Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wet 'n Wild 8-Color Palettes!

Hey everyone! I meant to get these pics up here sooner, but was having problems uploading pictures on my computer. I wanted to bring you some swatches, so you could get an up-close look at the new 8-shade Color Icon palettes from Wet 'n Wild! I found them last week at my local Walgreens for $4.99! This blog will just be swatches (without primer) & general observations. I'll have a full video review soon, once I spend some more time testing these out!

I was so excited to tell you about these palettes in my All Drugstore Olive Eyes tutorial!
They were also featured in my More for your Money Makeup video!

Comfort Zone

This is the neutral palette of the three. All of the colors have shimmer and some are more sparkly than others. All shades are pigmented, but keep in mind, you only need a tiny amount of the dark shades to get the job done. The shade in the lower right hand corner is kind of deceiving, and a close dupe for Too Faced Label Whore. It's a brown with bluish metallic tone. I love the eyelid shade on the right, and all of the olive tones are great. All of these shades swatched so easily- very little effort required!

Petal Pusher

This palette seems to have the least impressive swatches on camera, but they truly are pigmented and very nice to work with. The top 2 shades on the left side don't have lots of shimmer, and are just softer shades in general. The deep periwinkle/lavender shades are awesome, and the crease shade on the right is a nice dupe for MAC Beauty Marked. The eyelid shade on the right didn't really deliver in the swatch- but it's soo pretty. Another one of those two-tone colors.

Blue had me at Hello

While some of the lighter shades got a bit washed out in the palette picture, the swatches are just lovely. While this group of colors centers around bold blues, you also get some nice basics... a matte black, a sparkly black, a silver, and a gorgeous shimmery navy with navy blue sparkle. Again- I used NO PRIMER with these swatches and was still able to get some very bold color payoff!

Thanks for stopping by my blog for some initial impressions on these palettes!
Check back with my YouTube channel for a full review very soon!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crock Pot Enchiladas!

Hi everyone! Friday is almost here! :) This past weekend, I got a new Crock Pot! I have a large one already, but when I ran across a smaller 2.5 quart crock pot for around $10 at Wal-Mart, I thought it'd be perfect for cooking for me & Tyler! Also a good size for soups, dips, etc.

Sunday I browsed the internet for some crock pot recipes... and ended up finding one for Crock Pot Enchiladas at The New Homemaker website, which I've posted below. (I forgot to take pictures the first time around, so I used some leftover meat mixture to make a small amount yesterday! That's why the crock pot isn't very full).

Crock Pot Enchiladas
Makes 4 to 6 servings, or if you're using a smaller crock pot like mine, you'll have extra meat mixture to use in tacos, more crock pot enchiladas, or whatever you want! Obviously in a larger crock pot, you'd layer the tortillas differently.

  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef (or use ground turkey!)
  • 1 small to medium onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 C. fresh or frozen corn
  • 1 19-oz. can enchilada sauce*
  • 2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 2-1/2 oz. can sliced ripe olives, drained
  • Any garnishes you want to serve with it... sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, guacamole, etc.
Brown ground beef and drain. Add onion and garlic; cook over medium heat until tender and transparent. Add salt and pepper. Place 2 tortillas in bottom of crockpot. Place a third of the following in layers over the tortillas: meat, corn, sauce, cheese and olives. Repeat tortillas and other layers two times. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours Serve with sour cream.

*I used a smaller can of enchilada sauce. Tyler has had some acid reflux issues lately, so I was trying to make it with very little acidic, tomato-based products. This meal left his tummy feeling fine! :)

Here you can kind of see the tortilla layers... they soften up nicely and I love how warm & bubbly everything gets. I think some chunky salsa would make a great addition to the meat mixture... and maybe some other veggies like peppers!

Daily Nuggets...
  • Busy day for me! work, meeting, video, dinner, blog.
  • I recently got a six pack of mini Lancome Juicy Tubes. I gave 3 to my friend Katie!
  • Finished Mad Men season 4! Must discuss with my sister when she returns from Spain!
  • Late January is big for birthdays in my family... Tyler on the 25th, my sister on the 26th, and my mom on the 30th! (plus even more friends with b-days!)
  • I may have used too much of the Lush strawberry massage bar after my shower. Can a person smell too fruity?
  • Cupcake has a blanket she loves. If it's not already covering me up, she'll start pawing on it, as if to tell me I need to put it on my lap so she can lay on top of it. It's the cutest thing ever.
  • Speaking of cute... corgis. Need proof? Click here.

Thanks for checking out my blog!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sigma "Make Me Up" Brush Collection

Hey everyone! Hope your Monday is going well. Mine isn't. Well, it's better now than it was earlier this morning! We were most of the way through the newscast when I noticed migraine headache symptoms kicking in. For me, that means numbness in my arm, vision problems, and sometimes an inability to make sense & find the right words! Not to mention an awful headache. Thank God I got through the newscast before everything started kicking in. I went home afterward & took some medicine and slept it off. Anyway, enough of my sob story and on with the review!

If you've checked out the Sigma website lately, you know there's a whole new bunch of brushes available... it's called the "Make Me Up" collection. It's basically the professional 12 brush kit (like what was featured in the Emily Awards Finale video), but instead of a brush roll, these brushes come in a cylinder-shaped container! They also come in a variety of colors- pink, purple, black, and my set- teal... also known as the "Make Me Cool" set. I love the color of this whole kit, but even more, I like how functional the packaging is!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Sigma brush roll... it keeps all your brushes separated and in great shape. But I like this packaging more because, in my case, most of the time I'm doing my makeup at my vanity area in my makeup room. I feel like I'm constantly needing more storage for brushes, and it's just so easy to grab them out of a container like this, rather than holding a brush roll in your lap (or needing enough open space on your table/counter to roll out the entire brush roll). As you can see by the pictures above, there is a generous amount of space when you put all the brushes in one container... or what I like to do is split face and eye brushes into each container (top picture). There's tons of room to add other favorite brushes in your collection!

When you're ready to go, just consolidate your brushes into one container, and it snaps shut on each side. I like that the container is tall enough so you don't have to worry about brush fibers getting caught when you close it. The benefit- you get to keep your brushes dust free and covered when you're not using them... the downside- the brushes have more of a tendency to move around if you're on the go, and hopefully they don't get turned upside down (that's not really a concern with the brush roll, which holds each brush in place). I enjoy the faux leather look of the container, the visible stitching, and the cute snaps. It'll definitely brighten up your makeup area! :)

I've reviewed the Sigma brush kit before (just like this, only it's black), as well as the Sigma Travel brush kits. Sigma brushes are also a 2 time Emily Awards favorite in the brush category. So hopefully I've made it clear that the quality is awesome. These brushes are no exception. Again, they are the same brushes you get in the complete kit, only you have shiny teal handles and a matte, deep teal ferrule.

Here's a closer look at the face brushes... you get a powder brush, a stippling brush, a flat foundation brush, an angled blush brush, and a concealer brush.

For eyes, you have a large shader brush, a flat shadow brush, a blending brush, an angled brush, a pencil brush, an angled liner brush, and a pointed liner brush. (this is all my terminology, not necessarily the exact names on the brushes)

Another cute detail, the print on the brushes is in a cute metallic color that gives off a rainbow effect. Again, you can clearly see what each brush should be used for, in case you forget! The whole kit is available at the Sigma website. Keep in mind, this kit is an investment- it costs $99.00. That amounts to about $8.25 per brush, not counting the container. Considering the cost of MAC brushes and other high end brush brands, this is a pretty great deal. It would be the ultimate gift for someone you care about, or a great addition to your vanity.

Daily Nuggets...
  • I HATE migraine headaches. They keep you from doing what you want and you never know when one is going to pop up. The prescription medication Imitrex has been the most effective thing I've taken for them... but you still basically have to lay in a dark room & sleep it off.
  • It's a really, really dreary day outside.
  • I tried out a recipe for crock pot enchiladas yesterday- it was really good & I'll blog about it soon.
  • I'm craving some ice cream right now. Any kind, doesn't matter.
  • I'm uploading a video I shot over the weekend- Physicians Formula Happy Booster blush & powder. The powder has cute heart shapes in it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Emily Awards... What did you think?

Cupcake with a cupcake bank I found for $10 at Target!

Hi everyone!! How are you? I must say, the past week has been one of the most hectic in my YouTube career! These Emily Awards have taken more thought and editing than pretty much anything else I've done. When I haven't been shooting or editing... I've just been thinking about what my favorites would be! I have to admit... I've neglected doing much cooking, working out, or housework while this series has been happening. I'm looking forward to getting some balance back in my life between this, my full time job, and everything else!

Anyway, I just wanted to get some feedback about a few different things while the Emily Awards are fresh in your mind. It'll help them to continue to improve next year! :) Feel free to answer these in the comments section if you have time! THANK YOU!
  1. Do you like the awards being separated into different videos?
  2. Do you like having high end and drugstore favorites?
  3. Are there any product categories you felt were left out/not enough of?
  4. Any other suggestions?
Thanks SO MUCH for watching these videos! I just realized that if you watched all four... you watched close to an hour's worth of videos!

Daily Nuggets...
  • Cupcake is on Twitter. She is sassy and can be a diva at times!
  • I now have a Keurig coffee maker. It's so quick!
  • Tyler & I have finished season 3 of Mad Men (the last set we had) and WE NEED MORE! We are so addicted.
  • Our morning show is doing a "Behind the Scenes" blog series on each member of the team.
  • I miss my family.
  • I need to re-evaluate my home decor now that the Christmas stuff is down.
  • I am really close to 100,000 subscribers on YouTube... this excites me!

Monday, January 17, 2011

2010 Emily Awards- THE FINALE!

Welcome to one of the most labor-intensive editing jobs EVER! This video took a long time... from shooting video of Cupcake, to choosing the very best products, to trimming it down to a somewhat manageable length. I really hope you enjoy it. I think after the Golden Globes, we're all in the spirit to see some products that are all WINNERS! :)

Best Brushes:
Outstanding Tool:
Most Innovative Product:
  • Revlon Precision Lash Glue
Cutest Packaging:
  • Urban Decay NYC Palette
Needs to be in your purse:
Most Valuable Product- Face:
Most Valuable Product- Eyes:
  • Wet 'n Wild Color Icon Shadows
Most Valuable Product- Lips:
Best Skincare Products:
  • Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths
  • Aveeno Ultra Calming Moisturizer
  • Clean & Clear Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub
Best Body Products:
  • Shick Intuition Razor for Sensitive Skin
  • Victoria's Secret Pure Seduction Body Wash
  • L'oreal Sublime Bronze One Day Tinted Gel
Best Hair Products:
  • Remington T-Studio Pearl Styling Wand
  • Tressemme Tres Two Hairspray
  • Neutrogena Triple Moisture Silk-Touch Leave-in Cream

Friday, January 14, 2011

2010 Emily Awards- LIPS

Hi everyone! It was my initial goal to have these videos cranked out one day after the next, but I must say, my video editing has become much more involved than it was a year ago! With pics, swatches, graphics, etc... it takes me a little longer! So thanks for being patient! I had lots of fun choosing my favorites for lips... hope you like them as well!

Best Lip Balm:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Nivea Kiss of Smoothness, EOS Lemon Drop Smooth Sphere

Best Tinted Lip Balm:

  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Palladio Herbal Tinted Lip Balm (2x winner)

Best Lip Liner:

  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Jordana Easyliner Lip Liners (2x winner)

Best Jumbo Lip Pencil:

  • High End: Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick
  • Drugstore: NYX Jumbo Lip Pencils

Best Lip Plumper:

  • High End: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Gloss
  • Drugstore: L'oreal Infallible Plumping Lip Gloss

Best Lipstick:

  • High End: MAC (2x winner)
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorburst & Rimmel Moisture Renew

Best Lip Gloss:

  • High End: Philosophy Lip Shines
  • Drugstore: NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss


Best Pink:

  • Lipstick: Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Airy Fairy
  • Lip Gloss: Maybelline Shine Sensational Lip Gloss in Sweet Indulgence

Best Berry:

  • Lipstick: MAC lipstick in Craving
  • Lip Gloss: L'oreal Infallible Plumping Gloss in Plumped Mauve

Best Red:

  • Lipstick: NYC Ultra Moist Lipstick in Sheer Red (2x winner)
  • Lip Gloss: Nars Lip Gloss in Dolce Vita

Best Neutral:

  • Lipstick: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Sunset
  • Lip Gloss: Jordana Pretty Shine Lip Gloss in Lovely (2x winner)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 Emily Awards- EYES

More Emily Awards- yay! This time, I'm sharing my favorite eye products. Please excuse the fact that in some categories... I have 2 or even 3 winners! Same as the face video- I'm sharing both high end and drugstore favorites.

Best Eye Primer:
  • High End: Too Faced Shadow Insurance (2x winner)
  • Drugstore: Palladio Herbal Eyeshadow Primer
Best Cream Shadow:
  • High End: MAC Paint Pot (Rubenesque) (2x winner)
  • Drugstore: Coastal Scents Double Ended Shadow Pencils
Best Small Palette:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Cover Girl Drama Eyes (2x winner), Maybelline Stylish Smokes in Natural Smokes, Wet 'n Wild Color Icon palette in Lust
Best Large Palette:
  • High End: Urban Decay Naked Palette, Too Faced Enchanted Glamourland
  • Drugstore: Coastal Scents 36 Smokey Palette
Best Overall Shadow Brand:
  • High End: MAC (2x winner)
  • Drugstore: Wet 'n Wild
Best Eyeliner Pencil:
  • High End: Urban Decay 24/7 Liners
  • Drugstore: Cover Girl Perfect Point Plus
Best Liquid Liner:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner (3x winner)
Best Cream/Gel Liner:
  • High End: MAC Fluidline
  • Drugstore: Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Cream/Gel Liner
Best Mascara:
  • High End: Lancome Hypnose
  • Drugstore: L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black
Best Brow Product:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Maybelline Define-a-Brow

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2010 Emily Awards- FACE

It's that time again! The Emily Awards are back and better than ever. These videos share my favorite products of the past year. Look for more videos in the 3rd Annual Emily Awards series in the coming days!

Best Primer:
  • High End: Smashbox Photofinish Light
  • Drugstore: Hard Candy Sheer Envy Primer
Liquid Foundation:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay
Mineral Foundation:
  • High End: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural
  • Drugstore: Everyday Minerals (3x winner)
  • High End: Benefit Erase Paste
  • Drugstore: (tie) Maybelline Dream Mousse, Hard Candy Glamoflauge
Loose Powder:
  • High End: Mary Kay Signature Loose Powder (2x winner)
Pressed Powder:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: ELF Studio Translucent Mattifying Powder
Powder Foundation:
  • High End: Too Faced Amazing Face Powder Foundation
  • Drugstore: Maybelline Pure Stay Powder Foundation
  • High End: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
  • Drugstore: Rimmel Natural Bronzer (Sun Dance, Sun Light)
  • High End: MAC Dollymix
  • Drugstore: Milani Minerals Blush in Mai Tai (2x winner)
Cream Blush:
  • High End: Mally Beauty 24/7 Cream Blush
  • Drugstore: NYC Blushable Creme Stick
  • High End: Lorac Perfectly Lit Powder in Spotlight
  • Drugstore: Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips (2x winner)
Finishing Powder:
  • High End: none
  • Drugstore: ELF Studio HD Powder (2x winner)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review: Kardashian Konfidential

Hello friends! Time for a book review :) This book is all about several beauty icons- the Kardashian sisters. I really enjoyed their show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" on E!, so I thought it'd be fun to read this book! As I flipped through the book at my local Target, I realized that the 241 pages not only focused on the sisters' great style and celebrity status... but also how they were raised and their business mentality. It offered up so much more than you see in the TV show. To give you an idea of the content- here are a few of the chapters...
  • Family Feuds and Other Sticky Stuff
  • Teen Queens
  • Sudden-Onset Stardom
  • Paparazzi, Press, and Perks
  • Live! From Hair and Makeup
  • Boys
  • We Mean Business
The book is written in first-person... so you feel like you're hearing these stories straight from the girls. The only thing is, at times a chapter will begin and you don't know which sister is narrating it! So that was a little odd, but it didn't make it any less interesting. Then there are some chapters where it's clear who's telling the story, and it's pretty evenly split among them. The book follows a number of formats, and every now and then you'll see actual conversations between the girls, like what's shown in the snapshot above. I enjoy the book's conversational feel... you get through it quickly because it's written in such a casual way... you can practically picture the girls talking to you. Speaking of "picture"... there are tons of great pictures throughout the whole book!

Maybe it's my mentality as a news reporter... but I love hearing the back-story on just about anything. I LOVE getting the "behind-the-scenes" point of view on stuff... whether it's a star, a sports team, a big event, or just an everyday person's life! I don't feel like a nosey person... I'm just interested and curious! Anyway, in this book you learn so much about how the Kardashian children were raised by Kris and their father, the late Robert Kardashian. I found this section really eye-opening... while these kids grew up in the lap of luxury, their parents required a LOT of them in terms of taking responsibility and earning their keep. I don't want to give away too much, but you'll be surprised by what you read.

Of course, along with those family-oriented, biographical aspects... you get the low-down on something many of us in the online beauty community are interested in... their glamorous lifestyle! I think we all realized these girls were busy, but when Kim touched on her sleep habits and schedule, I was like- WOW. You also hear about their insecurities as they live so much of their lives in the public eye. They share some really positive, uplifting messages about self-esteem that I think any reader can take something from. And, of course, I loved the chapter "Live! From Hair and Makeup"... you learn about some of the sisters' go-to products and what it's like to have a glam squad around you at all times.

If you're a fan of the Kardashians, it'll be a struggle not to sneak ahead in the book to the last section called "Our Faves"... where each sister shares everything from favorite TV shows and websites, to favorite songs and recording artists. I think those of us who watch YouTube beauty videos love hearing about favorite things... and it's fun to hear what celebrities think as well!

I had so much fun reading this book! I'm big fan of non-fiction... so this was really interesting. As you read, you learn just how different the Kardashian sisters are from one another. You'll also realize that the seemingly glamorous life celebrities lead isn't always so easy. If you've read this book, let me know what you think! And if you're interested in picking it up, I've included an Amazon link below. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have a great day! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • I'm really enjoying writing random blogs on Tumblr. Most recently, I talked about my New Years resolutions and "Making the Best of It". Click my link to find out what "it" is!
  • I did a news story on a local cat rescue program today. Really inspirational... the story airs Friday so I'll tweet a link after it's posted online :)
  • I have a gorgeous flameless candle that is on a timer... comes on at the same time everyday & I find it comforting.
  • I miss Christmas time!!
  • Tyler & I are officially obsessed with the show Mad Men. On season 2 now!
  • I've worked out 2 days this week. But I missed today. My bad!
  • The latest issue of Sophisticate's Hairstyle Guide with Lauren Conrad on the front is especially good.