How To Wear It: The Vampy Lip


I’m really loving dark, sultry, vampy lip colors right now. While they are super popular in fall, and as evening makeup, I actually think they can look quite posh and sophisticated during spring– and yes, even in daytime.

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Makeup Brush Cleaning Tips

Jacks Beauty Line

The inspiration for this post comes from Pinterest. Now, I love me some Pinterest. I’m on that site pretty much daily. But Pinterest, you suck at brush care. Fo’ reals. Keeping reading for my makeup brush cleaning tips, and for the craziest shit I’ve ever read on Pinterest…

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The Best Products For Prepping Your Lips

DILO Sep 07 - Lipstick
Auntie P / / CC BY-NC-SA

I see a lot of talk about the very best ways to prep your eyes or prep your face for makeup, but not a whole lot about prep for lips. So LET’S TALK ABOUT IT MKAY!  [Read more…]

Blogging Tips – The Essential WordPress Plugins

Before I get in to this post, I just want to point out that the above clip art not only looks like a plug, it also looks like a smiling frog balloon! And for those of you who are new to WordPress customization and think this is a little bit scary, just smile and look at the balloon mkay? Kay. I have been blogging for over a decade (god that sounds like forever), so let me drop some knowledge on you. [Read more…]

Color Blocking Tips For Dummies & Scaredy Cats

Okay. So.


I have never claimed to be a fashion expert or anything, and if you ask Mr. Boyfriend I need help. But I like to learn by DOING, so I am a huge fan of trying out different things, seeing if they work on my body etc. I also blog about fashion for Caboodles, so I do have to educate myself on fashion for everyone…not just chubby little white girls. :D [Read more…]

Beauty Prep For Events

This is a post I have been meaning to do for a little while– beauty prepping for big events. Whether it’s the red carpet, your wedding day, or just a party you know is going to have lots of hotties in attendance, you want to look your best for an event. There are a few things I always do before a big event and I wanted to share those with you!
Skin Prep

  • Exfoliation – I make sure my skin is well-exfoliated for a good week beforehand, whatever that means for my skin. (Mr. Boyfriend and I are both using Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub. I like it! Exfoliates w/o drying me out!)
  • Breathing Room – I wear makeup as little as possible for a few days before the event to give my skin a chance to breathe and lessen the possibility of last minute breakouts.
  • Cleanse, Cleanse, Cleanse – Sometimes we’re lazy. I know that. We ALL are. But if you’re in “event prep mode”, be diligent about your regular skin care routine and for goodness’ sake WASH OFF YOUR MAKEUP.
  • Soothe – I use as many skin-soothing things as I can get my paws on before an event. Redness and breakouts are much harder to cover and make look good with makeup than clear skin, so I use gentle moisturizers, 100% pure aloe vera, and the occasional honey mask. (Product-wise I’ve been really liking Yes To Cucumbers cleanser.)
  • Spot Healing – If you have any open acne sores (…you pickers know who you are!), try neosporin or a similar product to help them heal faster and be less inflamed. 
Hair Prep

  • Clarify – Clarifying shampoos aren’t that great for colored hair but are still good to use every once and a while to really deep clean and get rid of any build-up from products & the environment. I always clarify my hair before an event to “detox” a bit. (I use Suave Daily Clarifying for this because it’s cheap and works fine for this purpose.)
  • Condition – This one is pretty obvious. I use deep conditioning treatments (especially on my ends if it’s been a while since my last trim!). (I really like Alterna’s Overnight Hair Rescue and Shu Uemura’s hair oil lately).
Okay so those are the things I do. Here are the things you should avoid– 

  • Don’t get a facial the day before your event. Often, the intense treatments of facials, and things like extractions etc. will make my face a little blotchy and red. Plan a facial for a few days ahead of time just in case. Same goes for any facial waxing you’re going to get. God forbid you get a burn or some other unfortunate incident.
  • Don’t blow dry and flat iron the shit out of your hair for a few days (I try for a week but it doesn’t always happen) before your event. Give your hair a break. You know heat isn’t good for it. ;)
  • Don’t panic-treat any issues that come up. If you break out before an event, resist the urge to throw everything in your acne-fighting arsenal on it and fry your face, and don’t pick at it! It’s easier to cover up a little red spot than it is to cover up an inflamed, pissed off dried out scab where your little pimple used to be!
  • Don’t try a brand new product the day of or a few days before an event. If you have an allergic reaction, find out it oxidizes like crazy/melts off your face/looks orange/is otherwise terrible the DAY OF an event, you’re kinda screwed! Save the testing for down time, not your big day (or night).
…and remember to get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated! ;)

Once upon a time I received samples of the Alterna & Shu Uemura products for editorial consideration.

Pamper Yourself on the Cheap

Everyone loves to be pampered every once and a while. It’s relaxing and indulgent; it makes us feel good. But let’s face it, a lot of people are struggling right now, or at least trying to get by without too many “extras”. Here are 10 tips to keep those extras in your life while spending less.
Tip #1 – Go With Groupon
I cannot stress this enough. Groupon rocks. Now in addition to the daily deal for your area, there are offers called “Groupon Now!” – offers from local businesses that are good for a very short amount of time. They’re designed for someone who wants to do something right now. Every time I check my Groupon app, there’s always special offers from salons and spas offering a deal for a little pampering. For example, here are some of the Groupon Now! deals in my area today:
  • $15 haircut
  • $15 Mystic Tan
  • $35 for wash, conditioning treatment, haircut, and blowdry
  • $25 deep conditioning/scalp treatment
  • $15 spa pedicure
  • $29 1-hour massage
Tip #2 – Say Yes to Yelp!
Have you been on Yelp lately? There’s more to it than reviews. Many businesses offer specials exclusive to Yelpers. One boutique I like to shop at offers 10% off your first purchase if you write an honest review of your experience on Yelp. 
Tip #3 – Cheapest Mani/Pedi Ever
If you really want a little sprucing up but don’t have the cash to spend on a full mani or pedi, duck in for just a polish change. You’ll still have nice, neatly polished nails (that you didn’t have to do yourself!) for a whole lot less. At salons near me this usually costs between $5 and $7.
Tip #4 – Craigslist
The beauty services section of Craigslist always has specials from local salons and individuals looking to build up more clientele, especially mobile beauty businesses. Because it’s more economical, many beauty professionals are opting to become mobile, coming to you rather than paying to rent a station in a salon. If that is something you’d feel comfortable with, it may be an opportunity to save some green!
Tip #5 – Take Advantage of Trims
Most salons I’ve visited offer free bang trims to maintain your style between cuts. Take advantage of this! When your bangs need a trimmin’, don’t pin them to the side and ignore them (I’m guilty!). Go to your salon for a bang trim. You’ll still get the salon experience, your hair will look better, and it was free! 
Tip #6 – Low Maintenance Highlights
Highlights are pretty and look awesome, but can be expensive to maintain. If you are looking for a little less maintenance involved, ask your stylist to do “peek a boo” highlights – highlights that won’t be on the very top layer of hair. The roots are hidden this way and you can get away with waiting longer between touch-ups.
Tip #7 – DIY Color
If you color your hair, you may be able to switch to doing it at home. I recommend not doing it yourself if you are going lighter, but for a long time I was faithful to my trusty Revlon Colorsilk. It’s ammonia free, and very frequently goes on sale at drugstores for 2/$5.
Tip #8 – Make it a Playdate
Remember when you used to sleep over at a friend’s house, stay up all night talking about boys and wishing you had D.J. Tanner’s life because she was so cool? Invite over a girlfriend or two for a grownup slumber party (pajamas optional). Make a pitcher of margaritas, have snacks, and paint each other’s nails just like you’re in jr high again. Better yet, have her bring some of her favorite polishes, so you can use each other’s. It’s like getting new ones! 
Tip #9 – Make it a Sexy Playdate
Have a quiet night in with your partner, and take turns pampering each other! Guaranteed good times. ;)
Tip #10 – Just Ask
If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to try a new salon or spa, it never hurts to ask if they have any specials. In addition to bringing in new clients, everyone’s trying to make sure they keep the ones they already have. Many beauty pros also have referral incentives to offer their clients, so if you have a great stylist or a favorite manicurist, tell your friends and ask them to mention you sent them!
Etiquette Reminders 

– If you are using a coupon, or requesting a special, always mention it when you’re booking the appointment to avoid confusion later on.

– When it comes to gratuities, remember to always calculate based on the full price of the service. 15-20% is customary. There are many great ways to save on beauty services; a lousy tip is not one of them. :)

June Favorites & Un-Favorites

It’s that time again…! Favorites time! I hope all of you who are in the U.S. are having a safe & fun holiday weekend so far; the boyfriend and I will be going down to San Diego on Monday for fireworks and yummies by the beach with his family, but we’re starting the celebration early by grilling some burgers tomorrow with my family. If you’re going to be outside, remember the sunscreen!

So lets talk about the products that I reached for the most in June, or just enjoyed a lot during the past month.


With all of the events I went to in June I wanted my skin to look its best, so I was using my Clarisonic Pro religiously all month. I have been using it about every other day or every third day, with a gentle cleanser by LeAine Dehmer. On the days I wasn’t using the Clarisonic, I used my beloved Caudalie foaming cleanser! I can always tell when I have been slacking off with my Clarisonic because my skin stays so nice and clear when I use it. I’ve also been relying on Renee Rouleau Anti Cyst Treatment as a preventive measure, using it just occasionally on my chin, where I’m most prone to those ouchy breakouts. Special occasions call for special products though, and with that in mind I used a couple masks (just once and a while) to pamper my skin – Bliss Triple Oxygen Mask and Lush’s Bb Seaweed mask, which is a delightfully soothing concoction you can only get in stores.


I haven’t been wearing foundation much at all unless I’m going to an event, because it’s been so hot I didn’t even want to bother. I will say that Skindinavia’s makeup finishing spray kept my face looking great without breaking me out! It was my little secret weapon for IMATS, along with Cover FX Clearprep FX primer. I wore different foundations throughout June, but one thing I still used very frequently is Tarte’s illuminating serum. I reviewed it and raved about it, and I’m still sort of obsessed with this stuff. I guess technically that’s a skincare product, but I think of it as makeup because I get a tiny bit of sheer coverage from it. Not so much even coverage actually, but it just seems to blur any imperfections or slight unevenness I have going on.

I have one makeup un-favorite, and that’s Hourglass Superficial Lash mascara. I loooooove Film Noir mascara, but Superficial Lash was a letdown. It doesn’t give me the oomph of Film Noir. :(

Favorite Tips of the Month

Fill in those brows!    Pro makeup artist Donna Mee suggests that if you are filling in patchy brows, to fill against the direction of the hair. Why? Because the product will adhere better to your skin that way, and not the scant few hairs you’re trying to amplify. It makes filling in a patchy brow much easier, and then when you brush through your brows to neaten them and blend the brow product with a spoolie, you aren’t brushing all your work away.

Lash combs are your friend!    A good lash comb is an essential part of any makeup kit. I’ve seen gals separate their lashes with needles, thumb tacks, and safety pins. Scary! Get a metal or plastic one with the skinniest teeth you can find, like this one from Royal & Langnickel or this one from Tweezerman. They’re easier to hold so you won’t poke yourself. But how to clean them, you ask? Don’t just try to pull the clumps of dried mascara off. You’ll end up ripping the teeth out of your lash comb and ruining it. Instead, I wet the comb with makeup remover and then use dental floss to get the yuckies out. Piece of cake!

Non-Beauty Favorite

Oh my gosh. iPhone users, I’ve had an obsession lately with a game called Word Shaker. If you like word games, especially word searches, you’ll love this one! Check it out in the apple store on your iphones. I just have the free version, but you can pay to get the version w/o ads too. This game is a source of hours of entertainment, sadly. I am so addicted.

All About The Sprays

Okay this is a subject that has been driving me nuts for quite a while: face sprays. I see tons of posts about them, and I think there are a lot of misconceptions about all of the various sprays on the market and what they are supposed to do. They’re not all created equal and they’re not all designed to do the same thing. It’s really important to understand what it is you’re buying & using, because if you are expecting something entirely different, chances are you will be disappointed!

Facial Refreshers

There are many sprays out there that are meant to add moisture and refresh your skin. They work like toners. In fact, what’s the difference? The spray nozzle. Some examples of these are mark. Mist Opportunity, Clinique Moisture Surge Face SprayPhilosophy Hope Springs Eternal, and of course MAC Fix+. These products can be used to “finish” your makeup– a quick spritz does help powder products settle and look less powdery on the surface of your skin. However, these aren’t developed as or marketed as makeup sealing sprays, which are entirely different. These are designed to be used whenever you feel the need, over or under makeup, once or many times a day. I can’t stand to see these products get a bad rap for not being a good spray for making makeup last longer when that’s not it’s job. Fix+ is one of my favorite products *for what it is*, yet so many people expect it to make their makeup last all day and then cast it off as a useless product when it doesn’t.

Setting & Sealing Sprays

It was a very old school makeup artist’s trick to do a full face of makeup and then spray the poor victim with a light mist of, get this– hair spray to make the makeup stay in place. I barely even like it in my hair, let alone on my FACE. Finally some geniuses in the beauty industry decided to create products to seal and lock makeup in the same way hair spray locks your ‘do in place. Brands that have created these products are Model in a Bottle, Skindinavia, and Urban Decay (although UD’s were actually formulated by Skindinavia in a collaboration). Skindinavia and Urban Decay’s sprays come in several formulas with additional ingredients depending on your skin’s type and needs. These sprays are designed to be used once a day, a set it and forget it type product.

Not for your face.


Ok seriously do I even need to get into this? Evian Mineral Water. In a can. This is not moisturizing. Yeah it feels refreshing, but duh, you’re spraying water on your face. If you’re hot, that’s going to feel refreshing. Not rocket science. As far as the moisture goes, would you rinse your hands if they were feeling dry and call it a day? No. You’d apply a hand cream with something that actually moisturizes skin like shea butter or whatever. If you want to boost your skin’s moisture with water, drink a bottle of it instead of paying $2 an ounce for a can of mineral water spray. However, hats off to Evian for figuring out a brilliant marketing scheme to get people to pay $10 for a can of WATER. 

Organization Tip: Wonder Hangers

Have you seen the infomercials on TV for these bad boys? I have seen them, but I hadn’t seen them yet when the boyfriend and I were wandering around Target a few months ago. They come in a box like this:

If you haven’t heard of the Wonder Hanger, they are these nifty plastic hangers that can hang horizontally or vertically. When hanging vertically, they maximize your closet space by holding up to six regular hangers with garments or accessories on them. This picture explains it best:
We have very limited closet space since we had to move in with my parents. Our room is a decent size but we have to share a sort of small closet. Since both the boyfriend and I have a lot of clothes (Mr. Boyfriend is somewhat of a fashionista), this has been problematic for us. The pack of Wonder Hangers comes with 8 of these little gadgets and we figured for about $10 (and returnable if they were epic fail) they were worth a shot.
Their claims:
*Maximizes closet space. (They said you should be able to get 3x as much stuff in your closet.)
*Easy to assemble.
*Easy to take clothes on and off.
*Holds up to 50 lbs
*Clothes won’t wrinkle when stored this way.
I have to say, these babies are pretty darn awesome. I’ve been very impressed with them. The only “assembly” required was to click the hook into the little rack part. Took about three seconds, if that. They definitely help maximize our closet space as you can hang 6 things while taking up about as much space as 2 things. Of course it depends on the bulk of all your items how much space width-wise each cascade of 6 garments will take up. It’s certainly easy to take things on and off the cascade rack without dislodging the other items, too.
As far as holding 50 pounds, I’m not sure. But I have hung up heavy items such as jeans on all 6 hooks with no problems. I also haven’t found any issues with clothes wrinkling from being stored this way. I could see this being an absolutely awesome storage system for purses, too! Most of mine are shoved away in boxes in other parts of the house or I’d try it out.
For $10 this has been one of the best investments in organization we’ve made. I love these. I’m normally an As Seen on TV skeptic, but these are totally worth it! I’d absolutely recommend them if you’re looking for a way to magically create more storage space.