October 27, 2015

..My Simple Everyday Makeup Routine

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  1. First I pop on some MAC Shadow in "Embark" to fill in my eyebrows with a NARS brow defining brush.
  2. I then use MAC Shadow in "Brule" all over the lid, "Vanilla" on the lower lid and brow bone to highlight and "Cork" in the crease with a MAC 217 brush.
  3. I then quickly line the outer corners with a pencil and create an outline of what I want my liner to look like with a MAC 266 brush. I then go over that line with my Clinique Eye Defining Liquid Liner
  4. Swipe on some Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara.
  5. I blot on some MAC Studio Finish Concealer with my ring finger and then blend in with a Real Techniques brush.
  6. I sweep some bronzer into the hollows of my cheeks using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit and a Real Techniques brush.
  7. I finish with a neutral lipstick like this one.
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October 21, 2015

..Smile Brilliant & A Giveaway!

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So I don't know if you guys know this, but I've been in a a couple weddings in the last few months. Weddings = lots of photos. Lots of photos = lots of eyes on your smile. Lot's of eyes on your smile = get your teeth in order! Which brings me to Smile Brilliant. I have tried other whitening remedies in the past but this one really blows the others out of the water. It seems like a lot of steps at first, but ones you get your custom trays, swiping some whitening gel into them and popping them in is so easy. I usually kept mine in while I took a shower and blow dried my hair.

One of my main gripes with a lot of whitening products out there are the sensitivity side effects. NO THANK YOU. Luckily they offer a desensitizing gel that takes any of that away (also make sure not to use one whole syringe of whitening in one use - just one thin line does the trick - I learned the hard way). I have only actually used two syringes so far and have a whole extra one to get through so my results can get even better! I normally do about 3-4 applications in one syringe and leave it on for about 30-45 minutes although you can go longer.

Basically you get the kit, make your own impressions (this how-to video is super helpful and this bloggers results were so amazing) and then send them out to Smile Brilliant. In about a week you get your trays and can whiten whenever you want. Since they are custom, you can hardly tell when they are in. The kit will run you roughly ~$150 but a professional tray from your dentist would be literally hundreds more. And you can just purchase more whitening gel and keep your trays for years so you can keep your teeth white long term for very little cost. I HIGHLY recommend for anyone looking to brighten up their smile.

****Fun news! I am giving a kit away so you can try for yourself! Super easy, just enter your email address below to be entered, added bonus entries for anything else.*****
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October 13, 2015

..Layers

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The deets: J.Crew skirt and tee; Madewell heels (similar); Balenciaga bag; Knox Thomas Designs necklace; Vince Camuto poncho (similarsimilar under $40); Nars "Cruella" lip pencil.

The best part of fall is the cozy knits. While it isn't really cold enough to need to bundle (and for that I am grateful -- no complaints here in case the people who ration out the sun-rays are listening) but it's nice to have something to throw on or pull off as needed. It's usually a bit too chilly to walk to the metro in the morning with nothing but also warm enough to just wear a tee in the afternoon. Ponchos (and blanket scarves) are wonderful inventions that take on that awkward time with grace.
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October 7, 2015

..My Favorite Beauty Products

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So it's been about a year and a half since I last posted about my beauty favorites (last round up here) and I actually switch up my routine regularly, so I figured I would do an update on my most adored products of the moment. While I still totally love all of the items listed in the last round up, as I get older wiser, I really reach for more practical items and not necessarily the ones that have the most glam impact. These are the power players I keep tapping for help in my day to day routine.
  1. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation - I have reviewed this foundation before here, and I still love it! It finishes matte but not dry. I actually did two bridesmaids makeup for a wedding last weekend and used this on them both (and myself)!
  2. MAC Studio Finish Concealer - This stuff is basically my dark eye eraser. It is a bit drying and flashes back on some skin tones (who's taking flash photography photos on the daily?) but you can't beat the coverage. Just the best!
  3. Urban Decay Primer Potion - This guy was on the last round up and probably will be forever. I can (and embarrassingly enough have after a late night wedding or two) literally sleep in my make up and wake up with a perfectly blended smokey eye. For REAL.
  4. MAC Shadow in "Embark" - My go to eyebrow filler for my fair skin and dark hair tone.
  5. Urban Decay "Naked2" - I LOVE LOVE LOVE this pallet for weddings (last seen on one of my brides here). 
  6. Clinique Eye Defining Liquid Liner - This might be getting discontinued which makes me so sad, I love this liquid liner. It's a thicker applicator so you really don't need to go over a few hundred times like with other thinner options (you lose a little precision but it's much faster for an experienced hand).
  7. Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara - No smearing or flaking. Great layering. A go to for years, last seen here AND here.
  8. Mally Beauty High Shine Liquid Lipstick - I got this lip product as a gift and have been reaching for it again and again. Pretty lipstick coverage with a little more shine in a nice brush on applicator.
  9. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit - There is a reason this is a best seller. Contouring made simple. There's a little bronzer, powder, & highlighter all in one. It's not the extreme Kardashian contour if that is what you are looking for (you need to mix cream or liquid based foundations for that), it's a bit more refined which is more wearable day to day.

October 5, 2015

..Mint Chocolate Cookie Crumb Cake

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For my fiances 30th birthday he requested a cake that had mint and chocolate which didn't come as a surprise to me since he has made this request before (see the mint Oreo cake from birthday's past here). I basically made the same thing with the ingredients all switched around (only mint in the icing not the cake) but he seemed equally pleased with the end result.

Ingredients
1 box chocolate cake (plus eggs/water/oil it calls for)
1 package of Oreo cookies
1.5 sticks of butter (12 oz)
1 package of cream cheese
3.5 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons peppermint extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
green food coloring (optional)

Directions
1. Prepare boxed cake batter according to instructions. Stir chocolate chips into batter and bake according to instructions on box. I used two 9 inch cake pans.

2. While cake is baking, take one sleeve of Oreos and break up into a food processor. Blend them into fine crumbs while adding in 1/2 stick (4 oz) melted butter to make them sticky. Set mixture aside for assembly later.

3. Also while cake is baking whip together 1 stick of butter with cream cheese until fluffy. Add in vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt then gradually start adding in sugar 1/2 cup at a time until all 3.5 cups is incorporated (I also used a few drops of green dye here but it is not necessary).

4 Assembly: Place one cake on cake stand and ice with mint frosting, then add crumbles very generously to the top, then add the other cake on top of the crumbles and ice all around and use up the rest of the crumbles for the topping.
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October 1, 2015

..Casual Chic

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The deets: ON jacket; AG jeans; Anthropologie top; 3.1 Phillip Lim bag; Rag & Bone booties (grey version); J.Crew pendant; Karen Walker sunnies; Knox Thomas Designs bracelets.

I literally never post looks on this site that are jean level casual so I decided to switch it up and snap a few pics before my fiancĂ© and I went to meet our good friends for a little brewery trivia at Forge Brew Works on Saturday. They had a grapefruit beer there that was SO good! 

Also - I am super obsessed with these booties, they are extremely pricey (even on sale, when I got them) and definitely not in my normal range of purchases but I have to say the comfort level is much better than other booties I have. I can wear them all day and not feel any pain! The price tag is worth the craftsmanship and the amount of wear I will get out of these for seasons to come. I want them in another color!
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