Monday, January 30, 2012

Natural Weekend FOTD

Hey guys! :) I am so ready to get back to some normal blogging! It's been all Emily Awards for the past few blogs, and it's been good- because I want everyone to have a printable resource of favorite products. But I'm glad to start having time for more reviews and FOTD's. I was really happy with yesterday's natural makeup look, so I wanted to share what I used. Of course, I call it "natural" but I still used a zillion products. :) Testing some new things out! And because I think skin plays a huge role in this look- I wanted to pay special attention to those products...

  • The night before this pic, I used my Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow pads- which not only make my skin FEEL amazing, but they give such a natural glow (they contain sunless tanner). My skin hasn't seen much sun all winter, but I love what just one of these pads did overnight. They also have enough "juice" to take the pads down the neck and chest.
  • I used my Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti Wrinkle Cream SPF 15-- this is a new moisturizer I'm trying out that contains retinol. It's also oil free & fragrance free.
  • Then I used Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro primer to seal it all in and even out my skin texture.
  • Also- for almost the past month, I've been using my Clarisonic Mia 3 times a week. I've been easing into the routine, since I've heard sometimes the skin has to adjust & I wanted to lessen the chance of any weird reactions. I feel like my skin is brighter & smoother than it used to be.
  • Boots No. 7 Stay Perfect Foundation in New Ivory (seems like this line runs dark?)
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser concealer in light (undereye)
  • Bare Minerals Bisque (to set concealer)
  • Laura Geller the Real Deal concealer (nose, sun spots)
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder (lightly, to set foundation)
  • It Cosmetics My Sculpted Face Palette (cheekbones, jaw, forehead)
  • NYX Blush in Mocha (medium pink color)
  • LORAC Perfectly Lit powder in Spotlight (highlight)
  • Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray
  • NYX HD Eyeshadow Base
  • Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips in Nude Eyes (champagne shade on lid & around inner corner, brown lightly in crease, black on outer corner of lower lashline)
  • Tarte EmphasEyes Aqua Gel liner pencil in Navy (upper lashline)
  • Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara
  • Maybelline Define-a-Brow in dark brown
  • Kat Von D Painted Love lipstick in Celebutard (light pink-toned nude)
  • Bare Escentuals Buxom gloss in Leslie (sheer champagne gloss)

As you can see, my FOTD is made up of some old favorite makeup products, as well as some new ones I'm trying. This was my first time using the Boots No. 7 foundation, and lately I've been loving the Physician's Formula Nude Eyes eyeshadows. I'm loving the lip combo, and both came from this Sephora Favorites: Give Me Some Lip Vol. 2 kit- which I LOVE and got to try a bunch of new lip products for $25.

Daily Nuggets...
  • Seems like it's been ages since I've done daily nuggets!
  • Happy Birthday to my MOM today!!! I love you!
  • I've been doing a good job of eating healthy... this past Friday marked 3 weeks with no candy (not even on weekends). I also have a new workout routine that is amazingly fast, but really effective... I'll do more on that soon if you're interested.
  • I cannot even express how busy the Emily Awards have made me. This is by far the most time I've ever put into a YouTube project. I spent so much time editing, shooting, uploading, and just figuring out the content of the videos. But I am more thrilled than ever with how they came out. Thanks for watching!
  • I produced and anchored the morning show by myself today... which basically entails writing and arranging all the stories. I was so nervous that I made sure to get in super early. Got somewhere around 3 hours of sleep.... it's really like being on a different schedule entirely, and my body and mind weren't ready for it. I just kept waking up worried about it, wishing I could just get in and get it over with. But with the news, you really can't prepare in advance- you just have to do it. Thank goodness everything went ok. My co-anchor & producer were at a wrestling event together. Tomorrow when I wake up at 1:20am, it'll be like I'm sleeping in- yay.
  • I watched not one, but two Lifetime movies yesterday while uploading my 2011 Makeup Fails video twice (the first upload attempt almost made it, but failed). The stuff the people were dealing with in the movies made my upload frustration seem like MUCH less of a big deal.
  • Looks like I had a lot to share! LOL. This was therapeutic. Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Emily Awards 2011! FINALE

Finally... it's the finale! This is one of the parts of the Emily Awards that is the most time consuming... yet it's also the most fun. I love thinking through my favorites in fun categories like "Cutest Packaging" and "Most Innovative Product"... but when it comes right down to it, I'm also making some tough decisions in terms of what my MVP's will be (Most Valuable Products). This year I've also added a new category to the finale-- Best Nail Polishes. Keep in mind, in my finale video I only name specific high end and drugstore favorites where brushes are concerned. All the other categories could consist of anything!

People have asked if I'll do separate videos for skincare or hair... but I really feel like the Emily Awards might never end if I keep splitting it up! So I include several of my top skincare, hair, and body products in this video as well. I'm actually in the process of testing several new skincare items (including the Clarisonic), so I would really have a hard time naming a full slate of favorites where that's concerned anyway. And don't forget... while I've been sharing lots of beauty product love in my last few videos, I'll soon be naming some of my LEAST favorite products of 2011!

*Denotes the number of years a product has won. This is the fourth year for the Emily Awards.

Best Brushes
  • High-End: Sigma Complete Kit with Brush Roll***
  • Drugstore: EcoTools brushes** (Mineral kit, Retractable Kabuki, mini kabuki set)
Outstanding Tool
  • Tweezerman Tweezers
Most Innovative Product
  • Mally Poreless Face Defender
Cutest Packaging
  • Too Faced Sweet Dreams Palette
Must-Have Purse Product
  • Q-Tips
Most Valuable Product: Face
  • Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer
Most Valuable Product: Eyes
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow**
Most Valuable Product: Lips
  • Revlon Lip Butters
Best Skincare Products
  • Olay Daily Facials Cleansing Cloths**
  • Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
  • Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads
Best Body Products
  • Philosophy 3 in 1 Shower Gels
  • Shick Intuition Razor**
  • Queen Helene's Cocoa Butter Creme
Best Hair Products
  • Tresemme Tres Two Hairspray**
  • Conair Pro Clips for rollers
  • Conair Bun Maker
Best Nail Polishes
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure
  • Milani 1-coat Glitter Polishes
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Shine- Nude Shimmer
Where to buy...
  • Sigma brushes are available online at
  • Tweezerman is at multiple locations, including Sally Beauty Supply
  • Mally, Laura Geller, Philosophy, and Dr. Dennis Gross products are at
  • Too Faced is at
  • All other products are available in most drug/discount stores

Thank you SO MUCH for your support throughout the Emily Awards series!
It's one of the most labor-intensive projects I do for my channel, so thank you for bearing with me through the extended gaps that came between certain videos. Looking forward to getting to many other requested videos soon! :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Emily Awards 2011! LIPS

Hi everyone! I can't believe we've already made it to part 3 of the Emily Awards! This video was probably my longest editing process yet. I can't believe how much I can talk about lip products... probably my most obsessed-about category of makeup! You may notice a lot of repeat favorites, but there are also lots of NEW favorites in the different color families this year. With the color categories, there is no specification in terms of high end or drugstore... it could be either. Some of my priorities with lip products include the texture & feel on the lips, as well as color variety and ease of application. As with my other Awards lists- some categories just don't have a favorite!

*Denotes the number of years a product has won. This is the fourth year for the Emily Awards.

Best Lip Balm
  • High End: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
  • Drugstore: EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm**
Best Tinted Lip Balm
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter
Best Lip Liner
  • Drugstore: Jordana Easyliner Lip Liner***
Best Jumbo Lip Pencil
  • High End: Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Health Lip Sticks** and Tarte LipSurgence
  • Drugstore: NYX Jumbo Lip Pencils**
Best Lip Plumper
  • High End: Bare Escentuals Buxom Lip Gloss**
Best Lipstick
  • High End: MAC***
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorburst** and Milani HD Advanced Lip Color
Best Lip Gloss
  • High End: Philosophy Lip Shine**
  • Drugstore: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss*** and NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss**
Best Pink Lip Products
  • Lipstick: Estee Lauder Lavish Pink
  • Lip Gloss: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Pink Pop
Best Berry Lip Products
  • Lipstick: Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, MAC Lipstick in Craving**
  • Lip Gloss: ELF Super Glossy Lip Shine in Mauve Luxe**
Best Red Lip Products
  • Lipstick: NYX Ultra Moist Lip Wear in Sheer Red***
  • Lip Gloss: Bare Minerals 100% Natural Lip Gloss in Pomegranate
Best Neutral Lip Products
  • Lipstick: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Spotlight Beige
  • Lip Gloss: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Foiled, Mally Lip Gloss in Blossom, NYX Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Cosmo
Where to buy...
There's still more!
Don't miss the FINALE coming soon!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Emily Awards 2011! EYES

It's part 2 of the Emily Awards! I'm very excited, because some of my most-asked questions involve eye makeup! Everyone wants to find the best mascara, the longest wearing eyeliner, and the best eyeshadow formula. While I've always valued gorgeous colors, I find I'm placing even more emphasis on practical criteria with eye products this year... ease of use and staying power are huge factors for me. As with all of my Emily Awards, some categories don't have a favorite! Hope you enjoy this year's picks!

* denotes the number of years a particular product has won. This is the fourth year for the Emily Awards.

Best Primer
  • High End: Too Faced Shadow Insurance***
  • Drugstore: NYX HD Eyeshadow Base
Best Cream Shadow
  • High End: Mally Evercolor Shadow Sticks
  • Drugstore: Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Shadow
Best Small Palette
  • Drugstore: Cover Girl Drama Eyes*** & Wet n Wild Silent Treatment
Best Large Palette
  • High End: Smashbox PhotoOp Mega Palette
  • Drugstore: Coastal Scents 36 Smokey Palette**
Best Overall Shadow
  • High End: Smashbox***
  • Drugstore: Wet n Wild**
Best Eyeliner Pencil
  • High End: Mally Evercolor Automatic Eyeliner
  • Drugstore: Maybelline Master Drama Eyeliner, NYX Slide On Liner
Best Liquid Liner
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Blackest Black****
Best Cream/Gel Liner
  • High End: MAC Fluidline**
  • Drugstore: Wet n Wild Cream Liner
Best Mascara
  • High End: Mally Volumizing Mascara
  • Drugstore: Almay Get Up and Grow Mascara
Best False Eyelashes
  • Drugstore: Kiss False Eyelashes 03
Best Brow Product
  • Drugstore: Maybelline Define-a-Brow**

Where to buy:

Keep an eye out for the next Emily Awards video...
It'll feature the best lip products!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Emily Awards 2011! FACE

The Emily Awards are back again! This year I'll have a series of videos sharing my favorite high end and drugstore products for face, eyes, and lips, as well as a special finale and the ANTI-Emily Awards for least favorite products! :) I hope you're as excited as I am! The first in the series is face products... so here's a typed list to make it easier to refer to! Keep in mind, not all categories have a favorite. It's gotta be the BEST to make this list!

* denotes the number of years a particular product has won. This is the fourth year for the Emily Awards.

Best Primer
  • High end: Smashbox PhotoFinish Light**
  • Drugstore: Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro
Best Liquid Foundation
  • High end: MAC Pro Longwear
  • Drugstore: Revlon Colorstay**
Best Mineral Foundation
  • High end: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural**
  • Drugstore: Everyday Minerals****
Best Concealer
  • High end: Laura Geller The Real Deal Concealer & Bare Minerals Bisque
  • Drugstore: Revlon PhotoReady Concealer
Best Loose Powder
  • (no favorites this year)
Best Pressed Powder
  • High end: (none)
  • Drugstore: L'oreal True Match Pressed Powder**
Best Powder Foundation
  • High end: Laura Geller Balance & Brighten**
  • Drugstore: Milani Multitasker Powder
Best Bronzer
  • High end: Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer**
  • Drugstore: Rimmel Natural Bronzers in Sun Dance & Sun Light**
Best Contour
  • High end: IT Cosmetics My Sculpted Face Palette
Best Blush
  • High end: Mally Blushes (Effortless Airbrush, classic blushes)
  • Drugstore: Milani Baked Blushes
Best Cream Blush
  • High end: Mally 24/7 Cream Blush**
  • Drugstore: Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush**
Best Highlight
  • High end: LORAC Perfectly Lit powder in Spotlight**
  • Drugstore: Physician's Formula Happy Booster- Translucent
Best Finishing/Touch Up Product
  • High end: Mally Poreless Face Defender

Where to buy:

Stay tuned! The next video in the Emily Awards series will feature favorite eye products!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Buxom Mix & Mingle!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to share an awesome kit I got for my birthday. I LOVE Buxom glosses and the Big & Healthy Lip Sticks. I actually got a kit similar to this one last year- just a different configuration of colors. This year's Mix & Mingle kit is still available at for $36, and in my opinion, it's well worth it!

Something you should know about these Buxom lip products- both the glosses and the pencils are what I would consider to be "lip plumpers". They both offer a cool, tingly sensation. I know they make my lips feel smooth, plump, pigmented, and glossy... and they wear a long time- but there were a few things I just found out after giving the website another look...
An independent clinical study was conducted, and it found 86% of women experienced an immediate increase in lip fullness with the glosses, and 90% of women felt the Big & Healthy Lip Sticks lasted on their lips.
And in case you're wondering about the ingredients in these that are giving your lips that plumped effect, I also found that these lip products contain no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan. They are infused with vitamins A & E. Just thought that was an interesting tidbit!

Glosses (left to right): Sasha, April, Naomi, Starr
Lip Sticks (left to right): Tokyo, Sydney, Miami, Monaco

(swatches are in the same order as products are shown above)

My favorite glosses are April (light shimmery pink), and Starr (sheer plum with gold sparkle). As you can see, all of the lip sticks are super pigmented, and I love them all. I find Monaco (dusty rose) to be super wearable, and Sydney (nude) is awesome for getting a good base for a nude lip. I'm also just a huge fan of jumbo lip pencils for the precision they give, without being as fine-tipped as a lip pencil- so these really excited me. Also for the fact that they don't fade outside the lip line, they have a minty tingle, and you can create a variety of color combos with the glosses. I know this lip set probably won't be around forever, so I just wanted to give my fellow lip product junkies a heads up! :)

Daily Nuggets...
  • Kind of bummed that I'll have to be in bed tonight before the college football National Championship comes on.
  • The guys who do College GameDay on ESPN are always in perfect suits.
  • This is obviously not an official review, but I am really enjoying my Clarisonic Mia 2 so far :)
  • Tonight's dinner: Turkey panini sandwiches with creamy pesto!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Guest Post! See Spot Run

Hey everyone! After getting to spend some time with my awesome sister Kelly a.k.a Pup over the Christmas holiday, I learned she has some strong opinions on a new skincare product- a dark spot corrector. It's something I've never tried, so I asked if she'd write up a guest blog... and she did! I'm so thankful to have a great sister like Pup, and if you'd also like to benefit from her awesomeness, I'd encourage you to follow her blog (about art, cooking, and more), and check out her website. You can tweet her, too. Take it away, Pup!

Photo of Pup and her "sunbrella" visiting the St. Louis botanical gardens.
Pup uses a sunbrella because she is hardcore.

Here's how alarmingly white I am: one summer day I walked into a store and saw a woman stage-whisper to her friend, "SHE'S SO WHITE!"

When I buy any kind of makeup where you've got to match it to your skin tone, I always pick the one all the way over on the left side, and it usually has an exciting name like Ivory or Fair.

Which is fine! I've made it my thing.

A few years ago, however, a few small tan blobs decided to crash my pale party. A shade or two darker than my normal skin tone, they appeared seemingly from out of nowhere, landing on the top of my cheekbones and later on my forehead and above my top lip. This was annoying, as I stay out of the sun and always use sunscreen. The last time I purposely tried to get a suntan was 1986. So maybe this was payback for some 1985 tanning incident. I'm not sure. But since then, I've attempted to get rid of the dark spots or at least tried to cover them up.

Nothing made them fade. Actually, it's not like I tried everything, because there are a lot of products out there claiming to solve this kind of problem. I used a couple of them for a while, saw zero spot reduction, got discouraged, and gave up. I became bitter--stupid lying beauty companies preying on women's insecurities!--and stopped buying them altogether. Because who needs another $22 jar of partially-used, worthless face cream rolling around in a drawer? Clearly nothing would ever make the brown spots go away, and I decided to stop wasting my money.

A couple of years passed with me silently hating the brown spots and dutifully dabbing concealer on them every morning.

Then a few months ago I wanted to be zombie Elizabeth Taylor for Halloween and stopped by a drugstore for some cosmetic supplies. While I was browsing the aisles, intimidated by the stupefying array of beauty products that my sister could undoubtedly navigate with ease, I came across Garnier's Skin Renew Dark Spot Corrector. It came in a hefty 1.7 ounce tube and cost around $15. Surrounded by other skincare products that cost almost twice as much, it kind of popped out at me. I thought of Garnier spokeswoman Sarah Jessica Parker, who always seemed to say Garnier's tag line "take care!" like she actually kind of meant it and never came across as someone actively out to rip me off. Since I was in a splurge-y,wacky, today-I'm-gonna-be-a-zombie! mood, I decided to give it a try.

And it worked. It freaking worked!

I dabbed the pearly, semi-runny product, which has a mild citrus scent, on my cruddy little botches twice a day, and within four days I saw a noticeable improvement. Four days! The spots were fading, and a lot faster than the box claimed they would. It said [paraphrasing from foggy memory] that I should see improvement in about a month, and the spots should be gone in two months. It's two months later, and I'm still using the product but not as often as the spots are basically gone. I'm not sure they'll return if I stop using it altogether. I later learned that you're supposed to use the product all over your face, but...just dabbing it on the spots worked for me!

Before I wrote this review, I did a little Internet research and found that some people love this product and some people don't. So please know that while I was one of the lucky ones, you might not be. If so I'm sorry and I know how you feel. But if you try Garnier's Skin Renew Dark Spot Corrector, at least you're not going to be out $50 like you would be if you bought Clinique's new dark spot corrector. (It could very well work perfectly, but I'd never spend that kind of money on a questionable product that, heck, I just can't afford to buy in the first place.)

***** Five stars, Pup says check it out, although your mileage may vary.

Thanks for the review, Pup! Have you tried this product? Feel free to share your experience with others in the comments section. Have a great day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions for 2012

Hi everyone! It's 2012! As you can see, Cupcake got very excited when the confetti started flying in Times Square last night. I think she was trying to bat it off the screen... or she just really likes Ryan Seacrest- one of the two. During all the New Year's festivities, I got to thinking about my resolutions. And earlier in the week I was reading that if you make your resolutions public, you're more likely to keep them. So here are some general, uninteresting resolutions- plus some very specific beauty-related resolutions! You'll notice, I'm trying to be as honest as possible with myself in this "self-improvement" blog! There's just something about a new year that gives me that "fresh start" feeling- so good luck to all who're making resolutions!
  • Get more sleep. On my schedule, I tend to let tweeting, TV watching, blogging, and YouTubing drift into the time when I should be in bed for my 1:30 a.m. wake up. Whether it's napping in the afternoon or just an earlier bed time, I need to make sure I'm getting enough sleep.
  • Drink more water! I swear, I resolve to do this about once a month and it never seems to stick. I hear about all of the health & beauty benefits to drinking lots of water, but honestly, I haven't ever really felt like I'm drinking enough to get those benefits! So I'm making it happen this time!
  • Work-out consistently & eat healthy. These two kind of go hand-in-hand as things I struggle with. I was thinking today about how great I was about working out when I was a college cheerleader. And I really liked it! Now I've gotten out of the habit of doing it with consistency. I tend to rationalize this by being busy with a full time job, YouTube, etc. But if I make it a priority, I know I can fit in workouts a few times a week. And as far as eating goes, even after 3+ years on my morning news shift- it still feels strange to eat something soon after waking up at 1:30 a.m. But I'm going to make myself have my daily protein shakes.
  • Staying appreciative. Sometimes I get so caught up in a fast-paced, busy day that I don't just stop and fully appreciate what's happening. I'm getting to do what I love, and I'm surrounded by people I love. I also have an extended family through Beauty Broadcast, and I love the ability to connect with so many people. So while I can tend to be very task-oriented, trying to do as much as possible, I need to just "enjoy the ride".
Beauty Resolutions!
  • Be more diligent about moisturizing before bed!
  • Get out of my black eyeliner rut and use some colors.
  • Continue to "shop my stash"- making sure I'm using what I have.
  • Take some (small) risks with TV news makeup.
  • Blog with more consistency.
  • Organize meet-ups this year!
Thanks for reading! Here's hoping I can make these resolutions part of my life in the new year! Do you have anything specific you hope to accomplish in 2012? What are the keys to keeping resolutions? I'd love to hear your advice! :)