Saturday, June 30, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition {Weekly Roundup}


Rodan + Fields {Skincare Review}

courtesy of

i am a product junkie. the first step is admitting it, right? i am constantly trying new things, experimenting with trends and subjecting my skin to treatment after treatment. what can i say? i just turned 31 and i am trying to find the fountain of youth. kidding, i know i'm no spring chicken but this beauty blogger is still climbing the hill of age (read young-ish). after being approached by a friend of a friend to give Rodan + Fields a try, you better believe this junkie was on board.

having previously followed some skin care systems by MyChelle here and RoC here i am no stranger to skin care regimens. i like to mix it up and introduce new products to my skin to avoid falling into the product slump. the Rodan + Fields Anti-Age Regimen sounded like a good fit for me.

some background on the company:

Rodan + Fields was created by the same doctors who brought us Proactive Solution. their approach is simple, easy-to-use systems for complex problems. they believe that the right formulations, in the right order can transform your skin. the Rodan + Fields website will take you through a brief questionnaire to determine your particular skin care concerns and prescribe the best regimen for you.

their basic marketing approach is through 'word of mouth' referral and product can be purchased through Rodan + Fields Consultants. my particular Rodan + Fields Consultant, Melissa Parent, can be found here

i received my Anti-Age regimen approximately one week ago and have been using it religiously. while the cleanser isn't winning any points (you can't use it to remove eye makeup, which means i had to add an extra cleansing step of my own product) i am impressed by the moisturizers and the toner. Editors Note: just heard back from my consultant and found out Rodan + Fields has some superstar anti-aging eye clothes that do an incredible job of makeup removal all while delivering anti-aging products to the skin. sounds like just what i want/need. 

recommended use is for 6-8 weeks to see results. you better believe i'll be back August 17th with my conclusive results. (did that sound as professional as i wanted it to?) if you have any questions, please let me know and i will be sure to hunt down the answers.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Makeup Tip {How to Apply Highlighter}

there's something about a little bit of highlighter that just gives your skin an amazing glow. i love using highlighters and feel it gives my skin that extra lustre it needs. applying highlighter is simple and quick, just follow these steps:

#1: apply a cream highlighter to the top of your cheekbone with your middle finger (i like to use MAC's cream colour base). begin by placing highlighter on your cheekbone directly below your eye and slowly blend to the outer edge of your eye bone, making a crescent shape.

#2: next, apply highlighter to your brow bone, right below your arch. blend in a tapping motion so as not to remove product by rubbing. this area of your brow catches light which helps to make eyes appear larger.

#3: take a small amount of highlighter and dot onto your Cupid's bow (the skin right above the peaks of your upper lip). this helps to make your lips appear plumper.

#4: to ensure the highlighter stays put, finish with a translucent powder applied with a fluffy brush. this will lock the shimmer in place for hours.

now, go out and show off your perfectly luminous face.


here's a video tutorial detailing how to apply:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

LEX Nail Lacquer {Review}

i was contacted by LEX Nail Lacquers to try a sample of their 'Tuilleries' nail polish. intrigued by the idea behind the company i decided to give it a try. LEX Nail Lacquers chooses nail polish colors based on suggestions submitted by the consumers.

if you head to their website you will see an option to 'create your own color'. once that option is selected you can submit a photo of a color you would like to see created into a nail polish, as well as the story behind your color choice. a public vote is held and the consumers get to choose their favorite color & story.

while Tuilleries wasn't a huge hit for me-the large sparkles were a bit too sparse-the product was well created. plus, i like the concept of donating a portion of every proceed to a selected charity. well played, LEX.

if you would like to see your favorite color or inspiration turned into a polish, then i would suggest heading over to the website and get your submission on.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

LAQA & CO. Fat Lip Pencils {Review}

here is a closer look at the LAQA & Co. Fat Lip Pencils 'Wolfman' and 'Bossy Boots'. you may have seen these in my recent summer makeup video and they are a current fave. found at Anthropologie these fat lip pencils are trending on the makeup market and are taking up some significant space in my makeup drawer (they are fat). but this makeup junkie is not complaining because they are a worthwhile addition to my makeup repertoire. 

and because i have yet to master the art of taking lip swatch pictures, please accept my apologies for the ones below. first is a swatch of 'Wolfman' alone, and the second is 'Wolfman' outlined with 'Bossy Boots'.

word to the wise, if you have thin lips like myself it is always a good idea to add some darker definition to your lip line. this gives more depth to your lips and helps them appear a bit fuller. go a step further and add a dab of gloss to the middle of your pout only for optimum fulness potential. 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MAC Heavenly Creatures

Product samples of Mineralized Shadows and Cremesheen Lipgloss
Gorgeous Shade Galaxy

in the beauty blogging industry it is a very short list of people who get exclusive access to product release information, in particularly MAC Cosmetic product information. maybe it is because they are one of the hottest makeup brands on the market (and their exclusivity is surely the reason they're at the top) or because their product is the gold standard most makeup companies strive to achieve. either way, i am thrilled that on my birthday this gem of a gift was waiting in my inbox. thank you MAC for making me smile even though i am officially into my thirties.

the shadows pictured above are MAC Heavenly Creature colour collection. this collection includes 9 Mineralize Eye Shadows, 4 Mineralize Skinfinish and 4 Mineralize Blushes. don't you love the image above where it looks like the planets are aligned? take a closer look and you will realize it is all makeup. MAC cleverly displayed the new Heavenly Creature Mineralize Shadow/Skinfinish/Blush in a planetary out-of-this-world design.

one of the most buzzed about products of this entire collection is the Mineralize Volcanic Ash Exfoliator (pictured below). this Volcanic Ash Exfoliator gently cleanses and exfoliates for radiant skin. just the description sounds other-worldly, doesn't it? Volcanic Ash is returning only for a limited time which means you better get your hands on it while you can.

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator & Mineralize Moisture Gel and Eye Cream

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator takes off

note: my bad. i completely forgot to list the release date! July 5th is when these amazing products will be available. thank you Kayleigh for reminding me.

Patriotic Nail Tutorial {Step by Step}

since today is my birthday (why hello 31!) i'm taking the day off from posting. thankfully i have a talented guest poster to introduce to you.

my girlfriend Lacey is always coming up with cute nail designs. when she offered to create a few patriotic inspired tips i jumped at the chance. here is a glimpse of her 4th of July French Mani and a quick tutorial showing you how she created it.

  • Step 1: apply sparkle polish to entire nail followed by white applied in french manicure style.
  • Step 2: apply alternating red and blue polish to 'double line' french manicure.
  • Step 3: finish with some cute stars applied with nail art brush or toothpick.

thanks Lacey for the great idea!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mary Kay Giveaway

congratulations to Shelly Rae, you are the winner of the Mary Kay giveaway! please email me your address so that i can get your winnings mailed to you.


Beauty Blog Coalition {Weekly Roundup}

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy {Review}

I have a lot to thank my parents for. A happy childhood. Love and affirmation. A pantry stocked with cereal at all times. But there is one thing my parents have given me that I have had a hard time feeling grateful for: my heritage. 

I don't mean to imply we have some seedy family history. I mean my physical heritage - my skin. My Swedish, English, German skin. The whitest of the white people. My mom used to call it "porcelain." But let's be honest. 

I'm see through. 

I'm okay with this, though. I wasn't always, but any attempt at remedying this glaring situation typically went like this: overly ambitious laying out coupled with temporary amnesia regarding what a massive amount of sun does to fair skin, followed by an unholy amount of aloe and ending in my impersonation of the Kool Aid man. After a few times of this I finally decided the sun and I weren't friends. I embraced my whiteness. It just wasn't worth the burns, the future wrinkles, sun damage and, you know, cancer

If I have any desire to change my translucent ways then I am only left with one option: faux glow. Unfortunately, my previous spray tan efforts merely left me looking like Kool Aid Man's cousin, Orange Crush. I'm pretty sure I have an extra enzyme in my skin that reacts with cosmetics to produce an unnatural tangerine effect (see: my 10th grade foundation debacle). 

So when Kristie asked me to review Victoria's Secret Beach Sexy Tinted Self-tan Body Spray, I was a little hesitant. Would I be willing to walk around looking like a melting creamsicle, a poor/sane man’s version of the "tan mom" all in the name of helping Blushing Basics readers avoid my tragic mistakes? 

Yes. Yes I would. 

Fortunately for me, this wasn't the case. A few quick sprays, a couple hours and my pasty skin transformed to a soft bronze. The color blends well, leaving surprisingly few streaks (which is an amazing feat considering the level of flexibility I attained while trying to reach all parts of my back) and stays fairly intact even after a couple showers. Color me impressed. 

It did leave me (and my bathroom floor – spray this stuff outside for goodness sake!) a tad on the orange side but, again, I think that’s because my skin rebels voraciously against pigment of any sort. It has a nice citrus-y scent reminiscent of Clinique Happy, which brings me back to me college days (Why hello 2003! How are you and your pre-children abs?) as well as a slight shimmer like that of the Cullen clan in daylight. You know, if they spray tanned (which, in the name of fitting in, they really should have). 

Quick warning for my transparent twinsies - this ain’t for fresh-faced newbies. Oh no. This is serious stuff. One good spray and you don’t just have a little sun-kissed glow. You’ve been glow-gunned. If you were hoping to slowly work your way up to some color, then this isn’t for you. But if you want the “why yes, I did just change ethnicities, nbd” look right now, then go for it. 

I don’t think it will rival Kristie’s beloved St. Tropez (hold for angels singing) but at $12, Beach Sexy is a definitely a good buy for a quick fix. 

As for me, I think I’ll stick to my natural glow. Or glare, I suppose. I hear see through is making a comeback.  


thank you Debbie! i am so glad that Debbie is contributing to the blog because 1. she is hysterical and 2. she's a bestie. win-win. if you like her writing style then definitely check out this review here of Aveeno Positively Ageless moisturizer.


How To Get Free Products

ever heard the saying "champagne taste on a beer budget"? that pretty much describes my beauty protocol. i love all things beauty and most often prefer all things expensive. i can't help that i like a foundation that applies so smooth it is virtually invisible, or a scent that smells so delicious it is irresistible. the only problem is that my budget is not very welcoming to a $50 foundation.

thankfully, beauty companies are generous. 

maybe you are the type who avoids the makeup counter because you don't have any money to spend. here's my advice: STOP IT. take a minute to browse around. be honest with salesperson and let them know you only have $15 to spend and want to try the foundation, concealer and the lipgloss. you may only leave with purchasing the lipgloss, but makeup counters are usually equipped with adorable little pots that will stock you up with a short supply of any liquid or powder.

here are some of my favorites:

1. Sephora - samples abound inside Sephora, you just have to know where to go. my personal favorite is the perfume aisle. package any perfume you are interested in trying into an adorable tester tube. try one (or ten) and decide whether that is a scent you'd really want to invest $60 in. if you have a few minutes head over to the polish stand and treat yourself to a manicure. nearly any color desired is available for "testing".

 2. MAC - i like to develop a relationship with my MAC salesperson. i stay loyal and always buy my product from the same person and in return they are more likely to keep me updated on the newest releases. they know i am going to buy product, i just don't want to buy it all. instead they'll load up my bag with samples of pigment, foundation, lip gloss or concealer. this way, i try before i buy, saving myself tons of money.

3. Estee Lauder - this company is generous when it comes to their foundation and the product is amazing. i'll swing by my Estee Lauder counter and pick up a ten day supply of foundation, perfectly matched to my skin tone. this tiny wonder is ideal for traveling.

4. Bare Escentuals - this brand often offers a small supply of their famous mineral makeup including a travel size kabuki. take a minute to browse around and select your favorite eyeshadow/blush/foundation shades. the salesperson is happy to package them up for you into tiny little sample pots. i have some tried and true favorites (Queen Phyllis, anyone?) which i stumbled upon by sampling. 

as with anything, moderation is key. approaching a counter with the intent of taking advantage or getting all you can without investing is not only tacky, but obvious. be friendly, be courteous, be honest and it will come back to you. most often in tiny adorable jars.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Avoid Melting Makeup {Good Day Colorado}

it has been hotter than Hades here in Colorado but i'm not complaining. living in a dry climate is much more comfortable than living in the humidity, no matter the temperature. with the extreme heat, melting makeup can often be a problem. here's my latest Good Day Colorado segment featuring some products to help you avoid the dreaded makeup meltdown:

did you happen to take notice of that adorable dress i wore? it is from my new favorite online shop Vintage Fringe. providing you with unique clothing you won't be seeing on every other woman, Vintage Fringe is your place to find new, emerging and stylish designer clothing. you can visit the website here:


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Victoria's Secret Beach Angel {Review}

i'm in love. 

every once in a while you find a scent that just matches you perfectly. perfect for the season, perfect for your mood, perfect strength and did i mention the word perfect?

Victoria's Secret Beach Angel perfume is so well designed for summer scent it is hands down my go-to for these warm sunny months. with the perfect balance of watery florals, this scent is sniff-until-you-can-sniff-no-more beautiful. 

Victoria's Secret (or Vicky Hush-Hush as my cousin likes call it) has cornered the market on beautiful, effortless, sexy and cool. this scent is all that. i spray a few spritzes my neck and wrists and walk out the door feeling like a million bucks.

did i mention this product was perfect?

seriously. i'm in love. give it a try.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Beauty Evolution {Beauty Blog Backtrack}

i love this post. it was one of the first ten posts i wrote and re-reading it i realized several things.
  1. i've lost a little of my personality in my writing. when i started writing it was for fun, now that i have incorporate more "professional" pieces i have lost a little spunk. i promise, i'll work on bringing it back.
  2. seriously, gotta rock every stage of life. becoming a blogger has made me realize there is no weirdness in rocking the side skrillex or the bedazzled toes. it is me being me.
  3. the message is still true. be true to yourself, be true to your faith and be true to others. the rest will just fall into place.
on to the post!

hi everyone. i was hanging with my girls the other night and we started laughing about how crazy we looked ten years ago and my girlfriend suggested i do a post on my evolution of style. so please laugh with me as you look at the past to present kristie.

freshman year of high school. this was my favorite shirt. i wore it EVERY friday. i am looking at my skin now wishing i could get that back.

senior picture. i loved this. who didn't love senior pictures?! it is the first time in life (for most) that you get your own personal photo shoot. i still wear those earrings (thanks mom for loaning them to me, you will probably never get them back)

here is where it starts to get interesting. first year of college (at Rick's when it was still called Rick's). i am the second from left. while that outfit may look a bit cray i wore that stuff ALL the time. favorite t-shirt of my life, had a screen print of Joseph Smith's face (you can only find those gems in the Rexburg D.I.), orange leopard print skirt and penny loafters that i spray painted silver. on my head i am wearing a tube top. BTW those pink socks were remnants from my tonsillectomy surgery, you know the kind with skid proof bottoms?

at a friends wedding. that is me on the left (not the one in the wedding dress) far right is my ex boyfriend. my roommate brought me back that purse from London (Topshop) and i thought it was so cool. i still think Topshop is so cool.

me and some girlfriends. YIKES. yes i wore that velvet jacket ALL the time (in fact i still own it). while my posing looks a little cheeseball can you tell the girl on the right is an actual model?? sheesh.

aaaacccckkkk! what was i thinking?!? jet black hair, chuck taylors, cordoruy pants coordinated with glittery scarf (both purchased from thrift store) and i look like i am working on a deuce. however, shout out to my buddy Carl, that tie is sweet.

me and the band. yeah, i was hanging back stage in the green room...i guess that makes me sound like a bit of a groupie?? i promise, i was just emo, NOT a groupie. kudos to me for going back to an organic hair color.

at my bridal shower. and that is how i evolved into the beauty my husband married (love ya Tman!). in between all those pictures were even more hair mishaps (purple, blue, and orange to name of few colors, all of which unintentional)

going back through these pictures really dredges up a lot of memories. hindsight is 20/20 and i realize that i am happiest, loveliest and most content when i am true to myself. fitting into a mold, being someone you're not or living in a manner that is incongruent with your beliefs tends to make a person void. find yourself and your beauty will follow.


Why have bread when you can have a salmon

Sunday, June 17, 2012

China Glaze Summer Neons {Giveaway}

say hello to the new China Glaze Summer Neons. with colors ranging from neon green (I'm With The Lifeguard) to perfectly pink (Surfin' For Boys) there is sure to be a bright that you will love to see on your digits. i am a huge fan of China Glaze and to say i fall in lust with every collection is an understatement. more like SWF, slightly stalker-ish fatal attraction. i blame the colors. who can resist all those shiny bottles?

personally, i'm a fan of the orange (Orange You Hot?). i've never been much of an orange girl but lately that color seems to be calling my name. from eyeshadow to polish i just can't get enough. either way, this is my pick of the litter.

what would a review be without a giveaway? (all part of my plan to win you over, one by one) one lucky winner will receive two colors from the Summer Neons collection. 


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Makeup Giveaway Winner

congratulations to Kamaile for winning the Tarte giveaway!

please e-mail me your contact info so that i can get your goodies sent. no worries if you didn't win, you can still entire to win an ENTIRE makeup look from Mary Kay here, or stay tuned for another giveaway tomorrow.


Beauty Blog Coalition {Weekly Roundup}

Friday, June 15, 2012

How to Clean Your Brushes

you have been using your brushes daily to apply makeup. let me ask you this, when is the last time you cleaned them? brushes not only collect makeup, but also the dirt and oil that is on our skin. gross.

cleaning your brushes can be as simple as wiping them on a dry towel or napkin. in fact, i keep a small face towel on my bathroom counter for the purpose of wiping excess powder from my brushes between applications. about once a week i will take my brushes out and give them a good wash. (clients, have no fear, your brushes are washed between every use and i have a seperate kit just for you) here's what i do:

step 1: one at a time, rinse your brushes under warm water removing any loose excess dirt and makeup.

step 2: take a small drop of baby shampoo and apply to palm of your hand. gentle rub makeup brush in your palm to work up a lather. if the brush is especially dirty, like my face powder brush, i will rinse and repeat two or three times.

step 3: rinse under warm water. carefully seperate bristles while rinsing to ensure all makeup and soap is completely removed.

step 4: blot dry on a towel, form bristles to their original shape and lay flat to dry.

enjoy your clean brushes!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eye Makeup Tutorial {Step by Step}

i love being a beauty blogger. i am so grateful to have friends and family who encouraged me on this journey. who would have thought this would have expanded into what it has? being able to be a contributor for Good Day Colorado, Studio 5, Glamour magazine, a finalist in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards & the chance to work with amazing brands has been a dream come true.

Oprah really was right when she said "find something you love, and do it!" i have found my love and it continues to provide me with great opportunities.

here's my latest makeup look i wore for Good Day Colorado. i decided to use some pink and orange to give my makeup look a summery feel.

to create this look, follow this step by step eye makeup tutorial:

  1. place pink eyeshadow in the crease of eyelid. i used a HOT pink shadow.
  2. in the outer third of your eye, carefully place burnt orange shadow.
  3. using a light shimmer color, apply to remainder of eye to highlight and help blend all three shades together.


if you didn't have the chance to view it already, here is my latest Good Day Colorado Segment:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

David Evangelista Plump Body-Boosting Thickening Foam

David Evangelista is a 'hair care visionary' who has 20 years industry experience under his belt. with that kind of experience, i would trust him with my hair. when i was asked to review the Plump 'body-boosting thickening foam' i was happy to give his products a try, surely this man knows a thing or two about hair.

this past weekend i had my entire FIL (family-in-law) visiting and used my two SIL's (sister's-in-law) as guinea pigs for testing out some products. i know you guys love hearing my personal opinion, because i'm never wrong. [just an FYI, that last sentence was dripping in sarcasm.] but, i decided to put personal opinions aside and allow my SIL's to do some testing/research for me. 

up first was the David Evangelista Plump. my SIL who has straighter than straight hair loved an opportunity to try something that promises to thicken hair. after several days of use, here are her thoughts:

while the product doesn't leave hair feeling dramatically thicker, it does provide improvement on the texture and thickness of hair. the best feature is that this hair product applies without feeling sticky or snarling hair. most mousses and thickeners of this type tend to run on the sticky side, this product however leaves hair smooth while still providing a boost in thickness.

i'd call that a win. i don't expect products to be miracle workers, but i do expect results and these are results i can appreciate. if you're interested in giving this product a try, you can see David Evangelista on HSN today OR you can head here and purchase directly.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Easy Outline Nails {DIY}

remember the nail tutorial here where i got my BIC on and created some super cute stripes? well i have been seeing this 'outline nail' trend floating around and realized the permanent markers would be perfect for this. outlining your nails with a brush can be really difficult, but outlining your nails with marker, that's  easy-peasy.

for this tutorial you will need:
  • permanent markers
  • polish of choice

  • apply polish
  • outline nails with marker
  • paint topcoat to seal



Monday, June 11, 2012

Aveeno Positively Ageless {Review}

Hi Blushers! My name is Debbie and I am so excited to be a part of Blushing Basics! 

I am a mom of two young sons, a writer, a wife, a avoider of laundry and lover of all foods ending in “ella” - preferably nut. My fashion mantra is “That’s cute, but will I be able to chugga choo choo around the living room while wearing it?” I have known Kristie for over three years and I tend to put outfits together with the thought of “What Would Kristie Wear?” or “WWKW?” as my bracelet says. 


Now let’s get down to business. Lotion business.

First up on the review queue is Aveeno’s Positively Ageless Hand Cream and Body Cream. I like these lotions for a couple of different reasons, the first of which has absolutely nothing to do with the lotion itself, but rather the fact that the description on the back describes the “cumulative effects of external assaults” on the skin. I’m not exactly sure what this means but I felt powerful just holding the bottles in my hand. I was fending off assaults! There may have been some air sword action. Don’t judge me. 

Lotion light sabers aside, I also liked the texture of both products. They aren’t overly greasy and don’t leave my hands with that sticky residue. Thankfully, the smell is also pleasant without being overwhelming. It’s fresh, calming and just strong enough to let others know that, despite your sweatpants, you do, in fact, take care of yourself. 

The hand lotion kept my hands feeling velvety and smooth for quite awhile, even after copious amounts of hand sanitizer (you don’t want to know why) and the body lotion kept the crocodile-like skin on my elbows smooth and soft well into the evening. In fact, I may have greeted my husband at the door when he came home, elbows jutted out, begging, “Feel this! Seriously! FEEL IT!” To his credit, he did. Because that is not the strangest thing I’ve asked him to feel right when he walks in the door. 

It remains to be seen whether the “Positively Ageless” part actually makes my skin feel younger and healthy-looking. The satiny smooth feeling definitely helps the years slip away but I don’t quite think my hands are gonna go all Benjamin Button on me. 

I love Aveeno products because of their high quality and natural (well, as natural as Distearyldimonium Chloride can be, anyway) ingredients.  I use them on my kids and I suppose it’s high time I do a little something to get my own “soft as a baby’s butt” feeling. Or, at least, “soft as a baby’s butt with a mild case of eczema” feeling. That’ll do, Isopropyl Palmitate. That’ll do. 


thank you Debbie for such a great review! Debbie writes for glossies as well as blogs and you can find her at Klassy Gal (that's right, classy with a K because she's...ahem, klassy like that). she's one of my favorite friends and i am tickled that she has agreed to provide her great sense of humor and contribute to the blog.