Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Destination Beauty Red Carpet Challenge

confession, i am that nerdy blogger who enters contests. yes, i enter because 1) i want to win 2) it's actually pretty fun and 3) it gives me a chance to try something new.

when i saw that YouTube was collaborating with L'Oreal's Destination Beauty Channel in the search for the next Beauty Guru i thought, why not?

this contest challenged me in many ways. you are only allowed 4 minutes of airtime, for a full face makeup look, 4 minutes is NOTHING! i also had to learn how to do voice over (excuse my monotonous tone, it was really awkward trying to talk into the microphone on my computer screen). plus, i had an excuse to do a photo shoot with Kellie Anderson (we laughed a lot and are still laughing about it).

here are the criteria:

§ Quality of Instruction (are the instructions easy to understand & follow) (40%)
§ Quality of Production (quality of the video, lighting, etc.) (20%)
§ Quality of the End Result (hair, make-up, and total appearance) (40%)

let me know what you think! i will happily take any and all criticisms. aaaggghhh, this is really embarrassing!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Jamberry Nails {tutorial + giveaway}

when Kori from Jamberry Nails contacted me about doing a review/giveaway for her products, i jumped at the chance. i have been wanting to do a tutorial for nail appliques but just haven't gotten around to it.

when the product arrived in the mail i was surprised to see that they were different from your typical "rub-on" nail art. they were much thicker, sturdier, and had a nice glossy finish. the application for these nail shields requires a little bit of effort, but definitely worth it in the long run. these nail shields do not chip and last up to 2 weeks on fingers and 6 weeks on toes.

  • begin with clean, trimmed nails. go over nail bed once with polish remover to "prime" the area.
  • next, take a nail buffer and rough up the nail bed slightly.
  • determine which nail shield fits your nail size best.
  • peel off nail shield and heat with a hair dryer for 10-15 seconds. once warm, apply to nail and heat for an addition 10 seconds while applying pressure to the shield ensuring shield is sealed to the nail.
  • trim the nail shield with scissors.
  • file off any remaining excess (i found this a little difficult, i would advise trimming the nail shield as best you can with scissors)
  • enjoy your Jamberry Nails!
i only used 1.5 nail shields for my entire pedicure! one strip of nail shields could last me up to 6 pedicures.

Kori has graciously offered one Blushing Basics reader the chance to win their own set of Jamberry Nails.

to enter:
  1. "Like" Blushing Basics on Facebook
  2. leave me a comment letting me know which design is your favorite
for additional entries:
  1. "Like" Kori on Facebook
  2. be sure to let her know Blushing Basics sent you
  3. leave me a comment letting me know you did it!
good luck! winner will be chosen Monday, February 6th.


UPDATE: i couldn't help but post a picture of my nails 1 week after applying. they still look great, even after scrubbing my house from top to bottom:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Week In Pictures

i have about a million projects going on this week with another million pictures to edit. here's a sneak peek at what i've been doing...

working on an entry for a YouTube Beauty Guru contest. Kellie Anderson was sweet enough to do a photoshoot with me for my "Red Carpet Look". tutorial will be posted later this week.

remember that giveaway i mentioned? well, due to the USPS being a little slow, it has been postponed to Monday. above is a preview of what you could win (the nail shields, not my feet).

my sissy boo and c-diddy have been lucky enough to have TWO birthday parties at Monkey Bizness this week. for a child, that is jackpot. i just love the look of joy of their faces, presh.

hope your week was as fun as theirs!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Links Post

what do you do when your main squeeze is gone for the night? blog hop/stalk of course! i spent the evening browsing some gorgeous fashion blogs looking for some style inspiration. i definitely received a hefty dose.

check out cupcakes and cashmere for some pastel tinted ideas.

an adorable (and incredibly easy) cake design can be found here at Heart of Light.

mint has a great post titled oufitted in florals. seems spring is just around the corner.

oh, hello friend has an incredible recap of a blogging summit she recently attended. if you are a blogger, this is a must read.

happy Saturday.


Friday, January 27, 2012

How To Look Your Best in a Photograph

here's a post i wrote for a photographer friend of mine. having just had my photograph taken recently, these were good reminders.
How to Look Your Best in a Photograph
  • be conscious of what you are wearing. certain clothing can be flattering or unflattering in a photograph, i.e. tank tops. you also don't want to wear anything that doesn't make you feel comfortable. if you don't feel comfortable in your outfit, that will be evident in the photograph. try to dress like yourself, don't use this as an opportunity to dress like someone else, otherwise you may not like the end result.
  • practice smiling. i know this sounds silly but practicing your expressions in a mirror helps you know what you will look like in the photo. practice smiling, serious, playful, etc.
  • wear makeup. even adding a bit of lip gloss and mascara can make a difference. if you are comfortable with makeup, wear a little heavier foundation, blush, and eyeshadow. be careful, it is easy to go from cute to clownish.
  • style your hair. just brushing through your hair quickly can give it body and shine. Be conscious of the weather. if it is particularly windy that day, curling your hair may not be a good idea. if it is humid, try a hair style that won't look too frizzy, like a braid or pony tail.
  • practice posing. again, this sounds a little ridiculous but becoming comfortable with posing will help you present the most flattering look. most people get in front of a camera and feel clumsy and awkward. practicing beforehand will help with your comfort and confidence level.
  • be yourself. the best you is YOU. know that you are beautiful, fun, smart, and confident.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clarisonic Winner

congratulations Camie! you are the lucky winner of the Clarisonic cleansing system.

please e-mail me your mailing address so that i might get this in the mail to you ASAP.

if you didn't win this time, be sure to check in tomorrow. i have a fun giveaway to offer that i have been itching to try. also, some more big ticket items are in store for February so keep those fingers crossed and keep entering to win.


Corset Nails

here's a fun nail tutorial with a Valentine boudior vibe. to make your own Corset nails, just follow the tutorial below.

  • gather your polish. if you don't have a nail art polish, a toothpick works well for the fine details.
  • paint nails corset color.
  • apply stripe down center of nail.
  • using toothpick, add 4 dots (or more depending on size of nail) to each side of stripe.
  • using nail art polish, "lace" your dots together.
  • enjoy your corset!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

eye makeup tutorial 1-2-3

here is a basic makeup tutorial using three shades of eyeshadow:

i haven't worked out all the kinks in photographing eyeshadow. these colors show up much more vibrant in person...

step 1: apply your purple shadow started from the outside of your lid brushing inward to the center of your eyelid.

step 2: take your gold shimmer and apply from inner corner of your eye, out towards the center of your eye. slightly overlap the two shades to blend.

step 3: use your neutral skin tone shade to highlight browbone and blend any lines from the purple shadow.

the final product:


for more makeup tutorials click HERE

Monday, January 23, 2012

Poshe Nail Care {Grail or Fail}

you may remember these bottles from this post here, a DIY manicure tutorial using my Poshe basecoat and Poshe topcoat. since these are new products, i thought i would share a review.

there are several things i liked about these products.
  1. the basecoat is extremely fast drying. no waiting around just to apply your polish.
  2. the basecoat does provide a smooth foundation for your polish by eliminating ridges from nailbeds.
  3. the topcoat is also extremely fast drying. i don't have time to sit around waiting for my polish to dry. i have diapers to change, kids to entertain, and blogging to do! you know the saying "like watching paint dry", i have neither the patience or the time.
  4. the topcoat doesn't smudge my polish. i know i RAVE about Seche Vite, but the one downside is that halfway through the bottle it becomes so thick it is virtually unusable and smudges your fresh polish. this topcoat is thick enough to cover, but thin enough not to smudge.
do i like it better than my Seche Vite? it's sixes. Seche Vite makes my mani last for days (my BIL thinks you look homeless with chipped polish) but the thick formula can be difficult to work with towards the end of the bottle. the Poshe topcoat is thinner, making it easier to work with, but i don't think it makes the mani last quite as long as the Seche Vite. maybe only one day less, but a day less nonetheless. (okay, enough with the lesses)

if you are in the market for a basecoat or topcoat, i would recommend them. they can be purchased at any Sally's Beauty. (p.s. i have also been using Essie topcoat, which i do not recommend)

exhibit A: split fingertip
ever since we moved to the Rocky Mountains i have been having some major problems with my cuticles and fingertips splitting. ouch! i can usually get it under control with Vaseline but then i fall off the wagon and forget to use that miracle cream.

introducing Poshe cuticle care. a lotion with AHA (alpha hydroxy acids) that exfoliates and hydrates your cuticles. why has it taken so long to figure out that cuticles need AHA for exfoliation?! all that AHA we've been slapping on our face would go a LONG way on those cuticles. exfoliation basically solves any problem in skincare. it seems that our cuticles would be softer, less prone to splitting and cracking, if they were properly exfoliated. THANK YOU Poshe for figuring this out.

a small dab goes a long way. plus, it looks like jewels on my fingers. i think i just had a new idea for a nail design...gotta run.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Links Post

thanks to the ladies who signed up for this week's Beauty Blogger Chain Link. seeing as how Dolce Vanity has completed her makeup course, i will no longer be subbing in.

interested in winning some free beauty product? check out Everything's Rosie to enter her first giveaway. congrats on the followers Rosie!

looking for some ideas in new Spring clothing? head over to Blush for her review on Next's upcoming line.

speaking of giveaways, my girl Candypop at Candypop L'Amour is giving away some rockin' accessories.

last, but not least, A Thing of Beauty has some tips for achieving that Marilyn Monroe look.


Friday, January 20, 2012

COVERGIRL Product Review {Grail or Fail}

here is a BBB (Beauty Blog Backtrack) of the guest post written for kiki creates. enjoy!

want to know my favorite thing about my job? when products like this show up in the mail for me to review. i am a self-confessed beauty product junkie and will try anything and everything (at least once). before blogging, i would spend a lot of time browsing the cosmetic aisles looking for the latest product releases and trying to decide whether our budget could afford yet another lipstick/gloss/mascara/blush/liner. a big thanks to COVERGIRL for sending me these awesome samples of newly released products to review for you guys!
included in the shipment were COVERGIRL's 2-in-1 Foundation and Simply Ageless Foundation, LashBlast 24HR Mascara, and BlastFlipstick. since the foundations have unique formulations that help improve skin tone over time, i will review them for you once i have used them for the recommended time period. however, the mascara and lipstick were ready to be used and reviewed immediately so here is what i thought:

the LashBlast 24 HR Mascara is designed to be a long lasting formula that will eliminate the need for reapplication. although it is long lasting, this formula removes easily without tearing out your lashes. my biggest pet peeve of mascara is how easily it will remove from your lashes and this one passes with flying colors. the price point ($8) is right on target making this affordable and accessible.

initially, i was a little thrown off by the applicator. the picture above shows the thick core as well as short bristles. once i used it, i was a fan. the shorter bristles coat your lashes well and don't catch. this is especially important when trying to apply mascara to the tops of your lashes right at the lash base. a notoriously difficult spot to reach without rubbing mascara all over your freshly shadowed lids, the short bristles reach it wonderfully with no mascara out of place.

the formulation does last the claimed 24HRs, although i wouldn't recommend wearing mascara any longer than that. i didn't notice any rub off or smearing on my undereye which is also an added bonus. the picture below was taken late afternoon (mascara was applied early morning) and you can see the color still looks good.

in this picture i am also wearing my new BlastFlipstick. the BlastFlipstick has two lipstick colors allowing you to blend and create your own unique shade. the application of this lipstick is very smooth and i love that the colors give you an easy natural look. oftentimes lipsticks can be TOO pigmented making your every day makeup look forced. but isn't that the COVERGIRL logo? easy breezy beautiful COVERGIRL. this lipstick is definitely all of the above.
the pricepoint for this little gem is also $8 which makes it a great companion for your purse, car, diaper bag, etc. having one of these BlastFliptsticks close by lets you quickly create your unique look while on the go.

both products receive the GRAIL review. they work well, their pricepoint is accurate, and the colors work for everyone. just like COVERGIRL says, "easy breezy beautiful COVERGIRL."

for more information on these products or to receive customized product recommendations, be sure to check out the COVERGIRL website.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nordstrom Winter/Spring Recommendations

just received my Nordstrom catalog in the mail this week, did you? i can't help but get absorbed into those glossy pages. the catalog highlighted four trends to take you from winter to spring.

the first is denim and denim, a.k.a. the Texas Tuxedo (no offense to Texas, one of my favorite states). the denim trend is in full force and mixing denims is no longer taboo. i picked my denim shirt up from my local Target clearance rack for $4.99. i liked this look with my fur vest (you know i love that thing) or without. Tman says i'm so happy because those boots added 5 inches to my height.

the second trend is colored denim. i know, that is so 80's, but it is also so mood boosting. slipping on a pair of raspberry jeans just makes a person smile (however, Tman says i'm sad in that photo because i'm wearing flats, ha!). i love my colored denim and can't wait to purchase more. this particular brand is Rich + Skinny. they have great stretch, their price is mid range, and they wash really well.

accessories are rife with feathers. i love the feather trend for jewelry, hair extensions, even clothing (have you seen those feather skirts?!). i found these earrings about a year and half ago at Forever21 for $2.80. i had to search for those puppies, but fortunately they are now a lot easier to find.

last but not least are Sperry Topsider's. you can purchase those adorable flats in just about any color or fabric. the Nordstrom catalog was spilling over with these things. if you have the money to invest in some cute casual shoes, those would be the ones.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Always Hit On The Wingman...

if you are a Glamour magazine subscriber you probably saw an excerpt from this book in January's issue. the book is titled Always Hit on the Wingman… and 9 Other Secret Rules for Getting the Love Life You Want, written by Jake, Glamour’s male dating columnist.

i received an e-mail from Glamour asking me to read this book and let you know what i think. done and done. i immediately went to Amazon and saw that a hard copy of this book is available for purchase, or for no charge you can have this book downloaded to your Kindle Reader (a free app i purchased for my smartphone).
i downloaded the book and dove right in. i wasn't exactly sure what to expect given that i am married with kids. how would this really apply to me? i was pleasantly surprised to find that not only does the book give good advice on self-worth and confidence, it is applicable to women in any phase of life.

the title of the book (and theme) is instruction on how to keep things fresh in your relationship, or the relationship you are looking to have. appropriate advice given that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

Jake gives the advice "How you carry yourself--the confidence you feel--is what men see above all else." i couldn't agree more. he goes on further to say "The woman who deems herself unbeautiful makes a decision for me that I would rather make for myself: She has decided what I should find appealing. Not only that, but she also levels a harsh judgment against me: that I don't have the ability and the powers of perception to see her more deeply than, say, the camera's viewfinder."

i found myself reading Jake's advice and agreeing with many points. he wants us to see our self-worth, our value, and to continue being the best woman we can be. we define who we are, whether that is confident, beautiful, sexy, or funny, it is our choice.

for a good reminder on how to become (or stay) the woman your husband/boyfriend/best friend fell in love with, give this book a look. we can all use a reminder sometimes.


download your free copy or purchase a hard copy at Amazon by clicking here.

How to Volumize Your Hair + Easy Up-Do

here's an easy tutorial video showing how to tease your hair to add volume. included in the video is a quick up-do. i used my Spornette "Little Wonder" brush. i love this brush and you can see my review here.


Julep Maven Giveaway Winner

congratulations to Mica, the Julep Maven Sneak Peek Box winner!

i will e-mail you to collect your contact information ASAP.

thanks to everyone who entered. FYI, i am putting together a few more giveaways so don't be discouraged! more chances to win are on their way.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week in Pictures

between two sick children, we didn't make it out of the house much this week. instead we spent our time building legos:

we may not have made it out of the house, but we did get some excellent goodies in the mail:

many reviews to come!

you can see my review of these products here
we had some fun (and much missed) O-H-I-O friends visit. between two babysitters, a few wrong turns and a ridiculously long wait, we enjoyed some yummy sushi.

last night i stayed up WAY too late creating my new Welcome Page for Facebook. if you haven't "Liked" me yet, this is what you see when you arrive. if you have "Liked" me, you can see it here.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Links Post

thanks to all the beauty bloggers who signed up for this week's Beauty Blogger Chain Link. i am guest hosting this chain link while the actual host (Dolce Vanity) finishes a Makeup Course this month.

each Saturday i will post a link up to your blog and a new "linky" will begin on Sunday.

for a different take on DIY Lip Scrub, check out That's So Fletch

Muslimah Beauty has written a review on Lush's Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb. looks lovely!

for a fun OOTD, check out Rose Beauty. she's cute, young, and gorgeous.

Kate Somerville is favorite brand of mine. check out The Blossom Shed's review of the Resurfacing Peel Pads.

Everything's Rosie did a cute post on OPI's Muppet Collection featuring the color Divine Swine. i love sparkles.

if you would like to be linked up in next Saturday's links post, be sure to sign up to the Beauty Blog Chain Link linky.


Friday, January 13, 2012

How To Apply Liquid Eyeliner {Blushing Basics Series}

hands down my most popular video on YouTube (with 70,000 hits and counting), i thought this would make a good Beauty Blog Backtrack. BBB will be posted every Friday to show you guest posts i have written for other blogs, or to repost popular posts.

i decided to create a series focusing on basic makeup application techniques. some future videos will include: how to apply mascara, lipstick, concealer and foundation.

if there are any other specific areas you would like a video for, please let me know.

ps. don't forget to enter my Julep Maven Sneak Peek Box giveaway, or my Clarisonic Mia giveaway!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Year's Resolutions (Clarisonic Giveaway!)

one of the things i love about January is that it provides you with time to reflect on what you would like to improve in your life. as i mentioned earlier, i have several New Year's Resolutions. yes, most of them revolve around blogging, but i thought i might give you a glimpse of some of the other things i resolve to do better.
  • Project 10 Pan - this is something a lot of Beauty Bloggers and YouTube Gurus try, where they resolve not to purchase any more product until they have used up at least 10 items. hitting "pan" is a term used by glamour girls to describe what happens when you've reached the end of a product:
i may have hit "pan" but i will use this till there is no shade left to use!
  • i resolve to hit pan on at least 10 products before purchasing any new ones! i will be sure to save the empties of all my MAC products because of their fantastic recycling program that allows you 1 free lipstick when 6 empty product containers are returned to a MAC store/counter. hmmm...maybe we could convince other brands to do this as well. wouldn't you love a new Julep polish if you turn in 6 empty containers?

  • my next resolution is to take better care of my skin. i have been wanting the Clarisonic Mia forever and i finally received it this holiday. i always insisted that i would have better skin if i could just use this little beauty:
  • this means no more excuses! sleeping in my makeup, not washing before i reapplied, (yes, i am guilty of all of these things) are no longer options in my routine. i want my natural beauty to shine with or without the help of makeup.

because i would like to help you with your New Year's Resolutions, or perhaps you don't need it but would like to gift it to someone else, or even receive it as a Valentine's Day gift (send your husbands over!), i am offering one Blushing Basics reader the chance to win their very own Clarisonic Mia. this is the Nordstrom Holiday Set (shown above) that includes a Travel Bag and Trial Size Cleanser.

how to enter:
  1. you must be a follower of Blushing Basics. your support of my blog means a lot and allows me to host these amazing giveaways. the more of you who join, the more products i get to give!
  2. please "Like" me on Facebook. i am trying to make the transition from my personal page to a Business Page. the more "Likes" i have, the more opportunities i receive from cosmetic companies.
for extra entries:
  1. share my giveaway link on Facebook/Blogger/Twitter etc.
  2. have a friend sign up to follow me on Google Friend Connect. (be sure to let me know their GFC name)
be sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you have done. thanks for all of your support! the winner of this giveaway will be chosen Wednesday, January 25, 2012. good luck.


if you have an extra minute, head over to kiki creates and check out my guest post, thanks!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Julep Maven Giveaway

a few weeks ago i did a review on the Julep Maven Program in addition to hosting a giveaway for one of the Sneak Peek Boxes. since our winner never responded (and i promise i did everything in my power to contact you, your GFC e-mail might not work?) i didn't want this win to go to waste. i decided to put the awesome Julep Maven Sneak Peek Box back up for grabs.

plus, i didn't realize i never swatched the incredible "Greige" color for you all. here is the beautiful swatch:

oops, my little C-diddy likes to tease... here is the actual swatch:

gorgeous right? every time i wear this color i receive several compliments. it is the perfect shade of "Greige" and comes in the Classic w/ a Twist Sneak Peek Box.

if you would like to win your own Sneak Peek Box, follow these directions:

1. you must be a Follower of Blushing Basics
2. leave me a comment (please include your e-mail if your GFC does not list your e-mail in your profile)

for extra entries:

3. like me on Facebook
4. share my giveaway link on Facebook, Twitter, or blog about it.

good luck!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How to Apply Feather Hair Extensions

you may remember my post here about taking your hair to the extreme with feather hair extensions, or maybe the post where i recommended the wonderful site Fashion Feather for great prices and products?

since i have been talking about feather hair extensions a lot recently, i decided to put my money where my mouth is and do a tutorial! i love loved my niece's extensions over the holiday and followed her lead on where to place these feathery locks.

here is a picture of my niece with her extensions (she used purple, teal, and black):

and to make it even easier, i created a video tutorial to show you how simple these are to apply:


Monday, January 9, 2012

Basic Eye Makeup Tutorial 1-2-3

i have had a lot of positive feed back about these tutorials, so here is my basic Greige eye. easy as one, two, three. if there is every a specific shade or style you would like to see broken down, just message me and i would be happy to create it.

begin with a neutral shade over entire eye. i used MAC's Shroom for this particular look:

with a pencil brush or sponge tip applicator, apply your greige shade directly above lash line and make a small rectangle at the edge of your eye.

take your fluffy brush and blend around the rectangle to diffuse the color.

enjoy your greige eyes. make them really pop by lining your upper and lower waterline with a black/kohl eyeliner.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Week In Pictures

some pretty big milestones for Blushing Basics this week.

remember this car here:

since it was virtually undriveable, we traded it in for this one here:

we signed up our little Sissy Boo for dance class. i'm not sure who is more excited, me or her:

Tman and i celebrated our wedding anniversary:

and i get to stare at this gorgeous babe while giving myself a pedicure:

those lashes KILL me.