#Iwokeuplikethis No really…I swear I did. Get the “no makeup look” recipe here!

Cruising through Instagram – I see lovely pics of people…bright-eyed and bushy-tailed…captioned with: #Iwokeuplikethis #nofilter. A piece of me cringes. Wait? Really? I look in the mirror…raccoon eyes and blotchiness stare back. I wake up like THIS?

Well, here is the reality…most people…most of the time…wake up less than picture perfect. The magic of lighting, filters, and “just the right amount of makeup” come into play when most of em’ claim #Iwokeuplikethis.

I’m not a hater. I am just calling it what it is. For sanity sake. I appreciate good lighting and good angles. But let me tell ya…99.9% of the time in a picture, I have some type of makeup on. And so do most people. Especially celebrities on Instagram. That’s keeping it real.

So…if you’re wondering…How? How does one get that “I just woke up like this” look? Which is the barely-there but covered-up-just-right look. Below is my recipe. I promise you…using the right shades/tones (that match your complexion) of concealer/foundation/bronzer, you too can look fresh-faced. Like you didn’t even try (but you kinda did).

After you wash, tone, and moisturize (because a clean canvas is the first thing you need for a fresh face)

2) Apply an under eye brightener. Most of us need a little highlight under the eye. Something to cover up the shadow or hollowness. I came across this By Terry Touche Veloutee highlighting concealer brush at Barney’s. I use shade Porcelian. I have many favorites in this category – but I like this for “everyday” because it’s not as heavy as a typical concealer and the pen applicator makes it a quick fix (and portable, for re-application)

By Terry Touche Veloutee highlighting concealer brush. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

3) Mix your foundation and daily SPF (my favorite SPF = eltaMD) and apply with a round foundation brush. I use less product when I use a round foundation brush and I’m able to spread it around evenly and thoroughly. Cover your face and blend down to your neck

I am a big fan of Giorgio Armani’s Luminous Silk foundation. I use shade #2. It’s light weight but it provides the right amount of coverage. It leaves a dewy effect that is key for the natural look

Click here for foundation –> GIORGIO ARMANI Luminous Silk Foundation 5.75-30ml/1oz.

Love this foundation

Love this foundation (product link above)

One of my fave foundation brushes = this one by Bobbi Brown. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

4) Using a blush or bronzer brush – lightly sweep bronzer along jawline, apples of cheeks, along forehead line, and down your nose. The idea is to highlight the places where the sun naturally hits most. This will also give you a bit of dimension. Keep your product and strokes light to avoid unnatural lines. You can always buff with another, clean brush

Loving this bronzer by Guerlian called Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo. I use color 01.  It comes in 4 different shades so you can pick the right match for your skin tone

Bronzer by Guerlian. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

5) Apply eyeliner in a light, dotting motion to upper and lower lash lines. This tends to give me a more “awakened” look. Avoid dragging the liner or pressing hard – goal is to apply only a little product to make the eyes pop a bit. I love Kevyn Aucoin Beauty ‘The Pencil Primatif’ Pencil Eyeliner in Basic Brown

Kevyn Aucoin eye pencil ❤ Click pic to learn more or buy product 

6) Grab a mascara and put a couple coats on your top lashes. Mascara is an excellent “make me look awake” staple. A purse favorite is Kevyn Aucoin’s Beauty “The Mascara Volume” mascara in Rich Pitch Black

Kevyn Aucoin volume mascara. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

7) Last but not least, apply a neutral color to your lips. A good neutral lip tone is Lipstick Queen’s Velvet Rope lipstick in Star System with Queen Bee lip treatment on top (which has a pretty honey shimmer). You want this subtle pop of color so that your lips don’t blend with your face, which can wash you out

my fave lipstick line, Lipstick Queen; this is the Velvet Rope line and color is Star System. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

this product is so fun. either alone or on top of another color. Lipstick Queen’s Queen Bee treatment leaves a bronze shimmer. Click pic to learn more or buy product 

And you’re done. The irony is – if you’ve applied it correctly, you won’t look done up but you’ll look put together and natural…some might question if you’re even wearing make up (in a good way). It’s the “I woke up like this” look that has em’ all fooled.

That's me with my #Iwokeuplikethis "no makeup" look

That’s me with my #Iwokeuplikethis “no makeup” look…and really good lighting 😉

there it is - all together. The treasure chest

there it is – all together. The treasure chest

Happy Sunday! xoxo

makeup routine staple – rain or shine

Over the past year, I’ve worked something {new} and {permanent} into my makeup routine. Now – when people ask me: ‘what can’t you live without in your makeup routine?’ Rather than saying under-eye cover or mascara, I go right to this product.

What is it?

A strong SPF.

No, not the SPF 15 that’s pre-mixed in a foundation. That’s not enough. After a lot of research, SPF 30+ everyday is the way to go.

What do I use?
SPF 41 tinted broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen
By elta MD


The elta MD mineral sunscreen. 1 dollop of that on my foundation brush + 1 dollop of my mineral foundation and I am good-to-go.

Is it heavy?
No. And it mixes EASILY with your regular foundation or apply before your mineral powder. Sometimes, I even wear it by itself.

The elta MD sunscreen is good for even ‘extra’ sensitive and post-procedure skin.

How do I use?
I squeeze (a little less than) a dime size amount on my foundation brush and then squeeze my liquid mineral makeup on the brush too…and I apply the mixture to my face and neck. It blends perfectly.

it’s easy and now a staple in my makeup routine.

When it comes to helping prevent the signs of aging the #1 thing you should do is use a sunscreen everydamnday. Rain or shine. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. I wasn’t always good about this. But as someone who loves lotions/serums and fun products, this is one product that absolutely needs to be worked in if I truly want to take care of my skin. I love this sunscreen by elta MD because it doesn’t mess with my makeup and works seamlessly into my routine.

If you’re interested in purchasing: I grabbed mine at Bella Sante Spa in Boston OR click link or pic below:

Eltamd UV Physical SPF 41, 85-Gram

Happy Hump Day!


Girls weekend mini makeovers! Check out the “recipe” here!

While up in Jackson, NH for a girls weekend we spent Saturday afternoon on the couch snacking and chatting. Does it get better than that? Quality time with your girlfriends is a treat that is hard to compete with. No big party or lavish dinner could ever compare to just hanging out uninterrupted with some of your closest friends.

In addition to a lot of catching up there were also mini makeovers – which was super fun for yours truly!  We used the same set of skincare and makeup products for all the ladies (4 ladies in total!). With a couples tweaks, the colors were adjusted for the different complexions. Below is a list and description of what we did. AND some before & after pics

“Everyday makeup” recipe:

Started with a clean face, of course!

1. Moisturizer. A good daytime moisturizer. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost moisturizer. It’s just the right texture – not too heavy/not too light. Paraben free. And serves as a silicone-free makeup base, score! I typically use 2 pumps but depending on the gal, I used more or less judging on their existing hydration level (in other words, if I found dry patches, we used some extra). Lots of gentle patting to blend it in all over the face and neck

2. Eye cream. I used Bluemercury’s m-61 hydraboost eye cream on all the ladies. Usually 1 pump is enough for both eyes. Dryness under the eyes is not a good canvas and it’s always good to use a designated ‘eye cream’ for that sensitive area. I love the m-61 brand because it’s hydrating without being greasy, paraben free, and the handy pump is travel friendly / hygienic

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

m-61 hydraboost eye cream and moisturizer, the perfect pair

3. Foundation. Now that our canvas was prepped – time for the foundation. Depending on the lady, some hadn’t worn foundation before and some swear by it. This foundation was definitely not a match for everyone’s skin tone which was risky – but I used moisturizer to dilute it – and because we were applying bronzer and blush at the end, I could take some liberties with a slightly paler foundation. I like this new foundation by YSL – it’s their new FusionInk foundation that’s been getting a lot of good reviews. It does have good lasting power (24 hrs – is the claim. I think that’s a bit of a stretch!) – but it gives great coverage – they call it “soft matte” – without being heavy or cakey. It feels super light on the skin. I used a couple drips just to even off any discoloration and start with an “even canvas”

YSL's new Inkfusion foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

YSL’s new FusionInk foundation. Great coverage, not heavy

4. Spot treatmeant with Eye Brightener & Concealer. Since I’ve had dark circles since birth, I’m almost certain I’ve tried everything to mask them. I have many favorites in this dept. But my latest love is the Eye Brightener wand by Bobbi Brown. It has a flesh tone to it so blends really well and can double as an eyeshadow primer. This looked nice on all the girls. Next, we did a little spot treatment with NARS radiant creamy concealer in Vanilla. Side note, I forgot my all time favorite concealer Clea de Peau Beaute concealer which is superb for the under eye area. But this one by Nars is great, does the trick (and much more afforable). Again, was able to get away with a lighter shade because I made up for it with added bronzer. Only a couple of light dots needed under the eyes and on any blemishes – lightly pat with finger tips to blend

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first - wear under concealer

Bobbi Brown eye brightener wand, goes on first – wear under concealer

Nars concealer - great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemi

Nars concealer – great for undereye coverage and spot treatment to cover blemishes

5. Eyeshadow. This was the first time I tried this eyeshadow palette and I loved it. Microsmooth eyeshadow palette by Sephora. A great combo of colors – I combined the lighter shades for all over the lid. I used the dark shades towards the outer corner to help open the eye. Also, a nice sweep of the lighter colors on the brow bone. I used this lovely brush by Bobbi Brown called the “eye sweep” brush to apply

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

Bobbi Brown eye sweep shadow brush and Sephora brand eyeshadow palette

6. Eyeliner. I only had 1 on hand but this baby did the trick. Bobbi Brown’s long wear eye pencil in Smoke. Because it’s a pencil I was able to vary how dark it went on. In other words, I pressed a bit harder if I was going for a darker line (I did this for Ashley who was a more olive complexion and darker hair). I lined the upper lid and lighter on the bottom – used more of a light dotting motion under the lash line. I always brush my finger tip ever so lightly over the bottom line so it doesn’t look so dramatic…blending it helps make it more natural vs. a stark line

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil - we used 'Smoke'

Bobbi Brown long wear eye pencil – we used ‘Smoke’ – it goes on nice and smooth

7. Mascara. I brought out 2 different  – I was disappointed to find that my Benefit’s “they’re real” mascara was chunking out a bit (might be because my sample is almost out) so I swapped to a tried & true Diorshow Iconic waterproof mascara. I put multiple coats on each girl. I’m big into mascara…a few coats per eye, it makes a big difference. Once applied, I typically dab lashes with a tissue to get off the excess

Two great mascaras for creating thick lashes - also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits "they're real" and Dior Show Iconic - both in black

Two great mascaras grfor creating thick lashes – also anti-run, which is a must! Benefits “they’re real” and Dior Show Iconic – both in black

8. Brow pencil. If anyone needed some brow fixing, I used this pencil liner by Chanel called the sculpting eyebrow pencil in blond clair which has a natural look. In other words, no harsh lines that scream ‘hey, I drew this on.’ I used it to buff in any bald or scarce brow areas. I’ve been hesitant with this step on myself in the past but have found if I do it right and use this pencil, it has a natural look and helps fill in my thin brows

Chanel eyebrow pencil - create for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture

Chanel eyebrow pencil – great for filling in bald spots in the brows, natural color and texture. Handy brush at end of stick to tame any wild brow hairs and blend in the color

9. Bronzer. I used this awesome, soft Bobbi Brown bronzer brush and Bobbi Brown bronzing powder in golden light. Thankfully, it was a good neutral color – not too dark or red and mixed well with each complexion

Bobbi brown bronzer and bronzer brush. Great combo

Bobbi brown bronzer in Golden Light and bronzer brush. Great combo

10. Blush. I love this one by Nars in the color Orgasm (thank you, Jilly Bean for making the introduction). Applied with a Bobbi Brown blush brush

Nars blush in Orgasm - used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

Nars blush in Orgasm – used Bobbi Brown blush brush to apply (can you tell I love Bobbi brushes? so soft)

11. Set it. We used Make Up Forever HD Finishing Powder to set everyone’s makeup using the sheer powder brush by Bobbi Brown. I’ve typically avoided this type of powder out of fear that it’ll be too heavy. But I love the lightness of this powder and have adopted into my routine to beat the excessive greasy glow I get on my forehead! I carry it in my purse because it tends to ramp up at the end of a work day

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder - swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown's sheer powder brush

Make Up Forever HD finishing powder – swept on ever so lightly with Bobbi Brown’s sheer powder brush. Set make up and dull down unwanted shine

12. Lastly, lipgloss. I used a combination of this gloss by Sara Happ called The Lip Slip – The One Luxe color shine lip gloss in color ‘The Nude.’ Literally, the perfect nude gloss. On top of this, I put Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge. Nice POP of pink color. Looked good on everyone! This is a great combo for glossy lips with a pop of color without getting too dramatic

Great gloss combo - Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in xxx

Great gloss combo – Sara Happ nude gloss and Nars lipgloss in Sweet Revenge

Boom. done. Links to all products and brush accessories below.

The Before & After shots! Ashley, Whit, Jules, and Shannon <3

The Before & After shots! Shannon, Jules, Whit, Ashley  ❤

IMG_2619 IMG_2620 IMG_2621

It might seem like a lot of steps but this took all of 5 minutes per girl. It was an everyday look but everyone looked freshened up and ready to head out. We took our makeovers to a locally NH brewery – hooottties!!!

Links below to all products:

1. m-61 hydraboost moisturizer 2. m-61 hydraboost eye cream 3. YSL fusionink foundation 4. Bobbi Brown eye brightenerNARS radiant creamy concealer; Cle de Peau Beaute concealer 5. Sephora eyeshadow palette; Bobbi Brown eye sweep brush 6. Bobbi Brown eyeliner 7. Benefits “they’re real” mascara; Dior Iconic waterproof mascara 8. Chanel eyebrow pencil 9. Bobbi Brown bronzing powder ; Bobbi Brown bronzer brush 10. Nars blush ; Bobbi Brown blush brush 11. Make Up Forever finishing powder; Bobbi Brown sheer powder brush 12. Sara Happ nude lipgloss; Nars lipgloss

I’m digging these thangs right now…

  • Colored/mirrored aviators. I see these on celebrities and fashionistas and I think “I need these.” In reality, I certainly don’t. But I think they look so summery-chic and fun. They add a pop of color to any outfit. If you’re in the market, click here
Beyonce sporting a pair of mirrored blue aviators

Beyonce sporting a pair of mirrored blue aviators

Hilary Duff sporting a pair of blue mirrored aviators

Hilary Duff sporting a pair of blueish mirrored aviators – hawt

  • @Home coffee AND espresso maker. We packed up our Keurig months ago…I was just over it. Now, we either use the french press or go to the local coffee shop (I love an early morning trip to the coffee shop!) But, recently, I’ve thought…wouldn’t it be nice to have an espresso maker? Then I could make myself a yummy spot of coffee and avoid the temptation that is half & half and raw sugar at the local coffee joint. But, we don’t really have the counter space for another appliance. That logistical detail aside, I came across the Nespresso Vertouline coffee & espresso maker at the mall a few weeks back. They were sampling coffee and espresso – I was mesmerized by this machine that makes delicious frothy coffee AND espresso. I wanted this “all in one” machine…alas, I didn’t want to fork over $200+ so I went on my merry way. But, I still think about this little gem. If you’re in the market, check it out here
Nespresso Vertuoline Coffee and Espresso maker - the ultimate caffiene machine

Nespresso Vertuoline Coffee and Espresso maker – the ultimate caffiene machine

  • K Kane Jewelry – I’ve been obsessed with it for awhile now. I recently got a necklace from her monogram line. I adore it. I’ve been pining over her new ring line. Simple yet unique designs. The ring will run you around $250 but would make a lovely gift for a special someone. Check it out here
Gawd, I love K Kane's designs

Gawd, I love K Kane’s designs

  • Jane Iredale tinted moisturizer. I’m not in the market for a new tinted moisturizer, I’ve been using Vitalumiere Aqua by Chanel and digging it. However, the other day I sampled Jane Iredale’s and really liked it. It’s light – paraben free – perfect for summer. Although it doesn’t have a heavy SPF (only 15) it at least offers some sun protection. Check it out here
Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 tinted moisturizer - I'm medium light...love

Jane Iredale Dream Tint SPF 15 tinted moisturizer – I’m medium light…love

  • This robe by In Bloom by Jonquil. I have a pair of pajamas by this line – the material is super silky soft. I love the colors in this robe and picture myself getting ready in it each morning. Alas, I don’t really need another PJ item…but dang, isn’t this pretty? Check it out here. *In Bloom also makes some lovely bridal lingere and robes
I want you robe, I want you!

I want you robe, I want you!

  • This eye mask by GLAMGLOW. I got a sample in a gift bag – it definitely feels soothing on my eyes. My eyes are my “trouble zone” since I’ve been squinting since birth.  I hope to find another sample soon – because a $60 eye mask isn’t in the cards right now. Click here to check it out
GLAMGLOW "brightmud" eye treatment...my tired eyes need ya

GLAMGLOW “brightmud” eye treatment…my tired eyes need ya

bareMinerals – hits the test kitchen!

I have been meaning to post some follow up on bareMinerals by Bare Escentuals. I wanted to review the foundation and concealer (I know they have other products, but I wanted to start with the flag ship ones first!). This post is focused on the foundation and concealer because my goal was to figure out if the coverage is as good and as long lasting as their liquid counterparts and generally, how my skin would react to mineral make-up. Well…

It has been well over a month since I adopted bareMinerals foundation and concealer into my make up routine and frankly, I’m pretty impressed.

As mentioned in my original post (link below) – I bought the Bare Escentuals – bareMinerals ‘get started kit’ at Macy’s for $60. I got the ‘light’ kit. My skin is fair, I get tan in the summer, but if I don’t wear enough sunscreen, I burn. The light kit comes with a medium tone which is great for the summer months or when I have a ‘fake’ tan.

The starter kit comes with:
· 2 foundations (with SPF 15 in the formula), light kit includes ‘light’ colored foundation and ‘golden medium’ foundation
· 1 ‘all over face color’ in warmth, this is a bronzer
· 1 mineral veil, which is the powder applied at the very end to set the make up
· 1 brush for applying the foundation
· 1 longer brush for applying the bronzer
· 1 smaller concealer brush
· Lastly, my starter kit included a tube of brush cleaner (it depends on the starter kit if this is included)

What I like about this kit – it includes almost everything you need to use bareMinerals. In addition to the kit, I purchased the Multi-task Concealer SPF 20 in Bisque. This cost an extra $18. I wanted this concealer for extra coverage of pimples, blemishes etc. In total I spent $78. This is a good deal, for me – because it includes the brushes – and something like the bronzer is going to last you a pretty long time. I typically spend this amount JUST on liquid foundation and concealer (brushes/bronzer not included).

Quite a few of my friends have used this make up. One thing I really like about it is, it can be used on any type of skin, including more mature skin. Liquid foundations and concealers have a tendency to settle in fine lines/wrinkles…hence why they say as we age, the lighter the better when it comes to make up.

Below I ranked my experience with the Foundation, Bronzer, and Concealer:
+ = positive
-/+ = neutral
= negative


  • + I was surprised with the coverage. I always thought powder based make up wouldn’t have good coverage and therefore wouldn’t help even out my skin tone – but, BM does a great job
  • + I was surprised with how long it lasts! It does last just as long as my liquid foundation – like anything else, after a day of work, it needs a touch up
  • + It wasn’t too matte, nor did it make my face look shiny. The coverage was smooth and side note, it photographed well! No Casper face or super shiny face which I’ve battled with a number of liquid foundations
  • + I have sensitive skin on my face – and I have heard that BM can irritate sensitive skin.I did notice the eczema on my face flared up a bit when I first started using it – but I think that was from a new facial moisturizer I was trying. Either way, my skin is back to normal now and BM isn’t irritating it
  • -/+ I can’t say it feels ‘lighter’ on my skin than typical liquid, but I certainly can’t feel it. Nor do I find that it rubs off on my clothing once it is on (although, I’m sure, like anything else, if I rubbed my face against my collar, some of it would come off)
  • -/+ The brushes are nice, they do the trick – but I don’t think the bristles are the smoothest I’ve tried! You might want to upgrade to a nicer brush – although, I still use the original ones because I’m not ready to spend any more money!
  • -/+ They claim this make up is so pure you could sleep in it. I haven’t noticed any drastic changes in my skin – no fewer break outs, but thankfully, not a greater amount of break outs either
  • The only thing that bums me out about this is – the powder is messy! I use to be able to apply some foundation/concealer in the car with little mess. But, because the powder is loose, it tends to spill here and there. My vanity has never been so messy! But it cleans up easily



  • + Again, surprisingly, it covers well. I didn’t think it could cover the crazy red pimples I sometimes get on my face, but it does
  • + The mini concealer brush is the perfect size for covering blemishes. The bristles feel a lot smoother as well
  • – I thought I could use it under my eyes – but I found it get more powdery looking over time…it might be because of my eye cream. Either way, I didn’t like how it looked under my eyes so instead of using the BM concealer there – I use the Corrector by Bobbi Brown in light bisque and everything blends well (and I get the under eye coverage I NEED)
  • Bobbi Brown Corrector

End game – the foundation and concealer are great products. I wasn’t in love with the bronzer in the starter kit and happened to find a different mineral bronzer that’s awesome. And, I still need to rely on my trusty Bobbi Brown to smoothly cover my under eye circles…BUT, I will continue to use the foundation and concealer because I like the coverage and appearance!

Have you tried bareMinerals? What do YOU think? PLEASE SHARE

  • Original post: http://wp.me/p1kq6s-aR