Give Me The Fall Lips

Like most people, Fall is my favorite season of the year! However, I live in Southern California… which means I have to fake Fall until it decides to show up.

As soon as September hit, I began to dream of the seasonal makeup, clothing and eventual weather changes. The weather will catch up soon enough, but in the mean time I wanted to share the seasonal lips that I am so excited to finally wear!

P.S. Yes, my lips are naturally crooked and no, my lip color application is not always on point. πŸ˜›

^ColourPop – Ultra Matte Lip in Trap.
Trap is most definitely my current favorite lip for Fall/Winter. The ColourPop Ultra Matte formula is amazing. It goes on extremely smooth and opaque, dries in an instant and lasts like a dream! I cannot wait to purchase more colors… did I mention that they’re only $6.00??

^ColourPop – Lippie Stix in Grunge.
Another stunner from ColourPop. Grunge is such a unique and lovely color for the upcoming seasons!

^MAC – Satin Lipstick in Faux.
This is actually one of the shades that I tend to wear all year. It’s easy to pack on the layers for a lovely Fall nude or sheered out in the Summer!

^MAC – Satin Lipstick in Viva Glam II.
This shade is similar to Faux, but I love that it’s a pinch deeper and more brown. Definitely a staple for me during the seasonal months.

^Maybelline – Color Sensational Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine.
The good ol’ deep wine lip is always the key to a successful Fall makeup look. Maybelline’s Color Sensational line is by far my favorite drugstore lipstick brand.

^Jeffree Star – Velour Liquid Lipstick in Anna Nicole.
I love a good matte orangey red for the transition of the seasons, doable in the Summer and lovely in the Fall. Jeffree Star Cosmetics is continuing to come out with additional colors that will be phenomenal for the seasonal months and I cannot wait to get my hands on more shades!

^NYX – Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo.
NYX is another one of my favorite drugstore brands, the lip creams are so comfortable on the lips! I love this shade because it’s a lovely berry color that isn’t too hardcore and very wearable.

^MAC – Lip Pencil in Stone.
This may not be a popular choice, especially for those with fair skin… however, I like to play up my fair skin and giving myself the “almost dead” lip look when I’m feeling adventurous. In addition, this color is now an actual MAC lipstick, which I need to purchase.

Trust me when I say that choosing these few products was a challenge. There are so many gorgeous shades to wear during the Fall, the possibilities are endless! What are some of your favorite shades to wear on your lips during the Fall (or any time!)?

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream Review

I’ve been in the market for a new tinted moisturizer. When I walked into Ulta, the first thing I saw was the BareMinerals goodies at the front of the store. I don’t have many BareMinerals products, so I figured it was worth a look. I noticed the Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream and was immediately intrigued, especially when I saw the color Opal. As someone with very very fair skin, I have a hard time finding foundations, tinted moisturizers, etc., mostly because nothing is ever pasty white enough! However, Opal blended so perfectly into my milky white hand that I knew I had to try it.

My skin is quite dry and it can be sensitive, if there’s fragrance, alcohols or some other funky ingredient, I will likely break out. So, being fair with dry, sensitive skin can make for some challenging beauty product shopping!

I wanted to provide a thorough review on the product, so I will be giving you my first impression of the application, the wear throughout the day and how my skin reacted after a few days of use.

My initial reaction to the squeezing the product onto my hand was that it has an almost whipped, fluffy texture. Not your typical liquid tinted moisturizer, but I thought the texture was nice. I applied the product with my fingertips, as suggested on the label and I can best describe it as a “cool” feeling on the skin. First, I applied about a pea sized amount of product onto my skin, but because my skin is so dry… it drank this stuff up immediately. Basically, if you have dry skin, you better apply quickly!
I ended up applying a total amount of product that was about the size of a kidney bean.

On the left, I am bare faced (with the exception of mascara) and on the right, I am wearing the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. You can see that the texture and tone of my skin is more even.

My skin tone was noticeably more even and my skin texture was much smoother in appearance. There was also a lovely, healthy glow to my skin. The product claims to be good for all skin types and I can definitely see that as a possibility. However, I would keep in mind that the coverage is very minimal. I have relatively good skin that doesn’t necessarily require a lot of coverage, plus I generally prefer a more natural coverage and finish.

I completed the rest of my makeup and didn’t bother applying any sort of finishing powder because I have such dry skin and there was no way I was going to cover up this lovely glow I had going on! I periodically checked to see how well my face was holding up and I can honestly say my face never went dull or blotchy. Even as the product slowly began to fade away, my skin tone and texture continued to look smooth all day and I could not be more pleased!

After a couple days of wearing this product, I started to notice tiny little pimples that seemed to appear in sad clusters on my chin and cheeks. Obviously this was very disappointing, but I continued to use the product for the sake of science! I gave it a week, yet the tiny pimples remained and continued to happen. I wanted to make sure that it was the tinted gel causing this, so I stopped using it for one week… and they went away.

It’s safe to say that I will not be purchasing this product again, as my dry, sensitive skin did not fare well after daily use. However, I still recommend the BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream to those who do not have such sensitive skin. It provides a lovely natural finish, evens out skin tone and lasts well throughout the day.

With that being said, does anyone have any tinted moisturizers/BB creams/CC creams that are a must try?! I’m still on the hunt! πŸ™‚

Orange Tofu Stir-Fry

It was one of those “what random stuff can I throw together for dinner/I need to go grocery shopping, but don’t want to” sort of days. I peered into the fridge to take inventory and discovered some extra firm tofu. I have no idea what I bought this for originally, but it’s what worked for this meal in particular! I grabbed the tofu, some veggies, rice and an unopened orange sauce. Voila! I shall create an Orange Tofu Stir-Fry!

• 1 14oz package of extra firm tofu
• 1 broccoli head
• 1 handful of baby carrots sliced up
• 1tbs of sesame oil
• 1 cup of dried white rice
• Orange sauce (or teriyaki, if you prefer!)
• Salt n’ Pepper to taste (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400F.

While your oven is heating up, remove the tofu from the package, wrap it up in a clean dish cloth or thick paper towel and weigh it down with a book or heavy pan. This will help dry up the tofu a bit.

Now that the oven is at 400F, slice up the tofu into cubes or strips.

Place the cubes or strips onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning once half way through baking. This will further dry out the tofu. Drying the tofu makes it more porous, which will make soaking up flavor easier.

Once the tofu is finished baking, set it aside to cool, while you get to cookin’ on the other goodies.

Cook your rice as directed on the packaging.

Then heat your sesame oil over medium heat.

While the oil is heating up, chop up your broccoli head and carrots.

Toss the broccoli and carrots into the oiled up pan, sprinkle with salt n’ pepper (if you want) and cook for a good 5-7 minutes.

Now throw the tofu into the same pan and mix everything well.

Pour the desired amount of orange sauce into the pan and make sure everything is evenly coated and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

By the time you’re finished cooking the veggies, tofu and sauce, your rice should be done. Place your rice and tofu stir-fry into a bowl or on a plate and enjoy!

Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector – Champagne Pop Review

I have been mildly obsessed with Jaclyn Hill for a couple years now. The moment she announced teaming up with Becca Cosmetics to create Champagne Pop, I cried tears of glitter and joy. I counted down the minutes until it was available for purchase on and it was mine!

Jaclyn explained that a big part of the inspiration behind Champagne Pop was her sister and how challenging it was for her to find a highlighter that paired well with her milky white skin. As someone that glows white all year long, I was over the moon. I’m down with my fair skin, but I longed for a highlighter that would actually show up the way that a highlighter is supposed to! Champagne Pop does that.

I couldn’t have opened this product any faster. It was even more beautiful than I imagined. It’s the perfect combination of champagne and rose gold, definitely a must have for any skin tone (especially the pale ladies!).

If you have ever tried out any other Shimmering Skin Perfector from Becca, it is the exact same buttery, soft formula. Although this product is a bit pricey, a little bit goes a long way. I basically just tap the product with my brush and that is more than enough to highlight both cheeks. Obviously if you want something a wee bit more dramatic, pile this lovely product on!

I could not be happier with Champagne Pop. Not only do I finally have the perfect highlighter for my complexion, but being able to be play a small part in supporting someone I’ve admired for years makes this a perfect product.

Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken

Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken is a staple meal in my household. I first got the idea from an old friend of mine that came to work one day with some leftovers. As soon as she reheated it in the microwave, I had to ask “what is this glorious smell?!?!” She went into detail about the ingredients that she threw together in her saute pan and I knew immediately that I wanted to create it at home; however, I’ve done some tweaking over the past couple years and I have now perfected the recipe to my taste.

What’s even better about this recipe is that it is quite healthy and versatile! I typically serve this meal as a bowl, which includes quinoa and lettuce. But again, you can switch it up to your liking, it’s great on it’s own, in a wrap, with rice or in a salad.

Ingredients (4 servings):
• Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• Your favorite jar of salsa verde
• Ground cumin
• Cayenne pepper
• 2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
• Oregano
• 1 cup of plain greek yogurt or sour cream (I used greek yogurt)
• 1 15oz can of beans of your choice (I typically go with black beans or great northern beans)
• Fresh cilantro
• Lime

To get started, bring out the ol’ crockpot, place the chicken breasts into the crockpot and pour the salsa verde over top until the chicken is covered (leave some leftover salsa verde to drizzle on top in the end!). Now sprinkle your desired amount of cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic and oregano on top of the salsa verde dressed chicken.

Turn the temperature on high for 3.5 hours or on low for 6 hours.

This is when your house starts smelling incredibly good.

Now that the chicken is cooked through, open up the crockpot and use two forks to shred the chicken.

Mix in the greek yogurt (or sour cream) and the can of beans (drained and cleaned). Stir everything up nicely and then place the lid back on the crockpot to cook on low for another 15-30 minutes. Use this time to prepare the other parts of your meal (this is when I cooked my quinoa, washed the lettuce, etc.)

Once the salsa verde chicken is ready to go, I placed the deliciousness into a bowl along with freshly cooked quinoa, lettuce, fresh cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

This recipe also makes great leftovers that will last in the fridge for about 3-4 days in tightly closed tupperware. Enjoy!

Current Skincare Musts

I’ve been struggling for years to find the perfect products for my skin. My skin is very dry and quite sensitive. Most products, whether they are high end or from the drugstore, tend to cause a breakout, extra dryness or general irritation.

Luckily, after years of money down the drain, pimples on my face and wasted products, I have found the products that work best for me!

Makeup Remover WipesEveryone Face Remove Towelettes are by far the best makeup remover wipes I have ever used. The only store that I have found them in is Sprouts. They are so gentle, yet remove all of my makeup and I see a noticeable difference in my skin. The texture of my skin is better, it feels cleaner and I have much fewer breakouts (if any, these days!)
Facial CleanserLush Ultrabland is my boo. This is definitely made for someone with dry, sensitive skin. It has all kinds of good, simple ingredients and it leaves a lovely moisturizing effect on the skin once it’s wiped off. Now, I see this being a problem for someone with oily skin, but for my parched face, it works wonders. My skin is left feeling clean and moisturized after every use.
ExfoliatorBenefit Cosmetics Refined Finish Facial Polish has been great to me. I know what you’re thinking… dry and sensitive skin doesn’t need a bunch of little rocks scraping against it! However, I still think a good exfoliator is important in anyones skincare routine. I only use this once or twice a week and although it has a light fragrance, it has not irritated my skin at all. I am thinking of venturing out and trying a new exfoliator, not because this one hasn’t done well, but it is a bit pricey and I don’t like fragrances in skincare. Any suggestions?
Outbreak Emergency Treatment – When it comes to the random hormonal blemish or two, I turn to Acne Free Terminator 10. This stuff will bleach your hair, it’s so strong. Would I ever recommend spreading this all over your face? Hell-to-the-nah, but it will make a big difference in the life of an odd zit.
Moisturizer – Probably the most important to anyone with dry skin, First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream will be a lifelong friend. Until the day I tried Ultra Repair Cream, I never experienced a moisturizer that sunk in, did not irritate my skin and actually improved the quality of my skin. It’s good for the face and body, it’s a lovely thick creamy moisturizer and I am mildly obsessed with this product. Plus, I am prone to eczema and I had a tiny bit under my eye (I know, ew) before I used this product and Ultra Repair Cream cleared it right up!

Benefit Cosmetics – Roller Lash Review

As a woman with less than impressive eyelashes, I love a good mascara. Anything that will add some color, length and curl to my blonde, short and straight-as-a-board lashes is well worth it to me.

I’ve tried countless mascaras throughout the years, some have done wonders for my lashes, others… not so much. My absolute favorites are Smashbox Full Exposure, L’Oreal Voluminous and Benefit Bad Gal Lash. I tend to go for a more dry formula with mascaras.

When I heard the news that Benefit had a new mascara coming out that was designed to curl the straightest of lashes (like mine!), I could not have been more excited. I immediately purchased a tube of Benefit’s Roller Lash and was gushing over the great packaging, I’ve always been a huge fan of Benefit’s packaging. From the photos online, I was excited to see that the brush was on the smaller side, and I could only hope that when I twisted that lovely pink roller top off… I would see a nice, dry formula. The mascara clung so nicely to the brush, without globs or excess product. It didn’t appear to be overly wet or dry, so I wasn’t disappointed. I did my every day eye makeup, but decided not to wear any eyeliner, so my lashes don’t appear thicker at all. In addition, I decided to go without my eyelash curler because I wanted the full effect of the mascara to shine through in my review.

I really felt the grip of the brush as I ran it through my lackluster lashes, which made it super easy to just dig in at the root, coating every lash. I put a total of two coats on and I noticed that the curl, length and thickness that I achieved after first putting the product on had lasted all day long. However, I did notice that my eyelashes felt a little “heavy.” As a contact lenses wearer, my eyes seemed a bit uncomfortable throughout the day, not enough to stop me from wearing the mascara, just enough to notice a difference. At the end of the day, it wasn’t as easy to take off as my typical go-to mascaras, but I suppose that’s the price you pay when a mascara actually holds up for an entire day.

Overall, I’ve been enjoying this mascara quite a bit! It gives a very noticeable oomph to my lashes and I love that it lasts all day long. Would I repurchase? I’m not so sure. I want to continue to use it and see if the discomfort subsides. If I’m going to spend $23 on a mascara, it better rock my world and change my life for the better! Have any of you tried this mascara? I’d love to hear other opinions! πŸ™‚