Spring Preview! Faves & Recommendations

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.37.45 AMChicago in February: 60º one day, blizzard the next, then back to 50º. Nothing says “spring is coming” like this bi-polar weather cycle! After last weekend’s sunshine, I wanted to share with you all some of my all time favorite items that make my springtime makeup routine special. Click on this link to check out this video to see my top spring picks. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you never miss a video!! xoxo

Products mentioned:
* It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50, $38 (Ulta)
* Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, $68 (Nordstrom)
* MAC Powder Blush, Pink Swoon, $22
* Too Faced Love Flush Blush, I Will Always Love You, $26 (Ulta/Sephora)
* Laura Mercier Caviar Stick, Copper, $29 (Nordstrom/Dept Stores)
* Colourpop Shadow, Weenie, $5 (colourpop.com)
* Makeup Geek Eye Shadow, Peach Smoothie, $6 (makeupgeek.com)
Makeup Geek Eye Shadow, Poppy, $6 (makeupgeek.com)
* Makeup Geek Eye Shadow, Stealth, $6 (makeupgeek.com)
* MAC Eyeshadow (pro line), Coral, $10
* MAC Cremesheen Lipstick, Creme Cup, $17
* MAC Cremesheen Lipstick, Coral Bliss, $17
* MAC Amplified Lipstick, Vegas Volt, $17
* Urban Decay Glide On Lip Pencil, Bang, $20 (Ulta/Sephora)
* MAC Lip Liner, Rosy Rim, $16.50
* NYX Butter Gloss, Apple Strudel, $5 (Ulta/Drugstore)
* Essie Nail Polish, Blossom Dandy, $8.50 (essie.com)


Makeup Tutorial: Too Faced Natural Mattes

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! Mine was filled with friends and laughs and lots of adventure at our second annual Galentines weekend in Indianapolis.  (Leslie Knope is my spirit animal.)

Due to popular demand, I have uploaded a makeup tutorial using the Too Faced Natural Matte palette. Check out this link to view the video. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you never miss a video!

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 5.28.26 PM

* Too Faced Natural Matte Palette
* Kat Von Dee Liquid Eye Liner in Mad Max Brown
* MAC 217 Blending Brush
* Morphe M441 Blending Brush
* Morphe E14 Oval Shadow Brush
* Makeup Geek Pencil Brush

* Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation
* Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
* Too Faced Love Flush Blush in I Will Always Love You
* Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Highlight in 001
* NYX Brow Mascara in Chocolate Brown
* Nars Audacious Lipstick in Raquel
* Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

Dramatic Neutrals: New Year’s Eve Makeup Tutorial

Well, I bit the bullet. Many of you wanted a video tutorial, and now you’ve got one! This look showcases my favorite fall/winter eye shadow palette, the Lorac Pro Palette. I love this palette because it combines all the colors I love in the winter time. It’s highly pigmented which means you don’t have to use a lot of product; it blends very easily which means you don’t have to be a pro to use it; and the results range from subtle to over-the-top. Check out the video and leave your comments below for any future looks that you might want me to do. (Side note: The video is flipped which means the words appear backwards – sorry. I know how to fix this but I didn’t have 100 hours to do it. UGH technology!)


Products used:

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation (color: 3.0)
  • Maybelline Age Rewind (color: Brightening)
  • Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Powder (color: Translucent)
  • Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
  • Benefit Rockateur Blush
  • Benefit Gimme Brow (color: Medium/Deep)
  • MAC PaintPot (color: Painterly)
  • Lorac Pro Palette
  • Kat Von Dee Ink Liner (color: Trooper)
  • Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara
  • MAC Creamsheen Lipstick (color: Fanfare)

Brushes used:

  • Beauty Blender
  • Laura Mercier Concealer Brush
  • Morphe G3 Foundation Brush
  • Real Techniques Powder Brush
  • Sonia Kashuk Blush Brush
  • Morphe M433 Blending Brush

Bridal Makeup: Neutral Classics

Classic beauty

Jess Burbey’s fall wedding had all the makings of a romantic, classic affair. The bridesmaids wore  beautiful shade of a dusty navy and Jess’s dress had a little bit of bling, a little bit of lace, and a whole lot of style. Jess wanted her makeup to accentuate her bright blue eyes while also echoing the classic simplicity of her wedding style. I concentrated on creating depth and dimension by layering smokey grays and blacks into her crease and corner while lightening up her inner corner with soft peach hues and my favorite MAC pigment of all time: Naked. We popped on a few lashes, added a subtle winged eyeliner (per her dad’s request), and topped off the face with coral blush, contour powder, and a delightfully mauvey nude lipstick. The final look gave her the perfect mix of neutral and pop, which is just what she wanted!

I also had the joy of working with several of her bridesmaids, many whom I know from past weddings I have worked on. I love it when ladies come to me with an open mind because it allows me to stretch my creativity and create a look that is unique for each person. These lovelies were willing to try any look I suggested and walked away looking glamorous and happy!

Thanks, Jess, for making this experience such a great one from start to finish. Best of luck to you and Frank in your new adventure as a married couple!

A few of Jess's bridesmaids

A few of Jess’s bridesmaids

Brush Essentials: Eyes

Over the years of learning about obsessing over makeup, I have come to the belief that spending money on expensive makeup is just throwing money down the drain if you don’t have high quality brushes to use as your tools. Think about it this way: a shiny new car won’t run if the tires are flat, just like a sexy new eyeshadow won’t blend if you’re using a sponge or a q-tip. So I’m here today to share with you what I believe are the best and most important brushes every girl should have in her collection. I will try to incorporate some budget buys and dupes when possible so you don’t have to break the bank to get the brushes that will transform your life. (Too dramatic? I think not.) So without any further adieu, let’s get started with the first focus in this series: eye brushes!

Most ladies understand that eye shadow is a way to add variety to your makeup and spice up an otherwise routine look. You can wow people by keeping your face makeup the same but switching up the colors of your shadows or liners. Without question, the absolute most important brush to have in your collection is a blending brush. The blending brush will be the ultimate utility brush for your collection because it can do so much! In case you need further verification that the blending brush is a must-have, consider the fact that I have 10 of these bad boys in my brush rotation. (Side note, do not set up a brush intervention for me, I will just ignore you.) You might think that’s crazy, but I use at least one, and more likely two or three, every day.

Best uses for a blending brush:

  • apply powder shadow all over the lid
  • deepen any look by blending a darker color into the crease or corner of the lid
  • use with no product on it to blend shadows together that have been applied with other brushes
  • add a matte bronzer to the sides of your nose to contour and add definition (Woah, that’s not even an eye use!)

My all time favorite blending brushes:

MAC #217 Blending Brush $24

MAC #217 Blending Brush $24

Sigma E25 Blending Brush $14

Sigma E25 Blending Brush $14

Coastal Scents Pro Blending Brush $4.95

Coastal Scents Pro Blending Brush $4.95

And now I’m sure you’re thinking, “Laura, all of those brushes look exactly the same!” Why yes, they certainly do! In fact, when you look at the bristles and the ferrules (the metal section that holds the bristles together with glue) close up, you can’t tell the difference at all:

photo 4 copy

Why can MAC charge $24 for a product that costs $4.95 through a competitor’s website?  Because they have name recognition, easy accessibility in department stores, and thousands of people don’t know that there are cheaper brushes out there. But now you know and you won’t ever be fooled!

You’re welcome.

(Disclaimer: some MAC/Sigma brushes truly are superior to the cheaper brands, but the blending brush is not one of those situations.)

The next eye brush that every lady needs in her collection is called a concealer brush. Wait a minute…concealer brushes definitely aren’t for eyes. Oh, but they are! Concealer brushes are the.best brushes for applying cream shadows or blending out eye primers. Concealer brushes tend to be flat in shape with very dense bristles that will easily pick up the cream products and then blend them onto your lid. While it may seem easier to apply cream shadows such as the Maybelline Color Tattoos or the MAC Paint Pots with your fingers, it’s best to avoid this method. Using your fingers can tend to transfer dirt and germs onto your eyelids and back into the jar of product (#gross). Additionally, your finger tips are less precise than the narrow concealer brush, which can lead to improper placement of the product. Here’s an example of a great shape and size concealer brush:

MAC #195 Concealer Brush $24

MAC #195 Concealer Brush $24

If you don’t own any cream shadows, then stay tuned! I’ll write a post soon about how they can change your life. You may as well buy a concealer brush to prepare yourself in advance.

The last two brushes are optional, but if I have my way with you, you’ll soon be singing their praises. Do you ever notice how makeup artists can make their fancy eyeliner look exactly the same on both eyes with no mistakes? Do you think they learn that in beauty school? Nope. They don’t. They have a killer brush that makes the task easy (we’re all a bunch of cheaters).  If you like winged eye liner or even just eye liner that doesn’t come from a pencil, you need to have an excellent angled liner brush. My all-time favorite is the E65 from Sigma (here’s an example where the name brand really is superior to the bargain brands).

Sigma E65 Angled Liner Brush $14

Sigma E65 Angled Liner Brush $14

Finally, another optional, yet totally useful brush is what’s called a pencil brush. Pencil brushes are shaped just like their name implies – they have very dense bristles that are short and come to a point at the end. Pencil brushes are best used to smudge out powder shadows (especially under the lid) or even to smudge eye liners to make them look more smokey. While a pencil brush is too tiny to work on larger areas, it makes a huge difference near the lash line! Pencil brushes are easy to find, you just need to look for ones that have super densely packed bristles. My favorite is the Sigma E30.

Sigma E30 Pencil Brush $14

Sigma E30 Pencil Brush $14

So that’s it! In order to achieve perfect eye looks every time, you just need 4 types of brushes. With these in your arsenal, you’re sure to get the most bang for your buck on the powder, cream, and liner products you have in your collection.  I hope this helps inspire you to add some of these beauties to your toolkit – I promise you will not be disappointed!

Links to products listed above: