Friday, November 30, 2012

Highlighter {Grail or Fail}

image courtesy of

every once in a while i find a product that is a repeat buy. coming from a girl who tries a lot of cosmetics and rarely purchases the same thing twice, that says a lot.

highlighters are a tricky business. too much and your skin not only glows but is phosphorescent. too much and your wrinkles look like chasms on your skin. too much and skin looks slick not shiny. too little, well too little means your highlighter isn't working.

the becca cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector is just right. the Goldilocks of highlighters; not too much, not too little, it is just right. sheer coverage allows this skin perfector to be used alone or with foundation. with an SPF included you protect your skin while you highlight. never before has my skin had this kind of 'glow'.

IMO becca cosmetics is one of the unsung heroes of beauty. rumored to soon be found in your local Sephora my fingers are crossed that this is true. they are a great quality cosmetic with flattering tones for all skin shades and all skin types. of all the becca cosmetics products, this Shimmering Skin Perfector is my new Grail.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nail Polish Love Notes

i love makeup and it was only a matter of time before nail polish joined in on the love notes. this is a way for me to share with you some of my favorite and not-so-favorite love affairs with makeup.
  • China Glaze - my love for you will never die. each new collection includes a seasonal have, my mani's are dry in minutes and last for days. i love you.
  • Sinful Colors - you are the perfect solution to a polish fling. if i'm in the mood for a color but don't want to commit, $2 is worth the quick fix. no walk of shame necessary.
  • Chanel - your colors last and they are some of the most popular. like the BMOC (or in this case Big Polish On Campus) you set the trend for what's cool. your price tag is steeeep but usually worth it.
  • Lynderella - the indie polish that everyone is vying to get their hands on. you've kept your edge and make the best and most coveted glitters in the business. is this burning, an eternal flame?
  • Illamasqua - love your makeup but your 'rubber' effect polish was a total fail. it is like getting super excited for the big date only to go to Burger King. next time, let's do lunch.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Cat Eye & Hair Tutorial

are you sick of videos yet?! this is one is NEW and is the last one i will be posting this week. cross my heart.

i was going to write a review of the new Laura Mercier Holiday collection but a picture tutorial of Cat Eye makeup is not as simple as a video tutorial. Cat Eye makeup during the holidays is a win/win look. it is quick, simple and looks superglam - not a word, but the best definition.

i recently had a reader request a hair tutorial and styling is easier than ever when you have plenty of hairspray and the Spornette Little Wonder teasing brush. i think that brush sees more use than any of the brushes in my hair drawer. it really lives up to its name.

happy Wednesday. 


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kate Middleton Holiday Hair

having lived in England for three years i consider myself a bit of an Anglophile.

with that being said, would you fault me for loving the fact that Princess Kate Middleton and i had the same idea for a holiday hairstyle? considering i created this tutorial a year ago i would definitely win in the category 'Who wore it first?' however she would hands down own 'Who wore it best?'

if you are interested in a hairstyle that is simple, quick and easy to achieve (and chic enough for a Princess) the above tutorial will be right up your alley.


 noun \ˈaŋ-glə-ˌfī(-ə)l\
: a person who greatly admires or favors England and things English

or according to the Urban Dictionary:

anglophile493 up87 down
Someone (more often than not American) who holds an extremely romanticised view of England and the English. Can be found putting on an Dick Van Dyke-esque English accent and saying things like 'rubbish'.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Thrifty Holiday Makeup {Makeup Tutorial}

i hope you all had an amazingly filling and delicious Thanksgiving. we spent the weekend puking, laughing, eating, playing and shopping but not necessarily in that order! with family in town we had a great time but we did enjoy a good stomach virus that managed to make the rounds to nearly member. yuck.

due to the above debauchery i'm going to take a few days to catch up on my blogging and share some beauty blog back tracks. the next day or two i will share some videos created for the Holiday season. easy to follow makeup tutorials with step by step instructions. these are oldies but goodies. Girl Scout's promise.

hugs and wishbones!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Maybelline Color Show Fashion Prints Nail Stickers

this isn't the first time i have posted about nail appliqués (you can see my Jamberry review here). i love the fact that you can have high quality nail art in durable long lasting appliqués.

Maybelline just released these Color Show Fashion Prints Nail Stickers that are so easy to apply. simply select a sticker that best fits each nail, lay it over the bare nail and apply pressure using the cuticle stick, fold the spare top of sticker of nail tip and file away extra length.

the official makeup sponsor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (oh yeah, this girl was there) Maybelline is regarded as a cosmetic authority. releasing this product just in time for the holidays, this limited edition collection is hot, hot, hot.

why do i love these nail stickers so much? i like that you can easily achieve any print, metallic effects are awesome and they resist chipping and tend to last longer than typical polish. below is an image of my nails 4 days into my mani, still looking good.

pick them up at any major retailer - they'll make the perfect stocking stuffer.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

See Others As They May Become

today is Thanksgiving and i wanted to take a minute to thank each and every one of you who support Blushing Basics. when i began blogging i could never have imagined what great adventures were in store. this past year has been incredible from the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards to attending Fashion Week in New York. it has been a dream come true and to be quite honest, without your support i could have never made it this far.

as a Thank You i wanted to share some excerpts from a talk i recently read. written by Thomas S. Monson he asks that we develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become. motivated by a speaker he heard many years ago, this speaker explained a woman needs to be told she is beautiful. She needs to be told she is valued. She needs to be told she is worthwhile.

i hope you know that YOU are beautiful, you are valued and you are worthwhile. makeup is fun and can be a creative outlet and used to enhance beauty, but true beauty comes from the soul and our worth is great.

if you are spending the holidays with family, friends or alone, please know that you have the potential to do anything or become anything that you want. you are worth so much and your talents are valuable. use them, share them and nourish them to grow.

wishing you the happiest of Thanksgivings and Holidays to come.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Make Up For Ever Holiday Offerings

you know i am on the fan train for MUFE. you can read some of my love notes reviews of the Make Up For Ever products here.

seriously, who writes love notes to makeup? oh that's right, i do.

my first class, must have item of Make Up For Ever is their HD Foundation. i just can't get enough of that stuff and for Christmas - the best possible HD Foundation gift set would be this one below. you get my favorite super star product HD Foundation, along with a kabuki brush, primer and a high def powder for $79. considering the foundation alone is $40, this set is a steal.

Make Up For Ever generously sent me a holiday offering to review and that is their Ultimate Eyeliner Collection. this collection includes 14 full size eyeliners plus a double pencil sharpener to create endless eye makeup looks. i love the Aqua Eyes Liners - those things stay put! - as well as the kohl liners which are the waterline/tightline must haves. liquid liners in three shades will surely convert you (a one way ticket to the dark side) to the liquid liner fan club and it is all packaged in one pencil box.

what about an eye tutorial for the Holidays? this kit has everything you need. check out my three step eye makeup tutorial below to create your simple eye makeup look.

  1. color in eyelid with 12L Aqua Eyes
  2. blend into crease using MUFE Cafe Latte 164 eyeshadow
  3. apply a shimmer color over entire eyelid to mute colors and add dimension
  4. finish by lining with the Aqua Liner in black


Monday, November 19, 2012

If You're Not Whitening, You're Yellowing {Giveaway}

image has been altered for impact (i.e. used teeth yellowing kit)
i was recently sent this box of Crest 3D Whitestrips to test and review for Blushing Basics. included in the package was a yellowing kit to capture the reactions of people who saw a yellow smile. if you're interested in my family reactions, check out the video above.

let's face it, if you're not whitening, you're yellowing. every sip, bite, drink and nibble leads to the yellowing of your teeth. Crest 3D White Whitestrips can help to remove up to ten years of set in stains and is the #1 awarded brand by beauty editors. whitening 25x better than the leading whitening toothpaste these Whitestrips are easily my go to whitening solution.

even before reviewing these strips, my whitening solution has always been Crest 3D Whitestrips. i hate the mess of the professional trays and the dental solutions are painful on my teeth. Crest 3D Whitestrips are comfortable and work well. 

we only get one set of (adult) teeth, so let's treat them with a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

to go the extra mile Crest has generously offered to give away one box of Crest 3D Whitestrips to one lucky Blushing Basics reader. follow the rafflecopter instructions below for entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored post campaign for One2One Network. I received monetary compensation and product, but all opinions stated are my own.

This Or That {Makeup Tutorial}

i was recently sent some products from CVS beauty so i decided to put together a video showing you some (inexpensive) beauty tool alternatives to help you achieve an everyday makeup look.

below is a list of products used:

essence of BEAUTY Premium Blender Brush ($7.99) - perfect for blending makeup to create a natural, flawless look with a specially designed sponge tip and vitamin E provide an exceptionally smooth finish.

essence of BEAUTY Deluxe Duo Set ($14.99) - three dual-ended brushes (6 brushes total!) to help you complete your look including a - Concealer Brush, Foundation Brush, Blender Brush for Powder Brush,  Blush Brush and Eye Shadow Brush.

essence of BEAUTY Teardrop Sponges ($3.99) - these soft, Acai-infused, multi-purpose sponges are great for applying and blending foundation, eye makeup and more. the teardrop shape makes application easy, while the added antioxidant acai provides an exceptionally smooth finish. with an antimicrobial formula to help maintain freshness, these sponges resist crumbling and flaking.

essence of BEAUTY wedges ($3.69) - these soft, multi-purpose wedges are great for removing eye makeup, smoothing on moisturizers, or quick beauty fixes. super absorbent and perfect for sensitive skin.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Lilly Brush {Review}

i recently discovered this company called Lilly Brush that offers the solution to fuzzy, pill-y sweaters in need of a pick-me-up. interested because this brand is based out of Colorado (#shoutout to all my CO peeps) i decided to review the product.

i was a bit skeptical as to how well this would work. i have tried to de-pill sweaters before; it is time consuming and i usually end up inflicting some sort of damage to sweaters. scissors, razors, electronic de-fuzzers have all caused a kill in my wardrobe. here's how i put the Lilly Brush to the test:

my pink cashmere sweater. i lurv it. having found it on clearance i'm not too invested in it because i didn't pay the equivalent of one months rent to buy it, however, i would be dissapointed if ruined. it was just starting to reach that point in pilling where sweaters go from handsome to homely. something had to be done.

i test drove my Lilly brush on this sweater and results are below. i almost think the sweater looks even better now than it did when i bought it.

perfect stocking stuffer for christmas or a worthwhile investment if your sweater collection needs some refreshing. Lilly Brush ftw!


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkin Facial {Recipe}

'tis the season for good food. i recently put together a segment for Good Day Colorado featuring foods that are good for you and your skin. fall harvest fruits and vegetables are packed with skin enriching vitamins minerals to keep you looking good through winter.

with Thanksgiving next week you probably have a can or two of pumpkin sitting in your pantry. instead of ingesting try a pumpkin facial instead:


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Murad Giveaway

it is the week before Thanksgiving and you might be thinking 'stocking stuffers? meh.' believe me ladies, Christmas will be here before you know it. Tman and i racked up some mileage from Christmas shopping tonight. 

big thanks to Murad for offering to host a giveaway featuring stocking stuffers for gift giving - or for keeping. included are: 
  • AHA/BHA Exfoliation Cleanser - $8.50 which comes in a convenient sized bottle that is TSA approved. no more confiscation of your best beauty products when going through security.
  • Energizing Pomegranate Lip Protector SPF 15 - $17.00 a lip balm and treatment that gives you the benefit of antioxidants (thanks to the pomegranate) along with protecting and restoring your lips.
  • Pomegranate Exfoliating Mask – $22.50 perfect for those with combination skin, this exfoliating mask is rich in anti-oxidants to restore and rebalance skin.  Individual packets make it easy to travel with this mask to keep your skin looking fresh all holiday long!
  • Soothing Skin and Lip Care - $20.00 a healing salve to bring immediate relief to dry, chapped lips and minor skin irritations thanks to a healthy dose of Vitamin E.
to enter, follow the instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NYX Cosmetics + Lip Tutorial

NYX is one of my favorite beauty brands. they have a full range of products, great colors, good pigment, a variety of options and extremely affordable. they also happen to put out these fabulous multi-product collections which brings everything you could ever need into one place.

the NYX Cosmetics The Crimson Amulet Collection was released last spring, but the color selection is perfect for year round. included are lip colors, blushes, highlighter, liquid liner, mascara and 32 eyeshadow shades. think of it as your portable makeup kit - the only thing missing are brushes.

this fiercely awesome palette (inspired by Tim Burton's film Dark Shadows) has been at the forefront of my makeup lineup the last few weeks. i like that i can quickly put together a look without digging through my makeup drawer for all the right colors. the best thing is that it is only $9.99 here.

makeup is all about enhancing what you've got and using the right shades and shimmers will make cheekbones appear stronger, eyebrows higher, lips fuller and noses straighter. yes, you can do all that with a little powder and some know-how.

using the lip colors and the shimmer/highlighter powder included in the palette, i put together this lip tutorial highlighting one of my favorite makeup tricks: plumping up your kisser. by simply applying some lip color and a dab of shimmer powder, you too can have plump, kissable lips.

thank you, NYX.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Gold Christmas by SEPHORA {Gift Guide}

five years ago Tman put together one of my favorite Christmas ideas of all time. he stuck with a theme (i know, impressive and thoughtful). the theme he chose was a Gold Christmas. everything in my stocking was gold - gold ballet flats, gold wallet, gold watch and gold makeup.

my husband is awesome.

this year Sephora has some great gift ideas and limited edition items that are (you guessed it) GOLD. here's a suggestion - copy and paste the link to this post and forward it to your husband. better yet, head over to Facebook and share this post to his wall. nothing could be more subtle.

first, let's discuss the gold eyeliner appliqué. similar to the one i wrote about here, these eyeliner appliqués are sick. as in good. the Sephora Collection Deco Daze Glitter Eyeliner Appliqués: easiest winged eyeliner ever + glittery gold color that won't get glitter over your entire face = glam squared.

the cute little Sephora Houndstooth Mirror makes a great stocking stuffer or small gift for girlfriends. imho this would be adorbs if used as the card for any gift you may be putting together.

let's just take a minute of silence to appreciate the 24 Karat Gold limited edition Sephora Tweezers above. it is a great tweezer designed to eliminate the most stubborn hairs, yadda yadda yadda. how about the fact that this gorgeousness is GOLD?

every year Shu Uemura puts out a limited edition Gold Eyelash Curler that is incredible and every year that beauty sells out. i imagine we'll be seeing this tweezer set fall into the same fate. purchase now or forever hold your lust.

last is this amazing Prestige luxe brush set. i received a Sephora brush set last year for Christmas and it has a permanent place on my vanity countertop - the makeup equivalent of courtside tickets. Sephora brushes are great quality, wear well, apply color evenly and won't cost you a kidney. if you're interested in a set, here's this years edition to what i have.

don't forget - this could be just the reminder or prompting your significant other may need to ensure you have the best Christmas ever.


Friday, November 9, 2012

How To Cut A Crease {Eye Makeup Tutorial}

after seeing supermodel Joanna Krupa on Real Housewives of Miami i knew i had to put together a tutorial showing readers how to achieve a cut crease. that girl rocks a cut crease like no ones business.
cuh-t kr-ee-s: a severe definition of one's eyelid crease achieved by using eyeliner to create crease.
every once in a while i put something together and i am surprised by the response. i would have never guessed that my 'how to make small eyes appear larger' would be pinned so many times or that my liquid eyelining tutorial would go viral with over one million views.

this was one of those tutorials. i put together this cut crease tutorial and within an hour had 15 new subscribers, several comments and several likes. that never happens for me on YouTube. i usually experience a slow and steady increase of views over an extended period of time. totally made my night.

please watch the video below, subscribe, like, comment or share. your feedback means a lot to me.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Billion Dollar Brows {Review + Tutorial}

i was recently sent these two kits by billion dollar brows, one including the Brow Buddy Tool and the other including the 3 steps to Beautiful Brows - condition, color and control.

the Brow Buddy Tool (shown above) is a patent pending tool designed to help shape your brows. while it looks a bit medieval, this tool is the architect for your brows showing where to begin, where to arch and where to end.

you might be thinking, i only need a pencil for that... the genius of the Brow Buddy tool is that you can use it against both brows at the same time, helping to get the most symmetric results, rather than shaping only one side at a time.

included with the Brow Buddy Tool is also a brow pencil that is a universally flattering shade with a brow brush on the tip.

below is the kit which houses three products to get you the best brows ever. the cost of the kit below is a bit high but i am assuming that is for the brow boost - a conditioner which helps strengthen and condition the brows as well as improve fullness with NO scary side effects (unlike others which may change your skin tone). also included are the brow pencil and the brow gel (one of my favorite products).

let me tell you why brows are important. *pardon the interruption while i step onto my soapbox* the shape of your brow can significantly alter the appearance of your face. well groomed brows allow for more femininity, a thinner face, better bone structure and frame one of your best features - your eyes. so for your sake and mine, take a minute to groom those babies. *drops mic*
one of the very first tutorials i created (it is that important!) was a brow shaping tutorial. you can check it out below for a refresher, reminder or reintroduction.

i love you and your brows so do me a favor, shape them already?!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Laura Mercier Holiday Collection

feast your eyes on the goodness of the Laura Mercier Holiday gift items. yum.

the delectable goodness that is Laura Mercier cosmetics put together wonderfully tempting Mini Lip Glace collection that includes five colors. the set shown above is the collection featuring Rich Berries - bright, bold tons of rose, red & plum.

i heart Laura Mercier Lip Glace a million times and finding this collection in my stocking would be nothing short of sweetness.

one of the reasons i love the Holiday season is that my favorite makeup brands put out these amazing collections for incredible deals. normally this collection of lip glosses would cost you $80 if purchased individually. when bought in a set they run for $48.

below is the Petite Baked Eye Colour Trio. this petite, portable palette of shimmering metallics gives your eyes a flawlessly festive look. the colors can be used wet or dry, depending on the intensity you are looking for. a wet application tends to bring out the shimmering highlights of the colors.

i put together a quick and simple (3 step!) eye makeup tutorial using a dry application of the Gold Leaf and Emerald. this combination would look glam on just about any skintone. nice work, Laura Mercier.

  1. apply Gold Leaf to entire eyelid
  2. apply Emerald to outer half of eyelid from lash to crease
  3. finish with a warm brown in the crease for contour


Tuesday, November 6, 2012


hello, fun.

meet fun, LUSH Cosmetics latest and greatest product. what is fun? well, let me show you:

this last week was fall break for my kiddos so we had a few extra hours to kill hangin' in the hood. knowing this week was approaching i purposefully stashed my blue and pink FUN by LUSH for that moment when boredom needed a cure.

my homeboy, shown below, thought this stuff was amazing. he created people, Egyptian temples, hotdogs and hamburgers plus other goodies. my homegurl, let's just say she is abstract. we had lots of blobs attached to other blobs but the important part was that she had FUN!

we gathered our sculptures and stored them in a plastic baggie for bathtime/showers later that day. my kids had a blast enjoying a warm bubble bath, playing/sculpting while bathing and washing with their new FUN creations.

this would make a great stocking stuffer (they last forever), birthday gift for friends, activity for a rainy day, heck (pardon my French) these are even fun for adults. i love LUSH products so i don't have go into too much detail about how fantastic these smell/work/cleanse etc. if you can't take my word for it i would suggest heading to your nearest LUSH and giving them a try.


Monday, November 5, 2012

no 'zit' sherlock {Review}

6 weeks ago while in New York i had the chance to visit some of my favorite PR girls. they hooked me up (and my mom...and my sister) with some major beauty booty. one of the products that i have been using is this rubberizing face-mask from bliss:

i have tried a lot of face-masks and very few are actually rubberizing. most require a lot of scrubbing and washing. ever since i was a kid [not exaggerating] i have wanted a face-mask like the movies - or in this case the salon - that actually pulls off your face. no 'zit' sherlock does just that.


along with the super cool rubberizing feature it also helps to clear your pores and absorb impurities. this mask is the ultimate win when it comes to face masks. my top, hands down, number one pick - it is that awesome.

caution: when wearing this mask your children may look at you funny, your husband may run and scream in the other direction. don't worry. results are only temporary and as soon as you peel this mask from your face you will be bright and glowy with gorgeous skin.

thank you bliss.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Smashbox Image Factory {Review + Tutorial}

this fall Smashbox introduced their Image Factory Collection. included in that collection is the above eyeshadow palette Muse. in my opinion this product is a steal because you get six colors for $39 plus a double ended brush. these products would cost you upwards of $100 if you were to purchase them each individually so buying the palette is a definite win.

one of the reasons i love the above palette so much is because it includes matte shades. can i get a shout out for matte?!

matte shades are superheros because they look good on e'eryone. shimmer shades are fun and can give a lot of dimension, but if you have any sort of crepey-ness or crinkles in your eyelid you are aged 5-10 years. enter matte. matte shades can give you depth if layered and actually hide any crepey-ness or crinkles. major bonus for the over 30 crowd.

you may remember i hooked my MIL up with an older eye tutorial here. below i have created another easy step by step eye tutorial making makeup a cinch. plus, any age will benefit from this look.
  1. apply matte pink shade to entire eyelid.
  2. follow with matte taupe shade from base of the eyelashes to crease.
  3. contour the crease using a blend of matte chocolate brown and a touch of warm brown shimmer
  4. enjoy!

quick tip: i have become a brown eyelid crease addict! whether i am using black, grey, pink or blue, a warm brown applied over whatever crease color you choose does wonders to help blend, diffuse and shape the eyelid.


want more Smashbox? their contour palette is a MUST HAVE. Smashbox also made it into my Good Day Colorado Fall Colors segment here.

essie Rocks The CMA's

the 46th Annual CMA took place last night and along side some of those stunning women were some stunning nails. below is a selection of the hot colors from the CMA show - courtesy of essie.  

smokin' hot

good as gold

little brown dress

beyond cozy

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Leopard Accent Nails {Tutorial}

fall is here (brrr) and i thought it the perfect time to do a leopard print refresher/inspiration. using my newest butter LONDON collection i created a simple manicure with fall tones. 
  1. paint your base coat. in this case, two coats were necessary.
  2. using your leopard accent color, apply dots to nail.
  3. create your leopard print nail by using a toothpick to dot on black leopard dots. for more detailed instructions, click here.
  4. finish with a top coat and enjoy!