December 31, 2013

Beauty Blog: December "Hits & Misses"

Hey Guys! I can't believe that it is time to already be posting my "Hits & Misses" for the month of December! Where has the time gone?? I feel like once we celebrate Thanksgiving the whole month following is a complete whirlwind. I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas spent with all your loved ones. My family had a great Christmas in Georgia and we all wound up sick due to the crazy weather we have had recently. One day you could wear shorts and the next it was freezing cold. Things have settled down some and I am on the mend so I decided to go ahead and do my beauty blog post for the month. Most of the products with the exception of three have been in my make up collection for a long time; they had just been tucked away in my drawers and I gravitated back to them this month. The three that are newer I have had over a month so I felt like I could give a good review on those since two of them were favorites! I didn't really use a ton of products this month because I was pretty much a homebody for the month of December. School was out for break so the kids were home and I had already done most of my Christmas shopping online so I didn't leave the house like I typically do....which was a nice break! Without rambling any further here are my "Hits & Misses" for December.
"Event Entry" Pocket Eye Palette by Sephora ($11.00) - This is a limited edition palette that I picked up while shopping during the holidays. It caught my eye because it was a very chic glitzy package with neutral shades. This palette is very versatile and can be used for day and night time looks. For the most part I only used 4 out of the 8 shades; the browns and blacks. I like that this palette has matte, satin and shimmer shades. Being honest, the pigmentation isn't as great as I had expected but I didn't have a problem with them creasing or fading. I have never used any eyeshadows from Sephora but overall I was impressed with this palette and it's a good neutral one to keep in my collection. * I did not see this in my Sephora store last week but it's still available online *
Bare Minerals High Shine Eye Color in "Rose Gold" ($11.00) - This is a new product that I bought in early November when they were on sale at our local PX (Military store on base) for 75%! They had a basket full of these little gems and I couldn't resist myself since they were so cheap. I picked up four shades and "Rose Gold" has been my favorite and I have used it a ton this month! I love metallic, high shine shadows so this one is right up my alley. There is nothing matte about this shade and it says it provides "mega watt" color and it lives up to it's name. This line of shadows are actually loose pigments in a vial that has it's own sponge applicator. It can be very messy if you are not careful so you have to use caution when applying it to your lid. I would suggest tapping the wand of the lid several times before applying it so you do not have a ton of fall out beneath your eyes. I could see how a person would hate this their very first try so take my advice and you will love these. They do not crease, they are highly pigmented and the shade stays glued to your lid until you remove it with your cleanser/remover. These can be found at your local Sephora or Ulta and online.
Airbrushing Bronzing Veil (Deluxe Edition) Bronze Booster by Physician's Formula ($14.00) I have mentioned this in prior blog posts but this is one of my favorite bronzers. I had been using the PF Bronze Boosting Balls but I pulled this one out earlier this month and have continued using it. This bronzer is in pressed powder form so it's a bit easy to use than the Booster balls and less messy. I love this bronzer because it's the right amount of bronzer without looking fake, dirty, orange or muddy. It gives a nice, healthy glow to your skin without leaving glitter all over it. This powder is also finely milled so it blends out great with your kubuki brush. I also use this to contour my cheeks as well as light contouring around my temples and jawline. I have tried numerous drugstore bronzers and Physician's Formula is the best in my opinion. I use the shade Light to Medium but they do carry it in Medium to Dark.
Studio High Definition Powder by e.l.f in "Sheer" ($6.00) - This is something I have had for a year or more but I just started using it again this month. First, you must understand the concept of a "HD" powder because it can come off as a gimmick. A lot of models and subjects in front of a camera started using this powder because it helped create a "soft focus" on their face -- meaning it helped diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on film. However, the powder has made itself known in the world of "normal" makeup users because it truly does give a nice "soft focus" effect. This is basically a very white, finely milled powder that you brush over your makeup or can be used by itself. In my opinion it does help mask some of my forehead wrinkles and laugh lines. I was skeptical at first because it's stark white and I didn't know how that would look but it really does go on translucent/sheer. Be careful when applying this because it is a loose powder and it tends to be messy -- if you are wearing a dark colored top I would definitely drape something over it before applying this. This is said to be a dupe for the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder which is $34! This powder is very soft and it doesn't cake up on your face; it can also help matte out your foundation if that is something you typically lean towards.
Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in "Red Revival" ($7.99) - With it being the holidays I would naturally grab my red lipstick and this is the one I wore the most. I think this is my favorite red that I own and I own quiet a few! This shade is a true red, it doesn't turn pink once applied and worn. I don't have a problem with this feathering or drying out my lips. This shade seems to provide the right amount of moisture without being sheer like many nourishing lipsticks. It's bold but sophisticated and it definitely helps whiten your smile. I wish the staying power was a tad longer because I do have to reapply this once or twice throughout the day. Overall, I am highly impressed with this shade because red lipsticks are very hard to find since most turn orange or pink on you. I think this is a must have red for anyone, even if it's the only red you own. I would suggest using a liner with this because as we all know dark shades do tend to run; I don't have a problem but I also wear a liner with all my lipsticks.
*** Accessory Alert *** Sideways Cross knuckle ring by Kohl's -  The sideways cross has made it's way into fashion & jewelry and you see it about anywhere you go these days. I had been wanting a small knuckle or pinky ring for a while and I found this cute cross ring at Kohl's. It's pure sterling silver and I believe it cost around $22 on sale. It fits nicely as a knuckle ring or could be used as a pinky ring. I like this trend because it gives just an extra something to that bare hand that doesn't typically have jewelry on it. It's very small so some may never notice it but those that do are always commenting on how dainty or cute it is. This style and type of ring can be found anywhere now so I may have to buy myself a few different ones since I have enjoyed wearing this one.
Garnier Fructis Volume Extend Instant Bodifier Dry Shampoo ($4.69) - First off, in the defense of the dry shampoo this is for Fine or Flat hair and my hair is anything but that. However, I just didn't feel like that did a thing for my hair other than make it smell pretty. The smell is wonderful but I use a dry shampoo for various reasons and it didn't work for any of them. I use a dry shampoo for the obvious reasons like in between hair washes because it helps with any oil you may have lingering around your roots and gives it a nice clean smell. I also like using dry shampoos right after I wash my hair and I am wanting to add texture to it before styling it. Dry Shampoo is great for adding texture to clean, dry hair because as we all know day old hair styles better than clean hair. I know some get completely grossed out if they don't wash their hair on a daily basis but when you have very dry hair you are doing more harm than good. But, to each his own. I just didn't care for this even though in the beginning I loved it. Maybe I was more in love with the smell than the actual product because it does smell heavenly.
Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner in "Unlimited" ($7.49) - I picked this liquid liner up when it was on sale at CVS and I must say that it completely SUCKS!!! I am not sure if I got a bad package or if this is how the Milani formula is for their liquid liners but it's terrible. It's thick, chunky and gooey. It was a mess to apply and I couldn't get a straight or even line with it. It claims to have 24+ hour wear, waterproof  and color intensity. It was a very nice shade of dark brown and when I tried to remove it I had to rub pretty hard to get it off. I prefer my liquid liners to be a bit more watery and this just didn't cut it. I did go online and read some reviews after I purchased mine to see what people said and surprisingly it had pretty good reviews. Most people commented that it was great for those with oily eyelids. I just can't get past the formula so I will definitely never purchase their liquid liners again.
Well, that wraps up my monthly "Hits & Misses" for the month of December. I hope this gave you some good insight on the products that are available in the makeup world! As always, thanks for taking the time to read this and be sure to check out my YouTube channel for the vlog version of this entry. Please let me know if you have anything you would like a review on or if you tried any of the products above. I will be starting a new series called "A Must or Bust" next week and this will feature only one beauty product (for now) and I will give you my opinion on it, basically telling you if I think it's something worth purchasing or walking away from! I am so excited to do this because I've got my eyes on some really great things that I can't wait to share with y'all! Until then I hope you have a very Happy & Safe New Year!



December 16, 2013

Ferocious Fives

As a parent my most dreaded stage was the "Terrible Two's" because I had always been told that it's one of the worst stages you would go through with your child. It's the stage where they were tiny terrors and were basically unmanageable. Terrible Two's came and went for us and we had NO problems. I considered myself lucky because I flew through Brody's second year on this earth with a sweet child who listened to me and was a pleasure 95% of the time. I thought that if we got through that phase unscathed then we wouldn't have any bumps in the road until his teenage years which was quiet some time away! Little did I know that there would be another stage that would make me question my sanity and desire to be a parent.

I call this stage the "Ferocious Fives". This stage is far worse than the "Teenage Years" because I have already been there and done that with Victoria. This stage I was not prepared for because nobody forewarned me that this would even be a "stage" to worry about. Maybe this is payback because he was so lovely being two?? I am not sure but the one thing I am sure about is that I absolutely LOATHE this stage! I feel like I am already dealing with a teenager some days because he talks back to me like one. I tell him to do something and he responds "never" or "don't tell me what to do". He also deliberately does something that I tell him not to do just to push my buttons. I know my son is not deaf but he sure does a good job of acting like he can't hear me. Sometimes I think he goes out of his way just to irritate the ever living crap out of me -- like he enjoys pushing my buttons!

I know that I can't be the only parent dealing with this because I've seen Facebook status updates of fellow friends that are venting the same issues. I think instead of warning soon-to-be parents about the "Terrible Two's" you should be warned of the "Ferocious Fives"! I've tried handling this stage at every different angle you could imagine. I've spanked him, scolded him, pinched him, grounded him, timed-out him, told Dad to handle him, called Santa on him, ignored him, paid more attention to him, played with him.....I have "him-ed" the crap out of him. None of it works!! I am seriously at my wits end; I do not know what else to do. All I know is that I am praying that this phase miraculously vanishes the day he turns six because I don't think I could take another year of it (at least not back-to-back)!!!

With that being said, we have had some good days mixed in with the crazy ones. He's starting to have a few loose teeth and his bottom front tooth is only days away from popping out! We've really been playing up the Tooth Fairy so that has been fun and he's excited about her visit! We have also had a blast with the Elf this holiday season even though Elf has threatened not to come back on several occasions. He had the most precious Christmas program at school last week and did a great job singing his carols. He's also quiet the charmer and ladies man; he's learned to wink so he is using that to his advantage. His personality is a funny complex one that I love the crap out of most days so I just keep telling myself that this crazy "stage" is almost done and to embrace it while it's here. Easier said than done.

So friends, please pray for me until this "stage" is over because this Momma needs it! I will do the same for those of you that are going through your "stages"....whatever age it is.

December 11, 2013

Beauty Blog: My November "Hits & Misses" with YouTube video

I hope that all of you are enjoying the month of December; it's already flying by and Santa's big day is only 14 days away!!!! How is it that once we hit the month of October the remaining 3 months of the year fly by at super sonic speed?? I feel like it's a complete whirlwind and the year is over in a blink of an eye. I also SWEAR that times goes by faster as you get older and I don't like that one bit. Anyway, enough of my rambling and let me just jump into what you are here for in the first November "Hits and Misses". As I mentioned in my video these are beauty products that I used the most in the month of November and they all have been in my collection for a while so these are tried and true products that I stand behind and enjoy using.


L'Oreal 24 Hour Infallible Shadow in Amber Rush ($6.97) - I have several of these shadows by L'Oreal and this by far is the one I use the most. It's a very pretty shade that reminds me of Rose Gold and Copper. It lasts all day long without creasing or fading and is highly pigmented. I also like the fact that there is little, if any, fall out when using this. This does have sheen to it so if you tend to like matte shades then you may want to skip this one all together. However, if you do like sheen and have green or hazel eyes this really helps brighten those and gives them more depth.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso ($6.97) - I have discussed this shade in older blog posts but it's a shade that is a HG (Holy Grail) item in my make-up collection. This is the prettiest shade of pink/coral mixed with gold. Even though it appears there is shimmer in this blush it doesn't transfer that way once applied; it gives more of a glow rather than a shimmer effect. This would be beautiful on all skin tones and I wear it year round. It is highly pigmented so use a light hand when applying. Luminoso also blends well and is buildable. This is said to be a dupe of Nars' Orgasm.

Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten ($18.00) - This is a color that I wear EVERY SINGLE DAY when I am wearing making. It's a beautiful and classic champagne (almost nude) color that is great as an all over lid color as well as a highlighter for your brown bone. I use this alone when I am barely wearing make-up just for a "awake" look and then I use it as a base color when I am applying a full face. This is shimmery, highly pigmented and lasts all day. There tends to be some fall out with this so just be careful when applying.

Scandaleyes by Rimmel in Nude ($3.97) - This is a waterproof kohl liner that I use as a dupe for Tarte's Inner Rim Brightener. I apply this to my lower inner rim to give my eyes a brightening effect. This leaves me looking awake and wide eyed. You can also apply this to the inner corner of your eyes to help brighten them up! This is a super soft liner so it glides on easy and stays for the better part of the day. I do notice that it fades by the time I remove my make-up but my eyes tend to water more than most. I would highly recommend this to Momma's who lack sleep and wake up with tired looking eyes because this is an easy trick that really does work!

 L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara ($7.00) - I wear the waterproof formula in Black. This mascara is AMAZING and the brush is what makes the difference. It's a very large full brush with defined bristles so you can get right into each lash at your roots and swipe upwards to coat your lashes. Two coats of this wonderful mascara and you have the most beautiful lashes that appear full and ginormous. I am highly impressed with all of the mascaras that L'Oreal has to offer because they are all great and none of them bother my super sensitive eyes. They are also great for contact lense wearers. The waterproof formulas do take some work when your removing them so if you can get away with wearing the non-waterproof formula then I would go with that instead....however, my eyes water a ton so I have to stick with waterproof mascaras.

Kabuki Face Brush by E.L.F. ($6.00) - This is a dense brush that is a must have in your collection because it's a miracle worker as far as blending is concerned. I never fully understand the real need for a Kabuki brush because I was always under the impression it was to be used strictly for mineral make-up. However, when used as a blender it gives you a flawless finish. It blends everything out beautifully and you don't have to worry about seeing where your contract and blush starts/stops. Just use in a circular motion to buff/blend and I promise you that you'll be asking yourself why you had never purchased one of these sooner!!

Moroccan Argan Penetrating Oil by Organix ($6.72) - This is a deep penetrating oil that works wonders if you have dry, damaged or brittle hair. Not only does this stuff smell so freaking good it really does leave your hair super soft and healthy looking. This is a very lightweight oil so you don't have to worry about it weighing your locks down or giving your hair an "oily" appearance. I would suggest that you don't use this near your roots because it did make that section of my hair appear oily but when I tried this a second time I made sure to only apply it mid-section down to the tips and it was much better. It made my dull ends appear healthier and less brittle. Just apply a small amount because a little goes a long way!

The Bun Maker by Conair ($4.97) - Even mentioning this product cracks me up because it's silly but it works wonders and is a lifesaver for me. I could never get into the Pinterest Sockbun craze because it never worked out for me so when I saw this at Wal-Mart I had to have it. I honestly use this several times a week when I am in a hurry or have a dirty hair day. It's fast, easy and actually makes your hair look cute without having to worry about your sock showing through your bun! The only thing you need out of this kit is the netted ring so if you can find one of those get that instead so you can save a couple of bucks. This is pretty much self explanatory so I won't bother talking about it any longer :)

Cognac Metal Cuff from Payless ($9.00) - This type of cuff is really trending right now and I picked this up at Payless a while back. When I wear this I am constantly being asked where I bought it and who made it. It resembles a Hermes cuff but I could only own one of those in my dreams!! I have enjoyed wearing this and it goes with about it anything. I didn't see this available on the Payless website so I guess it's only sold in stores. If you run across it I would recommend picking one up because it's a great accessory that adds a little perk to your outfit!


Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes ($4.97) - I picked these towelettes up after I ran out of mine. I had heard excellent things about these and was excited to try them even though I was unhappy about the price. These are around the same price as the Equate ones I buy but there are only 25 in the package whereas 40 in Equate brand. Anyway, I tried these and was so disappointed. I hated the smell of the wipes and I felt like it didn't remove even half of my make-up. I will never purchase these again and I didn't even continue using them after several days of giving this a chance.

Youthful Wear Foundation by Physicians Formula ($14.95) - I am a huge fan of PF but this product was a total waste of money. The formula in this foundation is entirely too pasty and thick. It comes with it's own foundation brush but that did nothing but smear it all over my face. I couldn't get this stuff to blend in or buff out. It was just horrible. It reminded me of Brody's diaper cream and nobody wants that on their face! This was a total bummer and I wish I had my $15 bucks back!! Total miss!!!!

I hope that this has been helpful and Please check out my YouTube video here!

December 3, 2013

Tastey Tuesday Recipe: Sweet Potato Casserole

When I think of Sweet Potato Casserole I usually think of Thanksgiving and the fact that I dislike sweet potatoes. I have never been a fan of sweet potatoes and I am not sure why; I guess maybe because of the color and their appearance after they are mashed always grossed me out. Needless to say I don't make a lot of sweet potato recipes but my family loves them and asked that I make a casserole to go with our traditional Thanksgiving meal. Having never made a sweet potato casserole I went on the hunt for a good recipe that had a lot of great reviews and ran across this one on; it had 5 stars with over a 1,000 great reviews raving about it. To my surprise this was AMAZING and I can honestly say that I actually enjoyed eating it so I wanted to share it with y'all because I will definitely be making this again before Thanksgiving rolls around next year! The only thing I added to  this recipe was my Paula Deen seasoning mix that I make at home and a bag of small marshmallow's! I enjoyed the pecans on my casserole but my family didn't so next time I will probably omit those but still use the brown sugar mixture along with my marshmallow topping because it was fantastic! I hope that you try and enjoy this recipe; I also think this is a great recipe for "newbies" who, like me, are on the fence about the whole sweet potato idea!


4 cups sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Put sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium high heat until tender; drain and mash.
2.In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, white sugar, eggs, salt, butter, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish.
3.In medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse. Stir in the pecans. Sprinkle the mixture over the sweet potato mixture.
4.Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly brown.