Archives for February 2016

February Favorites 2016

Happy Leap Day Beauties.  I thought today would be as good as any to share my favorite products of this month, so without further ado, let’s get started:

IMG_1350_Fotor  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Bridal Makeup Tips

Congratulations to all you soon-to-be brides out there.  I wish you nothing but happiness and the best of luck!  With that being said, I know weddings can be a fun and exciting time, as well as stressful.  I am going to share with you some bridal makeup tips that I share with clients.  Hopefully this will be helpful and lighten some of that stress load for you.



  • MOISTURIZE!!!!!  I can not stress this enough!  Moisturized skin makes a noticeable difference to makeup application.  Foundation applies smoother and more evenly to moisturized skin and it also helps make fine lines appear less noticeable. Makeup will apply splotchy on dry patches on the skin so if you’re noticing some trouble areas, try using a moisturizing mask a few times a week to boost moisture in the skin.  To really boost moisture apply a mask the night before or the morning of.
  • Cleanse and moisturize your skin at least 30 minutes prior to makeup application.  You want the moisturizer to have time to sink into the skin for even, supple makeup application.  Otherwise, your foundation could slide around on your face.
  • Moisturize your lips too.  Apply a lip balm or vaseline to the lips when you begin makeup application so your lipstick will apply smoothly at the end, (dab off lightly before lipstick application).  This helps prevent dry and/or flaky lips.
  • If you decide to get any skin treatments done for the big day, be sure to do them several days before.  Skin irritations can occur so you will want to give your skin time to settle down.
  • DON’T wax or pluck your eyebrows the day of your wedding.  The last thing you want is red, irritated or swollen eyes.
  • Don’t make any drastic changes to your appearance (i.e. hair color change, brow bleach/darken, over tan.)  You want to look like yourself, but enhanced.
  • Avoid wearing a moisturizer or foundation with anything higher than SPF 10 in it.  The reason being is the flash from a camera can reflect off SPF just like UV rays from the sun does, which causes a flashback or ghost effect with flash photography.  However, don’t skip SPF in your normal daily life routine because it does protect your skin against the ailments and is an important part of your daily skin care routine.
  • Don’t skip primer!  This is the one day you will not want to skip eyeshadow or foundation primer.  Primer helps makeup go on smoother and more uniformly.  It prevents your makeup from creasing, smudging and lasts longer.
  • Do your eyes first.  I recommend doing this so if there is in any fallout or mistakes it can be cleaned up easily with a makeup wipe without disturbing your foundation.
  • I always try to recommend trying on and picking out your foundation a few weeks before the wedding.  This way your skin has time to react to it and you can see how it wears throughout the day.  Also while doing wear tests, be sure to check out how it looks in natural and artificial lighting and make sure there are no lines of demarcation.
  • When picking out foundation make sure you match it to your skin type as well.  If you have oily skin, pick out a mattifying foundation (such as Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place or Loreal Infallible Matte Foundation). If you have dry skin, pick out a illuminating foundation (such as Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation or Revlon Colorstay for normal/dry skin).
  • Apply foundation with a beauty blender, sponge or brush for a smooth finish.  Avoid using your fingers to apply foundation because you don’t want to leave fingerprints or smudges behind.  Plus the less you touch your face, the better.  Fingers can deposit bacteria and oils into the skin and cause breakouts.
  • Set your foundation with powder.  This locks it in place and keeps it from creasing.  You will definitely want to set your under eyes and T-Zone, especially if you tend to have skin on the oily side.  It will also help keep shine down in pictures giving you a smooth finish.  If you’re using a translucent powder be careful that it doesn’t contain Silica.  Silica can also cause flashback in pictures.  The perfect all around setting powder is Laura Mercier Loose Setting Translucent Powder.
  • Every bride wants to have that wedding day glow about her.  Go easy on the highlight as you don’t want to resemble a disco ball.  Stick to highlighting the tops of your cheekbones for the perfect wedding glow.  Also highlighting the tear ducts will open and brighten your eyes.
  • Wear false lashes.  False lashes make eyes appear larger and stand out.  Not to mention they look great in pictures.  If you want a more subtle look use individual lashes.  With individual lashes you can control placement and thickness but if you want a more glamorous look then use strip lashes.
  • WATERPROOF!  Use anything and everything waterproof you can get your hands on.  If anything at all, use waterproof mascara.  This is a must.  You will want something that won’t smudge or streak during the tears of joy and that will survive all the sweat, fun and dancing.
  • If hiring a makeup artist make sure they don’t hijack your look.  This is your day and you should look how YOU want to look.  However, make sure you give some direction as to what you want too.  We aren’t mind readers.  I always try to do a consult with my clients wether it be verbal or in person to get an idea of what they are looking for.  Be open and talk to your artist about your wants and needs.

Hopefully some of the tips were helpful to you!  If you wish to see some looks or tutorials let me know!  Again, congratulations ladies!  I know you will all be beautiful!!!


**Not a sponsored post.  May contain affiliate links**


Boxycharm Reveal: February 2016

This month’s Boxycharm theme is “Rush to Relax” and is focused on relaxation and looking refreshed. Which is exciting for me, because I love treating myself to spa days!  Who doesn’t, right?  The box includes a moisturizing mask, a heart shaped sponge infused with body wash and oils, eye serum, banana powder, perfume and a blush/glow stick.


(Subscribe to your box here)





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Quick Tip Tuesday: Easy Top Knot/Messy Bun

A top knot/messy bun is a quick and easy way to style your hair when you’re in a hurry or to hide the fact you haven’t washed it in a week, like me.  Here is a quick and easy way to achieve this look.


How to:

  1. Spray a texturizing spray or dry shampoo into your scalp.
  2. Flip your head upside down and gather hair into a ponytail at the top of your head.  This helps you to get it as high as possible.  (If you don’t want it sitting on top then just pull back into a regular ponytail.)
  3. Flip your head back over and smooth any bumps and lumps with your fingers.  This gives it a more chic/messy look vs. using a brush.  If you want a sleek ballerina bun, then use a brush to smooth your hair.
  4. After your ponytail is secured, twist and wrap the hair around the base and secure with bobby pins or another hair band.  (If you want to make the bun even more messy looking, slightly pull your hair out around the bun and/or the hairline.  Don’t pull too hard because you don’t want it to fall out completely and have to start over.)

**Not a sponsored post.  May contain affiliate links**



Ipsy Bag Reveal: February 2016

Happy Valentine’s Day beauties!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful day with their friends, family and/or significant other.


I thought today would be the perfect day to reveal this month’s Ipsy bag, plus my hubby checked the mailbox today and there it was!!!!


Pretty In #Ipsypink


  • Naked Cosmetics Mica Pigment in Champagne, Shimmering Nude
  • Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in I’m Kind Of A Big Deal
  • Margaret Dabbs London Mini Crystal Nail File
  • Seraphine Botanicals Carrot + Rose Hydrating Cream
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil


Description of each product per

  • Naked Cosmetics Mica Pigment:  Naked Cosmetics is the purest, most natural make-up that exists. Naked Pigments are 100% oxidized Mica, and do not contain talc, oil, wax or other fillers that can be harmful to your skin. It is 100% color to give you a pure product that is non-allergenic, non-perishable, and simply beautiful.
    • High pigment
    • Natural and Non Comedogenic
    • Flexible use – pigments can be used for eyes, face, lips, nails and body
    • Blends well with other colors and products
  • Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in I’m Kind Of A Big Deal:  Formulated with love in the USA and EU, Trust Fund Beauty is always vegan and cruelty-free. If you’re looking to minimize the toxic content you’re exposed to, and you believe you can be beautiful without being cruel, Trust Fund Beauty is the indie cosmetics company for you. This baby pink shade will let everyone know that you really are a big deal!
    • Non-toxic
    • Long-wear
    • Cruelty-free
  • Margaret Dabbs London Mini Crystal Nail File:  The Margaret Dabbs London Glass Crystal Nail File is slim and elegant, but most importantly, effective to use. The Crystal Nail File will immediately provide a smoother, finer finish to your nails. The fine abrasive crystal finish protects the nails, making them less prone to splitting and can be used on finger and toe nails.  Directions: Use on dry nails and file in any direction. Can also be used to reduce thickened nails by sliding the file over the top of the affected nail.
  • Seraphine Botanicals Carrot + Rose Hydrating Cream:  A lightweight, hydrating cream formulated with glycerin, a natural humectant that helps soothe normal to combination skin by locking in moisture all day. This silky, comfortable cream can be used on the face or body to help nourish and protect your skin without leaving a sticky, greasy feeling.
    • No Parabens
    • Vegan and Cruelty-free
    • Locks in moisture all day long
  • Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil:  The Power of a Primer. The Luxury of a Face Oil.  Fall in love with your skin — before you put on makeup — with the first ever primer specially formulated in a lightweight, lustrous oil. This fast-absorbing hero blend of 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils penetrate instantly to moisturize your face for seamless foundation application with a dewy, youthful finish. In fact, you might think twice before you reach for your makeup.
    • Softens complexion to make foundation look like skin
    • Instantly absorbs and adds radiance
    • 15 essential and lipid-rich plant oils including moisturizing jojoba and calming chamomile
    • Apply a few drops to split-ends, cuticles, elbows and clavicle for a dewy, youthful sheen

If interested in joining Ipsy, click here for further details.


Plum Basics Makeup Look

Today I’m going to show you how to do this gorgeous purple eye look, using Milani’s Plum Basics palette.  I love purple shadows and I’m not sure why I don’t wear them more often.  To me, purple is a universal color because it is flattering to most eye colors and skin tones.    Purple shades help make eyes appear larger and they will enhance the natural beauty of your eye color, especially green eyes.

This look would be a pretty date night/Valentine’s Day look or even a night out with the gals.  It’s an all around look for anyone.





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Boxycharm Reveal: January 2016

I know, I know…I can read your mind.  “Another subscription box Halie?  Really?”  Well, yes.  I’m late to the party on joining this one, as you can tell, since I just received my January box.  Better late than never, right?

Boxycharm is a monthly subscription plan that sends 4-5 FULL size beauty products for $21 a month, plus free shipping.  Each box is a $100+ value.  SEE!?  This is why I am obsessed with subscription boxes.

(Subscribe to your box here)


This month’s theme is “Eye’s On 2016” so the focus was all eye products, which included:  Makeup brushes, mascara, eye liner and a smoky eyeshadow palette.  Unfortunately, my mascara was missing.  🙁  My kind of luck…I opened the tin tube it comes in and there was nothing there.  Luckily if something like that happens or it arrives damaged, they will replace it for you.

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Quick Tip Tuesday: Nivea Men’s Post Shave Balm As Foundation Primer!?

Yes, you read “Nivea Men’s Post Shave Balm as primer” in the post title and yes, I’m being serious.  I kept seeing claims that this was being used as a foundation primer and how amazing it is (yada yada yada), so I decided to put it to the test to see if it was worth the hype.  I must say, the claims are legit.  LEGIT!  TOO LEGIT TO QUIT!!!!  Ok, sorry….

I put it to the test yesterday and had it on for 9 hours or so, and have to say that my foundation, blush and bronzer not only applied more smoothly and easier, but it still looked great after all day wear.  Normally after 8+ hours I have some fading, streaking, etc.  I am surprisingly impressed by this product!  My top three favorite foundation primers are; MAC’s Prep & Prime Skin Base, Smashbox’s Photo Finish and e.l.f.’s Mineral Primer and while they’re great, I don’t think they can hold up as well as this did.  Don’t quote me 100% on that statement yet.  I’m going to do a test soon and apply MAC on one half of my face and Nivea on the other and do a comparison.  I will let you know the results after I do the experiment, and see if I’m still swooning over the Nivea.

I washed and moisturized my face like normal, before applying the balm.  [Tip:  Apply moisturizer at least 15-30 minutes before applying makeup to your face.  This gives the moisturizer time to sink into your skin and helps foundation to go on more smoothly.]  Apply the balm just like you would your regular primer (it is a liquidy product so a little goes a long way).    I did notice it dried slightly tacky, which makes me think the foundation adhered it to it better.  The tacky feeling goes away and leaves your face feeling fresh and smooth and gives your foundation a flawless finish.  Even after 9 hours my skin still felt soft and moisturized.  It does have a strong ‘Manly’ scent (that reminds me of Old Spice) but it does fade pretty quickly, so you don’t have to feel like you’re walking around smelling like Dudley Do-Right all day.  Also, I have normal to dry skin and it left my skin with a subtle glow.  I have heard claims that it also will work with oily skin as well and that it actually helps with oil control.  (Since I don’t have oily skin I can’t confirm that from personal experience.)


Product description:

  • It comes in a 3.3 ounce glass bottle for $5-$7 at your local drugstore.  That is a steal, not only is it easy on the change purse but you get a ton of product.  Normal foundation primer usually comes in or around an ounce (give or take) and can range from $6-$40+.
  • No alcohol, so doesn’t dry you out.
  • Helps to soothe and improves skin’s defense.
  • Moisturizing.
  • Contains Glycerin (2nd main ingredient), which makes product stick to it.  I think this is the reason for it’s popularity.
  • If you end up not liking it, you can give it to your man and it helps prevent shaving irritation.  (I guess you could share with him anyway 🙂 )


 2:30 pm  |   11:30 pm

nivea test

I don’t know if you can tell (2nd picture is with my phone vs the Cannon) but you can see my blush & bronzer were still in tact and still had a flawless finish.  My lipstick, eyeliner and lashes on the other hand didn’t make it, but that was because I purposely rubbed them off.

So if you’re looking for an affordable drugstore primer with high-end results, this is an amazing option and you won’t be disappointed.

**Not a sponsored post.  May contain affiliate links**


Valentine’s Day Makeup: Soft Romantic Eyes

This week I am going to do a few Valentine’s Day makeup tutorials to help inspire your own looks or simply give you a few ideas.

Today’s look I created using the Carli Bybel Palette from BH Cosmetics.  This palette consists of 10 eyeshadow shades and 4 highlighter shades.  The palette has shimmer and matte shades ranging from neutrals to plummy browns, great for everyday use and not to mention gorgeous.

The Look:


Step-by-step eyeshadow instructions:


  • Apply eyeshadow primer to eyes.
  • Using a large shadow brush dab shade #2 all over lid.
  • Blend shade #3 into crease using a tapered blending or crease brush.  Also take this color and smudge it into the whole lower lash line using a smudger brush.
  • Dab shade #4 onto outer corner of eye slightly blending up into the crease.  Using the smudger brush blend into the outer lower lash line blending over the top of shade #3.
  • Dab highlighter shade #11 on to brow bone and tear duct.  (I also used on the high point of my cheekbones)
  • Line upper lash line with eyeliner of choice.  I used Wet-n-Wild’s black felt tip liquid liner and decided to wing it out for a little more drama (optional).    Skip the wing if you prefer a more natural look.
  • Apply mascara and/or lashes.




Other products used:


**Not a sponsored post.  May contain affiliate links**


Five Valentine’s Day Outfits

Valentine’s Day is next weekend and if you are anything like me, you are already thinking, “What am I going to wear?”  Normally I would run out to the nearest mall to find the perfect outfit but this year I decided to shop in my own closet.  I encourage you to do the same, you’d be surprised at how you can revamp that little black dress or that pencil skirt by updating them with accessories.

The Little Black Dress:

  • I took this simple sexy calf-length black dress  and added a statement bib necklace.  The necklace now becomes the focal point and completely transforms the dress.  [Don’t have a statement necklace?  You can keep the necklace simple or completely forego one, and add bold earrings and/or a bracelet]



  • Since I paired such a statement piece with my dress I kept the rest of the accessories simple.  I added a small silver clutch (to match the metal in my necklace) and a single crystal bracelet.  [For earrings I would either wear diamond/crystal studs or pavé ball studs]
  • I added flirty black shoes.  (I call these my Carrie Bradshaw shoes)  I sometimes like to add a print or colored shoes to a lbd, but I didn’t want to take away from the necklace so I kept it simple.


Outfit details-  Dress/Express | Bib necklace/Baublebar |  Clutch/Charming Charlie  |  Crystal Bracelet/Chloe + Isabel  |  Shoes/Zigi Soho


The Lace Dress:

  • Lace is a classy, feminine look and can be worn many ways.  I paired this gold lace dress with this multi-strand statement collar necklace to give it a classic look with a modern twist.   By combining pearls and antique brass plated chains with vintage oval & cushion cut crystals it gives it a “retro-glam” vibe.



  • I brought the same jewelry pattern to the rest of my jewelry pieces:  Vintage crystal drop earring and bracelets.
  • In keeping within the classy feminine theme, I paired with pointed toe shoes.  I picked shoes with a print that held the same color tones as my dress & jewelry.


Outfit details-  Dress/Lucky Brand  |  All jewelry/Chloe + Isabel  |  Shoes/Guess


The Printed Dress:

  • I love playful, fun and bold print dresses.  I dressed up this t-shirt style dress by adding camel colored suede heels, a belt at the natural waist to give it a feminine shape, and kept it simple with the jewelry.  I paired a pavé link necklace and layered the matching bracelet with another bracelet, that included the same metal tones and ivory stones to add a smidge of glamour.  I also added a ring with the same features.




Outfit details-  Dress/Old Navy  |  Belt/Charlotte Russe  |  All Jewelry/Chloe + Isabel  |  Shoes/Bamboo


The Chiffon Dress:

  • Chiffon flowy dresses are fun, flirty and adds an elegant look that’s effortless.  The elastic waist adds a feminine flair to it.  I personally think this should be a closet staple.  You can wear them to weddings, on date nights, girls nights out, parties, etc.  For the Valentine’s Day look I kept the accessories to a minimum by adding a pendant necklace (cab be worn long or short), jacket earrings and a statement ring, in all the same jewel tones.  I wanted the dress and shoes to be the focal point of this look.



  • These jewel studded heels adds a romantic oomph to this already elegant dress.


Outfit details-  Dress/Express  |  Shoes/Charlotte Russe  |  Necklace/Wal-Mart  |  Earrings/Charming Charlie  |  Ring/Chloe + Isabel


The Pencil Skirt:

  • I liked this look so much that I left it on Frannie (the mannequin).  This look can be worn from the office straight to a dinner date or out for drinks.  I paired this soft romantic pink peplum top with a black pencil skirt with a lace hem for an hourglass look, and strappy heels.  The back of this shirt is the star of the show.  How cute but sexy is this top?!  Peplum may not be as popular today as it was, say in 2012-2013, but I find that it’s shape is flattering on most body types.  [When picking out peplum you should go one size up so that the waistline is not digging into your body.]


  • So stinking cute!


  • I kept to a neutral color palette with the jewelry for this look.  Black & ivory stones with gold leaf accents keeps this outfit looking soft and romantic.



Outfit details-  Peplum top/Papaya  |  Pencil skirt/Express  |  Shoes/Charlotte Russe  |  All Jewelry/Chloe + Isabel


What looks will you come up with for Valentine’s Day?  Let me know!  Would love to see how you style some oldies but goodies out of your closet.

[If you wish to shop any of the Chloe + Isabel jewelry pieces shown above, you can shop my online boutique here]