Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite blogs is written by Karen in Novato, CA: Makeup and Beauty Blog.  She has a terrific sense of humor and I love her creative reviews/posts on products (as well as the luscious food pics).

This past week, she has been posting awesome Halloween costume ideas and one in particular stood-out!


I took her idea and am wearing it as we speak (yes, at work):

Here is the full "look"

For those of you that know me, this costume is somewhat ironic since I DO NOT LIKE CATS!  I am a dog-person, and am very allergic to cats.  Even the kiddos were questioning my choice as I was pinning their beloved "stuffies" to my robe.  I am not a fan of the felines.  I stopped at 3 since #4 would have been baby Simba from the Lion King and I refused to spend more than $10 on the costume.

My thinking on it is this: when else will I ever have the chance to wear pajamas/slippers to work?  I have never been in the office during Halloween (usually traveling for work), so I decided to just go for it.  There is a costume contest at noon, and am hoping there will be some great prizes!  Also I won't have to change into anything later tonight when I am handing out candy/taking the kids out.

Even the nails (love the Dollar Store - G & H are probably laughing at that!) are in theme:

Hope all of you have a great day and spooky evening!  Trick or treat!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tag - A to Z of Beauty

I was watching some of my fave beauty "gurus" on YouTube today and saw this video upload:

and I decided I wanted to do it as well. 

The Tag is to pick your favorite beauty/skincare/haircare  brand (A to Z) and your fave product from that brand. 

I am not sure if I have something for every letter, but I am going to see what I can come up with!  Thank you Total Beauty for a comprehensive list of brands: Total Beauty Brands List

A - Almay, Get Up and Grow mascara - gives volume to my longish/sparse lashes
B - Burberry, Pale Barley eyeshadow - great basic for day and night looks
C - Chanel, Rouge Coco Shine in Fetiche - perfect all day, everyday color
D - Dior, Nude Concealer in Beige 002 - terrific coverage and no drying
E - ELF, Studio Bronzer in Golden - see previous post
F - Fresh, Sugar Lip Treatment in Rose - great color and moisture
G - Giorgio Armani, Maestro foundation - like my skin but better
H - Herbal Essences, shampoos/conditioners - smells fab
I - IT Cosmetics, Universal Brow Pencil - rocks!
J - Josie Maran, Argan Oil stick and oil- keeps it soft in dry Midwest winters!
K - Korres, Lip Butters - every night for soft/smooth lips
L - LORAC, Pro Eyeshadow Palette - great combop of both shimmer and matte
M - Maybelline, Color Tattoos in Bad to Bronze - great everyday shadow base
N - NYX, single eyeshadows in any color - super pigmentation and range
O - OPI, all colors - my go-to nail brand
P - Philosophy, Eyes Wide Open - for my puffy, not quite awake yet,  morning eyes
Q - Q-tips (not sure this is a brand vs. product name, but that is how TB had it listed) - love me some clean ears!
R - Real Techniques, all brushes - fave brushes of all
S - Skindinavia, make-up setting spray - makes the face last longer through the day
T - Tarte, blush in Exposed - great natural philosophy and pretty cheeks
U - Urban Decay, Primer Potion - lets my struggle for decent eyeshadow placement stay put
V - Visine, eye drops - reference P above
W - Wet n Wild, eyeshadows - ties with ELF cheek products for BEST Beauty Bargain
X - ????????? never tried Xen-Tan so I am out
Y - Yves St. Laurent/YSL, Glossy Stains - most innovative, trend-setting product of 2012
Z - Zoya, nail polish - 2nd fave brand behind OPI

Whew, done baby!

P.S. while I was writing this, my 8-yr old was doing "hair salon" on it??????

Loving.........ELF Studio Bronzer

I use matte bronzers for contouring and giving my face a bit of color.  I typically do not see a need for shimmery, glitterly "bronzer" since I feel it makes your face look like a dimming disco ball - not a good look!

With that being said, I found a terrific shimmery bronzer that is an awesome highlighter - the ELF Cosmetics Bronzer (in Golden Bronze):

Courtesy ELF Cosmetics:
This is a fabulous highlighter!  The combination of 4 different shades is so versatile depending if I am using peaches, corals, pinks, roses, plums etc. for the rest of my "look."
ELF has 2 other Studio bronzers in Cool and Warm shades, but I did not see these at Target, and frankly the mid-tome Golden is just perfect for me!

And the 2nd bestest part?  The cost is only $3!  You can get this at Target (maybe - it is really hit or miss with the ELF inventory) and ELF online:

If you are not familiar with ELF products, I highly recommend you pick up a few items.  Brushes are decent and the blushes are comparable to NARS/MAC.  I do not have too many of their products, but I am loving those that I do have.  Prices range from $1-$10 for most products and ELF online has a special of FREE shipping with $25 order (code: SHIP25).  I am getting a couple brushes, lip gloss pencils, and a baked blush.  You can really stock up for so little!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LOTD 102812

Revlon Balm Stain in Crush, blotted, layered, blotted and topped with Burberry Lip Mist in Blueberry.  Great day look with berry lips

Friday, October 26, 2012

FOTD 102612

I have a ton of errands to do today in between working from home (WFH).  Kiddos have activities and a school H-ween party tonight, and karate belt test tomorrow.  The weather has turned relatively cold (mid-70s yesterday, low 50s today - love Chicago!).

I felt like trying out a look that I will be doing for the wedding next weekend.  A couple of the BMs requested a brown smoky eye.  With smoky eyes you need to be careful on the amount of product you put on the lower eye or else you could look very Goth.  S is getting married at 3:30 in the afternoon, with a reception later that night.  I want to do a day-to-night look, where I can add some extra liner and blush/highlight for the reception.

Here is the daytime look:

and the stuff:

Chanel Perf Lumiere in 30
Bare Escentuals in Summer Bisque
Dior concealer in Beige 002
Physician's Formula bronzer
Almay get up and grow mascara
Pixi black liner
Laura Mercier Color to go palette warm neutrals
Chanel Loose powder to set
Chanel lip liner in Natural
LM gloss in Baby doll

To bump it up for night, I would  add black liner in lower waterline, more mascara, shimmer at inner corner of eye, add deeper blush and highlight on cheeks.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall 2012 Beauty Trends & Faves

I am not sure if I will do monthly faves, probably only when I am feeling especially inspired.  For now, let's take it big-picture style and do season trends and faves.

For the start of the chilly season, there are so many trends out there it can be difficult to decide which to embrace.  I have essentially decided to focus on 2 this season: deep lips and smoky brown eyes (but not at the same time).

Smoke in my eyes and daring lips!

It all begins with prepping this dry face of mine.  Night time is for oils, specifically Josie Maran Argan Oil.  Directions say to use 1-2 drops, but I need at least 4 to do face and neck.  Pitter, patter around for a bit and then off to bed.  And by pitter/patter, I mean try to get my kids outta my room and into their beds!  They love to do headstands, cartwheels and "exercises" in my room right before bed.  Too bad Mommy has NO desire to exercise......................

To start my morning face, I love Origins Vita-Zing and I have maybe 20% left.  There is a very very slight tint to it, but absolutely no coverage.  It is just getting chilly/dry enough for me to start needing more moisture in the morning.  I am trying to use it all up before moving on to Embryolisse (always wanted to try from Pixiwoo videos: - thank you Birchbox Points!  Then the CoverFx Serum Primer - love this!  Adds moisture, treatment, and extends the life of my make-up - the perfect trifecta!

For lips, I am loving the Revlon Balm Stains in Crush and Romantic especially for night.  In my wild nights at home with the Hub and 2 Kiddos (Friday Night Pizza and Movie nights anyone????), I really like the smooth consistency and the ability to re-apply without it building up in chunky bits.  I do add some Smith's Balm underneath to keep it all smoooooooth.  For day, I use more sheer tones of red and berry such as Burberry Lip Mist in Blueberry and Korres lipsticks.  At night, I do not turn out the lights until I have put on my Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector or Korres lip butter.

Swatches from top: Smiths Rose Salve, Korres Lipstick, Revlon Romantic, Mally gloss, and Clarins
For brown smoky eyes, I typically use the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Mahogany as a base with various shades from the LORAC Pro Palette.  Burberry also make some terribly beautiful shades such as Midnight Brown and Rosewood. 

Though the trend shows/fashion experts may say different, I just cannot wear both of these trends together - it just seems too too too much! For lips with a smoky brown eye, I usually pair a soft pink lip using my Mally gloss or Chanel Rouge Coco Shines.  Love this look!

Swatches from top: Color Tattoo in Mahogany, Mally eyestick in Plum, NYX shadow pencil, and Milani brown liner

LORAC Pro Palette: some fave shades/swatches (shimmer and matte!)
This post is prompting a few more FOTDs using these products and looks.  For pics though, I think I may have to bump it up so I do not look completely washed out!  Also thinking I may do some collection videos, especially my Chanel quads and Coco Shines, and Burberry shadows.

Monday, October 22, 2012

FOTD 102212

I debated a bit on whether or not to do a FOTD, but decided that I would like a way to keep track of what I wear regularly.  I figure this will help me know better what I really LOVE and what looks decent.  Here goes:

and the stuff:

CoverFx Brite Primer
Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
Hourglass stick concealer
UD eye primer
WnW Brulee
Chanel Rives quad
Maybelline Mahogany color tattoo
Kat Von D tattoo liner in Trooper
Tarte emphaseyes in black
Almay get up and grow mascara
Mac Dirty Blond for brows
JM Rosey stick for cheeks
Korres light trio in Santorini
Revlon just bitten in Romantic
YSL Sheer Candy #7 Sweet Fig

Now that I look at the pic on a bigger screen, think I need to up my blush application  I look pale.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Final Counts and next steps

Final inventory, way too anal, love spreadsheets:

Lips - pink/plums/berry20
lips - balms15
lips - pink/neutral14
lips - neutral19
lips - brights23
lips - total91
shadow bases19
single shadows14
shadow palettes - small15
palettes - large/mixed9
eyes - total139
Face - total113
Product Total379

Next steps:

Send some stuff to friends:

and swap on Makeup Alley (all posted)

I am going to start tracking what I am using up as well.  I have started an Empties bag and will post periodically as I fill it up.  Also thinking of regular posts that I could do on a regular basis such as: weekly/monthly faves, links/posts that I like, product reviews, deals/sales, etc.

End of Inventory!

The final categories and counts:

Face Primers - 14:

Treatments - 21:

Face Moisturizers - 22:

Perfumes - 36:

Grand total of all products dum da dum ta da!  379 - holy schnikeys Batman!

I need to FACE the music.....

Here is the down-low on all the face stuff........actually not as bad as I thought it would be after seeing all the eye and lip stuff.  It is pretty clear that I am on the hunt for my HG foundation since I have 19 (!) full/sample sizes.  Powders are minimal in my opinion since I usually have Sahara-dry skin except around my nose.

Let's break it down:

Foundations - 19:

Concealers - 8:

Powders - 4:

Blushers - 13:

Highlighters - 12:

Face total - 56

I am going to get pics and post data for face skincare/primers, but most of that is in sample sizes and I just need to stop buying full-size!  Have to confess that I am a bit worried that once the "no-buy" is triggered on 11/4/12 (with the F&F exceptions) that I may compensate with other skincare items (hair stuff, lotions, etc.) that I currently to do not binge on.  Gotta be strong!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Only Exception.....

While I am in the midst of all this counting, inventorying (?), scrubbing, swapping of products, I need to confess that a whole box of items have not been included in these counts: the Wedding Kit.

Sidenote: love this song by Paramore:

As I mentioned earlier, I am doing the makeup for my friend S, her wedding party, mom, and sis-in-law.  I have already put together the kit that I will be taking and am only waiting on the eyelash order from Amazon.

So as you can see there is still quite alot of products that have not been counted, but I am not quite sure if I will add them to the master stash yet.  Something to think about later, feeling like Scarlett O'Hara!

Plan for today is face products and working up the swap list on


Happy Wednesday!  It is soooooo dark at 6:30 in the morning, I think Daylight Savings Time is coming soon - need some daylight! 

So let's look at all my eye stuff:

And now the breakdown, starting with Eyeliners (44 - eeep!):

Mascaras (20):

Single Shadows (14) - do you get the sense that I love neutrals????:

Eye creams/treatments (10), mostly sample sized:

Cream shadows/bases (19):

Eye Primers (8), again  mostly samples:

And then the palettes, both small (tris/quads) and large (some combo ones as well), total of 24:

Grand total of .........139 eye products!  As my kids love to say "OMG Mommy!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Last night I spent about an hour going through my lip and eye stuff (the top 2 drawers of my stash).  I also added the items that I keep in my everyday drawers that I rotate every week.  I am not sure if I will continue with the rotation because it seems that all is getting used pretty evenly.

I want to use stuff up!

So I ended the night with selecting items that I am going to use until I get sick of or until they are gone.

Lets's start with lips:
Looks pretty organized right?

Instead of writing down every product name/color, etc. I took the easy way and just separated them by color and counted.  Holy crap there is alot (91!).  Counts may be a little off since I had a few in my purse, home office, car, and office.  Too damn lazy to go hunt around and gather.  But frankly with numbers like these, does it REALLY matter???????

Pinks/Plums/Berry (20):
Pink-Neutral (14):

 Neutral (19):

Brights (23):

Balms (15):

Monday, October 15, 2012

Speaking of Nordstrom Trend Show........

It was this past Saturday and check out one of my new purchases:

Dior Marilyn Lipstick from Holiday 2012 collection

The Rules (and Exceptions) of the Resolve

Guidelines, rules, criteria, canon, decree, axioms, standards, principles......whatever I may call them, here they are:

The Rules:
  1. Resolve start date: Sunday, November 4th 2012.  I am doing the makeup for a friend's wedding on Saturday, November 3rd and while I think my kit is complete, I need to leave an out for her day.  She has been waiting on this day for a while and I certainly am not going to ruin it by missing something!  I am doing the bride, her attendants, mother and sis-in-law (8 total). 
  2. Purge expired, "not my color", sentimental, pimple-prompting crap from my stash.  Trash, recycle, give away, swap, whatever it takes
  3. Take inventory of resultant stash (all categories) so I can share the extent of my addiction with you my kind, understanding readers.
  4. As of 11/4/12, I cannot buy ANY new beauty & skincare items until my entire stash for that category is gone.  Caveat - I can replace/purchase if I am down to  <5 days worth of current product left and have NO replacement!
  5. Resolve end date: Monday, November 4th, 2013.  Yes, you read that right.  Though I realize that this will be a daily challenge, I need an end date.  I need an out.  I need something to look forward to.  And honestly, I will probably still have stuff left (damn eyeshadow palettes and lip stuff).
Exceptions (you knew this was coming, I don't have an advanced college degree for nuthin'):
  1. During the Ulta and Sephora Friends & Family events, I can make a purchase, but only once (not in-store and online - I must pick one).  I must limit myself to only 3 items per store per event.  For those of you familiar with these stores and events, you know that I am challenging myself.  Some people create their Wishlist for these times many months in advance (and yes, I am one of them).
  2. Ditto for the Nieman Marcus and Nordstom Anniversary/Trend Show events.  Only 3 items/store/event.
  3. Emergency skincare need.  I live in the Midwest and winters can be brutal (February 2011 record-setting blizzard), and those of us with winter dry skin have needs!  If my Josie Maran Argan Oil is gone before Spring, I am giving in and buyin' it!  Ditto for sunscreen in spring/summer!
And that's it.  I am re-reading this post and starting to freak out!

The Resolve

This is it...........I need to come to terms with my additiction and stop the excuses.  What addiction could I possibly have you may ask???????  On the surface it seems as if I have it all together: great family, somewhat successful career, and enough free time to have good work-life balance (ha - more on that later).  But all is not what it seems.............

What is my problem and why have I started this blog? 

I love beauty.  All aspects of it.

I would like to think not just the superficial, subjective part of it.  Though I do like the way a perfect foundation can make me look flawless, I love the way it triggers my emotions.  For the past year, I have found that I have become addicted to the way the purchase of a new product or the application of said product makes me feel happiness, not just the resulting "look" of product.

All this being said, I briefly took a look at the finances and realized how much of our sole income is going toward feeding my addiction.  It ain't pretty folks.  Though I do not yet have the bollocks to actually calculate the spend from the past year, I do have the courage to take some preventative steps to slow the downward spiral.

My proposal - stop buying any beauty-related items until the entire category (i.e. my stash) is GONE!

Being the anal, list-making, rule-following bore that I am, of course there are rules, exceptions, and pre-work that needs to start.  More to come..............