essential upgrade with Dove.


beauty essential updates beauty upgrades with dove dove advanced dove essential upgrade morning routine
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Dove, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pmgdove #DovePartner #EssentialUpgrade

I have four sisters.  Besides the endless struggle for more bathroom time, growing up in a household with five girls meant I had a lot of built in beauty gurus.  I’ve been in town visiting my family for the last week, and whenever I come my sisters and I always trade beauty secrets; it’s one of my favorite things about my visits.  We love sharing our latest product discoveries and beauty hacks, all the different ways we’re upgrading our beauty routine.

I love finding ways to upgrade my beauty routine and today I’ve teamed up with Dove to tell you all about their Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant and how it’s helping me upgrade mine.  While deodorant isn’t exactly the most exciting part of my grooming process, it’s probably my most essential.  When I was younger and not chasing four kids around, running a business, and a house, deodorant seemed like just another thing I put on–along with my body lotion and mascara.  But stress and sweat go hand in hand and now picking the right deodorant is essential.

I like to feel as fresh as I can, but for me there’s a lot more that goes into choosing the right deodorant.  Because I have fairly sensitive dry skin, it’s really crucial for me to find a deodorant that’s easy on my underarms.  I hate dealing with underarm irritation and frankly I used to be really embarrassed about my sensitive skin; how easily I would dry out, and get red marks and bumps but it’s such a common problem, and 2 out of 3 women deal with it.  Nobody likes to talk about these things but 92% of us care about it.  I spent so long trying every different deodorant at the grocery store looking for one that wouldn’t irritate my underarms and it turns out that’s kind of hard to find.  Which is why I love Dove Advanced Care’s NutriumMoisture formula, because it’s really easy on my underarms and leaves everything looking and feeling soft and smooth.  It’s the perfect beauty upgrade for the upcoming swimsuit season…

best women's deodorant



3 spring beauty favorites.

bathroom vanity tray

This time of year after a long dark winter, I am ready to freshen up my makeup routine with lighter, brighter colors.  And since I love getting beauty product recs from other women, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my current favorites.  So here goes:  3 spring beauty favorites from me to you. ;-)
my favorite lash extensions pink lipstick for spring 2
snow leopard shirt beauty favorites_edited-1


best pink lipsticks for spring

#1. Pink Lipstick!  This is the season for pinks, and I am wearing my favorites pretty much non-stop.  I have a hard time finding pink lipstick that works for me, because of my autumn complexion so I scoured the beauty isle and exhausted the lady at the MAC counter for the three best colors that work with pretty much all skin types.

1-Please Me.  This is your quintessential bright pink summer lipstickand it’s a matte which I love.  It works with a lot of different colors.  I’ve had this one tube for like 3 years because it stays on really well and a little goes a long way.

2-Snob.  This lipstick is a lighter pink, I’m wearing it in these pictures and it has really nice blue undertones and according to the MAC lady is just really flattering on all skin types.

3-Fairest Nude. This is my everyday lipstick, and guys it’s magic.  It’s  another great matte lipstick, in more of a soft nude than pink, very understated and you can really play with the shade by changing up your liner.  In the winter I wear it with a dark brownish maroon liner and it makes kind of a deep bordeaux look (it’s the color I’m always asked about) and in the summer I pair it with a pinker liner and it makes a nice coral pink color (which I also get asked about all the time.)

(my favorite liner is L’Oreal colorRiche in Au Naturel.  It’s a great muted pink liner and I pair it with both Please Me and Fairest Nude and it works really well. )

the best pink lipstick

spring nail polisj

#2: Bright white and pink nail polishes.  This time of year I pretty much live in white nail polish.  But every couple of weeks I like to throw on a pink.  And by throw on, I mean take it to the nail salon because Cori doesn’t like painting her own nails.  (plus I’m not very good at it.  Shaky hands…)

1- Pure Ice: super star. This white is my favorite nail color to wear, ever.  It goes with everything and it just looks so striking to me.  I have tried like every single white in every brand and the one I like most is seriously this bottle.  It’s a great chalky white and goes on in 2 coats for full coverage.  I hate when I think I’m buying white nail polish and it ends up being kind of sheer.  No, thank you.  And I hate when you have to do like 4 coats to get it to look like a flat white.  This color is fabulous for that. (and added bonus, it’s under $10!)

2-Dior: Tra-La-La. This is a really pretty soft pink, very subtle.  If you’re looking for a nude-ish pink semi-sheer polish this one is perfect.  It goes on super nice, and smooth.

3-FormulaX: Intensity. I loooooove this color!  It’s so hard to find a good light pink that pops and this is a great bright chalky soft pink.  It goes on really nice and it only takes 2 coats to get full color coverage.

Side note: do you want to know my secret for no-chip nails?  I get an acrylic overlay on my nails (no nail set, just the acrylic) every 2-3 weeks and my polish lasts the entire time.  My sister turned me on to this around 3 years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.  I love having my nails painted, but I hate painting my own nails.  It takes me forever and then they chip in like 5 minutes. Especially because I’m a mom and I’m always doing laundry and dishes, and cleaning… The acrylic just works so well for me.  I’ve never tried gel or shellac so I can’t really say which is better, but it’s typically less expensive to get an acrylic fill than the other two.

best pink nail polish

my favorite lash extensions 2

#3:Lash extensions.  I’ve been thinking about trying out profesh lash extensions for awhile, but I’ve kind of put it off because they can be expensive and then there’s the maintenance… yadi, yadi, yah.  My friend Leanne convinced me to try these a while back, and I’ve been hooked ever since.  She does the individual lash extensions and has a great tutorial on how she puts them on.  I love doing the individual ones but they take me awhile to put on, and they last me 3-4 days.  When I’m in a time crunch, (ahem, most days) I like the strips because they go on in about 3 minutes and I love the wow factor they add to my makeup.  They stay on for 2-3 days for me. These are my favorite pair because they’re pretty and they look really natural but full.  I also use this black lash adhesive, it blends really well with my eyeliner.

lash extensions

There you have it!  My 3 spring beauty favorites. xoxo

pink lipstick for spring

vanity traysoap pumpbathroom canisters.

fresh year/ fresh face.

makeup lineup

This month we are focusing on ideas for making January awesome instead of what it usually is, the most depressing month of the year…

I don’t know about you, but my skin looks like crap in January.  All the cold outside air beating on it, then the warm heater air drying it out, plus a lack of sunlight (therefore making me look like a jaundiced vampire- not the twilight kind) does not glowing skin make.

 I thought it would be fun to do a little post about my easy everyday face/skin makeup routine (foundation, contouring, blush– we’ll save eyes for another time), because a lot of you have asked, and because I’ve found some really great products in the last few years that have helped me a ton, and a few tricks for getting those products on my face in the right way…

Let me just preface this whole post by saying that I am no makeup artist.  Makeup application has never come super naturally to me, and I’m also not incredibly creative when it comes to makeup.  I pretty much do the same thing everyday.  I’m a busy mom, with not a ton of time,  but I still want my makeup to look natural and I want to make the most out of what God gave me and also find ways to minimize my round face/chubby cheeks, and try to make it look like I have a jaw line. (honesty here.)

Before we begin, here is my current favorite face scrub:

tata harper face scrub

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. (c/o)

This stuff is amazing.  It’s pricey, but I’ve had this bottle for close to 6 months and it’s still not even close to half gone.  A little goes a long way and it makes my skin look and feel glowy and fresh no matter how little sleep I’ve gotten and even when I’ve committed the cardinal sin of falling asleep in my makeup.  I love that it’s natural and non-toxic, plus the bottle is just so pretty I love it.  I’ve also got their volumizing lip/cheek tint (which I love) and I really want to try this rejuvenating serum, and this eye cream because #blackcircles.

This facial scrub is super easy, you just apply it to your dry skin, scrub away for a few minutes then wash it off with warm water.  Voila, glowing skin.

And here’s my face makeup line-up:

face products and brushes

Custom foundation: Lancome Le Teint Particulier (c/o)-only in store. similar here and here. Perfecting face brush. BareMinerals matte foundation. (I love the original as well). Full flawless face brush. BareMinerals mineral veil, All Over Warmth, MAC powder blush (harmony), MAC angled contour brush, BareMinerals blush (strawberry cream), feather brush.

I actually got to spend an afternoon with the amazing Lancome ladies at Nordstrom’s flagship store in downtown Seattle a few months ago, exploring their brand new custom made foundation, but I’ve waited till now to share because don’t like to recommend something to you guys unless I’ve used it for long enough to know if it’s good and unless I love it.

I’m a recovering grocery store foundation girl, so the idea of putting down a good bit of money for make-up, that I’m going to wash off in 12 hours has always been a hard pill to swallow.  Admittedly less hard the older I get and the darker those circles under my eyes grow…  I now know how important taking good care of my skin is.  I wish I was better at taking care of it, but I fall asleep with my makeup on way more often than I mean to or care to admit, I NEVER get enough sleep and I probably should drink a lot more water. ;-) Anyway.

Back to Lancome.  I was a little skeptical about the benefits of the whole “custom made makeup” thing, but holy cow.  Custom. Made. Makeup. You guys.  Perfect match, every time.  And just the make-up in general so good.  No primer needed, and it moisturizes as well.  Plus it feels so light on my face.

lancome custom makeup

Here’s a few snaps of my day because the process of creating custom make-up that’s perfectly matched to your skin is actually quite cool.
lancome paris

le teint particulier

custom makeup

custom makeup lancome

They do a whole face scan and assessment, go over your individual skin needs and then mix up right there for you using this whole scientific computerized system and then it’s all presented in this pretty box with your name on it.  I’m a dork but I love stuff like that. (Plus I got to go behind the scenes at Nordstrom’s flagship store, hello dream come true.)  Right now I believe it’s only available at Nordstrom’s flagship store and one in Southern California but they should be adding more so check your local Nordstrom– or try these other great foundations from Lancome here and here.

Now let’s get to the application:

easy everyday makeup 1

sweater. (also similar here and here.) top. necklace.

(I realize that the “after” pic looks a little like a glamour shot, but let’s just work with me and pretend it doesn’t for a minute m’kay?) Also, notice jaundiced vampire to the left?  Let’s fix that…

easy everyday makeup 2

Foundation.  I’m using Lancome’s Le Teint Particulier, custom made for me and Bareminerals’ perfecting face brush to blend it in.

easy everyday makeup 3

two small drops on the brush and them dab on and buff into the skin.

easy everyday makeup 4

I like to buff with a light circular motion. Next, highlight. (i.e. get rid of those dark circles) using  MAC’s prep and prime highlighter in Light boost

easy everyday makeup 5

dab it under the eyes and then blend in a soft circular motion.

easy everyday makeup 6

Powder foundation: using BareMinerals matt foundation, applied with the full flawless face brush.  (I use medium beige.) Shake a little powder into the lid, swirl and tap, tap.

easy everyday makeup 7

Just a very light dusting will do the trick.  Nothing to heavy.  That’s the key to all of it, very lightweight layers.  Next up, all over warmth with the flawless face brush. (tiny bit goes a long way)

easy everyday makeup 8

Gives the skin a sun-kissed glow,  same swirl and tap and very lightly apply everywhere the sun would touch.  Time to contour. (not an expert at this, definitely still learning.) I like to give my cheeks a little more definition.  I use MAC’s powder blush in “harmony,” and their angled contour brush. (you can get the travel version here.)

easy everyday makeup 9

Just a tiny bit of powder goes a looooong way.  A little shading under my cheek bones.  Then buff and blend away with the full flawless face brush.

easy everyday makeup 10

Finish off with BareMinerals mineral veil and a I use a mini brush, but you can use the full flawless brush as well.  Then add a light dusting of blush to my cheeks with BareMinerals blush in strawberry cream (with the soft focus face brush) for a little extra glow.

easy everyday makeup after

et, voila!

I hope I got everything here, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments section!

How-to: side fishtail braid with hair extensions.

side fishtail braid with extensions how-to _edited-1

I’m so excited to share a fun little holiday hair tutorial with you today.  I know a lot of hair-styles this time of year are very formal and swept up, but I love the idea of a pretty side braid, especially when it’s done in a fishtail.  Plus this hair style would be so pretty really in any season, and it’s super quick/easy to do.

I don’t use hair extensions daily–I have pretty thick hair naturally, so I don’t really need them.  Post-partum hair loss definitely thinned me out a lot over the last couple years, not enough to want extensions on the daily, but I like my braids to be fuller, so when Irresistible Me hair extensions approached me about trying their line, I was very excited to test them out and see if it upped my braid game.

I’m so glad I did.  They really do make a huge difference.

First of all the hair is so pretty and really high quality (there is so much of it!).  They can custom match to your hair, but I found a brown close enough to my natural color so it worked out nicely.  You can order varying lengths/thicknesses depending on what you’re looking for (adding length vs. adding thickness.) I was more interested in adding thickness than length, and I love how much more substantial my braids are when I use them.

So let’s get braiding shall we?

irresistible me hair extensions_edited-1

extensions c/o IRRESISTIBLE ME.

A few tips before you begin:

-This hairstyle works best on dirty hair, not freshly washed hair, so it’s a great one to pull out on day 3 or 4 (or 7).  The braid just goes in much nicer.

-I like my hair to be curled not stick straight (think yesterday’s curls), it holds the braid nicer and looks better on the ends.

-Spray with dry shampoo first.  (actually, just use dry shampoo everyday you don’t wash.)  Total game changer.  This one is my new favorite, but I used this one for years and I still love it.

-tease your hair at the roots before you clip the extensions in.  They stay in a billion times better.

-Check the back to make sure your clipped in extensions are properly hidden.

-You don’t need a lot of extensions to make a big impact.

Now here we go:

Step 1:  Part hair in a deep side part.
step 1

Step 2: Pin top sections up.  Tease at the roots.

step 2

Step 3: Add extensions. I use one 3 clip section in the back and two one clip sections on the sides.

step 3

Step 4: Let the rest of the hair back down.

step 4

Step 5: Gather top section of the hair up, starting from the deep part side, twisting just a little to the back.

step 5

Step 6: Divided the gathered hair into two sections.  Begin to braid by pulling a small section of hair from the outside of one side,

step 6

to the inside of the other, repeat on the other side.

step 7

repeat twice.

step 8

Step 7: begin pulling pieces from the bottom hair into the top hair as you braid down.  (making it a french fishtail). Repeat twice.

step 9

Step 8: After you get close to the bottom of the hair, turn the braid to the front/side, and continue braiding until you’ve pulled all the bottom hair into the braid.

step 10

Step 9: Once the hair is all pulled in, continue down with a traditional fishtail, pulling the outside of one piece into the inside of the other.

step 11

Step 10: Finish off the braid with an invisible hair band, then go back and pull the braid out a little to make it look fuller and a little messy and more natural.

step 12

Step 11: Add body to the top of your hair by pulling it out and up just a little at the roots, pin side swept pieces into the braid with bobby pins if necessary.

step 13

Step 12: Add a pretty bow at the bottom (red for the holidays!) and finish it off with a holding spray.  I like this one because it controls the flyaways, but it’s very light weight. step 14

Et, voila!

side fishtail braid with extensions

Sweater: Target. (similar here and here.) Shirt: JCrew Factory.

If you have any question, feel free to ask in the comments section!

my favorite hair tools/products:

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