Beauty Product Beat Down

So, as you may or may not know, I am an avid beauty lover. I love makeup, hair tools, polish, styling – you name it! I like to try and stay on top of what’s new and awesome and what’s just not cutting it. I’m also a huge fan of being smart with your beauty dollars – because we can’t all be over-spending on luxury items.

In order to keep myself up on stuff I like to follow a handful of beauty vloggers and bloggers as well as I subscribe to both Birchbox [found here] and MyGlam [found here]. In a post soon I will give you a list of my fav bloggers and vloggers – promise! But in the meantime, I wanted to get started on doing a regular “beauty beat down”. In my Beauty Beat Downs I’ll compare like products and tell you my thoughts so you can decide if something will be worth your Beauty dollars or not.

So, getting to our first Beauty Beat Down!

Today I wanted to compare Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream and L’Oreal Magic BB Cream. First, let me introduce you to BB cream if you aren’t already acquainted. BB Cream is a phenomena that started in East and Southeast Asia. It is essentially a four in one product that includes: moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock as well as being lightly tinted. It helps to sooth, smooth and even skin tone. You can read more about the history of BB Creams here. As this product gained popularity and started to move over into the US and Western markets it has moved out of the high end brands and now into your nearest drugstore. Now, you can get BB creams from a variety of manufacturers and brands, but today I want to focus on two drug store brands.

First, is the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream. One of the benefits to BB creams, in general, is that they are

lightly tinted – so you don’t need to get an exact color. I’m of a fairer skin tone so I went with “light/medium” and as a color match it was nice and close. I use my BB cream as a base – omitting primer and moisturizer. For coverage, it’s nice and light. Good for underneath some loose powder on a summer day or by itself with a touch of bronzer. It has a sort of runny texture – which I didn’t love. But on the skin it is smooth and lightweight and even holds nicely under foundation, for the first part of your day.

During an all-day wear I found that my skin felt good – not too oily and not too dry. It also protected while I was out in the sun during the afternoon – my normally sensitive cheeks and nose did not burn [trust me, I can burn in 10 minutes of sun. I’m sensitive! lol]. I’m not going to compare this to higher end or Asian produced BB creams though I will say this is less of a true BB cream and more of a really great tinted moisturizer and for the $7.45 that I paid for it at Wal Mart – it was worth the investment.

The next product I want to introduce you to is the L’Oreal Magic BB Cream. The L’Oreal cream can also be bought at your local drugstore or Walmart type place. This product also comes in a variety of shades but offers the benefit of a True Match type system – the cream comes out of the tube with a white tint and little beads in the cream. Once it meets your skin it starts to tint appropriately to match your skin. This is a definite bonus. This cream is slightly more expensive, about $8.74 is what I paid but still much less than designer brands. This has a slightly more full coverage than the Maybelline cream but does have a little more oily quality to it. During all day wear, under foundation/powder, my combination skin seemed to get more oily than normal. As a result, I found myself touching up with powder more often than normal. Between the two, this cream offers a better skin match and more full coverage – but if you have combination to oily skin you may find yourself more shiny than normal.

Beauty Beat Down Winner: L’Oreal Magic BB Cream – personally, I don’t mind touching up every so often especially if I get quality and lightweight coverage.

I would recommend trying them to see which fits you best but both drugstore options are a decent alternative to the expensive and higher end BB creams you can buy.


Neon colors and sunshine

So I’ve been noticeable MIA for a while now. I’ve got a crazy work project that is eating ALL my spare time and the time I’m not at work I’m usually trying to rest/recoup enough to go back at it during that evening. Right now I’m working overnight type hours and they are getting on me. So, I’ve been bringing the sunshine and brightness with me

places in the form of neon nails, new bathing suits, and suntanning. First, the neon nails – I’m LOVING the color I’m wearing now. It’s by China Glaze and it’s called “Shocking Pink (Neon)”. First, shocking pink? Yes. I am not shocked and I’m excited. I have a love affair with the color pink that goes back to childhood. In the photo I’m wearing another China Glaze color that is a very bright orange-ish, sunset-ish, pink color that I love. It is basically day-glo which makes me smile.

The color in the bottle is currently on my toes and hands. If you have the chance, I would recommend stopping down to your nearest nail salon and having them douse your phalanges with this lovely shade. Honestly, it has done wonders for my mood [ok, the pedicure and manicure did help with that too].

The other thing I’ve been doing is trying to soak up at least an hour of sun a day. I’m incredibly fair skinned so the sun and I have this on-going love/hate relationship. I love the sun but the sun and my fair skin don’t get on so well. So I have to sun-worship in stages and with lots and lots of UV protection. I try to stay away from tanning beds unless I’m going somewhere tropical in which it would be far more dangerous to risk a serious day-burn than go in a bed once or twice before my trip. In the summer, however, I like to try and adapt my skin over time. So, I spend an hour outside flipping from front to back and sweating and hoping that I have put on enough UV to protect from a burn while still getting a little bit of color. I then enhance that with a little Victoria’s Secret lotion that I”m not sure they sell anymore but it has a touch of bronzer in it so it makes you sparkley and tan. I love it. I’ll figure out what it is and post when I do.

So, of course! Since I’m rocking the neon nail trend I had to get a suit that fit that sunny, bright and LOUD description. Thankfully, Victoria’s Secret was having their semi-annual sale and all swim-wear was on sale. They also sent me two of those reward gift cards for $10 each – so basically I had to go shopping. I found the cutest bathing suit, got free shipping and $20 off – I paid $10 for a two piece and it is officially one of my favorites. The picture [Instagram addiction – this girl is guilty!] doesn’t do the colors justice but you get the idea. My deck is perfectly proportioned to lay out on comfortably and get a great sun angle. Unfortunately, it faces my neighbors but they haven’t complained about my daily sunbathing yet. Hopefully they won’t and I can keep this up.

So, that’s what I have been up to. Not too much crafting/cooking/etc. Though I have made six or seven maxi dresses just playing with fabrics, weight, color, tops – I’ll get a compilation picture up sometime this week.

Here is to a safe and happy Holiday this week. Happy Fourth of July!


I had an amazing weekend.

I went to visit old friends and got to give Danielle her sparkly birthday present.

Her glasses were beautiful. The glaze was shiny. The glitter was magnificent. They shone in the sunlight and were begging to be filled with wine.

In all the pictures we too – we didn’t take any of the finished glasses.


I guess this means we’ll have to do the project again to post finished pictures.

That was my blonde moment.

Aw, hell!

Alright. I know. I’ve failed you, friend. But it’s ok – I’ll make more. They were awesome and the clear lacquer I used turned out awesome. I might try shot glasses next. What do you think? Glitter shot glasses?


Weekend Projects Updated

Ok, so let’s do a quick recap of the weekend projects that got done:

3 more maxi dresses started [one for my sister, one for me and one for my friend]

Glitter glasses taken to phase two

Lacquer on glasses tested successfully so after the glitter from the next phase dries it will be lacquer time!

Bush pruning [outside the house] completed successfully

Home-made pineapple upside-down cake made

House cleaned

Game of Thrones [book 1] started

… I have no pictures to share. I’m sorry! Once I get the dresses finished completely and the glasses we’ll post more photos.

I also found an incredible site that I’m going to spend way too much time/energy/money on: . Did you know this existed!?

If you haven’t spent time on it yet – GET TO IT!

I also ordered a couple super cute outfits from Kohl’s Lauren Conrad line. I adore summertime dresses so I’m hoping that my dresses get here by Thursday afternoon and I can share some photos. I might start posting pictures of my cooking escapades on here as well. Any interest in seeing what I’m actually cooking?

sorry for the quick update but I needed a “me time” break from work and now I have to get back to it. Can’t wait to share what I’m working on with you!

Glitter Glasses…Phase #1

So as I said the other day I was bound and determined to glitter glasses. The tutorial that I found was pictures – no words; but it did reference a specific kind of paint: Martha Stewart Craft Paints in Glitter. So off to the store I went. I was able to pick up a set of four wine glasses from Wal Mart for $5.00 and the Martha Stewart Glitter paint I got at my craft store for $2.99 a bottle. I got three colors because, why not?

I started by hand washing and drying the glass. I then set out my materials: sponge, paint and glass. I turned the glass upside down because I wanted to get the base of the glass and thought it would be easier that way. I then started to dab the paint onto the glass. Be careful because the paint will bubble. This is ok because the bubbles disappear after the paint dries. you can actually see the paint bubbling in the picture. Forgive my non-painted nails. I need a mani-pedi badly but don’t have time. When you’re dabbing the paint on it’s going to look thick – it won’t be. When it dries it is going to look more like this:as you can see, it needs more glitter! So, I let it dry overnight and came back to layer on more in the morning:So much more glitter! So, that was this morning and I’m letting it dry today. Then, I’ll use my pretty little MS stencils to stencil on initials to each glass [pictures to come!]. Then I’ll spray a lacquer on each glass to set the glitter. That will make it so the glasses are [HAND!] washable, which will be awesome.

I probably don’t need to wait a whole day between paint layers but with my work schedule and other responsibilities it seems the best choice.

There is a detailed version of this type of tutorial using modge podge glue and loose glitter that you can find here. I will for sure post finished pics when I’m done. But I wanted to let you know I was doing more than simply sewing Maxi Dresses 😉

I Made A Dress! Update!

So as you saw in my post yesterday I made a dress. I could for sure see the errors in it after I put it on. I did wear it to work and got a some great compliments on it. I was even stopped when out for lunch to compliment me on it. Which was awesome! So, anyway you can guess I was motivated to give it a try #2.

I was super excited because the fabric I had for dress two was pink and white stripped cotton stretch and I had a white tank top to pair with it. I love the idea of that dress. So I sat down this morning before work to get it done. Here is the finished product [taken with instagram, sorry, my digital camera was out of commission this morning]

Maxi Dresses

So I stumbled on this tutorial for how to make your own maxi dress. I found it on Pinterest [I know, I’m obsessed. Sorry!] and just had to try it. Kudos to the young lady over at “A Small Snippet” who posted this tutorial. Her version turned out STUNNING! You can find it here. I posted a picture of what her’s looked like. I love the fabric and

everything about it. So cute! So I read the tutorial and thought “yeah, I can do that!”. So off I ran to my nearest fabric store to gather my supplies.

I grabbed thread and elastic thread [which was WAY easier to use than I thought it would be!] and found a fabric that I really loved. I think I paid $10.88 per yard for the fabric. I got a lot of fabric because it has been ages since I’ve used a sewing machine and I wanted to make sure that I had enough in case I messed up. I also ran over to Wal Mart and picked upa basic black tank top for $3.88 which means my dress cost me about $15 when it was all said and done. Not too shabby!

Anyways, so I sat down and followed all the directions and ended up with a very cute dress that has some little quirks that I will be able to address better the next time I do it. For instance, my dress, I didn’t make a belt but

rather am planning on wearing my large black belt. My dress turned out like this and I’m pretty happy with it. I love the pattern and feel like it’s a really nice summer dress. When I wear it with a belt it looks super cute! We’ll see how it goes over in public because I’m planning on wearing it to work today 🙂

As for my “quirks”, I have a couple seams that didn’t quite line up, which is essentially OK because I’m wearing a belt with it. And, let’s be honest, I’m nothing if not forthcoming so I’m not going to lie to you, dear internet friends, and pretend my dress turned out perfect when it didn’t. As you can see from above, those seams are close but just not quite on the same page. They wanted to travel different paths and I let them. Probably because I was so excited about this and also because, in the original tutorial there were no guiding pins. Clearly this chick is better than I am at sewing. I give her props. Now I just have to get much better! [By the way, I love her website and you should check out her blog. The link is above!]. I also have this seam that wanted to do its own thing:So, as you can see, I am not perfect and I won’t pretend to be! At least you can bet on getting honest posts from this girl. Mistakes and all!

I will say this, I’m excited to give this another go. Using elastic thread was not nearly as scary as I thought and the dress finished nicely even without a serger. So I’m happy with that. I hope you get the gumption to try this out! It was a blast and I will for sure being doing another one and hopefully have a more perfect post to share 😉

Happy Monday all!

Glitter Bottles?

I love glitter. What, you couldn’t tell already? Seriously, I would bathe in it if it wasn’t the equivalent of boy-kryptonite. I swear, Ben thinks I’m trying to kill him with those little flecks of shiny-happiness; but, I digress. So, anytime I see a project that may let me make my environment a little more shiny I want to take advantage of it. Let’s start at the beginning of this one. Before we headed to a baseball game this past week one of my friends had a

beer bottle [Lienie’s Berryweise, we’ll talk more about that later!] that was COVERED in glitter. As you can see to your right, I mean, COVERED. I was elated. First, how did this magical thing come to pass? How did I not know

about this? And why have I not glittered my bottles? I asked her how she did it and she pointed me to my other obsession, Pinterest. So I hopped on over there to find more details. I love the idea of this! My roommate from college is getting married this fall and for her bachelorette party I’m contemplating glittering some wine for her. Right now I’m in a glass-crafting mood so I may just glitter up some shot glasses for this summer and call it a day. But you can suffice it to say that I will for sure be glittering some bottle or another!

But, back to Pinterest. I’ve found a couple different ways to do this project so I’ll lay them out here and then I’ll give you a blow-by-blow once I’ve completed the project.

First up is a DIY tutorial from  Sorella Salon & Spa. They made wine bottle vases that came out looking gorgeous. I can’t wait to try them! You can find the tutorial here. They came out looking amazing. I might do this will a full bottle of wine and just modify it slightly with a DIY label [will need to find a DIY label tutorial!] and a pretty ribbon. We’ll see.

Next, is a pretty little walk through for glittered IZZE bottles. You can find the tutorial here. I love the way that these turn out and the fact that this blogger uses them as candle holders. It gives such a pretty shine and I can totally see this as being a great addition to holiday parties, birthday parties or even a bridal shower [depending on a theme, of course!]. What do you think?

I love the idea of a glitter bottle. Awesome gift and great decoration. Part of me wants to glitter all my drink bottles from here on out but I’m sure that won’t make too much sense. So now that I have a craft squarely on my “to try” list, I’ll make sure to keep you updated with photos of how it actually turns out.