I’ve been setting my alarm earlier and earlier lately (I know… it’s quarantine… I should be sleeping in…). When I finally get out of bed I have very little time to get ready, but I NEED to look awake since I’ll be on camera teaching students. My tricks? Eye brightener, highlighter, and my trusty eye cream that even graced the list of Best Eye Creams from ConsumersAdvocate.org. So quick and easy! The three products I always use are also affordable AND on Amazon. Win-win!
I’ve written about this eye cream before and it seems to have a cult following. It has great ingredients, is never greasy, is affordable, and is convenient since it’s on Amazon. The awesome people at ConsumersAdvocate.org have placed this eye cream at number 2 on their Best Eye Cream Based on In-Depth Reviews list!
I’m a firm believer in concealer because… kids. I’ve always loved Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind‘s concealer, but lately I haven’t even had time for that. The TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base is so easy to use that it’s fool-proof! Since it’s not really a concealer, but an eye base, you don’t have to match shades of skin tone, you can swipe it on, smooth it, and GO! I usually finish the under eye area off with powder, otherwise my mascara does stick to the base after a few hours and no one likes the raccoon look.
This base does a wonderful job of neutralizing dark circles and when paired with a little powder almost works as good as a concealer.
I keep seeing Facebook ads for Thrive Cosmetics highlighters. I can’t tell you how many freaking times I’ve clicked on those things! I just don’t want to become addicted to a product that I have to order from a company directly. Amazon, Target, and Ulta are my go-tos, so I figured they had to have something similar. Of course Amazon came though for me. The jane iredale Highlighter Pencil does everything the Thrive pencil does, has two different shades in one pencil, and came with a great sharpener. I use the pink toned color under the brow as a highlighter, under the lower lash line, and along the inner portion of the lid. The white color is great in the lower lash line and inner corner of the eye to open up the eyes. It makes my eyes appear so much more awake and open.
Alright… go open your eyes! Moms, I know you can identify with the lack of time and dark circles. You’re welcome!
We seriously must live on the most fertile plot of land in our entire city… maybe even state. We’ve had problems with weeds since we moved into this house. Yeah, I know… everyone has weeds. But weeds taller than you in a few weeks? I’ve used Preen, mulch, Round Up (uh huh… *gasp*… I used the poison… judge away), rocks in the flowerbed (don’t do it… it’s a bad idea), and anything else I could think of. It turns out the “natural” recipe I found (thanks again, Google…) actually works as well or better than Round Up. And the minstrels rejoiced (yaaaaaaaay).
I always hated using Round Up because of its ingredients, but I REALLY hated using it after getting a furry friend and now that we have kids. They love being outside and I hate cringing after spraying Round Up everywhere. This recipe is much, MUCH safer, works well, and lasts about as long as Round Up. So, spray the heck out of those weeds without getting dirty looks for using chemicals. This one actually works… promise!
1 gallon Distilled White Vinegar
2 cups table salt (iodized or not-both work!)
1 Tbsp Dawn dish soap (original blue works great)
Add all ingredients to a spray dispenser and mix well.
I buy the same produce over, and over, and… over. I never really try anything new and even though I do cook a variety of vegetables (that neither of my children will EVER eat) and I typically buy whatever fruit is on sale because if I get what looks good I end up with the entire produce department in my cart, which ends up rotting on our countertop. Scrolling through Facebook (stop judging… you know that’s all there is to do right now!) I noticed a friend’s post about her Misfits Market box. Hmmm… that’s an idea! The picture she posted had a wide variety of produce with a few pieces of each item. That’s PERFECT. I surely wouldn’t pick most of these things in the produce section and let’s be honest… when am I actually in a store lately? Um, never.
She posted her coupon code for referrals (25% your first order-woohoo! Use coupon code COOKWME-UD0VIL), so I checked out their website. It was easy enough to set up and just as easy to cancel or change your delivery schedule. They offer a smaller box for $22 or a larger box for $35.
I opted for the smaller box delivered every other week to see how it goes before going crazy with the larger box.
My first box arrived and I was like a kid receiving a Christmas gift on the doorstep. Since we’ve all been quarantined until the end of time, small things excite me, ok? I loved the surprise element of the box and that I could make something different for a change!
The produce was in an insulated box with a reusable ice pack (bonus!). Most of the produce was in pretty good shape except for an orange that was pretty worse for wear and had to be thrown out.
I’ve never really used radishes for much, but a great suggestion sheet was included in the package for buttered bread with sliced radish and sea salt. The mango and pears were not yet ripe, but were probably the best mango and pear I’ve ever eaten! The cucumber was great, but the celery was a little banged up and unfortunately didn’t last all that long in the refrigerator. I was able to use the base of the celery to propagate it in water, so we’ll call it a win. The potatoes and onions are still hanging in there, but I haven’t used them yet. Unfortunately the squash and zucchini only lasted a few days and had to be thrown away. I haven’t cooked the delicata squash yet, but I have found a few recipes that sound pretty good, so I’ll be making that next. I did find an awesome recipe for roasted rutabaga, which I’ve never even thought about buying before. The recipe is definitely worth a try!
The second box I received seemed to be a little less banged up as all of the produce survived. This box was left on the porch right-side-up, unlike the first box that was left upside down.
This box included a larger stalk of celery (that was in great shape this time and should last much longer than the last stalk), a head of broccoli, 3 oranges, 3 apples, a medium-sized yellow squash, a medium-sized zucchini, curly leaf parsley (which smelled AMAZING), 3 small jalapeno peppers, 3 salad cucumbers, an onion, two small sweet potatoes, and a small butternut squash.
This produce seemed to be in much better shape than the first box, but again, the first box was sitting on our front porch upside-down, so there’s that. After your first box you’re able to customize your box a little more or add items (for additional fees) to your next box. I chose not to since I just wanted to see what would come in boxes to be able to make new and different recipes. Hopefully more recipes will be coming your way thanks to these boxes!
I definitely think these boxes are worth it. They have saved me a visit to the store just for produce and have allowed me to try new recipes. If the next few boxes are as good as the first two I’ll be changing my subscription to the larger box. I don’t think you’ll regret checking out Misfits Market!
You read that right-Shape Tape concealer is HALF PRICE! Holla!!! Ok, I’ll stop saying holla now. But, really-it’s on sale! Treat yo self, people!
I still haven’t tried Shape Tape since it’s blown up as the best selling concealer, but I have found a pretty good dupe. Not having tried shape tape, the reviews for this dupe compare to those of Shape Tape, so Ill take their word for it.
I’m talking about NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop concealer. It is full coverage and lasts all day. It doesn’t get cakey or settle in lines. It does dry down pretty quickly, so if you plan on baking with this concealer have your loose powder on hand. This is probably my favorite full coverage concealer.
My other go to concealer doesn’t really compare to Shape Tape or Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, but I use it almost daily. I typically wear a BB cream, so since it’s not full coverage, full coverage concealer looks a little crazy. I use Maybelline Instant Age Rewind for everyday use. It blends well, covers dark circles, and stays put with a little light powder.
Check out these concealers-you won’t be disappointed!
My sister-in-law asked what foundation I’ve been using lately and it hit me: I have SO many foundations and I have so many that I love for many different reasons. I call foundation a love/hate relationship because while it can make a look awesome, it can also look plastered on if you don’t use a good primer or if your skin is too dry. I figured I’d share a few of my favorite full, medium, and light coverage options I use often and some tips that help get the most wear time out of each of them. I’d love to know some of your favorites!
After applying these foundations with a beauty blender, I follow up with a loose powder (I use Coty Airspun) and a setting spray (NYX Matte Finish is my go to) to get the most wear time out of any foundations I use.
I’m starting with this one because it conceals EVERYTHING and doesn’t look very cakey. Make sure to use a great moisturizer before applying and maybe a light primer. It looks pretty natural considering how well the coverage is. I also always follow up immediately with a loose powder and setting spray to make it last as long as possible.
This is probably my favorite and most used foundation. It goes on smoothly, covers very well without looking like you’ve caked 10 lbs of concealer on your face, and wears ALL day. It’s also easy to build up if you need more coverage. A little primer before applying goes a long way and finishing with loose powder and setting spray will get you an entire day of wear easily.
This is a great foundation if you’re looking for high coverage with an SPF. It goes on pretty well, but I chose a horrible shade for my skin tone. I’m sure if I get the right shade for my skin it will look A LOT better. It’s still a great foundation and I’m able to make it work with some blending when I want a good SPF foundation.
You guys… this foundation doesn’t even cost $5 and it’s one of my FAVORITES of all time. It really could be considered full coverage because it’s easily buildable. The color match is awesome, the formula is pretty thin, so it’s easy to apply, and it looks SO good on. You can’t go wrong with this one!
I love this foundation for something different. It kind of gives my skin a dewey look without looking like I have an oily face. Paired with a little loose powder it goes a long way. The only down side to this foundation is that since it is a cushion foundation, I feel like there is a lot less product in the container.
Last, but definitely not least, Burt’s Bees BB Cream. I use this nearly every day, so I don’t have to be careful when I apply it. It goes on smoothly and is practically a tinted moisturizer. It doesn’t break out my face and usually doesn’t look super oily by the end of the day if I use loose powder after applying. I don’t usually use a beauty blender with this and it blends great. Don’t bother with a primer because it lasts FOREVER. Primer usually makes this foundation settle in lines and look a little thicker than it should. A little goes a long way and as long as I have a great under eye concealer, this is great for everyday wear.
I have what I would consider normal lashes, but I always ask people what type of mascara they’re wearing when their lashes look great and they always tell me they’re wearing false lashes. Fail. I’m not a false lashes person. Don’t get me wrong… I love makeup and think it’s fun to play with and try new products, but years of dance has practically landed me in false lash trauma therapy. I HATED false lashes during competition season. They were easy enough to apply, but they were just a pain if they came loose, the glue dried up before the bottle was even opened, a pair ripped, whatever the reason was, they were a pain.
I found magnetic Ardell lashes and thought, “Hmmm… maybe?”. That was a big ole nope. They stuck to each other in the middle of my real lashes. Not attractive. Not to mention since they’re two pairs of lashes that stick to one another just picture what three layers of lashes look like. Like a caterpillar is attacking both of your eyelashes. Not a good look, just take it from me.
Now, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Silly George magnetic lashes. A magnetic eyeliner is applied and the lashes are attracted to the eyeliner. The lashes never seem to look too fluffy, full, or fake, so I thought I’d check this option out. Uhhhh… $40 for fake lashes I might hardly or never wear? Next!
The only logical solution to my search was… AMAZON. Amazon solves all of life’s problems, right? Behold… the solution to all of your false lash needs. I basically found Silly George lashes on a budget, you guys! You should read the reviews. It made it sound like my 2 year old could apply them and wear them for a night out. Where would a 2 year old wear false lashes? Why would he wear falsies period? I don’t know… back to the lashes…
The eyeliner is easy to apply and the directions say to apply 2 coats. I HATE liquid liner and this liner was the easiest liquid liner I’ve ever applied. Once fully dry the lashes simply follow the liner and stay put. THAT IS IT. Seriously, it’s that easy. The awesome part about this kit is there are two sets of lashes for a full, fluffy look and a set that I would consider a “daily wear” set. They are SO good. You can’t beat the price (it seems to fluctuate, but it’s typically around $15-20) and they’re so easy to apply. Try them-I guarantee you’ll love them!
These makeup dupes were inspired (ok, ok… flat out stolen…) by Tati‘s FULL FACE OF DUPES | Drugstore vs. Highend YouTube video. In her video, Tati completes a full face of drugstore makeup on one side and matches it flawlessly with high end makeup on the other side. When I watched the video I was shocked at how closely she was able to match the high end side and I loved the look, so naturally, I had to try it myself.
So, for this post I’ll be reviewing all of the dupe products I tried from Tati’s video and a few other drugstore brand suggestions Tati makes in various other video tutorials. I won’t be comparing them to high end makeup, but reviewing them in general. I have to hand it to Tati on this one, some of my new favorite products are in this list and… most of them are at a price point of around $5.99… what?! Yes… $5.99. I didn’t add the price of most of these items because they fluctuate so much between drugstores and Amazon. Before I purchase anything I usually compare the prices (and availability) between Meijer (I have one close by), Target, Ulta, and Amazon. So… here we go!
Alright, we’ll start off with a primer. I love Smashbox primer, but it’s SO EXPENSIVE. It seriously works miracles, but I’ve never broken down and bought a tube because I don’t wear full coverage foundation enough to shell out the extra cash for a tube. NYX Studio Perfect Primer is very similar to Smashbox, but at a much more wallet-friendly price point. I was pretty pleased with the formula and I’m happy to use it instead of the pricier option.
Yes, I know, I know… I had a Wet n Wild nail polish in EVERY color of the rainbow as a kid and I used a different color on every finger, too, but Wet n Wild really has come a long way since then. This foundation is $4.68 on Amazon. Bam! Ok, really, though… my new favorite foundation. This formula goes on great with a Beauty Blender or brush and looks great all day. I do tend to get a little oily toward the end of the day, but it holds up well especially for the price. There are a variety of shade ranges (I think I might have chosen a shade a little too light for me, but for the price I can afford to get a few darker shades for the summer as well) and I think anyone can find a good match. I’m curious to see how L’Oreal Infallible 24 HR holds up compared to this formula. The L’Oreal is 3X the price of this one, so for a daily foundation, this is a great option.
I’m on the fence on this one. The coverage is great, but I was pretty dewy at the end of the day. It’s cheap, it covers well, it blends well, it sets well with a setting powder, and it looks pretty natural. For the price I would probably buy this one again as well. The only downside with this one is that it contains coconut, which might break a lot of people out. I’ll have to see if it breaks me out after wearing it all day today. It does have SPF 15, which is also a little added bonus. The other problem I have with this is the “cushion” container. I feel like there is hardly any product in there. For the same price (actually less…) I can get a whole bottle of the Photofocus. Yes, it is a little different coverage and a bit of a different look and I get that, but I neither love nor hate this one.
Yep-my grandma had this on her vanity, too. This is hands down the best loose powder I’ve ever used. You can bake with it (no, not bake as in bread… bake your makeup…), use it as a finishing powder, and it’s buildable and works great with bronzers and blush. I don’t think I’ll give any of my other loose powders a second chance after this one. You get a ton of product in the container and it’s so affordable.
I wanted to love this one. The packaging is great, it’s relatively inexpensive, and bronzers are always fun to work with. This particular formula has some pretty large chunks of glitter. Yeah… not always the look you want. On me it looked a little patchy, but that might have been operator error-for some reason I used a fairly densely packed and smaller brush than normal, so I’ll give this one another try and probably only use it when I want to feel more… tropical.
I find this bronzer much easier to work with than the Bronze Booster. It has a finer powder formula and blends much more easily. I will give you a word of caution-if you’re fair-skinned and purchase the shade “light” it is basically a pressed powder… bummer. Make sure you purchase the “bronzer” shade if you want an actual bronzer. Yes… I found out the hard way.
I love this blush! $2.99? Yes, please! I hate trying to figure out what blush color to choose. In Tati’s video she used Pearlescent Pink and I was like, “Yes!!!! That’s it!”. Although this is called pink, it does have hints of coral, which usually works well with any color combinations. I’m glad I added this one to my collection.
This blush isn’t in this video, but Tati uses it frequently in her tutorials. This blush is my absolute favorite. The color is soft (Romantic Rose), it’s matte, and it has such pretty packaging. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Now, I’m not a huge fan of highlighters to begin with because they just enhance every large pore on my face and make my skin look oily, but Wet n Wild hit a home run on this one. The shade in Tati’s video is Precious Petals. It’s such a soft, subtle shade and the shimmer is very fine. Highly recommend this one!
Since I loved the single highlighting powder so much, I figured I needed more options, right? Luckily Wet n Wild makes an entire palette. I’m torn on this one-I love the shades and there is a variety that will go with any makeup look, but several of these have fairly chunky glitter in them. I’m not 12… I can no longer dump glitter on myself and not be judged. Overall, though this still isn’t too terrible for the price to give you a few more options.
*Sigh* I hate to go here, but there is a clear winner when it comes to eyeshadow palettes in my makeup arsenal. I know… you guys probably think you already have it figured out. Well, after trying and TRYING to love a certain cult favorite eyeshadow palette, I just can’t do it. Urban Decay, you are not for me. Could it be the particular palettes I happen to have? Maybe. I took a chance on Tarte and it paid off. Big time.
Over the holidays I purchased Naked Smoky, Naked Heat, and Naked 3. My typical daily look consisted of primarily matte shades from the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette. They are very pigmented, complemented my skin tone, and were great for a daily look. I’ve always wanted to branch out and try bolder colors and since Urban Decay Naked palettes seem to be everywhere, I assumed this was a great place to start. UD Naked Smoky was the first palette I purchased during the holiday season. I was so excited to open the palette, was pumped to find a small tutorial insert in the package, and quickly went to work after ripping the package apart. Unfortunately I had to send the palette back after realizing one of the shades was misspelled (read about the epic fail here). After going through the tutorial, I quickly decided the smoky eye is not for me. For some reason, no matter what brushes I use it looks like I grabbed charcoal and smeared it all over my eyes. Could be my fair skin, could be my eye shape, I could just be an epic fail at eyeshadow application, who knows… all I know is it doesn’t work for me.
Next, I purchased the UD Naked Heat palette. Well, just like I couldn’t rock the smoky colors, the “heat” colors made me look like I had pink eye or a serious lack of sleep. Not exactly attractive.
Enter UD Naked 3. Ok… this one got a little better, but there were still more cool tones in this palette. There are some pink and purple toned shades, but they’re on the cooler side. The entire reason I love my Naked 2 Basics palette is that it is full of warm colors that compliment my fair skin so well. Urban Decay Naked 3 = Fail #3.
Right about the time I purchased the Naked Heat palette I decided to take a chance on another palette. This was really more of a “collection” than a palette. I kept seeing ads from Sephora and Ulta for Tarte’s Pineapple of My Eye Collector’s Set.
Well, I felt like I couldn’t justify a giant set like this. It didn’t all fit in the container (organizational me couldn’t deal…), I don’t need green eyeshadow (I’m not a 5-year-old playing with Barbie makeup, guys…), and… it’s expensive. Of course the interwebs had to read my mind and suggest a different collector’s set that DID fit in the packaging, still had an adorable little pineapple (stand tall, wear a crown, people) and sequined packaging, and it was, wait for it… ON SALE! Done and done.
What I love about the Sweet Escape Collector’s Set is… everything. Literally everything. I decided on this set because of the awesome packaging and now have found my favorite liquid eyeliner, blush, and SEVERAL eye makeup looks that I never would’ve attempted before.
I’m typically a matte eyeshadow type of girl, but this set has changed my mind. The shimmer shades are so pigmented and so full coverage that very little goes such a long way and looks great on. The blush colors are awesome-a great pink and a more rose option, and a bronzer and highlighter to complete the look. I’m now completely in love with the liquid eyeliner (I don’t do liquid eyeliner… I have to do my makeup with midgets yelling for me in the background, people). I ordered this set directly from Tarte when they had a 25% off sale during the holidays. Since ordering this set Tarte has mailed 20% off coupons. I will definitely be purchasing another Tarte shadow palette using their coupons.
So, for pigmentation, value, ease of use, and packaging… Tarte wins. Sorry Urban Decay, but I’m just not that impressed. I purchased an entire set of all of these shades of shadow, blushes, bronzers, mascara, eyeliner, and lip color for less than the price of an Urban Decay palette. Maybe I’ve just purchased the gimicky palettes and will feel differently with a full palette from the Naked line. For now, I’m not forking over the $54 to find out.
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!
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!
This 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…).
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!
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.
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.
The 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!