Here is the deal. I feel as if I have hacked the whole vanity situation. While the dresser it sits on was in my nursery and my girlhood room and the beautiful mirror above it lived not only there too but in my own mother’s as well, I have a special affection for everything here. That’s because, yes, there is nostalgia but also because I’ve made things so easy for myself. So here is how I created an easy, inexpensive, organized, chic vanity.
I also have recently talked about how much I love and adore trays. Guys, can I just tell you this is a game changer? I can pick it up and easily wipe down the area where I do my makeup. I can also carry that acrylic tray (Target) and my gold hand mirror (Target) to other parts of the house, like the front room where I can watch Bravo and put my makeup on there. It’s also important to have some organization within the tray for two reasons. First of all, it would be a hot mess if everything was just thrown in there. Secondly, it helps me keep the makeup I use on the daily in a kind of capsule makeup situation. I use these copper/rose gold organizers from Target. To be fair, I have a ton of other makeup stored in the top drawer of my dresser, along with everything I use to blow my hair out.
It’s truly a one-stop shop…but one that I can move too.Because I kept it pretty minimal on the top of the dresser, I chose three of necklace that kind of pull colors from the rest of my room and laid them out. It’s kind of a glamorous touch to me. It’s like I am Elizabeth Taylor picking through my diamonds except these are from H&M. Ha.
I have mixed feelings about Gift Guides this time of year. On one hand, I love them because I truly have found great things to buy for family and friends or to add to my own list.
They also work for me because my family treats Christmas presents as a gift registry. You make a list and then a single person is designated to give people the correct gift that fits in with their price range and to make sure there are no duplicates. For example, my mom is that person (on both sides of my family) for me and my brother. My stepmom does it for my little sister. And on it goes. So in many ways, gift guides are perfect to help me “register.”
On the other hand, it’s that time of year again when everyone is doing gift guides. I mean, they are starting to slowly trickle in but after Thanksgiving there will be a flood. But I cannot ignore the Sephora VIB sale which starts on Friday. Plus, this week has been heavy with Monday’s Do I have it out for Men? post and yesterday’s Veteran’s Day post. And then there is still discussion about last week’s The Only Way I Can Keep Blogging post that still has great discussion going.
So here we go with some beauty, babes.
One place that does not disappoint is Sephora with their Holiday Beauty Bundles (PLUS, can I say AGAIN, if you are a VIB member, you get 20% off starting Friday!). If you love make up at all, if you are frugal but like nice things, if you have any other females to buy for, these beauty sets are where it is at. They are worth waiting all year for because of the price for the quality and quantity cannot be matched.
You can click on the boxes below or the links. In fairness, I always let you know when/if a few cents of your purchase is fed back into the blog. That’s the case here but it’s at NO cost to you. Zero.
These are my picks and I’ll tell you why. I give you, Santa Baby Beauty:
These crazy pretty brushes are probably the only thing on the list that I added because they are pretty. I am a sucker for both rose gold colored things (who isn’t these days?) and leopard.
Tata Harper does amazing, natural skincare. A friend of a friend works for Tata (she’s a real person!) and I’ve seen the instagram pics on her farm in Vermont to prove how “down to earth” these products are. I’ve also used them and they are fab. The downside is the price. Isn’t it always? But you can’t beat their complete skin care system and mask for this price.
This–Urban Decay Setting Spray–isn’t a beauty bundle but it’s supposedly on sale for Christmas. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews on this. Honestly, I am going to go into the store to try it out before I add this to my “official” Christmas List (trust me, we have a “maybe list” and the “official list). If it lives up to its hype, I’ll actually be saving money in the long run because it sets everything so well. But for the price I need to know it works.
I love this Living Proof Hair Set. It’s such a great brand for any type of hair and this set is perfect for your toiletries. Sure, when I am hope I have special shampoos and conditioners for my curly hair but I do love this brand and what it stands for. And I do love that I don’t need to think about if I can check my luggage based on hair products.
Stila is an awesome all around brand and this is a price you cannot beat for what you get. I’ve bought Stila packs like this before and I love them still. If ever there was a time to purchase, it’s now because have I mentioned the holiday deals that Sephora has?
The same goes for Tarte. A few years ago, I got a version of this and it was/is amazing. You get so much for the money, it’s insane. I happen to love Tarte as a brand. It’s a great place to start if you want you want to move up a level from drugstore make up. No hate for drugstore make up! It’s just the brand I recommend when my friends say, “I have no clue about make up but I want something nice.”
So this Dry Bar set…If the day should ever come, when my Chi hair dryer dies (just discovered that my baby is on major sale at Ulta right now), I believe I would replace it with this (honestly, that sentence was so hard for me to even write…my blow dryer is almost ten years old–eeep–and it was an investment in the time for sure but my baby and I have been through some times and traveled the world together). I am impressed with DryBar and their products as well. Again, for what you are getting, this is a good price. If you think I am joking, you have probably never had your hair blown out by a blow dryer that cost over a $100. I am not saying that to be a snot. I am saying that because I have very curly hair and that price point is a game changer. The other hair dryer I would consider is Harry Josh because I have heard good things everywhere I turn.
Speaking of lips, I love Tarte’s LipSurgence. Basically, it feels like a lip balm and yet you have the color. The color isn’t as bold as a lipstick because it pulls from your own natural lip color so it’s automatically flattering. While lip gloss has it’s place, none of that stickiness is involved here. I bought one of these 18 months ago and use it on the daily almost and I just finished it. Love.
Merry Christmas, ya bodacious babes! (Get it…Like Home Alone?)
I’ve always loved makeup itself and doing other people’s (sometimes more than my own…ha!). I have no formal training but I consider the fact that I have done two of my friends’ weddings as my credentials. Who you let near your face on your wedding day is a big deal (at least in my mind) and they both looked gorgeous because they looked like themselves–the most beautiful version of themselves, not someone standing in for them. Have you ever seen pictures like that? Where the makeup is beautiful but you are wondering: ummmm, where is Meg/Lara/Jane/Whoever?
Remind me to tell you the story of how I became friends with one of my best girls…her brow bones…I needed her to let me do her eye makeup, just once. Now, we are like this and I did her makeup for her wedding.
So when Bex decided she wanted to take special anniversary photos with her husband, she asked if I wanted to do her makeup, knowing that I’d enjoy it. I wanted her to look like herself but feel especially pretty because her outfit was just so pretty, reminding me a little bit of a ballerina in the stylish, I am not even trying way. You feel me? Also, I had to be aware that this was a makeup session to be photographed.
Bex washed her face and we took the before photo of sunscreen and previous makeup. I didn’t edit either photo but by the end of the makeup session the sun was beginning to set. You’ll see the look a couple different ways in various ways but we were on a tight schedule so these are the most similar “head on shots” I have. #badbloggers
First of all, I did not have all my supplies because I traveled to Florida with a carry-on. Bex and I are also different skin tones because she was so tan and Floridian…and I am not. So with a mixture of what I had and what she had (it so happened she was running out of some things so the cards were really stacked against us), I think a beautiful and feminine look was achieved.
A few notes on what I did before I tell you what I used. Bex normally uses a liquid liner with a bit of a wing that starts at the middle of her eyelid. I asked her if I could line her whole top lid with liner and the corner on the bottom. She gave me the go ahead. Now, this can make eyes look smaller in general so I don’t suggest that if you that situation going on. But for people with big eyes (like Bex, like me…Seriously my pupils are scary big) it can be a nice effect for a smoky but ballerina look like this. I blended it super well because there is nothing worse than someone taking a picture (or just plain looking at you) and all they can see is the liner.
Important PSA: if you are putting mascara on your eyes without curling them first you are doing it wrong. You must curl.
I highlighted and contoured trying out the NYX product. But then I went back to my tried and true Tarte bronzer to contour and Benefits High Beam for highlighting. I also used the beauty to blend really well.
As much as both Bex and I are fans of a poppin’ lip. I wanted this to be soft and feminine. I wanted her dewy and a bright lip went to do. The lip I used is seriously an amazing nude-pink that looks amazing on everyone.
Please go ahead and ask questions about my technique or any of the makeup I used which was (Bex and I used a combination of what I brought and what she had because this wasn’t planned…Fortunately I took notes in my Bullet Journal)
I love makeup but a tightening budget has me looking at makeup prices like: whaaa? Still, I do keep an ongoing list of products that I would buy if that bank account wasn’t under self imposed lock and key. Who knows? There are birthdays and Christmas and those times when you find fifty dollars on the sidewalk (okay, so the last one hasn’t happened to me).
These are all attainable products that I could purchase and you probably could (I’m not a celebrity who can take baths in La Mer) but right now when I am watching what I spend, they are remaining on a list.
This is supposed to be amazing and worth every penny. It goes from balm to powder, is great for all skin types and tones, you can use it to set your makeup or all over to be one of those people with “perfect glowing skin.” Every blogger has raved about it. I read about it on beauty sites. It’s supposed to be amazing.
Confession: I used to exclusively wear this. It. is. amazing. in. every. way. But lately, you know, back to that whole money thing, I have been using up all my sample mascaras. I have not found one to match this. Benefit’s mascara compared to this is blech. MAC? Love their lipstick but just no. No. This is the best.
You put these pads on under your eyes for 15 minutes and then the gel after. They are supposed to be the holy grail for under eye bags and dark circles. It also sounds so relaxing. I’ve seen it all over IG and this was recipient of Allure Mag’s Best of Beauty.
Truth be told I have wanted to try SK-II whole face system for a long time. It is supposed to be amazing. I mean Cate Blanchett uses it. Have you seen Cate Blanchett’s skin? Apparently there is a limited edition set right now at Sephora that is more affordable. So I mean, maybe?
Yes, I am Italian but that doesn’t mean I have that olive undertone to my skin. In the summer, I burn and eventually that burn turns to tan (eventually being the right word). A tan is still something to be coveted it seems and in high school and parts of college, I coveted it. I didn’t oil myself up and put up reflectors but I was willing to get a little red if that meant I would be tan in the end.
Something changed. Maybe as I got older and started reading all these articles about how women in their twenties are starting anti-aging stuff (!) that I started to value, protect, and respect my pale skin. I was never grossly irresponsible before (my worst burns were by accident) but I started to be actively responsible. Sure, I wouldn’t have that J.Lo glow now but when I’m older I would thank myself. That’s my current thinking at least.
Still, that tan and dewy look is so in. And I love to highlight and contour as well. So I’ve had to figure out the products that work on my more pale skin (because you can be pale and dewy). I’m so pale that I am often the 0 on the foundation scale so finding foundation and a bronzer and all those things has taken some time.
I am a makeup lover, not so much to change my appearance but because I love to be creative (but dude, let’s be clear…I don’t wear it every day and I don’t feel like putting it on everyday). Like most things, I love doing it when I want to do it. I have even done my friends’ makeup when they got married so though I have no formal training, I’ve taught myself a lot.
You’ll notice there is a mix of drugstore and splurges. I love a lot of drugstore makeup but this list leans towards more splurges. If you saw my whole makeup routine, you would see much more of a balance (I’ll do that another day). But finding those products that work for my skin color sometimes means spending a bit more.
One important thing I’ve found is that a lot of these products work great on people who are tan, with olive complexions, or darker. But if I were to try the things in their makeup bag, it doesn’t work as interchangeably.So, Summertime Makeup for the Pale Girl:
First, it must have SPF. My moisturizer has SPF as well but I am not going to lie, I like to double up because chances are I may have missed a spot with the moisturizer (I am infamous for getting sunburn in the weirdest places…this last time it was the back of one hand). In my teen and college years I was loyal to Bare Minerals and last summer I even tried their Naked Liquid foundation but I personally think there are better options out there.
A few years ago I was introduced to the brand Tarte and I loved it. I started using their Amazonian Clay in light. It was still a bit dark for me, particularly in winter but I could blend it and make it work.
Months after that for some reason, one day I was at a department store and let them do my makeup. The guy happened to try this BB creme on me and it matches my skin tone perfectly. Of course, the price tag is not what I wanted to spend. But when I saw it on my face? It didn’t look like I was wearing makeup and my skin looked flawless. It also didn’t feel like I was wearing makeup. I need very little for my face and it lasts forever. It’s Diorsnow UV Shield BB Creme (I wear 020 also SPF 50, what up?). I just started my second tube in three year.
If I get a little color, I still use the Tarte.
I have never finished a Bronzer because there has never been one where I am like wow. But I am on the tail’s end of Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Matte Bronzer. I use this as a bronzer and to contour. It doesn’t have a sparkle in it which is a no-no when contouring since you’re trying to create a shadow and shimmer is going to reflect light.
I’ve used this on every skin color I’ve ever done makeup on (I have some tutorials coming up with different faces) and I have never found someone it didn’t work on.
I just bought the NYX Wonderstick and am super impressed with the highlighter end. I bought medium which was a mistake. The contour side? Not as impressive for me. It blends right back into my foundation and my Tarte Bronzer does a much better job. I’ve also been using the highlighter under my eyes this summer as well.