Friday, May 15, 2015

Road Trippin'

Spring is in full bloom and it's finally the start of camping season! I wasn't really sure if the warm weather was ever going to get here after that horrid winter, but it's finally here! We spent Mother's Day weekend camping at Lamb City Campground in Phillipston, MA.

Before I get into the weekend, I wanted to share a quick update on our camping gear. Over the winter, Mike ended up buying a truck. Once we had the truck at home we really started itching about moving our camper out of our permanent site on the Cape and towing this summer. Once we decided that was what we wanted to do, we ended up trading in our camper for a smaller, more easily maneuverable travel trailer. It was sad to see the old one go, we only got it last August, but we are so excited to tow and go to all different places this summer! We've been seasonal at the Cape for four seasons and we were ready for a change.

For our maiden voyage with the new camper we headed to Lamb City Campground in Phillipston, MA. My parents joined us in their RV and we got two nice sites right overlooking the pond. This campground is only about a half hour away from our house, so this was a nice test run. Our friends have a seasonal campsite there so it was nice to also get to spend some time with them. We got in on Friday night and had a little BBQ and fire with everyone.

On Saturday morning I woke up early and there was an eerie mist lurking over the pond. I love the way ponds and lakes look completely still and reflective early in the morning. So peaceful.

Later on, we went for a hike around the pond. There are trails going all around the pond. The dogs loved it. We kept seeing trail markers that marked the trees with little red hearts.

There is a bearing wall overlooking the pond made entirely of recycled tires, which I thought was neat.

On Saturday afternoon we took all the dogs down to the beach and they all ended up in the water. Piper hates being wet and cold and immediately regretted the decision but Dale loved it and turned into a brown sand monster. We got some use out of the outdoor shower and hosed both of them off before they were allowed back in the trailer. Turns out that thing is pretty handy!

On Sunday morning we relaxed outside for a bit and enjoyed the view then went to the campground's Mother's day Pancake breakfast before packing up and heading home. Overall, it was a great first trip of the season and made me so excited to do more camping this summer! I'll be sharing more about our new camper and our road trip adventures throughout the summer!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Morphe Jaclyn Hill Favorites Palette Review & Swatches

If you are a fan of YouTube's Jaclyn Hill, you are no stranger to her much lusted over collaboration palette with Morphe Brushes. Jaclyn teamed up with Morphe to create a custom palette featuring 28 of her favorite Morphe shadows. This was not a brand that I had ever heard of before I started seeing their brushes pop up in YouTube videos. In addition to brushes they also sell a wide variety of cosmetics including their famous eyeshadows. 

In her videos, Jaclyn gushed about the great quality of the eyeshadows and their unheard of $2/each price point. When she announced that she would be teaming up with them to create a palette of her favorite eyeshadow shades I was definitely interested! I missed the first release last fall but was able to get my hands on one of them during the April re-promote.

The palette consists mostly of warm tones but it does have some jewel-toned pops of color. It has a nice mix of matte, satin, shimmer and frost finishes. You can surely tell that Jaclyn hand picked these shadows as they mirror the shades she uses most in her videos. The quality of these shadows is truly amazing! They are buttery soft and easily blendable. They remind me a lot of the consistency of the Makeup Geek Shadows. The pigmentation is crazy, especially in the more metallic shades.

Row 1 (left to right): ES4, ES54, ES6, ES76, ES64, ES14, ES75

Row 2: ES67, ES13, ES62, ES63, ES20, ES47, ES66

The top two rows are mainly warmer tones. I'm most excited about the burnt orange (ES14) and the vibrant metallic bronze (ES20). Also, the coral color, ES66, love. These are screaming warm summer smokey eyes!

Row 3: ES33, ES68, ES16, ES15, ES61, ES24, ES74

Row 4: ES11, ES59, ES38, ES53, ES48, ES71, ES19

The bottom two rows spotlight some jewel tones and rich browns. I love the look of putting a pop of bright color on the lower lash line, especially during the summertime, so I'm excited to try out these colorful shades!

When I first got this I was skeptical if this palette would be worth the hype and the LONG wait, but it did not disappoint! Each of the different eyeshadow formulations performed wonderfully with smooth application, easy blending and minimal fallout. Right now this is sold out again and the Morphe website says that it will not be restocked. I thought this was still worth a review because you can still buy all these shades in individual form here. They are a steal for only $2 each. You can pick your favorites and then pop them into a Z palette, which Morphe also sells.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring Closet Clean Out

With the warmer weather finally upon us, I've been really motivated to get things neat and organized with some spring cleaning. Living in an older home, one thing we really struggle with is storage space. Each of the bedrooms has a closet, but it's a small one. Both of the downstairs closets came with one lower shelf but no upper shelf above the closet rod. I always thought this was such a waste of space so I enlisted Mike's help to install upper shelves in the downstairs bedrooms. 

We bought two pieces of plywood and cut them to size to fit each closet. I painted them white to match the trim and then Mike installed them with heavy duty shelf brackets.

The extra downstairs bedroom is basically my bonus room. There is a bed in there but it is also where my vanity is and it's where I get ready in the morning. We use this closet as overflow storage. I store my purses in there, my bathing suit cover-ups as well as our larger sweatshirts. I found these hanging circular organizers at Bed Bath & Beyond. I believe they're actually meant to store belts but I'm using them for handbags and baseball caps. They work like a charm!

Having the extra shelf up top has been awesome. I now have a place for my camera equipment, larger hats and board games. This freed up the bottom shelf and I now use that for shipping supplies for when I occasionally sell on eBay and Poshmark.

Moving on to the Master closet:

This closet is larger than the one in the guest bedroom. I remember when we bought the house this was advertised as being a "double closet" because the space extends on each side past the door, which is nice but I still managed to fill it to the brim. Seriously, the rod was sinking in the middle and was about to break. These are just my clothes too, Mike uses the upstairs closet which is about this size. This is where most of the clean out took place. I went through everything and got rid of about a third of my clothes. I made three discard piles: to toss, to donate and to sell. I organized what was left and we installed the upper shelf and some new shoe racks.

I'm using the upper shelf to store our extra bed pillows. These are the fancier ones that I put out when I fully make the bed. Before these were kind of shoved in the back on the bottom shelf and some of them were even in another closet. My hope with having them on top shelf is that they are more easily accessible and that it will inspire me to fully make our bed more often. We'll see!

When we moved in the previous owners had made a little shoe shelf for this closet. It was made out of warped particle board and to say the thing was rough is an understatement, I really should've taken a picture. I replaced them with these shoe racks from Target. 

Lastly I wanted to share my scarf organization. I got this cute little owl scarf organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond a few years ago. I keep all my lighter fashion scarves on him. 

Cleaning and organizing is oddly therapeutic to me. Although I put it off and it's an overwhelming task to think about, once it's done I feel so much better. I love having a place for everything and it's nice to have less "stuff" to worry about. I got rid of so many items that I hadn't worn in years that were just taking up space. I hope this helped give you some ideas on how to clean out and organize your closet. Have you done any spring cleaning this year?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Glam Glow Masks, Worth the Hype?

Today I'm talking about the ever-popular Glam Glow Masks. These items are certainly a splurge. Each full size mask costs a whopping $69! Does big money yield big results? Are these worth the hype? I was lucky enough to receive these three in a holiday gift set last Christmas. I've been testing them out for a while now and wanted to share my thoughts.

Supermud Clearing Treatment

This a mud mask that Glam Glow describes as being skin-clearing. It draws out dirt and congestion from the skin with Activated-X Charcoal while brightening and softening the skin with a six-acid blend. In short, I love this stuff. I use it once a week on my whole face for about 20 minutes. As soon as I rinse it off I notice a difference. It minimizes my pores, shrinks blackheads and starts to dry up any active breakouts. My skin also feels slightly tighter after using. Not in an uncomfortable way, but it may be the pore minimizing at work. The final result is my skin is left feeling soft and smooth, which was surprising for me as I'm dry and acne treatments usually leave my skin clearer but leave behind dry patches. This one is a win-win!

Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment

This is an exfoliating mud mask that Glam Glow describes as providing gentle resurfacing exfoliation to smooth and brighten skin as well as providing tighter skin and pores for a more youthful appearance. This one is a 10 minute mask that delivers a tingling effect during application. I did notice that this mask also provided the skin tightening, pore minimizing effect that I got from the Supermud but I'm not the biggest fan of the tingling sensation. My skin is sensitive and the tingle is strong and almost feels a bit burning. My skin wasn't red or irritated when I rinsed it off so it wasn't actually burning me but it made me nervous. I did appreciate the exfoliating aspect while rinsing it off but it was a bit gritty and I prefer a more gentle exfoliant. On the whole, this mask was a miss for me.

Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

Glam Glow describes this mask as a hydrating mud treatment that moisturizes, restores, replenishes and calms the skin, leaving is silky, soft and supple. It can be applied in a thin layer for daytime use or generously applied as an overnight mask. I like to use this as an overnight hydrating treatment. I apply it before I go to bed and then rinse off any excess in the morning. I've been using this all winter to combat dry, flaky skin. It does wonders for re-hydrating my face and leaves my skin smooth and healthy as if I've just gotten a facial. It also smells amazing with a cocoa-butter, tropical-type smell. It is one of those products that is a joy to apply and actually does what it claims.

Final Thoughts

The standout products for me are the Supermud and Thirstymud masks. In my experience these masks actually perform as described and don't irritate my skin. The biggest drawback to these is the price. While I do love the Supermud and Thirstymud that $69/each price tag is a killer. I'd recommend getting a set like this that has 1 full sized product and two deluxe samples. This one was a holiday set where you got a full sized Thirstymud and a deluxe sample of the Supermud and Youthmud for the $69. This particular set isn't available anymore but Sephora does have a similar set available now. Also, the Youthmud and Thirstymud are sold in travel sizes which are $19 if you are looking to try them out before taking the plunge on the full size.

I hope this was helpful if you are on the fence about purchasing any of these masks. What do you think about the Glam Glow masks?

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Get Glowing Set

Monday, April 13, 2015

Sephora Beauty Before Brunch VIB Rouge Event & Haul

Yesterday I attended the "Beauty Before Brunch" Sephora VIB Rouge event. Being a VIB Rouge means you've spent a certain shameful amount of money at Sephora and they reward you with fun little perks like early access to the VIB 15% off sale.

I'd never been to one of these events before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was greeted at the door by an employee with a clipboard who checked my name off the guest list and then directed me to the back of the store where they were serving coffee and refreshments. It was a closed-door event so it wasn't open to the public, which made it much more intimate without having to push through crowds.

Going into the event I knew I wanted to check out the skincare. My skin is getting insanely dry again and I wanted to test out some new moisturizers. While I was browsing, one of the skincare specialists approached me and let me know they were offering free mini facials, so I jumped at the chance. We discussed my skin concerns and she did a full application and tutorial for me. It was very relaxing and informative, what a treat!

Here's what I bought:

I got a backup of my beloved Rosebud Salve, as my current one is on it's last leg. I picked up another shade of YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #8 Fetish Pink. The color is a bright rosy pink, perfect for spring. Lastly, I wanted to try Urban Decay's new Naked Skin Concealer. It is supposed to be a full coverage concealer that is weightless on the skin. I'll let you know what I think as I test it out.

Another perk of attending the Beauty Before Brunch event was the goody bag! They gave everyone a foldover clutch filled with samples. I was most excited about getting a full size Formula X nail polish! The color is Paramount, a sage gray. I don't have any colors like this in my collection so I'm excited to try it out. The other standout was a deluxe sample of the Buxom Full on Lip Cream in Pink Lady. I have one of these glosses in the shade White Russian, it's a nice opaque lip gloss without any shimmer so I'm excited to try another color.

The skincare specialist that did my mini facial also sent me home with a sample of First Aid Beauty's Overnight Radiance Mask. I used it last night and it is amazing! It left my skin fully quenched and my dry skin showed such an improvement this morning when I woke up. I will be purchasing the full size for sure! I also cashed in some of my points and picked up the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I haven't tried it yet but thought it would be great for Travel this summer and I threw it in my toiletry bag. 

Overall, I had a great experience at the Beauty Before Brunch event and came home with some great items. I didn't pull the trigger on any of the skincare items I tried because I wanted to read about them first. I do have a few in mind that I've added to my online shopping cart to purchase sometime this week. The 15% off sale is going on now for VIB Rouge Members (discount code is ROUGELOVE) through 4/21 and it starts 4/16 for VIB members. 

What's on your wish list for the spring VIB sale?

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Friday, April 10, 2015

MAC Lipstick Collection & Finish Guide

I am always on the hunt for that perfect shade of lipstick and MAC makes some of the best. The quality is amazing, the color selection can't be beat and the price is fairly reasonable for a high end lipstick at $16/tube.

I've accumulated quite a few of them over the years and wanted to share my collection as well as a guide to the nine different lipstick finishes that MAC offers:


Rich in pigment, long-wearing. No shine, shimmer or sparkle, just pure color with a velvety finish. The downside to mattes is that they don't offer any moisture, they can drag and tug during application and they can cling to dry patches on your lips. It's important to exfoliate and apply a lip balm before reaching for a Matte shade.

Colors: Charmed I'm Sure (Marilyn Monroe), Good Kisser (A Novel Romance), Strange Journey (Rocky Horror)

Retro Matte

Ultra-matte finish, pigment rich, no shine. If you want an even matter finish, enter Retro Matte. I've only tried one Retro Matte and it wasn't my favorite. This is a high-maintenance lipstick that can be very drying and uncomfortable. But, if you are up for the challenge, it can be beautiful when applied correctly.

Color: Relentlessly Red


Very pigmented with a more comfortable, soft finish. If you are looking for a matte look but don't want the sometimes uncomfortable matte finish, then satin is for you. They still pack a color and long-wear punch, but are much more wearable for everyday.

Colors: Daddy's Little Girl (Archie's Girls), MAC Red, Rebel (Heirloom Mix), Faux, Kelly Yum Yum (Osbournes), Pink Nouveau

Amplified/Amplified Creme

Medium to high pigmentation with a glossy finish. These two are so similar I grouped them together. Amplified packs a color punch while Amplified Creme is still high in pigmentation but has a more creamy finish.

Colors: Impassioned, Oblivion (Rocky Horror), Chatterbox


Glossy finish with a wet-look, medium opacity. I find that the color payoff in these is more sheer and they are not very moisturizing, but they aren't drying either. They also contain a decent amount of shimmer. Sometimes the color will wear down and you are left with just sparkles on your lips.

Colors: Spice it up!, Sweetie, Woodrose (Proenza Schouler), Lovelorn, Viva Glam V, Syrup

Cremesheen - Creamy finish with a slight shine, medium opacity. They provide a luminous sheen to the lips and are so creamy and comfortable on the lips. My favorite shade right now is Mystical from the Alluring Aquatics collection. It's a great Rose color that is appropriate year-round.

Colors: Mystical (Alluring Aquatics), Japanese Maple


Frosted, shimmery finish, medium to sheer opacity. The only frost I own is Angel. This shade has a cult following. It contains micro-shimmer that shows up ever so slightly when applied. Its a great neutral medium to light pink.

Color: Angel


Sheer opacity, low color impact, glossy finish. These are similar to the balm or butter lipsticks that you see a lot of on the market today. They are quick to apply, comfortable to wear and very low maintenance. These are nice for daytime but be ready to reapply often as they don't wear for long.

Color: Hue

Lipsticks are one of those makeup items that I just love to collect. MAC, especially the limited edition items, are almost considered collectors items in the world of makeup. Their limited edition items are often hyped up and then extremely hard to come by when released (well played MAC!) It's become almost like a sport to get your hands them. This can be frustrating at times so I try not get too consumed by this and just curb my limited edition quests to the collections that most interest me.

I hope this post was helpful in breaking down the different lipstick finishes that MAC offers. It can sometimes be intimidating to go to counter and be greeted with endless shades and lipstick finishes to choose from. Knowing a bit more of what MAC has to offer can help you make the right choice.

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MAC Lipstick (Nordstrom)
MAC Lipstick (MAC Store)