Ipsy December Unbagging!

Here in the 21st century it’s not so much fun to get the mail. I mean, I don’t even get bills in the mail. Those are taken care of in a monthly “discussion” with Buzz about how Sephora doesn’t count as groceries. It’s basically just the village newsletter and real estate pamphlets. Seriously guys, we’re not moving. I’m getting carted out of here in a bag.


But I do get ipsy, so that’s a super fun mail day. And it’s almost always a surprise. (Because their tracking software SERIOUSLY lacks.)

This month was amazing. Like, seriously. I absolutely love literally everything in it. img_6101

The bag itself this month? Meh. Not my jam. It’s like a fake cheap fur with sparkles that go everywhere and Lord knows I do not need more to clean up. I gave it to my six-year-old, who loves all manner of tacky things, as she is a six-year-old.

She loves it.

I received a concealer brush from some random company, a theBalm mascara, Hanalei Lip Treatment, a sparkly copper eyeshadow from M Princess, and Tarte Maracuja Oil

If there was a dud in the bag, it was the concealer brush. I have a ton of brushes and while I am ALWAYS excited to get new high quality ones, overall I’m not overwhelmed with the quality of the ones I’ve received in subscription bags. And concealer brushes aren’t terribly helpful for me, since I’m in a beauty blender stage. But I use them for eye shadow or contouring or something. It was a perfectly good brush, just not exciting or amazing.

The lip treatment is super good. It’s a very thick, vaseline-like consistency. Here in the frozen tundra, that’s super nice. I drink gallons of water a day, constantly reapply lip balm, and I’m still always dry. I slather this on while I’m getting ready after a lip exfoliant treatment and by the time I’m ready for lipstick my lips are soft and hydrated.

And they stay that way too, for like five minutes. That’s not the product’s problem. That’s the fact that I live on Hoth.

The eyeshadow is interesting. I wasn’t sure I was into it at first, because when I opened it, it exploded and glitter literally floated through the air. I’m not a huge glitter person, so I didn’t think I was going to use it a whole lot.

But the base color is a really nice maple-copper, and I’ve fooled around with it enough to know that if use it dry as a highlight in the middle of my lid, it’s lovely. Today I used a wet brush and packed it on the inner two thirds of my lid as the main color, blending with a matte brown in the outer v and crease. It came out really nicely I think- winter-y and fun but not overpowering.


The mascara is AMAZING YO. It’s a really nice curved brush, and the consistency is more of a gel than a liquid.


I have crap lashes and I didn’t do anything except curl them here I was really impressed. My only complaint is that that the container doesn’t close easily- maybe mine is broken or something, but I have to push the wand in really hard.

(Undereye wrinkles say hey.)

My favorite though? The Tarte Maracuja Oil. I can’t use most oils because I’m allergic to argan oil. And again, THE AIR IS HURTING MY FACE. Mama needs an oil. This one is AMAZING. I use three or four drops at night instead of a moisturizer. If I go without makeup for a day I just slather it on several times during the day.

I legitimately have noticed a difference in the brilliance of my skin. My major problem with wrinkles is around my mouth (probably from pursing my lips in disgust so frequently) and on my forehead. I feel like I’m inordinately wrinkled for being 29 and taking relatively good care of myself, but whatever. This has made my mouth a lot better and my forehead even a little bit too. I am totally in love. It’s a decent sized sample, and I will definitely replace it when I run out.

5/5 this month, ipsy. I’m glad you won out over Birchbox.



Ipsy and Birchbox November Unbox/bagging!

Birchbox first- because it mostly sucks. This month is all about “the finishing touch- those extra, just because details that make all the difference.”

No. I want real shit that I use all the time. I don’t want random “finishing touches.”


The box is beautiful. LIke, seriously. It will hold something out in my bathroom, because’s it’s gorgeous. All damask and blues and pinks and whites. Lovely. .

First off, the duds. It’s not really their fault that they’re duds, but this month I got two oil samples (one for hair, one a dry oil for hair or face or whatever I guess) but they both are made with argan oil. I’m allergic to argan oil. I ended up selling them on my b/s/t site, but I’m just like seriously? 2/5 of the box is shit I can’t even open and play with? Not fair. I feel like there should be an allergy thingy you can specify.

So that sucks.

The other stuff is surprisingly good! The sample I picked this month was the Chella Eyebrow pencil in Tantalizing Taupe. I’m  not super into eyebrows, because mine do not lend themselves to shaping, or so I thought. I have a pretty good system in place with the products I do use, so I wasn’t really looking for stuff, but I always like playing. This is really good. I can finish the tail and everything. It’s a little dark for me but not too bad if I don’t use a ton. I think it could work for a lot of skin tones.

The pencil is tiny, and that’s great for getting realistic brows. It’s also a really big sample. The pencil is normal sized for holding, and the product itself is like two inches. So a pretty good value.

I also got the Marcelle New Age LumiPower 3-in-1 Moisturizer. It’s a pretty small sample, but overall seems to work okay. I’m using it as an eyecream, and I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference, but it’s nicely plumping when I put it on.

The winner this month is the Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm. It’s also a tiny sample, but it’s a really nice almost Vaseline type balm. You’re supposed to be able to use it on your brows, cuticles, or wherever as well as lips. I’m just using it on my lips. I think I might buy this one- it’s really nice.


Ipsy was, as usual, the better of the two this month. The theme was “rockstarlet” hah see what they did there. The bag was super cute with little constellations of makeup on it.

These bags, guys. I’m in love with the bags.


I loved each and every single sample in here. I KNOW. Said no one in subscription history. BUT I DID.

I received the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which is a lovely as it’s the actual mascara I use all the days I don’t wear falsies. So that’s super fun. I also got the Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Small Duo Fiber Brush, which is basically a small stipple brush. I’m not crazy about the way it applies cream products, but it’s great with powder.


The Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum is AMAZEBALLS. I’m using it every morning instead of my When Hope is Not Enough, and while it’s pretty much the same for my skin, this one makes makeup sit more nicely on my skin. I KNOW.

The Absolute New York Matte Stick in Dark Red was a disappointment at first. I tried it on and I couldn’t even get a good even color off of the tip. But once I wore it down for a little bit, it’s like the perfect red for me. True red with blue undertones. Deeper in color than like Ruby Woo, but not vampy. Really, really pretty.

The winner though is the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I’m not a huge liquid eyeliner girl since I rarely do wings. But I do wear it whenever I wear falsies to cover the band and I find myself reaching for it literally every time. It’s a smaller sample, but the consistency is not too liquid that it runs, it dries unbelievably fast and DOES. NOT. MOVE. I wore it for like fifteen hours on Thanksgiving to church, parties, and HOSTING a party, so a big sweaty day. That ish did not move. Also a teeny little applicator which makes application a breeze for those of us who aren’t totally comfy with it yet.


Look at that TINY LINE YO.

Birchbox- bye, baby. You’re done (again.)




Get Ready with Me: Everyday Fall Makeup Look

I have yet to master longer video tutorials, but today you can follow along with me in pictures as I get ready for a normal day this autumn.

(I know. Get excited.)

(Screaming at children and massive amounts of caffeine are optional.)




Skin care comes first, as always. I use a variety of stuff when I’m playing around, but my everyday stash includes using 1.) epice clarifying toner, 2.) When Hope is Not Enough facial serum, 3.) Hope in a Jar day moisturizer, 4.) whatever eye cream I got that month in Birchbox, and 5.) Sunscreen if I’m going to be outside at all. Like, even going to the car.

As you can probably tell, I am a Philosophy addict and I WANT EVERYTHING THEY HAVE BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING AND SMELLS GOOD AND IS PRETTY.

(Kind of my criteria for everything. Including husbands and children.)

My everyday eye look I have down to a science, and I use Kat von D’s Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. This is pretty expensive- about $60 from Sephora or Amazon. But seriously so amazing. The shades are all matte, all neutral, and I’ve hit pan on several of them. Seriously good quality and soooo blendable.

If I want the look to last all day, I use my smashbox 24 Hour eyelid primer. Some days I change my eye look for the evening, if I have a meeting or party or something (usually meeting. It’s not like I’m partying it up a whole lot.) Then I can use a cheaper eyelid primer. But smashbox? Gold standard.


My eyes are really hooded, so I love the matte shades in here. Like I said, it’s an amazing palette and you can actually do a bunch of looks with it, but my “every day” look I have down to a science so it only takes me like two minutes.

Also? I’m not using shade names here. They’re all in Latin which would be cool if it wasn’t kind of tongue in cheek and derogatory, I feel like just because of who Kat von D is. But that’s just my total jumping-to-conclusions opinion and maybe she’s at Mass every morning. And I have enough Latin during the day trying to teach my kid.

I put the shade 1 all over my lid, from lash to browbone, with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Using a crease brush, I put shade 2 into the crease, making sure it’s visible above the natural crease of my eyelid. (If you have hooded eyes, you have to do this. Because otherwise no one can see it and you’re wasting time.)

Using a small flat brush I put shade 3 on the outer third of my eyelid and brush it into the crease, blending well. Using the same brush, I put shade 4 right on the inner rim of the block of shade 3 (does that make sense?) and blend it into the crease as well. It’s a little bit lighter and will brighten it up. Finally, using a larger flat brush I combine shades 5 and brush into the rest of the lid from the inner corner and highlight my browbone.

And just for reference, I use mostly all elf eye brushes. I think they’re awesome quality and really good at blending, and I can have enough that if I want to use a couple different colors I don’t have to wash them in between.

Here’s the finished look, which is nowhere near as impressive as the whole description made it sound.


Moving on to face, I use TooFaced Primed and Poreless Pure primer. I love this because I have a crap ton of wrinkles it seems like (I DON’T KNOW WHY IT’S NOT LIKE I’M STRESSED.) and it helps smooth out the foundation.


I used BareMinerals Bare Skin foundation, with the Bare Skin brush. I am in love with this foundation, it’s super light and buildable and gives me a glow that I love. I wish it was a little bit more full coverage because there are days I need that, but this is amazing 90% of the time.

I also use the Bare Skin concealer. It’s light, and again, light coverage, but once I bake that on (attractive picture on the right,) it’s awesome. I set the rest of my face with The Bare Minerals perfecting powder.

The rest of my face on a daily basis is pretty simple. I don’t do a full contour, just a little bit of shading under my cheekbones (or where my cheekbones would be if I hadn’t been born with cheek caverns instead.) Bright blushes work well on my skin tone, current favorites are this Laura Geller in Cherry Cordial, and Urban Decay’s Fetish. I use a light highlight, and the one I’m obsessed with currently is essance pureNude highlight in Be My Highlight. It’s a subtle glow, but you know it’s there. And no chunks of glitter.

To finish my eyes, I used the same shade as in my crease smudged on the lower lashline, tightlined with Smashbox Always Sharp in Nude (which I don’t have a picture of because it’s gross), and used a coat of TooFaced Better Than Sex mascara. It’s not better than sex, but it is a damn good mascara. If I’m doing lashes, I’ll use another one that’s not as intense so that the lashes don’t get clumped up. But for a normal lash-less day, they make my regular lashes look amazing.


I finish off with a coat of BareMinerals Gen Nude lipstick in Queen. I love the deep colors for fall, and this is so smooth and stays on really well for me (which is not something most lipsticks do for me.) A few spritzes of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray, and that shiz isn’t going anywhere.


So there you have it- my current go-to everyday look for fall. Super easy, not too heavy, and stays on FOREVER.

ipsy and Birchbox: October arrivals!

Morning, y’all! Last week I received both my ipsy glambag and my Birchbox ot he same day and the angels rejoiced and the heavens sang and…well okay, really I just got a lot of crappy little samples. But you know how I feel about getting packages.

I also had some help with the unboxing/bagging from my personal assistant Squeaks, who just told me she wants to start a blog. Help us all.

Winner this month is definitely ipsy. Once again, Birchbox is getting canceled. I bought another month because it gave me free shipping on something else that I needed, so it ended up being only $4, which isn’t too bad. And I got a bamfy mascara, so there’s that.

First of all, the ipsy bag is adorable. It’s all Halloween-y, and even the witches are cute and look like Bewitched and that makes me feel nostalgic for watching Bewitched on the Hallmark channel when I was younger and oh, those were the days my friend.

I literally thought they’d never end and I’d die alone.

All of the products this month were great too- I received the Tatcha Cleansing Oil,  Ciate Fierce Flicks eyeliner (YAAAASSSS QUEEN), Cosmoholic Liquid Lipstick in Mysterious Mocha, Indi Beauty Buttercream Antioxidant Lip Scrub, and Adesse New York Liquid Chrome Nail Lacquer.

Total winners were the Ciate Fierce Flicks eyeliner and the liquid lipstick. I actually don’t have a liquid eyeliner pen, so that’s cool. It goes on really smoothly and stays put. I like that. The tip is really nice and bendy so you can get where you need to.

The lipstick is a great consistency, not minty (yay) and while it’s too dark for a nude on me it’s definitely good for layering with other colors. I have a lot of deep berry lipsticks that look too blue, and the brown helps turn that down. I’m wearing it over the elf Scarlet Nights in these pictures.

The cleansing oil is amazing. It takes all the makeup off and I haven’t felt overly greasy, just clean and even. My only problem is that the full size is $48 and that’s kind of steep for a product you’re supposed to use one whole teaspoonful of every night.  The lip scrub is a lip scrub- not really necessary but kind of fun to play with.

And honestly I haven’t used the nail polish yet. I don’t go a whole lot of places in which liquid chrome is appropriate. But it looks fun. My kid enjoyed it!

Overall, 4/5.

BirchBox wasn’t terrible either. The box was cute and artsy, which I liked. (It looks adorable holding my primers in my bathroom now.) I received the Escada Agua del Sol scent, Tocca Hand Cream in cucumber and grapefruit, Mally Mascara (YES!!!), Sugargoop Anti-Aging Eye Cream, and Number 4 Prep and Protect Hair spray.

I thought the Mally mascara was going to be the only standout honestly. Not too liquid, great brush, and I don’t even mind the sample size because I never use up mascara before you’re supposed to throw it away. It looked amazing when I put it on on top of my previous coats for these pictures and I was super excited.

Unfortunately on naked lashes it was really really unimpressive. Clumpy, did nothing to lengthen, and just not good. I tried to salvage it with my trusty tube of Better Than Sex mascara, but even that didn’t work. Booo.

The hand cream and eye cream were not offensive. All did what they were supposed to do, so I guess that’s good. Just not terribly exciting.

The hair spray was AMAZING. I didn’t think it was going to be overhwelming, but I used it and then dried my hair without any other products and OH MY GOSH IT’S AMAZING. Seriously. My hair is soft and clean and fluffy but not frizzy and shiny and it’s amazing.

The perfume I couldn’t stand. It smelled like I spritzed myself with a grapefruit. Nothing light and citrusy- just…grapefruit. A lot of grapefruit.

So overall, not great. I loved the hair spray. And three other samples were fine, just not like uber life changing. So yeah, BirchBox is getting the ax again.

I did film a video unboxing, but it’s my first try and oh man it’s bad. Maybe someday I’ll put it up but today is not that day.


Morning, loves. Today we’re talking about makeup, which isn’t that surprising. I’m pretty much always talking about makeup. Or therapy. Or both. But this is kind of different. We spent last weekend in the Great Expensive North with Buzz’s parents, camping.

I know. Camping. What. Not my jam. I do not like to camp.

It’s okay. They don’t really either.

They have a gorgeous RV hooked up to water and electricity and a fridge stocked with cheese and better wine than I can afford on my own. They set the coffee to brew in the morning, and my husband turns into a guy from a nature food commercial and insists on cooking all of our food over the campfire while I sit inside drinking coffee or wine. (Probably wine. I’m on vacation. It’s always wine time.)

Now, granted, it’s not as perfect as it was in 2011. Buzz and I weren’t married yet, and so when we joined his parents for a weekend at the camper we obviously slept separately. I had the whole master suite to myself- huge bed, overhead light, a door that closed.

Oh man. Married life is lovely. But virginity had way more room.

By the next year I was married and almost pregnant and no one cared about my virtue anymore and I was on a pullout couch. *sigh*

I mean, I love being a wife and mother! Yeah!

No for reals, one of my favorite parts of the camper (or any traveling really) is that I get to sleep next to my husband with our babies right next to us in the next bed. Our kids sleep in in their own rooms, and really always have. I’m not complaining about that. At all. But it’s so cozy to sleep with them right there, so that’s super fun.

Anyway, I certainly wasn’t going to go without makeup for the weekend. I mean, we had big things like…sit on the beach planned. But I legitimately don’t do makeup for anyone else, I just love to play with it.

So here is my Super Awesome Not Patented Way to Get Pretty in the Woods. (As long as you have a shower, a sink, and some patience.)

First of all, tools. You do not have to lug your entire vanity to the northwoods. I mean, you can. And God knows I have done that on vacation. Ask my dad sometime about the bag of shoes I dragged all over the East Coast in 2010. He loves that story.


I can fit all my stuff in a makeup case. The handled ones are nice if you’re “camping” because you can just carry it to the bathroom and not worry about bags and other random crap that you have to keep track of.

The kids have enough of that.

I keep brushes in the pencil-like case. A few eye brushes, a blending brush, and a blush brush, and you’re good to go. The separate case keeps them from getting lost or bent or anything.


Liquids go in a bag in the same container. I bring one cleanser (Philosophy’s Purity) when I’m traveling. It cuts through EVERYTHING, and can be decanted into tiny containers. I usually do the same thing with moisturizers, but I had a few from Birchbox that were pretty good, so I just brought one of those along.

For the actual makeup, primers, setting sprays are key to making it last. I use Smashbox for primers (face and eyelid) and they are really the best. I’ve spent so much money trying to find a better cheaper one, but I just can’t. Better to suck it up and pay the $21. You will not regret it. This weekend I brought NYX Matte Finishing Spray. It’s not my favorite- that’s Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. But it’s super expensive and a big bottle and I didn’t want to take a chance losing it in a campground bathroom. NYX works almost as well honestly, and it was like $6.

For actual makeup, I stuck with palettes and powder formulas mostly. It made packing a lot easier and I had the freedom to do basically any look I wanted.

I didn’t, because I’m a mom who was camping. BUT IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT I COULD!


I’m in love with Ulta’s Sculpting Palette. Got it for free during their 21 Days of Beauty Event (I’ll have a post on that next week- so many good deals!) in a Buy 2, Get 2 promotion. It has a passable contour/bronzer shade, a really nice highlighter, and a blush. I legitimately love the highlighter. I use it most days actually.

The blush is a really pretty pink with a light shimmer, and great for a neutral look.

The contour isn’t amazing by any means- we’re not talking Anastasia here. But it definitely does the job and some days I even prefer it because it blends so well in my pale skin. And really, you’re not going for a full contour on a camping trip anyway, right? I just wanted it to look like I had cheekbones at one point in my life.

I used Laura Gellar’s Balance and Brighten foundation, and Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer. I used my fingers and a brush to blend them, and oh man I DESPERATELY MISSED MY BEAUTY BLENDER YOU GUYS.

Alas, there was no place to dry my Beauty Blender, and so it had to stay home.

That little bit of roughing it aside, I think I did pretty well.

I brought along the Tartelette palette and a black eyeliner, and did a fair job on making a halfway decent eye the first day. Sunday I neglected to realize how difficult it was to get mascara perfect when you’re rushing to get to Mass and then when it ends up on your eyelids it’s really hard to blend out without…well, anything to blend it out with.



Some setting powder (I used valuable real estate and brought my full size Laura Mercier setting powder, because you really cannot do better than that) and a few spritzes with the NYX spray, and I was good to go all day. At like 5 pm Buzz looked at me and said, “Wow. Your makeup still looks really good! We must buy good stuff!”

Which is the first and last time he has been thankful for the amount of money I spend on makeup.

Here I am at the end of the day-


Still pretty good. And obviously outlasted my straightener. Geez. My baby hair is so curly. Jesus Himself could straighten it and it would only last an hour.

Oh, and the most important thing- SUNSCREEN. Any kind. All kinds. ALL THE TIME.

Ain’t no primer that covers up the horrific sunburns I get from, like, standing outside for a minute.


Literal white girl problems, yo.