Confessions of a Makeup Junkie

Hey everyone! I’m baaaaccckkkkk!!!!  Today we’re going to have some truth talk. I’m going to share my tips and thoughts on how to keep your makeup stash at a reasonable size, and not waste your money on things you won’t use. Wait. I have a beauty blog, and I’m telling you that you don’t need a lot of makeup?! Yes. I just want to help build your makeup bag to a manageable and useable amount while recommending some awesome products (and helping to avoid the ones that are meh.)

Now, I’ll start off by saying that I still have more makeup than I really need, but it’s currently at a level I feel comfortable with. I’ve found items I truly love and work for me. I’ve attained this through trial and error. I know what shades work for me and how much make up I will use on a daily basis.

A few years ago, I wanted to try ALL the makeup. I used to have all kinds of makeup: eyeshadow palettes for every look, tons of blushes and bronzers, and lipstick or lip gloss out my ears. Sure it was fun to play in and try new things, but after a while, it just got overwhelming. There was too much to pick from, and I felt like I wasn’t making a dent in using up any of it. So I gathered up all my makeup and assessed what I truly use and need to keep around. First, I tossed anything that’s old. Then, I sat down and was realistic with myself. I’m not a huge lipstick wearer; I prefer a bit of lip liner and gloss, so I don’t need 14 lipsticks. Then I looked at my glosses. Which are my all-time favorites? Do I really like this formula? Does this shade really work for me? When was the last time I used this? I did the same things with everything else. I found that I tend to wear a simple, cool toned eyeshadow look with a matte pink blush. Contouring isn’t my thing, so I don’t need a contour kit. I also didn’t need false eyelashes. Or a colorful eyeshadow palette. Or bright pink lipstick.

YouTube beauty gurus love to post 30 minute long videos of their entire makeup collection. All 500 items. It can be fun to look at and say, “Man, how awesome to have all that makeup to play with every day.” But let’s be honest. How old is some of that stuff? It probably isn’t safe to put on your face. And there’s more makeup there than they’d use in a lifetime. If you’re a person that wants a 6 foot dresser full of makeup, that’s fine. I’m just saying that it’s okay to just stick to the basics and what you love, even if it’s just a handful of products. You don’t need 52 lipsticks and 18 eyeshadow palettes to look beautiful.

 

Don’t get limited edition collections, collaborations, or makeup hype suck you in. Been there, bought that! I generally avoid even looking at limited edition collections because I know that the company is really wanting to sell me this product (or entire collection) based solely on that it won’t be around forever, they’ve only made so many, and I simply cannot miss out on that super cute limited edition packaging. To me, if it’s that good, make it part of the permanent line. This also goes for any makeup line that sells out in five seconds online. Think to yourself, “Am I doing this because I legitimately want this item, or because of the thrill of hunting down and bringing home that lip gloss that everyone is wanting right now?”

I think the “Free Gift with Purchase” items or bags can also be a tricky little trap. Now if you’re at your favorite makeup counter restocking up on your foundation and mascara and there’s a free gift bag, go for it. But think hard about buying something just because you get a free gift. This one is one that I have to really watch myself on. I love tiny size samples and trying new things, so I think to myself that it’s perfect! But if I’m spending my money on something I don’t really love, then it isn’t worth it.

Have you ever found a lip gloss or blush that you LOVE and think to yourself, “This is amazing. I need it in every color!” While there might be another color or two that you like, you probably won’t love them as much as the first one you bought. The reason there are different colors is so that everyone can find one that suits them. If you enjoy trying new colors, maybe make yourself use up an item before you try a new shade.

Another tip is to have list of exactly what you are on the hunt for when you walk into a makeup store or approach the makeup area at a store. This will help keep you focused on what you need and not walk out with impulse buys. I have the Sephora app and use the “Loves” section to make a list of the things I want to look at when I’m in the store. I also keep a list in my Notes on my iPhone. I tend to think of myself as a seasoned makeup shopper, and I still get overwhelmed with everything when I walk into a store, so this makes it easier for me to stay on track and make it out with what I need.

Here are some questions that I ask when I’m considering buying a makeup item:

Do I already have something like it?

Do I like this more than my favorite (insert makeup item)?

Am I wanting this because it is limited edition, and I feel pressured to buy it right now because I might miss out?

Am I interested in this because it’s the hottest new thing?

Will this item fit in with my everyday makeup routine?

Will this color actually suit me?

 

And that’s it! Hopefully this helps you guys when paring down your makeup collection or when out shopping. I also use these tips for when I’m shopping for clothes and cleaning out my wardrobe too!

 

-Lauren

 

 

Wedding Makeup Tips

In a week and a half, my brother is getting married to the most darling gal, and I couldn’t be more excited for them!  She sweetly asked me to be a bridesmaid, which I am pretty stoked about. Not just about the fact that I get to stand up at the altar to watch my brother marry the love of his life, but also for two words: wedding makeup.  I LOVE wedding makeup!  I did my own makeup on my wedding day, and I had the honor of doing many of my friends’ makeup for their wedding days. 

I would be lying if I said that I didn’t start thinking about how I would do my makeup for my brother’s wedding about 0.25 seconds after I was asked to be a member of the wedding party. I will also be doing my mom’s makeup and will offer my help (along with 85 pounds of makeup I plan on bringing) to any of the other bridesmaids if they’d like. I thought I’d share some of my tips for bridal makeup and even some of the prep beforehand. These tips can be used if you are a bride, bridesmaid, or are just wanting some glam makeup for a special occasion, such as prom, a holiday party, or professional photos. 

1.  Start thinking about how you want your makeup to look in advance. Do you want a red lip? Smoky eye? Soft and romantic look?  YouTube and Pinterest are great places to get ideas. This will help you or your makeup artist stay on track with creating the exact makeup look that you feel beautiful and comfortable in. 

2.  If you are going to change up any of your skin care, do it weeks or even months before the big day, that way if something makes you break out, you can swap out that product. Consider getting a hydrating facial, but be careful of most facials if you don’t get them routinely, since they can pull toxins from your skin, causing you to break out.

3.  If you plan on waxing your brows, do it at least two weeks before your wedding in case you break out any due to the waxing. (And maybe avoid trying a new person to wax your brows, just in case they are wax happy.)

4.  Do a practice of your makeup a few days out to make sure you have everything you need and that your foundation is still a good match. 

5.  Avoid alcohol. I know it’s tempting to have a few drinks while you are getting ready, but alcohol dehydrates the skin. Water is a gal’s best friend. It will plump your skin and help your makeup look smoother and apply better. If you do intend on still having a drink, just make sure you are getting in plenty of water too!

6. Get your beauty rest!  

7.  This is a day of pampering and fun: use eye masks, face masks and don’t forget to exfoliate your face and lips!

8.  Moisturize.  Moisturize.  Moisturize. 

9.  Make sure you wear waterproof mascara. 

10.  If there is a day that you should wear false eyelashes, your wedding day is that day. It will enhance your eye makeup and add volume and length to your lashes. If you are like me and don’t feel comfortable in a strip lash, try individual lashes. They add all the drama, but look so natural and are more comfortable.  

11.  Don’t wear any skincare or makeup with sunscreen in it. The particles in the sunscreen will cause a white cast on your skin when you are photographed with a flash.

12.  Apply your makeup a tad heavier than you normally would. I know, it sounds crazy. One of my bridesmaids kept telling me to add more blush when I was putting on my makeup, and it made me nervous, but I did it. Just wait until you see your photos. You will love it. 

13.  Fill in your entire lip with lip liner. This will help your lipstick and/or lipgloss last. 

14.  Set your makeup with a powder and use a setting spray. You want your makeup to stay out for hours!

15.  Use a fuller coverage foundation. You want to look flawless!  Makeup Forever has great foundations with good coverage, and they look beautiful in photos. 

And that’s it for my special occasion makeup tips!  Do you have any good tips you can add? Let me know!!

-L

DIY Lip Scrub!

Hey everyone! Today I’m going to share my recipe for my lip scrub. If you’re planning on wearing a bold or matte lip (or any lipstick), you always want to make sure you exfoliate your lips right before. This is also great to use when your lips are dry during the winter months. I feel like most lip scrubs are a bit expensive for what they do, so I whipped up my own recipe and it works great. And the best part? You already have everything to make it in your kitchen. Let’s get started!

First, I put one teaspoon of brown sugar in a small bowl. Regular granulated sugar works fine too, I just like the brown sugar.

IMG_3385 (3)

Next, add half a teaspoon of olive oil and mix. It will probably look like it needs more oil, but wait, we will fix that! You can use any oil you like, coconut oil would also work great; I just always have olive oil on hand.

IMG_3390

Last, add half a teaspoon of honey and mix well. You should have a nice thick mixture. Honey has anti-aging properties and is moisturizing, so it’s perfect for using in a lip scrub.

IMG_3395

Now you’re ready to scrub away! Just scoop some onto your finger and rub it over your lips in a circular motion for 20 to 30 seconds, rinse off, and apply your favorite lip balm. I like to use what is left over to scrub my hands too. You could probably cover the container and store it for a few days, but my germaphobe self worries about bacterial growth, so I usually just mix this up when I need it.

IMG_3406

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Happy scrubbing!

-L

Tips for “Summer-Proofing” Your Makeup!!!

Ah, summer. Everything is green, it’s flip flop season, you get to spend time relaxing by the pool, and your makeup is melting straight off of your face. If there’s one thing that I hate about summer, it’s that I’m sweating my makeup off by noon. If it’s going to be brutally hot (like it currently is in Oklahoma), and I’m staying home, I will just put some moisturizer and sunscreen on and call it a day. But there are days when I’m headed to work or need to run some errands and want to look presentable. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few ways to help my makeup survive the summer, so that’s what we’re going to talk about today!!

Use a lightweight foundation or BB cream. I love the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Gel. It perfects my skin with a little coverage and has SPF 30, though I still use my Dr. Jart SPF 50 before foundation.  (I recently received the Tarte sunscreen in my Play by Sephora box and like it as well!) I don’t like a lot of foundation on my skin on really hot days because I feel like it accentuates the hot sweaty mess my face already is. If you have really good skin, you could even skip foundation and just use a little sunscreen and concealer! If you have super oily skin, try a mattifying primer before your foundation. This will definitely help keep the oil under control.

IMG_3329

Set your makeup. To help absorb any oil and sweat throughout the day, try setting your face with some powder. Even if you are dry and don’t usually set your foundation, I recommend trying this to help keep everything in place. Also consider using a setting spray. They have ones that will keep your makeup in place longer and ones that help with oiliness. My favorite setting sprays are this one by Mary Kay and the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray.  They are both made by SKINDINÄVIA, a company whose specialty is setting sprays, so you can’t go wrong with either one!

IMG_3333

Use cream products! I like to use a little cream blush or cream eyeshadow and then set it lightly with a powder blush or eyeshadow of similar color or some translucent setting powder.  You can also do this with your bronzer and highlight.  Cream products look natural, and set with a powder will last longer than just powder products alone.

IMG_3344

Waterproof mascara!! There is nothing worse than being a hot sweaty mess with raccoon eyes! I love Covergirl Clump Crusher in water resistant. This stuff doesn’t budge on a hot day, but isn’t impossible to remove at the end of the day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve repurchased this mascara over the past few years. This mascara is more lengthening and give a nice, natural looking lash.  I also love the wand.  It is so easy to work with!

IMG_3334IMG_3340

Carry touch up items in your bag. I always have a makeup bag in my purse with some touch up items. I always have some lip balm, gloss, setting powder, and a kabuki brush with me at all times and find that this is enough to keep me looking fresh on the go. I also recommend carrying some oil blotting sheets in your purse, but if you don’t have any and need to freshen up on the go, try using a Kleenex or paper towel! Just gently pat over the areas you’re looking shiny to absorb the oil, and then you are ready to use your powder!

IMG_3349

What are your secrets to beat the heat?

-L

Primers!

Primers. What do they do? Do I really need to use one?

Primers have many different jobs. There are primers that fill in fine lines and pores, moisturize and plump the skin, color correct, even skin tone, add radiance, mattify, and smooth and prep the skin for foundation and help foundation last longer. They come in gels, creams, oils, and sprays.

Do you really NEED to use a primer? No. I think that as long as you routinely exfoliate your skin and always moisturize before you apply foundation, you should be fine. I do think that if you have oily skin, a mattifying primer can definitely help control oil throughout the day.

Do I use primers? Yes, sometimes even two, because I’m excessive like that. I gravitate toward primers that fill in pores and any fine lines. My favorite for the past year is the Makeup For Ever Smoothing Primer. I’ve also used the Hourglass Veil Mineral PrimerBenefit Porefessional and Two Faced Primed and Poreless. They all are similar in texture, fill in pores, and leave my skin looking super smooth and ready for foundation. Although the MUFE is my favorite, you can’t go wrong with any of them. I’ve also tried the Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Pore Minimizing and found it was a little dryer in texture than the others, but would probably work for oily skin.

Everyone, meet my lemon! I applied some of my Makeup Forever Smoothing Primer to it so that you could see how it fills in the pores on the skin of the lemon. Pretty cool, huh?!

Ready for primer!
Ready for primer!
Makeup For Ever Smoothing Primer
Makeup For Ever Smoothing Primer
Ta-Da!
Ta-Da!

When I apply my primer, I use about three quarters of a pea sized amount (you can use as little or as much as you’d like) and dot it in the places I want the primer and then I press it into my skin. I don’t like to use too much of this primer because any excess tends to ball up on your skin as you work it in.  If you want to use more, just build it up in thin layers.  I like to press it into the skin instead of wiping it all over, pressing helps work it into my pores and make my skin look super smooth and ready for foundation.

Sometimes I also use a moisturizing primer to help plump up my skin if it needs just a little extra hydration without adding any greasiness. I like the Makeup For Ever Hydrating Primer. It’s designed for normal skin with some dryness.  If you have super dry skin, try the Nourishing Primer.

If you’re in the market for a primer, I’d start with the Makeup For Ever primers. They have a primer for everyone and every skin type, and the quality is amazing. They even have travel sized ones of a few of them in the Aisle of Doom at Sephora (you know, the aisle at the checkout that sucks you in with all the adorable travel sized items) for less than $20. One of those usually lasts me 3-4 months with daily use.

And that is the low down on primers!

-L

 

 

My Momma’s Beauty Tips

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’d like to share some beauty tips that my mother has shared with me over the years. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen her leave the house without makeup, but she never needs much to look put together.

I still remember the day my mom sat me down and taught me how to properly apply makeup. She taught middle school students at the time and saw the end result of young girls starting out in makeup without any guidance and wanted to help me prevent some of the mistakes she saw on a daily basis.

“Take care of your skin. Always make sure to wash your face, moisturize, and use sunscreen.”

She got me started on a simple skincare routine when I was around 12 years old and stressed how important it was to care for your skin every single day.  At the time I didn’t understand the importance of a good skincare routine, but now I’m so glad she was looking out for me.

“Just because it is the current trend does not mean that it will be flattering on you.”

This has saved me many times!! When something is flattering on a fair skinned redhead, stick with it. And when it ain’t…. well go grab the makeup remover!

“Use makeup to enhance what you have. You don’t always need a ton of product to do that.”

If a little mascara and lip gloss make you feel good and bring out the features that you like on your face, that’s all you need!

“Don’t do a red lip and smoky eye together. Focusing on enhancing one feature on your face and keeping the rest toned down is the most flattering.”

Sometimes we get a little excited when we apply our makeup and think that more is better.  My mom was just trying to keep me from leaving the house looking like a clown.

“Don’t transform your face with so much makeup that when your new boyfriend finally sees you without makeup he doesn’t recognize you. He might feel disappointed.”

We love to present the “prettiest” side of ourselves to everyone, but most of the time, people are ok seeing us with minimal makeup and our hair in a ponytail. My mom also made a similar comment when I discovered the “add a cup” bra at Victoria’s Secret years ago. She told me not to get too carried away or my future husband was going to be in for a big surprise (or little….)!!!  I still laugh every time when I go bra shopping and think about this conversation!

“Beauty starts on the inside. No matter how pretty your face and/or makeup is, it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside.”

My mom told me I was beautiful when I was growing up, but most of the time she focused on teaching me about being good person, working hard, and being kind to others.

And that wraps it all up!

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!


Thanks to my mom for raising me to be a strong and independent woman and setting an example for me when I became a mom. Being a mom is truly the greatest gift in the world!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day, including a delicious meal and a long nap!

What is your favorite advice both beauty and non-beauty that your mom has shared with you?

How to Survive the Mombie Apocalypse

Did your baby wake up three times last night just because he missed you and needed you to give him his paci? Did your three year old come bouncing out of his bed at 5:30 AM, ready for some chocolate milk, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and early morning mayhem? Mine did.

I like to refer to myself as a “Mombie” on those days. I resemble one of the undead and feel like one too! We women don’t always get the rest we need, whether we were out late having fun with friends,cramming for an exam, or taking care of kids. Even though we may not feel well rested, we don’t have to look it. There is nothing worse than someone telling you that you look tired. Thanks, I know.

Here are my five tips to battle Mombie days. So grab your gallon of coffee and let’s get started!

IMG_2802a
1. Don’t skip the skincare– I recently discovered the Skyn Iceland Hydrafirming eye gels and love them. They’re cooling and help de-puff and firm your eye area! Definitely a nice treat when you need a little perking up! After you cleanse your skin, use a hydrating moisturizer and eye cream. I love this eye cream by First Aid Beauty. It has a pink tint to it, which covers dark circles, and I love the metal applicator. It’s always cold and helps combat the puffiness around my eyes. This product is great if you have less intense dark circles, you may not even need to use any concealer. Or you can always put your eye cream in the fridge! The chilled cream will feel nice when you apply it and will help wake up and de-puff your skin. Your favorite moisturizer will help plump up your skin and make it look healthy and glowy. Y’all know I love my Fresh moisturizers!

IMG_2886IMG_2862
2. Hide the Dark Circles– Nothing perks up my face more than when I conceal my dark circles. This step is always top priority for me in my makeup routine. First, I use the Bobbi Brown corrector before I apply my foundation. Correctors are a pink or peach tone and are going to help cancel out the blue/purple tones in your dark circle. After my foundation is on, I apply the Makeup Forever Ultra HD concealer. And if I’m REALLY looking tired, I use the MAC Prep n Prime Highlighter in Radiant Rose too. Apply these products in a triangle shape under the eye and down the side of the nose and blend. By bringing the brighter color down your face, it will draw light to your face and make you look brighter and more awake. It’s a few steps, but it works! Make sure to set all this with powder to keep it locked in place and to prevent creasing.

IMG_2868
3. Highlight– Never underestimate the power of highlighter! Adding highlighter to your face will reflect light and make you look glowy and awake. I like to highlight the inner corner of my eye, top of the cheek bones, below the brow bone and the Cupid’s Bow. If you only have time to highlight one area, go with the inner corner of the eye. You will look bright eyed and bushy tailed!
4. Avoid heavy, dark makeup– A smoky eye can make you look even more tired. Keep your makeup light and fresh! Go with a light shimmery lid (you can use a cream eyeshadow stick or just use your highlighter as an eyeshadow like I did for this look). Apply some lip balm or a pretty gloss. A pink or peach blush on your cheeks will add a healthy glow. Stick with a tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or light weight foundation.

IMG_2872
5. Focus on the eye area – If you don’t have time to do a full face of makeup, focus on enhancing the eye area. I like to conceal the dark circles, apply a little mascara and then fill in my eyebrows. It only takes a couple minutes, but makes a huge impact!

And there ya go, all you need to go from “Mombie” to “I slept eight straight hours last night!”

IMG_2909
-L
(Oh, and most of this can be achieved while holding a crabby, teething baby. Just not applying mascara, it never ends well!)

Spring Cleaning Time!

It’s that time of year again! Spring cleaning is here! Time to bust out your cleaning rags, declutter the house, and get everything shiny and smelling fresh! While you are making your spring cleaning to-do list, don’t forget to add your makeup bag and bathroom cabinets to the list of things to clean out. Old makeup can be a harbor for bacteria growth, causing breakouts and even infections. Here are some general guidelines I like to follow when going through my makeup stash and bathroom cabinets:

– Toss it if it smells “off”, is dried out, or the color has changed.

– On the bottom or backside of most products, there is a small picture that looks like a jar of cream and it has a number on it. This is the manufacturer of the product’s recommended time period at which to toss the product. For instance, if it says 12M, then they recommend to toss it after 12 months.

IMG_2473IMG_2482

– Cream products (blushes, gel liners, cream eyeshadows), liquid products (like liquid eye liner), mascaras and lip glosses generally have the shortest shelf life and should be thrown out and replaced the most frequently, usually between 6 to 12 months. I never keep mascara past three months. I tend to toss lip glosses between 6 to 12 months, depending on how they look and smell.

– Most liquid foundations are good for 6 months to a year. If the product contains sunscreen, there is usually an expiration date on the package, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the foundation is still good.

– Powder products, such as setting powders, bronzers, blushes, and eyeshadows, are usually good for 12 to 24 months. I’m especially weird about keeping eyeshadows for more than 2 years because those products are applied to the eye and I like to keep things hygienic!

– Pencil eye liners and lip liners are also good for 12-24 months, and you can keep your lipsticks for up to 2 years, just as long as they still smell okay.

– Also check any skincare, body lotions, and body washes for recommended beyond use dates. Don’t be afraid to throw away anything you think is getting old, especially if it is in a jar container, since those can be the biggest areas for bacteria growth.

– As far as makeup application tools go, make sure you wash your brushes at least once a month. This keeps bacterial growth down and helps extend the life of your brushes. Not to mention, it makes your makeup apply a gazillion times better! I tend to make my Beautyblender last about 6 months since they are pretty expensive. I do wash them at least once a week, and to kill any bacteria, I microwave them in a bowl of water for 30 seconds. If you aren’t sure what to wash your brushes and sponges with, I recommend the Beautyblender solid cleanser (Sephora has one in their own brand that’s comparable as well). If you aren’t feeling spendy on a brush cleaner, good ole baby shampoo will get the job done too!

Hope this helps, and happy cleaning!!!

-L