Products for your very first makeup bag

My daughter has always been interested in makeup. I suppose that comes from being surrounded by my stuff all the time – my office is crammed full of various makeup products, pictures, and tags from Fashion Week. She has two bins of hair products, one bin of foundations and powders, one bin of eye shadows, one bin of skin care, and so on and so forth.

But this holiday season, I’m wanting to put together a nice kit for her to have in her room. A small mirror and a bag of her own for her desk, since she doesn’t use it for anything like studying or reading (that’s all done on the couch for some reason). It was fun putting together products for her, and next I’ll be working on finding the perfect makeup bag. But for now, let’s focus on what’s inside.

I broke the products up into two categories: normal skin and problem skin. My daughter has inherited my problem skin, which means she will always have to stay on top of it so she doesn’t break out, but she will be thankful at my age when she looks younger than her age. The other category is normal skin, which doesn’t mean that it’s perfect, just that they don’t need to worry AS MUCH about non-comedogenic products.
Makeup For Beginners


Wet ‘n Wild Cover All Liquid Concealer Wand: this is a great creamy formula without being too thick like your average lipstick-style concealer bullets. The lighter formula makes it easier to blend and avoids any cake-y look.
Maybelline New York Dream Wonder Foundation: this is so light and easy to blend that any level of makeup wearer would be able to create a flawless finish.
e.l.f. Studio Translucent Mattifying Powder: this light powder will set makeup as well as create a matte […]

Correcting uneven skin tone with Dermalogica

Soon you will get tired of me going on about my uneven skin tone. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed little spots of sun damage along with weird red patches. I’m forever working with serums, CC creams, and different colored concealer to hide the problem, if I wasn’t able to fix it. But for the first time, I’ve had a chance to use a complete system to help correct my uneven skin tone: PowerBright trx by Dermalogica.

I was first introduced to the system at The Makeup Show – Dallas. The rep explained how it all worked, and we were able to test out the textures.

There are three products in the system: a serum, a day moisturizer, and a night cream. Each includes ingredients to help combat the weird skin spots that I’m discovering all over my face.

The serum, called C-12 Pure Bright Serum ($90), is a very lightweight serum that contains an exclusive blend of Oligopeptides, plus Rice-derived Phytic Acid, antioxidant Zinc Glycinate, and Red and Brown Algae. It absorbs quickly, although you will want to give it a few minutes before moving on to the next step. After washing with a cleanser, I would apply the C-12 Pure Bright Serum, then apply my eye cream while I waited for it to absorb into my skin.

If it was morning, the next step was the Pure Light SPF50 ($60). This thin lotion contains a great sunblock that is perfect for all year. I often have problems with sunscreens, because they can clog pores and break me out in ugly ways. I didn’t have a single problem with this lotion, however, and as a bonus it contains hyaluronic acid, one of my favorite skin care ingredients. Hyaluronic acid is a superior moisturizer that can hold up to 1000 times it’s weight in […]

Top Ten Tuesday: favorite nail polish glitter shades

I’ve said it a million times – I absolutely love glitter nail polish, and would probably wear some form of it all the time, but it is SO HARD to get it off. I’m waiting for some new product to come along and make it all so much easier. Until then, I’ll do it my normal way – taking a cotton pad soaked in acetone nail polish remover, putting it against my nail, and then wrapping some aluminum foil over each finger, so that I look like something out of a bad horror movie. Usually five minutes with that set up, and I’m good. Wipe, and throw it all away.

But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Today my fellow bloggers and I are sharing our top ten favorite glitter nail polish shades. This is only about a third of my collection, so I had to look deep inside my soul to pick out my favorites. Here is what I came up with.

Top Ten Glitter Nail Polish Shades

Vintage Confetti by Sally Hansen: this is keeping on trend with my current rose gold obsession
Fire Spring by Rainbow Honey: this is such a pretty fall micro-glitter
Lavishly Lilac by Maybelline: this was part of the brocades collection
Luxe and Lush by China Glaze: this is a clear top coat with holographic flakes from the Capital collection
Nutty Hat Guy by Matisse Elite: this came out when Alice and Wonderland was enjoying a resurgence
Creative Control by Wet ‘n Wild: part of the Mega Rocks collection – I think I just love the color
Cha-Ching by Sally Hansen: this is one of the Gem Crush polishes which are really awesome glitters
Stroke of Brilliance by Essie: another top coat enhancer, part of the luxeffects collection
Hollywood Walk of Fame by Wet ‘n Wild: this star glitter is part […]

Frizzy hair? Silicones are out, oils are in

You may have heard some talk about avoiding silicones in your shampoo, conditioner, and even styling products, especially if you have curly, coarse, or frizzy hair.  What’s that all about?

Short answer: they can build up on your hair and be hard to remove.

Long answer isn’t quite that simple.

Many products that claim to tame frizz contain silicones. Most people don’t think about it one way or another, as long as their hair is under control. But many lines use non-water soluble silicones that deposit on hair shafts, and stay there even after shampooing, creating build up that can dull hair and keep it from looking shiny. And if you use sulfate-free shampoos, it can be even harder to remove these silicones from the hair.

The non-water soluble silicones that you might want to avoid include:

Cetyl Dimethicone
Cetearyl Methicone
Stearyl Dimethicone

There are silicones that are water soluble, and you can find a complete list at the Science-y Hair Blog (which is a really great resource).

Going through all my hair products, I was surprised to see that many of them had these silicones in them. Even in products that I wouldn’t even have guessed, especially “oils.”

To remove these bad silicones from your hair, you’ll need a good clarifying shampoo, but one that doesn’t have sulfates – those will only contribute to frizz because they are such a harsh lathering agent. I personally love Purify Shampoo by Pureology, which clarifies even color-treated hair gently.

Once you rid yourself of these shine-destroying silicones, you’ll need to get products that tame frizz without depositing ingredients that can’t be removed easily. Because my hair is all of the things that silicones are supposed to help, like frizzy, coarse, untamable, curly, and just altogether unruly, I tend to focus on hair oils to help me style my long hair. Oiling hair has long […]

Style Saturday: a gorgeous cocktail dress for the holidays

For New Year’s Eve, I try and do something somewhat dressy and festive, because it’s often the only time I get the opportunity to wear an honest cocktail dress.  I live in a super casual town, and it’s rare that there is an event that requires me to show up in a beautiful cocktail dress, but New Year’s Eve is different. It’s the time of year to break out the false lashes and nail polish with glitter, dig out my black stilettos, and put on a dress that I absolutely love. I might even get to wear the mink coat that my late mother left me (don’t worry – I’d never buy a new one) if I’m lucky. Because really, where does one wear a mink coat in a beach town?

This year, just like last year, I’ve been looking through vintage styled cocktail dresses, and I wanted to share my favorite brand with you: Stop Staring!. Stop Staring! was born in 1997, by Alicia Estrada who was only 17, and has been providing retro chic vintage style cocktail dresses and separates ever since.  All of the clothing is made right here in the United States.

Sizes go right up to 18, and celebs such as Zooey Deschanel, Jessica Alba, Nigella Lawson, Ashley Greene, and Olivia Munn, have worn Stop Staring! among others.

I purchased a cobalt blue metallic one shouldered number from them a few years back, and it is one of my all time favorites – I get so many compliments on it when I wear it, it’s crazy. So here are my picks for this year – and I can’t decide which one I’m going to get.


Left to right: Billion Dollar Baby in Navy ($154), Nightlife Fitted Dress in Black ($154), Million Dollar Baby in Red ($152)


Left to right: Alexis in Metallic Champagne ($174), […]