals stuff, I muttered under my breath, "that isn't true." And it freaking isn't. I have blue eyes, I know that gold makes blue eyes sparkle. Duh, lady! Someone needs to get re-trained because I am pretty sure she is getting her lessons from a point in time prior to figuring out how to properly use color to maximize your eyes potential. Plus she smelled like a day old party. Like cigarettes and vodka seeping out of her pores. Unacceptable in a customer service profession. 

And there you have it. My personal thoughts for the day. Join me next time as I further pick people apart and talk about makeup at the same time. 

OH OH OH, Scroll down and see my new favorite foundation post!!

Best Foundation Ever: Estee Lauder Doublewear

Oh, Estee Lauder Doublewear, where have you been all my life? You are so perfect for me that I feel like I have known you forever, and yet, we only just met. They warned me about you, they said Doublewear would never work for a person with dry skin, they said it was too matte and it would emphasize dry patches. But they were wrong. Boy were they wrong. 

So I've always pretty much thought of Estee Lauder as a grandma brand. They were like one of the first makeup brands I'd ever heard of when I was a kid. Let's just say if I was on the hunt for new makeup, this is one counter I would have breezed right past. Shame on me. I've heard people talk about the amazingness of this foundation but I was scared to try it. I am SO break-out prone when it comes to foundation and I have very specific criteria I adhere to when I am looking for a new one. As of late, it seems like I'm ALWAYS looking for a new one because I am constantly being thrown under the bus by every single one I try. Until now.

OMG, I love this stuff. Why do I love this stuff? Because it covers like a DREAM. Seriously, I need no concealer with this because it even works to brighten up the under eye area. It is a matte yet semi-dewy finish which is a hard combination to achieve. The fact that it does dry kind of matte-like makes it something that dry skin girls may avoid but it totally works for me. I use a great moisturizer (Philosophy When Hope is Not Enough SPF) and I see no dry patches or experience any dry looking face of any kind throughout the day. And it wears for ever and ever. I have NEVER, and I repeat NEVER had a foundation that looked the same on my face 10 hours from the time that I put it on. I have never found a foundation that looks the same even 5 hours after I apply it. Its seriously, like magic. And it hasn't broken me out after almost a week which puts me in the safe zone. Another amazing quality, I don't need a setting powder. This one wonder product eliminates the need for a concealer and a setting powder. I speak for myself though, some of you oily buckets may need a setting powder. No insult intended, I wish I had some of that oil up on my face so that I wasn't a dried up old troll without some super heavy moisturizer. Especially in the winter.

So the only thing that bursts my bubble is the price, yikes! Grandma's be shelling out some big bucks on Estee Lauder because this stuff was like $37 with tax. For a glass jar, I might add. Which I hate. No pump allows for major inaccuracy and misjudgment when it comes to determining how much product you will need. It takes practice I guess. Glass bottles are so dated. I haven't had a glass bottle in forever. I mean its been at least a month. But before that it had been years. Get with it makeup makers! Pumps are so much more sanitary and easy to use. I bet you those makeup makers give us glass bottles on purpose so we pour out 5x more than we need every time and have to replace our foundation like 5x more often. I'm on to ya!

In all seriousness, I couldn't be happier. Let's simplify things a bit for those that like to cut to the chase and move past the ramblings of a lunatic.


-LONG WEAR! They say 15 hours, I haven't tried it for longer than 10 but we are good to go with 10.
-FULL and FLAWLESS coverage. 
-Matte finish yet has a beautiful sheen that makes skin look alive and glowing. 
-Great shade selection (I'm fresco which is a neutral for those that aren't too warm or too cool, its about a MAC NC or NW22-25)
-Doesn't smell like perfume or strong fragrance (Ahem :cough:: Chanel)


PRICE. Around $37-ish
Stupid glass jar bottle with no pump

This stuff is no joke. Its there for the long haul. So when you apply it, don't use your fingers. Its not the blending type of foundation. It goes on best with your standard wedge sponges that you can buy for a few bucks at the drugstore. Put some foundation on your hand and get some on the sponge and go around your face in a patting motion. You will get the most natural finish in this way. I've heard that for even fuller coverage, use a foundation brush. But I don't see how the coverage could get any fuller. It dries fast so that is why I say that blending with fingers is counterproductive and has great potential for streaky-ness.

If you don't want to shell out the price, ask your counter for samples. And if you don't need something with full coverage, they make a Doublewear Light that isn't as major in the coverage area. And if you don't want to try this foundation but want a long wearing cheap alternative, try Revlon Colorstay Foundation. It has a major cult following and super amazing longevity as well.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Very Big Disappointment: First-Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream

First of all, I am the only one in the world that hates the First-Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. No, seriously, it's documented. There are over 1,000 reviews for this stuff on and it averages 5 stars. I purchased this product thinking it was going to be my saving grace to the horrible dry skin I've been encountering through the weather change and usage of heat in my home. It turned out to not be a saving grace. In fact, it made my skin scream bloody murder and beg to be released from its unmerciful clutches. There is something in this face cream that burns my skin. So much so that I had to run to a towel and bury my face in it until the burning subsided. I am pretty sure the burn inducing component is Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus in a cough drop equals good, Eucalyptus rubbed all over an already sensitive face equals very BAD. Although, if you aren't sensitive to this stuff and you rub it all over your face, it may be used to cure the common cold.

Not only did it burn me but it made my dry skin worse. Seriously, it made dry patches appear that weren't even there yet prior to using this cream. Very counter-productive. It boggles my mind that there are so many people that love and adore this product and say that it took care of their dry skin instantly. 

But I refuse to be completely negative with my review, so the good thing is that this cream can be used elsewhere on your body and my hands don't seem to be as resistant to it as my face is. Plus it was only $12 because I chose to buy the small 2 oz size and don't feel its worth it to return at this point. For those of you that may want to give this stuff a try, it is free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, GMOs, and pthalates. That being said, it is full of major disappointment.

It's been a long time since I've totally hated a product I've purchased. That is because I usually read tons of reviews to gauge its potential.  Which I did and it backfired. And lit my face on fire. Back to the drawing board.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Current Beauty Favorite: Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder

How I let this one slip through the cracks I don't know. I've been aware of this powder's existence for quite some time but since I am so picky about foundations and powders, I made the stupid choice to assume this powder would break me out. Plus is super freaking expensive. But, I found out that it is oil-free and is good for those with dry skin (me) and also can be purchased on Ebay (of course) for much cheaper, and in smaller sizes which is perfect for trying a new product. I hesitate to even call this product a powder because it totally doesn't feel like one. Most powders are a bit drying and after you apply them, your face normally feels a bit matte and smooth. This is how Halo differs from a powder. Its actually hydrating and makes your face glow and look relatively dewy but not in a bad or a grease ball gross way. So let's break it down, shall we?

What it is:
Smashbox Halo Perfecting Hydrating Powder: Sephora calls this the first anti-aging powder. It is formulated with 11 amino acids, a powerful peptide,  PURE GOLD and 48 minerals. What? Really? Pure gold? Wow. It has a built in patented hydration system that is actually supposed to help your face get BETTER throughout the day and not worse. The claims are that after 6 weeks of use, 67% of the study participants saw a reduction in the look of lines and wrinkles.

What it Doesn't Have in it:
Oil, Talc, and Parabens. Three little words but three very important big big words in skin care and makeup.

Who is it for?
Perfect for those with normal, normal to dry, or downright ridiculously dry peel faces. 

Shade Selection: 
Anyone should be able to find a match with shades ranging from Fair, Light, Light-Medium, Medium, Medium-Dark and Dark. I like that they have included little "half-shades" for those that are on the light and dark ends of each main category light, medium, and dark.

I LOVE and adore the packaging of this product. It has this shave system where the powder is pressed but when you turn the circular component that houses the powder, it shaves off the amount you want and becomes loose powder. You can shave off a bunch by turning the dial a lot or just a bit by turning the dial slightly. It rocks. You can see in the photo above.

Ouch. It's $59 but it comes with a Kabuki brush so that eases the pain a little bit. You can buy it with an even better brush through QVC but the price is somewhere around $70+. I got a smaller size for dirt cheap on Ebay. Totally worth it!

Product Performance:
It can work as a foundation or a "powder". If you have tons and tons of flaws, first of all I'm sorry and second of all, you may want to use this over your full-coverage foundation. I use it over my foundation or concealer.

It gives you a true glow. Halo is the perfect way to describe this powder because it gives the most perfect angelic glow. Its finish is unlike any powder, mineral powder, or foundation I've used. Its the reason why I love the product so much. 

You can touch up throughout the day without it looking caked on.

You can use it to set your makeup. If you love your foundation but its too matte or you wish the finish was a bit more dewy, slap this Halo stuff on and you're good to go. 

A little goes a long way.

Its travel friendly, provides a satisfying "click" when you close the product that lets you know it is closed and won't open and spill all up in your nice handbag.

Why You May Not Like It:

If you have super oily skin, you may not need a hydrating powder. 

And you may not like it if you're broke. Like I said, its pricey. I wish you could buy it without the Kabuki and knock that price down.

Final Thoughts: I had to purchase this in medium because there was no other option on Ebay for the size I wanted. I am more like a Light-Medium or Light but I thought, what the heck. The medium is certainly more of a yellow, golden medium and not pink or neutral. I plan to purchase the light and mix the two. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tis the Season For Giving (Makeup!), Just a Few Gift Ideas....

Makeup is an amazing gift to receive if you are a young girl just getting started into the exciting world of cosmetics or if you are someone that still gets giddy when she opens up a holiday collection of lip glosses, makeup is easy to buy as gifts. Why? Because the selection of great gifts in the beauty category is pretty much endless and the ways in which many of the holiday sets are put together are sure to please most people regardless of their personal preferences. You can buy beauty gifts for so many people whether you barely know them (office gift exchange), teachers, girlfriends, family, or any other special person that has touched your life in some way that you'd like to thank with a little something. I've compiled a great list of gift ideas for all kinds of people that may be on your gift list. But if you know someone that totally hates makeup and anything girly, getting them something beauty related may come across as more of an insult than a hit. As if you're trying to give them a hint. Kind of like when you know someone hates to cook and is a terrible cook and you buy them a cookbook. It goes over like a led balloon. 

How About that Niece, Grandaughter, Daughter that is just getting started with makeup? 

Two words: Too-Faced. Young girls (and girls of any age really) LOVE the brand Too-Faced because they have the most adorably packaged makeup sets, especially around the holidays. Getting a little set from this brand will be a huge huge hit with any young girl in your life, or any girl that loves girly things. Here are some suggestions of various price ranges:

Too-Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection: perfect for girls starting out with makeup when
you don't want them looking overly made up or gothic. The shadows are perfectly natural and simple they all work together which takes the guesswork out of what goes with what. It's all included in this cute little kit that is sure to please anyone (not just young girls, everyone loves this palette trust me) $36
Too Faced Sweet Dreams Makeup Collection: OMG, this is so adorable and fun. You know how kids get so excited to open up toys on Christmas morning or other holiday gift giving activities, well, this set is like toys for makeup lovers. It not only includes great products but is so aesthetically pleasing that it is definitely one of my favorite gift ideas this year. $52

Too Faced Glamour to Go: This is a great little all-in-one set that is perfect when you have a $25 or less price limit to spend on a gift or you need an excellent stocking stuffer. This would make a perfect teacher gift or like I said before, if you want to gift someone and don't want to spend a fortune. You get a bunch of eyeshadows, a bronzer and blush and a lip gloss. So perfect to throw in the purse and have everything all in one compact. And only $22!

For the Girl That Insists her Makeup Be Naturally Made (no parabens, sulfates, dyes, fragrances, etc)

Tarte The Starlet Limited Edition Makeup Vanity: This is an over $500 value! It looks like a jewelry box and would look great sitting out on your vanity or dresser. This ginormous makeup collection includes little drawers that pull out and reveal a bevy of shadows, blushes (the very popular amazonian clay blushes that last 12 hours), bronzers, etc, and even comes with a mascara primer and their most famous mascara, Lights! Camera! Lashes. This amazing value is only $52

Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous: Another amazing value from the beloved brand that is famous for its "high-performance naturals". This set is exclusive to QVC and includes an AMAZING (one of my favorites) concealer, an Amazonian Clay long-wearing blush, a waterproof cream shadow, mascara, and more. There are 8 total pieces in this collection and everything in it is sure to work on everyone and can be purchased based on skin-tone (light, medium, dark) but that only applies to the concealer. All for $55

For the Makeup Junkies that Love to Try New Brands and New Things:

Mally's 10-Piece Deluxe Automatic Waterproof Eyeliner Collection (QVC): Wow. 10 beautiful eyeliners for around $45! That is a ridiculous deal! You get your basic colors like black, brown, plum, navy, but then Mally throws in some super fun colors like a silver shade (Tinsel) and a gold (24K). These liners can ALSO be used as a waterproof shadow by putting it all over the lid and rubbing them in a bit before they set. And the box is VERY nice. Mally copied the design of the box after a very expensive piece of jewelry she received in a box just like it. Its not just any box, really, its very pretty and totally gift worthy. 

Mally Volumizing Mascara Duo: You get two mascaras for $28 (QVC) which make great stocking stuffers if you have two daughters or you can gift one person both mascaras. This mascara is so good, seriously. It lengthens, separates, and volumizes like crazy. What I love about it is that it doesn't make your lashes crunchy, you can build and build and your lashes keep growing. You can also find these on Ebay where I purchased mine if you want to get them a bit cheaper. 

Mally Share the Love Set: The reason why this set is called Share the Love is because you get 2 of a couple of  the items included so you can choose to give some of it away or keep for yourself. Which makes it a great gift to split up and give some of the items to one person and some to another on your list. Again, great stocking stuffers! You get two of Mally's famous mascara that wins the QVC beauty award like every year, plus two of these great lip pencils. For around $65

Great Gift For Makeup Artists, or Those Just Starting Out in the Makeup Artistry Business:

Sephora Makeup Studio Blockbuster Set: If you know any new makeup artists that just finished cosmetology school and trying to get a career started, this is a great gift. Its extremely portable and easy to carry on assignments. Not to mention so fun to play with. You get 96 eyeshadows, 84 lipglosses, and tons more stuff. This is also an awesome gift to give someone that just loves playing around with different colors and achieving different looks. This is an over $400 value for $49.50 at Sephora.

For the Fragrance Lover on Your List:

Sephora Favorites Fragrance Samplers (some are $50 and some $75) I talk about this Sephora fragrance sampler all the time. For one, you get tons of amazing popular fragrances sold at Sephora. But that's not the best part, You get a voucher for a FREE full-size fragrance! You decide which fragrance in the sampler was your favorite and that is the one to use your voucher for. So you use your voucher for a full-size version of one of the samples you used in the sampler. It's an amazing deal and I did it last year. This is a great gift idea because you can either gift the voucher or keep it for yourself, or keep the sampler and gift the voucher or vice versa. What a fantastic way to try a bunch of fragrances that you don't know whether you'd want in the full size or have been on the fence about. Highly recommended. 

For the Bath and Body Products Girl:

Philosophy The More the Merrier Gift Set: Talk about a great gift for scent lovers as well as a great gift to split up and give to multiple recipients. I did this last year with my daughter's teachers, I split up a Philosophy gift set. I was hoping they knew that Philosophy was a really good and not that cheap of a brand so they didn't think I went to Wal Mart and bought them some bubble bath that would inevitably give them a rash in really awful places. So this is a good deal, $26 at Sephora, so cute, so festive, and so yummy. 

For the Mom-to-Be or New Mom on Your List:

Philosophy Welcome Baby Gift Set: A 4-piece skin care set to pamper that new mommy or mommy to be in your life. This isn't a gift set for baby but rather, for mommy because baby will get plenty of gifts and it will be the mom who needs the pampering. Who says the baby should get all the fun gifts? What a great way to acknowledge a new mom and make her feel special. $30 at Sephora.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Good Drugstore Foundation Alert: Neutrogena Healthy Skin

Foundation is a very tough thing to get right, especially if you have sensitive skin. Foundation can be either too oily, too drying, too sheer, too thick, too orange, too yellow, too pink, or too expensive. I have spent anywhere from $10 to $55 for foundation because frankly I would pay anything to find a really good one that meets my criteria.

 My Foundation Criteria:

A. Doesn't break me out
B. Gives me a dewy finish without looking shiny or oily
C. Doesn't sink into my skin and disappear by the end of the day
D. Doesn't make my face color look totally different from my neck color
E. Doesn't settle in pores and/or fine lines
 Is that too much to ask? Apparently so because I'm still trying new foundations. But I've found a very good one and at the drugstore of all places no less. I've heard a bunch of good things about this in the past but I never purchased it until MakeupByTiffanyD on YouTube convinced me of its potential. So, its Neutrogena Healthy Skin Foundation and it runs around $14.99. I bought the liquid foundation but I believe they make it in a compact as well. You may recall people saying this foundation is a dupe for NARS Sheer Glow. I haven't tried NARS Sheer Glow because I believe it has SHEER ZITS written all over it seeing as how their blush and bronzer breaks me out although I love it dearly :( Anyway, moving on..

Why Neutrogena Healthy Skin Is A Keeper:

-Great coverage, I would call it medium-full with an emphasis on medium with a smidge of "full". But I find it to be buildable so you can pretty much create your own coverage.

-Nice finish. Not too matte but not too wet looking, its kind of just right.

-Doesn't evaporate or iodize into my skin by mid-day

-Good shade selection for yellow girls and pink girls

-Cheap and Accessible

-Has antioxidants in it

-SPF 20

-Everyone says its a dupe for NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

Why You May Not Like It:

-Not oil-free (but hasn't broken me out yet and I've used it for 2 weeks)

-I hate the packaging. Its one of those good old-fashioned glass bottle types with no pump dispenser. I try just pouring a little out into the lid but a bunch always comes out all at once. Tried putting a little on my hand it enough came out for a weeks worth of use.

Who May Like It:

Those with normal to normal to dry to dry to slightly oily. It may not be matte enough for you oil slicks out there but you may want to do further research on this matter by reading reviews on

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fashion Thursday: Need Some New Leggings?

I have been hitting the JACKPOT when it comes to good leggings. Seriously good leggings. I'm used to buying a couple of pairs of leggings a year from Express only to have them thin out, fade out, and ultimately develop a hole in some inopportune area that makes it impossible to hide. SO, conveniently enough, as I was browsing some of the YouTube girls videos that I follow, there was a discussion of who has the best leggings. So I copied off of what another girl bought and loved. One pair I purchased was from Macy's and they are the INC "Ponte Knit" pant which is more like a legging/pant than a legging which is great because you don't have to feel so concerned with making sure your entire butt area is covered. They are nice, they are soft, they are thicker than a typical legging and they wash very well. What more could you want? I purchased them for $49.50. I'm not totally in love with that price but I will get over it. And buy them in another color. Or two.
Macy's INC Ponte Knit Pant $49.50
So one pair of great leggings wasn't enough. I bought two more pairs and this time from Nordstrom by the label "Zella" and they are their "Live In" leggings. I bought a pair of black and I bought a pair of denim for $52 each. And each pair is reversible! But with the black ones, they only reverse over to another pair of black ones. So, you know, in case you didn't feel like wearing black.. you could reverse them and wear black. Ha! But the denim pair reverse into a lighter greyish/bluish denim that may be cute. They are soft and comfortable and so lovely and they have no itchy tags because tags would kind of get in the way of the purpose of being reversible. What is cute is that the tag is kind of hidden in this little mystery pocket in the waist band. I mean, you can't totally forgo the tag because you need the wash instructions, right? Last thing I want to do is to decide for myself which is the best way to wash and dry them because then they may end up fitting my five year old. But she would be so totally cute in them.

Nordstrom Zella Live-In Legging $52
I can't decide which brand I like better because I love them both. I will say the INC brand I purchased look a little dressier because they have a seam that runs down the middle to kind of set them apart a little bit. And the fact that they are more like a legging/pant rather than a traditional legging. On the other hand, the Zella's are more casual, thinner, yet totally soft and cozy and can function as a work-out pant or a going-out pant. Either way, its a win win for me. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

YouTube Makeup Guru Alert! Check Her Out!

I am an avid watcher of YouTube makeup gurus! I love watching haul videos and getting product recommendations and I am an absolute sucker because I am easily persuaded into buying products that some of my favorite girls recommend. A couple of the girls I watch said that they have just started to watch this "samanthaschuerman" and that she was absolutely delightful. And she is! She is very funny, quirky, bubbly, and obviously not afraid to be herself. She is someone who us gals with kids can relate to but she is also someone that I think a lot of women would enjoy watching. I think many of you will enjoy her because she is the kind of girl that talks about a lot of affordable and easily accessible products and she is brutally honest about her likes and dislikes. I have recently subscribed to her but have watched a ridiculous amount of her videos already. I thought I would pass the information along just in case you are in need of a little pick me up one day because Sam is truly a ray of sunshine. She also makes family videos with her and her husband and baby boy that are very funny and so relateable. One thing I like about her family vlogs is that many of our lives are so crazy busy, stressful, and in my family, we are just plain serious all of the time. Watching her family interact with one another just being silly and happy is a good reminder to take time out and just enjoy the moment that you are in because at the risk of sounding too cliche, time flies and life is short. Stop and smell the roses! And OMG, she does these weekly favorites videos which was the first video of hers that I watched and she was talking about her obsession with these Mary Kay skincare products, Age Rewind cleanser and moisturizer. She was so convincing that she had me buying them off of Ebay before her video was even over. Well, SHE didn't have me buy them but her passion for the products was infectious. What can I say, I caved. I'm weak. Weak. Weak. Weak.

Samanthaschuerman on YouTube Link:

And her recent favorites video if you're too lazy to seek her out on YT all on your own:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mascara Must-Have: Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara

Everyone who knows me knows that I am over the moon obsessed with Benefit They're Real. However, I have found a very close second that you must know about. And for something to be almost as good as They're Real, it has to be pretty perfect. But it gets better, its not only almost AS amazing but it is more affordable. Not drug store accessible but price-wise, its pretty good. And its Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara. Why is it so great you ask? Read on..

Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara: Mally Roncal is a drop-dead gorgeous and super vivacious and energetic makeup artist to the stars (Beyonce to name a biggie). She can be seen bouncing around QVC with that million dollar smile presenting some innovative and great products plus sharing some of her tips and tricks. When it came to mascara, Mally could never find the perfect one to suit all of the components of what makes a great mascara. So she used to go through a very arduous process to get the right mascara look. First she would use an Italian made mascara, then coat the lashes with Japanese black pigments (that she actually went to Japan to buy), then use a Parisian diamond-cut lash comb to separate the lashes. She would repeat the process in order to achieve the right look and this took forever. So she came up with her own mascara that did everything she wanted in one tube. It volumizes. It separates like nobody's business. It lengthens. It's very buildable, and beautifully glossy black black in color. I love it! You can put coat after coat after coat after coat and you're lashes just keep on growing and they don't get crunchy. Now, there is a point in any mascara application process where your lashes can clump if you apply too much, but I find with Mally's mascara, you can go for quite a while before clumping comes in to play. I bought mine on Ebay for less than $15 but they are sold in duo's through QVC for I believe 2 for $28? Something good like that... take a look at the beautiful Mally in action..