Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette│Review & Swatches



I wish I could tell you that this palette is over-hyped and not worth your money (cause if you’re anything like me you need another palette like you need a hole in the head), but you may as well go ahead and bust out that wallet because this is probably the most impressive formula I’ve seen in awhile (from any brand).  Not to mention, am I the only person out there happy to see that we’ve moved on from the rosy pink trend!?


The pigmentation that you see when you swatch one of these eyeshadows is the same pigmentation you will get when you’re applying them to your eye with a brush.  Don’t believe me?  Watch the demo at the end of my YouTube review and eat your heart out.

But in all seriousness, I did compare the ingredients of this palette to the three other ABH palettes I own (Maya Mia, Tamana and Self Made) and changes have been made.  Good changes.  The kind of changes that result in super soft, super creamy, highly pigmented, VERY easy to blend eyeshadows (that in-spite of their softness have minimal fallout).


I’m also thrilled with the fact that this palette is practically all matte (even the shades with baby glitters look matte).  Tempera is a nice satin highlight for you medium to deep skin-tones out there, Vermeer and Primavera are the only super shimmery (creamy as peanut butter) lid shades you’ll need, Venetian Red is a GORGEOUS satin and Antique Bronze is a lovely satin with baby glitters.  Everything else is either matte or so matte looking it may as well be.

But the formula isn’t the only thing that has improved.  It’s so nice to know this palette is a permanent edition to the ABH line (cause I for one am not about that LE life).  And rumor has it, if this palette does well Anastasia will also release a cool-toned version!  Woot, woot!

Now, don’t get me wrong… this palette does have its cons:

  • like velvet packaging that gets dirty as heck super fast
  • like the fact that the brow highlight pretty much matches my skintone and doesn’t show up me
  • like the fact that Raw Sienna and Burnt Orange practically swatch the same

But overall, if you:

  • love warm shadows
  • are tired of the same, boring browns in every palette
  • are in need of a good palette for Fall

Then this palette is worth your $42.


So is this palette calling your name, or what!?


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Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Mini│Review & Swatches



This past Spring 2016, Smashbox jumped on the matte bandwaggon and released their own all matte and all matte mini palettes.  At first, I had every intention to boycott Smashbox and their shadows after my experience with their Full Exposure Travel Palette, buttttt they’re matte which is my middle name (lies) so I just had to give it a chance.


The same length and width of a credit card, it’s easy to see why my favorite thing about this palette is its compact size.  But with 0.17 oz of eyeshadow, you are getting more product than you’d think!

For the sake of comparison, the Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes contain 0.30 oz split between 6 shades and retail for $29 which = $3.41 per gram.  The Lorac Matte Pro palette contains 0.14 oz split between 8 shades and retails for $28 which = $7.05 per gram.  And the Smashbox Matte Eyes Mini contains 0.17 oz split between 8 shades and retails $24 which = $4.98 per gram.

So it’s not the best value, and it’s not the worst.  But it is the smallest!  And it is the cheapest all matte highend palette on the market.


But what really makes this pocket ready eyeshadow palette special?  And why should you consider it above the many other matte plaettes on the market?

Well, for one, you’re getting strudy acrylic packaging which is not magnitized and actually snaps closed.  And for two, you’re also getting the largest mirror the size of the palette will allow (a real mirror, mind you… not a funhouse mirror many manufacturers like to include to save money).

Bonus: the mirror stays propped up!



Furthermore, you’re getting such an eclectic variety of warm and cool browns that this palette could also service just about any brow color.  I also love that unlike leading matte palettes of this size and price, you’re getting both warm and cool transition shades in addition to shades you can use to set your primer, highlight, transition, deepen your outer V and/or create a little smokieness.  And thank sweet baby Jesus this palette is without a black!


As for the pigmentation, I’m not going to lie to you and tell you these are the most pigmented eyeshadows I’ve ever dipped a brush into.  But I actually like that.  These shadows are soft, but they kick up hardly any product at all, are easy to build, easy to blend and have pretty good lasting power.  The only thing they don’t do is apply themselves to your lid.

So what does this all tell you?

Well, if it’s drama you’re looking for, the Smashbox Photo Matte Eyes Mini is not for you.  But if you’re into simple (boarder-line natural) looks and need something compact and/or that can double as a brow powder cause you got things to do and places to be, you might not wanna pass this one up.


Side note, Smashbox boasts that these shadows can also be used wet for a more “intense” look, but I for one am not brave enough to dip a wet brush into anything that costs more than $5 to test that claim out.  So saturate at your own risk.

So what do you think?  Is Smashboxes’ new all matte mini a must for you, or what!?

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Links & Loves #6



  1. Have you ever tried Amish Bread?  I have a vague memory of my mom mixing batches in our small Indiana home when I was 6 or so (maybe even a bit younger).  And while I can’t remember the taste of it, I distinctly remember the scent.  So naturally I looked up a recipe.  It’s actually really easy to make and I’m looking forward to making a batch this weekend.
  2. I’m also on a mission to finish the Throne of Glass series I began by Sarah J. Maas.  I listened to the first two books FREE with Audible and now I’m on the hunt for the last four.  Maybe I’ll stop being lazy and go renew my library card on Saturday.
  3. Speaking of Saturday, guess what’s supposed to be delivered to my house!?  The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette!  I honestly only ordered it because so many people have been requesting a review, but it’s getting a lot of hype… and as it does I’m getting pretty hyped myself 😛
  4. Oh, that reminds me.  We hit 5k on my YouTube channel this month!  So excite, so excite.
  5. I was thinking about doing a Pinterest inspired 4th of July treats video… but seeing as how the 4th is on Monday, this one might have to wait until next year :(
  6. And while we’re on the subject of disappointments, I recently found out that some of the names in the KVD Shade+Light Eye palette are of demons.  Is it stupid that I’m so creeped out I’m thinking of passing my palette on!?  I mean, they’re just names… but still!
  7. Something I WON’T pass on (and actually need to reorder) is this balm from the Honest Company.  My baby bump loves it :)  It smells kinda bad, though.
  8. I also picked up the Blue Sky – Day Designer planner on a whim the other day (isn’t that how all Target purchases happen!?) and I’m excited to see how I like it!  Especially for less than $15.
  9. I’ve also got to admit that my favorite thing to wear right now are my husband’s Mossimo T-Shirts.  They have good arm and belly coverage without being tooooo long :)
  10. And lastly, if you already saw/read my monthly favorites then you already know I finally found a good Cruelty Free mascara from the drugstore!!!

What are some things that you’ve been loving lately!?


This post is not sponsored.  Some links may be affiliate links.  
Image Credit: Happiness is Homemade Blog





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Favorites & Highlights│June 2016


Beauty Favorites

I picked up the Wet n Wild Fiber Mascara from Walgreen’s for $7.99 almost 3 months ago and it’s just been sitting in my sample box ever since.  In fact, since I hadn’t even taken it out of the box I was thinking about returning it because I never have any luck with Wet n Wild Lash ‘O Matic mascara and I don’t even like fibers so I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it!  Then, my lovely friend Coreen recommended that exact mascara when I was sharing with her my struggle to find a good CF, drugstore mascara!  So I tried it… and I love it!

Urban Decay Ammo Palette

Beauty Regrets

Ammo Palette – After 2 months of using this palette just about everyday, I’ve quickly realized a few things about myself and my taste in makeup:

  1. I don’t like glitter
  2. I don’t like glitter
  3. I don’t like glitter

I’ve had a lot of fun playing with the colorful shades like Shattered and Grifter, and discovering that while I’m not drawn to golds (Chopper), they actually compliment my green eyes nicely!  I’ve also really been enjoying the challenge in general of trying to use up an eyeshadow palette.  But ultimately, these shadows are all chalk full of glitter and it’s just ending up all over my face.  I’m going to continue with the challenge because it’s fun, but I wouldn’t repurchase this palette and I’m not sure I’ll be investing much money into Urban Decay eyeshadows in the future either.

Throne of Glass UK.jpg
Image Credit

Watching & Reading

Still watching Lost but not as much as I did last month.  I have the Overdrive app which I use to listen to audio books for free from my local library, but my card expired a few months ago and I’ve been too lazy to get it reissued.  But I’ve been trying to motivate myself to do more walking on my breaks at work so I downloaded A Throne of Glass from Audible this month (author recommendation from Ms. Stephanie and LOVED IT.  If you like YA that features  strong-willed women, love triangles and fantasy then you will love this book too!

If you haven’t heard of the Epic Rap Battles of History, you’re life is empty.  With over 13 million subscribers and several videos that have more than tripped that number in views, you’d have to watch a video or two to see why something as opposite as Rap and History mesh, but when you do… oh man!  And the video that made my month just happens to be their latest release: James Bond vs. Austen Powers.  It’s probably the best video they’ve launched in awhile too, so I highly recommend that you watch :)


9 weeks to go and I’m really feeling it.  It’s primarily my fault because of my weight (I’ve gained 30 lbs so far this pregnancy), so when you add that to all of the water I’m retaining, the baby and all that comes along with him and then my swelling feet and legs, it makes for a not so pleasurable experience.  Working full time doesn’t help.  Even though I’m in an office and get to sit most of the day, I’m just always tired.  But I do see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m super excited!  August 31st, here we come!


One of the things that I look forward to most each day are the times when my 2 year old claps for me and tells me that I did a “good jawwwb, mommy” (usually because I used the potty, or picked up my junk off the floor).  I realize this is because I’ve celebrated him each time he’s done something I like (like using the potty and picking up his toys), but it just reiterates to me how the words that we speak and actions we take impact the little adults that we are raising.  In the same vein, Gabriel dropped a toy in the car the other day and didn’t even hesitate when he said, “son of a bitch.”

Hey, I never said I was perfect.

Image Credit

Diet & Weight Management

Nothing to report here, really.  I’m steadily gaining about 1 lb per week.  Right now we’re at 216.  I’ve been trying to walk a bit more, but again… I’m kicking myself for not doing this sooner when I wasn’t so large and swelling.  I don’t even walk anymore… I literally waddle.

What were some of your monthly favorites and/or highlights!?


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Why I Think the Too Faced Chocolate Bar is Better than the Urban Decay Naked Palette

In my opinion the three palettes that currently dominate the eyeshadow palette world (and cause the most stress for first time palette buyers) are the original Urban Decay Naked (2010), the original Lorac Pro (2012) and the original Too Faced Chocolate Bar (2013).

Had I bought in to all the YouTube hype in 2014 when I purchased my first highend eyeshadow palette, I probably would have picked up the Naked.  But because HSN was running a promotion for first time HSN shoppers to save $20 off their first purchase, I got the Chocolate Bar instead.  It’s been just over 2 years since then and the original Naked hype just wont die so about 7 weeks ago I ordered it and I’ve got to tell you, I think the Chocolate Bar is 10x better.

Now before you come after me with pitchforks, hear me out.  Before the Naked palette, if you heard the words “eyeshadow palette” strung together in a sentence, you’d think about those cheap holiday sets you’d get for $10 a Walgreen’s (you know… the ones that smelt of chemicals and plastic and had about as much pigmentation as a potato?).  So when the Naked palette showed up 6 years ago on Sephora shelves in all of it’s 50-Shades-of-Brown splendor, a makeup revolution began.

So I get why people lost their shit when it was released.  But my point is, it’s not unique anymore.  Everyone and their mother has leading neutral palettes… Lorac has the Pro line, Too Faced has the Chocolate Bars, and even drugstore brands like Revlon and Covergirl have since jumped onto the bandwagon.

All of these brands jumped on the opportunity that Urban Decay had previously monopolized and they created their own nude palettes, but instead of mimicking the Naked palette for all it’s worth, they did something that Urban Decay has failed to do in the 6 years since the Naked palettes launch… they listened to the people.

The people wanted more mattes.  They wanted smoother mattes that blended better and were more pigmented.  The people also wanted less fall out.  And for God’s sake, could someone please create a palette that doesn’t leave glitter all over your face!?   And so newer, more modern, more satisfactory palettes were born.

Which brings me to my point:

Why I Think the Too Faced Chocolate Bar is Better than the Urban Decay Naked Palette

  1. You pay less per gram (almost 75¢ less per gram)
  2. You get more eyeshadows (16 vs. Urban Decay’s 12)
  3. You have a wider range of shades and tones (the Chocolate Bar has burgundy, pink and purple shades along with some cool-toned browns vs. Urban Decays 11 shades of brown and 1 random ass silver)
  4. It works for a wider variety of skin-tones (the Naked palette is so dark that it’s best suited for medium to deep skin-tones and/or those who prefer smokier, heavier eye looks whereas the Chocolate Bar has shades to suit everyone)
  5. It has more matte eyeshadows (there by making it more versatile for those of us who are 25+ and don’t want glitter from lash-line to brow-bone)
  6. The matte eyeshadows are a better quality (they’re more pigmented and blend with more ease)
  7. There is less fallout (and thereare fewer shades with glitter in them which equals less glitter fallout)

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that that Naked palette isn’t any good, or that you suck as a person if it’s your favorite ever.  I’m just saying that I think the Chocolate Bar is a better investment for beginners because it’s a better value, has more versatility and is more user-friendly.

What was your first makeup palette?  Is it still your favorite?




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Update on my Cruelty Free Status│Are Smashbox & Garnier Cruelty Free?


For those of you who may not know, I have spent the past 2 years trying to eliminate as many products that are tested on animals (makeup, skincare and household) from my life as possible.

If you want to know more about my reasoning behind this, you can check out my Cruelty Free FAQ’S page here.

But as my channel and my blog continue to grow, so do my thoughts and opinions.  And while my stance on animal testing in the world of beauty has not changed (I still firmly believe it is unnecessary and wrong), some of my thoughts on certain brands and their status have changed… and I wanted to share my reasoning with you today!


In a recent empties I mentioned that I would no longer be supporting Smashbox as a brand because while they are currently cruelty free (they do not test on animals and are not sold in countries where animal testing is required by law), they did move to the Chinese market for a time (where animal testing is required by law in order for the product to be sold there).  I had discovered this through the grape vine, and I’ll admit… I sort of went on a witch hunt as soon as I’d heard it!  I looked up every cruelty free blogger I could find and when I found one who suggested that Smashbox’s decision to leave China was financial I let my top pop.

How dare they sale to China for a profit and then pull out of the Chinese market cause they weren’t making the money they wanted!?  And I firmly stood their on my soapbox until a lovely subscriber left the following comment on one of my videos:

“I don’t like when companies sell in China, or if they ever did, but I think it is too difficult to evaluate a company for motives. It is difficult to just judge a person based on motives, but a company even moreso. That’s why I go with not selling in China as being ok…”

The reality is we don’t know why Smashbox isn’t selling in China.  What we do know is that they aren’t.  And isn’t that the goal?  Don’t we want every company who sales in China to pull out of the Chinese market!?  Don’t we “vote with our dollars” to tell companies “I support you when you do the right thing and I don’t support you when you don’t?”  So is punishing Smashbox for the sins of their past really what we want to focus on?

Don’t get me wrong, I know not everyone is going to feel that way (just as I know we all have differing opinions on parent companies and brands who say “except where required by law” even when they are not selling anywhere that requires testing by law); it’s a lot of work supporting cruelty free brands!  A lot of thought, time and consideration goes into it.  And while I’m not by any means here to shame you into supporting Smashbox or Garnier (the other brand I’m about to mention), I did want you to know where I stand and at the very least get a little food for thought :)


Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, this one will be easier.  I stopped supporting Garnier for the same reasons (even though they also are not presently being sold in China).  I have no clue what prompted the decision to leave, just that they did.  I can’t begrudge them for that.  At the end of the day, they are cruelty free, and I choose to support them for as long as that continues.

All the Same

I said all that to say this: I’m not going to boycott brands  that are complying with what I hope all brands will comply with in the future: no animal testing and no selling in countries that test.

So what are your thoughts?  Do you agree with me?  Or do you think I’m being too lax?

Featured Image Credit: Non Solo Beauty Care
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My Small Makeup Collection

One of my least favorite beauty videos to watch on YouTube is the notorious makeup collection.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really in a place to judge what people want to spend their money on when I’ve got a bookshelf full of eyeshadow palettes, but I feel like if you’ve seen one makeup collection you’ve seen them all.  And while I totally get the concept of what it means to be a collector (of anything… makeup… video games… taxidermy…) I feel YouTube, like television, can sometimes paint an unrealistic view of what we need to be or what we need to have to be relevant.

I mean honestly, before YouTube and before blogging, I’ve always been a bit of an eyeshadow hoarder, but I literally only owned one blush, one lipstick and one foundation (maybe two foundations) at a time and I dreaded the day that I’d run out of any of those things because that meant another $10 I’d need to take out of my grocery budget that week to replace them (and wouldn’t you know, they’d all run out in the same week).

My point is, after a lot of soul searching, de-cluttering and unofficial project panning I’ve narrowed down my makeup collection to an almost reasonable size and I want to share it with you today I guess just to say that while there is nothing wrong with collecting makeup (my palettes aren’t going anywhere), it’s okay if you don’t spend every dime you have on enough makeup to fill up an Alex 9 drawer.

At the end of the day, I still consider this to be a sizable makeup collection (particularly for someone who rarely wears lipstick), and it’s my hope that through more project panning I’ll be able to drastically reduce this collection even more throughout the course of the next 2 years.

How big is your makeup collection?  Do you feel like you have too much, or too little?  If you have too much, what do you think you would do with your money if you didn’t spend so much of it on makeup?

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Products I Always Repurchase


Between YouTube, blogs, friends & our consumeristically driven society in general it’s really easy to be swept up into the hype of trying (read: buying) all of the things.  This is fine if you have the budget for it, but if you’re like me (student loans, mortgage, kids, a few credit cards you wish didn’t exist) you don’t.  Which is why today I wanted to share with you the products that just work so well I always repurchase them.

Don’t get me wrong I still like to try new things… but these just work!

Ulta Mineral Powder Foundation

I love this foundation so much that I order it in lots of 4 each time I run out and Ulta is running a sale (buy 4 get 2 free).  I know I could mix and match other products, but why would I when I just love this foundation!?  On days when my skin is extra dry or I’m feeling lazy, I like to apply it over moisturizer and it gives great medium coverage.  But most days I just apply it over whatever liquid foundation I’m wearing to set it and bump up the coverage.

Even better?  One of these will easily last me 3 months.

ELF Makeup Remover Pen

For the most part with ELF makeup, I feel like you get what you pay for.  So needless to say, I’m not the biggest fan of their line.  But the few products I’ve discovered from them that I love, I really love!  And this makeup remover pen is one of them.

Sure, you could dip a q-tip in eye makeup remover and get the same result, but for $3 this little guy is a hell of a lot more convenient to keep in your purse, vanity or to travel with and it surprisingly will last for several months without drying out.

The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector

If you’ve ever smelled hemp then it’s safe to say you know what to expect scent-wise from this product (very… natural smelling).  But if you don’t mind the scent or a hand cream that takes a little time to soak in, this one can, will and does work miracles for dry hands!

A tube will last me about 2-3 months, so for $10 that’s not bad… but I do prefer to stock up on these whenever The Body Shop is running a BOGO sale.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

What can I say?  It’s the best!  Sure, it will leave a white cast, but that’s nothing you can’t shake out a little.  And the reality is, for the price, you’re not going to find a dry shampoo that will leave your hair feeling more clean.  And you hardly have to use any product at all!

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips for Hazel Eyes

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but prior to YouTube and beauty blogs, this was the ritziest eyeshadow palette I owned (it’s like $10, but you try telling a 20 year old college student $10 isn’t a lot of money).  It’s all shimmer, but for someone with fair skin like mine the palette will give you a pretty decent amount of pigmentation.  The shadows also last all day without creasing and they are set up in trios so it’s easy to create looks if you’re a beginner or if you just want something you don’t have to think about.

P.S. This is like the 7th one I’ve owned.

Wen Sweet Almond Mint Hair Treatment

This is essentially a leave in conditioner.  Personally I find it to be just as good as the Macadamia Professionals mask, although it is more expensive.  That having been said, I would NEVER pay full price for it.  Instead, I just order it SEALED from ebay for like $10.

NYX HD Concealer in Porcelain

This is another product that I order from Ulta in bulk when it goes on sale.  It doesn’t have the BEST coverage in the world, but for $4 it is good.  It also lasts well throughout the day and doesn’t crease.  My only real gripe that a tube only lasts me 6 weeks or so… So here’s to hoping they will increase the tube size!

Wet n Wild Cream Brule Single Shadow

Like many peeps out there, I like laying a skin-toned primer down all over my eye area after my eyeshadow primer has dried a bit.  It helps to even out my skin-tone and it helps my shadows to blend better since I won’t be trying to blend them over a sticky eyeshadow base.  So, for $1, you can’t go wrong with this matte shadow!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation in 0.5

And lastly we have the only product on this list that I willingly spend more than $10 on… I’m naturally pretty cheap when it comes to most things (clothes, food, haircuts) but this foundation is just worth it.  It gives a beautiful medium finish that looks and feels like skin.  I use it sparingly because it’s like gold to me… but I just love it.

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Favorites & Highlights│May 2016

Beauty Favorites

This is what I DON'T want. Image Credit.
This is what I DON’T want. Image Credit.

I want to have a quick heart-to-heart with you guys about favorites.  Call it nesting, a reality check or whatever else you want but recently I’ve been all about clearing out the clutter.  Last month I cleared out a whole boatload (read: basket-full) of makeup from my collection AND I finally got brave enough to de-clutter some of my palette collection.  Off camera I finally went through my closet and donated over 100 items of clothing to the Salvation Army, several household items we weren’t using to a family member who recently moved here from Cuba and then a ton of skincare items out from underneath my bathroom sink.

So what does this have to do with beauty favorites?  Well… everything and nothing I guess… Nothing because I don’t have any this month… but everything because I just don’t want to live the lifestyle that requires me to buy 20+ items in a month just to narrow down the ones I liked from the ones I didn’t like.  I mean really… how can I call something I just recently discovered a favorite to begin with?

So from now on, if you see a favorites in this section know that it probably is not new, I’m probably not “obsessed,” and I probably won’t have more than 1 or 2 to share at best.  Never fear though!  I’ll be following in Ingrid from Curly.Spring.Blossom’s footsteps and just talk about some stuff I’ve been loving.  I mean afterall… if Ingrid can come up with awesome favorites posts while on a no-buy, I can too!

Beauty Regrets


The Bare Minerals Invisible Light Translucent Powder Duo has got to be one of the worst products I’ve ever tried in my life.  You literally have to scrub the matte side to get product, and even still it does next to nothing to keep you matte or set your foundation.  As for the glow side, it’s a bit less work but still not worth the $32 (or any money for that matter).



This month I’ve been all about LOST!  I also enjoyed The Returned but it was kinda creepy…  I did notice season 6 for PLL is finally available though so it’s only a matter of time before I spend a weekend binge watching that!

YouTube Video / Blog Post

I discovered Rita because she subscribed to my YouTube channel several months ago and I just loved her personality and panning videos so I subscribed back!  Since then, I’ve come to appreciate her honesty even more.  If you have been thinking about picking up the new Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection Eyeshadow Palette (if it’s ever back online again), I really encourage you to watch Rita’s video review and comparison to other Becca eyeshadow palettes first.



Only 11.5 weeks to go before baby number 2 is here!  We still don’t have a name… Why is this so hard, though, seriously!?

I’ve also been saving for maternity leave.  My Canadian friends out there aren’t going to believe this, but here in the US you don’t get paid when you take time off to have a baby.  Many women often go back to work after just 1 or 2 weeks even!

I’m greedy, though.  I want the whole 3 months that we’re allowed to take off (I just need to fund it) so I’ve been digging under all sorts of rocks looking for money.  I’m still a few hundred short, but I’m not as worried as I was at the start of the pregnancy and if nothing else I’ve proven to myself that I don’t live life with a whole in my pocket and I’m totally capable of saving!

… I know I don’t really talk about finance stuff on my blog… but honestly, let’s be real here, we’re turning more into a lifestyle blog around here so if anyone is interested in a post on how I saved over 3k for maternity leave then let me know!  It sounds like a catchy Pinterest title so I just might do it anyways…


Gabriel's First Bike

As for Gabriel, we’ve been working a lot on potty training and he’s getting so good!  He loves going to the restroom when we’re at the grocery store or a restaurant and it’s killing me how well he can verbalize himself.

“Mommy, I wanna potty.”  My little man is growing up!

We also got him his first bike this past month.  He wasn’t ready for it (hasn’t figured out how to pedal yet) but my husband wanted him to have one sooo bad so it’s more or less been his responsibility to roll him around the house on it (one more perk of tiled floors).

Diet and Weight Management

The struggle has been real with weight management lately.  When my husband and I found out we were going to have a baby, I was already overweight (185 lbs and 5’5″).  My main goals so far this pregnancy have been to drink more water, make more fresh meals at home and to NOT gain as much weight as I did with Gabriel (with Gabriel I started at 165 lbs and stopped counting once I hit 230 lbs).

I’ve done great so far on the first two, but now that we’re in the final stretch I’m thinking I could have been doing more.  Currently I’m 212 lbs so if I only gain 1 lb a week for the next 12 weeks which seems to be normal, I’ll round this pregnancy out at 224 lbs.  This is less then last time… but every time I go to edit the thumbnail for my latest YouTube video and I get a good look at my chubby cheeks I want to kick myself in the butt for the amount of Doritos I’ve eaten over the course of the past 28 years 6 months.

But I guess some improvement is better than none :)

What were some highlights of your month!?


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Project Pan & Pan That Palette 2016│Update #1

The Body Shop Body Butter│Project Pan Intro
Japanese Cherry Blossom│Upper Right│Used up before Update #1

It’s already been a month since I last introduced you to my first ever project pan which means it’s time for an update!  Most of the products I didn’t touch so I’m not going to bore you with before and after pictures that look the exact same, but I am excited to say I did use at least one product up!  Goodbye The Body Shop Body Butter in Japanese Cherry Blossom!

I still have 3 more to go through, but in the future I will not be repurchasing any more of these.  My skin just doens’t get dry enough for them and I HATE how long they take to sink in.

I think I’m most proud of the progress I’ve made on this blush.  It gives a beautiful natural flush that I love and it’s only $5 but it’s super powdery.  Because of this, I’m finding that my money isn’t going as far as I would have liked for it to have gone as the product is quick to use up and also quick to fade throughout the day (it’ll last about 4 hours).

As you can see, one is missing.  I had to toss Julep Helen (as much as it pained me to do it) because I’m dumb.  Basically it was getting too thick and goopy to use… and because I didn’t have nail thinner I just dumped a little nail polish remover in it.  Needless to say I ruined the polish.

Also, no you are not seeing things… I switched the purples.  I figured the lighter shade (Elisa) would be better for the season.  So the first line is where I started and then the silver line is after just one use on both my fingers and toes.  I only applied 2 coats but I really should have applied 3 as this polish is pretty sheer and streaky.  Love the color, though!  See it swatched on my fingers here.

As for the orange (Saaya), I can’t wait to get this out of my collection.  It’s just not a pretty color on me.  Next to my skintone it looks like I have fungus growing on my nails.  So I think I’m going to try and use it up on my toes while I can still reach them (just 13 weeks until baby #2 is here)!


Lorac Pro Matte│Intro
Lorac Pro Matte│Intro

Lorac Pro Matte│Update #1

I knew going into this palette that it wouldn’t be a huge challenge becuase there really isn’t a ton of product (0.5 g per shadow).  But even still I’m kind of regretting adding it.  I’ve made really good progress on the lighter shades, but those darker shades are sooo pigmented.  This month I’m going to try to make more of an effort to use Jet Black in the outter v and Corduroy on the lower lashline.  We’ll see how that goes!

Urban Decay Ammo Palette│Intro



Urban Decay Ammo Palette│Update #1

I know I said I was most excited about the progress on the blush, but I’ve gotta admit, this palette is looking pretty beat up!  The palette had only been used a handful of  times before I started  the challenge so the fact that I was able to hit pan on 2 shades (Smog and Sin) and also have 2 huge HUGE dips in another 2 (Shattered and Grifter) is quite the accomplishement!

I have decided, though, that I will not be using Oil Slick.  As much as it pains me to remove it from the challenge (I feel like I’m failing if I don’t pan the whole palette), I just can’t stand how gritty, not pigmented and full of fall out it is.

This time next month I hope to polish Sin off (too light as an eyeshadow for my skintone, but it’s a beautiful face highlight), clear out the bottom 1/3 of Smog and hit pan on both Shattered and Grifter.

Do you Project Pan?

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Links & Loves #5


Hi peeps!  Long time no speak!  Not gonna lie, I’ve been busy hustling some extra cash to stay home with my boys for 3 months when maternity leave hits.  It’s just my luck that I’d pay for short-term disability for 5 years and then accidentally remove it from my insurance 2 weeks before we find out we’re having baby number 2.  So, like most of us in the US who don’t get paid time off for repopulating society, I’ve been calculating out our budget, figuring out what needs to get paid off early, taking a peak at what’s in my puny 401k and then selling just about anything I can come up with on Ebay.  As you can see, I’ve been busy!

In my spare time, I’ve been doing a lot of Pinterest perusing and watching of Netflix so while I don’t have any super exciting reviews to share with you today, I figured this post would suffice in letting you know:

A: I’m not dead
B: I’ve discovered a ton of fun things I want to share!

  1. Gabriel got his first bike!
  2. I made this earlier this month and we had enough food for 4 dinners.  It was soooo good!
  3. Watched season 1 in 3 days on Netflix.  It’s a bit more gory and touchy-feely than I like, but the creepiness factor kept me hooked!
  4. Not feeling the love for this palette.  There are like… 2 pinks in the whole thing… and no matte mauve!??  Whyyyyy!???
  5. Finally did the Kat Von D Shade+Light vs theBalm Meet Matte Trimony comparison everyone has been asking for!
  6. This planner is almost perfect!  But for $50, I don’t want to have to fill in my own dates :(
  7. Paw Patrol underwear… a must if you are also potty training a toddler right now!
  8. I’m too lazy to paint my nails every 2-3 days, but I’m so impressed by how Cherish is able to use up nail polish!
  9. My only two pregnancy cravings: beer and cookie dough.  This is the closest I’ve gotten to fulfilling them.
  10. Lastly, I started making earrings again :)  No pictures to share atm but I will be doing a giveaway soon so be on the look out!


Featured Image Credit: The Blog "Living Well Spending Less"

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Blog Sale│Too Faced, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Cargo & More!


Too Faced Smokey Eye Palette – No Longer Sold in Stores – $15

Too Faced a la mode Eyes Palette – No Longer Sold in Stores – $15

Cargo Venice Enchantment Eye Shadow Palette – $15

Coastal Scents Revealed 3 Palette – $10

ELF Artistry Palette – No Longer Sold in Stores – $10

Too Faced Bonjour Soleil Bronzer Wardrobe  – $20

BH Cosmetics Wild Child Baked Eyeshadow Palette – $5

BH Cosmetics Nude Rose Palette – $5


Assortment of Drugstore Palettes

  • ELF Prism Palette in Naked – $2
  • Wet n Wild Vegan Culture LE Spring 2015 – $4
  • Milani 03 Smoky Essentials $4
  • Wet n Wild Fergie  Centerstage Collection – $2
  • Wet n Wild Petal Pushers Palette – $2
  • Wet n Wild Spoiled Brat Trio – $1

Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna Palette – No Longer Sold in Stores – $25

Anastasia Beverly Hills Maya Mia Palette – No Longer Sold in Stores – $25

Shipping to the US only – $5 Flat or FREE on orders over $50

Products are sanitized with alcohol and water.  Wear is as you see in the pictures.  Most palettes come without brushes (again, as you see pictured).

No holds, products are sold on a first come first served basis.  All payments need to be made through Paypal.  Sales are not final until a payment is made.  Items will not ship until a payment has cleared.

Contact me below with your email address and the items you want and I will send you an invoice through Paypal :)

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