Monday, November 23, 2015

Hello Goodbye


It's been my goal for quite some time to have a blog in which both Trent and I can write. After much debate, I've decided to mark this blog as a chapter of life, and move on to a new chapter! Trent and I will now be writing on!

The new blog platform allows us to use video from Trent's drone, and to customize other aesthetic aspects that weren't possible on this blog, powered through blogger.

I've copied over a few posts in the meantime, but the new blog will have all new content. will still be accessible if you want to stalk the old stuff!

I wish I could thank each of you for the support and encouragement I've been shown here. It's been a sweet 3 years!

Let the new adventures begin!

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Dumb Phone Experiment

Trent and I listened to a podast on the Ted Radio Hour called "Screen time". To sum it up, the rise of the smartphone is killing people's ability to talk to each other.

We thought it was interesting.

Before long, Trent was doing research to switch us over to flip phones for a month and do a social experiment of sorts.

After discovering that flip phones can't handle either of our work emails, we trashed that idea and decided to "dumb down" our iPhones instead. Here's what we kept:

Email (personal & work)
Navigation (work purposes -we both travel locally)
Weather pup (obviously a necessity)
Calculator (because I can't do math in my head)

No safari.
No Instagram.
No Facebook.
No bank app.
Nothing you can waste time on.

We traveled with iPads during the day to access the internet if we needed it for work.

We are currently 24 days into our experiment. There's a small handful of people we've told, but most don't know.

I documented some of the things I noticed....

Day 1
Friend text me a funny video link. *Tap* Tap* Tap* Tap* Tap* Oh....I can't open links.

Day 1.5
Laying in bed on my phone (like always) and Trent says "Are you going through old photos on your phone?" YES. I literally have nothing else to do on here.

Day 2
How many tablespoons are in a cup? I'm at the store and I don't know. I don't have this information in my head, therefore, I do not have the answer. It's a weird feeling. So powerless. Purchased twice as much whipping cream as a result.

Day 4
Since I deleted my Facebook App, Facebook started sending me emails. WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT!? Some sort of automatic setting that switches on to suck you back in!? ......don't tell me how to live my life Facebook! It says I have 15 new notifications and I am dying to know what for. It will be days till I have access to a computer (anniversary weekend with Trent!)

Day 5
Waiting in a lobby with a bunch of people I don't know. I have nothing to do but stare at them. And I do.

Day 6
Finally checked those Facebook notifications. Got invited to 7 Jamberry/Younique parties. Not exactly exciting.

Day 6.5
Making chicken tortilla soup. I had to dig through my cabinets and use a recipe card like a peasant.

Day 7
Laying in bed and Trent is on his phone. I look over and realize he has spent the last 5 minutes picking a new screen saver photo. We have reached a new low.

Day 9
Noticed that I have no idea what's going on in the news. Googled "best national news site" on my laptop because I genuinely don't know where to go to get news. Proof that I get my news from social media. I am embarrassed.

Day 11
Trent and I have to share our laptop and it is seriously annoying. I have to sign out of his Facebook every time I log in.

Day 12
Wanted to buy a spotbot vacuum on Walmart's Clearance. My decision making skills cannot work without stars!!!!! Must know the reviews before purchasing. HOW MANY STARS OUT OF 5!? TELL ME.

Day 12.5
Called and desperately asked Trent for my password so I could save $7 on some shirts by using Target's coupon app, Cartwheel. He gave it to me. #blessed Ended up saving $2.40. Not even worth it.

Day 13
Apple radio is annoying. Downloaded Spotify without Trent knowing. I haven't given him my password back.

Day 13.5
Wanted to send a link to Lauren. Emailed the link to myself on my computer. Copied it from gmail on my phone. Pasted it into a text. Just wasted 2 minutes of my life.

Day 14
Took an adorable picture of Gracie Belle running on a football field. No one to share it with. It might as well have never happened. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a noise?

Day 15
Trent and I sat on the couch and talked for over 2 hours, completely uninterrupted. I didn't think anything of it until I couldn't find my phone. It was in the purse....I never even took it out after I got home from work.

Day 15.5
Trent locked up my phone again and deleted my cartwheel app. Kept my Spotify. I sound like I just got grounded.

Day 18
I'm in a garage sale type Facebook group with other women in Topeka. I put a bunch of stuff on, and have been obsessed with checking to see if I've sold anything or if anyone has questions. I realized I have some sort of social obligation to respond in a timely manner.

Day 21
Instagram sent me an email with title "See new posts!" I've never received an email from Instagram. It knows I haven't opened the app in 21 days. Stalker.

Day 21.5
I just hash tagged a text to Trent BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE INSTAGRAM OR TWITTER. #stillworks #hashtag

Day 24
It's 11pm and I still have 74% battery.

To be continued...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Do it any way

I've been a Christian for 21 years.

Praying with my dad is one of my first memories as a 5 year old.

Growing up in the church, I knew the importance of having a “quiet time” every day. In fact, I saw it modeled daily by my parents. They taught me scripture and played those Donut Man christian music tapes in the car. Holla to all the kids out there who know what I'm talking about. I appreciate my parents' dedication to scripture tapes, but I did miss the entire era of Spice Girls because of it. Everyone feel bad for me.

What I'm getting at here, is that I have been given every opportunity ever to know truth and pursue God. I literally don't know how God could have been more accessible to me during my adolescence. Hashtag blessed.

Yet, I haven't always chosen to pursue God daily.

I lived the majority of the first 20 years of my walk with Jesus completely undisciplined.

I'm not even going to try to make that sound better than it is. I spent TWENTY YEARS knowing what Jesus did for me, yet chose NOT to learn from Him daily. Fighting the idea of a quiet time. Wanting to learn, yet not knowing how to be consistent. How to WANT that time. How to pray. How to not be bored out of my mind while reading the old testament.

Looking back, I rarely read my bible. The knowledge I had of God was primarily what I had been taught, told or assumed. I learned about God like a research topic in school. I googled bits of scripture and keywords to find information on topics that I wanted to know about at a time that was convenient to me because I knew what I needed and I decided when and how I wanted to hear Him. 

My excuse?

There's plenty. Let me list them.

“I hate reading.”
“I can't fit it in my schedule right now.”
“I learn better in discussion with other people.”
“I volunteer plenty of my time.”
“It's pointless to read in the mornings when I'm so tired.”
“I serve God in other ways.”
“I'm an extrovert -I hate being by myself.”
“I don't value alone time.”
“My heart isn't in it right now, so I would just do it out of guilt.”
“I don't seem to learn much by reading.”
“I get too distracted.”

This past February I used the “I volunteer plenty” excuse. YoungLife was consuming the majority of my free time. It's like I was saying to God, “Isn't this enough? Aren't I giving you enough already?” It wasn't long before I felt absolutely drained. I had nothing more to give others when I wasn't being filled myself. I sat with my friends Heidi and Angelyn discussing my frustration.

I was embarrassed to admit that I'd been a Christian for years, yet hadn't read many parts of the bible first hand. The book I base my entire life on. Yet at the same time, I could make 1 million excuses as to why I didn't read my bible.

Heidi and Angelyn, in the most straight-forward, yet gentle way told me this: “DO IT ANY WAY.”

They said it's the most important part of your life.
They said you are NOT too busy.
They said 30 minutes less of sleep is worth the sacrifice.

Do it any way.

They didn't make excuses for me, but spoke TRUTH into my life -words I desperately needed to hear brought perspective that didn't allow for excuses anymore. God over everything. Over my schedule, my time. Even my opinions.

For the past 9 months, I have woke up (nearly) every single day to learn. Even if I don't want to. Even if I'm tired. Even if I need 3 cups of coffee. Even if my dog rolls in poop the moment I let her outside at 6am and I have to give her a bath (happened more than once).

I don't always see the benefit. I don't always feel like a million bucks when I get done reading. I don't always feel like I can apply what I read to every day life.

But I can tell you how many times I've cried relating to Noah or Moses or Abraham. Actually, no I can't because it's happened more than I thought. I thank God for softening my heart to see His word as a guide to know Him better. Day after day it becomes a little easier to keep my morning commitment.

I know a lot of you have been faithful to that kind of commitment for decades. I know God sees that!

And to those of you who lack discipline like I did, I hope me sharing this gives you hope. If I can do it, so can you. It's never too late to form new habits.

If you're looking for a place to start, I'm going through a chronological study that gives me exactly what to read every day. Even though sometimes I only read half a days worth or a 1/4 of a days worth because I'm slow :-)

God's word is alive (Hebrews 4:12). Choose to believe it changes you.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Getaway weekend

This past weekend Trent and I got to take a little weekend getaway in celebration of our 3 year anniversary and my 26th birthday!

We went to Omaha, which was just far enough to feel out of town, but not far enough to feel like we wasted most of our weekend driving.

We stayed at this historic hotel called "Magnolia", which obviously reminded me of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia store from HGTV. Duh. It must be good.

And it was! THERE WAS COMPLIMENTARY COOKIES AND MILK EVERY NIGHT. Convinced that's why Trent chose this hotel. He knows me.

We walked to all kinds of fun things in Omaha's Old Market, which is bursting with local eateries and shops. It sort of made me realize how few local restaurants Topeka has, which was kind of depressing.

We went to the zoo because, well, we love zoos. It was 75 degrees the entire day and perfect.

We got massages and shopped for jewelry. I feel so spoiled!

Thankful for Trent and these 3 years of marriage. It just keeps getting better and better!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Let's be honest...

Hey guys, this is Trent

I guess I have another serious post.  More of a pleading request than a post.

I have been thinking a lot lately about life and what is considered "normal" and to be honest a lot of normal life is pretty terrible/boring.  Why do we allow terrible boring things to be "normal"...? Anyway...

I don't think that normal has to exist at all.  Why not do something different?  Why not be unique? Why not try something crazy?

After that rant of an intro, I am sure I lost half my audience but for those of you still with is what I wanted to really talk about: transparency. Why is it normal to be totally un-transparent?

Disclaimer--Obviously I am not advocating for complete and total transparency...the cashier at Hy-Vee doesn't really want to hear about your struggles and achievements.

I was at a Young Life meeting tonight and God just spoke to me in the way He so effectively does.  No booming voice, no burning bush, just a message.  All of the sudden I was looking around at these people that I serve with (some of which I know well) and thinking about the hard things they are all going through.  I couldn't help but think about the lack of meaningful conversations we've had.  Not to say those conversations don't happen, but they are rare. Why?!

People have trouble with real transparency.

This is one of the many reasons that I love Christianity.  The bible says "Come to me all who are weak and weary and I will give you rest."  Notice it doesn't say, "Come to me all who have their act together and are doing well and I will sit idly by and be happy for you."  God knows we are all a mess.  He loves us anyway.  In fact, you know the people Jesus was toughest on in scripture?  The people who acted like they had it all together!  He hated that! And you hate it to...admit it.

Think of the last time you said "How are you?" and the response given was: Good, great, awesome, still smiling, ok, or fine...

Did you walk away saying, "wow I love that person, so happy they are doing well!"  NO! YOU KNOW YOU DIDN'T!  We hate that, because it is totally fake!

On the other hand why do we LOVE gossip? Because it is usually some little ounce of truth that no one would normally tell people.  We want to know what is actually going on SO BAD but we dance around life and act like everything is great.

Why are we so afraid of saying what is on our minds, or going on in our lives? Are we afraid to look bad?  Afraid of what people will think?  Afraid of being different?  Afraid no one will understand?  Afraid we will fail? What is it?

I have never found actual peace in hiding my true self from people.  I have never gained real friends by presenting a fake image of myself.  I have never actually felt good about being successful while being fake.

I don't think anyone would disagree or argue differently.

So if lack of transparency doesn't give us peace, doesn't build friendships/make us popular and doesn't make you a real success...then why do we all act like it is so normal?

I realize that isn't easy to do.  I realize it isn't always practical.  But think about it.  Talk to a friend about it.  I think the more you bring up transparency, the more it will become a part of your life.  There is reason that we hold old friends so is because they know the real us.  We can be honest and transparent around them.  There is freedom in that.  There is peace in that.

Just be you.  People love that.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Broke and Carefree

Today I found my video iPod from college.

You guys don't understand how exciting that is. It's like a freaking TIME CAPSULE. It has not been touched in 5 years.

So I immediately hook it up to my car this morning and have a literal panic attack when Keke Palmer's "Bottoms up" is the first song to play. Party girl music was my favorite. I checked the iPod's "Top 25 Most Played" and Ke$ha snuck in 6 different times. Girl knows how to drop a beat.

Literally every single one of the top 25 was a happy, in-the-car-with-the-windows-down type of song. It took me back to my college days. To college Katie. Upbeat and care free Katie. Those days were the BEST.

Let me introduce you to more of care-free Katie.....I'm on Timehop today. I scroll through my feed  and come across dozens of "Happy birthday" posts from 6 years ago:

My first thought is obviously "Why are people wishing me happy birthday on August 25th!?"'s definitely not my birthday.

...Is Timehop accurate?!

...6 years ago I was a freshman in college.


Because I'm so clever and hilarious, I changed my birth date on Facebook and got all kinds of well wishes. People were so nice, telling me to have an awesome day.

So I woke up the next morning and made it my birthday again.

And then again the next.

And then again the next, for an entire week.


And people just didn't catch on. Someone would write "Hey, wasn't yesterday your birthday?" and the very next person types "Happy birthday!!" and the cycle continued. For 7 days. Best fake birthday week ever.

Freshmen year of college is when carefree Katie met carefree Trent. Because everyone is carefree in college, even if you don't know it yet.

Trent had a particular "job" when I met him, but I'll let him tell you about that...

Hi, it's me Trent.

College is so great.  Literally the best time of your life.  With one major exception...You are typically broke the entire time.

This leaves young men and women searching for solid streams of income ranging from waiting tables to begging on street corners to finding a rich friend who will buy you stuff.

Me personally? I sold my body for money.

(It's Katie. That was his exact words when he told me what his "job" was.)

Now before you go all church lady on me I was only selling my plasma.  

I would stop by your friendly neighborhood plasma center, located in the ally behind Little Caesars, twice a week and pump out a pint of plasma.

I started this my freshman year at Mizzou and continued with varying vigor until I was a junior.

The payout was as follows:

1st time that month: $25
2nd time that month: $25
3rd time that month: $30
4th time that month: $30
All remaining trips that month: $35

You could average 8 times a month, which if you do the math comes to $250 a month.

In college if you had $250 a month in extra income you were a king!  

Let me give you a typical breakdown of how I spent my cash:

1st month: Used Mountain Bike

2nd month:  1 - 12pack of Beef Ramen Noodles
                    4 - 24 packs of Dr. Thunder
                    20 - Boxes of various candy from the dollar store
                    2 - Parking tickets because I was too lazy to park my car where I was supposed to 
                    2 - Trips to taco bell with Katie
                    All remaining money was spent on more candy

3rd Month:  Exactly the same as the second month                

4th Month: You get the picture   

I know what you are thinking..."Trent a very large portion of your budget was spent on candy."

To that I would say, how else am I supposed to keep my candy drawer stocked?! One does not simply keep an entire dresser drawer full of candy without spending some serious cash.

At first Katie was slightly disturbed by the amount of candy I ate.  Then she came into my room and was so overwhelmed by the amount of candy wrappers on the ground that she completely forgot about the candy consumption issues.  A single human being can only worry about so much at a time.

I like to think that my candy consumption contributed to my amazing longevity and success as a plasma donor.  You don't just waltz your way into the plasma hall of fame. Hard work, dedication, consistency.

Outside of the necessities, I would occasionally have to sink a few dollars into my car.  A pristine Silver 1997 Ford Taurus GL.  The sweetest ride a guy could ask for.  Ford got it right with the taurus, or as I like to call it..."The Torsche".  I like to put it in the same performance category as NASCAR or Fomula 1...And they have to replace stuff after every race.  Just part of the deal when you drive a thoroughbred.

Anyway...if you need some cash and don't mind your arms looking like a crack addict...this is the PERFECT job.

It's Katie again. I asked Trent what he would spend his $250 on now. He said bills.

Adult life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Bang Bang Shrimp, Concerts and Burns

I wish I could tell you guys that I've been doing some spectacular things that have prevented me from having the time to write...

but the truth is, I've been watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix.

You guys, if you haven't seen "Little White Lie" the documentary, you have no idea who you even are.

So other than that, I've been doing a lot of relaxing. It's been such a season of rest for me in a lot of ways. I feel like I'm learning a lot about who I am and where God wants me investing time and where God doesn't want me investing time and how to make really delicious chocolate croissants (trying to sound fancy, but it's really just a canned roll of Pillsbury croissants with chocolate chips).

4th of July was fun. I didn't get hit in the face with a firework, so that's a bonus. Everybody's dogs be freakin out about loud noises and Gracie's over here like..."pets please". No fear in this little guard dog.

Topeka goes absolutely insane for America. If there aren't fireworks being lit on your street for 4 solid nights straight, your neighbors are either out of town or dead. 

Trent has embraced the Topeka culture well. Below is a 180 shot roman candle held by my kid-at-heart hubs. He's cute.

...the shots just kept coming.

Topeka 4th of July Parade...which is approximately 10 minutes long. Sorry to dog on this Topeka tradition, but KC friends will find this so funny...a 10 minute parade. Gone in a wink!

Still so fun, and we got to spend it with friends!

We got to go to a Royals game too!

The Radio station I work for, 94.5 Country, helped host Country Stampede again this year. I went with my friend/sister Lauren (people tell us we look alike!)

And my friend Lindsay (who also work(ed) for the station)

We unexpectedly got party pit passes for Florida Georgia Line. I wouldn't consider myself a celebrity-crazy person, but when everyone around you is literally freaking out at being spit-distance from a country star, things get exciting. A drunk girl in front of us peed her pants. She asked me for hand sanitizer and I was like...girl you need to clean up.

I made those diy distressed high waisted shorts a few years ago, but after a few washes, they had gigantic holes. So I ghetto-pinned/hot glued some cut up lingerie in as a patch. Call me crafty.


This past weekend I made the dumbest mistake of my life. Before leaving for the pool, I couldn't find my sun tan oil, but I did find some baby oil and thought "Eh, pretty much the same thing."

NOT THE SAME THING YOU GUYS. Not at all the same. I basically BAKED my skin in the flaming Kansas heat and looked like a lobster. I BURNT MY SHINS, that's how bad it was. And I felt like a complete idiot because I'm 25 and apparently don't know what sunscreen is.

Speaking of the heat. OMG. It is an oven in Kansas right now. I have to literally drag my dog outside for her to go to the bathroom, because she is NOT about this desert life.

In other news, Amazon Prime Day is today. Not only do you have to be a prime member to participate, but you are on a timer with limited quantities, so you have to beat out almost everyone else who absolutely needs a shoe horn for 20% off. Because that baby will sell out FAST. It's sort of an online garage sale of sorts.

So I spent a portion of my day today watching what other people bought. I saw a bag of Chia seeds sell out in 10 seconds. 10 SECONDS! America will wait hours to get $1.25 off their Chia seed purchase. Don't even mess with us. And the adorable polkadot Keds shoes...if you are not a size 7 then just GET OUT. Only size 7 gets 53% off, you big foot. If you guys don't hustle over to Amazon right now, you might even miss this incredible opportunity to save 41% on a 24 pack of lint rollers. That lint be crazy.

I made bang bang shrimp tacos for my husband, which actually tasted a lot like the real bang bang shrimp tacos from Bonefish (they are gluten free too, FYI). It was the first time I deep friend something, and the oil popped and burned my neck. WHAT IS IT WITH ME BURNING MYSELF!? Maybe I can find a turtleneck on Amazon Prime Day for next time.

Goodnight friends!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Best makeup for Acne, Rosacea, Eczema and other discoloration!

I'm continuing this series of makeup product suggestions based on age, budget and skill level!

Today I'm focusing on women who wish to even out their complexion. I think these products work best for those with significant discoloration due to acne, rosacea, eczema or even blue veins, sun spots, or Vitiligo.

I have discoloration myself, due to Keratosis Pilaris that runs vertically from my cheek bone to my jawline. I talked briefly about it in the post "I'm not who you think I am" last June. At times I embrace it and let the rosy cheeks peak through! Other times, I prefer a more even complexion, especially when I experiment with contouring and such.

I disregarded budget for this post and simply determined the best of the best!

Age: Teens - 50's
Budget: High End
Skill Level: moderate - expert

Mac Pro Longwear Nourishing Foundation in NC25
This foundation provides coverage like I have never seen. I didn't love it at first, and couldn't figure out why! By my 3rd or 4th use I finally realized "this totally washes me out". Why would I suggest something that washes me out? BECAUSE IT COMPLETELY CONCEALS EVERY SINGLE COLOR ON MY FACE. It literally made me 1 color. For those of you with significant discoloration, this is your dream product. It applies smooth like a BB cream, but the color payoff is outrageously different. The finish just looks like skin because it soaks in so well. That's what makes it so versatile -it covers acne for younger skin without looking cakey, and works for mature skin because it won't settle in fine lines and wrinkles. I hear the pro longwear can look slightly dry on some skin types -If this is you, use a moisturizer before applying this foundation. There are 16 different shades and you can try it before you buy it at any MAC store!
NOTE: If you use this product, you ABSOLUTELY have to apply blush or bronzer afterwards. The reason it washed me out is because I did not apply enough color to my face after evening out my coloring. See below for bronzer/blush suggestions. Also, I think an illuminator/highlighter would pair nicely with this product, as it has a fairly matte finish.
Price: $32.00

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer in NC20
If you have sunspots, deep under eye circles or difficult problem areas you are looking to cover, this is the most pigmented concealer I've ever used (Mac says it's medium to full matte coverage, but that's's full coverage). A little goes a long way! I only have one is so difficult to only get a tiny bit because of the stupid pump dispenser!
Price: $20.00

Urban Decay Eye Primer Potion in EDEN
I talked about Urban Decay's original eye primer in DRUGSTORE vs HIGH END: Where to save and where to splurge! This works just as well, but carries a highly pigmented formula that completely covers all redness and blue veins. I've noticed that my eyeshadow really stands out when applied on an even slate like Eden. Just make sure you fully rub it in, or it will build up in creases or be noticeably applied.
Price: $20.00

NARS Blush in Orgasm
I still have a lot of experimenting to do in the blush category! If you have a lot of redness in your skin, you might have a similar problem. I suggest Nars Orgasm (the name...oh my gosh lol) because the general public LOVES it. I use it frequently on others, but unfortunately it doesn't look as natural on my own complexion. One thing I used to hate about this product (but now actually kind of like) is the "golden shimmer" it subtly provides. Test this one out at any Sephora store!
Price: $30.00

Loreal Paris Magic Lumi Light Infused Primer (I use it as a illuminator/highlighter)
I talked about the Magic Lumi in my "Favorite New Beauty Product" post a few months ago. It's a subtle sheen that won't clash with any discoloration that may peak through your foundation. I think it would look especially great on more mature skin to give some life on the tops of your cheekbones. I will mention- if you feel the texture of this area of your face is not very smooth (acne or significant scaring), you may want to skip this step (And that's ok! Nobody has a perfect complexion!)
Price: $12.99

Benefit Hoola Bronzer
I've talked about this stuff a lot! It's an excellent contouring/bronzing powder that provides a lot of color! I can't think of a time I've used this on more mature faces, but I just love it on younger skin. This might be one you want to test at Sephora or Ulta before purchasing, unless you have a skin tone similar to mine, in which case I know you will love it! :-) If you don't want to spend the moola on Hoola (like what I did there?) then check out the dupe in my best of drugstore makeup post from last week.
Price: $28.00

I hope that was helpful! Let me know if you have questions!

Want to read more? Other posts from this Series:
Makeup Products for Newbies
Best of Drugstore Full Face Makeup
DRUGSTORE vs HIGH END: Where to save and where to splurge!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Best of Drugstore Full Face Makeup

When I selected these products, I thought of a 20's-40's gal who has NO INTEREST in buying high end but wants to wear full face makeup. That means this person will spend the time to put on foundation, bronzer, eyeshadow, eyeliner...the whole 9 yards! BUT they are on a budget!

You could really consider this a "best of drugstore" makeup look. 

Age: 20's - 40's
Budget: Drugstore only 
Skill Level: moderate to expert

I linked all of the products back to Ulta's website. I wanted to mention that these products often are buy one get one 50% off. Or you could just get them off amazon :-)

(From left to right)
Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combo/Oily Skin
Of all the drugstore foundation I've tried, I think Revlon's is the best that's offered. It's a pretty full coverage with a matte finish, that usually lasts me all day! I have this in the color 310 Warm Golden, but I'm closer to 180 Sand Beige in the winter.
Price: $12.99

Covergirl LashBlast Mascara in Blackest Black
This mascara is the best. If you haven't tried it, you should. My advice is to use it in layers! This mascara can give me more volume than any other mascara I've tried in the market....drugstore OR high end!
Price: $8.99

Maybelline Define-a-brow Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Blonde
If you haven't ever used a brow product, this is a perfect place to start! The dark blonde in particular provides a really nice ashy tone, and glides on nice and smooth.
Price: $6.99

Maybelline Expert Wear Eyeshadow Quad in Chai Latte 
I talked about this product in my Makeup for Newbies post, but as far as eyeshadow palettes go, this is the best neutral all-in-one palette I've found in a drugstore! 
Price: $6.99

Physician's Formula Bronze Booster Glow Boosting Pressed Powder in Medium to Dark 
I have no idea why the picture above makes this product look so orange. It's actually a really deep bronze that's almost matte. I find it to be a very close comparison to Benefit's Hoola (although Hoola's product is better if you are willing to spend the $28...sorry)
Price: $14.99

Maybelline Line Stiletto in Blackest Black
This is my every day eyeliner! I love it because it's super pigmented, but is also easy to get off. It doesn't smear all over the top of your eye. If you have oily skin or hooded eyes, I would especially recommend this product to you! 
Price: $7.99

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Concealer in Neutralizer
This concealer is fantastic! This is an every day product I use under my eyes to cover dark circles. I considered getting the "fair" shade, but have found "Neutralizer" to match my golden skin tone so well!
Price: $8.99

(Brushes from left)
Real Techniques Shading Brush
Great multi-purpose eyeshadow brush that's a little more dense than the e.l.f. brush I suggested in makeup for newbies
Price: $5.99
Real Techniques Blush Brush 
Super dense and never sheds! I use this to apply my bronzer and blush!
Price: $8.99
Real Techniques Expert Face Brush 
Seriously the best brush I have ever owned. I use this to apply my liquid foundation. It's EXCELLENT at blending and buffing the product into skin.
Price: $8.99

Blush  |  Eyeshadow Primer  |  Lip Color
I wish there were products I liked enough to suggest, but I just haven't found any I'm willing to suggest! 

Last week I talked a little bit about products I think are worth spending your money on, and products that are not. If you are interested in spending a little more in a couple different areas, check out DRUGSTORE vs HIGH END : Where to save and where to splurge! 

My next post will be geared towards women from teen to 50's with acne, rosacea or other discoloration. 

I hope you found this post helpful! Thanks for reading!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

DRUGSTORE vs HIGH END : Where to save and where to splurge!

Before I continue with this beauty product suggestion series, I wanted to generalize a little bit and talk about what products are totally worth spending a little extra moola on, and products from the Drugstore that work just as well. High end doesn't always mean better!
I've tried a LOT of different mascara. Name the brand and I've probably tried it. But to be totally honest with you, I never notice a difference between high end and drug store. In fact, I like my Covergirl Lashblast better than any other mascara on the market -Even those 2 or 3 times the price! In my opinion, your money could be better spent elsewhere.

Gel Eyeliner
My favorite gel eyeliner is Loreal Paris' Infallible. I actually switched from Tarte's Amazonian Clay Liner to Loreal's on all my brides. It's creamier, doesn't have any fall-out, and has the same color payoff. Not to mention, there is a $15 price savings.

Liquid Eyeliner
I can't say I've tried a whole lot of higher end liquid liners, but I'm so happy with my Maybelline Line Stiletto that I haven't had to look elsewhere. If it's not broke, don't fix it! ;-)


I'll shoot it to your straight: Real techniques brushes are equal, if not better than higher end brushes. Professionals use them, but they are sold at Walmart. It's crazy. I actually got a professional set of brushes by bdellium for Christmas and I love them. It's painful for me to tell you, but Real Techniques are so close to the same quality, and are a fraction of the cost. Regardless of your skill level, this is what you want.

Facial Primers
I'm sorry, but I just don't believe in facial primers. If you use a great foundation like Mac Studio Fix, you do not need a primer. You just don't. (This does not apply to eyeshadow primer...Urban decay Eyeshadow Primer for life!)

Eyeshadow Primer
Eye primer is a product you apply to your eyelids before using eyeshadow. Its main purpose is to reduce creasing. Coming from someone who carries excess oil on their lids (weird spot to be oily, but whatever!) I have yet to find anything even close to Urban Decay's Primer potion! Absolutely worth the $20. This tiny tube lasts me almost an entire year, and I use it every single day.

Full Coverage Foundation
If you are looking for full coverage foundation that doesn't get oily or wipe off halfway through your day, spend the money and get a nice one. More expensive doesn't always mean better in the makeup world, but in this case IT DOES. My favorite is Mac Studio Fix Fluid.

(pressed powder)
I wish this wasn't true, but it is...Drugstore eyeshadows don't even stand a chance next to their higher end counterparts. (Maybelline's Expert Wear in Chai Latte, which I talked about last week, is the closest I've ever found.) As a teen, I never understood how girls were able to blend their eyeshadows so well, until I bought my first MAC eyeshadow in "All that Glitters" (still one of my favs!). It has such a pretty luxe finish, but it doesn't drop glitter all over my face and applies so smooth. Then I noticed when I apply the matte shades in my Urban Decay Naked1 palette, they glide across my crease without being all patchy. That's what good eyeshadow does. Always worth the money because of its finish and longevity! ESPECIALLY if you have more mature skin! (Age 40+)

Contouring Powder
Contouring is sort of an optical illusion that can make your cheekbones appear higher, nose straighter and your face thinner, shorter, taller...whatever you want. You are creating shadows on your face. If the shadowing on your face is all blotchy after a few hours, it sort of ruins the purpose. I really like Benefit's "Hoola" and I've also heard great things about Nars' "Casino" or "Laguna".

I hope you found this helpful! I'm going to try and spit these product suggestion posts out quick in the next week or two!