Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer Foundation Rotation

With every season I like to change up my makeup routine to adjust to the climate changes. Summer is now in full swing and I've definitely been gravitating towards products that control oil and provide a dewy summer glow. Here's whats in my current foundation rotation:

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation

This is my go-to full coverage foundation for summer. The consistency is thick and almost whipped. I apply it with the Tarte Airbrush Foundation brush. The combination of the two is just magical. It covers all imperfections and discolorations and blends in wonderfully. The finish is definitely matte. You definitely need to add some bronzer, blush and highlight to bring your skin back to life. The wear is also very good. I use this if I'm going to be outside in the heat and don't want to worry about my makeup melting off my face. My shade is Light Neutral.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere 

This is a medium coverage foundation with a dewy glow finish. It feels light on the skin and does not dry me out nor make me oily. The best thing about this foundation is the finish. It does a nice job at camouflaging imperfections while leaving a beautiful subtle glow to my skin. Being Chanel, this is certainly a splurge item. It has a slight floral scent when you apply but the scent does not hang around once it is set. My shade is 20 Beige.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream 

This is a multi-tasking product that provides moisture, sunscreen and full coverage. The finish is slightly dewy, giving your skin a luminous glow. It is also infused with anti-aging properties that IT describes as providing long term brightening and color correcting benefits. The consistency is thick, similar to the Tarte, but more of a cream than a whipped texture. It is an extremely easy product to use. I can skip my moisturizing step when I use this and I can even blend it out with my fingers and it still looks amazing. It is a real time saving product. The only drawback is the staying power. It does break down quicker than a traditional foundation, so make sure to set with a matte powder to extend the wear. My shade is Fair.

All three of these contain an SPF which is a must for the summer. One better, they all contain physical sunscreens rather than chemical ones. Do you change your foundations with the seasons? What are you loving this summer?

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Birthday Glamping

I hit the big 3-0 milestone a few weeks ago and to celebrate, my family took me to the Cape Cod Camp Resort in Falmouth. It is truly more of a resort than a campground. There are 3 pools, a hot tub, a lake with boat rentals, a cafe and wi-fi.

We stayed in the "Glamping" area which included paved sites, large picnic tables and stone fire pits. There are walkways from the picnic tables to the fire pits that are paved with shells, how very Cape Cod!

The grounds are beautifully manicured and well-kept. Everywhere you looked there were enormous rhododendrons in bloom. 

On Saturday we headed to Woods Hole for the afternoon. Our first stop was to the Woods Hole Science Aquarium. It's a free public aquarium that features 140 species of marine animals including an outdoor Seal habitat. The aquarium is small but there were truly a lot of exhibits and tanks to look at. You can also go behind the scenes to the work area behind the tanks to see the staff tending to the animals. Everyone there is very friendly and will answer questions.

After the Aquarium we walked around a bit and stopped for lunch at the Fishmonger Cafe. It was a cozy little spot that is actually on stilts and overlooks the drawbridge passageway.  The food and drinks were tasty and we enjoyed the great view!

Walking back to the car, we stumbled upon this gorgeous little spot, the Angelus Bell Tower and Mary Garden. It's located across from St. Joseph's church overlooking Eel pond (the harbor on the other side of the drawbridge). In reading about the garden, this is said to be the first U.S. Mary Garden: a garden dedicated to Mary where plants named after her surround her statue. It was like a secret garden located behind 6 ft tall hedges. The view of the harbor was amazing, this would be the perfect spot for a small wedding ceremony!

Saturday night we went to dinner at one of my favorite Falmouth spots, Liam McGuire's. It's a lively Irish pub with live music and delicious food. When we got back to the camp I was presented with this glorious cupcake cake from Cupcake Charlie's. It tasted as good as it looks!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

My go-to MAC products

One of my all-time favorite makeup brands is MAC cosmetics. MAC carries high-end makeup artist quality products at reasonable prices. They also have color and product selections that can't be beat. They carry everything from foundation to brushes and everything in between. To go to a counter or store can even be a little intimidating at times because the selection is just so vast. Since I've tried a lot of their products, I thought I'd share a roundup of my go-to MAC staple items:


One of the most iconic and raved about MAC product is their lipstick. I have an ever growing collection that you can read more about here. They offer just about every shade and finish you can think of, which is what makes them so popular. I recently dug through my lipstick stash and pulled out some of my favorite summer brights including this shade, Pink Nouveau. Its a blue-based, cotton candy pink. Blue-based pinks and reds are great because they make you teeth appear whiter, which is always a plus.

Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC describes these powders as "luxurious and velvet-soft with a high frost finish." My favorite way to use them is to highlight my cheeks and brow bones. All of the MSF's have a marble swirl throughout the product. They are really beautiful to look at. The texture is soft and finely milled. There are six shades in MAC's permanent line but they are constantly releasing new shades in their limited edition collections. This one is Perfect Topping, a pale peach highlight with lavender marble.

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

This is a baked mineral setting powder that provides a natural, matte finish. This is honestly the most natural setting powder I own. It is not powdery at all and really leaves my skin looking like skin. MAC touts this as a setting powder but in the past I've actually used this as a powder foundation and it worked great! It is also one of my favorites to bring in my purse for an on-the-go touch up. The shade I use is medium. They've re-done the packaging for this and it now contains a mirror, this is the old packaging.


Like MAC lipsticks, their blush comes in a vast array of finishes and colors. There are over 30 shades in the regular line. All of the blushes are soft and finely milled, making them easy to use. They are also long-wearing. If I apply it in the morning I can still see the flush on my cheeks when I get home from work. This shade is Lovecloud, a bright mid-toned pink. This is a great color to give you that natural, healthy flush.

Pro Longwear Concealer

This is a great full coverage concealer. It works for me both under the eyes and to cover blemishes and dark spots on my face. Even though this is full coverage it feels very lightweight when applied and a little goes a long way. I only need 1 pump for under my eyes and there will be some left over if I have any spots to cover. It dries to a natural matte finish. My shade is NC20.

These are the products that are not only my favorite but they are the ones I go back to and if I run out, I always repurchase. Do you have any MAC go-tos?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick

I've been loving matte lips for a while now and my love has definitely transitioned into the Spring. Lately, I've been lightening up by using mostly rosy pinks, nudes and corals. The trouble with matte lipstick is that it can sometimes be tricky. In order for it to go on smoothly, you need to make sure your lips are exfoliated, hydrated and lined. Sometimes this can be a bear, so when I saw that Charlotte Tilbury had released a line of hydrating matte lipsticks I knew I had to try them!

The new formula is called "Matte Revolution." Charlotte describes them as "the matte lipstick of the future". The formula is long lasting, buildable and hydrating. After trying these, I can safely say that these live up to Charlotte's claims. My major gripe with matte lipsticks is that they are drying and difficult to apply. These lipsticks glide on so smoothly and feel creamy on the lips. The finish is also really special. They are matte but they aren't a totally flat matte. She describes it as "cashmere", which I think is spot on. Its somewhere between matte and satin. There is just a slight hint of healthy luminosity that shines through. 

The lipstick shape is also unique in that it is squared off at an angle, which is supposed to mimic that of a lip brush. Although the different shape took a bit of getting used to, I actually really like it. The cut gives you more precision when applying. It almost looks like you used a lip liner if you decide to skip that step.

As with her K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks, these have the same beautiful art deco inspired rose gold packaging.

I chose three colors: Very Victoria, a brown toned nude, Sexy Sienna, a peachy coral,  and Amazing Grace, a classic rose. All three of these colors have amazing pigmentation. One smooth pass on the lips is all you need to get the true color, but they are buildable and can also be sheered out. I love how versatile they are!

A matte lip, when done right, can be incredibly beautiful and Charlotte has hit the nail on the head with these! These were available exclusively on Charlotte's US website early this year, but will be coming to US retailers in the fall.

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?