Quick & Easy Make-Up

Here is a quick and easy make-up look that works for all ages!  Whether you are in a hurry, brand new to make-up, or you don’t like to wear a lot of make-up; this is for you!  If you take 5-10 minutes for your make-up you will notice a difference!  It will open up your eyes and give you a brightness that will make you feel better all day!  Say good-bye to the “tired” look!!!

Doing your make-up in a short amount of time and having it look good is all accredited to your tools.  This means good brushes and good products, that doesn’t always mean pricy!  Sigma brushes are by far the best brushes on the market, and about half the price of most high-end brushes.  Having a concealer and foundation that is your perfect shade and applying it with the right brush is the most important thing in this look.  Since we aren’t applying eye make-up, the skin must be flawless.

Here I am with a bare face, 5 minute look, 10 minute look.


~5 Minute Look~

Here is the break down of this look.  If you are just starting out this may take you a couple minutes longer.  But once you get the hang of it you, in no time you will be doing it in 5 minutes!

Minute 1: Curl Eyelashes
Minute 2: Concealer
Minute 3: Foundation
Minute 4: Powder & Blush
Minute 5: Mascara

Curl Eyelashes- I use a MAC eyelash curler.  Any eyelash curler will work, as long as it is not pinching the skin around your eye.  If yours does that, take it back and try a different one.  There are so many different eye shapes, different brands of eyelash curler are shaped differently.  Find the one that works for you and stick with it.  This will really open up your eyes and give you a feeling of “awake”!_DSC0029

Concealer- With this look there really is no other concealer I would use other than MAC Pro Longwear Concealer.  It doubles as an eyelid primer and it will last all day without creasing or moving.  Take that concealer, with a Sigma F86 Tapered Kabuki Brush ~ I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS BRUSH!! ~ and apply it under the eye, on the lid, around the eye and anywhere on the face that you have extra redness or something to cover.  I always put a little in between my eyes and around my nose.

Foundation- The most important step in this look, so let’s get it right!  I have tried so many foundations in my life, mostly because I’m so picky and I keep looking _DSC0039for that perfect one I want to marry for the rest of my life.  I think I have finally found it, AAAHHHH!!!!  YSL Illuminating Foundation is the best thing that ever happened to my make-up drawer!  Squirt some on the back of your hand, dip your Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki Brush and apply it to your entire face.  The best thing, this foundation is layerable.  Meaning, you can apply a 2nd or 3rd layer of foundation to any area of the face that you want extra coverage and it won’t give you that cakey look.  It is a medium to full coverage, but it feels like I’m wearing a tinted moisturizer.  It feels like silk on my skin!!  Ok, enough about my love affair with my YSL foundation.

Powder & Blush- I am dry, so I don’t use a lot of powder.  All I do is take a big fluffy powder brush, dip it in my powder and dot it in my under eye area, just to set my _DSC0052concealer.  And I might breeze it across my forehead and nose, but not always.  I use MAC Mineralize Skinfinish with Sigma F30 BrushI love blush!!  I love a glowing cheek!  My new obsession is NARS blush in color deep throat, applied by Sigma F10 Brush. This has the perfect balance of pink and peach with a hint of a highlight.  Put it right along your cheekbone.  Start with a small amount and you can add more it you want more color.  This blush has a subtle glow to it, which makes it perfect for a quick look.

Mascara- This is extremely important to give the attention to the eyes.  There is no wrong way to apply mascara.  Be sure to change out your tube of mascara every 6-8 weeks to avoid clumpiness and fall down (those black specks under your eye).  For my daily mascara I use L’Oreal Voluminous in color 680.

We are going to do everything the same as the 5 minute look, we are just adding a few steps.

-Curl Eyelashes
Undereye Primer, Concealer
-Powder, Bronzer, Blush, Highlight
Smudged Eyeliner
Glowing/Highlight Eyeshadow

Let’s talk about everything I just added.

_DSC0026Undereye Primer- I cannot live without MAC Prep & Prime Highlight in Radiant Rose.  The tube has a brush on the end, so smudge a little right under each eye.  Take your finger and gently blend it out all around the under eye area.  This will brighten and highlight your under eye area, making you look more awake and alive.  Apply this before your concealer.

Powder, Bronzer, Blush, Highlight-  My absolute favorite product for this look is Urban Decay Naked Flushed.  It has all 3 products in 1 package and all the colors are beautiful, how much easier does it get?  And with all of these colors, you can apply a little then layer more if a darker color is desired.  First apply powder as mentioned above.  Then apply the bronzer right below the cheekbone using Sigma F20 Brush.  Next apply blush (reference above), then apply the highlight using Sigma F05 Brush on the top of the cheekbone right under the outer eye; bring it slightly up to the temple.

Smudged Eyeliner- Use eyeliner and rim the inner part of the lash line of the upper lid only, I use MAC Technakohl Eyeliner in Photogravure.  Then take a darker shade of eyeshadow (Urban Decay _DSC0058Busted) and use Sigma E30 Brush and apply it to the upper lash line just as you would eyeliner.  Blend and smudge it out, keeping it slightly darker on the outer corner.  I some times take that brush without adding any extra color and do a little on the lower lash line, keeping it towards the outer corner of the eye only.  Or I use a color slightly darker than my skin that has a shimmer to it (Urban Decay Suspect) and add it on the lower lash line.

Glowing/Highlight Eyeshadow- The areas of the eye to add a quick spot of glowing color is the brow bone, inner corner of the eye and the middle of the eyelid.  I use Urban Decay Bootycall for all 3 of these areas.  If I feel like changing it up I use Urban Decay Chopper for the eyelid.  Use a _DSC0060small brush and dot these 3_DSC0066 areas with the eyeshadow.  I use Sigma E20 for the brow bone and inner eye, and Sigma E55 for the eyelid.

All of the eyeshadows I use can be found in the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette.

Lipstick- If I’m wearing this look to drop off my kids and get groceries I go for more a natural pink lip like MAC lipstick in color Snob with NARS lipgloss in color Turkish Delight.  If I want to switch over to going out for drinks I put on a bold pink or red lip.  My newest obsession for a bolder lip color is Marc Jacobs, Lust for Lacquer in color Studded Kiss.  Everything about it is heavenly!  The smell, the softness of the brush across my lips, the smoothness of it on my lips, and it stays in place for hours!

If you are brand new to make-up, don’t be afraid to try.  I used to practice my make-up at night right before I washed my face.  If it looked terrible, oh well!  If it looked good, then I would recreate it the next day and wear it out.  Make-up is supposed to be fun and our friend!  So don’t ever fret over it.  I can’t tell you how many times I wiped off a lipstick or washed my face because I was trying out a new look and it was terrible.

If this is your quick out the door look.  I like to have duplicates of everything and keep it in a small make-up bag.  This way I can take this bag anywhere around the house I can find an open mirror, or in the car.

I hope this is helpful!  If you have any questions leave a comment and I will try to answer them.  Thanks :)



Choosing a Family Room Sofa

I recently went through the process of choosing a sofa for my family.  I walked through countless furniture stores, looking at endless amount of styles and fabric options, fringe, roping, nail heads or no nail heads, premium down fill or deluxe down and on and on!  What an exhausting process!  The day finally came when the sofa was delivered… and no one liked it (including me)!  UGH!!!  So I sent it back and went through the entire process all over again.  This time my husband weighed in his opinion much more than the time before.  It was a double edge sword.  On one hand, I liked that he wanted to get involved and come with and help.  On the other, we couldn’t agree on ANYTHING!  Now this exhausting process became much more stressful!  The sales lady working with us offered me a glass of wine while we shopped, at 11:00am – Haha!  But in the end, we now have the most amazing couch and everyone is happy!!  Let me offer some advice that I learned from my experience.


First off, if the sofa will be in the family room of the home then the sofa is intended to be used by the family, right?  So ask your family what they want in a sofa.  If everyone uses the sofa to sit, watch tv, take a nap and lounge after a long day then you will want to focus on comfort.  This is where taking my husband toHCH6MFB_ax the furniture store helped.  I would walk around while he jumped from couch to couch.  He would lay down, stretch out, slouch down; just like he would at home.  Then he would give me the verdict.  Then the argument would come in, a sofa would be comfortable but ugly!  Where is the balance?  Here is what I suggest: Get a classic style, that is long and deep with comfortable cushions.  He will be happy with the comfort, and you can personalize it with fabric and pillows.

Which brings me to fabric.  This is something I turmoil over!  I want it warm and cozy feeling, but not to dark and the fabric must be soft, while durable.  If you go to dark you will see every lint, dust and hair and the sofa will look like a big dark hole in the room.  If you go to light you will see every spill and spot of dirt and light fabric gives a feeling of formal.  I suggest going with a neutral fabric that is solid with a little texture or movement in it.  Pick something that is not trendy and you won’t be sick of in 3 years.  During this step I made 5 different trips to the furniture store and brought home a total of at least 30 fabric samples.   And don’t be concerned if the sales person thinks you’re crazy for looking at so many samples.  It’s your sofa in your house.  In a week you probably won’t see that lady again anyway.  Take your time and don’t choose something until you are in love.

A24847618_060_bNow it’s time for fun!  The pillows and accessories!  This is where you really get to let your personality shine through.  Go ahead and get that bright chartreuse pillow with silver sparkle, or the turquoise flower shaped one, or something with a huge peacock on it.  When you purchase a good sofa, you should have it for 10 years.  With pillows, go crazy!  In a year if you are sick of it then rotate them out for063167_095_b something different.  Pillows are the inexpensive fun part, so have fun with it!

Another great place to have fun and show personality is a side chair.  A chair is so much smaller than a sofa, so a bold fabric looks great.  The compromise?  Let your hubby choose the sofa and you choose the chair, pillows and accessories.  That way you each have something in the room that you love.

My family’s favorite thing to do is snuggle up on the couch under one blanket with a bowl of popcorn and a good movie.  Make your family room a place that the whole family will enjoy!9589_XXX_v1-w2000

Winterize Your Skin Care Routine

Fall is such a beautiful time of year!  Leaves changing colors, crisp air, pumpkin lattes, time for cute boots and scarves…. then winter, UGH!!!!  Every year my skin barely makes it out of winter alive.  It’s only October and I can already feel my skin changing to complete dryness.  So its time to change-up my skin care routine.  Here is what I do to keep my skin glowing throughout the winter.

freshFirst step is cleansing the skin.  It’s important to select a cleanser that is not drying or stripping.  I love Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.  It’s very gentle on my skin, gets all my make up off and it gives me that clean feeling that I like.  Cleanse the entire face and neck, both morning and night.  The water temperature should always be luke warm.  Too hot is drying, and any extreme hot or cold is way to harsh on the skin.  Dab your skin dry, don’t scrub your towel across it.  Your towel does not double as an exfoliator.

I always get a lot of questions about toners.  What are they actually for?  Well, here is the truth.  The way toners are sold is by telling you that they put moisture back into the skin and balance out the ph.  But, if you are using a properly ph balanced cleanser that isn’t stripping your skin of all it’s moisture then you don’t need a toner.  Years back I used to act like a scientist testing the ph of many cleansers.  Skin ph is 5.5 so you want a cleanser that is close to that.  You can buy little strips that test the ph of anything.  Squirt some of your cleanser on the strip and botta bing!  You know if your cleanser is properly ph balanced.  Although I know all of this, about once a week I still get that urge to spritz on a toner.  It makes me feel like I’m in one of those commercials where the girl is splashing water across her face with such a feeling of clean, que the choir!  The toner that I am currently loving is by Lush, Breath of Fresh Air.

Moisturizers, my favorite part!!!  I have been using Bioelements Crucial Moisture for over a year, and I am still loving!  For something heavier in the winter I use Bioelements Really Rich Moisture at night.  And some times that’s not even enough.  After my moisturizer has completely soaked in, I put on pure Jose Maran Argan Oil (this is night-time only).  I look like I’m all oiled up ready for an amazing slip and slide experience.  But in the morning my skin will be soft and glowing!  Another step that should not be skipped is eye cream!  Prevention is key when it comes to skin care.  I would tell anyone over the age of 25 to be using an eye cream every night, but you’re never to young to start.  I am just about finished with my tube of Bioelements Multi-Task Eye Creme and I have loved every second of using it!  The eye area is the most delicate skin on the entire body.  So treat it right!  Use your ring finger and dab, don’t drag your eye cream on.

A weekly mask and twice a week exfoliant is very important as well.  Exfoliating is key to getting off the dead skin, this will help your moisturizer soak into your ocean saltskin much better.  I use Lush Ocean Salt Scrub.  Gently rub it around your face in a circular motion, moving upward, not down.  Using a mask is like giving your skin a huge dose of whatever it needs.  Since I’m dry I use Lush Mask of Magnaminty.  If you are oily you will want to use a clay based mask.  Some times a mask can get messy.  I apply mine before my shower, wait 10 minutes then get in and rinse it off.  This way I don’t have to deal with cleaning up the mess around my sink.

Extras- In the case of a breakout I love to use Bioelements Breakout Control.  I put a little on a q-tip and dab it where ever I’m having a problem.  It gets rid of my break out in a day or 2 without drying out the area.  Another thing I have been obsessing over lately is Clarisonic.  I know I’m late to the game, and most people already have one.  But my sister gave me one a month ago and I’m IN LOVE!  I’m noticing such a difference.  My skin is so much more smooth.  Definitely worth the investment!  Also, make sure your body is getting enough hydration.  Everyone has heard to drink 8 glasses of water a day.  That is correct if you are not drinking any caffeine or alcohol.  For every glass of caffeine or alcohol you need to be drinking 2 glasses of water to make up for the dehydrating effects.  Another thing I can not live without is a humidifier in my house.  Some home furnaces have a built in humidifier, I still think having a humidifier in your room is a good idea.  During the day put it in the room where you are spending the most time.  At night put it in your bedroom.  Some times I stand over it and let the humidity go straight into my face.

Let’s not forget about our bodies.  When showering make sure you are aware of the water temperature.  I love getting into a shower so hot it almost burns my skin.  It’s so warm and relaxing, but it’s also extremely drying!  Use a soap that isn’t to harsh.  Right now I’m using ShiKai Moisturizing Shower Gel.  So many natural shower gels I have used in the past don’t get me entirely clean.  I get out of the shower and within 30 minutes I can still smell myself.  Sure, my skin is very soft but I stink!  This one I’m currently using is gentle, but gets me clean!  No stinky armpits 30 minutes after showering ;)  And don’t forget to moisturize your body.  I love using Juice Beauty Green Apple Firming Body Moisturizer.  Other options for extreme dryness is pure Vitamin E  oil (this is more of a spot treat for dry patches), Coconut Oil, Pure Unrefined Raw Shae Butter and Badger Balm on my hands and feet.  For these products, the best place to purchase them is at Amazon.

To sum up, here are the steps for a good skin care routine:
-Toner (optional)
-Moisturize, lighter moisturizer in the morning.  Heavier moisturizer/Argan Oil and eye cream at night only.
-Exfoliate, 2x a week
-Mask, 1x a week
-Clarisonic, 1 time a day (optional)
-Plenty of water!

Take the time to take care of your skin!  It’s fun to have a “spa day” and pamper yourself.  So lock the bathroom door, light some candles and put on soothing music ~ you deserve it!

this one

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Baby Weight or NOT Baby Weight?

My son is 2, is it still considered baby weight?  Maybe it’s “I had kids and they take up all of my time” weight!

After my 1st I was great about going to the gym, eating healthy and getting adequate rest.  I think I was in better shape at her first birthday than I was when I got pregnant.  Then my son was born…

I kept asking everyone when I was pregnant, How much more work is 2 children than just one?  Double the work?  Not as much as double?  No one would give me a straight answer.  I’ll tell you the truth- it’s one hundred times more the work!!!!!!  One child is a cute accessory.  Add another child and your life is consumed by non stop, never ending work!  Good bye coffee dates with friends and Hello sweatpants!  Between running the kids here and there, errands, laundry, cleaning, cooking, dishes, working part-time, raising children that act like wild animals into decent human beings, who has time for the gym?!?!  Every time my kids start screaming and fighting with each other I grab a pint of ice cream and start shoveling cookies in my mouth!  At the end of the day I want some wine and dessert to help me unwind, or to celebrate the great day I just accomplished.


And here we are, it’s been 2.5 years since my son was born.  Everything seems like one big blur, all my days blend together, and I still have my “baby weight”.  I tried to lose it over the summer.  That should be easy right?  We are all outside, more active; the weight should just fall off.  Oh wait, I’m not 23 any more!!  Is it me or is the summer filled with one cook out after the next?  They usually start around 3:00.  You graze all afternoon while drinking cocktails, have a huge burger for dinner, and don’t forget about the delicious dessert being served right before you leave.  Tons of fun!!!!  I definitely gained 10 pounds this summer!  With the Holidays coming up, forget it!

So where does it end?  For me it ended Monday!  I got on the scale and I weighed my all time high at 156.5, and that was it for me!  I may not always have control over my time and whether I can fit a work out into my schedule or not.  But I do have control over what I put in my mouth.  I have to break the cycle!  First thing I did, think of my body as a machine and food is fuel.  What is the best things I can put into it?  I also started thinking about my kids.  Do I want to continue eating unhealthy and have health problems that my kids have to worry about when they are my age?  Next thing was grocery shopping.  I stocked up on veggies and got a dip made from beets to dip them in.  It’s actually really good.  Then I got friendly with the butcher.  I had no idea my grocery store has chicken burgers with spinach and feta, delicious!!

I’m 4 days in and have already lost 4.5 pounds!  It hasn’t been easy, but I’m pushing thru it and happy to be seeing results so quickly.  Last night I had something worth celebrating with my husband.  All I wanted was to open a bottle of wine and get some chocolate cake.  I was really struggling!  Then my hubby said to me “Celebrate by having the best body of your life”.  He is so encouraging and amazing to me!!


In the event of an absolute melt down of cravings, I have 1 of these cookies and it’s all better. 1 cookie is 40 calories and soooooo delicious!  The best part, I can eat it guilt free!

I Slept Thru My Alarm Survivor’s Guide

No matter who you are or where you are going, we are all guilty of sleeping thru our alarm.  This morning it happened to me.  When I woke up I had 15 minutes to get both my kids out of bed, get all 3 of us ready and out the door.  I couldn’t roll into the school drop off in my pj’s, I had a multitude of errands to run this morning.  I had to look half way presentable.  Only 15 minutes?  No problem!!  Here is what I do to make a crazy mad rush out the door morning more smooth.

First, I tell Sofia that we are playing a game, yeah!  Who can get ready and be standing by the door first?  That person wins!  GO!!!  I lay out an outfit she can put on herself.  I make sure she goes potty and brushes her teeth.  Easy Peasy!

Next is me, oih!  Everyone needs that 1 go to outfit that you can put on quickly, you know it will look good and you will feel good wearing it.  For me, it’s a pair of thick leggings, a long sweater, tall boots and a soft, cozy scarf.  I call it effortless fashion, or a hot mess- you choose.  I have a 5 minute make up bag that gets taken here or there or where ever I need it.  Today, it went in the car and my make up was done on the go.  Luckily my hair didn’t move much while I was sleeping, or else it would be up in a messy bun.

I grab Caleb out of his crib, diaper change and clean pants.  I throw a hoodie over his pj shirt and he is good to go!

Just because you are running late doesn’t mean you have to skip breakfast.  Make sure you have options for yourself.  Have hard-boiled eggs in the fridge and grab a banana.  Or, my personal go to is a Kind protein bar.  It’s high in protein, low in sugar and has 200 calories.  That’s a meal replacement for me.  Skip the drive thru with that oh so yummy pumpkin muffin with cream cheese frosting and spice latte with whipped cream, and oh! can I have a saddle bag with that please?  Don’t blow your entire days calories!

Whether you are late for work, school drop off, an appointment, etc; you don’t have to panic.  Get dressed, a little make up and something to eat and you are good to go and looking fabulous!

And yes, my kids ate cereal bars and squeezy yogurt in the car :)

Any Free People sweater like this one is perfect with leggings!  Just make sure it completely covers your butt.
The Zella “live in leggings” are amazing!!  They are as thick as a ponte knit pant, you will never be able to see thru them.  And bonus!  They are as comfortable as work out pants!