Sunday, October 11, 2015


Hello beauties!

After nearly 3 years, I've decided to hang up my beauty blogging cap (or should I say makeup belt?).  I work full time, so blogging has always been a hobby, not a job.  When I first started out, I was spending every second of my free time creating content so I'd have a new post going up seven days a week.  After a period of time, I got burned out and started posting less frequently.  For the past few months, I've had a lot of realizations about blogging, hobbies, and life in general.  Life is precious and there are no guarantees.  Instead of blogging a few nights a week and all day Sunday, I've been spending that time offline with family and friends, having dinner, laughing, watching TV, reading, traveling, cooking, and enjoying all of the seasonal trappings of late summer and fall.  And I'm perfectly content.  That's when it hit me: I don't have to blog.  

The hardest part of this decision was feeling like I was a quitter, or was somehow letting down the amazing online friends I've come to care for so much.  I've realized that we'll still be friends regardless of whether I have my own blog, or I just read yours and keep in touch on social media.  You guys have always been supportive of me like true friends are and I'm so grateful.

In closing, I'd just like to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you.  You guys welcomed me into the beauty blogging community like we were Romy and Michele!  It was incredible to meet so many sassy, funny and thoughtful women and it still amazes me to think that I have friends all over the world as a result of this hobby.  I am honored to have met each of you and look forward to continuing our friendship over the years.

All my love!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

FIVE FAVE! | Brown Lipsticks

The cooler weather here in Atlanta has me so excited for all things fall.  Some of my favorite aspects of fall beauty are warm eyeshadows (hello cranberry!), dark nail polishes, and brown lipsticks.  While I personally feel like anyone can pull off brown lipstick, some are dubious.  I decided to dig through my stash and pull out my five favorite browns; the varying degrees of shade and coverage mean there's a brown here for everyone!  

MAC Photo - Golden Brown (Satin)
This is a shade for those who want a bold true brown.  Photo can also be mixed with lighter lipsticks to add a brown tone to them.  Amanda Valentine on Project Runway All Stars wore The Best nude lipstick combo and, thanks to the power of Twitter, she revealed it to be a mix of MAC Photo and Myth.

MAC Double Shot - Full-bodied Mocha Cream (Amplified)
This is a gorgeous, luminous plummy brown.  I love it not only for the color, but also for the name which makes me think of delicious coffee treats from Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks!  If I was playing Lipstick Survivor (c) Liz // BeautyReductionista, Double Shot would be the one I'd forsake all others for.

L'Oreal Brazil Nut - Copper Brown Nude (Colour Riche)
If Revlon's Toast of New York is a little too russet red for you, try Brazil Nut!  The finish is slightly sheer, allowing your natural lip color to peek through, and the color itself is more desaturated.

MAC Shitake - Brown (Glaze)
This is a lovely sheer brown with a hint of sheen.  Glaze is the perfect description for the finish!  [I'm gutted that this was LE!  I thought it was permanent until I went googling for a link.  This color has been brought back a time or two, so if you don't want to scour eBay, it might be for sale in a future collection as a repromote.  I'm so sorry I included an LE item!]

MAC Fresh Brew - Creamed Coffee (Lustre)
This is the sheerest member of what I've come to lovingly think of as MAC's Coffee Shop Collection (Fresh Brew, Double Shot, Creme in Your Coffee), and was a gift from my friend Sarah // tatt2sandwarpaint.  This is a great starter brown for anyone looking to dip their toe into the trend without committing to full-on tater skin realness. ;)

Top to Bottom: Photo, Double Shot, Brazil Nut, Shitake, Fresh Brew
Top to Bottom: Fresh Brew, Shitake, Brazil Nut, Double Shot, Photo

What's your favorite brown lipstick?  What aspect of fall makeup gets you excited for the change in season?  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol.15: ​​How do you overcome blogger’s block?

BISC Vol.15 Group 1
How do you overcome blogger’s block?
BISC Vol.15 Group 1
LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash
When I have blogger’s block, I usually just go offline for a while and enjoy what reality has to offer. For me, personally, the block is because I’m uninspired, and maybe a little burned out. A break is usually a welcome, and most of the time, it takes shorter than expected to get some inspiration to write again. Nowadays however, I have content to write, but just don’t have the time to do it. That’s entirely another type of block. LOL!
ANNE | Germany | Linda, Libra, Loca
I don’t think I ever experienced a severe case of “bloggers block” (knock on wood!), but I have had days where I am completely exhausted and lacking all inspiration. To keep up with my schedule I plan my posts three months in advance, rotating beauty, skincare and random stuff so I don’t get stuck in a rut. And if life gets in the way I still have quality content prepared to see me through at least a week or two without the pressure of having to write, which is the best way to get all inspired again.
TRACY | USA | Swaybeauty
I actually hit a wall about a month ago due to beauty overload. I took a little break and started my “Married to a Chef” series. Having those posts at the ready lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. After the first two went out I found myself more at ease and able to refocus my attention back to beauty related posts. I think taking a break is so important for your mind, body and spirit. I don’t think you should ever have to apologize for doing so because after all we’re only human.
KRISTEN | USA | Glambunctious
I just take a break.  Sometimes it’s a a few days away from social media, or a week off from blogging.  I focus on other areas of my life and when the magic returns, I get to writing!  I don’t really think of it as a block or lack of inspiration; it’s just a time where my brain power is needed elsewhere.
SHEILA | Canada | Maddy Loves
I generally have “moments” of inspiration and then I write, write, write, often several blog posts in one sitting. It’s really hard to motivate myself to write if I have writer’s block, so I generally go away and do something else, or I scroll through my folder of folders of stuff I need to review, hoping to get some inspiration. I might also read other blogs, hoping I’ll get bitten by the writing bug. If all else fails, I might just give up. Blogging is a hobby anyways, so I try not to stress myself out too much by it!
JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
I usually just let it be. Sometimes I even think of it as a blessing because I’ll have more time to spend with my friends and family doing “life” things. I’ll try to stay off social media, too, if possible. I find that when I’m happy, I’ll have a lot of energy, and ideas will flow naturally. I also find it easier and more fun to write about things I’m genuinely happy and excited about! :)
[Interested in joining BISC Network? Send your request to jaa*at*]

Friday, September 4, 2015

EMPTIES! #10 | August 2015

Here's what I finished in August!

Dr. Bronner's All-One Hemp Pure-Castile Bar Soaps
LOVE these!!  If you find bar soap drying, try one of these!  They smell so good and leave your skin soft without a hint of tightness.  I like to toss the empty wrappers in my drawers to scent my clothes.  These castile bar soaps also make great makeup brush cleaners!

Living Proof Full Shampoo & Conditioner
I've taken these 2 oz minis on 2 trips and both Jason and I used them.  I felt like the shampoo smelled really nice but didn't do anything supremely volumizing for my hair.  The conditioner was above average but again, not very va-va-voom in the volume department.  [I finally found the OGX Coconut Milk minis at Walgreens, so those are going with me on my next trip!]

MAC Lightful Marine-Bright Formula Cleanser
This was a delightful cream cleanser that did a great job of removing makeup and oil without stripping my skin or causing breakouts.  I would definitely repurchase this.

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in Lust for Lilac
Such a favorite for me!  I've painted my nails this color so often, the brush is now barely able to reach the lacquer goodness.  Time to repurchase!
Maybelline The Rocket Volum Express Waterproof Mascara
I started out hating The Rocket, but grew to like it.  It is more difficult to remove because it's waterproof, but it's spiky football rubber brush does a damn fine job of separating lashes and keeping them lifted throughout the day.

OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo
This is one of my favorite shampoos ever.  It hydrates the hair without weighing it down or making it prematurely oily.  This is my night time shampoo when I just want a gentle cleanse and a touch of moisture.  I've already repurchased a full size and the travel size of this and the matching conditioner (also a love).

Sunday Riley Good Genes Serum and Treatment
My friend Sarah sent me this, along with some other amazing makeup goodies that didn't work for her, and I was thrilled!  I have the full sized version and love it.  It's a lactic acid serum that promises to do everything from plump fine lines to reduce hyper pigmentation (which, in concert with Luna, it has done dramatically well!).  Unfortunately, I think this mini version got overly hot in my suitcase as it smelled a bit unpleasant.  It smelled fine the first time I used it before we went to NYC.  I also think the plastic packaging didn't help as it had that trademark synthetic scent.  The full sized version is housed in glass - and has never left the confines of my bathroom shelf.  Even though this mini had a bit of a mishap, I highly recommend the full sized version!

Ulta Buttercream Cupcake Beauty Smoothie Shower Gel, Shampoo & Bubble Bath | Review
A must have if you love decadent gourmand scents!  Sidenote: they've released their Fall collection of Beauty Smoothies!  PUMPKINZZZ!
What have you finished lately?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hot Town, Wedding in the City! | NYC Wedding Outfit + Makeup feat. Esqido Lashes

One of my best childhood friends (who happens to be Blair from STFU, Parents) and her fiancé are tying the knot this Friday in NYC!
The Awkward Years: Blair (age 15) and I (age 17), circa 1997
I'm so excited for them because they're both amazing, creative, funny people.  I've never been to New York City and the minute I found out the wedding would be held in Brooklyn, I started dreaming about all there is to do in the Big Apple.  Granted, we're only there for a couple of days, but I hope we'll get to see some of the sights during our visit.  My husband is from upstate New York but hasn't spent much time in NYC since he left at the age of 18 for college in the south.  I'm so thrilled to see the city for the first time with him!
Detail of the Betsey Johnson wedges a/k/a SPARKLESSSSSS!!
Anywho, like I said, as soon as I learned they'd be getting married in Brooklyn, I started preparing.  I ordered the Scarlett Variegated Fit and Flare dress from (which is sadly no longer on the site, here's a similar option) and this pair of glorious sparkly sandals by Blue by Betsey Johnson.  I found this gem of a necklace from Forever21.  Check, check, check!  My outfit planning was done.
I was thinking about my makeup game plan when I was serendipitously contacted by Esqido and asked if I'd be interested in trying a pair of their mink lashes.  I was SO THRILLED!  I've been curious about Esqido false lashes ever since I read reviews from Tracy / Beauty Reflections,  Liz / Beauty Reductionista and Jennifer / Jenny Sue Makeup. What better time to amp up the lash factor than an evening wedding in the city that never sleeps?  Here's my FOTD plan!
I applied Dior DiorSkin Nude Air Serum Foundation SPF20 in 30 Medium Beige (Reviewed) using Pixi's Full Cover Foundation Brush.  I concealed my under eye area with Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Light Neutral using a damp Beauty Blender and primed my lids with Laura Mercier Eye Basics Eye Primer in Wheat.  Using a fluffy brush, I bronzed with TheBalm Balm Desert Bronzer/Blush, applied ColourPop Between the Sheets Super Shock Cheek to my cheekbones with my fingers, and popped the apples of my cheeks with Tarte Dollface Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush.

My entire shadow look was done with one brush: a MAC 239, which is a trick my mom taught me.  Her eyeshadow always looks amazeballs and the crease is never blended out too far; a problem I often have.  She told me she only uses the 239!  After giving it a try myself, she's right: the 239 can do it all!  If you only spring for one shadow brush, make it the 239 and you will not be disappointed.  Using the LORAC Unzipped Palette, I placed Unreal on the inner third of the lid and Unbelievable on the middle and outer third of the lid.  I darkened the outer corner with Unbridled and swept it into the crease.  Using only what was left on the brush (of Unbridled), I defined the outer edge of the lower lash line to give me eyes a wider look.  I curled my lashes and lined my upper lash line with Clinique Chocolate Lustre Cream Shaper for Eyes.  I lined the outer part of my lower line with NYX Jewel Slide On Pencil and popped the inner corner with L'Oreal Highlighter Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner Pencil (Reviewed).  I filled in my brows with Anastasia Beverly Hills Taupe Brow Wiz.  Since this is a wedding and I might drop a tear or two, I applied 2 coats of Maybelline Volum'Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara.  Finally, it was time for the crowning glory: ESQIDO Unforgettable Mink Lashes!  After trimming the edges down a bit to fit my smaller eye, I applied Duo Clear-White Eyelash Adhesive, waited about 15 seconds for the glue to become tacky, and popped them on using tweezers.

My husband walked in as I was working on this FOTD and said he loved my lipstick.  I wasn't wearing any!  So I decided to keep things natural-ish by swiping on Urban Decay Naked Revolution Lipstick.

Here's the finished look!
The Esqido false lashes were super easy to apply, even for someone like me who only wears falsies every once in a blue moon.  I wore them for about 6 hours and they felt incredibly light; there was no trace of that tell-tale "lash fatigue" feeling I've experienced with other lashes in the past.  Esqidos are made from naturally shed mink hairs, so no minks were harmed in the making of these lashes.  One pair lasts up to 25 wears, so they're a great investment for anyone looking for high quality falsies that last more than one or two wears.  I see why Esqido's are referred to as the World's Most Comfortable False Lashes.  I have to say I agree 100%.

This is what happens when Tom Petty's "You Wreck Me" comes on the classic rock station you're listening to whilst working on a FOTD post!  I was feeling it!  ��
A few more Esquido reviews you should definitely check out:
Julie / Collective Beauty
Lily / Chloe Ash
Melissa / Kiss & Make-up

Need help learning to apply false lashes?  Go straight to the gifted guru who taught me how to do it before my wedding (forever grateful to you, Alison!):
Alison / 10amBeauty (video tutorial)

Please follow me on Instagram to see how our trip unfolds!  Until next time, much love!  XOXO