Thursday, December 31, 2015

Favorite Beauty Products of 2015

Image: Women's Daily Magazine
I may no longer do monthly favorites but I did want to do a favorites for the year.  These babies are my 8 favorite products of 2015.  Some seem to appear on my favorites list year after year (Hey, 3 in 1 foundation), while others are new to my list life (lookin' at you, Tarte!)  I hope you all enjoy this quick read and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation
    This has been my favorite foundation for years now.  My favorite before this...was a MAC foundation.  Yes, it beat MAC for me. 
  • Physicians Formula Super CC SPF 30
    This CC cream is more of a daily wear for me (Where as the CG 3 in 1 is typically what I use for a full face / dressy look.)  I love that its hypoallergenic, fragrance free, oil free, and still gives a great amount of coverage while looking natural.
  • MAC Mineralize Blush in Gleeful
    I have literally been searching for over 5 years... and I have not found a blush that I like more than this MAC blush.  Beautiful pigmentation, long lasting, blendable, and it doesn't make my skin break out.
  • Maybelline Volum' Express® the Mega Plush® Mascara
    Maybelline does an awesome job with mascaras generally.  But I can't get over the look of this Plush mascara.  Volume without being heavy or clumpy.  
  • MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy
    No other liner can make my eyes pop like this one.  Plus, it goes on so smoothly and easily.
  • Olay Professional Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream
    Keeps my skin looking energized even when I haven't had much sleep.  Moisturizing without being greasy and doesn't break out my acne prone skin. 
  • theBalm 'Nude 'Tude Eyeshadow Palette
    Still the palette I use the most. I love neutrals and this palette definitely has some of the prettiest neutrals I've seen.
  • Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Tints in Glaze and Emblaze
    A mix between a lip crayon, lip stick, and lip balm.  Love the texture, staying power, and easy, no mess application.  Glaze is an every day neutral lip color while Emblaze is a gorgeous pinky-red.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Want Designer Items for just $13.99? Find out how!

Image: Treat Angel
Was your holiday gift exchange a bust?  Or maybe your gift givers gave you the very useful gift of cash?  Or maybe you're even looking to continue the gift giving just a little bit longer?  Either way, a new subscription called Treat Angel may be for you.

I know there are a ton of different subscription options out there, but this is the first time I've seen something like this at such an affordable price.   This is how Treat Angel works: For $13.99 a month you get to choose one "treat" from the site.  There are home, women's fashion, men's fashion, beauty, and even kid's fashion products listed on the site.  All ranging in value from $25-$75.  Just pick the treat you want and it is shipped to your house. 

A few items currently listed on the site are

- A toddler Kate Spade Tank
- Pave Feather Stud Earrings by Juicy Couture
- Ted Baker Stud Earrings (Flat White Bow - pictured above)
- Men's Stretch Modal Lounge Pants by Boss
- Lancome Waterproof Eyeliner
- Men's Leather Gloves by Perry Ellis

And there's so much more!  Plus, items are updated and added frequently.  Check out Treat Angel for yourself!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Santa Story

Everyone has that moment, right?  That moment when they learned *gasp* Santa may not be real.  Many were traumatized, but then there are others, like me, who don't even remember the moment at all.

My parents did tell my brothers and I the whole Santa Claus spiel.  We sat on Santa's lap every year.  And I remember playing along with the Santa gig for a long time; knowing very well my parents and family members were the ones supplying the gifts.  But I don't remember the moment of discovery.  The moment where I went from believing in Santa to knowing it was within my best interests to act like I still believed in Santa.

So, I asked my mom about this.  Why, oh why don't I have an earth shattering "Santa isn't real?!" memory like everyone else.  She told me she believes I figured it all out pretty early on.  Since, as she put it, I was "always a snooper." (I like to say "a natural investigator" but whatever.)  Apparently, I began finding hidden presents at a young age.  I also asked why the Santas we took pictures with all looked different (I do remember the "those aren't the real Santa.  They're just Santa's helpers because Santa is really busy getting toys right now" explanation. )  My mom also said she knew pretty early on I had stopped believing and was just going along with it.  Which was fine with her.  But my parents never had to tell my brothers or I "Santa isn't real."  I don't remember hearing the news at school and feeling shocked.

Now that I'm a parent, I notice there is a lot that my parents did (or didn't do) that may have prevented a feeling of complete betrayal when it came to Santa. (Whether it was intentional on their part or not.)

1. My mom also taught us the story of St. Nicholas and explained that Santa originated with St. Nicholas (and that's why he's referred to as St. Nick in Christmas songs)

2. We never wrote letters to Santa.  Not that I remember anyway.  We made Christmas Wish Lists, sure.  But we knew that list was for my parents. And if we had too many expensive items on the list, we were told to prioritize which ones we wanted the most.

3. Christmas wasn't all about Santa.  Whenever I take my son...well...anywhere this time of year, everyone asks him something related to Santa.  (There's a lot of Santa talk.) And this made me realize...  We don't talk about Santa much at home.  Not consciously... we just didn't in my household when we were little.  My parents focused on teaching us to give to the less fortunate and to be kind.  I remember learning about why we donate items, where they go, and why some people can't buy things they need.  Or why some children don't get presents on Christmas.  We learned about Jesus in our church's weekly classes.  Santa was there...but he wasn't the sole focus.  Or even a main focus.  He was apart of Christmas just like a Christmas tree or Christmas lights are.  I don't know how to describe this one accurately...but I never felt like Christmas rested on Santa. He was there as a fun accessory...but not totally necessary.

4. We got one gift from Santa.  One. It was no secret that the rest were from my parents and family.

This didn't make Christmas any less enjoyable or magical for me, though.  I loved Christmas as a kid and would lie awake with excitement every Christmas Eve.  We played the Santa game into my teens.  And even when I was in my late teens and not expected to believe in Santa, I still made my mom wait until we went to bed on Christmas Eve to put the presents under the tree.  The one year she tried to put the presents under the tree as she wrapped them ahead of time I remember saying to her in shock "What are you doing?!" It didn't matter that I knew there wasn't a Santa...playing the game was the fun part.

And, guess what. Those kids who did feel a shock when they learned the truth about Santa, they're fine. They made it through and now laugh about the experience. I'm choosing to follow the footsteps of my parents when it comes to Santa (I have a feeling my son is a "natural investigator" as well) but I have no problem or judgement for households where Santa is a large part of Christmas.  Its all in good fun.  Do whatever works for your family and enjoy the holidays together!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: For The Beauty Queens

It's time for the post a lot of you have been waiting for - the beauty themed gift guide.  Because I am particularly interested in makeup, skincare, etc... this post always takes a little more time and love to put together!  But here it is!  I've broken it up into what we will call beauty genres: Skincare, lips, eyes, etc.  Take a look!


Peter Thomas Roth - Mask-A-Holic Vault - $190 at (Online Only)

This one is a bit of a splurge... but if you've ever used Peter Thomas Roth's skincare products, you know its completely worth every penny.  This collection is great for that someone who religiously participates in #MaskMonday.  My personal favorite is the new Irish Moor Mud Mask. Its deep cleansing without dulling or drying out my skin.  I can't get enough of it!

Foreo Deep Cleansing Essentials with Turquoise LUNA mini - $139 at Sephora

I have written about the LUNA mini before.  I LOVE this little T-sonic scrubber! I saw instant results the first time I used and I've been hooked since.

Boscia - Japanese Favorites - $35 at Sephora

Don't let the price fool you.  Even though this is a much more affordable skincare set, this collection has so much to offer.  The Detoxifying Black Cleanser and Luminizing Black Mask are my favorites.


Tarte - Lips For Daze LipSurgence Set - $34 at Sephora

I can't say enough about this set!  Of course, if you're a lipstick/lip product addict you already know how amazing these are.  But I would also recommend them for anyone who isn't quite comfortable wearing lipstick often.  These little crayons are much easier to control for application and they have a smooth consistency that is a mix between a balm and a lipstick.

Make Up For Ever Artist Plexi-Gloss Collection - $150 at Sephora 

Know anyone that loves lippies?  This collection of long lasting, creamy, pigmented glosses is the perfect gift.

MAC Irresistably Charming Lip Gloss (Shown in Pink)  - Originally $35, Now on Sale for $26.25

I love MAC and I love their Holiday Collections this year.  The colors and sets are just gorgeous.  These glosses come in a cute, hard case - perfect for travel during the holidays.


Sephora  Collection Color Wonderland Neutral & Vivid Eyeshadow Palette - $59 at Sephora

This beautifully big palette has every color imaginably.  I especially love the neutral side. 


Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

Simply quick Gel polish WITHOUT the UV light! Spice Age (above) is my new favorite nail color.

NYC In A Minute Quick Dry Polish

Seriously quick drying nail color.  Perfect for that beauty who is always on the go.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Coffee Lover - Touch T526S Brewer

Is everyone feeling the Holiday vibe?!  It's into December now, so if you're still looking for gifts for others, I've got you covered.   This product is one of my favorites (if not my favorite) out of all of the products in my Holiday Guides.  Why? Because it involves coffee.

The Touch T526S Brewer is my new go-to coffee provider.  It turns into the love of my life in the morning and is my savior for those late night/ way-too-early morning mom moments.  Because I have a deep love for coffee, I also have a keurig, a percolator, and a regular drip coffee machine at my house.  I prefer the Touch Brewer over all of the rest in my coffee army.  Why? I'll give you a brief list of my favorite features.

  1. It brews faster than any other machine I have; Beating out the former speed champion: the keurig.
  2. It can brew a multitude of sizes from a single cup of coffee to a  full (26oz) carafe (which is included with the brewer.)
  3. It can brew many different kinds of portion packs including k-cups and jumbo cups.
  4. It comes with a refillable jumbo cup. (Save money and fill with your own coffee instead of spending extra dollars on k-cups.)
  5. Its water tank holds 90oz. Less refilling!

So pretty much its everything I need in a coffee maker.  And, the coffee comes out strong.  Thank goodness!  (Whats the point if the coffee isn't potent, right?) So if you're still looking for that perfect gift for a fellow coffee addict lover, head on over to learn more about the Touch T526S Brewer here and see if its the perfect gift to give (or to put on your own list!)