Friday, August 31, 2012

Foundation Love Notes


my makeup love notes continue. you can find my love notes to eyeshadow here and lipgloss here. what are makeup love notes? an ode to the relationship i have on the side-with my makeup. thankfully it is one that doesn't cause a lot of jealousy from Tman.

  • Make Up For Ever HD - you changed my life. i love you and everything about you. i use every.last.drop. am i smothering you? 
  • CoverGirl TruBlend - you are totes amaze. a price range that everyone can afford makes you easy but not sleazy.
  • Temptu Airbrush - if i found you on my makeup counter i may squeal - a tiny bit (hint hint Tman).
  • Giorgio Armani Designer Lift - good enough for Kimye whose taste level is sometimes in question, you leave her looking flawless.
  • Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid - EL, i love you and all you do, but this time you messed up. your invisible foundation leaves me looking jaundiced. that wasn't your intent, right?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sunglasses Shop {Giveaway}

i would like to introduce you to one of the fantastic Sponsors of Blushing Basics: Sunglasses Shop

in addition to being a great sponsor, they have also outfitted me with some adorable sunglasses for summer (shown above). i have been loving my new DVF sunnies which have made the perfect summertime accessory.

Sunglasses Shop has graciously offered to giveaway a pair of Polaroid Polarised sunglasses (shown below) to one Blushing Basics reader (did i mention this was the week of giveaways?!) go ahead and follow the Rafflecopter steps below to enter for your chance to win a pair of these gorgeous glasses.

if you are interested in checking out more of their merchandise, designer options included, you can head to  to see the full selection. they ship internationally and i received my products promptly. kudos to sunglasses shop.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tatcha Skin Care {Giveaway}

quick fact: Tman and i were married in South Korea and lived there for one year. thus began my obsession with all things Eastern...

Japan's geisha have been revered and respected for their beauty as well as their wisdom. their porcelain skin is gorgeous and their beauty secrets are now packaged in the skincare line called Tatcha.

Tatcha rediscovered a 200-year-old manuscript that was written during Japan's Edo Period. within this manuscript were the daily regimes of geisha beauty. Tatcha worked with teams of scientist, scholars as well as geisha themselves to decipher the rituals and ingredients from the text. what they produced is a luxury skin care line to pamper yourself with.

the moisture rich silk cream is leaves skin silk and the brightening serum is designed to give you the flawless complexion of a geisha. my favorite product of all are the blotting papers that have gold leaf embedded in them. talk about luxury:

Tatcha has offered to give away a sample pack [shown above] to one lucky Blushing Basics reader (valued at $49). follow the instructions below to enter:


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lisa Hoffman - Perfect Fall Perfume

Lisa Hoffman is well known for her fragrance bracelets. each bracelet has fragrance beads that allow you to stay fragrant all day long. well, i am glad to say that Ms. Hoffman has introduced her signature scents in Eau de Parfums (yay!). now you can spritz your favorite scent anywhere you would like - your sheets, your closet, your body.

i couldn't have received this scent at a better time. my winter scent from last winter isn't quite right for fall, and my favorite summer scent is a little too flowery for the change leaves. like Goldilocks, this one fits me just right.

the Tunisian Neroli has a rich floral scent that is not too sweet. the touch of amber makes it just full enough to take me into fall smelling great.

if you want to get your hands on your own Lisa Hoffman scent, you can find her here.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Norwex Suede Cleansing Cloth {Giveaway}

recently i heard from an old friend recommending i give a new product a try. she has been using it herself and raves about it. the cloths shown above are Norwex cleansing cloths. each cloth is woven with silver which inhibits the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. this means that when you are done using the cloth, you rinse it, wring it out, hang it to dry and it won't stink! seriously. you can use it for the better part of the week before washing it.

a typical wash cloth will grow 800 new bacteria for every one in 24 hours. gross. the Norwex cleansing cloths will not allow bacteria to grow or replicate inside them making them a much cleaner option. they are also a great option for those of you who are eco-concious. no harsh chemicals, no unknown ingredients and less waste.

  • the purple cloth is specifically designed for removing makeup. it was suggested i try it a few times before making judgement and i am glad i did. using this cloth takes a bit of getting used to. it effectively removed my makeup but the makeup residue took some time to rinse from the cloth.
  • the tan cloth is my friend's favorite. it works well at removing makeup but tends to be a bit more exfoliating. this was also my favorite of the two clothes. i wear more makeup than the average chick, which means i need a bit more cleansing than the average chick. this is also a good option for helping fight acne and blackheads for those of you with uber sensitive skin.
if you would like more information on the Norwex products or the items listed above, check out Megan's website here

Megan has also generously offered to give away a suede makeup cleansing cloth. follow the instructions below for entry:
if natural products are your thang, then you should definitely check out Use Me hair products. they are Vegan with organic ingredients, BPA free packaging, sulfate & paraben free, refillable in salon and made in the USA.


Monday, August 27, 2012

LUSH Handmade Cosmetics (Review)

as a mother of three i get to be alone for about 7 minutes a day for my daily shower. in that seven minutes i squeeze in a lather, rinse (& sometimes a repeat), face washing, body cleansing, exfoliating, shaving and about five seconds where i actually enjoy the warm water on my face.

incorporating LUSH into this routine has turned that shower into seven minutes spa-ing (not actually a word). LUSH finds importance in those short moments of cleansing by creating products that will take you from grubby to scrumptious. LUSH cosmetics are handmade deliciousness filled with herb, flower infusions, fresh fruits and vegetables with just the right amount of product to get the dirt off.

their tongue-in-cheek names and descriptions will put a smile on your face which is why i am pleased to introduce you:

  1. Seanik Solid Shampoo - yes, a solid shampoo is an anomaly, but a fun one. this shampoo uses seaweed for silkiness, salt for volume & body and lemon for shine. this solid shampoo turns a dull chore into a trip to the beach.
  2. Dirty Springwash Shower Gel - how to use: get naked, hop in the shower, lather up. [directions courtesy of LUSH] love the fragrance of this gel and the minty-ness of it leaves you feeling refreshed.
  3. Breath of Fresh Air Toner Water - this product is great for the dog days of summer (why hello there 60+ days of 90 degree temps). spritz at the pool or when cleansing, either one is refreshing.
  4. Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub - they take the lime and the coconut...and mix them together for my favorite product of the group. thank you Madu for an awesome scrub. you may be wondering 'Who is Madu?' LUSH places the name and the picture of the person who created your product on the packaging. just slightly creepy when i see Madu's face staring at me in the shower.

i told you these products were deliciousness. so good you could almost eat them. almost.

this week is dedicated to reviewing some great products i have been testing, swatching, wearing and washing. i can't wait to share them with you as well as offer some additional giveaways. stay tuned for what's to come.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Clarisonic Giveaway Reminder

it has officially been 10 days since i began using my Clarisonic Acne Cleansing Set and i am sold. my skin has not only cleared up, i am also seeing huge improvements in the overall health of my skin. you might be thinking 10 days isn't enough time to begin raving about a skincare product, let me assure you that this one has worked quickly. i really am impressed with the improvements that have taken place in such a short amount of time.

just a friendly reminder to head here and leave me a comment with your acne-related story and you will be entered to win your own Clarisonic Acne Cleansing Set.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Eyeshadow Love Notes


eyeshadow by blushingbasics featuring a matte eyeshadow

part deux in my series of makeup love notes. from my favorite to my least favorite products.
  • Dior Shadow, i heart your pressed diamond shape but your price is a serious splurge.
  • Rimmel, your low prices keep me and the Tman happy. thank you.
  • Bare Escentuals, the unsung hero of shadows. haven't met a shadow i didn't like.
  • Forever21 makeup, let's break up.
  • Kevyn Aucoin, your makeup legacy lives on. you really know makeup. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Easiest Smoky Eye Ever

who doesn't love a smoky eye, or a smokey eye (tomato, tomahto). if you are a makeup rookie or an old hat at makeup, you can always make use of the smoky eye technique. quite simply this is the easiest, fastest, error proof way to get your smoky eye. using only two products, an Aqua Shadow in 4E (grey) and a medium brown shadow for blending:


follow this step by step eye makeup tutorial to create your easiest smokey eye ever:
  1. apply grey shadow stick to eyelid from lashline to crease
  2. blend grey using the medium brown eyeshadow
  3. done!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spot Treatment for Acne

here is a tip for taking care of your skin's nemesis, the pimple. a good emergency spot treatment for those zits that pop up at the most inopportune moments would be to mix a drop of benzoyl peroxide with hydrocortisone. apply to the affected area.

benzoyl peroxide helps to dry out the pimple and it also acts as an antibacterial agent. the hydrocortisone will help to reduce inflammation and redness. just use caution to not use too much of either. it can actually make acne worse if overused. 

these products do not require a prescription to purchase and can be purchased at any drugstore or pharmacy. if you need any help finding the product, pharmacists are always happy to come out from behind the counter to show you the products necessary.


Acne Products for All Needs

90% of teenagers suffer from acne and 50% of adult women continue to suffer from acne. personally, i was hoping that growing older would mean less acne but that is unfortunately not the case. a frequently asked question of this beauty blog would be 'how to treat acne?'

here is a segment i recently presented for Good Day Colorado that shows an acne product for every need, whether you are a teen, adult, budget conscious or just plain lackadaisical when it comes to skin care:

just a quick shout out to Vintage Fringe for providing me with wardrobe for this segment. isn't that dress gorge? right now there are some serious markdowns on great designer clothing, so head on over and check it out.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ovarian Cancer - The Whisper

Every September Tman and I participate in a walk/run 5k called The Race For The Whisper. Ovarian Cancer is often referred to as 'The Whisper' due subtle symptoms that are often confused with other illnesses. This type of cancer is disproportionately deadly because it lacks any clear early detection or screen test, meaning that most cases are not diagnosed until they have reached advanced stages.

Unfortunately, this was the case for our friend Robyn. We had just moved to Ohio to begin my husband's Medical Residency Program as a Med/Peds Resident. A fellow Resident had recently been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. The prognosis was poor but she did everything she could to raise awareness and win the fight against cancer. Our first year at The Race For The Whisper we ran as 'Robyn's Hood', supporting our friend and co-worker. Unfortunately we ran those races without Robin our final two years but her memory was close to our hearts.

Researchers are studying ways to improve ovarian cancer treatment as well as looking into ways to detect cancer at an earlier stage -- when a cure is more likely.

Laura Mercier is giving back through the launch of the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund. The mission of this is to raise awareness and help fund research and educational efforts to diagnose, treat and support women with ovarian cancer.


Beginning in September 2012, 100% of the profits from the sale of two Laura Mercier products -- Bonne Mine Healthy Glow for Face & Cheeks Creme Colour Palette and Rose Hope Lipe Glace -- will be donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.

The Whisper: the Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer from michelle m. kim on Vimeo.

In honor of Robyn and everything she worked towards, I am grateful to help spread this message.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Round-up

  • Making Up the Midwest reviews Maybelline's The Mega Plush Volum' Express Mascara - her new favorite!
  • Add trendy colors you covet, to your lashes.Until the end of August only, Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara is being offered in FOUR Limited Edition shades - Go Go Green, Blink of Blue, Totally Teal and Pop of Purple. The Advice Sisters check them out, and report!
  • Enter BeautyTidbits giveaway to win a cool ULINX Magnetic Charm Bracelet.
  • Retrodiva doesn't allow any heat to touch her hair for 30 days. Find out what she used to tame all that frizz at Retrodiva's Beauty.
  • The Stepford Witch reviews The Body Shop Extra Virgin Minerals Cream Foundation - read on to find out what she loves and doesn't love about this product.
  • Emily, from Emily Hudspeth hair design and makeup artist has seen great results from Viviscal Hair Repair. Emily has been using this supplement for about 6 weeks and is seeing incredible results. Its almost time for another haircut and she just cut off about 8 inches!
  • Confessions of a Sarcastic Mom tries Cover Band Sticks 'n Stones over a few different bases.
  • There are affordable and fabulous new beauty products at CVS. Here are two of my favorites!
  • Laura at My Newest Addiction Beauty Blog tries out products that hold the secrets to Geisha-like skin!
  • Hand-made and based in Scotland, Scottish Beauty Blog catches up with makeup artist Ana Cruzalegui, the lady behind amazing false eyelash brand WE ARE FAUX.
  • Lola from Lola's Secret Beauty Blog has Determined that My Weightless Eye Cream is one of the Best Beauty Secrets that Everyone Needs to Know about!
  • Phyrra loves the gorgeous Fall 2012 Beauty Trends this year. Which ones are your favorite?
  • So you cried a river last night and you have to go to work (or school) today. TheFabZilla shares tricks on how to hide signs of over-crying, a.k.a Makeup after a Breakup.
  • Miss L from Beauty by Miss L reviewed eco-friendly Derma E makeup remover this week, which is now one of her new favorite makeup remover.
  • BeautyJudy stopped by the Orly booth at Cosmoprof North America last month and saw lots of nail BLING!
  • The Lacquered Lady shows off OPI Danke-Shiny Red from the new Germany collection and goes on a dupe search. Will there be a perfect polish match?
  • Everyone needs eyeshadow primer! Sheila from Painted Ladies shows you why in the latest Breaking Down Beauty.
  • Midnight Manicures is giving away Sea Lore Nail Polishes from the Triton's Daughters Collection. Tell us which one is your favorite and enter to win!
  • The NARS Joie de Vivre palette is all kinds of awesome. Cosmetics Aficionado has drool worthy photos and a full review.
  • Butter London's Autumn/Winter 2012 nail polish collection is out! Check out a preview from Christina at Curls N Pearls - what's your favorite shade?
  • Addicted to "monthly" members-only beauty sample subscriptions? Pammy Blogs Beauty sure is! Just for a change, she tries out JustFab: a monthly boutique shopping site for cute and trendy shoes, handbags, and accessories. Cute stuff for a great price!
  • Mama Fashionista loves Julep so much she wants to give you a code so you can try it out for A PENNY! Plus she's giving away an introductory box!
  • Beauty Info Zone has another great giveaway. This time you can win 4 fab goodies from Miracle Skin Transformer.
  • Hello Dollface tests some great new shampoos and ends up with bigger, blonder, softer hair. Check out the best new haircare here!
  • Always a fan of neutral wash of color, the Beauty Professor is thrilled to have discovered Beauty Is Life's matte eye shadow in Camel!
  • While still enjoying summer till it winds down and fall fast approaching, Mimi's Mani's shares some Zoya love with Kimber from this summer's Surf collection.
  • Polarbelle shows you what blogging was like before blogs...doing it Caveman Style!
  • Still lemming Unicorn Pee? Nidia at Lit From Within shows you a few dupes from some Indie polish makers that might just do the trick.
  • Stephanie Louise-All Things Beautiful FINALLY duped her beloved MAC shadow in Humid...with a low cost option! Click for swatches & comparison!
  • Clarisonic has just released a new Acne Cleansing Set. For more information, and a chance to win your own, head over to Blushing Basics.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lipgloss Love Notes


lipgloss by blushingbasics featuring lip makeup

this is a new series of posts to share my favorite, and not so favorite products. a sort of love-note to my makeup. (weird, i know) if you have any particular requests, please let me know. 
  • Smashbox, i love you but i don't love your longwear lipgloss. the steep price tag is not worthy of the 6 hour claim. 
  • Nars, while your smoosh-centric names are actually a turn-off, your color choices are spot on.
  • MAC, you get it.
  • Yves Saint Laurent, you know how to make a girl feel glamourous. 
  • Revlon, good color, long lasting and affordable. don't ever change.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trending August

Trending August

Trending August by blushingbasics featuring citizens of humanity jeans

i've said it before and i'll say it again - my favorite post of the month. i love sharing what items are hitting the scene most, whether it be from my wardrobe or my makeup drawer. the items listed above are the trending cosmetics and clothing of the moment. 
  1. chambray shirt - if you haven't invested in one of these, i would suggest it. we'll be seeing a lot more where this came from in upcoming seasons. 
  2. stella & dot earrings - this isn't the first time these cuties have had a starring role.
  3. colored denim - i love pairing my chambray with any colored denim. this pair just happens to be my current fave. for tips on how to wear colored denim, check here.
  4. skinny belts - enough said.
  5. gold shoes - i couldn't find my exact match in Polyvore, but my gold shoes are getting their fair share of spotlight.
  6. MAC Casual Color - love this lip and cheek color. makes summer makeup a cinch. here's my t.v. segment on how to avoiding melting makeup.
  7. Victoria's Secret Bronzer - summer is coming to a close and bronzing is at its peak.
  8. Tweezerman Tweezers - good brows are the key to no-fuss makeup. for a video tutorial, click here.
  9. China Glaze Neon - au revoir summer. this is the last time we will be sporting brights for a while.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Clarisonic Giveaway

this could be yours!
i am ridiculously excited to be offering this giveaway to Blushing Basics readers for several reasons:

  1. Clarisonic is THE name in skincare. 
  2. this is the latest and greatest Clarisonic product.
  3. you guys are awesome and i am so excited to give you a chance to win!
as i mentioned above, Clarisonic just recently launched its Acne Clarifying Collection which includes the Acne Clarifying Cleansing Set (valued at $47). included in the Cleansing Set are the Acne Clarifying Brush Head and the Acne Daily Clarifying Cleanser. ideally, Clarisonic brush heads are meant to be replaced every three months (but i won't blame you for extending that time) and this is a great solution for a replacement head.

Clarisonic (i heart you) sent me the latest Mia and Acne Clarifying Cleansing Set to exclusively test for a two week period. during this time i will be hosting a giveaway for you to win your very own Clarisonic Acne Clarifying Collection (valued at $169) and the Clarisonic Acne Clarifying Cleansing Set.

to enter:

leave a comment below sharing your acne-related story. you are allowed one entry throughout the entire review period and i will randomly select a winner at the end of the two weeks. 

this is the first of four posts i will write regarding my experience with the Acne Clarifying Cleansing Set. each post will link back to this original post for giveaway entry.

for an extra chance to win, Clarisonic will also be giving away the Acne Clarifying Cleansing Set. tweet @Clarisonic about you favorite model and let them know how it has revolutionized your skincare routine. be sure to use the hashtag#ClarisonicLove. each reader who tweets will automatically be entered into an overarching Clarisonic Sweepstakes for which one winner will receive a year supply of brush heads of their choice. score!

be sure to comment below for your chance to win.


Aqua Rouge #8 MDNA Official Color

what do Madonna and i have in common? well, besides our lipsticks not much else. but can we all agree it is a pretty great lipstick? [not to mention an awesome picture of my lips. courtesy of a great camera angle]

created by Madonna's makeup artist, Gina Brooke, Aqua Rouge #8 is the official lip color for the MDNA tour. together Brooke and Make Up For Ever created this universally flattering classic red. 

Aqua Rouge is a new lip color collection that Make Up For Ever is launching September 2012. it is a lip stain paired with a gloss that is smudge proof, sweat proof and while you may not be able to tell from the picture above, pool proof. i wore this through the pool, lunch and dinner only needing a few minor touch ups. impressive.

i was lucky enough to sample Aqua Rouge #8, and while Madonna has no idea who i am, i felt a little closer to the Material Girl. this color claims to be universally flattering and a bold red lip is typically NOT my style but i think i can pull this one off. if you are like a virgin - pun intended - to red lip color, this is your starting point.

see the face chart below detailing Madonna's makeup look see Aqua Rouge #8 on the Material Girl herself:

reader poll: would you give this shade of red a try?


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rodan + Fields Follow-up Visit

my trial period for Rodan + Fields Anti-Age Regimen is coming to a close. i have been using the products religiously for the last six weeks. okay, i did miss a few days in July due to family vacation, TSA regulations, etc. excuses, excuses. the reality of it is that i was using the products and thought my skin wouldn't miss it for a day or two. boy was i wrong.

did you know that women in their thirties face hormonal breakout around the mouth and chin? you read that right - hormonal breakout. i will give you one guess as to what i experienced when i didn't use my products for a few days. Mt. St. Helens not only planted itself on my chin, it erupted. i'll spare you any more explicits but let's just say i took Rodan + Fields for granted.

we tend to go through honeymoon phases with skin care where we see results and we think, 'wow, this is really working!' enter the latent phase (yes, i just used a laboring term) where results aren't as obvious and we don't realize just how much it is working. take a few days off from a skin care regime and BLAM-O! regret.

please use this as a PSA. don't go all 'Seven Year Itch' on your products and let your relationship slip. stick with it and results are sure to follow. however, if you're a beauty blogger there is sure to be a new product waiting in the wings. until then i will happily continue using my Rodan + Fields.

if you'd like more information or have interest in purchasing product, head here. your personal consultant is always happy to answer any questions you may have.


Monday, August 13, 2012

My Hair Routine

while my day to day habits are so interesting (since all inflection is lost in the blogosphere that should be read with heavy doses of sarcasm) i put together this post to give you a little insight into the care i provide my tresses. i always find it helpful to see what others are doing to maintain healthy hair so here are the steps taken in the Blushing Basics household to keep these strands shiny.

wash + condition

right now i am using Pureology Essential Oil collection. by the end of summer my hair is fried, dried and ready to be rehyd(rated). sorry, just had go for the rhyme. however you play it Pureology has some of the best hair masks around. soaking my hair for five minutes in the shower helps recapture the silkiness my hair desperately needs. as an added bonus these products smell so good, unfortunately every metaphor i can think of falls short.

styling products

i'm a mom. that equals minimalist styling every day. with time always being a commodity i try to use products that are going to give me the most bang for my buck. blow drying my hair is a must (otherwise i look like a ball-o-frizz) which means i need products that are going maximize my 10 minutes of blowdrying.

enter Redken.

with amazing styling products your 10 minute blow-out can look great. i use heat/thermal protectants to help protect my hair as well as fight the frizz that a quick blowdry might cause.

styling tool


i think i may have mentioned a time (or 2, or 3) how much i love the Spornette brushes. they really do make a difference. i promise. every person who has switched to Spornette has raved about how much they love these brushes. my current fave is the 3-inch Smooth Operator. designed not to pull at hair when drying helps prevent breakage and the 3-inch barrel gives your hair the perfect swooping finish. every end polished and every strand sufficiently smoothed. 

if you have any styling products you love, please share. i am always in the market for new products.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Beauty Blog Coalition Weekly Roundup

Friday, August 10, 2012

Olympian Worthy Golds

in honor of the Olympics (are they really finishing already? more Lochte!!) i decided to pay homage to gold makeup. why should Olympians be the only ones wearing gold right now? Jane Iredale has some great products including gold eyeliner and lipgloss. 

you know i love Jane Iredale products. dubbed 'The Skin Care Makeup', these products look gorgeous gilding your lids and lips in gold. the gloss won't dry out your lips and the eyeliner is so easy to use. plus, the products are actually good for your skin. definitely worthy of an Olympic Gold.

rose gold, well this gold has been making the rounds. Tiffany & Co. introduced a line of rose gold jewelry and Blake Lively introduced rose gold hair. since we all can't afford Tiffany and may not want the permanence of dyed hair, here are some rose gold options that are a little more accessible:

  • MAC Heavenly Creature collection offers this beautiful Skinfinish called Light Year. the rose gold hue of this Skinfinish looks great on cheeks, eyes and decolletage.
  • Jane Iredale has introduced 24-Karat Gold Dust. this shimmering accent can be applied to cheeks eyes and lips, or even mixed with a moisturizer or your favorite hair gel for added shimmer. look out Blake Lively, rose gold hair can now be achieved by everyone.
  • Revlon offers a rose gold lip gloss that is glamorous, on trend and easy on the pocketbook. apparently i have also aged 30 years because i just used the word pocketbook.
get your gold on and be sure to enjoy the closing ceremonies.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Secret Agent Beauty, The Skinnys

i was recently given the Skinny on sexy, kissable lips. literally. my girl Ryan sent me some awesome lip products to try out and here is the skinny on 'The Skinny'. these glosses help to transform your lips into plump and gorgeous by formulations that act as lip treatments as well as plumpers. for a limited time you can purchase all five in a Limited Edition Set.

below is the use of my favorite product of the group, Pretty-Pink Provocateur. pink lips are probably my favorite lip color of all and i am like a moth to a flame when it comes to pink glosses. i like the color, the gloss and the result.

since Secret Agent is so smart, their logo is an ambigram - as in the words Secret Agent can be read right side up or upside down. don't believe me? check the product picture above and rotate your screen. yep, still spells Secret Agent.

i decided to test the big brains of Secret Agent Beauty and see if their products really work as promised: to treat and plump your lips. i concocted a very scientific test where i examined the bottle closely, hello gold flecks.

next, i applied product to my lips sans makeup. that's right, i actually went nude for this (on my face only). below is the before and after picture:

in conclusion, i dare say Secret Agent Beauty The Skinnys really work. do you concur?


editor's note: all corniness in above post will immediately self destruct.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vapour Organic Beauty {Review}

Soft Focus Foundation
Atmosphere Luminous Foundation

i was recently offered an opportunity to try Vapour Organic Beauty foundations. i was immediately interested for two reasons: 
  1. i love my Make Up For Ever but i am constantly on the hunt for the next buzz worthy foundation.
  2. i like organic products. i am not 'exclusively' organic but definitely like going that route if it is available.
i first tested out the product when i presented on Good Day Colorado. (you can see the segment here) when on television i like to have a full coverage foundation. in order to achieve this, i combined both the Luminous Foundation followed by the Soft Focus Foundation to get the most coverage possible. i was happy with the results but here are my thoughts.

the Atmosphere Luminous Foundation was great coverage. however, blending a stick foundation can be a bit tricky. the Soft Focus Foundation makes blending easy, but if you have oily skin you may want to avoid. this formula leaves your skin very dewy. i had to give myself a few extra coats of translucent powder to counter the shine.

for those of you in the market for an organic foundation, this is a worthy choice. i respect the fact that Vapour Beauty maintains environmental accountability and creates a product that is fully recyclable, organic and sustainable, while not sacrificing performance.

here's another photo of me and my Vapour Soft Focus Foundation. good coverage, good color.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Half Moon Mani {Tutorial}

half moon manis. exposing the 'nude' of your nail is a popular nail trend now and one of the easiest ways to do that is the half moon mani. having recently been sent some fall colors from Polish & Co., i decided to use their gorgeous blue and put it to the test.

the full coverage in one coat of this polish made the half moon mani a cinch. the blue is perfect for fall. (okay, i cross my heart and promise not to talk about navy blue for the rest of the week) while this mani goes against every instinct to brush color beginning at the cuticle, it is actually pretty simple to achieve.

begin with a base coat. carefully apply polish color of choice below cuticle line, gently creating a curve and finish with a topcoat. easier said than done, i know, but i achieved it my first go-round. even on my right hand.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Un Style {Guest Post by Debbie}

Fashion has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe because I have been writing for this blog, maybe because lately it seems the number of items that I want (need? NEED.) is highly out of proportion with my fiscal consciousness (J. Crew’s latest collection anyone?). 

But more than just the consumer side of fashion, I’ve been thinking about style in general; specifically, the ebb and flow of my own. There have been times (mainly in my early 20’s) when I felt like I was pretty cutting edge - daring and unapologetic in my appearance, transforming myself with a combination of identities – rocker glam, feminine frills, preppy princess. And other times of my life when my wardrobe mainly consisted of the same t-shirt in five different colors. We’ve all been through this. I think. I hope. (Everyone except Kristie. Seriously. Girlfriend looks glam in leggings and an oversize sweatshirt. I’d want to hate her if I didn’t love her so much).

Okay, so maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but there have definitely been times when I’ve been more survivin’ than stylin’. 

Case in point: I had always promised myself that after I had kids I would not turn into a mom. Obviously, I was a mom, but I mean a mom mom, like that of momjeans notoriety. I would be a mama, she of hot origins.  Obviously this promise was made long ago when my stomach muscles still touched and my thighs did not. 

After my first child was born I felt like I made good on this promise. I may not have had a chance to brush my teeth before 3 pm but you better believe I had my 4-inch wedges on.  

Fashion before hygiene, people. 

So imagine my horror (HORROR!) when I found myself, post baby #2, walking around the grocery store in a zombie daze, nylon sweat pants on, hair falling out of a haphazard ponytail, rocking a baby bjorn in front, spit up stains in back and pushing my two year-old around in a giant cart/car monstrosity with a squeaky wheel which provided a backbeat to his toddler screams of “I want a cookie! I –WANT-A-COOKIE!!” 

Guess what the store was out of that day? Dignity. 

My point here, other than offering that lovely mental picture, is this: there are definitely times in our lives when we will feel like our fabulous-ness has turned into fail-bulous. And that’s okay. Because it’s not forever. 

Whether it’s a new baby, sickness, hard time, or just being plain tired, we’ve all been there and we will continue to go back. But sweatpants will not stay on forever. Eventually, you will wash your hair. Someday soon, you may even put something on with actual buttons. And then there will even be times when you pull out the completely impractical stilettos, vamp it up with the green shadow and cat eye, rock the neon pink stripped nails and know that you are working it

Nowadays, my wedges still make a fairly regular appearance, but definitely not as often as my plain silver flip-flops. And the next time I find myself in the store with those nylon pants and screaming kid, I’ll just hold my pony-tailed head up high and own it. Because I know that tomorrow I will break out the coral skinny jeans and liquid eyeliner. 

But tomorrow is a long way away and right now, these sweatpants fit just right. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Nokia Pink Lumia Lounge {Meet Kandi}

this week i was invited to the Nokia Lumia event that hit Denver Thursday. as part of the Nokia Pink Lumia 900 promotion an awesome Lumia Lounge was set up with sweets, treats and Kandi. and by Kandi, i mean Kandi Banks celebrity nail artist.

Kandi's nail art is like nothing i have ever seen. ice-cream cones and leopard print are her signatures (guess what? we use the same technique for leopard). she has had requests as crazy as bacon nails to
fried chicken. this girl can do it all. to find out more, check out Kandi here:

instagram: KandiYamz
twitter: @MmmKandiYamz

her story is incredible. while she has been an artist her whole life, she started doing nails a year and a half ago and now she is a nail artist for celebrities, including Nicki Minaj & Demi Lovato. Kandi was so fun to meet and i love how she refers to nails as her 'mini canvas'. i am sure we will continue to hear about this nail superstar in the future.

signature styles
checking out the Lumia Lounge was so much fun. i brought along a girlfriend and my three kiddos. even my little sissy Boo had a mani:

Kandi Banks painting my nails. #beautybloggerdream
last, but not least, i was sent home with my own Nokia Pink shade created by Duality. this Nail-Pak pairs polish with a nail file and polish remover pads included in a removable bottom:

have i mentioned how much i love being a beauty blogger? *sigh*


Friday, August 3, 2012

Braiding Hairstyles Tutorial

i love braids. they're cute, fun, flirty and easy. kind of like the best friend you've always wanted. the great thing about braids is that they take a basic hairstyle and make it fresh.

does your messy bun need a makeover? try a french braid from the base of your neck upwards. re-fashion that bun in no time.

wearing your hair down? again? braiding your hair will give that no-style hairstyle a much needed perk.

ponytails are my go-to. [for some reason my 3 year-old daughter hates when i wear messy buns] to add a quick twist to the basic pony, i topsy-tail the pony, fish tail the end (make sure to pull the braid a bit to make it messy) and voila! new do. take this one step further by rolling up your braid and bobby pin it as a chic chignon.

click through links here for a video tutorial on how to create a braided headband or how to get that Lauren Conrad front braid.

learning how to braid your hair takes a little bit of practice. once you have it mastered, your styling options are limitless.