• MakeUp Monday: Easy Thanksgiving Look

    Can you believe that Thanksgiving is this week? It is coming up so fast. Hopefully you all are getting ready, and planning on seeing loved ones. And if you are hosting, that you have put the turkey in the refrigerator this morning to thaw. Don’t want to serve still frozen turkey. That never goes over to well.

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    Have you guys seen the movie from a few years ago, Four Christmases with Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn? They have to run around and see both sets of divorced parents. Anyway, that is our Thanksgiving. We will be having four Thanksgiving dinners. (With three kiddos in tow, this will be no easy feat) We won’t need to eat again for a month.

    Easy Thanksgiving Makeup

    Today,  I thought that I would walk through a great simple Thanksgiving makeup look. Something to make you look all put together, yet festive. And the best part, it will look great on everyone; no matter your skin tone.

  • MakeUp Monday: Sept Ipsy Review

    September Ipsy Review

    Woo Hoo we are getting there! Today, I am going to share with you my September Ipsy bag. And I have to admit it was another kinda blah bag. I seem to be in a streak of not to exciting bags, which is kinda sad. While the over all value of the bags have been amazing, the actual product is what has been leaving me empty.

    In case you have missing my last several posts, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service. It will send you every month a variety of samples; ranging from hair care, to skin care, to makeup, to tools (think makeup brushes, hair ties, tweezers and so on), to nail polish and even more. You will receive 4-5 samples of a variety of items. Samples can range from a size that they would hand out in a store, to a full size item. Ipsy has been going all out lately with LOTS of full-sized items. This making the value of the bag much high then the $10 a month that it costs. Plus, what makes this service above and beyond for me, is that it comes in a reusable makeup bag. For a house full of girls, these bags are the jewel and everyone wants it.

    What was in the September bag?

    • NYX Eyeshadow Trio- Full Sized– I was so looking forward to this item. NYX has a reputation for being a low-cost makeup (that you can pick up at any Target or Walmart) but high quality. This particular trio was designed exclusively for Ipsy. However, once trying it, I was disappointed. It had a ton of fall out, the colors did not blend nicely, and there was almost to much pigment for the blending ability. Even Tink (a teenage girl who loves all things makeup) brought it back to me saying that I could keep it. Boo
    • City Chic Lipstick in One Night Stand- Full Sized– Ok, I am going to admit something, I don’t like lipsticks. Yes, we all know that they can finish off a look, they can make you look more awake and polished. But I just don’t feel comfortable in them. Especially not in hot pink, bright reds, or purple colors. And Ipsy keeps sending me these colors. Needless to say, this is still in the plastic wrap.
    • Pixi Brow Powder Trio- Full Sized– This product was better than expected. I don’t need help with my brows, as I am a muppet to start with. That being said, this was a great little trio. With the colors given (a very light brown, a very dark brown and a highlighter) you can create any shade to match your natural brow color. It is very easy to blend, looks natural, and over all a great product. Even though I don’t use the color, I am in love with the highlighter.
    • Crown Brush Concealer Brush– This is a great, let me repeat great, concealer brush. It picks up quite a bit of product and applies evenly. It can leave brush strokes so you might want to pat your skin when done.
    • Vasanti Brighten Up Cleanser- This is a fantastic brand. I love it when I get these samples. It makes your skin so smooth, bright (without being shiny), and not dry or tight. Highly recommend giving this brand a try.
    • Last but never least (as it is always our favorite part) the bag Gold colored textured bag. This month it was a big smaller than the normal bag, but looked so glamorous. It will look great in my purse to carry my daily use stuff that my purse has a tendency to eat.

    Even though I was not in love with September’s bag, it was a great value and the bag was cute. What about you guys, would you like a subscription service like this; or would you rather use the $10 to buy something that you know that you like? Do you have an Ipsy subscription?

  • Christmas Eve Look

    Is everyone ready for Christmas? Are all the stocking hung by the chimney with care?Can you believe that tomorrow, like TOMORROW is Christmas Eve? Where did December go? We are mostly ready over here, I do try to get things lined up well in advance; because I don’t like the added stress of racing around to find things that have long been sold out. BUT….. I have yet to start wrapping anything. I am a major procrastinator when it comes to wrapping. Anyone else? Well since tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then lets not waste any more time and get to the point.. A great Christmas Eve makeup look

    No7_eyes2

    I know that I have talked about Boots No7 before, but it is by far one of my favorite brands. Everything that they do from lipsticks to skin care, is just of the highest quality. It out preforms (in my opinion) the majority of the higher priced brands. That is why I was THRILLED when they sent me this mini pallet to try. So this post will have a review AND a quick easy Christmas Eve Eye Look.

    It has 8 wonderful shades that all blend so easily and work well together. It is a bit on the neutral/cool side, but for winter that is right on trend. I love all the gray and purple tones.

    1. Is a very slightly shimmery white. Great for highlighting
    2. Is a minor glittery gray.
    3. Is a pearl peach color. This is great as your base color.
    4. Is a highly glittery purple/gray color.
    5. Is (the only) matte light brown color. I love this for blending.
    6. Is a dark glittery purple, think eggplant.
    7. Is a shimmery nude color. This is actually my favorite in the set.
    8. It a dark shimmery black. Perfect for lining your eyes with.

    All of this for only $10. Yup that is right, go to any Walgreens or some Targets, you can get this awesome pallet for only $10. And it has the same staying power, and intensity of any of the luxury brand. A great makeup.

    Onto the easy Christmas Eve look, now for me I tend not to go to dark for Christmas and Christmas Eve. I like staying in the sweet side.

    1. Apply #3 from lash to brow.
    2. Apply #7 starting at your outer corner, working in. Bring color in about halfway. Making sure not to bring above your crease.
    3. Apply #5 in your crease and slightly above.
    4. Apply #1 just under your eyebrows.
    5. {Optional} I like to line my upper lash line with my Kajal Eyeliner in Rose Gold.
    6. Coat with No7 Mascara

    Super easy and still festive for the holiday. What about you, what is your look for Christmas Eve? Do you go Naughty or Nice?

  • Monday MakeUp- Matte Lipstick

    How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? We hosted our first big Thanksgiving dinner here at the Ryan house. My domestic skills are a bit on the slacking side, cooking is not exactly something that I excel at. To say that I was nervous, is like calling an iceberg an ice-cube. With a little bit of help, we were able to pull it off. Pretty proud of myself over here!!

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    So onto Monday MakeUp……

    Do you love matte lipsticks? I know that I do. Sometimes though, I find that they are incredibly hard to pull off. Matte lipsticks are not know to be the most friendly makeup to work with. They have a tendency to be dry (and drying), they show cracks, they can make lips look smaller. But with a little prep work they are wonderful, for those times that you don’t want a shiny, sticky, sparkly mess on your lips.

    A few simple steps to keep in mind:

    1. Make sure that you exfoliate your lips before hand. This will pull off any flakes that are bound to show up with a matte lipstick
    2. Use a lip liner that is the same color as your lips. This will help keep the lipstick where you want it, and help keep them from looking smaller.
    3. I always put a bit of lip balm on my lips before a matte lipstick. This will help keep them from drying out on you.

    In my BirchBox last month, I received a sample of ModelCO Party Proof Lipstick and LOVED it. Even though they are completely matte, they don’t dry out my lips at all. The color is true to the tube color. They would look flattering on just about everyone. Plus they had major staying power. They really are Party Proof.

    Luckily I had some points saved up and was able to use them on the box set of their neutral collection. To be honest, I was a bit nervous buying lipstick online (well actually I buy very little of anything online). But once it got here, totally worth it!!

    It came with three matte neutral colors:

    • Get Naked– Is a light flesh tone color, with a peachy undertone. On me it almost makes my lips nonexistent. Which is perfect to go with a very dark smokey eye.
    • Kitty– Is a very light ballet pink color. This has become my new go-to day time color. It is just so soft and girlie. While I am not normally a pink girl, this looks good even on my skin tone.
    • Dusk Till Dawn– This is a mute dusty rose color. While it is not my favorite of the three, it is certainly not disliked. It is a slightly darker version of my natural lip color. It would be a perfect color if you are going for a natural look, but with a little oomph. Or for afternoon tea.

    I can see getting a lot of use out of all three of these colors. What about you guys? What lipstick colors do you wear? Are you a fan of the matte or do you like the more satin traditional lipsticks?

  • Monday MakeUp- Getting Naked Again

    naked basics 2

    Have you heard? Urban Decay came out with another basics pallet!! Okay so you probably have, since it came out this summer, but I just got my hands on it. I LOVED the first one (you can see that post here), so much that I have gone through (hit the pan through) a number of them now. When I heard that they were coming out with another one, I was over the moon. But then it looked so similar, I held off on buying it.

    In Naked 2 Basics there are 6 matte colors-

    • Skimp- Says that it is a satin finish, however, it looks more matte then satin. It is a light peachy-nude shade that is great as a base or a highlight.
    • Stark- This is a great pink/nude matte color. It has quickly become one of my favorites.
    • Frisk- This is a brownish gray. Perfect for blending and as a transition color. Personally, I have ended up using it on every look. It reminds me of MAC Omega.
    • Cover- This is the only warm color in the pallet. Normally I shy away from anything with a red undertone. This however, turned into a great warm brown shade.
    • Primal- This is a cool brown shade. Another favorite of mine.
    • Undone- This is a cool brownish-gray color. I love smudging it on my lash line. This is very similar to MAC Brun.

    Just like in the original, the shades all work well together and are meant to create a variety of looks. All of the shades are easy to work with, and very blend-able. With the exception of Skimp, they are all matte; which I think is better for a day look. It creates very soft, neutral looks. While it also has the ability to crank it up with the colors Primal and Undone.

    The first Naked Basics pallet that came out, was a very warm pallet. This one on the other hand, is mostly cool colors. Personally, I like the cool colors better. While this one does not have the range that the original did (with missing a white and a black), for daytime looks I think that it has mastered it.

    What about you, has anyone else tried this pallet yet? What are your thoughts? Do you prefer cooler or warmer shades?

  • To Brow or Not To Brow..


    It seems that thick, sculpted brows are everywhere these days. Long gone are the over plucked, barely there brows. While we are embracing the more natural brow, this does not mean an un-groomed brow. I, personally, think that while “brow is in”, they are harder then ever to maintain.

    Brow

    Until just recently, I had not put much thought into my brows. There were something that I would wax every once in while. When I went from having thick brows, to a caterpillar living on my face. While I am lucky to have full brows, they are a little on the intense side. They go from just about my crease to well above where they should, and the span almost my entire face. Not only are they massive, they are very long. When I go in to get waxed, they also have to trim them. I swear they have a mind of their own.

    This is why I laughed when my waxer asked me, “What do you use to fill these in with?”. Seriously you have just waxed most of my forehead, from ear to ear, then had to trim the ones that you left. Now you want me to fill them in. “Fill what in exactly?” was my response, once I stopped laughing and realized she was completely serious. Her, dead serious, response was to trust her; then she filled them in. While I was not a huge fan of the product she used, I was blown away with the subtle change it made on my face. It lifted my eyes, gave definition to my forehead, and perfectly framed my eyes. Filling in brows is not just for those with thin, sparse or missing eyebrows any more.

    Now the questions are: what products do you use, how do you get it and can you pull it off?

    • What Products to Use-
      • There are so many products on the market today: pencils, powders, waxes, mascara like wands. It was a bit overwhelming when I started to looking at products. While I like the ease of use with the mascara wands, I fell in love with Paula Dorf 2+1 for Brows. It combines powder and a wax. You get the subtle look of the powder but the holding and staying power of a wax. For me, the powder makes for a much softer, natural look. And with Paula Dorf 2+1 for Brows, you get two shades that match just about EVERY hair color. You can check out the exact product here. Plus for a limited time, you can get a free brow-brush with the purchase of a 2+1 for Brow order. Just use code BROWBRUSH at check out.
    • How to Fill in Brows Correctly-
      • For me this took a little bit of trial and error. Once I decided on Paula Dorf, I looked everywhere and watched so many tutorials on brow powder. Here is the way that, to me, looks the most natural and the softest brows
        • Step 1- Dip brush onto powder (I tap the top of the powder. It does not take much)
        • Step 2- Dip on the wax
        • Step 3- Line the underside of your brow starting on the inner corners (by your nose)
        • Step 4- Blend upward
        • Step 5- Fill in any missing gaps, using short upward motions
        • Step 6- Make sure all brow hairs are in place. Use a clean spoolie to make sure everything is in place.
        • Step 7- Step back and admire your work.
    • Can You Pull it Off-
      • ABSOLUTELY!! There is no reason for a girl with any brow shape, or any thickness, not to give this a try. It looks great on everyone!!

    Do you makeup your brows when putting on your makeup? What products do you use? How do you apply it? Let me know, I am totally fascinated with brows at the moment.

  • Review- September Birchbox

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    One day I will get back on track, and have the reviews for the boxes I get; actually in the months that I get them. In my defense though, I am not even located in the city that they are shipped to. So they get to city (1) mid month, then wait a week or so, then are shipped to city (2). Then I want to try them BEFORE telling you about them. See this is why I have not been getting the reviews done in the months that I get them.

    This was another great BirchBox month! I love that lately they are letting you pick an item to go into your box, or keep it a surprise if that is your thing. It is so fun, actually getting to pick something that is going to show up. While I love the aspect of getting a surprise, and this box is still chalked full of surprises, the control part of me likes that I get to choose something. BirchBox is a monthly beauty subscription, that comes full of 4-5 products to try. It is a mid-month present!! Some months are better then others, but for only $10 you can’t go wrong.

    What was in this amazing month’s box-

    • Naobay Body Lotion– This is a great lotion, and really packs a punch. However, it is a bit oily so best used at night.
    • Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner– This was one product that I had to use a few times before I got any results. It replaces your shampoo and conditioner. That was a little odd, and after using it the first time my hair was still a little oily looking. But by the third time that I used it, my hair was soft, full of body, manageable and so shiny. Very different hair then I had earlier in the week.
    • Dr Bandt Pores No More Vaccum cleaner– AMAZING!!! And it has a cool factor (in more then one way). It works like a mask; you apply it in a thin clear layer, then wait 5-10 minutes and wash off with warm water. You know that it is done because of the cool tingling feeling and it will go from clear to a solid blue. After using, my skin was very very clean and my pores were noticeably smaller.
    • Laura Mercier Mascara- This is a great, running around with the kids, mascara. While it does not give much in the category of volume or length, it does last forever and doesn’t flake or smudge. It is a great day mascara when you are not needing a lot of punch.
    • Cynthia Rowley Silver Eyeliner- In both of my boxes this month, I got a silver eyeliner. Maybe it is a hint of this seasons trends. This is a very creamy, very metallic, shimmer silver color. It will be perfect for the holidays! A lot of fun, but be warned, it gets all over the eyelashes. Use a good mascara after lining.

    What are your thoughts on this box? Do you use a monthly subscription service? Which ones are you loving? If you want more information on BirchBox, please click here.

     

     

  • LOTW- Got The Blues?

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    Love the color blue? Want to learn how to wear this trendy color, without looking like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show? There are so many great perks about wearing blue. First, it makes the whites of your eyes look whiter. Second, it opens the eyes wider. And lastly, it is a fun way to be a little bit edgy; without feeling like you are trying to be a teen. You can go dark/navy blue, there is bright/electric blue, there is a light/sky blue; so many options and ways to wear it.

    This season the trend is to wear the lighter shades of blue under your eye. This will give your eyes a wider, more open look. If you favor the darker, bolder blues, it is best to wear this on your upper lash line to amp up the edge. If you are going to rocking the blue, then it is best to keep all of your other makeup very neutral and natural.

    MakeUp Needed-

    • MAC Eyeshadow- Brulee
    • MAC Eyeshadow- Omega
    • Rimmel Eyeliner- Navy
    • No7 Lift and Luminate Foundation
    • Bobbie Brown blush- Antigua
    • No7 Lipstick- Rumor
    • Benefit- They’re Real Mascara

    Step 1-
    Apply Brulee all over your eyelid- from lash to eyebrow.

    Step 2-
    Apply Omega into your crease, using windshield type motions.

    Step 3-
    Apply Navy eyeliner to your upper lash line. For a nice winged look, make the outer corners a bit thicker and thin it out as you move inward.

    Step 4-
    Stipple on your foundation where you need it most. Think under your eyes, around your nose, on your forehead and on your chin.

    Step 5-
    Blend in foundation using small circular motions all over your face.

    Step 6-
    Apply blush, starting at your hairline and moving down your cheekbone.

    Step 7-
    Swipe lipstick on your lips.

    Step 8-
    As always, last but not least, curl your eyelashes and apply your mascara.

    This is a quick and simple look, yet you will look pulled together, chic and trendy. So how about you, would you be able to pull off the blue eyeliner trend? What are your thoughts on it?

     

     

  • Holy Grail Foundation

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    I have finally found it! The absolute perfect, no crease, flawless skin, covers everything you want it to and nothing you don’t foundation. And to seal the deal even more.. it is a drugstore brand; no $100 price tag here. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

    So I am normally a BB Cream type girl. Simple, not to heavy, minimal coverage has been my go to for a while now. The issues that I have with foundation are: cakey, settles into fine lines, to much coverage and heavy. I don’t have perfect flawless skin, I am covered in freckles and I love them. I need something to cover the lines around my eyes, and the redness that pops up around my nose. But other then that, I want my skin to show. I like my “imperfections”. Up to this point, I have not found a foundation that fit the bill; that was also affordable.

    Yesterday I posted a great fall look using the No7 drugstore line of cosmetics. I used their Lift and Luminate foundation, and have to admit I am in love with it. Based on the back of the bottle it claims-

    “Firmer, even skin with a youthful glow,
    visibly firms, lifts, and brightens for
    a more luminous complexion.”

    This is a big claim for a drugstore (aka- inexpensive) bottle foundation. I have to admit that when I was at Walgreens, I passed on trying this because I was so worried about the possibility of it being “dewey” (aka shiny) look. If you read my post yesterday, you know that I was able to attend PHX Fashion Week preview event, that Boots No7 was hosting. I was able to ask Sasha, an amazing makeup artist, all my No7 Foundation questions.

    photo 2 (59)

    She was able to not only assure me that I would not get that look, but that it really did live up to all the promise. (It is even her choice of makeup when she is not “on the job”). Very tentatively I let her give it a try. It was great, she used their makeup wipes to remove the makeup that I wore to the event and a bit of their moisturizer; then went to work.

    Boots No7 has the coolest tool ever. It is a handheld devise that takes a few small photos of your skin (on your jawline, on your cheek, and the last on your forehead). Then compares that pics, analyzes them, then tells which shade of foundation to use. Mind blown.

    photo 1 (60)

    It came back that I should be wearing the shade Calico. Sasha was a bit worried that it was to light for my skin (since I have a strong olive undertone). What was the solution? Put it on half my face, then put the shade that she thought on the other half and compare them side by side. Turns out Calico was a bit light (for me is fine, I would rather have it a bit light heading into fall, over being a bit dark). But the shade that she picked was a tiny bit dark (at the beginning of summer would be fine, since I would have tanned a bit). HOWEVER, when I use half a pump of Calico and half a pump of hers it is the PERFECT color!!!!!

    When using this a little bit goes a LONG way. Seriously one single pump will cover your entire face, and you will still have a bit left over. I like to stipple the lighter color on under my eyes before mixing the two together to give myself a small highlight. Then I mix the left over with the darker color and stipple over my face. Then blend using small circular motions. It gives a great airbrushed effect.

    Has anyone else tried this brand? What are your thoughts on it? What does it take for you to try a new foundation brand?

  • LOTW- Fun Fall Look

    photo (50)

    Yea for fall. Is anyone else playing with the darker, bolder colors yet? I tell ya, Labor Day rolled around and I broke out all my edgy colors. While this seasons “it” colors are green and champange; purples will never go out of style. They look amazing on a lot of difference skin tones and eye colors. Plus anyone with green in their eyes will benefit from the purple giving them a huge POP. I was so lucky to have been at a preview event for Phoenix Fashion Week, that Boots No7 was sponsoring and they totally stocked me up on some must haves for this fall. The best part about Boots No7 Cosmetics… They are a drugstore brand that has major playing power, without breaking the bank.

    MakeUp Needed-

    • No7 Lift and Luminate Foundation
    • Black Eyeliner
    • No7 Smoothing and Brightening Base
    • No7 Forest Fruits Eyeshadow Pallet
    • No7 Stay Perfect Long Lasting Mascara
    • No7 Stay Perfect Blemish Cover
    • No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Rumor

    Step 1-
    Line both upper and lower waterlines with your black eyeliner. I would only line the outer corner bringing it in about 2/3 of the way to your nose.

    Step 2-
    Dot a small amount of the Eye Base onto your eyes, and blend all over lid. This is a great peachy nude color that will brighten your eye area, as well as, cover any imperfections on the lid.

    Step 3-
    Using your Forest Fruits pallet, sweep the lightest shade all over your eyelid; from lash line to eyebrow.

    Step 4-
    Still using the Forest Fruits pallet and a small brush, apply the darkest shade on the outer V of your eyelid. This would be along the lash line, then at the far outer corner blend it up into the crease.

    Step 5-
    Last time, using the Forest Fruits pallet blend the mid-tone color into the crease and slightly above it using a windshield wiper motion. You are wanting to blend out any harsh lines.

    Step 6-
    Using a stippling brush, stipple the Lift and Luminate Foundation onto the parts of your face that need a bit more coverage (under eyes, around the nose, on your chin and forehead). Using small circular motions blend foundation all over face. Remember to get all the way under your chin and to the hair lines.

    Step 7-
    These days it seems like my girls are refusing to sleep. Between the three of them, I seem to be up a few times each night. This is taking a major toll on my dark circles. No7 has a great blemish cover, that covers everything without getting cakey or creasing. If you need a little help looking more awake, apply a swipe of this under the eyes. Then pat to blend in.

    Step 8-
    Apply blush along your cheek bones, starting at your hair line and moving toward your nose.

    Step 9-
    Apply the lipstick in Rumour to your lips. The nice subtle nude color will help balance out the purple on your eyes, keeping attention to them.

    Step 10-
    Last but never least, curl your lashes and apply your mascara.

    What about you guys, do you rock the purple eyeshadow? What are you most excited to try with the change of the season?

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