Face of the Day: Engagement Photos

Well…. It’s been quite some time since I posted anything on my blog!

But I’ve been waiting for this day to write this particular post!

Last month, Chad and I drove down to gorgeous Charleston, SC to have a little weekend getaway.  And while we were down there, we had some engagement photos taken!

I just got the photos back today, and I wanted to share with you the makeup I wore, as I was extremely pleased with how well the makeup wore considering the high humidity that day (I wish I could say the same for my hair – my hair was a HOT MESS), and I am even more pleased with how the makeup looks in the photographs.


Foundation – Estee Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation in shade #2 (this was a PERFECT color match for me!)

Concealer – Clinique Airbrush Concealer in Fair (this ended up being a bit too light, so I mixed a little bit of the foundation with it)

Powder – Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm (just a light dusting to set everything)

Eyes – I opted to not wear eye shadow because my eye shadow skills are a bit lacking, but I did put on NYX HD Eye Shadow Base to even out my skin tone on my lids and keep the eye liner in place

Eyeliner – Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Graphite

Mascara – Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara in Black

Brows – Eye shadow powder in Espresso from the Cargo Vintage Escape Eye Shadow Palette

Blush – Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Achiote, blended with Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Fresh

Lips – Jouer Hydrating Lipstick in Sophia

Charleston-Engagement-130 Charleston-Engagement-220Charleston-Engagement-168

Overall, the big winner of the day was by far the Double Wear Light foundation.  That stuff was amazing and didn’t go anywhere, despite my profuse sweating!  lol

Also, the Jouer lipstick was a surprising hit as the color stayed pretty well considering how much kissing our photographer asked us to do.

And the mascara, oh how I love this YSL mascara!  It’s expensive, yes, but it’s worth every last penny if you’re a person who likes a big, lashy look.

Would I change anything in the makeup if I could go back in time?  Yes, but not much.

I wish I had used an eye brow pencil instead of eye shadow powder.  It would have had better staying power.

I would have added false eye lashes.  I had originally planned to wear them, and even brought them to Charleston, but at the very last minute, I decided to skip them because I was worried I would struggle with the application.

Oh, and by the way, the photos in this post were taken by Alyona of Alyona Photography.  If you’re ever in the Charleston, SC area and want/need professional photos taken, she’s the one to call!

So that’s it for my engagement photo makeup look!  As I said, I was extremely happy with the majority of my makeup choices.

What are your makeup picks when you’re going to be photographed?


My Favorite Lisa Eldridge Tutorials

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I could watch Lisa Eldridge tutorial videos ALL DAY LONG.

If you don’t know who Lisa Eldridge is, allow me to fill you in – – She is a fabulous makeup artist to A-list celebrities and the editorial fashion world.  And she’s collaborated with several great cosmetic companies, such as Shiseido, Boots No. 7, Chanel, and Lancome.


Her video tutorials on her website lisaeldridge.com are SO helpful.  If you have an event, big or small, fancy or casual, Lisa has created a makeup look that works for any occasion.

I think what makes her tutorials so fantastic is not just the beautiful end result, but how Lisa explains in detail why she has chosen the products she’s using.  For instance, if a product photographs well, or is waterproof and long lasting, or good for certain skin types.

And she explains in detail how to apply each product.  Thanks to Lisa, I have learned that I often had WAY too much product on my brushes when applying makeup.

And thanks to Lisa’s many videos, my beauty product wish list has grown exponentially.


There are so many tutorials to watch on her website and on Youtube, but there are a handful that I have watched over and over again… the looks that I wish Lisa herself could apply to my face.

Here are my top five favorite Lisa Eldridge makeup looks:


This dinner date makeup might be my very, very, very favorite look she’s done.  I think the makeup looks so flawless and so universally gorgeous.


I can only hope I look this gorgeous on my wedding day…


I really identify with the signature Alexa Chung look.  Only I prefer a more coral-y lip on myself.


I’m going to throw a party just so I can do my makeup like this…


This first date makeup look is just so stinkin’ gorgeous.  Gorgeous!


Lisa Eldridge has helped me understand makeup better than I ever have before.  Obviously I’m not perfect, but I have vastly improved since I started watching her videos.

Do you have a favorite Lisa Eldridge makeup tutorial?



Yves Rocher Matifying Gel Cream Review


I remember reading in some article for 30-somethings that if you’ve been using the same skin care products since high school, you really ought to try changing things up as your skin most likely has different needs now than it did then.

As I read that line of the article, I realized that I was completely guilty of this.  It’s true.  My skin care products truly haven’t changed since I was in high school.  I still use the exact same cleanser that I used in high school, and the exact same moisturizer that I’ve been using since my freshman year of college.

The article made me realize that perhaps shaking things up in my skincare world wouldn’t be the worst idea, although, I don’t think my skin care needs have really changed that much.  Just like I did in high school, I still have oily/combination skin that is slightly dehydrated.

I thought I’d first start changing my routine by trying a new moisturizer.  And so I began searching..  And for no other reason than the fact that I had a crazy good promotional code, I decided to try Yves Rocher Matifying Gel Cream.

It sounded like a good fit – matifying would reduce oil and shininess, and “gel cream” sounded like the formula would be light and non-greasy.

And for the most part, all that is pretty much exactly how I imagined it would be!


The formula is very thin, so a little goes a long way.

It is a light weight formula, which is really important to me.  I don’t like putting heaving products (skin care or makeup) on my face.  It’s not greasy, it’s just very wet feeling when you first put it on.  It makes a moment or two before it really sinks into your skin.

As for the matifying properties, when I first started using this moisturizer, I thought the people of Yves Rocher were full of it.  I didn’t see my skin as looking more matte at all!  However, as I’ve continued to use the product, I realize that once the product is fully absorbed into my skin, it does give my skin a more velvet-y feel, which my other light-weight moisturizers do not do.

I’m able to apply makeup on top of it very easily, so that velvet-y feeling doesn’t cause any issues there.

I wouldn’t say that this moisturizer takes away all the shininess on my face.  People that have truly oily skin will likely still need to use powder or other matifying products.  But as I said, it’s definitely an improvement over my other moisturizers that don’t matify.

The only draw back I’ve really seen from this product is more perhaps faulty packaging.  Because the formula is thin, it leaks out of the tube and pools up in the cap.  It then dries and you see nasty dried goop when you open the tube!  Thankfully, it peels off easily, however, it just comes back.  Perhaps different or better packaging would have avoided this?


I’ve been using this moisturizer for about 4 months now.  And to be honest, it took me a while to be completely sold on this moisturizer.  Like a month.  But I have to say, I really enjoy it now!  In fact, my tube is nearly empty and I plan to purchase another.

Have you tried any moisturizers from Yves Rocher?  What is your moisturizer of choice?

Hello, Friends… It’s Been A While

I don’t even know how to start this blog post – I’m so out of practice!

The last time I posted back in October, I opened up and shared that my mother had become very sick with advanced liver cancer.  And I want to truly thank each and every one of you who commented with words of love and support.  You have absolutely no idea how much it meant to me.

I’m very sad to say that my mom passed away just before Christmas.  While my heart is absolutely broken over losing her, I’m grateful it was not a lingering illness that made her suffer.  She went very quickly and in peace.

And in many ways, I feel her passing has not totally sunken in yet.  Despite all the work I’m doing with her estate and such… it doesn’t really feel like she’s gone.  It just feels like I haven’t talked to her in a while…

Did anyone see J.K. Simmons’ Oscar acceptance speech?  You know, the the part where he talked about calling your parents?  I pretty much fell apart.

Me and Mom1

The last photo taken of my mom and me back in August 2014. We were celebrating our birthdays.


In other, happier, news – Wedding planning is going well.  I took a break during the end of Autumn and through the holidays, obviously, to care for my mom, but things with the wedding are rolling once again.

We have our venue booked (and they’re taking care off all food, beverages, linens and china).  The photographer, videographer, officiant, and DJ are all booked, and we are planning on taking engagement photos in April.

My wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses are all picked out, but I’m still on the hunt for a veil.  Remember the wedding color poll I posted a few months ago?  Well, it was super helpful in helping me pick a color for my bridesmaids.  I’m DYING to tell you all what color the bridesmaid dresses are, but I think I’m going to keep it a secret until closer to the wedding.

We’re sending out Save the Date cards this weekend, which makes everything REALLY real!  It’s very exciting.

And we have several cake tastings scheduled over the next couple of weeks.  Ah, cake tastings – that’s pretty much my idea of heaven…

The wedding is 7 months away, which feels like forever, but I have a feeling it’s going to FLY by.



So, now down to business.  Where do I stand with my blog?

I don’t know.

I think about my blog a lot.  I think about reviews I want to write, wedding stuff I want all of your opinions on…

I have logged in a few times and have been absolutely blown away by how many views my blog continues to receive even though there has been no new content in months.  It’s such a wonderful feeling.

But I don’t feel like I’m ready to come back to blogging as much as I was before.  Not yet anyway.

So I think we’ll call this a “soft” come-back.

I have a few drafts that were already in the works from a few months back that never got posted.  So I think I’ll slowly make my way back into blogging.  Maybe only once a week to start.  We’ll see.

But, overall, if feels nice to be back, in whatever capacity that is.



Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call them. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell them you love them, and thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you.”  – J.K. Simmons

Life Throws a Curve Ball

My poor blog has been completely abandoned.

I had already been slacking on posting when I started planning my wedding, as it ended up taking up more of my free time than I anticipated.  And just as I was ready to get back into the swing of blogging regularly again, life threw a curve ball at me.


About two weeks ago, we found out my mom has liver cancer.  And we’ve been told it’s terminal.

So as you can imagine, my mom has suddenly become my number one priority.  She lives about 40 minutes away from me, and I’ve been driving down to her nearly every day to make sure she has what she needs.

My mom is not married, and I am an only child, so it’s just the two of us.  (And of course, my amazing fiancé has been a huge help).


Right now, we’re looking into possible treatments.  While it won’t cure her, treatment may give her some extra time.


Despite this devastating news of my mom’s health, I feel very lucky that my employer has been so wonderful and flexible about my mom’s needs.  And thankfully, I have a ton of sick time and vacation time left, so I have the ability to be at my mom’s side during every step of this “journey”.


When this is all over, I will have a lot to say in my reviews of waterproof mascaras.


Please think good thoughts for my mom, Friends.  We need all the positive energy we can get.

One of my favorite photos of me and my mom.  Taken Christmas Eve 2010.

One of my favorite photos of me and my mom. Taken Christmas Eve 2010.

Manicure Monday: OPI Don’t Touch My Tutu!


Oh, hey guys.  What’s happenin’?  How’ve you been?  We have a lot of catching up to do, you know, because I’m the worst blogger ever and disappeared for two weeks.

My bad, guys.  I’m sorry.


But it’s a new week and a new month (how can it possibly be November already?)!  And what better way to start a new month than with a manicure?

I’ve been looking for a really pretty white … something kind of bridal.  Soft, sheer, and natural-looking (not a stark white).  And I think I found exactly what I was looking for –

OPI’s Don’t Touch My Tutu!  It’s a soft sheer white that builds up a bit of soft opacity with more layers.

This particular shade comes from the NYC Ballet Soft Shades Collection from 2012.  The whole collection is really gorgeous and subtle, and I absolutely love it.


But in regards to Don’t Touch My Tutu!, I couldn’t have been happier with the color and formula.

While the color is super sheer, I was able to get the exact color pay off I wanted with three thin coats.

I had absolutely no issues with streakiness, which can be a big problem with white polishes.  But this color went on super smooth without any issues.  And I got SIX days of wear before it started chipping.

For me, this is definitely a wedding day manicure contender for sure.  Totally bridal, right?


What is your favorite white nail polish?





If I Had To Start All Over…

Thank you to everyone who voted in my Wedding Color Poll last week! I think I need to do polls more often – it was so much fun watching all the votes roll in!

While trying to catch up on reading a few blogs, and I discovered the very fun “Starting Over” tag on A Thunder Heart‘s blog.

The idea is, if you lost everything in your current makeup collection, what 16 makeup items would you purchase to start a new makeup collection?

I knew I had to do this tag!  I really wanted to reflect on some of my truly favorite makeup items along with some highly rated products that I haven’t tried yet, but would absolutely purchase!

I selected only actual makeup items, no tools or skincare items.

So without further ado, here are the 16 makeup items I would purchase if I lost my entire makeup collection:

If I had to start my makeup collection over...


1.  MAC Flash Lashes Extreme Black Mascara – Man, I love this mascara!  Length and fullness to the max!  If you haven’t tried this mascara, you really really should!

2.  Smashbox Full Exposure Eye Shadow Palette – I do not currently own this eye shadow palette.  But if I was going to purchase a neutral palette, this would be the one!  I love that it has equal amounts of matte and shimmery shades, perfect for any occasion!

3.  Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Sting Ray – These eye liners are awesome in any color, but I require a nice dark black liner that wouldn’t smudge or budge through out the day.

4.  Almay Eye Liner in Black-Brown – My all-time favorite drugstore brand eye liner.  It’s a must have.  I like this dark brown color for something a little softer than black.  And it also does not budge or smudge all day.

5.  Essie Nail Polish in Watermelon – Good gracious, it was so hard to choose nail polish colors!  I love so many!  But Watermelon is a really gorgeous shade of pink that can be worn year-round and of course, Essie is a fantastic brand.

6.  OPI Nail Polish in Don’t Touch My Tutu – I would definitely need a neutral nail polish.  And I’m not always into shades of beige, and shades of grey can get a little too dark, so a beautiful shade of soft white is just the trick!  It’s elegant and perfect year-round.

7.  Bobbi Brown Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Extra Light Tint – I don’t feel like my skin needs full on foundation on the daily.  But when my skin needs to be even’d out, this tinted moisturizer is fantastic!  It has the perfect amount of coverage, it’s lightweight, and doesn’t makes my skin feel extra oily!

8.  Clinique Air Brush Concealer in Neutral Fair – I don’t not currently own this concealer, butI have been coveting it for quite some time now.  Application looks super easy and the results look fantastic!  Coverage and brightening for the win!

9.  Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Sandstorm – I love this super affordable matte powder.  Keeps shine away and adds some extra coverage too.

10.  Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Fearless – A fantastic coral-y pink powder blush.  I love the Amazonian Clay blushes.  They last all day, and the colors are gorgeous.  It took me a long time to determine which color I would purchase and I finally landed on Fearless.

11.  Skinn Cosmetics Color Touch Eye, Cheek & Lip Glow in Teen Tone – Yes, I need a cream blush too!  And this one is my all-time favorite.  The texture is perfect – not super wet, and not sticky, and really lightweight.  Teen Tone is the perfect peachy-pink flush that looks so natural!

12.  Softlips Lip Balm – I couldn’t live without this product.  That is all.

13.  Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Color in Sheer Berry – I’m kind of viewing this as a tinted lip balm.  My lips feel so fantastic while wearing this product, and it gives a beautiful, perfectly pink flush to my lips.  Love it, need it.

14.  Too Faced La Crème Lipstick in Teddy Berry – I really love this creamy, moisturizing lipstick.  It’s a bit newer to my collection, but I have already learned that I can never be without it!  I like Teddy Berry because it’s still rosey, but it’s slightly tawnied, making it a bit more neutral.

15.  NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil in Baroque –  I love the deep wine color of this lip product.  It’s good stuff.  Moisturizing and slightly shiny, but in a super convenient lip crayon.  So good!

16.  Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Disco Rose – I don’t wear much lip gloss any more, but every now and then, I feel like I need one.  And this is my current favorite lip gloss.  It has great color payoff without being an opaque lacquer and Disco Rose is a fabulous shade of warm pink.


So that’s what my makeup collection would like like if I had to start all over!

If you decide to do this tag, please leave a comment with your link so I can see what your 16 makeup picks would be!  🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!