Whatchu got in that bag?

Make up. You can’t live it, you can’t live without it right? Eh, something like that.  I just know that my uneven complexion, acne scars and just overall lack of sleep can all combine to make a pretty scary sight.  That’s where cosmetics swoop in and basically save my life.  I would like to say I’m one of those girls who can pull off the au naturel look, but let’s face it, I am not.  I can’t just roll out of bed and work with what I’ve got–oh how much time that would save.

Above are items that I wear on a pretty regular basis–my “go to” products if you will.  However, my makeup bag houses many more products than seen above, ie. additional eye shadows, eye liners, and lip glosses to name a few.  This compilation is a fairly good representation of what I put on my face on a normal day.

From left to right (row one)

1. Kate Spade Twirl rollerball– It smells like macarons and watermelon and blackberries. It is very girly, but I can still get away with using it during the daytime.  For clarification,  it goes on my wrists, not my face.

2. Covergirl classic color blush in “rose silk”–I feel like I first started using this blush back in middle school because my Mom had it and I knew nothing about makeup.  I’ve tried other blushes over the years but I am currently using this throwback. It has a nice subtle shimmer and a pigmented shade of pink.

3. MAC eyeshadow in Naked Lunch– I use this shade as an all over the lid color.  It’s a pretty champagne color with a touch of sheen.

4. MAC eyeshadow in Satin Taupe– This is my favorite eyeshadow ever. I use it in the creases of my eyes and the outer corners for a daytime look.  The color is hard to explain but it’s great for green eyes.

(row two)

5. Clinique lipgloss in Fireberry– I got this shade of gloss as a free gift from Clinique and absolutely love it.  It’s a really pretty reddish raspberry color with some gold sparkle and makes my lips ever so shiny and glossy.  It even stays on through lunch, which I just realized today!

6. NYC bronzer–I am not actually using this bronzer right now but I have in the past. For a cheapo brand it works fairly well! I don’t wear bronzer every day, but when I do I always notice it gives my skin some extra pizzazz.

7. Burts Bees lip balm– It’s the perfect lip balm for anyone. It tingles and is peppermint flavored.

8. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie– I just got this last week and I really like it.  It’s the stuff Emma Stone wears in the new Revlon commercial. It’s super buttery smooth and is a nice subtle color.

(row three)

9. Maybelline Fit foundation– According to the commercials and advertisements, this foundation is supposed to be “perfect for everyone.” I am not convinced yet.

10. Bath and Body Works “Dark Kiss” body cream– I don’t usually like B&BW stuff because it smells like a sorority house’s bathroom in there, but this is a scent I cannot live without.  It’s kind of dark (go figure) and sultry…?

11. Covergirl pressed powder– I have this in the “oil control” variety because my skin gets a little shiny throughout the day.  This powder is lightweight, covers well and doesn’t feel cakey or geisha-ish.

12. Maybelline Master Precise liquid eyeliner–I bought this eyeliner as a stand in for my usual Line Stilletto liquid eyeliner because it was out of stock. I am glad about it too because this stuff is awesome!! It’s more like a marker/pen than a little brush and it makes the pointy edge of the winged eyeliner look come together very easily! My only complaint is that this eyeliner is definitely not waterproof.

13. Maybelline Grat Lash BIG mascara–The pink and green bottle is a classic. The word BIG attached is even better!! This is a pretty basic mascara, as my lashes do not demand a whole lot of attention.  I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire some fairly long, curled lashes so one orsometimes two coats of this mascara usually does the trick for a daytime look.

Pucker Up!

I can’t help but notice all of the brightly colored lips women are donning this spring and summer season. Celebrities like Emma Stone, Taylor Swift, Rhianna, Lauren Conrad and Alexis Bledel (to name a few) have this bold trend nailed! I recently bought some Covergirl lipstick in the shade, “Spellbound”. It turns out this shade is much brighter than I had suspected and I still have yet to wear it out in public! My sister’s reaction to this fuchsia hue was, “Whoa, now that is Barbie pink.” I’m not sure if that’s good or bad?! hehe I will be sure to post pictures if I’m ever brave enough to wear it!

All of these ladies look beautiful with their bright pink lips, mais non?! Well, here are some tips to achieve the perfect balance of bright lips and shimmery, natural makeup for the rest of your face.

  • Keep everything simple.  If you have a bright lip color make sure to go light and easy on the makeup.
  • Do not overdo your blush when wearing hot pink lipstick.  Try to go for shimmery nude color instead of the usual pink blush.
  • If you’re not confident enough to wear such bright lip color during the day save it for the night instead.
  • If you want to change your night time look and want to be daring and bolder you can go for hot pink lips instead of the usual fiery red lips.
  • If you have a light skin tone go for hot pink lipstick with blue undertone.  If you have a darker skin tone go for orange or red based undertone.
  • If you’re fair skinned and a little shy to wear this color just think of how Emma Stone pulled off the look.  She looked sexy with her hot pink lips.
  • Planning to wear this lip color means having enough confidence to sport it.  Don’t just buy the lipstick and let your drawer wear it.  Be bold and confident enough!
  • Experiment with your look once in a while.
  • Test the lipstick before you buy it.  Make sure that you would wear it.
  • Test the color of the lipstick in natural lighting.  Don’t just rely on the store lighting.  Try to dab it on your lips and go outside to check it out.


Sweet Sparkles

Starting off the new week with a freshly painted set of nails always makes things a little brighter!  I was inspired by the post Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere featured on her blog. Like her, I am trying Essie’s “French Affair” paired with Sally Hansen’s “Snappy Sprinkles” as a top coat. The sparkly nail polish was a birthday gift from my friend, Gabby, and I can’t wait to try it out!

Blogger Spotlight: Keiko Lynn

I found a new fashion blogger and she’s awesome and inspiring. Her name? Keiko (cake-oh) Lynn. She is absolutely stunning and so is her wardrobe. I love nearly all of her looks and I just skimmed the surface of her blog. She has a really unique style and I really like her “messy bun look.” She posted a tutorial on how to do it, I watched it, and then went to the restroom at work and put my hair in a messy bun. Not even kidding : ) A lot of her pieces are thrifted and now I really want to go thrifting this weekend in both Manhattan and Lawrence. I can’t wait to add unique and original pieces to my closet and style them to fit my personal look accordingly.

Ahoy, Matey!

OPI has a new line of nail polishes inspired by Disney’s Pirates of the Carribean: Stranger Tides movie.  The line is expected to hit stores in May! All of the colors are perfect for Spring and I am particularly drawn to the sea foam green color!

Top row, L to R : Skull and Glossbones, Stranger Tides and Mermaid’s Tears. Bottom row, L to R: Steady As She Rose, Sparrow Me the Drama and Planks A Lot

This line also features a silver shatter color to layer over other polishes.  I’m sure it’s a cool effect!

Blogger Spotlight: Sterling Style

If you are a fan Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere, chances are you will also like the fashion blog, Sterling Style.  Taylor Sterling is the woman behind this fun blog, documenting outfits, fitness, decor and recipes. She is also the editor and founder of The Glitter Guide, which is an upcoming website featuring fashion, trends, fitness etc.  Right now, you can check out the tumblr version of the GG. I love Sterling Style because Taylor uses pieces that you could easily find in affordable stores like Target, Forever 21, Gap, Loft and others! I even have the same sparkly F21 bracelet that she often wears : )

Springing into…SPRING!

spring essentials

Spring Fever has hit. And it has hit hard. I am in the mood for pastels, wedges, sun dresses and SUNSHINE. I even bought a tanning package a couple of days ago to prepare my skin for the sunny months to come and to prevent people from being scarred for life from seeing my ghostly white body.  Yikes…

I have compiled a little set of items I consider to be spring essentials! Just like winter necessitates gloves, hand lotion for dry skin and cozy socks, springtime has a few of its own must-haves!

1. Umbrella-If you live in Kansas, you know how much it rains here in the spring.  What better way to shield yourself from the rain than by carrying and using a cute umbrella?!

2. Wave Spray–I’ve recently learned that if my hair comes in contact with even the slightest bit of humidity in the air, it becomes the mayor of Frizzville. Well, there is a new sheriff  in town and her name is Wave Spray. Why try to fight the wave when you can embrace it?? I’ll be using it a lot this season!

3. Spring Scarf- Although we often associate scarves with cooler months, a light weight scarf is the perfect accessory for a spring dress or tank and cardi combo.  Choose a lightweight fabric to prevent heat exhaustion.

4. Sunnies- With all of the time I will be spending outdoors (post 5 p.m and the weekends) I will surely need a good ole pair of sunglasses to protect my peepers from UV rays.

5. Accessories–Spring is the perfect time to experiment with some funky fun jewelry and shoes.  Once again, I have chosen all turquoise colored accessories…what is wrong with me?! But how cute and fun are those little elephant earrings?! Love them

6. Poolside Gear–When May rolls around I will be poolside whenever I can be! A nice sturdy straw beach bag is the perfect tool to store all of my sun bathing trinkets like sun screen, towel, cover up and a good magazine.  Also, the most important part (unless I’m at a nude beach) is a swim suit! I’ve really been liking the classic retro look lately.

7. iPod–MUST workout a lot to attain a hot summer bod. MUST listen to iPod shuffle and remember to keep it charged so it doesn’t die mid-workout…

8. Journal–The reasoning behind having a journal this spring is to log my exercise and diet regimen. If I keep on top of those extra Reese’s peanut butter cups by writing down how many I eat, maybe I won’t eat as many??

9. Make-up–Bronzer, a fresh palette of eye shadows, rosebud salve, lacquered nails and a spritz of a perfume like Kate Spade Twirl are all the perfect touch to an outfit.  Keep makeup light and fresh for a lovely glowy look.

10. Lemon Drops–The candy, not the drink.  They have always been a favorite of mine since childhood when my Grandma would give them to me during church service.  Nothing says spring time like lemon!

And of course, always remember to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn! : )

Oh yeah and stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and tea!

Cinnamon Roll Buns

You know those days when your hair just isn’t cooperating and you’d rather just throw it into a ponytail than try to deal with it? Here is a fun alternative to a somewhat boring ponytail! I found this great tutorial from A Cup of Jo ‘s blog, where she also includes other fun hair tutorials.  I especially like this “cinnamon roll buns” one because from what I can tell from the photos, the model’s hair is somewhat fine and thin, much like my own!

1. This style is so easy, it’s laughable. Day-old hair is best (which is true for most hairstyles, since it’s easier to work with hair that has a little dirt in it).

2. Divide your hair into three equal parts and quickly spray each section with a little hairspray to help give it hold. Let the hairspray set for a couple seconds, and then lightly comb it out.

3. Take the section on your right side, and twist your hair all the way down to the end. You want to twist counter-clockwise, toward your face. Wrap the right section in on itself, just like you’re making a little bun. Let some of the hair stick out, it’s ok (you don’t want them to look like Princess Leia buns).

4. Pin the right bun in place. I like to use these mini bobby pins, since they’re easier to hide and they’re coated in rubber so they hold your hair better.

5. Next, twist the middle section clockwise and pin. Then twist the left section clockwise and pin.

6. Spray the three buns with a little more hairspray, and you’re done!

How cute is that?! I like how the ends are whispy and stick out from the little buns! I can’t wait to try this look.

Also, find this J.Crew inspired messy side ponytail tutorial on the same site!

Cosmetic Staples

Nail Polish

Nail polish is not something I usually like to spend a lot of money on. It doesn’t have a long lasting wear time, therefore I don’t see the point in buying expensive bottles. Brands like Rimmel, Revlon and Maybelline normally cost around$3.50 to $5 a bottle and the Sinful line at Walgreens is only $2. I used to be very content with these cheap-o brands when it came to my wallet, but was never fully satisfied with the long-lasting results I was looking for in a nail polish. Within a day of application, little knicks and chips would start to appear on my freshly painted nails, which irked me since chipped nails look far from classy.

Recently I have steered away from my usual drug store purchases and have tried out more salon quality brands such as OPI and Essie. I have used OPI since the summer, experimenting with colors such as these:

Barefoot in Barcelona

Do You Lilac It?

Ski Teal We Drop

Lincoln Park After Dark

Although I am very pleased with OPI nail polish, it wasn’t until I discovered Essie nail polish that I realized what the power of a high quality nail polish can do for my nails. I feel like Essie is slightly better than OPI in the way that it resists chipping longer.

I found my first bottle of Essie at Wal-Mart of all places, (I had no idea they carried it!) when the end of the aisle display caught my eye. I have seen Essie in beauty supply stores before, but usually the shelf is filled with pale pinks, nudes and creams. This display at WM featured all types of different colors–purples, deep reds, vibrant blues, bright pinks and everything in between. Since seeing an episode of Pretty Little Liars featuring Aria wearing a pale blue nail polish, seen here, I have been searching high and low for a replica.

Although this color isn’t quite as pale as I wanted, I feel it’s a pretty good substitution:

Lapis of Luxury

This nail polish stayed on my nails totally chip-free for an entire week. I was astonished by the length of time it stayed looking pretty! Since then, I feel like I will never go back to anything other than Essie. Yes, it costs $8 a bottle, but I think it is SO worth it. I also bought this color a couple of days ago and applied it last night, after giving my nails a complete filing and buffing session.

California Coral

The next shades I want for spring are:

Splash of Grenadine


I am nearly positive I could select fifteen more shades that I would love to have, but I don’t need to go overboard. To see all the shades for yourself, visit Essie online.