Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014: Spotlight on Tarte

Thursday, October 30th, 2014



Tarte does some really awesome makeup sets for the holidays. I’m a huge fan of their Amazonian Clay Blushes, so the sets with those are my favorite. Last year, I ended up not getting the blush palette and I am still SUPER bummed about it. I don’t want to live with that regret again this year!
Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush Palette

Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush Palette-$42.00

Who doesn’t love a good palette. It’s like going to a buffet. (And if you say you don’t enjoy a good buffet, you’re lying to yourself.) It’s got everything you could imagine all out in front of you. This is the best buffet of blush I’ve seen all year.

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Tarte bon Voyage Collector Set Travel Bag

Bon Voyage Collector Set Travel Bag-$59.00

This set seems to have it all! I would be hard pressed to find a better kit for the whole face this season. It includes my favorite mascara, and that palette seems to have every color you could need and then some!

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Tarte Kiss & Belle LipSurgence Lip Set

Kiss & Belle Deluxe LipSurgence Set-$34.00

The best part about the Tarte LipSurgence pencils to me is that they are minty. This set includes 8 lip products for only $34. One of my favorite things to do is get sets like these and then split them up to do cute little goody baskets for my friends!

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Tarte Chic to Cheek

Chic to Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set-$35.00

Ahhhh. This is gorgeous. I got the Foursome one they had 2 years ago and they are still some of my favorites. I must say, I am bummed they don’t sell this one at Sephora, but I will have it none the less!

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Tarte Tres Chic Park Avenue Princess Contouring Palette

Tres Chic Park Avenue Princess Contouring Palette-$34.00

This one seems to be Tarte’s answer to the Naked Flushed palettes by Urban Decay. I can’t say I’m mad about it, because the Amazonian Clay cheek products are a winner in my book! This little palette is just so cute and perfect.


Check out more of my Holiday Gift Set Guides for 2014:

lips | face | nails | fragrance | skincare | sephora favorites

Beginner’s Drugstore Makeup Kit (Video)

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

I get asked almost weekly about what beginners should purchase, so I am glad that I finally took the time to record a video to do a really basic overview of some good, solid products that I really like that are inexpensive and really great quality. Watch the video below to see what I picked for my Beginner’s Drugstore Makeup Kit and why. Then check out the links below for a quick link to find the products online.

I hope this helps some of you out! Of course, there are many, many things you could add to this kit, but this is super basic and simple for makeup newcomers.

Also, I have finally given in to recording a bit of a tutorial for beginners as well. It will be in 4 parts and the first one will be on Face Base, or foundation, concealer, and powder application. That will be posted next Wednesday.

Products Mentioned:

Foundation- L’Oreal True Match Lumi
Concealer- Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
Powder- Rimmel Stay Matte
Blush- Elf Mellow Mauve
Bronzer- NYC Sunny
Eyeshadow- Wet & Wild Smoke & Melrose Palette
Mascara- Maybelline Illegal Lengths
Highlight- Hard Candy So Baked Bronzer in Tiki Hut
Eyeliner- Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Kohl Eyeliner
Eyeliner- Milani Eye Tech Liquid Eyeliner
Lipstick- Milani Color Statement Lipsticks
Lipgloss- NYX Butter Gloss

Link to Essential Makeup Brushes for Beginners

beginners drugstore makeup kit

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014: Sephora Favorites

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Superstars

Sephora Favorites Superstars- $75.00

Every year Sephora rounds up some fan favorites from the year. I hardly ever purchase them because I’m a sucker for favorites and I usually buy everything that ever gets any hype. In this case, I have or have had 9 out of 12 of these in a full size or deluxe sample. However, not everyone is crazed for makeup like me, so this is a GREAT set to have. If you only splurge on one thing this holiday season, make it this set. Check out more holiday makeup sets here.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Beauty Unmasked

Sephora Favorites Beauty Unmasked- $29.00

Fellow mask lovers, rejoice! Deluxe sample sizes of masks are always my favorite because I love to try new masks and switch them up often. Also, purchasing a whole tub or tube is expensive, but deluxe samples are sometimes free perks or in awesome, discounted sets like this one. I have just recently tried the Boscia Black Mask and love it, but have tried the GlamGlow Thirstymud as well! I think this set is very well-rounded and the price is great! If you want to see more holiday skincare sets, click here.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip

Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip- $25.00

This set is a GREAT deal for only $25! It’s right at that price point where you can purchase it for a friend or family member for Christmas or another present. What girl doesn’t love some gloss and lipstick! The best one in here is that Bite Beauty High Pigmented Lip Pencil. It’s my favorite red ever. If you want to see more holiday lip sets, click here.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Bottled Dreams Fragrance Sampler for Her

Sephora Favorites Bottled Dreams Fragrance Sampler for Her- $45.00

For the fragrance lover, this is perfect. You get to sample 8 of the year’s most coveted scents. I don’t know about you, but I love the bottles that are just the mini version of their full size mamas. I keep them for decor when I am done with them! That mini Burberry Body! WHEW. So cute! If you like perfume, check out more holiday fragrance sets here.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Dare to Oil

Sephora Favorites Dare to Oil- $32.00

If you haven’t begun to use oils in your skincare routine, you should try! I hear people rave about the Tarte Maracuja Oil, so I am excited to try it. Personally, I use the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil, but LOVED the Josie Maran Argan Oil when I had it as well. These little sizes will help you decide what kind of oils you like best.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Meet Your Match

Sephora Favorites Meet Your Match- $25.00

This isn’t a new favorites set, but it’s a cute one, and again, it’s at that sweet, sweet price for gifting. If you have a matchy-matchy soul, this one will make you very happy! The bright colors are fun and can be used year-round. If you want some more polish options, check out my picks for nail polish holiday sets here.

Mani Monday: Madam Glam Gel Polish & 30% Off Code

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Madam Glam Gel Nail Polish Set

I realize that I get stuck in my ways, using the same nail polish brands week after week. That’s why I was SO excited when Madam Glam, a polish brand I hadn’t heard of, reached out to me to try out one of their new gel nail polishes. They sent me a base coat, top coat and a colored nail gel polish. I was really excited to get a great color, Honeydew. It’s a pastel green that is still really vibrant. I love pastel polishes, so this was a great choice. It would be perfect for the spring and summer as well.

Madam Glam Gel Nail Polish in Honeydew

I do have a few notes on this polish that I feel like you should know. First of all, the polish is VERY thick. I found out the hard way (half way through the application) that less is more when you are layering this stuff on. Unfortunately, it all spread out and got weird on me, but it was really user error.

Another thing, and I consider this to be awesome, is that when I was curing the nail polish with my UV lamp, it didn’t burn or “sting” nearly as much as many other gel nail polishes do when you are adhering the base to the nail or the colored polish to the base. That is a win for me, because gel nails can be annoying to put on, but the sting makes it worse, so I’m glad this one hardly had any sting at all.

I will check back in on Monday with my final views on this polish, such as how it wears, if it chips or starts to peel off, etc. In the mean time, I urge you to check out the Madam Glam website. (If you click that link, use code YGEL30OFF to receive 30% off your order!) They have a huge collection of polish and gel polish and nail decals. I think you would really enjoy it!



October Lust List

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

October Lust List

This month, I’ve been really lusty. Like, so lusty that I’ve been putting out whole lists of holiday gift sets in every possible beauty category. I honestly want every single one of them. That means my lust list is pretty short, but still awesome, of course.

Take it Outside by Essie- For some crazy reason, this gray is calling out to me. I’ve looked in every store I’ve been in within the last few weeks that sell Essie nail polishes, but I’ve not found it at all! It’s always sold out. Such a bummer! I will find it and get it though, even if I have to just order it online.

Jo Malone Cologne Collection- I mentioned this one in my Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014: Fragrance, but I feel like it needed another mention. Jo Malone perfumes are so luxurious and smell delicious. I love that you can layer them to make your own personal scents for a little something different each day. That’s why this set is so awesome- you get 5 awesome scents to mix and match.

Tocca Candle in Cleopatra- I received this scent in a 500 point perk from the Sephora Beauty Insider rewards program. It was a wee little one, but I love the scent so much that it could very well be my new favorite candle scent! It has the “day at the spa” scent. I love it!

Fanfare: Birchbox October 2014

Sunday, October 26th, 2014


If you remember a long time ago, I received a Birchbox subscription. I got so annoyed with always getting crappy sachets of samples that I just quit my sub all together. Lately, I have seen and heard great things about Birchbox again, so I thought I would re-try their subscription box. After all, their rewards program really is awesome.


When I received this one, it was in a HUGE box and it had all the extra packaging just for the 2 Benefit samples I got upon my renewed sign up. I have included them in the picture, but just note that they weren’t actually part of my box. You can find the full list of products below as well as their sample size value and the total value of the box.

Birchbox October 2014- Fanfare

Dr. Brandt Pores No More- $11.25
Model Co Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty- $8.00
Petaly Noir by Harvy Prince- ~$5.00
Bee Kind Body Lotion- $3.19
Lord & Berry Sparkle Black Mini Liner- $4.50

Total Value: $31.94

Extra: Posie Balm & It’s Potent Eye Cream by Benefit

If you don’t have a Birchbox or want to know more about it, check it out and sign up here. It’s only $10/month and you get a lovely box of goodies to your door every month!

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014: Skin Care

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

As you guys know, skin care is my favorite. I would say I am sorry for the overload of skincare sets I’m sharing with you, but I’m really not. So check out the skincare below, but if you want some makeup, lips, nails or fragrance sets for the Holiday 2014 season…check those out as well!

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Sephora Favorites Skin Wonderland

Sephora Favorites Skin Wonderland- $56.00

There are many, many awesome products in this set! The ones that seem noteworthy to me are the ExfoliKate, the L’Occitane Almond Oil, and the Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil. Such goodies in this one.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Nordstrom Caudalie Favorites Set

Caudalie Favorites Set- $32.00

Caudalie is so expensive, but sooooo good. These little babies are hella cute and once you use the products, you won’t want to use anything else. (Especially the Beauty Elixir…it’s a part toner, part serum.)


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Laura Mercier Bath & Body Luxe Quartet- Almond Coconut Milk

Laura Mercier Body & Bath Luxe Quartet- Almond Coconut Milk- $68.00

I’ve never tried any of the Laura Mercier bath products before, but from what I hear they are very luxurious and smell amazing! Can you imagine the at home spa time you could have with this set? I would post up in my guest bathroom, soak in a warm bath, watch some YoutTube videos, and just get my spa on.


Holiday Gift Guide 2014 Fresh Skincare Idols

Fresh Skincare Idols- $58.00

Fresh is one of those brands that everything from the packaging to the scent smells luxurious. I’m especially fond of the Black Tea mask! It includes an oil, face cleanser and one of the awesome lip treatments that everyone raves about.


Holiday Gift Guide 2014 Nordstrom Ren Sensitive Set

Ren Sensitive Set- $55.00

I’ve never tried Ren products, but I always hear beauty bloggers talking about the brand. I would want the sensitive line, but they have many others to choose from. This one is an $86 value!


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Origins Mini Mask Marvels

Origins Mini Mask Marvels Set- $25.00

You guys know from my many mask reviews that I dig them. This little guy lets you try out 3 Origins masks, so you can make a decision on which one you would want to buy in full size. Also, this would make an adorable little stocking stuffer as well.


Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Dr. Brandt Glow Kit

Dr. Brandt Glow Kit- $65.00

Oh my glow, this stuff looks awesome. I tried this at Sephora one day, so I know it feels awesome. It’s pretty expensive, but this kit makes it more affordable! I say try it out of you are looking for a nice serum to make your skin brighter and more youthful!

9 Essential Makeup Brushes for Beginners & Sigma FLASH SALE

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

If you didn’t catch my Sigma Affiliate Welcome Gift, you should check it out for an update on my new partnership with Sigma Beauty. This morning, I got an email from them letting me know that ALL their individual brushes are 20% off starting today and until 11:59am CST on Friday (10/24.) Click the link above or any of the brush names below & use code: BRUSHCRUSH

This would be the PERFECT time to upgrade your makeup brushes. You can have the best makeup in the world, but if you don’t have a great applicator, the makeup will still look just “eh.” On the flip side, you can make a $1 eyeshadow look amazing just by using the right tools!

Below, you will find my 9 essential makeup brushes for beginners. If you’re not used to the “makeup brush” type of application yet, I hope you try out some of my suggestions below. You won’t be disappointed!


Sigma Round Kabuki F82foundation brush info


Sigma 3DHD PrecisionConcealer Brush Info

POWDER BRUSH: Large Powder #F20

 Sigma Large Powder F20Powder Brush Info

BLUSH/BRONZER BRUSH: Large Angled Contour Brush #F40

Sigma Large Angled Contour Brush F40Contour Brush Info

HIGHLIGHT BRUSH: Tapered Highlighter #F35

Sigma Tapered Highlighter F35Highlight Brush Info


Sigma Eye Shading E55Eyeshadow Brush Info


Sigma Blending E25Blending Brush Info


Sigma Eyeliner E05Eyeliner Brush Info

EYEBROW BRUSH: Angled Brow #E75

Sigma Angled Brow E75Eyebrow Brush Info

Lip Product Tag (Video)

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Essiebutton and Liana Beauty are a few of my favorite YouTubers and bloggers. I have been meaning to do this tag for a while and am just getting around to doing it. I am excited to share my lip product picks with you. Don’t forget to let me know how you would answer the questions as well.

Products Mentioned:

1. Favorite lip balm/treatment?
Caudalie Lip Conditioner
Dior Creme De Rose Plumping Lip Balm

2. Best red?
Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate

3. Best high end/drugstore lip products?
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 54 Boy
Seventeen Mirror Shine Lipsticks in Belle, Beehive, Bolshie & LA

4. Best MAC lipsticks?
MAC Lipsticks in Syrup & Patisserie

5. Best lip gloss?
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in #4

6. Something extra.
Bobbi Brown Pink Violet Lip Gloss

Lip Tag Thumbnail

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014: Fragrance

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Holiday times are the best time to buy fragrances because of the sets they come out with! Basically for about the same price, you get a few extra products with your perfume selection. I love smaller bottles of perfume, so I love the mini sets. Either way, this list shouldn’t disappoint. If you are looking for some more sets for Holiday 2014, check out my lips, makeup, and nails posts. More to come as well, so be sure to check back on Friday for my pick of skincare. (My favorite!)

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Nordstrom Burberry My Burberry Holiday Gift Set

My Burberry Holiday Gift Set- $135.00

Burberry is timeless and they have a new scent! This one smells GREAT, and it’s got some really cute packaging too. So if you’re looking for something classic, but new…this is a great one to go for. This set comes with a body spray as well. If you want something a bit more classic Burberry, you should consider my all-time favorite Burberry scent, Burberry Body.

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Nordstrom Aerin Beauty Coffret Limited Edition

Aerin Beauty Fragrance Coffret- $117.00

Aerin is a pretty new brand that is held under the Estee Lauder umbrella. Aerin Lauder is actually the granddaughter of Estee, so you know it’s in her blood to make a good product. The Aerin line is all natural and just really pretty. This set has a scent for every day of the week, or you can layer until your heart’s content.

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Nordstrom Viktor Rolf Flowerbomb Holiday Set

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Holiday Set- $145.00

Am I the only one who SINGS the word “Flowerbomb” every time I see it, a la Wale? Probably. This scent is floral but still quite spicy. It’s classic, so of course it’s great as a gift. It’s a bit spendy, but it has great lasting power. When I wear this one, it lingers all day long.

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Travel Fragrance Set

Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Travel Fragrance Set- $45.00

This one is the most inexpensive of the bunch, but I love Tocca scents. Cleopatra, which is included, has that really fresh, cucumber-ish scent that is so refreshing and lovely. If you are on a budget, you will NOT be disappointed with this set.

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Nordstrom Lancome La Vie est Belle Inspirations Set

Lancome La Vie est Belle Inspirations Set- $94.50

How beautiful is this packaging, first of all?! Lancome is just such a classy brand with some iconic fragrances as well. This is my favorite of them all. It’s the grown up fruity scent that every woman could get away with wearing. The best part of this set is that it comes with a LOT of bang for the buck. You get the big perfume, the body lotion, and then the cutesy little guy for under $100. Nice!

Holiday Gift Set Guide 2014 Nordstrom Jo Malone Cologne Collection

Jo Malone Cologne Collection- $110.00

I saved the best for last. I am a sucker for Jo Malone scents. The Peony and Blush Suede scent is my favorite. I wore it for my wedding! The thing about Jo Malone scents is that you can layer them all. The Wood Sage & Sea Salt is to die for. If you want a luxe, fancy-feeling set…this one should be on your list to hand over to Santa. If you need something a little more intense, they happen to have Jo Malone Cologne Collection Intense available as well.

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