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I woke up this morning and saw a rainbow…of resistance bands! Got these for my birthday. Now sweatin’ like a mofo.

Here’s the workout I’m doing:

Feel that booty 🔥 burn

Have you ever used resistance bands before? OH EM GEE. Dude, they don’t look like much, but they are no joke. They’re an ultra-portable, affordable way to up your workout game.

Think heavy-duty rubber bands. You wrap them around different parts of your body during specific exercises where your muscles work against the resistance of the bands, and the different colors and sizes of the bands correspond to different levels of tension. Some are equal to a 10-pound dumbbell; some are quite a bit more or less.

Slip one around your knees or ankles, and suddenly your squats and side lunges are next level. I’m talking serious burn 🔥 (in a good way)! You can also use them for upper body (like for assisted pull-ups) and core work.

One can only endure so many burpees because they are truly the devil’s work, and when I want to exercise but can’t bear the thought of going to an HIIT class or struggling through a run, a resistance band workout is almost fun.

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What’s an unsung makeup hero? For me, it’s an oftentimes underrated makeup morsel, a permanent collection product that scoots under the radar screen of many makeup lovers but regularly rocks my world. The long-running Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorites.

I realize that NARS Orgasm is widely believed to be the true tour de force of the NARS blush multiverse, and for sure, I totally get why so many people love it…but NARS Deep Throat to me is a far better peachy pink option. Hands down.

Like Orgasm, it looks incredible on a wiiiide range of skin tones, but it lacks Orgasm’s intensely golden pearl, which in this case is a good thing, particularly if you have pores — like I do.

I actually like that I can’t see Deep Throat’s golden shimmer unless I’m way up in a magnifying mirror. Most of the time, all you see is the lovely color.

Effect-wise, it’s just enough. It doesn’t go overboard. Plus, it’s easy to apply, looks just as natural on bare skin as it looks on top of full-coverage foundation, and you can dress it up or dress it down.

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Question: Where does one go looking for a mu’umu’u or caftan in the spirit of Mrs. Roper?

Answer: Among other places (Marshall’s, Target, etc., and so on, everywhere), Old Navy!

Unfortunately…I didn’t find anything in the loose-fitting brightly colored dress department this time, but I did find some crazy cute workout leggings on sale for 50% off.

FIFTY PERCENT!

The same power that compels me to 1) shimmy-shimmy-cocoa-pop across a busy intersection to retrieve a wayward dollar bill in the middle of the road and 2) discourages me from paying full price for anything (also known as “I’m turning into my mother”) almost — ALMOST — made me get two pairs.

But here’s what stopped me: squats. I was stopped by squats. None of the pants were 100% squat-proof. Mind you, they didn’t feel flimsy, especially the two I almost bought (the navy polka-dot one with the mint green drawstring, and the printed green pair with the pink stripe down the side). The fabric on those was thicker than the Champion brand leggings at Target, for comparison, but thinner than (much pricier) Zellas and Senitas.

But when I bent over or dipped into a deep test squat, I could see the tag (and my underwear) through the material, which was…not good, so I didn’t get them.

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I like to bake.

Naw, dawg, I LOVE TO BAKE.

Love. It. 🍞🥧😍🎂🍰❤️🍪🍩

What’s that? You need a cake baked from scratch? Brownies? Lemon bars? A loaf of artisan bread?? I GOT YOU, GIRL.

That said, when someone tells me that they don’t like sweets, or they claim to never, ever order dessert, my lips immediately form into a tight smile and my right eye starts twitching…because I’m completely short-circuiting inside.

HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE DESSERT…? 1011101011010101111010110100010011101010111

That does not compute.

Thankfully, it’s sweet stuff galore in the MAC Oh, Sweetie Lipcolour collection. In fact, the glosses are named after desserts.

Here’s a look at some of them…

The MAC Oh, Sweetie Lipcolours ($17 each, 15 LE shades)

The collection is fronted by jet-setting German fashion influencer Caro Daur. (I’ll pause for a moment if you want to google her…) She’s so chic, right? I would like some of that Euro girl magic, okpleaseandthankyou.

Honored to be part of the new @rogervivier book #LoveVivier 👠👼🏼 featured next to icon @inesdelafressangeofficial and all my favorite fashion colleagues 🌟 thank you for the loyality, trust and kindness @rogervivier – adore the brand and the amazing team behind it💕💕💕

A post shared by Caroline Daur (@carodaur) on May 24, 2018 at 12:53pm PDT

These Lipcolours are like metallic MAC Cremesheens, and they vary in terms of the amount of opalescent pearl they contain (some have more than others).

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YOU GUYS. Not a week goes by without someone saying that they think I look like comedienne Ali Wong. I guess it’s the glasses? I dunno, I don’t really see it…

It happened again yesterday at lunch, and by “lunch” I’m referring to the cookies I had at the bakery after story time. (We also had a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread, so there was some actual nutrition involved.)

The nice lady behind the counter who always helps us said, “You look EXACTLY like Ali Wong.”

“Really?” I asked.

“It’s the smile,” she said, “it’s the glasses, it’s everything. I could’ve sworn you were her. I was wondering what she was doing in Novato.”

The next time this happens, I’ve decided that I’m just gonna pretend I’m Ali Wong, maybe even sign an autograph, haha! But if I’m wearing Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Sunset Lover at the time, I’ll be screwed, though, because Ali-Karen will probably be inundated with questions about what she’s wearing on her lips, because that’s what goes down whenever I wear this matte peachy pink.

(It’s a new color, by the way, and just launched.)

Don’t even think about wearing this when you’re feeling anti-social, because every person you run into will ask about it.

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“More bows, mama! MOAR BOWS.”

I spent part of my afternoon drawing pink and yellow bows in the street, and while I quite enjoyed being bossed around by a toddler determined to decorate the neighborhood with drawings of pastel hair accessories, holy wow! — sidewalk chalk is so messy. Your hands, your clothes, your hair — everything gets covered in chalk dust.

How did I forget such a messy, fun part of childhood?

Oh, and we happened upon quite the mystery in the driveway when we discovered this…

A huge oak tree overhangs our garage, and when I looked up, I heard baby birds chirping but couldn’t see them… I wasn’t sure what to do with the nest, so I picked it up using two sticks so as not to touch it with my hands and placed it securely on top of some nearby bushes.

I hope the birds 🐦 are OK.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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I’ve been wanting to dress like Mrs. Roper lately. *shrugs shoulders*

I’ve probed the depths of my mind trying to find a reason why I’ve been wanting to rock her style (you might remember her from Three’s Company infamy!), and the most rational reason is the weather.

When it’s hella hot and you don’t have air conditioning in your house, the idea of wearing a big, breezy gown that’s flow-y, isn’t too clingy, and has a fun pattern and perhaps pockets (POCKETS!) and a ruffle or two sounds very appealing (note: it may also have a hem that lightly dusts the floor).

Maybe I’ll eventually come to my senses and seek out a chic black maxi dress, but for now, it’s MRS. ROPER FTW! 🙂

A friend of mine mentioned that Ross has some good cotton caftans, so I popped in and found a couple crazy and colorful ones that were less than $10 each!

I couldn’t decide between these green and burgundy numbers (and was super shocked that the bottom hem didn’t drape along the ground ’cause I was in flats), but ultimately nixed both because neither of them had tassels, fringe or ruffles…and if I’m going to wear a muumuu or something similar, it’s gonna have at least one of those things.

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Had this for lunch today for, oh, I dunno…the second time this week! 🙂 It’s savory, sweet, flavorful, fast, and there’s hardly any chopping involved. It’s my healthy twist on a Waldorf salad, which usually has apple, grapes and mayo. And sometimes chicken.

I usually eat the whole thing in one sitting, but it could serve two as a side salad.

How do I make it?

I’m glad you asked! 🙂

I start with a bag of Trader Joe’s Organic Mediterranean Style Salad (you might remember it from this gnocchi hack), then I set aside the red wine vinaigrette, and add half the greens to a bowl, along with the other accouterments it comes with — the roasted chickpeas, flatbread, dried tomatoes and feta cheese.

(Bag up the rest of the greens, and save for another meal.)

After that, I wash and dry some grapes and cut them in half. Or, sometimes I’ll just leave them whole when I feel super lazy/hungry. Totally up to you!

Next, I open and drain a can of tuna…

WARNING: If you have little animals that go crazy for tuna in the house, pause briefly while they lose their minds.

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Things that make me happy:

  1. Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake
  2. Lifting heavy weights
  3. Cats (obvs)
  4. Sleeping in
  5. Hearing Connor say her name for the first time (“Cah-nah”)
  6. The happy heart eyes on these Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation bottles

Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation ($29, 12 shades)

I like this lightweight matte liquid foundation primarily for its pore-blurring prowess and SPF, and as long as I only blend the tiniest amount on my combo dry/oily skin — literally, just a few drops! If I use any more than two or three drops on each cheek, and yes, YOU KNOW I COUNTED THEM, it looks pretty obvious.

“Hello YOU! This lightweight foundation evens out skintone and blurs imperfections with soft-focus optical blurring spheres. With a natural-matte finish and light-to-medium coverage, it looks like skin and feels like nothing at all. Happy looks good on you!”

— benefitcosmetics.com

Use a few drops, a few gentle taps with your fingers or a damp beautyblender (don’t rub, lest it pill up), and poof! — homegirl be like WHAT PORES? Of course, my pores aren’t completely vanquished, because this is makeup, not magic (although, one could make the case that makeup IS a form of magic, but that’s another discussion for another time), but still, the difference is significant enough to make me go DAYUM!

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So…what is the Monday Poll?

Good question! It isn’t, contrary to its name, an actual poll. It’s just a list of five more or less random questions I’ve been posting on this blog every Monday morning for the past gazillion years (more than 10!). I love reading your answers, and it helps me get my week off to a great start. 👍

1. Best music festival?

It’s been years! Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t know if I’ve ever been to one? I vaguely recall wanting to go to Lilith Fair in the late ’90s but not going, and then somehow ending up with a reusable Starbucks cup that said “Lilith Fair” on it. So I’m gonna say Lilith Fair.

I’ve never been, but I’ve heard good things about BottleRock in Napa, which isn’t too far from my house. Bruno Mars was at the last one.

2. _____ has leading man hair.

Mr. Big from Sex and the City. I re-watched the first movie a couple days ago, and he’s the first well-haired person who popped into my mind.

That reminds me, I just finished marathoning the best show!

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