Quick & Easy Makeup for Work

There are few things that can rival my love of makeup, but one thing that can is sleeping.  I’ve always been a world-champion sleeper and thoroughly enjoy sleeping in until the absolute last minute before it’s critical that I get up and start the day.

Like many people, I have to get up early in the morning to go to work.  How do I combine my true loves of sleeping and having enough time to put my makeup on?  Easy.  I keep my look simple, but impactful, and only focus on three things:

  1. Skin

A full face of foundation, contouring and powder? Ain’t nobody got time for that in the morning.  Instead, I use a flat top kabuki brush to apply Tarte Full Coverage Powder Foundation all over my face.  This foundation gives excellent coverage and helps control shine, no need for extra powder.  I’ll also quickly throw some Maybelline Fit Me concealer under my eyes to camouflage any darkness or puffiness, and I’m set.

  1. Eyes

If you can spare 1 minute, apply some light brown eyeshadow to your crease, but feel free to skip this if you want or are really pressed for time.  Instead, focus on your lashes and your brows.  Shaped and quickly filled-in brows make the face look “finished” (even if that face was just drooling onto a pillow 4 minutes ago).  A couple coats of mascara will help eyes look more open and awake.

  1. Lips

This is the key.  Wear a bright lipstick or balm.  My go-to color is red (in the photos below I’m wearing the Revlon Balm Stain in 045 Romantic) because I think it makes my teeth look crazy white, but a vivid pink also does the trick.  A bright lip pulls everything together, gives your face a pop of color and can distract from tired-looking eyes.

               red 1               red 2

(Confession: I have blush on, too)

This face takes 5 minutes max. It’s my go-to look on Monday mornings when I hit snooze once or thrice.  Plus, it’s appropriate for work, school….anything, really.  Hope you enjoy!


Skin Care 101: My Routine and Favorite Products

I have a confession.  Up until a couple years ago, I had no skin care routine whatsoever. Zero. Maybe I’d splash some water on my face in the morning and use whatever soap in the shower to do a mediocre job of washing off my makeup in the evening, but that was it.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my skin was dull with an uneven tone, fine lines were starting to form and, due to my naturally oily skin (thanks, Mom!), I had my share of acne.  Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot since then and now I actually get compliments on my skin, which still throws me off from time to time.  Take my advice and don’t wait 28 years to start caring for your face!

This is my face. And maybe a filter.

There are three basic steps to skin care: Cleansing, Exfoliating and Moisturizing.  Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Here is my current skin care routine and favorite products:

  1. Makeup Removal 


I’m an evening shower person so we’ll start the routine with makeup removal. Removing all of your makeup before cleansing is a crucial step on the road to great skin. Before getting in the shower, I take off my makeup with a Neutrogena makeup remover wipe. The CVS brand of these wipes is great, too (and cheaper).  If I have some heavy-duty eye makeup on, I’ll soak a cotton ball with Neutrogena eye makeup remover and gently rub everything off.

  1. Cleansing and Exfoliating 


I keep a rotation of several cleansers in the shower but usually mix together my all-time favorites of Cetaphil and the Garnier Blackhead Eliminating Scrub for Oily Skin.  Cetaphil is super mild and helps remove any remaining bits of makeup the wipe might have missed while the Garnier scrub removes dead skin and is gentle enough to use every day.  Plus, the charcoal in the scrub helps control acne and oily skin because, science.


Once or twice a week I’ll mix together a pump of Cetaphil with a small amount of my secret weapon: Skin Obsession Microdermabrasion Crystals.  These crystals are incredibly finely milled and a minute or two of rubbing this mixture all over your face will leave your skin baby soft and radiant.   Exfoliating is KEY in keeping skin soft, generating new skin cells and evening out skin tone. A smooth, even canvas gives you a fantastic base for applying makeup.  Exfoliating is also a necessity for keeping “mature” a.k.a over 30 skin, like mine, all glowy and youthful.

  1. Toning & Anti-Aging


Toner seems to be one of those things that people are on the fence about when it comes to skin care.  Do I think it’s a huge factor? No. Do I think it helps in my fight against oily skin? Yep. Once my skin is all cleansed, exfoliated and I’m out of the shower, I’ll soak a cotton ball in toner and wipe it all over my face.  Done.

Next it’s time for anti-aging. I’ve been using the Avene Retrinal 0.1 Cream ever since my dermatologist recommended it two years ago when I asked her what would help slow time from marching across my face.  The price is a little steep but you only need to use a pea-sized amount each night, so a tube will last months.  I apply this all over my face and neck. It has never made me break out, it doesn’t give that lovely sting that other retinol products can have and I think it’s done wonders for evening out my skin tone and plumping everything up a bit.  I highly recommend it.

While letting the Retrinal sink in and do its thing, I’ll apply a dot of Epiduo to any pimple that might be starting to show up and this stops it in its tracks.  I’m fairly certain that Epiduo is prescription only so ask your dermatologist for a sample.  It’s strong, effective stuff and can be very drying, so use a tiny dot only on the spot itself or you’ll risk the skin around it becoming dry and flaky.

  1. Moisturizing 


Anti-aging and acne prevention products can dry out the skin, so it’s time to put that moisture back in.  I like to use a combination of the classic Olay Night Cream with a few drops of Tarte Maracuja Oil mixed in. Yes, I have oily skin and yes, I put an oil on my face and I genuinely believe it’s one of the most important steps in my routine.  Maracuja oil has many benefits and is loaded with Vitamin C to give you a brighter, firmer complexion.  This oil is not cheap but when you only use 2-3 drops a day, it’s going to last.  I can’t say enough good things about it (although it smells a bit like french fry grease, but…who doesn’t love fries?).  For daytime moisture, I use the Olay Complete Moisturizer with SPF 15 after cleansing and before applying makeup.

Last, but certainly not least, I pat Olay Eye Lifting Serum underneath and around my eyes.

And that’s it!  This might sound like a ton of products and a lot of steps, but once I got into the habit, I got it down to a science and it only takes me 5-7 minutes, tops.

  1. Optional Step: Face Masks 


I don’t lead a particularly taxing life, but I still live by the “Treat Yo Self” motto.  Part of that treating is face masks.  I loooove them.  And you should, too, because they’re inexpensive, helpful for a range of skin issues and you’ll feel like a queen (or king, no judgement) waiting to be fed grapes while you lay around with your mask on.

Once or twice a week I’ll use one of the following masks, depending on what my skin’s doing or needing.  Bonus: All Freeman masks are inexpensive and sold at every drugstore:

  • Freeman Oatmeal & Avocado Clay Mask gets all the gunk out of your pores, leaving your skin extra clean and smooth. I like to use this mask at the end of the weekend since I’ve typically been wearing a lot of makeup and acting a fool for the past few days, so I need that deep clean.
  • Freeman Peel-Off Cucumber Mask is an old school, peel-off cucumber mask. Truthfully I just love this one for the Patrick Bateman-esque style of peeling the mask off once it’s all dry, but it does have actual skin smoothing and impurity-removing benefits.
  • Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask is a must for my fellow oily skin people because it contains our friend charcoal. This isn’t a mask exactly, but more a yummy-smelling paste.  Spread it all over your face, let it sit for a couple minutes, rub it all around your face for a minute or two, wash it off and voila! Glowing, smooth skin is yours.

My number one skin care tip? Be consistent. A solid routine and great products won’t help much if you’re only using them sporadically.  Carve out a couple minutes in your day to take care of your skin and I promise, your face will thank you for it.

Review: Naked Smoky Palette – Urban Decay

How I feel about Urban Decay’s Naked palettes can best be described in 3 words: Take. My. Money.

Since purchasing the original Naked palette years ago, I’ve amassed quite the collection of Naked and Naked Basics palettes.  These palettes are by far my favorite eyeshadows due to their fantastic color payoff, ease of blendability and never-ending color combination options.

So you better believe I got my hands on the new Naked Smoky palette with quickness upon its release in early July.  I’ve had a couple weeks to play around with the shadows and am loving it so far.  Here’s why:


I’m not one of those people who really cares much about the packaging of products, I went to the Mr. Rogers’ school of thinking that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. And what’s inside this is excellent.  But I will say that the palette is very sleek, sturdy, (magnetic closures are always thrilling because…magnets, how do they work?) and the smoke design is a cool touch.

full Can you hear that?  Those are angels singing.  Look at those colors. And that huge mirror.

Now, this palette is not cheap ($54) but you’re getting twelve, semi-large gorgeous shadows that should last you a long time. Similar to other Naked palettes, a double ended blending and pencil/smudging brush is included.


I really like that this palette includes both brown and grey/blue toned matte blending shades, along with a matte cream  highlight color.  A little soft brown in the crease can really help ensure your smokey eye is well blended and not too severe. I’ve found that the more blue-purple toned shades do a great job of making my blue eyes look more, well, blue when used along the lashline.


The other half of the palette is all about shimmer, dahling. I like using shimmer shades on my lid to catch the light and matte shades in the crease to blend everything out and give my hooded eyes some depth.  Wet your brush before applying the shimmer shadows to intensify the color and shine.

I haven’t done a full-on, dark smoky eye with this palette yet, but I have been loving it for everyday, daytime looks:


(Forgive me, I’m still trying to figure out how to pose to show makeup.  I call this one “Seductively checking the time”)

Overall, I give this palette a solid A.  It’s versatile enough to justify the price tag.  If you can spare the cash, I highly recommend adding this one to your collection.

Night Out: Best “Getting Ready” Songs

There’s nothing quite like the feeling before a night out. Excitement, anticipation, deliberation over what to wear, putting on your best makeup, and the always weird smell of curling irons heating up.

I believe that the music you listen to while you’re getting ready to go out can make (or break) your night.  It sets the tone. It gets your mind right.

Because music is such a crucial part of the process, I’ve put together a list of the top songs to play while getting ready to go out.  Crowd around the mirror with your friends and grab a glass because we are going the EFF OUT tonight.

Note: I’m omitting any cliché classic songs like Kool & the Gang’s “Ladies Night”, Carl Carlton’s “She’s A Bad Mama Jama” and Prince’s entire discography. Those are a given.

Beyonce, Nicki Minaj – Flawless Remix
I’m starting with Queen Bey because it would be rude not to do so.  I could’ve easily picked 10 other Beyonce songs to be on this list, but Flawless wins for its overall message of “Goddamn, I look so good tonight and am amazing and nothing can stop me.” That’s the attitude you want and the attitude you need for a great night out, and possibly life in general.  Also, the Outkast “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” sample is perfection.

Michael Jackson – Bad
Roll your eyes if you must, but I love Michael Jackson’s music with the fire of a thousand suns.  And just like Bey, MJ had a plethora of great dance songs to pick from, but Bad has always been one of my favorites (and criminally underrated).  It’s slightly aggressive, it’s boastful and it gets you all pumped up in that cheesy ‘80s sort of way.  Note: Weird Al’s “Fat” may also be used as a substitute in emergencies.

Marina and the Diamonds – Primadonna
I dare you to put this song on and not dance.  Marina starts off a bit soft and ethereal but wait for that beat to drop.  This song will make you want to buy a real-ish looking strand of pearls and wear a plastic tiara to the bar on your birthday. And you know what? I wouldn’t blame you.  This song is aural candy and is magnificent from top to bottom.

Con Funk Shun – Ms. Got The Body
Yes, we’re back in the ‘80s.  I would say I’m sorry but I’m not because this song is the truth.  It’s R&B, funk, disco, and just the right amount of ridiculous.  I mean, one of the lines is “She’s a freak, candy-sweet” so we’re not exactly talking Mozart here. But to be fair, you’re drinking a Bud Light while waving a pointy mascara wand dangerously close to your eyeball, so…who’s to judge?  This jam will bring out your inner Ms. Got The Body and, someday, you’ll thank me for it.

Drake – Shut It Down
It’s no secret that you, me and everyone we know (except Meek Mill) love Drake.  And with a song like this, how could you not?  Drake spends a smooth 6 whole minutes and 52 seconds (!) telling you how cool you are, how great your outfit is tonight and requesting that you dance in the mirror (like you weren’t already), all set over a hot laid back beat.  I am not ashamed to admit that I listen to this song every single time I’m getting ready to go out.

Rihanna – Phresh Out The Runway
This is the pinnacle. The ultimate. Thee best getting ready song. Why? Because it has all of the essential elements: Rihanna. Bass, lots of it. Lyrics about being the best, feeling so fresh and looking so good it’s like you just stepped off the runway. Danceable as hell. More Rihanna.

It is the perfect pre-going out song. Period.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but I trust that it’ll do the trick.
(And I’m always looking for new getting ready/going out songs so let me know what I’m missing!)

5 Sweat-Proof Summer Makeup Tips

Now that we’ve almost reached August, it’s fitting that the weather is face-meltingly hot and humid.  There are few things more frustrating than putting your face on and having it all run off like a (very colorful) waterfall within two minutes of stepping out the door.

Luckily for you, I have some sweat-proof summer makeup tips:

  1. Makeup setting spray

I’m one of those people who is #blessed to have incredibly oily skin year round, and the day I discovered the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray , my life changed for the better.  This spray is a bit pricey but it lasts a long time and really helps lock your makeup in place.  A couple sprays before you start applying your makeup, a couple sprays when your makeup is finished and boom. Done. Your makeup is staying put.

  1. BB Cream

When it’s hot as hell, the last thing you want to do is slather a layer of liquid foundation on your mug.  Enter the BB cream.  A good BB cream is lightweight, gives you decent coverage and usually contains the all-important SPF needed in the summer.  My favorite is the Rimmel Matte BB Cream.  Anything with “matte” in the title will help keep shine at bay.

  1. Bronzer

You probably have a bit of a tan already, so why not go all out and use bronzer on All The Things?  I’m not a fan of heavy eye makeup when I know I’m going to be out in the heat, so I’ll sweep some bronzer through the crease of my eye to give a little color and shimmer without much product, then throw some on my cheeks and along my hairline.  A great (and cheap!) drugstore bronzer is the Physician’s Formula Bronze Booster.

  1. Balm stain

Lips can be tricky in the summer.  Gloss is so sticky, lipstick can melt (or smear all over your face while you’re inhaling a hot dog) and a stain is far too drying.  Thankfully the good people at Revlon created the Balm Stain.  This may be my all-time favorite drugstore product.  You get the color payoff and longevity of a stain with the moisture of a balm, plus this line comes in a huge range of colors.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

  1. Waterproof mascara

This one is pretty self-explanatory.  Sweating and regular mascara don’t mix well. Or maybe you’re like me and want your lashes to look fabulous even when you’re swimming.  Either way, you need a waterproof mascara in the summer.  My current favorite is the CoverGirl Super Sizer.  The skinny brush is great for really lengthening and separating each lash (and it’s great for the lower lashes, too).

There you have it!  I hope these tips help, and if all else fails, just camp out in the air conditioning until October.

6 Easy Steps to Applying False Lashes

Ah, false lashes.  Aside from winged eyeliner, false lashes may be the most-feared tool/technique in the beauty arsenal.  But fear not!  I’m here to help. Falsies can have a significant effect on your overall look and are a great way to add a little oomph for a big event or night out.

Here is my six step guide to applying false lashes with relative ease:

Step 1: Have a drink

No, seriously.  Have a drink (or if you’re not a booze person, do a little yoga or deep breathing or whatever you people do to loosen up).  I firmly believe that false lashes can smell fear and the more relaxed you are, the better.  Don’t get hammered, but put on some good “I’m going out tonight!!!11” tunes, have a drink and approach the process as fun instead of An Ordeal.  It helps, I promise.

Step 2: Select your false lashes and cut them to size

Eyes come in all different shapes and sizes so you may need to trim your falsies down to fit your peepers.  Simply hold the lash strip up to your eye and decide if you need to trim a few hairs off the end or if you’re good to go.  Having a lash that’s too long and tickling the inside of your eye/nose area is the opposite of fun, so don’t skip this step.

Step 3: Prep your natural lashes

Now we’re getting somewhere.  Take a look at your natural lashes.  Are they fairly straight?  Then curl them with a lash curler and swipe on 1 (one) coat of mascara.  If your lashes are particularly straight, I suggest waterproof mascara to really make sure your lashes stay curled.  If your lashes naturally curl up like mine do (humblebrag), feel free to run a clean mascara wand or spoolie through your lashes to get them all fanned out, separated and ready to go.

Step 4: Glue time

Use a good quality glue!  You want these suckers to stay on and a good glue does just that.  My personal favorite is Duo Lash Adhesive, Clear, 0.25 Ounce, easily found online or at any drugstore.  There are really two options when it comes to glue application: apply to the seam of the false lash strip, or apply the glue directly to your own lash line.  I’m a fan of both ways but tend to use the “apply to the false lash strip” method.  Apply a VERY thin line of glue to the lash strip seam.  The cardinal rule here is to let the glue dry for a good 30 seconds before you attempt to place the lashes on your eye.  The glue must be tacky to get a good, solid hold.  These will probably be the longest 30 seconds of your life, so feel free to use this time to take a swig of the drink mentioned in Step 1.

Step 5: Lash application

This is it.  Here we go.  Pick up your lash strip with either tweezers or those handy little lash-gripper tong things that come with many lash kits.  Look down into a mirror and carefully place the lashes on your eyelid as close to your natural lash line as possible.  Breathe.  Try to secure the middle of the lash strip over the pupil of your eye first.  Once that part is secured, carefully tug the end of the false lashes out to fit the inner and outer corners of your eye.  Breathe again.  Once you feel that the lash strip is well secured, take the flat side of a bobby pin and run it over the lash strip to smooth it down and really get a good hold.  Let the glue dry for a couple minutes.

Step 6: Merge the real with the fake

You’re almost done!  Once the glue has dried, use your favorite mascara to bond your real lashes with the falsies.  A couple swipes on each eye should do it.  Don’t forget to add mascara to your lower lash line to balance things out.  Finally, use eyeliner to draw on the seam of the lash and lash line to help blend everything together.

And you’re done!  You may want to throw the glue and tweezers in to your purse just in case, but if you follow these steps, your false lashes should have no problem staying on for many hours. Enjoy!

5 Actual Reasons Why Women Wear Makeup

Women have been “putting their faces on” seemingly since the dawn of time.  But why do we do it?  Do we just enjoy spending our hard-earned money on products that will literally be flushed down the drain a few hours later?  Do we paint our faces to attract other people?  Or is makeup really just a mask we hide behind? I believe there are five main, no BS reasons why women (or at least this woman) wear makeup.

  1. It’s fun.

Let’s just get this out of the way first.  Makeup is fun.  Sometimes makeup is seen as v. serious business, but really, we’re putting shit on our faces and then washing it down the drain hours later.  You know how kids smear dirt and markers and basically anything they can get their hands on onto their face?  They do that because it’s fun, because they’re playing.  Makeup is no different.  Makeup allows you to have fun changing up your look, to be a chameleon.  Makeup spurs experimentation, creativity and in the most basic sense, playing around with ~*~gLiTter~*~ and pretty colors is straight up fun.

  1. It can make the face look better.

Can’t really argue with this one, especially for those of you who, like me, aren’t exactly 17 anymore.  Eyes do look more open and awake with a coat of mascara.  Groomed and filled-in brows do frame the face. Makeup can bring out the best version of “you” that you see in your head.  Not all of us are blessed with (or can pay for *ahem, Kylie Jenner*) full lips.  But most of us can afford a $4 nude lip liner from CVS that can make lips look fuller, more luscious, and let’s just say it, more youthful.  Still don’t believe me? Ask any woman who regularly wears makeup how many times some assclown in Accounting has made a “Whoa, are you sick?  You look tired.” comment when she boldly decides to sleep in not wear eye makeup to work.  Which brings me to my next point…

  1. Because we want to. Because we can.

In my experience, men tend to think that women wear makeup to impress or attract them.  All I can say to that is L O mother f-ing L.  Do men really think that women spend 10 minutes precisely blending three different eyeshadow colors to impress dudes who can’t tell the difference between navy and black?  FOH.  People who wear makeup wear it because they want to.  Because it makes them feel good.  I’ve yet to wake up in the morning with someone holding a gun to my head and forcing me to put on eyeliner (decent movie premise, though). Makeup is simply another form of self-expression.

  1. Makeup hides a multitude of sins

Let’s say you got After. It. last night.  Maybe you went to a beautiful wedding and danced until the wee hours and now have bags under your eyes large enough to carry a vacation’s worth of luggage.  Maybe you had an evening Netflix marathon session and plowed through a bottle (and a half) of wine and don’t want to look like death warmed over for your 9:00am meeting.  No worries!  Makeup is there for you.  Makeup can brighten tired eyes, hide a monstrous pimple or disguise a hickey (no judgement, do you) in seconds and with just a few products.  That is true magic.

  1. It’s a meditative experience

Putting on makeup each morning can be sacred Me Time.  There is something about the repetitive motions, the colors and the attention to detail that can be downright meditative and soothing.  For me, it’s a quiet creative outlet that gives me valuable time to mentally set my intention for the day ahead.  Plus, finishing your face gives you a sense of accomplishment knowing that you’ve already completed at least one task for the day, with the bonus that you now look amazing and ready for anything.

Now that you know why makeup is worn, my intention with this blog is to help you get the most out of it.  Looking your best helps you feel your best.  Seriously.  No BS.