Beautiful Article – Beauty Advice from a Father

If you have the kind of Facebook friends I do, they share a bajillion articles on Facebook. As a collective group, they are posting stories, photos, and links all day, every day, about everything. I used to click around and read things to see what my friends found interesting, what was new, etc – then I found myself wasting a lot of time looking through a lot of crap articles and wondering, “Why did so-and-so post this again? How did I end up reading this?”

Last night my laptop was being difficult and, like a child, I smacked at the keyboard in frustration. When I did,  I accidentally clicked a link to “QuickMeme,” a site I usually am sure to avoid because…well, just because. Anyways, I’m so glad I clicked it because it opened a beautiful article about beauty from a Father’s perspective. A father describes the terms found in beauty aisles, like “age defying” and “brilliant strength,” and writes a letter to his young daughter about how she can find all these different descriptions of beauty in herself as she grows instead of on a shelf. I have a niece who’s a toddler and I’m trying to make it a point to tell her things like “You’re so smart” and “You can do it, let me see you try!” way more than I say things like “What a pretty dress” and “Aren’t you just so beautiful” – because everyone will tell her she’s beautiful, with her golden curls and bright blue eyes, as she grows up, but I want to make sure she never forgets that she’s also smart, sweet, cherished, capable, and so on. So this article hit close to home for me and I just loved it.

If you want to check it out, you can find it at -

Lorac & Tarina Tarantino on Hautelook!

Oh Hautelook…how you empty my wallet but fill up my makeup stash with beautiful little gems. It’s a bittersweet catch-22. Well, I think it’s more on the sweet side, my fiancé does not (“Do you actually need another brown eye shadow?” “It’s not the same brown.” “…it’s brown.” Guys don’t get it).

I always keep an eye on Hautelook sales because while I love prestige makeup brands, I don’t really love to pay prestige makeup brand prices. That’s where Hautelook comes in handy. I just snapped up a bunch of sweet little sales today and now will be watching my mailman like a hawk, waiting for that little brown box to show up at my door. So what’s good today? Let me give you the scoop.

1. Lorac! Hautelook’s sale of the day is a small eyeshadow palette, perfect for trying new shades or the girl-on-the-go. Each palette features five shades and mix matte with shimmers for many looks. You can get the palette in Get Hot or Stay Cool for just $12. This is a quick sale of the day item though, so get it while you can!

2. Tarina Tarantino…my girly heart be still. I had never heard of this brand before I saw it on Hautelook and tentatively ordered a Gem Gloss the first time it appeared (Bobby Pin). I fell head over heels for the gloss and may or may not have purchased three more the next time Tarina was back on the site (Neon Vanity, Nouveau, Carousel). I’ve been thinking lately about how I was hoping Tarina would show up on Hautelook again so I could get another Gem Gloss shade I wanted and the makeup gods answered my call. I might have splurged today. Okay, I totally splurged and got myself three Conditioning Lip Sheens (Pink Elephant, Watermelon Wow, Queen Alice), two Gem Glosses (Pom Pom and another Bobby Pin) and a Fleur de Lash mascara. And that’s after I restrained myself in the lip product department and made myself remove the Dollskin Blush palette from my cart (so if anyone out there needs any gift ideas, I still really want those blushes…hint, hint). But everything was a good deal and I will use it all so I’m completely okay with the fact that I got six things. I’ll try to get swatches up of the products I already have sometime soon and do a follow-up once my new goodies arrive.

If you haven’t signed up for Hautelook yet, I suggest you do! The site is a Nordstrom affiliate, which means it brings you killer fashions, accessories, beauty products and more but for a lot less than if you went to Nordstrom or other major retailers. If you sign up, I would appreciate it if you would use my invite  :)  –

Happy shopping!

KBShimmer Spring Press Release

KBShimmer is excited to announce the addition of 16 new colors to their 3-Free polish line.  Owner Christy Rose says, “Spring has inspired the KBShimmer staff to create two collections filled with fun, vibrant color.  For the first time, we will also be offering cream polishes.  These polishes pair wonderfully with many existing KBShimmer polishes, but are also wonderful alone.”

The Spring 2014 Glitter Collection includes one glitter top coat, one sparkling jellies, four glitter creally polishes, and two holographic polishes.  “Spring is such a fun time, with flowers in bloom, warmer weather, and Easter.  Though the snow is still around for many, we were inspired this spring by the thoughts of warmer weather, and the many different flowers that come with it.  Easter also played a part, with us borrowing many of the tones and colors you find in Easter candy,” says Rose.

The Spring 2014 Cream Collection offers 8 polishes in opaque, cream finishes.  Rose states ,“We are very excited to offer up polishes in cream finishes.  Not only can each of the 8 new colors be worn alone, those creams are ideal for layering.  We use creams not only for glitter top coats, but for under creally and jelly polishes too.”  Both collections are set for release March 14, 2014st at  Polishes in the Glitter Collection will retail for $8.75 per 15 ml bottle, while polishes in the Cream Collection will retail for $7.50 per 15 ml bottle.


* Descriptions below are those of owner Christy Rose, not my own.

The Glitters & Holos – For quick dry time and smooth feel, follow with KBShimmer Clearly On Top.

Full Bloom Ahead- This white based polish is loaded with small, medium and large hex glitters in fuchsia, navy, teal, gold and orange; colors reminiscent of those floral tones that signal spring is near. Best in 3 Coats.


Belle Of The Mall- This coral toned pink polish is a fun color to brighten your day. This jelly like polish is loaded with holographic silver hexes in various sizes and is stunner in the sun.  Best layered in three coats, or worn over a coordinating cream.


Rush Flower Traffic- A metallic glitter top coat with fuchsia, gold, green, sapphire, and aqua glitters in hex and dot glitters fill this polish. Ideal as 1 coat over our Chick Me Out or Honeydew List creams, this topper can be worn over so many colors!


Daisy About You- A pale green creally, this spring polish features neon green hex glitters swimming among purple and lavender hexes and a scattering of lavender daisy glitters.  Best in 3 Coats.


Laugh Myself Lily- A muted jade creally with holographic hexes in gold, pink, sliver, lavender and blue.  Pink and light aqua dots complete this muted polish.  To allow the glitters to shine this polish more sheer and is best layered in three coats.


Quick and Flirty- Every girl needs a good violet colored polish in their collection, and what better than one that comes with a rainbow!  This linear holographic offers full coverage in 2 coats, add a third for a deep lilac color.


Make My Gray – A pale shade of gray sets off glitters in turquoise, gunmetal, pale aqua and coral. Wear alone in 3 coats, or layer this over a grey like My Life’s Porpoise for a unique spring manicure.


Prism Break- This linear holo top coat was designed to bring maximum rainbow bling, while still allowing the color below to shine.  One light coat over any cream will turn your color into a holographic lover’s dream.


The Creams – Ideal for wearing alone, under glitter polish, or for nail art.  For quick dry time, follow with KBShimmer Clearly On Top.

Life Rose On – This is my perfect pink, bright cheery, and it covers in 1-2 coats.  This vivid cerise polish has blue undertones, making it wearable for many skin tones.  Pair this with your favorite glitter topper or use in stamping for a girly manicure.LifeRoseOn1

Chick Me Out- This bright yellow cream is the ideal shade to welcome warmer weather.  Full coverage in two coats, I love this under Rush Flower Traffic.


Honeydew List- Just like ripe honeydew, this dusty pastel green is perfect for spring or summer.  This is the ideal color to wear under Rush Flower Traffic, or pair with Ice Queen for a sparkly spring manicure.  Full coverage in just 2 coats.


A Touch Of Glass-  This light aqua mint cream reminds me of tumbled sea glass.  A pastel green with blue undertones, this color is covers in 2-3 coats.


Sky Jinks- I love those days, the ones when there is not a cloud in site, and the sky is the most stunning shade of bright blue.  This medium blue cream with a hint of dustiness, reminds me of those perfect days.  Sky Jinks covers in 1 coat with careful application and is perfect in two.


Pansy-Monium- This pansy purple cream offers full coverage in just two coats.  With a slight red undertone, this purple will look great even on warm skin tones.


My Life’s Porpoise- No matter if you spell it gray or grey, this pale shade is a neutral that is fun to wear alone, or under bright toppers like U Rock My Heart.  This creamy shade covers fully in two coats.


Eclipse- Black is a fashion staple, not only in clothes, but on your nails!  This is a true black cream, covering in 1-2 coats.


KBShimmer products can be found at Http://  For sales outside of the US visit
I definitely am going to snag Make My Gray! We’ll have to see about the creams, as I already have quite a “staples” collection. What do you think of this spring line? Any must-haves?

Updates & Alerts!

Hey strangers!

Remember how I thought my life would be calmed down by now? It hasn’t calmed down at all. I’m still clawing my way out of the hole that I buried myself in at work and the two weeks that I had time to upload, my computer decided that it didn’t want to work or show any pictures in the system. Pretty standard for how things go for me, haha. Anyways, I’m working my tush off trying to get caught up and get my life back and get back to you beautiful people. Deepest apologies for leaving you all hanging, but I had to put on my big girl pants and focus on career before hobby and leisure (yuck).

Some updates for you in the beauty department before I get back to working (yes, on a Saturday night. Life is super lame in the buried-myself-in-work-hole):

1. I stumbled upon a fabulous new site/program for fashion lovers who are looking to expand or build their wardrobe or just get out of a fashion rut. Stitch Fix is like a beauty box but is a personal styling service for clothing and accessories.

You sign up and tell Stitch Fix your style, size, lifestyle, and budget preferences. The site shows you different outfits that you rate and you describe your personal tastes. The company matches you with a stylist who chooses items for your box that fit your profile; you can even link your Pinterest account to your Stitch Fix account so that your stylist can get a better idea of your fashion tastes. You sign up for a shipment date – no monthly plan here, you choose your own schedule! – and your stylist will send you five pieces that they feel suit you with suggestions on different ways to wear/style each item. You try everything on at home, decide what you want, and send back what you don’t want (return shipping is free). There is a $20 styling fee for each Fix. If you decide to keep an item, the $20 goes towards it; if you don’t keep anything, you lose the $20. However, there is bound to be something that you fall for and you get $25 off if you keep all five items. When you go back to Stitch Fix to purchase or pass on the items you were sent, you provide your stylist with feedback on each piece so that they can do an even better job on the next box. What an awesome way to be introduced to new brands and get stylish new wardrobe staples that you can try on from the comfort of home! I’m getting a Fix soon and will keep you posted. In the meantime, you can sign up for Stitch Fix too – let them know I referred you!  :)

2. Hautelook continues to empty my wallet with a great array of beauty offerings. The site just had Sephora by OPI polishes for $3 a bottle and I forgot to tell you guys – beauty blogger fail. My bad. But the good news is that everyday brings new beauty goodies. Current sales include Crown Brush and a Beauty Bag, and Pur Minerals, Argan Magic Haircare, and Sibu Beauty are going live within the next few days. Sign up today and you get access to these killer sales!

3. I’m still getting Ipsy but haven’t been able to post my bags lately with my hectic schedule and stupid computer issues. My November and December bags were so-so, but Ipsy really brought it back to what I love with my January and February bags, so I think I’ll keep my subscription. For $10, it’s a cheap way to try new products that I might not have picked up on my own. Plus I feel like you definitely get your moneys worth – my last bag included a full-sized Zoya from the new Naturals line, which retails for about $8. This means just my polish alone was almost the cost of the entire bag, which included 4 other products plus the bag itself! Good deal. There is a waitlist for Ipsy, but sometimes the company puts up “Waitlist cuts” on Facebook where you get to skip the line, so keep an eye out if you’re interested.

Let me know if you sign up for anything and discover any new goodies that I should try! I’m hoping that I’m all caught up with work soon and can come back here with a vengeance; I’ll keep you posted along the way, so don’t forget about me!

- Jay

Oh, hi!

Hey strangers!
It’s been awhile, huh? I got an email about some potentially spam comment (of course it was) and all of a sudden it hit me – I haven’t posted in a trillion years. Holy mother of not posting. My bad guys, my bad.

As you know (or maybe not, but now you will), I teach and work at a beauty retailer on the weekends, sometimes week nights. I teach Language Arts and Reading, which means papers…which means not-so-basic grading. Have you ever read something written by a 6th grader? Generally speaking, it’s a slightly painful process. (Excerpt from a paper on trying out for band – He was like OMG, and I was like What?! And he was like nuthin, ur dumb. I smacked him silly and my teacher was like Hey guys, for real, stop! I saw my friend come in and she knew right away. I thought about my homework for the night and then was like o wait, I have a quiz tomorrow. The guy next to me was like Ummmm, pay attention. – and so on. Cue me banging my head on the desk). I am currently swamped in said-grading. Like buried alive in it. Plus meetings have successfully wiped out all my planning blocks. And I have after-school meetings and tutoring sessions. Oh, and my school is having my department take a graduate course that requires oodles of professional and YA reading.

No planning + after-school sessions + class = papers, reading notebooks, and quizzes to grade + course work come home every night + working weekends at my other job = no time for blogging. No time for swatching. No time for anything! Oy vey. My game plan was to catch up some over my baby Thanksgiving break, but the kids got sick right before break…which meant that I got sick over break. Womp, womp. My new game plan is to get as caught up as possible by the end of my baby winter break. Fingers crossed.

Anyways,  the point of my rambling is to let you know that I have not thrown in the towel on blogging and I have certainly not forgotten about you. I have so many new beauties to show you, I just need to dig myself out of this hole I’m in first. Hang in there! I promise I’ll get caught up and come back to you – pinky swear.

I hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday season! I can’t wait to catch up with you all.



Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo Review

As I have mentioned in the past, I have psoriasis…on my scalp. Womp, womp. This means that I sporadically develop red, irritated patches on my scalp that peel, flake, and are generally painful. I’ll spare you the gross side details (you’re welcome). Psoriasis flares up on many people as the weather turns drier and mine is no exception, which means that my scalp is a hot mess right now. A hot, itchy, flaking, painful mess.

I had heard good things in general about Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Special Shampoo, but also heard that it has the potential to work wonders for dandruff and other dry scalp issues. Naturally, I was intrigued.

Courtesy of Paul Mitchell

Courtesy of Paul Mitchell

One or two customers (remember, I teach but also work retail) told me that they felt this shampoo “burned” their skin, but I was pretty sure that they were describing the tingling that was meant to occur. Undeterred, I purchased the liter.

Here are the details on the shampoo, courtesy of Paul Mitchell:

“Basics: Special ingredients and tea tree oil rid hair of impurities.

Benefits: Leaves hair full of vitality and luster.

Bonus: The refreshing tingle gives you a breath of fresh hair.

Details:  Natural tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender invigorate your scalp and leave hair smelling great. Color-safe formula.”

I used the shampoo multiple times with my Healthy Sexy Hair soy conditioner in order to get a true feel for the shampoo. I felt like I needed a little more of it than my regular shampoo, but I think that’s just because it doesn’t lather up as much. When I tried to use more one time, I ended up using too much and having gross hair because it couldn’t all wash out (so don’t do that). It has a clean, refreshing scent and tingles (not burns!) as it sits on the scalp. I find that it helps my psoriasis on days where it’s acting up some, but is certainly no miracle worker or cure. I can see this shampoo being a tad drying on regular hair/scalps if used daily, so I would suggest simply using it a few times a week for most people. I like the scent o f the tea tree, peppermint, and lavender, but my fiancé says it makes my hair smell like medicine. Pssh.

I got this on sale, so I can’t remember how much I paid for it. You can purchase the Tea Tree Special Shampoo and other Paul Mitchell products on the company website or at specialty retailers (salons, Ulta, etc.).

Winery Weekend!

For a blog that has a name dealing with travel and beauty, I haven’t had the opportunity to bring you much travel lately. I’m a 20-something working two jobs who is trying to save for a wedding and who has a fiancé who just got off furlough…travel is becoming more and more of a luxury, much to my dismay.

On the plus side, when my fiancé and I moved, we moved right into wine country. I love wine…I live right around a ton of wineries…perfect! This past weekend brought beautiful weather, so me, my fiancé, and a couple we’re friends with decided to go winery hopping. It was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I mean, I had the man I love, friends I love, wine, beautiful fall weather, and wine – what could be better?

The first winery we stopped at was called Barrel Oaks and it was out in the middle of nowhere. They offered 12 tastings (six sweet, six dry) for $12 – sold!  :)  Barrel Oaks has a chocolate dessert wine that was to die for. It was like drinking a chocolate bar and wine at the same time – talk about the best of both worlds, right? What’s even better is that the winery is completely dog friendly, which meant that I got to pet puppies that people brought in while I tasted a bunch of different wines. Heaven!

The view at Barrel Oaks

The view at Barrel Oaks

We finally dragged ourselves out of Barrel Oaks and headed over to the nearby Three Foxes winery. This winery had a long, winding drive up to this cute little cottage where the tastings and shop are located.

Me - "Awww!" Hubs - "'s a building."

Me – “Awww!”
Hubs – “…it’s a building.”

We enjoyed a full tasting inside (mmmm, scrumptious) and then my girlfriend and I bought glasses of wine while the guys went outside. When we finally went outside, they had climbed up the highest hill on the property (it was super hilly) and were sitting on chairs at the top waiting for us. Sigh. So much sloshed wine wasted getting up that hill to them.

Cute glasses! I wanted to swipe it but resisted the sticky-fingered urge.

Cute glasses! I wanted to swipe it but resisted the sticky-fingered urge.

We had told the guys to sit at one of these tables out in the vineyards so we could be in our own little beautiful world but…nope. Of course they went the complete opposite way.

Three Foxes

After going uphill (gahhh) and drinking what wine was left in our glasses, we went back downhill to the winery for a bit. Except then the guys headed downhill…it was beautiful at the bottom of the hill though, so they get some credit. There was a little creek winding through some trees and hammocks set up along the riverbank. My girlfriend and I plopped into hammocks with more wine in hand while the guys went and explored the creek (/got covered in mud). The only downer? Going back uphill again.

A beautiful hill...but a hill nonetheless.

A beautiful hill…but a hill nonetheless.

We hit up one last winery but I was a little buzzed by that point (woops…but I wasn’t the driver!) and didn’t take any photos. We finally dragged ourselves away from the wineries and headed back home. All the alcohol made everyone hungry, so we walked to the Mexican restaurant down the street from my apartment. Our favorite bartender was working and supplied us with an endless array of tequila drinks all night, most of which were on the house….oy! Suffice it to say, I wobbled my way home that night with my fiancé telling me to talk normal and stop shouting. Successful night! Most nights I’m a boring teacher, so this was definitely a spiced up weekend for me. I’m hoping to have more winery weekends this fall while the weather is still beautiful (and my goal is to take pictures at every one, not just the ones at the beginning, haha).