November 30, 2011

Secret Beauty Essentials

{This is my first guest posting I've ever done!!  I was asked to focus on beauty products over at StyleYourLife blog by its creator Jennifer, who has a fabulous blog that focuses on everything from fashion, design, and interiors!  Here is a taste of the posting I created for her...}

Secret Beauty Essentials You Need For Everyday
I am honored to have been asked to do a special blog posting for all of you lovely followers here at StyleYourLife!!   Jennifer asked me to give my opinion on a subject near and dear to my makeup artist heart...a list of a woman’s must have beauty essentials for everyday!  So I’m going to clue you all in on my secret products I use to make my clients (and well, myself too!) a more beautiful version of their natural self this holiday season.  Shhhhh, these products are top secret!!!

{Sssshhh, beauty secrets ahead!!}

So without further ado, here are my current makeup and skin care faves on the market!
Eyes: For mascara, I am loving L’Oreal Voluminous False Lashes mascara because the shape of the wand has a skinny tip for those hard to reach corner lashes. I recommend everyone use black for the most drama unless you have super light lash hairs that can only handle brown black.  My go-to eye shadow palette for all eye colors, is Too Faced Cosmetics Natural Eye collection.  With 9 shades in all, 3 matte and 6 shimmer, there is something for everyone.  It even comes with cheat sheet cards for application how-to for the most amateur makeup lady!

Skin:  Every flawless face must begin with a good skin regime.  For a budget friendly wrinkle fighter that actually works (and who doesn't want to fight wrinkles as early as possible??), I recommend using Neutrogena's Rapid Wrinkle Repair night moisturizer.  And once you've moisturized those pesky fine lines and wrinkles, fill them in with...

....and to get the rest of the story (and my opinions of fave beauty needs!), click on over to StyleYourLife
and check out her other great posts!!  

November 29, 2011

Silver And Gold Holiday Eyes

Nothing says the holidays like the traditional colors of red and green.  But I like shaking things up, so for my "holiday party eyes," SILVER and GOLD is where it's at for that festive sparkle!!

{My hair looked really bad this day, so that's why you're not seeing my full head. Honestly.}

I've got plenty of parties and get-togethers to attend this December, and I think this is going to be a go-to look for them.  Here is an easy breezy way apply these beautiful metallic colors for that perfect party face.  

1.  The hub for this look is the EYES.  I used MAC's "woodwinked" shadow ($15) as the gold on my upper lid and inner tear duct area.  I then added "quicksilver" liquid liner by mark cosmetics underneath the lower lashes, along with my Kat Von D shadow in "holy bible" (how appropriate for the Christmas season, huh??) from the Love and Fury palette ($34) over the top of the liner to make it pop more.

{For added drama (maybe going from day to night), add a waterproof black eye liner on the inner bottom waterline. Waterproof bc that area tears up so bad, it needs extra staying power.}

2.  For my CHEEKS and LIPS I kept them fairly simple, but with the Midas touch included.  I applied a gold and pink toned highlighting product to my cheeks instead of blush, Too Faced Pink Leopard bronzer ($29).  And for the lips, a simple golden gloss like Too Faced Sun Bunny lip gloss ($17) or Benefit's 24k Sexy Gold lip gloss ($15).

{My golden glow!!}

And as a side beauty note, since I laid it out up top that my hair didn't look camera worthy, I did want to show you a hair product that IS camera worthy! I've been wearing the heck out of these simple animal print clips from Forever21 ($1.50 for 2- aw yeah!) to keep the stray hair and sometimes bangs out of my eyes.  I couldn't find a link to these on their website, but I JUST got them in the store less than a month ago. They go with everything!!  

Speaking of animal print, I just ordered this animal print piece for my daughter for Christmas on Cyber Monday- I think she will feel sassy sittin' around in it!

What shades of makeup will you be wearing to all of your holiday parties next month?? Here's to hoping maybe you get some REAL gold or silver under the tree too;-)

November 28, 2011

All I Want For Christmas...

My wish list for Santa could be a mile long when it comes to makeup products.  But if there were only one makeup product I was allowed to receive, it would be this one...

{Nars Best of the Best Cheek and Bronzer palette}

{Eva Mendes sporting the cult shade, "orgasm," at the 2011 Met Ball, which is included in this palette.
If Nars can make me look this radiant, then I'm sold!!}

Nars Danmari All About Cheeks Palette ($65) has got all of the best bronzing, highlighting, and cheek color shades a girl could ask for!!  And even though this price might seem steep for cheek colors, Nars blushes usually go for around 27 bucks a pop, and you're getting 6 (albeit slightly smaller) for 65. So Santa, this is all I'm asking for, so puhleeaassee, I've been soooo good allll year long. And if you're interested in seeing how I used "orgasm" blush as lipstick (which means you could get double use out of this palette!) you can check this post out.

What is the ONE makeup product on your wish list this year??

November 26, 2011

I Need A Holiday From My Holidays

I've been a bad blogger this past week, but I DO have an excuse.  The Thanksgiving holidays have been anything but a holiday- they've been more like WORK!!

{Charlie's expression is a pretty good example of how I've felt this past week...arrgghhhh!!!}

I feel like Charlie Brown who has had his football yanked out from under him one too many times when he tries to have to have a good time and play ball, but Lucy keeps ruining the fun for him!!  As much as I wanted to enjoy and relax for my turkey day, it just didn't turn out that way.  Two of my three kids were very sick (go figure, it always happens around a special event/holiday, right??!) which made the happy holidays more like a tear filled battle ground.  I think my husband was trying to figure out a reason of why he needed to report back to work even though he had a few days off!  Ha!!

It's one of those things, you envision a picture perfect holiday gathering, but then your children bring you back down to reality.  Through the tears, snotty noses, sore throats, "are we there yet?" car ride to grandparents house, sibling rivalry, sleepless nights, refusals to take family photos, refusals to eat anything Thanksgiving dinner related (only mac n cheese is accepted), I am reminded that perfection is an unrealistic goal that should never enter my mind.

{Successful family photo taken on Thanksgiving Day.  A smile from everyone!}

Though this was one of the more exhausting Thanksgivings, I am thankful I have these 3 little people who need me as much as I need them.  I prayed countless days and nights for God to give me a baby, and now that he has blessed me with 3 of them, I'm going to make sure to cherish every moment which will eventually become a memory.  Even the not so fun moments;-)

So I want to go ahead and apologize in advance to anyone who has emailed/voicemailed/texted me and is awaiting a response which hasn't happened yet.  I promise I will be getting back to you soon now that the sickness has hopefully left the building.  So on a brighter more exciting note, I got one of these today....

{My cutesy Kate Spade black and white polka dot iPhone case w pink trim.
Talking and texting are already more fun!}

..I got an iPhone 4S!!  This little device is super smart, and is hopefully going to make me more efficient on a daily basis, PLUS keep my kids entertained while at a restaurant with all of the apps you can download on it!!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and are looking forward to the continuation of more holiday fun through the month of December!  And I am actually going to get that "holiday from my holidays" as the hubby and I have booked a short trip for just the two of us to Chicago right before Christmas- woo hoo!!! So if anyone has Chicago suggestions of where to stay, eat, shop, visit, please leave me a comment below-thanks!!. 

November 22, 2011

Is It Ok To Match Your Makeup To Your Clothes??

I've often asked myself, "is it really okay to sometimes match or mimic the colors in my clothing to my makeup??"  Sometimes I choose my outfit before I apply my makeup, or sometimes it's vice versa and I put on my makeup first because I'm not feeling my wardrobe and figure the clothing will become inspired by the makeup.  Today I chose a violet v-neck tee from Victoria's Secret (BTW, I own 3 of these tees, bc they are my favorite comfy inexpensive tees that fit just right!) and....

{...then decided I liked the color so much I should add it to my eyes and lips.  
What do you think??  Is it too matchy matchy??}

{I used the idea of shadow/blush + lipgloss to deepen the color of my sheer lipgloss.}

In order to keep some sort of balance, I made my lips the most sheer form of lilac possible by adding the same shade of shadow used on my eyes (from my Stila color wheel) right in the center of my lipgloss, which is a Lancome Juicy Tube.  At least I didn't make my lips AS vibrant as my eyes, even though they were in the same color family!!

So to keep this short and sweet, I need to know what everyone thinks about matching your makeup to your clothing.  In my opinion, clothes and makeup influence and compliment one another, but is it too much when your face matches your outfit??   I can't decide and am leaving this up to you...Is it a DO or a DON'T in your opinion?? 

November 21, 2011

My New Reality

I have always tried to live my life as a "glass half full" kinda gal, looking on the bright side of things...except for maybe when I was 13-21 years old and thought the world and my parents were against me.  I know for a fact that I have an amazing husband (and by amazing, a serious Prince Charming), 3 beautiful children, a sweet but sometimes high maintenance dog, nice roof over my head, and more friends and family than you can shake a stick at.  But even through all of this,  I sometimes feel like this these days...

{"My New Reality," as Prince Charming and Snow White with our dwarfs (small children). 
Although, this picture depicts one extra kid, which I do NOT have!!}

My daughter is now around 15 months old and she has officially started walking.  My life is over.  No, not really, but almost;-)  But this is my new reality. With this new found skill, she has rendered me less productive and I am now a hover craft.  I cannot do ANYTHING in terms of maintenance around my house (this includes myself or my kitchen) now that she is walking and literally into everything...everything.  No longer can I sit her on her cute little play mat and watch her squirm and coo while I put on makeup, brush teeth, dry my hair, shower, etc.  Now I have to do this to her...

 {Stick her in a pack-n-play in my bathroom so I can put on makeup. No, this would not give me a spread in Elle Decor, but it keeps her safe and my makeup on! Who really cares if the primary colors of this contraption clash with my neutral calming bathroom accessories??}

{Stick in a Baby Einstein DVD to keep her in one place while I get SOMETHING accomplished, anything, even if it means I can go to the restroom without her getting into trouble! And if you don't think these dvd's keep their interest, think again.  Only my middle child had trouble focusing on these brilliant dvd's-but isn't that typical of middle kids??}

I'm not quite sure how I had forgotten how busy this stage of life could be, seeing as though she has two older brothers who I know went through this stage, but apparently I blocked it out.  I am not complaining (well maybe a little), I am simply speaking out loud about how I need to rethink my game strategy.  You have to get creative with little people around and make their new skills and existence work for you and your environment.   Blogging, responding to emails/clients, and housekeeping will definitely be a challenge.  Vivian does not stand still for posts on makeup, nor does she sit pretty when mommy needs to take care of the pile of dishes in the sink.  But why should she- she's one!!  As she waddles around the entire house like Frankenstein, I tell myself over and over again, to enjoy this stage, just like the next, because it will be gone before I'm ready for it to be.

So to all of you mommy's out there who love your kids, but also love to try to do it all but find it exhausting and so difficult at times- HOW DO YOU DO IT??  How do you survive your new reality??

November 19, 2011

Make A Statement

Two of the easiest ways I'm making a statement with my look this holiday season, will be with...

1.  Makeup (of course)
2.  Accessories

{Perfect combo of statement makeup and earrings}

I love that the holidays are all about dressing up and looking a bit more fancy than normal.  And since I don't have much disposable income to play with (hey, I have to buy Christmas gifts for 3 little ones who say "I want that!" after every toy commercial that pops up!) I have to make my "statement" look on a budget!

Here are two recent purchases I've made that really ramp up my look, without breaking the piggy bank.

{Sparkly eyes keep my face looking festive}

1.  MAKEUP :: NYX Glitter Cream Pallet ($6) is a gel based glitter makeup that I added only from lash line to crease to add a bit of holiday sparkle to my eyes.  And for this price, I was amazed with how well this product stayed on my lids once applied.  Usually glitter is tough to keep in place, but I used my usual lid primer by Urban Decay, then applied a couple swipes of the first two shades of purple glitter, and it literally stayed for over 8 hours!!  

{Swipes of each color from the palette- major glitter!!}

{I added a thin line of black liquid liner on the upper lash line 
and lots of mascara to finish this look off!}

2.  ACCESSORY ::  Large metal cuff bracelet.  I've been seeing this Michael Kors one all over my fashion mags that I would die to own, but it's not realistic for me to chunk down over a hundred bucks for an accessory right now.  So I lucked out and found a ridiculously inexpensive silver version from Forever21 (try $5!!) that makes a bold statement on my wrist.

{I'm going to be wearing this cuff as much as possible-it looks good with everything!!}

How do you make a statement with your makeup and wardrobe for the holidays??  Are you a holly berry red lip or do you go for tinsel type accessories?

November 17, 2011

Can Revlon's PhotoReady Makeup Really Make Me Just That??

Once again I fall for an advertising campaign just because of the name of the product.  Revlon's PhotoReady line had me hook line and sinker because of the concept that I could look ready for a photo in an instant.

{I chose "shell" which was a pretty spot on color choice,
 considering there were no testers at the drugstore!}

So I purchased the PhotoReady Compact Makeup ($12) for sheer ease of the ability to open up my makeup and swipe it on without pouring the foundation out of a bottle like I usually do.  And it promises to give me an airbrush-like finish with the ease of a sponge- and who wouldn't want that??

Here is a breakdown of my "likes" and "dislikes" about this particular product and some photos to show the results.

 {Before- with only eye makeup and lipgloss}

{After- with compact foundation applied, but no concealer or blush}


  • ease of the compact with a mirror on the inside so I can apply it anywhere
  • finish is somewhere around medium coverage. nice and light, not too heavy feeling on my skin
  • has an SPF of 20- a must have for makeup these days
  • price is $12, which I think is about right for the packaging, mirror and sponge inclusion, and finish it provides.

{Inside of the compact, mirror up top. 
It comes with a screen insert thing that is supposed to change the finish of the makeup, but it got in my way and didn't really make a difference, so I got rid of it.}


  • small size of sponge included and shape.  just not big enough for me to control well
  • I like the finish, but I disagree that it is airbrush-like. And the screen insert was annoying and got messy which is why I ditched it.
  • there are only 8 color choices-really??  So if you have super dark skin, I think you might be out of luck in getting a color that's right for you
  • I like the SPF factor, but think that it might make my skin too light in photos before the addition of bronzer and blush. So this goes against the photo ready idea. Maybe I should have gone one step darker in color now knowing this

 {Before- full face with only eye makeup and lips again}

 {After- with everything else applied, even concealer, bronzer, and blush applied.
I  do like the overall look once the other face colors are added.}

{Same day I applied this product, I went to my son's school for his Thanksgiving feast.
I knew I'd want to take pictures of this event, so why not put this PhotoReady makeup product to the test??  Gobble gobble gobble!}

{His homemade Thanksgiving place mat made with his hand print. I love the message. 
I can't get enough of these types of crafts- we literally have 8 place mats both boys have made throughout the years. They don't match my kitchen decor, but it doesn't matter-they get displayed throughout the season!!} 

My overall thoughts on this Revlon PhotoReady Compact::  I give it an 8 out of 10.  It's not perfection, but is there really such a thing as a perfect foundation without the use of a primer?? I've yet to find it.  The true test of a foundation is to NOT have to use a primer to see how it performs in my eyes. Would I buy it again- yeh, probably for the ease of a compact and its cheap price.

And since the thought of JUST wearing foundation would leave you ready for photographs is far from realistic, here is a previous post I did on 5 Tips For Looking Better In Photographs.

{Revlon's perfect PhotoReady spokeswoman Halle Berry.  Why wouldn't I buy something that should supposedly make me look like her??}

Have you tried any of the Revlon PhotoReady products? And if so, which ones, and what did you think of them?  Did you end up looking like Halle Berry after using them?? Ha!!!!

November 15, 2011

Giveaway Time From Shabby Apple!


~ VEGANN!!!! ~

Please send me your email address and contact info to and I will pass your
info along to Shabby Apple!  (I loved your description as to why you liked this necklace as well, I agree with the "mystery" aspect of it!)  Congratulations and Happy Thanksgiving Day!!

I just "love" being able to give BACK the "love" to all of my beautiful and fantastic followers!!  So I am happy to announce that I'm teaming up with the online boutique, Shabby Apple, to give one of you lucky ducks- okay swans- the chance to win one of their amazing necklaces!  

If you've never heard of them, Shabby Apple specializes in super feminine women's and children's clothing (mainly dress driven), plus unique jewelry and accessories.  I can't believe I was JUST now introduced to this site- they have so many things I would die to have in my wardrobe and jewelry box!

{This Key To Wonderland necklace could be yours!}

The brass colored Key to Wonderland necklace we are giving away would seriously go with everything in my closet.  This key suspended on a 24" chain could easily work with anything from a plain white tee, dark jeans, and tall riding boots, to a super girly dress to give it a vintage inspired feel.

Here's all you have to do for a chance to win this necklace  :: GIVEAWAY RULES

*Please leave me a quick comment for each entry-thanks!!*

1.  ONE entry for becoming a follower of JennySue Makeup and WHY you like this piece.

2.  ONE entry for liking Shabby Apple's Facebook Page- A MUST ENTRY!!

3.  ONE entry for liking the JennySue Makeup Facebook Page.

4.  ONE entry for following JennySue Makeup on Twitter.

The winner must have a U.S. shipping address in order to win and there will be NO exchanges for this necklace- but why would you want to anyway?? It's so cute!!

I will leave this giveaway open until Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 and then I will announce the winner that day before the big turkey celebration.  Best of luck to you all!!    

November 14, 2011

MAC Cosmetics Is Dangerous For Me

I have a serious makeup problem.  Duh, this is not surprising.  But my recent love for all things MAC, just went up about 50 notches, and this is dangerous for my wallet, especially with the holidays coming up.

{MAC pro artist, Gina Betteli, demonstrating the art of perfecting skin.}

I got to attend my first MAC Pro Masterclass, and it was everything I had hoped it would be and did not disappoint! It was a wonderful way to learn from an accomplished senior makeup artist from the MAC community and have an open forum to talk about their products and see what they can do for a face. The artists name was Gina, and after reading her bio, she has worked with a slew of celebs, on various magazines, runway shows, as well as alongside a major makeup industry leader Tom Pecheux recently- woah.  She was super engaging with the group, artistic, and best of all, down to earth despite all of her many accomplishments!

I learned some brand new tips and tricks that of course I will eventually share with you all that can be applied to us normal everyday folks;-)  There are always new and exciting things to be learned when it comes to the art of makeup, which is what I completely love about this medium.

 {My loot from the night!  And there is still more I'm dying to purchase.}

I purchased everything from new makeup brushes- a girl can never have too many- to powders, eye lid bases, fave shadow colors, and lipsticks. One of the lipsticks is part of their long wear program because I'm still on the search for the perfect one (blog posting on this one to follow if it performs!), and the other is the obnoxiously fabulous red orange, Miss Lady Danger...

{I love this way this punchy shade instantly brightens up my face!}

I've been wanting this vivid red version for myself for awhile, and am so glad I finally got my hands on it.  It's definitely not a shade for the faint of heart, but if you want bright, this is the way to go.  And if you want to see how it compares in color against another cult red favorite, MAC's Russian Red, check this vintage post out here!

So now, I not only have a makeup problem, I could be diagnosed with specifically having a MAC problem!  Yes, their prices are higher than drugstore, but not as high as some of the other department store brands, so that is a plus in my eyes because the quality of their products is sooo good and worth every penny.   I'm going to need to find strength in restraint, especially since it's the holidays and I need to be thinking of others, not my personal makeup collection.  

What's your favorite MAC product? Please share so I can have a reason to buy more!!! 

November 10, 2011

My Hair For The Holidays!

So here's a quick look at how my sassy new hair cut turned out today...

{I am in LOVE with it!!  So much movement!!}

It turned out even better than I had imagined, but unfortunately this picture doesn't show off the rad auburn color I received along with the cut.  Just to give you an idea of how much I needed this hair cut, check this out, which was minutes before I left for the salon...

{I had a lot of heavy hair!!}

I'm just hoping now that I'm home, I can recreate the blow out that she gave me- because that's sooo key to getting the look just right!  If you've been looking for a new "hair-do" to fix your current "hair don't" - check out this post on the top 10 cuts and colors for the season to get inspired.  Now, let the holiday parties begin since I have a fresh new cut!!  

Huge hair love and thanks to the "hair whisperer" Lyric at Republic Salon in Athens- you ROCK!!

Hair Inspired

Hallelujah, I'm getting my hair cut and colored today!! Grays and split ends be gone!

Here are my 3 celebrity "hair inspirations" for today...

{For CUT, Sienna Miller, all the way.  These layers are to die for}

{Also for CUT, Bridgette Bardot. Because what woman doesn't want to have hair this sexy??}

{For COLOR, Emma Stone.  This is a repeat look from my post here, but just love love this color!!
And I'm obsessed with the contrast of her deep green jade-like earrings with this hair color, so I found these!!}

{My CURRENT hair-do.  
Luckily, you can't see the massive amount of grays popping up in this pic! Eeek!!}

Let's hope my stylist can blend these looks together to create a refreshed, and hot-mama new me for the holidays!!  Who is inspiring your hair cut, color, and style these days??

November 9, 2011

CMA Awards Worthy Makeup

I dig awards shows the most.  So tonight I will definitely be watching the Country Music Awards from my comfy couch, even though I don't really listen to country anymore, but it doesn't matter, because it's an awards show!  But even though I will be watching these country celebs on my flat screen, I got the pleasure of working with a lovely lady this morning who will actually be attending the awards in Nashville tonight and seeing the stars live and in person!

I just love how Jennifer's makeup turned out and just had to share a couple pictures of her finished look.


 {Doesn't Jennifer look like she could pass for a country music star?!! 
She looks radiant and red carpet ready!}

 {Jennifer with her darling dog, Coco.  
Yes, as in THE Coco Chanel-such a fabulous name for the cutest dog ever!!}

She wanted to go for a dramatic smokey eye with neutral lips, which happens to be my all time favorite look.  This look totally reminds me of country beauty Carrie Underwood, who is always rocking the dramatic eye and low key lips.  I've read numerous places that Carrie apparently does her own makeup before going on stage and found an article revealing some of her personal makeup tips.

Since I worked with her so early this morning and the awards show isn't until 7pm tonight, of course keeping the makeup in place without fading is a big concern.

Here are some of my tips for keeping your makeup lasting as long as possible:

  1. Use an eyelid and skin primer before adding color, such as shadows and foundation and cheeks.
  2. Use waterproof products when possible, like eye liners, mascaras, lip liners, etc.
  3. Blot your foundation with a kleenex after applying to soak up run away oils, then add a thin layer of translucent powder to set.
  4. Use a makeup setting spray after it's all said and done for lasting effect!

{The two Jennifer's!!}

I can't wait to hear how her night went and see which celebs run away with the most awards!   If I had to pick a fave female country singer right now, it would be Miranda Lambert.  

I think she'd be a blast to work with because she seems so down to earth, cool, and she's so stinkin' cute!!  She recently tweeted that she actually used a sharpie marker as eyeliner in a pinch.  Now that's resourceful and takes guts!!

Who are you looking forward to seeing on the CMA's tonight??

November 7, 2011

Bold Cheeks Are Pretty

This is actually a repeat blog posting, because somehow, in the midst of re-doing my blog, I re-posted this one (I'm still learning after 3 years of blogging!), but didn't want to delete it forever bc I thought it was a good one for the coming winter months!  I know the color in my face is lacking, so blush is the best way to bump it up when I have no time to self tan!!  So enjoy for the 2nd time if you've seen this one before;-)

{My bright happy cheek color!}

I have been loving the idea of BOLD CHEEK color for this season.  Like I've always said, I think most women don't wear enough blush these days.  I am always trying to convince my friends and clients that nothing makes a face look happier and healthier than a bright cheek!

I think women shy away from using enough blush because they are:

A. afraid of looking like Raggedy Ann the doll, or
B. they are afraid of looking like a clown.  Those two reasons are similar right?

The best way to pull off a pretty bold cheek is to keep the eyes and mouth very subtle and to make sure the skin looks flawless so the colorful cheeks take center stage!

Main products used:

Estee Lauder cheek color in "fresh plum" ($26)
Tarte cheek stain in "flush" ($30)
Neutrogena Healthy Skin compact makeup in "buff" ($13)

{LipFusion InFatuation lipgloss in "first crush" ($29, close up shown above)}

{No blush-boo.} 

{Circles of cheek stain layered on top of my powder blush.}

{The finished product after cheek stain rubbed in!  
Bold and beautiful cheeks!}

The key to getting bold cheeks that stay, is to put on your powder blush first (my fresh plum) and then layer your cheek stain (flush) on top-who doesn't need staying power!!  Putting these two together creates a more pigmented (not sure if that's a word, but it is very descriptive!) look and also keeps the cheeks looking fresh and not too matte.

So my question to you is-  Would you wear cheeks this bold??  What's your favorite blush color of the moment??