Ride or Die

Okay imma be honest. I don’t really understand the name of this challenge or tag or whatever. I ride horses and there’s very little makeup in that. And die? Geez. I love my ABH palette as much as the next girl, but it’s not like I’d die without it.

Anyway, they’re basically the one product in every category that you (in theory) couldn’t live without.

(You know, if we’re going to totally ignore the fact that there are starving children in the world and MAAAAYBE our choice of setting powder isn’t the most important thing.)

(I’m bumming myself out.)

(On with the list.)


Tool: Original Beauty Blender, from sephora.com. Absolutely the best for blending foundations and liquid products.

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer. Corrects my redness and fills my pores.

Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte. At around $8 a tube, amazing deal and holds up suuuper well. Combine with the Pro-Glow foundation for a satin finish.

Concealer: tarte ShapeTape Contour Concealer. Heavy duty highlighting and contouring concealor and works better than anything else for undereye circles. Also the biggest container of concealer on the market for the price.

Setting Powder: Laura Mercier Translucent setting powder. Because I’m a follower.

Finishing Powder: Smashbox Halo finishing Powder. Expensive but lasts FOREVER.

Blush: Urban Decay Afterglow Blush, in Fetish. Great rose neutral for everyday. As soon as you get over asking the salesperson for fetish.

Contour Palette: Fiona Stiles Sheer Sculpting Palette. It’s a close one with the ABH palette but I love this one because it’s so light and blendable. I can do a real contour or just a little dimension.

Highlighter: essence PureNude in Be My Highlight. Light, natural, but can be built up. And $4.49. 

Lip Product: Bare Minerals Natural lipgloss in Sangria. They don’t make this anymore and I’m so so so sad. It’s perfect.

Eye Primer: Smashbox 24 Hour Primer. I can put my eyeshadow on at 7 am and it’s perfect at 11pm. 

Eye Palette: Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Palette. I reach for this almost every day. Best quality matte shadows I’ve found, and the only one I’ve hit pan on in years.

Eyeliner: Smashbox Always Sharp eyeliner in Raven. DOES. NOT. MOVE.

Mascara: TooFaced Better Than Sex. Makes my lashes look false.

Lashes: Ardell Demi Wispies in black. 

Brows: Maybelline Brow Precise Micro Pencil in Auburn or soft brown. 

So there you go. My picks for the best products if you happen to be a pasty Irish chick concerned with aging who’s on a budget.

THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.*

*Okay maybe not change so much as save you a little money. **

**Okay and maybe not everybody, but just people who use a beauty blender sponge.***

***And really only people who are too cheap/poor to replace them as frequently as you’re supposed to.

FINE. This will be a moderate convenience to cheap women who use beauty blender sponges.

THERE. It’s not like we’re talking about the Blessed Sacrament here.

Anyway. My point. 

So I have a beauty blender from Sephora and I use it every day. It gets really gross and nasty and stained, even though I’m super pale. I imagine women with deeper skin tones have even more trouble. 

I tried washing it with soap and water, and with my Purity which I use for my brushes. Nothing. Then I tried the official Blender Cleanser, which does admittedly work amazingly. 

But it’s $30 for the 10 oz container. It’s almost cheaper to replace the $20 sponge more frequently. 

Last weekend I was bopping around YouTube and I found a bunch of videos suggesting and alternative way of cleaning and making your sponge like new again. Pssh. Whatever. My sponge is destroyed.

But it was a Sunday night, I had all the ingredients, and needed a makeup post for the blog this week, so I tried it out.

GUYS.

IT WORKS.

I KNOW.

So here’s the super secret combo of speciality ingredients for this Blender Cleanser dupe.

Dollar store antibacterial dish soap and extra virgin olive oil.

Yeah. Try to stay with me.

Put a small amount of the dish soap on a surface. (The video I copied said to use aluminum foil, but it’s not a chemical reaction at all. Next time I’ll just do it on a plate or bowl.) Put about half that amount of olive oil in the center.


Mix them together with your finger, and then rub all over your blender. Massage it it in wnd really scrub and then rinse out THOROUGHLY.

(This takes a while. Do it until the water runs clear out of the blender.)


Look!!! It’s totally clean. The dish soap cleans and kills bacteria (which you don’t want on something you’re literally rubbing all over your face.) The olive oil helps break up makeup products in the sponge and also conditions the sponge.

So there you go. You can do this as frequently as you need to and stop buying $30 soap to wash your $20 sponge.

(If you listen hard, you can already hear my husband go, “YOU SPENT HOW MUCH ON A SPONGE???” 

Full Face using only Bare Minerals!

I’m a Bare Minerals girl. I’ve always been into makeup, but Bare Minerals is probably the first high end brand I got into and IT CHANGED ME. My mom gave me a little sampler kit for Christmas seven years ago and TAKE MY OFFSPRING I AM YOURS NOW BARE MINERALS!

I even wrote about it here. And guys. I had no idea what 2011 would have in store. 

I used their stuff exclusively for a bunch of years (including for my wedding) and while I have branched out, I still can’t pass up their products. I use a lot of the bareskin stuff now, but for this look I went old school.


Today I did a neutral light face and a gray smokey eye with my bare Minerals products.


First, moisturizer and prime. I use the BB skin primer and it’s amazing. Basically light coverage and a primer together. 

I use the correcting concealer in the little pot, so I like to pat it on before applying powder foundation. I use it under my eyes, andon any blemishes I can find. (Like that volcano on my chin.) 

Then I build coverage using a densely packed brush and the Orginal mineral foundation (I use the color light. Shocker.) 

Instead of using a setting powder, I go over the whole face with the Perfecting Veil. I don’t have a great contour product from them, so I stuck to blush (tropical  sunset) and highlighter (Ready Luminizer in That Magic Moment. 

Lips are a combo of Moxie lipstick in Be Brilliant and Be a Star 


My eyes are a fairly traditional look using the Nudes palette from a few years ago. I used Tranquil as the base, highlight; sonnet as the crease color; and priceless to deepen the outer v. 

Finally finished with my lashes- Flawless Definition mascara and my brows, which is cheating a little bit. For awhile they discontinued the powder brow product and so I found a perfect dupe on Amazon. It’s a super unknown brand and probably all chemicals that will kill me but it worked really well for me.

Get Ready with Me: Everyday Fall Makeup Look

I have yet to master longer video tutorials, but today you can follow along with me in pictures as I get ready for a normal day this autumn.

(I know. Get excited.)

(Screaming at children and massive amounts of caffeine are optional.)

img_4637

Good morning! YOU GET TO SEE ME IN GLASSES. NO ONE HAS SEEN ME IN GLASSES IN PUBLIC SINCE LIKE 2002 EXCEPT FOR THAT ONE RANDOM PICTURE MY MOM TOOK SIX YEARS AGO AND I LOOKED REALLY HOT IN IT SO I LET HER KEEP IT.

img_4643

Skin care comes first, as always. I use a variety of stuff when I’m playing around, but my everyday stash includes using 1.) epice clarifying toner, 2.) When Hope is Not Enough facial serum, 3.) Hope in a Jar day moisturizer, 4.) whatever eye cream I got that month in Birchbox, and 5.) Sunscreen if I’m going to be outside at all. Like, even going to the car.

As you can probably tell, I am a Philosophy addict and I WANT EVERYTHING THEY HAVE BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING AND SMELLS GOOD AND IS PRETTY.

(Kind of my criteria for everything. Including husbands and children.)

My everyday eye look I have down to a science, and I use Kat von D’s Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. This is pretty expensive- about $60 from Sephora or Amazon. But seriously so amazing. The shades are all matte, all neutral, and I’ve hit pan on several of them. Seriously good quality and soooo blendable.

If I want the look to last all day, I use my smashbox 24 Hour eyelid primer. Some days I change my eye look for the evening, if I have a meeting or party or something (usually meeting. It’s not like I’m partying it up a whole lot.) Then I can use a cheaper eyelid primer. But smashbox? Gold standard.

img_4649

My eyes are really hooded, so I love the matte shades in here. Like I said, it’s an amazing palette and you can actually do a bunch of looks with it, but my “every day” look I have down to a science so it only takes me like two minutes.

Also? I’m not using shade names here. They’re all in Latin which would be cool if it wasn’t kind of tongue in cheek and derogatory, I feel like just because of who Kat von D is. But that’s just my total jumping-to-conclusions opinion and maybe she’s at Mass every morning. And I have enough Latin during the day trying to teach my kid.

I put the shade 1 all over my lid, from lash to browbone, with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Using a crease brush, I put shade 2 into the crease, making sure it’s visible above the natural crease of my eyelid. (If you have hooded eyes, you have to do this. Because otherwise no one can see it and you’re wasting time.)

Using a small flat brush I put shade 3 on the outer third of my eyelid and brush it into the crease, blending well. Using the same brush, I put shade 4 right on the inner rim of the block of shade 3 (does that make sense?) and blend it into the crease as well. It’s a little bit lighter and will brighten it up. Finally, using a larger flat brush I combine shades 5 and brush into the rest of the lid from the inner corner and highlight my browbone.

And just for reference, I use mostly all elf eye brushes. I think they’re awesome quality and really good at blending, and I can have enough that if I want to use a couple different colors I don’t have to wash them in between.

Here’s the finished look, which is nowhere near as impressive as the whole description made it sound.

img_4654

Moving on to face, I use TooFaced Primed and Poreless Pure primer. I love this because I have a crap ton of wrinkles it seems like (I DON’T KNOW WHY IT’S NOT LIKE I’M STRESSED.) and it helps smooth out the foundation.

img_4656

I used BareMinerals Bare Skin foundation, with the Bare Skin brush. I am in love with this foundation, it’s super light and buildable and gives me a glow that I love. I wish it was a little bit more full coverage because there are days I need that, but this is amazing 90% of the time.

I also use the Bare Skin concealer. It’s light, and again, light coverage, but once I bake that on (attractive picture on the right,) it’s awesome. I set the rest of my face with The Bare Minerals perfecting powder.

The rest of my face on a daily basis is pretty simple. I don’t do a full contour, just a little bit of shading under my cheekbones (or where my cheekbones would be if I hadn’t been born with cheek caverns instead.) Bright blushes work well on my skin tone, current favorites are this Laura Geller in Cherry Cordial, and Urban Decay’s Fetish. I use a light highlight, and the one I’m obsessed with currently is essance pureNude highlight in Be My Highlight. It’s a subtle glow, but you know it’s there. And no chunks of glitter.

To finish my eyes, I used the same shade as in my crease smudged on the lower lashline, tightlined with Smashbox Always Sharp in Nude (which I don’t have a picture of because it’s gross), and used a coat of TooFaced Better Than Sex mascara. It’s not better than sex, but it is a damn good mascara. If I’m doing lashes, I’ll use another one that’s not as intense so that the lashes don’t get clumped up. But for a normal lash-less day, they make my regular lashes look amazing.

img_5361

I finish off with a coat of BareMinerals Gen Nude lipstick in Queen. I love the deep colors for fall, and this is so smooth and stays on really well for me (which is not something most lipsticks do for me.) A few spritzes of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray, and that shiz isn’t going anywhere.

img_4694

So there you have it- my current go-to everyday look for fall. Super easy, not too heavy, and stays on FOREVER.