Category Archives: field guides

field guides

Field Guide To: A Minimalist Makeup Routine

August 26, 2015

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I’ve experienced quite a few life changes in the past few months, and the single most important thing these changes have made me focus intently on is my surroundings. As I’ve written before, I went through a colossal purging night with my sister, coasting on the information that I was moving within the year. Consensus: I had too many things, items I didn’t even know I had clogging up my room and my life, and I couldn’t in good faith move in with my boyfriend while pulling all of that awful energy behind me. So I began purging, and I haven’t been able to stop. Clothes, shoes, books, toiletries, hair ties, I left no stone unturned.  At first, it was awful, and I became extremely mad at my sister, for how dare she suggest that I actually get rid of that sock that has no mate, or that tube of lipstick that, well, doesn’t actually have any lipstick in it? 

It was a process that became easier to do the more I did it, and I’m still doing it. I still have things to go through, especially my hair products (this one is a doozy because I rarely have to buy any of it; oftentimes I win shampoos and conditioners at work, so they tend to pile up!), but one group that was especially alleviating to go through was my makeup. Mind you, I had quite a bit of tubes and palettes that I accumulated from school. More eyeshadows and creams and blushes than one person needed. Since my far-reaching goal is to eventually downsize everything I own to just what I need, and only what love, I threw most of that makeup away. What I decided to keep is what I use for my makeup routine every morning.  I can get three different looks out of a handle of products, and you know what? That’s enough for me!

Honestly, if my career didn’t require that I put out all the stops for my make every day, I’d probably keep less than what I have now. I wasn’t always a makeup hoarder and then I went to cosmetology school and felt that I needed to keep everything, because, “What if?”. At some point, I forgot to care that I didn’t have that cream concealer anymore that didn’t even match my skin tone; I’ve managed to streamline my routine, and cut down the cleaning on Sundays, and let me tell you, I’m less stressed because of it!

My philosophy when putting my makeup on in the morning is this: if it takes longer than 15 minutes, then I’m doing it wrong.  I don’t know about you, but I like to spend my mornings leisurely sipping my coffee and playing with my cat. I also like to sleep in…but I digress. 15 minutes is the perfect amount of time to get that perfect cat eye and your foundation spot on.  My makeup arsenal includes foundation, powder,  blush, eyeliner, a bold lipstick and it’s matching lipliner, mascara, and two eyeshadows.

Most of the products I use come from Walgreens. My foundation is Maybelline Matte and Poreless Foundation in Porcelain. I’ve tried a lot of drug store brands, the biggest reason being that some brands lightest tones were still to dark for me. This one is a dead ringer for my skin tone, and, I’ll be honest, definitely helps to blur the pores!

For my powder, I use Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder in Translucent. This is a once-in-a-while product that I use, usually when it’s dreadfully hot outside and I want my foundation to last beyond the noon hour.

The mascara I have right now is something I bought just recently. Mascara is my #1  product. I have little blonde lashes that need every extra boost I can give them! I don’t mess with false lashes because I can never open my eyes when I use them, so mascara needs to be top of the line. L’oreal Paris Voluminous False Fiber Lashes does the trick for me. Two coats of it and I don’t need to put anything else on my eyes because my lashes are out to my nose at that point!

If I’m wanting to do a softer eye one day (i.e put the kibosh on my eyeliner and just use mascara) I’ll make sure to upgrade my chapstick to a bold lip. My favorite lipstick for this is M.A.C Lady Danger. This is the item that I can’t get at the drugstore, and it’s my one splurge. Lady Danger is described as a coral-red, and it’s a bit of a show stopper. It transitions well from season to season, and it suits many different skin tones!

The eyeliner that I use is from the Cat Eye Collection from Physician Formula.  This one is gentle enough on my eyes that they don’t water and the application of it is very smooth and stays on my entire work day.

The eye shadow that’s working for me right now is actually the last vestiages from my school collection. The colors, however, are super simple to find. For my crease I use a neutral taupe to create depth, and to highlight my brow bone, I use a shimmery shadow in what I would describe as being the color of a bone. Pretty light but with a shimmery base to catch and bounce light.

Last but not least, is my blush. It is Maybelline’s Dream Bouncy Blush in Peach Satin. I prefer the cream based blush for better blending, and what’s even better is that this product lasts for a long time!

So, how do I incorporate all of these products every day? The short answer is that I don’t. For example, while my blush is an everyday product, my foundation isn’t. If I’m wanting to use my lipstick, I’ll nix my eyeliner in favor of my mascara. If I’m going bold on one feature, I’ll tone down the opposing feature, simply because I don’t like to wear a bunch of makeup.  My favorite look and the one I wear the most is my mascara/lipstick combo. It’s classy, only costs you a minute to do, and is easy to touch throughout the day.

Quick question: my single most important product is my mascara. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments!







field guides

Field Guide To: Fall Nail Trends

July 22, 2015

Fall 2015 Nail Polish Picks

In preparation of the upcoming autumn season, I thought it was high time for me to begin my hunt for a handful of polish staples that will take me into the new year. This season, I’m filling my cabinet full of saturated hues, subtle earthy tones, and perfect neutrals.

I already had my heart set on a fiery red-orange, one that would match my favorite MAC lipstick. My sassiness will undoubtedly skyrocket the minute I pair the two together and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t already have a complete outfit planned for the look. Of course, that outfit will have to be black for work, so I’ll really be relying on that pop of orange to spice it up!

Got the Blues for Red is a great classic color that I’m super excited to pair with a burgundy cardigan I have. Barefoot in Barcelona and You Don’t Know Jacques are actually two hues that are trending this fall, so stock up! Blue My Mind, my favorite polish from the bunch, is a perfect cerulean blue that I often gravitate towards. It’s a bit of an eye-catcher, right?

These are the colors that are singing to me, but I’d love other recommendations! What are your top picks? Also, don’t forget to use this coupon from Sally Beauty Supply if you find a color that you fancy!


field guides

Field Guide To: Last Minute Wedding Gifts

June 18, 2015

Wedding Gifts from Target1/2(His)(Hers)/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

Wedding season is upon us! I’ve been waiting for the summer when all of my good friends get married within weeks of each other so I can travel, get dressed up, and celebrate constantly all the way through August. This isn’t that summer quite yet (three invitations and I can only make it to one!) but I’m still finding myself hustling through Target trying to strike a balance between selecting from the registry and putting some thoughtfulness into each gift. Above you’ll find links to my favorite finds from Target. I especially love going quirky with the gift giving, like his and hers novels!

Anyway, I am simultaneously unpacking from my recent trip to Colorado while packing for a wedding tomorrow. I will most certainly be running to Target tonight to snag a few of these gifts for the bride and groom!

And, in case you missed it…check out the hilarity that ensues when a man messes up his wedding vows!

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

field guides

summer skin care

May 21, 2015

Summer skin care products

My summer skincare routine looks a lot different from that of winter’s. In that I actually have one. There’s something about summer that makes me more inclined to get into a skincare routine. More time on my hands + less makeup + more time in the sun prompts me to add a few more products to my bag. Read more to find out what I use and when!

DAILY // I start most mornings off with Simple Exfoliating Face Wipes. I actually use these all year ’round, and these wipes always make my skin feel fresh. If I can only spend a few minutes in the bathroom in the morning, these wipes, sunscreen, a good dry shampoo, and a quality mascara are my standbys for a look that is fresh and awake!

Sunscreen is a must do. Sometime in my very early twenties I stopped feeling the need to sunbathe all the time AND recognized the importance of a quality sunscreen for every day. I use a thicker, more moisturizing blend in the winter, but in the summer, I go for Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15. It’s lightweight and adds just the right amount of moisture before adding a BB cream. I love this stuff!

WEEKLY // In the summertime, I always get in the habit of oil cleansing. Have you heard of this ancient beauty regimen?! It works wonders for my blemishes. I use a 50/50 blend of castor oil and olive oil. The castor is responsible for drawing out the muck in your pores, while the olive oil is a carrier. I massage the oil onto my face for several minutes, and then remove the oil with a warm terrycloth wash rag. I like to spend a solid 8 to 10 minutes with this, so it’s something I do only on Saturday mornings. When I first started oil cleansing, I thought my face would be so oily, all the time. Instead, my skin feels appropriately moisturized and balanced.

Right after oil cleansing, I always treat my nose and forehead to a Biore strip. I use these babies all the time. Probably one of the best beauty products ever. They work especially well after oil cleansing because my skin is exfoliated and my pores are open. If you haven’t tried Biore strips before, you have to find out what they can do for your skin. They’re game changers!

Finally, because castor oil is a little drying, I dab a little jojoba oil on the drier areas of my face. A little goes a long way!

AS NEEDED //  I keep Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel on hand for a little bit of everything. My mom used witch hazel when I was young, and I always thought it was some sort of magic potion because of its name. And it is! I use it to help refresh any time of day, typically after running errands in 60% humidity. Witch hazel is great for other things too, like toning your skin or soothing a sunburn.

Finally, the last product in my summer skincare arsenal is the Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll On. Every now and again, I wake up to find those dreaded seasonal allergies have found their way to me. This cooling roller helps reduce the swelling under my eyes throughout the day.

What does your summertime skin care routine look like? Can you recommend any products to me?

Also…here’s an easy way to wear sunscreen from A Cup of Jo and 15 uses for witch hazel!