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Maybelline City Mini Eye Palette

I’m constantly on the hunt for a good eyeshadow palette. When I find an affordable drugstore version, even better! I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Maybelline City Mini palettes for years, but it wasn’t until recently, that I finally  purchased one. The version I picked up is called Hi-Rise Sunset and it’s the perfect palette for Fall. It consists of all of my favorite warm tones that I love for my eye color and skin tone. I’m a big fan of a smokey eye in general, and I love to create a smokey eye look with whatever colors I’m obsessing over at the moment. What I love about this palette, is not only is it super compact, which is great for traveling, but it has every shade to create a full look. The lightest color in the palette, which is a cream color, is a perfect base for your entire eyelid, and is also great at highlighting the brow bone. The darker brown is perfect for your crease and the two warm tones, the yellow and the burnt orange are perfect to smoke out the entire lid area. I love the yellow for blending underneath your eye and the burnt orange for smudging  your waterline. The colors blend beautifully and are quite pigmented. It does take a bit more work than some of my  high end favorite shadows to get the color payoff I prefer, but they are definitely capable of building to a rich color. I picked this palette up on Amazon for less than $7, which is unbelievable. This little gem definitely gets my approval and I find myself reaching for it more than I thought I would. It’s a great everyday palette that won’t break the bank. Who doesn’t love that?

Clairol Natural Instincts

I have been dreading the day that I finally have to start coloring my hair! Now, don’t get me wrong, It’s not like I have an entire head full of grey hairs. But I was getting enough that it was getting to the point that I could no longer pluck out the few random ones or cover them lightly with eyeshadow or root touch up spray. I was also on the quest to get my scalp to a healthier place, which means not using a lot of products that cause buildup. *That will be talked about in another post! But trust me, if you want your hair to grow and grow in healthier, your scalp holds the key to growing beautiful locks.

Anyway, the issue I have always had with dying my hair, is the tone that most brunette dyes have. I’m not a fan of the reddish hues that most dark hair dyes have. I also don’t want to color every hair on my head, as I realistically only have between 10-15 grey’s, if that. So I started researching and decided to give Clairol Natural Instincts a try. It’s semi permanent and washes out in 28 shampoos. The issue was this, the first color I tried, 5C Brass Free Medium Brown, was exactly the same as my natural color. I only applied it to my roots, but since it was the same color as my hair, it didn’t do a great job of coloring the grey’s completely. So the next round, I decided to mix in about a 1/4 of a darker dye, 4 Dark Brown,  to the original mixture. That did the trick. I was left with perfectly rich dark chocolate, grey free roots. It blends in so beautifully with the rest of my hair, that It never looks colored at all. I usually get the full 4 weeks out of the product, but I have gone as long as 5 1/2 weeks without the need to touch up! I can honestly say, this has been a game changer for me. My hair is so much healthier and is finally starting to grow again…and I don’t have grey’s, so that’s the icing on the cake!

Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipsticks

As you already know, I own way too many red lipsticks. From low to high end, I love a bold red lip and I have quite the collection to prove it!

I have been a huge fan of Pat McGrath’s work as a makeup artist for years. Coming from a fashion and modeling background myself, I have been in awe of her work on the runway, covers and editorial work since the early 90’s. Yes, you heard me correctly. I started modeling in 1988, so it’s fair to say, I’m quite aware of Pat McGrath’s phenomenal artistry.

Since launching her own cosmetics line after being the Global Creative Design Director for GUCCI cosmetics in 2014, Pat has become known for her super pigmented shadows and vibrant and bold lipsticks. With the lipsticks bearing a hefty price tag of $38 a piece, I was a little hesitant to take the plunge. So I decided to pick up the travel sized trio of the MatteTrance lipsticks at Sephora for $25 a few months back and they blew me away! I knew I would need to invest in the full size version as soon as they ran out. The trio included the shades Elson, Obsessed and Full Panic. Obsessed became my absolute favorite of the three shades. I also love wearing Obsessed on top of Elson for even more depth and dimension. I can wear both shades with my favorite Revlon Colorstay lipliner in the color red. What I love most about these lipsticks is their comfort and pigment. They are matte, but without the drying effect that most matte lipsticks usually consist of. The color pay off is also second to none. They stay super pigmented without the need for touch ups for hours on end.

In case I have not made it entirely clear, these Pat McGrath lipsticks are worth every penny and then some. After all, it’s okay to splurge once in a while! These lipsticks are absolutely one of my favorite makeup finds of this past year.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

I must admit that I am somewhat of a foundation junkie, and the older I get, I scour to find foundations that give me back the skin of my youth. I had recently started using the La Mer foundation, and while I absolutely love it, I was a bit hesitant to wear a $120 foundation on a daily basis. So I set out to find another alternative that would be perfect and forgiving on my super dry, slightly textured skin.

I started out doing my research like I normally do, a google search! Time and time again, I kept coming across the Too Faced Born This Way foundation. It sounded perfect. It was described as highly pigmented, medium to buildable full coverage foundation that was also great for dry skin. It also seemed to be a favorite of many bloggers which claim it is better than most of the higher priced foundations on the market.

Since it was that time of year when Ulta offers its perks members 20% of their entire purchase, including prestige brands, taking a chance on a new foundation was a no brainer. I picked up this foundation in the shade Natural Beige, and although it is darker than my face, it matched my normally self tanned body perfectly. It has just the right amount of warmth with out being overly yellow. As for the foundation itself, it is pure perfection. It has a rather thin consistency but it so pigmented, and a little goes a long way. I often times do two layers on the area of my cheeks where I have a bit of discoloration and it covers everything completely without looking heavy or cakey. I prefer to use a primer with all of my foundations, and this one was no different. I just get a smoother complexion when I prep my face properly. I have applied this with both a sponge and a brush,  both applications work great with this foundation. Since I have super dry skin, I lightly dust the Hourglass Veil powder on top to leave my skin looking perfectly dewy and hydrated. If you have oily skin, I would highly advise against this combo. I also love this foundation with my RCMA powder and also with my Coty Airspun, but both provide a more matte finish and are better at absorbing any oil. I then finish everything off with my MAC Fix Plus or Estee Lauder Set & Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist. The overall look is perfect skin! I often times only need to touch up late in the day with a light dusting of powder, if at all. Obviously you can tell I absolutely LOVE this foundation and for $39, you simply can’t go wrong!

Be unapologetically you

Life has a way of throwing us curveballs and circumstances that you never saw coming. If someone had asked me as a kid where I thought I would be at this point in my life, never in a million years would I have predicted my path. I just celebrated my 45th birthday and I must admit, I’m pretty darn blessed.

I’ve always been good at marching to the beat of my own drum. I was never a follower or cared much about what other people thought of me. There were times while I was in school, people said things to me *or behind my back, that really hurt my feelings. I always remember thinking that when people were mean and cruel, it was definitely a reflection of the bully rather than myself. I grew up in a loving home with amazing parents that taught me to be the best human I could possibly be and treat others the way I want to be treated. Like everyone else, I’ve had my moments and in no way, shape or form am I claiming to be the perfect human. But what I learned from a very young age was to embrace who I am and what I want out of life and don’t think too much about what other people think of your choices or path. You only live once and this life is YOURS to live, not for other people to question or judge.

Life is short. Very, very short in the big scheme of things. Through my devastation and obstacles, I have never lost sight of who I am at my core. I don’t respond to negative social media comments, as I don’t care about them. I also learned from a young age if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. We need to start creating positive platforms for people and stop judging and question how others live their lives. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. At the end of the day, what legacy will YOU leave behind and how will you be remembered? Write your own story now so it can impact others positively in the future.

“You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.” -Mae West