Holy Grail Beauty – Updated

#hellosexy Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

glamglow

This is hands down the best mask I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried a LOT)!  My skin can be pretty temperamental, but this skin treatment is everything!  Literally after one use, I see an improvement in my skin.  I would highly recommend this to anyone who fights breakouts.  The full product is quite pricey, but this #hellosexy pack of single-use kits is a great way to check it out.

Moisturizer: Murad Oil-Control Mattifier SPF 15 PA++

I need a moisturizer that will keep me matte throughout the day, and this moisturizer does just that!

Foundation:  L’Oréal TRUE MATCH™ Super Blendable Makeup

foundation

No matter how many high-end foundations I keep trying, I always come back to True Match!  It really does blend beautifully, and their wide range of shades means you can find a perfect match for your skin like I did.

Brows: NYX Micro Brow Pencil and Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

brows

These two products do a great job at filling in my brows!  I typically use the pencil first, brushing through my brows to make it as natural-looking as possible.  Next I use the brow gel to pump up my brows (they’re pretty sparse); this product combo is just perfect!  It looks very natural and stays all day, even through workouts.

Eyeshadow Primer: Benefit Stay Don’t Strayshadowprimer

Using shadow primer is a total game-changer!  Not only does it make shadows last longer, on days when I put on minimal makeup for work, it is perfect for giving my lids a wash of color and making me look fresh and awake.  Most days I’ll swipe this on and define my crease with a bit of bronzer, and I’m good to go!

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette and Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

shadows

The Naked eyeshadow palette is worth all of the hype.  ALL OF IT!  It has neutral shadows in different finishes (matte, shimmer, satin, sparkle), and it is really all you need.  You can create endless day and night looks, including the most gorgeous smokey eye looks.  The shadows are highly pigmented and stay put for hours and hours.  The Blushed Nudes palette from Maybelline is a really great (and much more affordable) option if you aren’t looking to splurge.

Liner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

liner

Hands-down my favorite liquid liner.  The brush tip lets you make a really precise line. Even for someone who isn’t a winged liner pro yet, you will look super fab with this stuff.  Let me tell you: it. does. not. budge.  In my younger years I’d use this, go out and dance until the club closed, sleep in my makeup (I know, SO BAD), and I’d wake up to perfect liner!!!  A-ma-zing.

Lash Curler: Sephora Collection Show Curl XL Lash Curler

curler

This curler is a bit wider than most, and it gives me the perfect curl every time!  My eyes are a bit hooded, and this really opens them up.  I usually hit the eyelash curler with my hairdryer for just a few seconds before curling my lashes; it will give you a curl that lasts all day.  Just be careful you don’t get it too hot- you literally only need to have the air on it for 3 or 4 seconds.

Mascara: Jordana Best Last Extreme Volumizing Mascara and Cover Girl Clump Crusher

mascara

I’ve tried everything from $1 mascara to $40 mascara, and I’d have to say that these two are my favorite!  Both are very affordable (Jordana is under $4 at Walgreens, CoverGirl $7.99 at Ulta).  The Jordana mascara gives amazing seperation and length without clumping or flaking.  The CoverGirl mascara also defines and lengthens lashes, providing a very natural look – my everyday choice.

Lashes: Ardell Natural Demi Wispies

lashes

These are perfect if you want to go for a “are they fake or not?” look.  Really pretty and natural-looking, not too heavy!  I don’t wear falsies too often, but these are my go-to.

Nails: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

The BEST!  I typically do my nails at home, I’m not especially good at it but my friends always ask where I got them done; that’s how good this stuff is.  It dries really quick and gives your nails a beautiful shine.

Juicy Couture – Viva La Juicy

perfume

Love, love, love this perfume.  Don’t ask questions.  Just smell it next time you go to the perfume counter, you’re welcome.

Shaving: Kiss My Face Moisture Shave and Gillette Fusion ProGlide Manual Razor

shave

If you’re wondering why I included what I use to shave in this post, it’s because this is the one thing I will not experiment with anymore.  After much trial and error, this shave lotion and razor is the only combination that works, and works really well at that.  Everything else I use gives me awful razor burn.  If you have trouble with shaving, give this a try!

Let me know what you think of these beauty products – and if I left your favorite off the list.

xoxo, Katie

4 Tricks to Make Your Eyes Look Bigger

Curl lashes
Step 1: Curl lashes

1. Curl your lashes!

  • Curling your lashes instantly opens your eyes, making them appear larger.  You can also hit your eyelash curler with hot air from your hair dryer for a few seconds before using, to really get curl that lasts.
Mascara
Step 2: Tightline Upper Lash Line and Apply Mascara

2. Tightline and apply mascara

  • Tightline your upper lash line using a black eyeliner.  This step defines your eyes, and makes your lashes appear fuller.
  • Add a few coats of your favorite mascara.  I’ve been loving Covergirl Clump Crusher
Nude liner
Step 3: Apply Nude Eyeliner to Lower Waterline

3. Line lower waterline with nude eyeliner

  • For some makeup looks, you line the lower waterline with black pencil.  This can be beautiful when you’re going for a really smokey look!  For smaller eyes (like mine), this doesn’t give me a wide-eye look at all.  Instead, line your waterline with a nude pencil to really open them up and appear larger.  I used a nude Makeup forever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner,  I’ve also used NYX Wonder Pencil.
Highlight
Step 4: Highlight Brow Bone and Inner Corner of Eye

4. Highlight!

  • Adding highlight to your brow bone and the inner corner of your eye is one last trick to open your eyes and make them appear larger!  These steps together all take about 5 minutes!

For a simple, fast eye makeup routine – I’ll do these easy steps and also prime my lids and add a sweep of bronzer in my crease for definition.

Hope these tips helped!  Let me know in the comments what you think, or if you have any eye makeup tricks you swear by ❤

Wardrobe Essential: Little Black Dress

Every girl needs a Little Black Dress (LBD) in her closet.  I love them because they are timeless, and can be easily dressed up or down.  You can wear a LBD to many different events such as date night, interviews, and holiday parties.  You don’t have to break the bank, either!  I have found LBDs for well under $20 at both T.J. Maxx and the clearance rack at Banana Republic.

There’s a LBD for every occasion and to flatter every body shape!

Please let me know if you have questions about anything I’m wearing. Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to follow me or subscribe via email for upcoming fashion posts.  You can check out my Fall Lookbook here, cooler weather is just around the corner ❤

xoxo, Katie

P.S. If you missed it, this is the same dress: daytonight

My next fashion post will show how I accessorize to take an outfit (like a LBD) from day to night.   See you all soon!

 

 

Smokey Eye Look Using One Shadow! -Updated With Video

My favorite smokey eye look. This is really simple to do, it actually only uses one eye shadow!  This one-shadow look is great for hooded eyes like mine; I don’t have much lid space for too many shadows at once.  I used the Maybelline Eye Studio 24 hr Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in the shade Bad to the Bronze.  (The metallic look of this shadow allows it to look like you have on more than one once you blend it out).  I have several of these Color Tattoo shadows because they are so easy to use.  In this image, Bad to the Bronze is the bottom shade.

Here is my fast, easy (5 steps), beautiful smokey eye look!

Step 1: Prime Lids

se7

 

 

You can use any primer you’d like, my favorite is the Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in the shade light/medium.  You don’t have to use primer, but it definitely makes a difference in how long your eyeshadow stays put!  There are many options for eyeshadow primer as far as price; and now just about every brand makes their own.

 

 

 

Step 2: Tightline Upper Lid/Apply Eyeshadow

Use your favorite khol pencil or eyeliner to tightline your upper eyelid.  To do this, gently lift your eyelid up so you can see where your lashes meet your eyelid and apply the eyeliner there.  If you’re still unsure about this, do a quick Google search 🙂 This makes lashes appear thicker, and it does not take away eyelid space (great for hooded eyes)!  You can line your lower lash line if you’d like, but personally I skip that step since it makes my eyes look smaller.  Next, use your finger to apply eyeshadow to your eyelid to just above your crease.  You can pat the eyeshadow on your lid to make it more pigmented, and drag it up slightly from there.  This part can be pretty messy since it is going to get blended out!

 

Step 3: Blend, Blend, Blend…Then Blend Some More

se5

Use a blending brush to blend out the line at your crease, up and out.  Blending is very important for this look, especially if you don’t want any harsh lines.  The idea is to get the eyeshadow to fade out.  Blend, blend, blend!  Put your brush in the outer corner of your eyelid crease like it is here, and use windshield-wiper motions to go along your crease and soften the edge of the shadow.   For hooded eyes like mine: blend with your eye open!  This way you can see the part of your lid you will actually still see with your eye open, and you can blend the shadow up past that point.

Read More »

Holiday Hair

 

Happy December, everyone!   Welcome back ❤

I am so happy December is here!  To start off this month of blog posts, I have an easy, loose-curl holiday hairstyle that will be perfect for parties or weddings. There are always so many events to attend this time of year, I’m always on the lookout for new hairstyles.

You Will Need:

  • Curling Iron – I use a 1 1/4 inch Hot Tools Curling Iron
  • Clip (to section hair)
  • Brush/Paddle Brush – My favorite is the Denman Large Paddle Brush
  • Texturizing Spray –  L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Wild Stylers Next Day Hair Dry Finishing Spray
  • Heat Protectant – Chi 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
  • Bobby Pins
  • Hair Ribbon or Headband

Step 1: Section Hair

1section_hair

 

Step 2: Apply Heat Guard, Take Small Sections of Hair, and Curl Them Away From Your Face

2curlawaya2curlawaybtugcurls

Step 3: Spray With Flexible Hold Hairspray – DO NOT brush/disrupt the curls yet!

3Hairspray.png

Step 4a: Do NOT Inhale Hairspray.  Tastes Awful.

4eathairspray

Step 5: Take Down Another Section of Hair

5resection

Next, repeat Steps 2&3: Spray the new section of hair with heat guard, curl small sections away from your face, spray curls with hairspray.  Once that section is done, take down the next section and repeat the process until all hair is curled.

 

*If You Want to Keep Length: Gently Tug Down On Curls While Still Hot*

 

Step 6: Once All Hair is Curled:

  • Wait Until Curls Are Completely Cool

  • Brush Out Hair

7brushout

Step 7: Style/Add Texture

8Texture.png

I lift sections of hair and spray the texture spray to break the curls up a bit/give some definition.

That’s it!  Pretty, relaxed curls! From here, you can style your hair however you’d like.

You can tuck hair behind your ear, or pin up one or both sides!

9style

I’m Going Through a Ribbon-Bow Phase

I got this black ribbon off a shopping bag (Banana Republic, maybe?!).  Any headband would work just fine for this, as well.

Throw on a fun party dress, some lipstick, and add some accessories!   Ready to go!

holidayhair2

Thank you so much for reading, let me know what you think about this look! Be sure to check out the video for more in-depth instruction.

 

 

 

 

How to Grow Out a Pixie Cut

Have you always wanted to cut your hair, but been terrified of the growing-out process?  A few years ago I committed and I had my hair cut really short, and then my hairstylist disappeared on me.  I didn’t know what to do…through some trial and error, I figured it out!

I was always nervous and unsure about growing out a pixie cut, but I have done it a few times and figured out the easiest way to do it.  It really isn’t bad at all if you have a plan as you go, and the very best thing is all the cute haircuts you get to have along the way!  I became much better at styling my hair as I went through the process of growing it out.

Here are my go-to styles to get you from pixie cuts, to bobs, to lobs (long bobs)!  Before you know it, your hair will be past your shoulders and you will be itching for a short cut again.

The big chop:

shortpixie

 

I really loved that haircut!  It was so easy!  Plus, when you hair is short you can really play around with color.  There is something so freeing about not having to worry about your hair.  My best friend (heeeeey, Katie!) 100% hated my hair when I first got it cut #funfact.  As in, all the way hated it.  LOL.  It is a super drastic change, and it might take a little bit of time for your close friends/family to get used to it.  Stay confident!  You love your hair, and everyone else will learn to love it just as much.

It might take a while for you to figure out the best way to style your hair, depending on your cut and hair texture.  I actually used to have to wear a scarf while my hair was drying when my hair was its shortest, because otherwise my naturally wavy/curly hair dried really poofy. Sounds a bit silly, but if I didn’t, I ended up with Golden Girls hair. Not so adorable when you’re young.

If you are really not able to coax your hair into anything you like, throw a hat on!

Aviary Photo_131244341592309455.png

Ta da!  Now, when it comes to starting to grow out your hair, you need to make a decision.  You can either grow the top out first, and then the sides/bottom, or you can grow it out all at once and get trims to shape it.

In my experience, it is the easiest (and you get the most options) when you grow out the top first and then once it is long enough, let the sides and bottom grow out, too.  I tried the “grow it all out at once” method one time and ended up with a mullet that had to go.

From the shortest pixie length, the next step is to let the top grow out a bit, but still keep the sides and back short.

pixie2.jpg

For this style, I would use a tiny flat iron to curl my hair on top up and back from my face, then run a pomade through it for texture!

pixie3.jpg

 

Here, you do the same thing.  As the top gets longer, keep the sides and back short.  I used a small flat iron or curling iron to style the hair on top.   As the hair on the sides/back gets a little bit longer, you can also use a small curling iron to curl those pieces to give your hair some texture.

Read More »

Cailyn O! Wow Brush – Review

I recently purchased the Cailyn O! Wow Brush from TJ Maxx for $12.99, which is a huge bargain.  The brush is listed on their site (check it out here) for $32.

cailynowow1

 

 

The brush comes with a slip-off cap, which is perfect for travel.

 

 

 

 

cailynowow3

 

The brush itself is has very soft, dense bristles.  It applied my foundation like a dream.  Seriously, this brush is amazing, I would honestly purchase it for the full price. I have, however, seen it stocked at Marshalls and TJ Maxx recently.

 

This brush gives a similar appearance (almost airbrushed) to what a Beauty Blender does, so the O! Wow brush cuts out a step.

It even has an ergonomic handle, which was comfortable to use and I think gave some additional control while blending my foundation.

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 stars

I was genuinely impressed with this brush, and recommend it to anyone looking for a brush to apply foundation.  Check out my video (link here) for a more in depth review.

Thanks so much for reading!

 

 

 

Flat Iron Waves – Hair Tutorial

This is one of my go-to hairstyles, because it is so fast and easy!  Check out the video here!

All you will need for this look:

  • Flat Iron – Mine is the ghd 1″ Classic Styler
  • Heat Protectant Spray – Lots of drugstore and salon choices, I use the Chi 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
  • Clips to section your hair – I like using alligator clips, these are similar to the ones I have. I picked mine up from the beauty supply store.  If you have thicker hair like mine, these clips work better for me than the straight ones.

Optional:

To start, I blow dry my hair as straight as possible using a round brush (this one from Goody is the one I used and it is my FAVE)!   Don’t forget the heat protectant.  I use It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin.  For this hairstyle, if you have curly/wavy hair like me you don’t need to get your hair too straight, because we will straighten and curl as we go.

wavyhairtutorial5

 

Section your hair off, leaving only the bottom portion down.  Don’t forget to spray the section with hear protectant before styling each section!

 

 

wavyhairtutorial2

 

 

Taking small sections and starting with the hair closest to your face, run the flat iron through your hair, rotating the flat iron away from you as you go, creating a loose wave.

 

 

 

I always curl sections of hair that frame my face away from me, but once I get towards the back of my head I alternate the direction of the curl, to keep the waves more defined.

Once the bottom section is all curled let down another section, spray with heat protectant, and repeat the process.

For the top section, part your hair where you’d like and be sure to curl the face-framing sections of hair away from your face!  Once all sections are styled, you can run some product through your hair for even more volume and texture!  My favorites:

Be sure to check the video out for more detailed instructions!  Thank you so much for reading ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Best Beauty Products Under $5

I love a good bargain, but I have discovered that you often get what you pay for when it comes to cosmetics.  There are, however, exceptions to this rule!  Here are 10 bargain products I have purchased, and love just as much (or more!) as high-end products.

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink ($4.99)

wetnwild

This illuminating palette is SO GORGEOUS!  I was really upset because I thought it had been discontinued.  When I wrote this post, it was the first product I thought of so I was on a mission to find it.  As you can see, it still exists but the packaging changed.  *whew*.  I will use a fluffy powder brush and swipe it across the palette to pick up a bit of each shade, then I brush it over my cheekbones and at my temples for some highlight/blush action.  It is so beautiful on, and it warms my face up after applying foundation.   I will also use these shades individually as eyeshadow, so this is a multi-use product!

Wet n Wild Foundation Brush ($2.99)

brush

Keeping it in the Wet n Wild family for now, I recently picked this brush up from Meijer and I really like it!  This brush has synthetic polymax fibers that are perfect for cream or liquid foundation.  The first time I used it (with True Match liquid foundation), I expected to go over the foundation with a damp beauty blender after applying it with the brush.  I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find I didn’t need that extra step at all!

NYC New York Color Browser Brush-On Brow Kit, Brush-On Brunette ($3.79)

nyc

This brow kit is THE original brow product for me.  I used this years ago when I was first starting to play around with makeup, and I still reaaaaally like it.  I would not recommend the tweezers or brush it comes with (both are bad news bears), but the powder and wax itself both work really well. I would recommend using it with a smaller angled brush, this $3 e.l.f. brush is actually the one I use.

NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss ($4.99)

nyx1

Love this gloss!  I like the texture of it; it is moisturizing and not terribly sticky.  It is pretty long-lasting, and it comes in many beautiful shades.  This is the shade Nude Pink, which for me is the perfect “my lips but better” shade.

Read More »

Holy Grail Beauty Products!

Hey, everyone!  I had the amazing opportunity to do a guest post for my lovely friend on her awesome blog, Major Morris.

Head on over and check out my Holy Grail Beauty Product list!  ❤