Fake Naked Palette From Sephora?!

Fake Naked Palette From Sephora?!

After years of wanting to see what the hype of Urban Decay Naked palettes was all about, I could never bring myself to purchase one for full price.  Honestly, I always wear the same boring neutral shades of shadow and I wasn’t about to shell out over $50 for an eyeshadow palette.  Do you know how many diapers that can buy?  Oh, right… back to the palettes.  I finally bit the bullet when I found the Naked Smoky palette which had been previously discontinued for half price.  Do I ever wear a smoky eye?  Nope.  Was I going to buy it?  Yep.  Girl logic.

I was so excited to finally get my palette in the mail, tore open the packaging, and opened the prettiest box of makeup I had ever seen.  The packaging didn’t disappoint and there was a helpful tutorial inside the box.  Score!  Perfect for a smoky eye newbie like me.  I whipped out the little tutorial card and went to work.  Added the shade Password and moved on to the shimmery dark gray shade of Armor.  Wait… Armop?  What the heck is Armop?  Seriously?  Now, even though this is my first Urban Decay palette I KNOW shades should not be misspelled.  That is a perfect sign of a dupe.  Did Sephora ship a dupe?!  Ugh.  You. Are. Kidding.  The color also didn’t seem to be terribly pigmented.  So, I packed up the palette and called all local Sephoras.  They weren’t even aware that Urban Decay had brought the palette back at half price.  An email to Sephora customer service was in order.

 

To my surprise they responded in less than 24 hours and told me they would send a new palette out as soon as possible.  I received a follow-up email after the new palette had been shipped instructing me to ship the defective palette back to Sephora.  New palette arrived, I shipped the old one back, and my problem was solved.

I still can’t help but wonder if Sephora shipped a lot of these misspelled palettes.  Did they somehow receive a bad shipment?  Let me know if you happened to receive a misspelled palette!

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana

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Photo Credit: Homemade Hooplah

More soup for the cold winter months!  This Olive Garden copycat soup is hearty and can stand on its own as a meal.  It has it all-meat, potatoes, kale… shhhhh… hang with me, kale haters!  I promise you’ll love it.  I adapted my recipe from the Crock Pot Zuppa Toscana recipe at Homemade Hooplah.  My version has cut quite a few corners.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 cup frozen diced onion
  • 1 package Ore Ida diced hashbrown potatoes
  • 2-4 russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 pinch salt to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper to taste
  • 4 cup chicken broth (32 oz)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch kale stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (for topping)

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown and crumble hot Italian sausage, about 5-8 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until some of the onion begins to turn opaque (no need to cook onion completely at this point). Drain grease from skillet.
  2. In a 6 quart crock pot (or bigger), add cooked sausage & veggies plus the diced potato. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour chicken broth on top. There should be enough broth to cover the tops of the potatoes; if there isn’t, add up to 2 cups water so potatoes are covered.

  3. Gently stir ingredients, cover crock pot, and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. Remove lid from crock pot and add kale and heavy whipping cream, then stir to combine.
  5. Cover crock pot and cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.
  6. Serve zuppa toscana immediately with shredded parmesan cheese as garnish.

Simple enough!  I usually brown the sausage, onion, and garlic the night before to make for a dump and go meal in the morning.  It’s chilly outside-hibernate and enjoy!

Shameless (Spoiler Alert: Not the TV Show)

Shameless (Spoiler Alert: Not the TV Show)

Guys, I don’t even know where to begin with this one.  I’m not sure what happened to us as a society that people have become so. darn. shameless.  Yep-that’s a strong word, but it is absolutely fitting for what people have become.  Shameless and prideless (yes… it’s a word-Merriam-Webster says so… link provided for ease of fact-checking).  I’ll stop beating around the bush because at this point, with everyone being offended by EVERYTHING, I honestly don’t care who is offended by this post.

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Here is a list of solicitations I have received in the past few years from people I haven’t spoken to or seen in years.  Sometimes longer than ten years.  Yes, TEN YEARS.

  • Jamberry Nails
  • Color Street Nails
  • Rodan + Fields
  • Lularoe (oh, goodness the buttery soft legging messages were relentless)
  • Premier Jewelry
  • Usborne Books
  • Mary Kay
  • Norwex
  • Young Living Oils (or insert miracle curing oil of choice here… there are a billion to choose from)
  • Lashboost (is that a “company” or a product from another pyramid scheme brand?  I don’t know… I’ve lost track…)
  • LipSense
  • Scentsy
  • Origami Owl
  • Advocare
  • Spark
  • Herbal Life
  • Amway
  • Pampered Chef
  • [Insert chosen brand here] toothpaste
  • [Insert chosen brand here] toothpaste
  • [Insert any “work from home startup business” here] (yes, I’m a mom, no, you shouldn’t assume I want to join your pyramid scheme for “extra income”… if you knew anything about me whatsoever you would know I work outside the home)

This is just a small sampling of only the direct messages I have received for solicitations to join a pyramid scheme.  This does NOT include requests for donations to organizations, childcare (although this doesn’t necessarily apply to me, stay-at-home moms can relate to this one), or various other “businesses”.  I can’t count how many times someone has contacted me that I haven’t spoken with in years starting off with “Your kids are adorable.  I’m starting a new business where you can work from home and earn some extra income and as a mom I’m sure you might be interested”.  Do you really think people don’t see your true intentions?  Do I have “gullible” written on my forehead (I checked… I don’t)?  I’m assuming the thought process goes something like this: “Oh!  She has kids.  She probably stays home.  She might need money.  She might jump on board if I pretend to be at all interested in her life.”

Does this sound harsh?  Absolutely.  Do I care?  No.  Why?  Because they obviously don’t care to waste my time by shamelessly soliciting their “business” because they think I’m a gullible person.  So, no.  I don’t care that this sounds harsh solely because they don’t care about me, my family, or my time.

You see, everyone has a different path in life-as they should.  No one is the same.  Not everyone goes to college, not everyone holds a full-time job, not everyone holds a part-time job.  Some people travel the world.  Some people get married, some people have kids, and some people do none of the above.  I am in no way shape or form hating on anyone’s side hustle.  A lot of people find products or companies they love and benefit greatly from promoting these products or companies on the side or as a full-time job.  If that works for you, that’s a pretty good gig, so keep it up!  Social media is a great place to share information-such as a business.  I’m all for it.  It’s effective, it reaches a large audience, and it’s easy and convenient.  Share away, people!  Honestly, I’ve found some of my favorite products from a Facebook ad or a post a friend made and I decided to check it out, but please, PLEASE stop direct messaging people PRETENDING to be interested in their life.  Frankly, it’s insulting when you act like YOU are doing ME a favor by pushing this product or company on me when I never even asked.  If you’re a true friend (or even a decent human being) you would not be contacting me out of the blue after having no contact with me for years.  This is not a business.  It’s harassment.

If someone truly believes in their company or product they won’t need to shamelessly solicit to everyone they have ever come in contact with throughout their life.  I have many friends who sell products for a company or are a brand ambassador who wholeheartedly believe in the products and company they promote.  They post to their social media regularly with real results they have experienced, don’t advertise gimmicks, and they only approach people who contact them with questions.  These are people I purchase products from.  People who are passionate about their product or company and not the money it COULD bring in.

Let’s be honest… is your side hustle going to make you rich?  No.  Just no.  Those that make money by promoting products or companies work very, very hard.  They don’t shamelessly send a message with little effort to everyone in their contacts list and hope a few people might be desperate enough to fork over their hard earned money.  If anyone is successful using this technique, the success won’t last.  This model isn’t sustainable and soon people will run the other way every time they are contacted.  Not to mention, mathematically a pyramid scheme is not sustainable.  Yep… had to throw some nerd at ya 😉

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Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

Instant Pot Black Bean Soup

img_6036Ignore my horrible photo… I promise this is a delicious recipe.  And yes… that is half of an avocado.  Don’t judge.  I was just so hungry by the time I was able to eat the dinner I prepared at 8:30 pm that I snapped the quickest photo I could.  Anyway, enough with the reasoning for my horribly unappetizing photo…

This black bean soup is both delicious and healthy.  I will warn you that it might not make a great main course, since it is basically, well… beans.  It’s enough for me, but most people might like something a little heavier to go with it.  Don’t let the “Instant Pot” title fool you-it is definitely anything but instant.  This recipe requires the pressure cooker to naturally release, which takes a little longer than a manual release would.  It took well over an hour and a half for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, cook on high, then naturally release, so be aware before you make this for the evening!  If you want to see the original recipe, check it out at A Pinch of Healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced (save some time and use frozen chopped onion!)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (14.5 ounce)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 pound dry black beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used a little less… tiny people in the house)
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder (again… a little less for us-tiny people)
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Toppings: avocado, sour cream, lime, green onion, tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients (except toppings) to the Instant Pot, and place the lid on top, with the vent set to “sealing.”

  2. Cook the soup on manual high pressure for 40 minutes, and let the pressure naturally release.

  3. After the pot is depressurized, remove the lid, and carefully remove the bay leaves.  Soup will thicken after sitting.

  4. Serve with desired toppings.

     

Enjoy!

The Holy Grail of Beauty Products. You. Need. This.

The Holy Grail of Beauty Products. You. Need. This.

Foundation?  Nope.  Mascara?  Nope.  It’s not even a makeup product… it’s a makeup REMOVAL product.  Yes.  Micellar Cleansing Water.  There are more uses for it than just removing your makeup.

So, how does it work?  ***CAUTION:  MAY CONTAIN SCIENTIFIC CONTENT.*** . Micellar water contains electrically charged particles called micelles.  Micelles attract dirt and makeup while acting like a solvent to gently remove dirt and makeup that otherwise clog pores.  See?  Not so sciency.

Now, although micellar water is the best makeup remove I’ve found yet, it does have other uses.  I had no idea my trusty micellar water had so many other uses!  I found all of the following uses from Mixed Makeup.

Double Cleansing

What… clean twice?  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  Honestly, you do.  All you need to do is wipe makeup, dirt and oil away with a cotton ball or pad soaked with micellar water, then clean with your normal cleanser.  That’s it!  No… seriously.  If your cleanser contains an active ingredient such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid, cleansing with micellar water beforehand actually increases the effectiveness of those ingredients.

Fix Makeup Mistakes

I can’t liquid eyeliner.  Like, at all.  My saving grace?  Micellar water.  You can really use it to fix any makeup mistake since it acts as a solvent.  Lipstick mishap?  No problem!  Q-Tip soaked in micellar water to the rescue!

Makeup Brush Cleaner

While I’ve never tried cleaning my brushes this way (I use my tried and true African Black Soap as a brush cleaner), I”m sure it would work great since micellar water attracts dirt, oil and makeup.  You can add some micellar water to a bowl, swish brushes and let air dry or soak a paper towel with micellar water and rub brushes and let dry.

Fragrance Remover

If you’re like me and not a huge fan of perfume, you may find yourself wanting to remove what you’ve already applied.  Soak a cotton pad with micellar water and rub over the area where perfume was applied.  It will help remove the perfume oils and most of the fragrance as well.

Fale Eyelash Remover

I can honestly say I’ve only worn falsies a handful of times in my life (thanks to my dance team days with “show” makeup…), but I do remember having to pull false eyelashes off after a long day.  A safer way to remove false eyelashes is to soak a cotton pad with micellar water, hold it on the eyelashes for 15-20 seconds to dissolve the glue, and remove the eyelashes.

Freshen Up After the Gym

Dirt and oil can cause breakouts if your skin isn’t cleaned immediately after a workout.  Sometimes you don’t have time to cleanse your skin immediately after the gym.  Solution?  Quick swipe of micellar water on a cotton pad and you’re good to go!  You can even use it on underarms… your friends’ noses will thank you.

Clothing Stain Remover

No stain remover handy?  Blot the stain with micellar water on a cotton pad and it will lift the stain away or significantly lighten the stain.  Coffee drinkers, rejoice!

MIcellar WaterMy favorite brand of micellar water is Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Mattifying.  It cleanses and removes makeup gently without drying.  The low price tag doesn’t hurt either.  If you don’t have micellar water in your beauty arsenal, jump on board on this one.  It guarantee it will quickly become one of your favorites!

Give Me Lip: A Few of My Favorite Lip Products

Give Me Lip: A Few of My Favorite Lip Products

Winter is a horrible time to try new matte lipsticks, but… here I am, testing every brand and color ever produced.  I’m always up for a challenge, so why not?  I also figured if I’m going to review some new matte lipsticks I’ve tried, I might as well throw a few of my favorite lip crayons and a gloss or two in while I’m at it.  Since I’m doing the near impossible feat of wearing matte lipsticks in the dry winter months, I’ll also provide a few tricks I’ve found to keep my lips from looking like dried little raisins.  You’re welcome.  Pucker up and enjoy!

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

img_5919This one is a bit of a mixed review.  NYX is the first TRUE matte lipstick I tried and although I guess I liked the formula (I really didn’t have it on long enough to give it a fair shot), the colors I chose couldn’t have been more terrible for my complexion.  Seriously.  Absolutely horrible.  All I see are nude matte lips.  Well, let me tell you, this is not a look for this girl whose skin hasn’t seen the sun in quite some time.  Sadly, it went into the drawer and I went back to my trusty stand-by lip crayons (they’re way more forgiving around the lip line anyway…).

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

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You guys.  These are AMAZING.  Every color in this set is perfection (which is hard to do with my skin tone), the consistency of the actual lipstick is great, and it stays all. day. long.  No joke.  I applied it at 6:30 am and took it off with micellar water that night at 8:45 pm and it still liked great before I removed it.  I bought this set on Amazon as a set of minis so I could avoid my previous failure of a nude NYX set.  I couldn’t be happier with these and now the only down side is that I want every single one of them in a full size.  The good news?  Amazon carries them! Woohoo!

Lip Crayons

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I use several different kinds of lip crayons.  They’re so forgiving when applying, give you a hint of color or a lot (depending on how you apply), and aren’t overly harsh on your lips in dry months.  My go to that I carry every day is a Burt’s Bees Lip Crayon in Redwood Forest.  It goes with pretty much any look.

I also love Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Sticks in Fresh Papaya and Pink Grapefruit.  I never would have tried either of these colors, but of course Ulta got me… like always.  Free samples.  Sure… the samples may have been free, but now I’m hooked!  These go on smoothly, are moisturizing, and give a great matte finish.

And last, but definitely not least, another Ulta sample.  Their very own Matte Lip Crayon in Soiree.  These are great.  In fact, I might like this lip crayon better than any of the others I use.  I receive a lot of compliments, it has great pigment, and overall the color goes with anything.  I also find these lip crayons are much more reasonably priced.

Lip Glosses

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I have to give a shout out to a few glosses.  It’s only fair… I’m a 90s child.  I glossed with the best of them back then and I’m not ashamed.  My current favorites are… you guessed it!  Ulta samples.  Darn you, Ulta, you sneaky little jerk.  I love NYX Butter Gloss in Peach Cobbler and BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Plumping Gloss in Rebel.  These two colors couldn’t be more different and I love them both!  BareMinerals is my favorite because of its cooling mint and plumping as well as the great shade.  I do believe it is now discontinued, but Ulta still caries it online… for now.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

img_5918No lip collection would be complete without a tinted balm and no one does it better than Burt.  You have moisture, color… what more could you ask for?!

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 10.40.24 PMThe secret to great looking matte lips is to… well, not have dry lips.  Unfortunately for me winter zaps my skin.  I always use my trusty Burt’s Bees, but this winter I’ve needed a little extra help.  Enter the exfoliator.  No, not the terminator, but that could be handy sometimes I guess. Yes, I know I could get all Pinterest-y and make my own lip scrub, but ain’t nobody got time for that.

e.l.f makes a lip exfoliator that is in a convenient lipstick tube.  Rock on, matte lipstick wearers.  This is the holy grail of matte lipstick tricks.  This stuff works and is… wait for it… THREE DOLLARS.  Yes.  Three American dollars.  Holla!!!!!  Go get you some, girl!

Urban Decay Naked Palettes More Than Half Off? Yes way!

Urban Decay Naked Palettes More Than Half Off? Yes way!

Sound the alarm!!!!!  Urban Decay Naked Smoky and Heat palettes are 50% off!  Actually, Naked Smoky is LESS than 50% off right now.  Get them while they’re still in stock!  You can only get them online, but what a deal-two for the price of one.  Naked Heat is only available online at Ulta for two days and Naked Smoky is available online at Sephora while supplies last.