3 Common Makeup Mistakes: Corrected

With the deluge of makeup advice and methods that are out there, you’re bound to receive some unfavorable tips along the way. Perhaps you were misinformed or are just stuck in a bad habit, without even realizing it. While I may be a girly-girl and beauty lover at heart, my beauty advice on this blog is meant for the everyday girl who wants to keep things simple but feels like she could benefit from a few tips and tricks along the way.

Here are the corrections to three common mistakes or misconceptions about your beauty routine (more to come later)

#1 Test Foundation Shades on Your Neck, Not Your Cheek

foundation shades

Due to increased sun exposure and breakouts, your face often has a different pigment or slight discoloration from the rest of your body. Luckily, foundation helps to smooth out those imperfections and create a more flawless look. To make sure your face matches the rest of your body when using foundation, test different shades on the area of your neck directly under your chin. This is an area where you should be blending out your foundation anyway, so that you don’t end up with the dreaded makeup-mask line.



#2 Don’t Skip on Moisturizer because of Oily Skin

Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that I’ve already addressed this major misconception in my post here about why you should use grapeseed oil, even if you have oily skin. Having oily-prone skin myself, I was one of the people who had this idea completely backward. After all, it seems only logical that adding moisturizer to oily skin would only make it worse. The TRUTH is that, skipping on moisturizer actually dries out your skin and causes it to produce more oil! The way to help your oily skin is by using a toner morning and night, before your moisturizer. A couple of all-natural toners are green tea or an apple cider vinegar + water mixture.

#3 Don’t Apply Bronzer to Your Entire Face

While bronzer is one of those holy grail products that every girl should own, it can go horribly wrong when used incorrectly. One of those times is when it is applied to the entire face, and you end up with a fake, orange, oompa-loompa look…not pretty.

paris hilton

Oh, Paris…

Bronzer should be used to add color and dimension to the face, rather than create one solid tan tone. There are a couple of easy rules to stick with here.

  • Use a bronzer that is only a shade or two (max) darker than your natural skin
  • There are two types of bronzer, and the type determines how to use it:
    • Shimmery – use this to the emphasize the areas of your face where sunlight would naturally hit – apply around temple area, on cheekbones, and down the bridge of your nose to achieve a natural glow
    • Matte – often used to contour the face (ahh the dreaded contour!), the easiest way is to apply to the forehead by your hairline, down your temples, under your cheekbone, and across your jawline, blending well

See, that wasn’t too tough, right?! Just a little summer refresher on those makeup skills!

Celebrating One Year

This past weekend, my hubby and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary. It has been an eventful year with many ups and downs, through our move to Colorado, unemployment and job searching, financial stress, and establishing our lives in a new city. It’s also been a growing experience in learning how to lean on and depend on one another, and realizing that’s okay. One thing about marriage that’s been really special for me is becoming each other’s family. Before that binding commitment, I always felt the need to maintain my independence and keep a tiny part of myself still guarded. There is a special bond and trust that exists with family members, and adding your spouse to that group creates a new kind of connection. I feel like I’ve gained a partner in life, and that we are building our own identity as a little family here in CO.

To celebrate, we visited Crested Butte for the weekend, which is called the “last original mountain town,” due to its ban on chains and focus on all local businesses. It’s a fairly small town in a country valley, surrounded by mountains in every direction. Time moves more slowly in Crested Butte, and the colors of surrounding nature are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The iPhone pics don’t even do it justice.



We had a wonderful weekend hiking, relaxing, and flying by the seat of our pants!


Dusk on our last evening


Our exhausted baby after a day of hiking – check out those rocks!

Looking back on our big day one year ago brings back the fondest memories, which were captured by my dear friend and amazing photographer, Jennifer Reeves. View more of her work here. Also, her beautiful photos landed us on a few wedding websites (below) and in an upcoming bridal magazine issue. She’s the real deal!

The Knot

Borrowed and Blue

Midwest Bride

Here’s to many more years of adventure!

The Color That Screams Chic

Perhaps the most underrated and easily forgotten neutral in the bunch, camel is an easy way to add chicness to any wardrobe. I’m a firm believer in pairing solid neutral pieces together when your look needs an extra dose of sophistication. Camel fits right into this and often looks its best when combined with black, white, or gray. Below are some of my favorite inspirations for incorporating camel in your everyday look as a piece of clothing or an accessory, without coming out looking like a big potato (mm I’m hungry).

camel skirtMixing with all solid neutrals and a pop of print

camel shirtThis creamy caramel top looks amazing against her skin tone

camel hatThe hat makes the look, and I adore the bohemian feel this one gives.

camel shortsThe unique structure and material of this skirt just WORK.

camel bagEven a camel bag looks expensive!

Bottom line: try camel, and I don’t mean the one with humps.

How Would You Rate Yourself? Average or Beautiful?

coco chanel quote

What percentage of women do you think would classify themselves as beautiful? Would you be shocked to hear that it’s only 4%? Reading that statistic was heartbreaking for me. Sure, selfies and social media amplify the issue of self-esteem and opening yourself up to criticism, but perfection standards on women have been around for centuries. A woman is expected to be a perfect wife and mother, to keep a tidy home, all while looking like a polished Barbie doll.

Dove recently released a powerful and inspiring campaign (below), based on challenging women to see themselves as beautiful. Which door would you choose?


A Place of Peace

I would call my memory of childhood a vague one. Unfortunately, most of my vivid memories are tarnished by a family situation, and somehow seemed to consume that allotted space in my brain and push out the happier, less important ones. As a result, I’ve found in my adult years that I have significantly fewer memories of childhood than my friends and family. I figured the most likely situation was just something specific to my brain, whatever that may be, until my younger brother (and only sibling) expressed the same discovery to me only about a year ago. He brought it up to me in casual conversation and said he feels like he “can’t remember anything compared to other people” and attributed it to the dark cloud that unfortunately shadowed many years of our young lives. I was surprised at how much I struggled to recall a childhood memory of a “happy place” or a place that I felt at peace when I sat to write this post. As I thumbed through the files of my mind, a memory popped out at me and I could recall the details so clearly. It was as if I was almost standing there again in that spot. I contemplated for awhile about why this memory had stuck with me, and I still don’t have an answer. Nothing significant happened in that place and time, but something significant must have taken place in my mind.

It was dusk as I stood at the end of the gravel road near my grandfather’s shed. The rest of the family was in the house just 100 feet from me, but I was completely alone in that space. Not lonely, just alone in the quiet. If you’ve ever spent time out in the vast country amongst fields and farms, you know the profound silence and stillness that you can experience. I saw nothing move around me and heard nothing in those few minutes of reflection. I remember staring up at the sky, and realizing it was vaster and wider out there than I had ever seen. The shade of blue immaculate and constant, until reaching the orange and pink clouds gathering over the setting sun in the west. The sun could no longer be seen from my viewpoint, but the radiating dark orange light signaled its departure. The day was closing in a beautiful and graceful manner, and I was just one little morsel standing there. The crisp cool air of the fall brought a sense of lightness to my being. I had no breakthrough revelation, just a deep experience of peace as I felt my existence in those few beautiful moments.

My mind nowadays is so busy and full of emotion, that I can’t imagine being able to experience such a feeling of peace and ease again. All of the clutter disappeared standing there on my grandparents’ drive and I felt complete comfort. No movement, no trouble, no hurry. I was free to just be.

I’m making a commitment to myself to have more moments like these. However I can find that peace, those times are so important to refocusing ourselves and appreciating the gift of life.

Nostalgia: Hair of the 90’s

The 90s were characterized by some awful (or awesome – however you look at it) trends that are humorous to look back on. Between JNCO jeans, bowl cuts, pant chains, and Doc Martens, I seriously question how some of these fashions became popular. I could go on and on about this fond era of my younger years, so I’ll focus my attention to one area…the hair.

Marie Claire posted this article with a compilation of some of the best celeb pics sporting the 90s hair trends. Let’s hope these ones don’t come back around, but in the meantime, I’ll be digging up my butterfly clips just in case.

A Necklace with a Purpose

As a kid, my hands were message boards. Every day I had some kind of reminder drawn onto the back of my hand, whether it was a school reminder, a personal motto that I was striving for, or a drawing that lifted my spirits. I temporarily inked my hands to bring my focus back to some idea throughout the busy day. Once I realized how juvenile this looked in college and how much it clashed with my new bracelet, I broke the habit. For many years now, I’ve kept reminders on post-it notes, a digital list, or as the wallpaper of my cell phone.

While I would not encourage someone to tattoo their grocery list on their bicep, many people use permanent ink as an eternal reminder of their personal mottos, lessons, or beliefs. Although I don’t have a tat myself, I believe in the importance of surrounding yourself with daily reminders of the person you want to be. We have the freedom to express ourselves individually through our fashion, our homes, and our other surroundings. Whether an object speaks to your heart in a deep and personal way or is simply a material item that you enjoy looking at, we paint the world closest to us in our own colors.

This necklace originated as a playful gift from my husband, who knows me all too well, but has a deeper importance to me. While “Like a Boss” is a light-hearted phrase, every time I clasp it around my neck, I’m reminded to be confident in myself and my abilities. I look in the mirror and remember the kind of person that I want to be and prepare myself to conquer my own little corner of the world. Since I’ve often battled with self-esteem and confidence, it’s a fun (and super cute) way to lift my spirits and make me smile.

Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that knock us back on track and re-focus us in the busy, stressful life that surrounds us.

Necklace from Etsy here.

What is Balayage? A Lesson in Highlights

Recently, I’ve been taking on the daunting task of switching over my closet to my spring and summer wardrobe. I’m about halfway through because you never know what the early spring weather is going to bring — today I’m working outside in shorts and flip-flops, and Thursday we are expecting snow! Mother Nature is so moody sometimes…

Beyond my clothes, I think of the change of seasons as a time for a beauty refresh. It’s time to bust out the shimmery eyeshadows and nude lipsticks that had to be separated from my pasty white skin all winter. This year I also decided to freshen up my look even further by changing my hair. I’ve never been a fan of doing anything drastic with my hair and prefer an overall-natural look. Luckily, the newest color trend in salon is balayage.

Balayage = hair painting


Loving my new color!

Balayage is a hair technique where the highlights are hand-painted on by the stylist, sans foil. The stylist scatters the highlights throughout the hair, often focusing lightness around the face, to create a more natural look than the linear pattern followed in standard foil highlighting. Balayage also follows the ombre-like technique of beginning the highlight a few inches from the root, to again create a soft, sun-kissed look. This also means that there are no glaring dark roots and less upkeep!

Overall, it’s a great option for the beauty girl who wants to brighten up her look, while maintaining her natural “I woke up like this” style.