6/27/14

"Naturally Pretty" Makeup Tutorial

Happy Friday, Loves! Today I wanted to share with you all my current, absolute favorite way to wear my makeup.  If you've watched any of my recent videos, this is very similar to that look I've been wearing (using all the same products). I had a lot of requests to do a tutorial for it, so here we are!

The look is so versatile and wearable anywhere, day or night, yet is super put-together and fun. It's one of those looks that will drive compliments wherever you go.  Well, definitely because it looks good, but I think mostly because it's one of those makeup looks that everyone wants to achieve. The colors are natural, the shades are all blended nicely, but this look is more than that. It's all about the placement in the crease and layering shades in a way where they "blend" themselves.
I love to share these types of looks because I think everyone can appreciate it. To me, this is definitely one of those looks that everyone should know how to do, because it always works and looks amazing!

The look itself is actually quite easy!  To see exactly how I get this "Naturally Pretty" look, check out the full video tutorial below!




::shop the look::





I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!


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6/24/14

An embellished dress and golden Eiffel Tower shoes... Why not.

I hope you all are having a wonderful week so far! I thought I'd pop in really quick to share with you all a look from the past week...


You know those outfits that are a little fun but still super comfortable? This was it. I loved this dress and these shoes every second I was wearing them.  That's the fun in being girly and dressing up, right??


We snapped these really quick before grabbing dinner. To me, it's the perfect summer look. Definitely a look that could take you from day to night!

This dress is actually one I've had for quite a while. I scored it at Club Monaco a few seasons back during a sale (it was either during fall or winter). THE BEST time to score some awesome deals on Spring/Summer clothing there. *If you're interested in a dress like this one, I did find some similar alternatives here (and at the bottom of the post).

Paired with a big clutch and some big sunglasses, it's an easy and put-together look.



...and let's not forget the shoes! The best part.


OBSESSED with these! I've also owned the flat version for a while as well. They're just super unique and so comfortable.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention... Dresses with pockets? Pretty much the best.


:: dress- Club Monaco (no longer available, similar options here) :: 
:: shoes- Kate Spade (exact version, flat version) ::
:: blue stone bracelet- Henri Bendel ::
:: big gold cuff bracelet- Vince Camuto ::
:: small cuff bracelets- thecurrentcustom ::
:: clutch- Henri Bendel (similar)

::shop the look::






Have a wonderful week, y'all!

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6/23/14

Recent Empties! Reviews of Products I've Used Up

Hello and Happy Monday, Loves!
I hope you all had the best weekend! So last week I started noticing that my little "empties" basket was literally running over.
Yup, we're going through my trash.



I make it a point to toss any used-up beauty products (makeup, skin care, bath products, hair stuff, etc.) in this little cute bin at the bottom of our linen closet. That way when it fills up, I can do an "Empties" video like this and do a ton of collective reviews of things you may have seen me purchase or talk about.

Like I always say in these type of videos and posts, these are some of my favorite (and most useful) types of videos. I feel like once someone has used up an entire product, they can usually provide a better and more thorough review.

So that's what we're doing today! Going through my "trash" and reviewing some beauty products, good and bad. Which ones do I think are worth repurchasing? Which ones are total crap? Check out the video below for all the details!!



::products mentioned::






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6/20/14

My Top MAC Lip Glosses

Happy Friday, Loves!!

So last we left off in this little beauty adventure of ours, we were discussing our favorite MAC lipsticks.  I shared with you all my top 15 picks (check out the video here if you missed it), and sort of left you hanging with the mention of my favorite gloss picks.

Well today's video has got you covered! Check it out for all my absolute best picks where MAC Lipglass, Lustreglass, Plushglass, and Cremesheen Glasses are concerned.



As promised, here are the photos of the swatches I shared in the video...


(left-right) Morning Glory lustreglass, Instant Gold lustreglass, Star Nova lustreglass, Love Nectar lustreglass, Oyster Girl lipglass, Bait lipglass


(left-right) Underage lipglass, Saint Germain lipglass, Confetti plushglass
Nectarsweet cremesheen glass (LE), Electric Fuchsia lipglass (LE),
Dervish lip pencil


So many of you shared your favorite MAC lipsticks with me when we discussed lipsticks in the last video... I added a few of your suggestions to my list! So tell me, what are YOUR favorite MAC glosses??

::shop the post::


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6/19/14

Foyer changes... Adding privacy, texture, and a new (old) rug

Lots of changes have happened in our foyer over the last few months. Well, namely to the front door.
This is how it all looked originally (well, in the midst of having the gold/brown faux-finished walls painted bright white).


I knew I wanted the foyer area to be bright and open and for the walls to be very white, which isn't something I did throughout the rest of the house. I wanted it to be bright and airy. The key to going white without looking blah is to add some contrast. The floors, stair treads, and chandelier were already pretty dark, but shortly after the new paint was completed, I painted the french doors black, which to this day is one of my favorite projects I've done here.  It really helped the foyer look more balanced and pulled together.

But as you can see from the photo above, the wall with the front door was a sea of bright white. White blinds, white door, white trim and walls. It was kind of blah.  So shortly after painting the french doors, I painted the inside of the front door a deep glossy black, which I loved. Problem was, it looked a bit "stark" against all the white, especially the blinds on the sidelights. I had never been a fan of those anyway, so one day I just decided to remove them. It really made the entire door look so much better.

Here's where things got a bit crazy...haha.  I started experimenting a bit and painted the sidelights the same black as the door which I really liked.  Now this was something I didn't really hesitate much with because eventually, we'd like to replace the entire front door- sidelights, transom, and all, with thick, dark, warm-toned wood double doors.  We've seen other homes around us do that and it's gorgeous. But I still like my black door, so for now, we're good. But I didn't feel so bad about playing around with painting it because I know it's not going to be here forever.

Problem was... we had zero privacy at night with the sidelights. We're off the road a bit, but I still get creeped out by bare windows.  So we played around with some little sidelight curtains (which we hated), window film (which was a pain...and which we hated), and left it bare for a long while. After scouring Pinterest, I was inspired to hang some pretty sheer curtains around that area and I love how it turned out!



I skipped painting the transom (window along the top of the door) for now, because I wanted it to still flow with the matching transom above the french doors right next to it. Didn't want one black and one white, ya know? Definitely would have painted the whole thing black if the other white transom wasn't so closeby (and I still might). So I'm just not sure.


Now I will say, some of the inspiration photos of "front door drapery" on Pinterest were... well, not good. Some were awesome. So I was afraid this could go either way. But what I found to be the distinguishing factor between the two is how high you hang the rod. All the photos I saw of rods basically "laying" along the top of the door looked no bueno to me. So I raised it a bit. Also, I didn't really like the look of a typical Target-type cafe curtain rod along the top. Because the door isn't really a window, obviously. So I wanted to make it a bit different.
So I had a custom-sized, clear lucite curtain rod made from Etsy.


Lucite/acrylic rods sag so much in the middle from their own weight, so I added another bracket in the center (you can't really tell, but I got these in a "brushed brass" finish so it's actually not too terrible looking). Love the look of lucite and brass. However, I'm considering painting the area of the bracket that touches the wall and the area that reaches out to the rod the same color as the wall so it's not so "in your face". I like the little part that goes around the rod itself though. Another project for another day...
As for the brackets themselves, I got them for a few dollars on ebay.

The curtains are from Curtainworks. Super affordable. They are the "Soho Voile Pinch-Pleat Curtain Panels". I put two on each side for more fullness.

After I took this photo, I realized the left side covered one of our motion detectors for our security system down here so to avoid any middle of the day or night false alarms from moving curtains, I moved them inward a few inches on that one side. Something to think about if you are considering this near a front door where motion detectors usually live.

You may have also noticed the (huge) curtain hold backs...

I found these on Overstock and kind of love them. At first, they freaked me out because of the size, but I think the size and the dark color really adds more balance and more contrast to the whole wall. Since these curtains are pretty "fixed" at the top and don't slide easily, I thought pushing them back during the day against a hold back would be easier than sliding the curtains back and forth all the time. It's really so much easier and I love the look so much better.

When the sidelight windows were bare for so long, we got used to the windows being totally open during the day which we love (Waylon does too).


Puppy nose prints all over those bottom windows... all. the. time.

So for us, this is a good solution that gives us both the open-ness during the day and the privacy at night. Plus, we found that when they're just hanging without hold backs, they get sucked out of the door when it opens. At night, we just pull them out from behind the hold backs, and they fall in front of the sidelights just right. Plus, I just love the texture they added to the room. It made it feel cozier, but still open due to the sheerness. Loving them.

Oh... and a few more quick changes...


I swapped the big black rug in the foyer with this pretty jute/seagrass-looking one we've had FOREVER.

Seriously this was probably the first "big" rug I ever purchased. I got it years ago at Target when we moved into our first house (ours is the 5x7 version). It lived under our kitchen table and took a beating. It was also right next to the back door at that house (think Waylon running inside with muddy paws all over it constantly).  It always cleaned really well and has gotten better and softer with age.  It lived in our basement for a while after moving here and I even purchased a similar, larger version with a black border to go under our dining room table. It's not as soft as this one, though. This rug is very similar to the Pottery Barn version, and is a fraction of the cost.

Anyway, I switched out the black rug that was here before...


...mainly because of the constant vacuuming with Waylon. Oh, if Golden Retriever hair was a valuable commodity...
Basically he sheds like a monster and there were many embarrassing moments when I would open the door to an unexpected neighbor, friend, etc. and say "Come on in! and don't look at the dog hair-covered rug".  Being greeted with more dog hair than is on the actual dog is never good. This thing just magnified it far more than I thought it would. I try to vacuum the rugs at least once every 3 days and sweep up the hair on the hardwoods with a dust mop every day or every other day. But it still gets totally out of control. Also, something to think about if you're wanting a Golden Retriever...haha. They're totally worth it though.

So that rug is in the basement now. It totally should have been all along because it's perfect down there! I'll do a basement update post soon because SO much has changed down there and the big empty room is no longer empty... ;)

Oh, and we're loving the "new" one in the foyer so much. It looks better overall and puppy's hair blends right in. ;)

Frankie the fig lives where the chair used to be, right in the curve of the stairs.


I've moved this poor guy around more times than I can count at this point, but I figured this would be the best place for lots of sunlight and TONS of room to grow. I mean he'll probably move again next week, so don't hold me to this.

He had really began to block the doorway to my office/living room more than we could stand, so now it's nice to be able to open both doors and have it feel so much more open.


Here's a good before-and-after for ya...


Wait, wait... Let's do a major before....



























Oh and I may or may not have started pulling up the carpeting on the stairs! Didn't find great things under there...haha. There are beautiful curved stair treads (that match the edges) beneath it, but the side against the white trim along the left on both parts (even the little landing curve) aren't flush against the wall. The carpeting is covering a HUGE gap. So I'm not sure what we need to do. I may have to call in a pro to trim it out correctly, then I can *hopefully* do the rest myself. We shall see... I'll keep you posted!

Have a great rest of the week!

6/17/14

Making the little denim shirt dress feel new

We all have one... I mean, we probably all do due to the fact that these little classic items became quite the super trendy items over the past few years. You probably at least own a denim or chambray top. Whether yours is in a denim or chambray (if you're unsure of the difference and curiosity has gotten the best of you, I have a riveting fashion vocabulary post just for you here), chances are, you're probably sick of it because you probably wore the heck out of it last season because they're just so dang easy.

And if you couldn't care less about the difference between the two fabrics, well, that's ok and it's not going to make much of a difference anyway.

K, let's proceed.

While quite trendy the past few years, these dresses or tops are very classic and can feel just as current this season with the addition of some funky gladiator sandals or a serious statement shoe.


I like to go a little edgy and strappy with this type of dress because it can look a bit plain on it's own. The shoes give it some personality.  

The last few seasons, I was all about belting these and pairing them with fun, bright colors (I probably still will at some point), but this year I'm all about letting it hang loose for a more relaxed feel and adding edgy accessories.


Perfect when you want a relaxed look that doesn't look like you've tried too hard, but has a little somethin' extra.

I wore this look for Father's Day and my dad said my gladiator shoes looked like boots that were caged in but weren't finished....haha. Dads and shoes...

::dress- J.Crew (similar) :: shoes- Stuart Weitzman (similar more affordable option) ::

Hope this inspires you all to break out your little denim dresses (or tops) again this year and edge them up a bit! I know... denim and gladiators... Groundbreaking, super simple tip, right?  But sometimes, those are the very best kinds! Throw on some heavy gold accessories and you've got yourself a fool-proof look.

::shop the post::



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6/16/14

My TOP MAC Lipsticks!

Happy Monday, Loves! So this is a video I've been meaning to share for a while now. I actually think I've done versions of these in the past where I've shared either top lip products in general or favorite groups of color-specific MAC shades. 

Well this time, I really wanted to stay true to the shades I reach for most often from my favorite lipstick brand. I didn't stick to any particular formulas, color groups, or any other specific categories.  I just grabbed the ones that I could definitely be happy with if I had no other lipstick shades. 

These are my absolute best of the best!




So for more info on each shade, check out the video below!



As promised, here are some photo swatches of the colors! 




 (left-right) Angel, Creme Cup, Creme d’ Nude, Myth, Blankety, Ravishing, Politely Pink



(left-right) Secret Lover, High Tea, Viva Glam V, Snob, MAC Red, Supreme Style (Sheen Supreme), A Rose Romance *Limited Edition, not currently available*, Be Fabulous (Mineralize Rich) 



So what are YOUR all-time favorite MAC lipstick shades? If you're curious about any particular shades or want to pick some up for yourself, shop the post below!











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6/12/14

Anastasia Contour Kit Review & Tutorial

I can't tell you how excited I am to finally share this thing with you all. Seriously, I've had this kit for MONTHS.  Here's the thing... when I received it, it wasn't available yet so I didn't share it with you all right away. Then, shortly after it was released, it sold out so quickly.

Well now it's finally back in stock at Sephora (check it out HERE), so I figured now would be as good a time as any to finally share with you all my thoughts on this highly-buzzed-about item and show you a little tutorial on how exactly I use it.

For all of my detailed thoughts on this item, check out my full review in my new video below!




As promised, here are the swatches of the shades so you can see the variations a bit better.




What are your thoughts on this one? Do you think it lives up to the hype? Will you be picking it up?

::shop the post::







product provided for consideration by Anastasia with no agreements or obligations to feature or review

6/10/14

MAC Kelly Osbourne & Sharon Osbourne Collections

Today I'm bringing you some serious makeup-y eye candy courtesy of two new MAC collections featuring picks from Kelly and Sharon Osbourne.


MAC KELLY OSBOURNE Available now HERE
MAC SHARON OSBOURNE Available now HERE

I have to honestly say how surprised I was by these two collections. The colors are amazing and the (sizable) collections themselves contain lots of different MAC products.  Not just the typical few lipsticks and quads. Think new shades of Patentpolish Lip Pencils, Mineralize Skinfinish Naturals, and the 183 flat buffer is back in a little Kelly violet SE version.

As for the packaging (which you can see a bit in the photo above), Kelly's is encased in her signature violet shade, while Sharon's is all red.  Both with their signatures in the opposite shade.

Before we get into the swatches, I have to admit, I may actually pick up a few more pieces. When I get these collections to share with you all, sometimes I get the entire collection, sometimes they send me just bits and pieces. For this one, I received mostly items from Sharon's collection. However, the few pieces I received of Kelly's were totally worth it. Some of the prettiest lipsticks! I may go back for the other two in her collection.

So speaking of those gorgeous lipsticks, lets start with Kelly's collection...

 LIPSTICK, $17.50
l-r, STRIP POKER light nude (matte), KELLY YUM-YUM bright blue pink (satin)


When I first swatched the STRIP POKER shade, I immediately thought, myth. So I compared the two for you below and they are quite similar.


STRIP POKER left, MYTH right


You can see there's not a crazy difference, but STRIP POKER may be just ever so slightly darker and a little warmer in tone. If you're a nude lip lover, I'd definitely recommend this one! I can't wait to wear it.

Next, (completely because of the name) I compared KELLY YUM-YUM to the always-popular CANDY YUM-YUM.  SUPER similar.


KELLY YUM-YUM left, CANDY YUM-YUM right


 These were even more similar, but to get nit-picky, CANDY YUM-YUM is slightly cooler. And when I say slightly, I mean if you have CANDY YUM-YUM, I'd probably skip the new shade. However, if you never got your hands on that one, I'd definitely recommend KELLY YUM-YUM.

The other product from Kelly's collection that I have to share is the Eye Kohl in Smolder, which is a part of the permanent line, so there's probably nothing incredibly new to share here.


Eye Kohl in SMOLDER, $17.50


Just an all-around, solid good black liner.

I so wish I had some of the other Kelly items to share with you all (they look amazing, and I'm trying to refrain from placing an order), but Sharon's collection is great as well and I actually have most of that to share.

So if you couldn't tell from the first photo in this post, Sharon's collection is very red. Well, at least in packaging. I was actually most surprised by hers! I expected the typical deep red on red on red lipsticks, glosses, and liners.  I love that she didn't go that route, but instead, chose a mix of flattering shiny and shimmery neturals, and a few deep Patentpolish Lip Pencils.

Let's get into her collection...


Mineralize Skinfinish Duo $33
REFRESH light summer peach tan / golden pink



I'm a sucker for Mineralize Skinfinish Naturals... Especially these fun duos.  I could definitely see myself faking a warm sunny glow with this one in the summertime.



Powder Blush $22
PEACHES & CREAM mid-tone rose (satin)



I can see myself becoming quickly obsessed with this blush. I'd say this one is a must-have from the collection. So beautifully pigmented... so perfectly pink.  This one would work on a variety of skin tones.




 DUCHESS QUAD $44.
SWEET EYES light golden nude (veluxe pearl)
SEXY EYES soft bronze (veluxe pearl)
FEMME FATALE golden brown (satin)
EMBARK dark reddish brown (matte)


Lately I've been underwhelmed with MAC quads. I think that while this one contains all browns and shimmery neturals, it's beautifully done. All of the colors swatched nicely and I could definitely see myself being able to create a ton of different looks with it. This one will be gorgeous for Summer! Now, I'm curious about Kelly's!



Patentpolish Lip Pencils, $21.50
(top) FRENCH KISS warm caramel 
(bottom) PATENTPINK washed-out lilac


I'm LOVING that they did Patentpolishes rather than lipsticks for her collection. I feel like these two particular colors will be super wearable and fast favorites of mine!  The collection also contains two more shades: one that is a bit of a deeper rose and a really pretty nude.



Lipglass, $16.50
PUSSYWILLOW light neutral gold


This gloss is absolutely gorgeous. SO pretty for layering over any other lipstick shade, or on its own.  There is also a beautiful rose lipglass shade (sparkly and all just like this one), that I'm curious about.



Powerpoint Eye Pencil, $ 17.50
BOUNTIFUL BROWN brown rinsed with bronze


This brown liner is fun. Which is usually not something you'd say about a brown liner. I feel like this one would work perfectly with the DUCHESS QUAD above.


So that's it! What do you all think?? Do you have your eye on anything particular? Let me know what you decide to pick up or if you'll be passing...
As for me? I'm impressed! ...and currently *trying* to resist ordering the rest of the collection!

The collection is available today HERE so don't miss it!



Products provided for consideration by MAC Cosmetics with no agreements or obligations to feature or review.