Break Up With Your Makeup

Disclaimer: I’m participating in the Break Up with Your Makeup program sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, L.P., the maker of Oracea® (doxycycline) 40 mg* Capsules, Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1% and Mirvaso® (brimonidine) Gel, 0.33%**.

Although an estimated 16 million Americans are dealing with rosacea, you may be surprised of the emotional impact that this skin disorder can have on sufferers. In fact, a national survey developed by Galderma Laboratories, L.P. in partnership with the National Rosacea Society, revealed that many patients struggle with feeling unattractive (50%), embarrassed (42%) and less confident (30%).  I’m sure that if you have rosacea those statistics aren’t surprising though!

Makeup and I used to be inseparable!  We wouldn’t leave home without each other.  My face had to be covered in a heavy liquid foundation with a light powder foundation for me to even think about stepping out my front door.  I never had a perfect complexion…not even close, so I was always ashamed of my natural face.  Fortunately, I guess, as I’ve gotten older and busier with kids I’ve learned to embrace my face.  I’ve also learned more about good skincare and that less is more.  Plus, I found out that some cosmetics can make the rosacea worse.  I was doing more harm than good!

Since I’ve wised up, I’ve focused my efforts into taking care of my skin, my base if you will.  Just like an artist wouldn’t paint on a dirty or uneven surface I was wasting my time “painting” on my symptomatic skin.

Here’s what I’ve been doing that’s working for me now:

– Moisturizer – I love my moisturizers and I try to find a one with SPF when I can, especially during summer months.

– Anti-aging Serum – As I’m getting older I’ve found myself in love with a good serum!

– Eye Cream – I use a small amount of eye cream everyday.  I love how moisturized it makes my eyes feel and I’ll do whatever I can to brighten them up.

Break Up with Your Makeup 

Break Up with Your Makeup is a national campaign sponsored by Galderma that aims to educate folks about the symptoms of rosacea and provides suggestions to help proactively manage the condition with available treatments, like Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, Oracea® (doxycycline) 40 mg* Capsules, and Mirvaso® (brimonidine) Gel, 0.33%**.

The goal of the campaign is for people to learn to feel more confident in their skin, which is a phenomenal goal if you ask me!

So please join the movement. Visit to get the facts about rosacea and learn more about the campaign!

Important Safety Information for Oracea® Capsules

Indication: ORACEA® (doxycycline, USP) 40 mg* Capsules are indicated for the treatment of only
inflammatory lesions (papules and pustules) of rosacea in adult patients. ORACEA Capsules do not lessen the facial redness caused by rosacea. Adverse Events: In controlled clinical studies, the most commonly reported adverse events (>2%) in patients treated with ORACEA Capsules were nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, diarrhea, hypertension and aspartate aminotransferase increase. Warnings/Precautions: ORACEA Capsules should not be used to treat or prevent infections. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken by patients who have a known hypersensitivity to doxycycline or other tetracyclines. ORACEA Capsules should not be taken during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, or during tooth development (up to the age of 8 years). Although photosensitivity was not observed in clinical trials, ORACEA Capsules patients should minimize or avoid exposure to natural or artificial sunlight. The efficacy of ORACEA Capsules treatment
beyond 16 weeks and safety beyond 9 months have not been established.

*30 mg immediate release & 10 mg delayed release beads

Full Prescribing Information

Important Safety Information for Soolantra® Cream

Indication: SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA® Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≤1%) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation.

Full Prescribing Information

Important Safety Information for Mirvaso® Gel

Indication: Mirvaso® (brimonidine) topical gel, 0.33%** is an alpha adrenergic agonist indicated for the topical treatment of persistent (nontransient) facial erythema of rosacea in adults 18 years of age or older. Adverse Events: In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions (≥1%) included erythema, flushing, skin burning sensation and contact dermatitis. Warnings/Precautions: Mirvaso Gel should be used with caution in patients with depression, cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud’s phenomenon, orthostatic hypotension, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s syndrome. Alpha-2 adrenergic agents can lower blood pressure. Mirvaso Gel should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease. Serious adverse reactions following accidental ingestion of Mirvaso Gel by children have been reported. Keep Mirvaso Gel out of reach of children. Not for oral, ophthalmic, or intravaginal use.

**Each gram of gel contains 5 mg of brimonidine tartrate, equivalent to 3.3 mg of brimonidine free base.

Full Prescribing Information

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The Five-Minute Face

If we’re honest, every woman wants to look her best every day, but for those of us non-celebrities who don’t have the luxury of a professional makeup team on speed dial, we have to find tips and techniques that will get us out of the house looking great and in a timely fashion.

I’d love to share some of my best essentials for a five-minute face.


Organization Counts

An organized make-up area with products and applicators within reach is key to putting on a five-minute face with relative ease. I keep my everyday makeup products in one make-up bag that is easily tucked away under the bathroom counter when not in use.


It only takes seconds to apply concealer to under eye darkness or other facial blemishes. Use a very small amount of concealer and using your ring finger pat the concealer into those areas. Pick a shade that is about one shade lighter than your natural skin tone. You can also add a bit of your moisturizer to the concealer for a smooth application.


Regardless if you use a powder, mineral or liquid foundation, applying your foundation with the right tools is essential. Choose a makeup sponge or foundation brush for liquid foundations and a foundation brush for powder or mineral foundations to make it appear flawless.

Eyeliner or shadow

Pick one — you don’t need both.

If you want a simple, natural look, just sweep eye shadow in a neutral tone all over your eyelid.

My favorite is to apply eyeliner to the upper lid at the lash line alone; it helps your eyes stand out.

Curl your eyelashes and apply just one coat of mascara.

Doing your eyes in this manner should only take two minutes at the most.


Sweep your blush on the apple of your cheeks. Be light handed – just a bit of color will brighten your face.


Put the finishing touch on your face by applying a long-wearing lipstick. You can choose from a myriad of brands. It takes just a few seconds to apply, and the long-wearing benefits are wonderful. You can apply lip-gloss on top of the long-wearing lipstick throughout the day for that freshly applied look.

I hope these tips and techniques will help you in looking your best when you only have five minutes.

Bold Metal Makeup Brushes at Walmart + a Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Lunchbox. Opinions are 100% my own.

I’m kicking myself. Recently, I spent a boat-load of money on cosmetics. I’m really happy with my purchases, but not so happy with my bank account. Ok – I’m over my pity party because at least I look haute. 😉

Long story short, I went to Walmart for some supplies, remembered that I was going to be reviewing some make up brushes from Walmart so I strolled down the make up aisle and low and behold what did my eyes spy.  Legit make-up brushes.  I would expect to see these in a fancy pants store.  These babies were NICE. When I looked at the prices (to analyze if Wal-mart still indeed had lowest prices now that they had big-girl make-up brushes) they were true to Wal-mart form – a bargain.
These guys are called the Bold Metal Collection.

Real Techniques Brushes

Here’s a short review of their features:

  • – 100 Arched Powder
    The design has a dome cut to put powders exactly in their place.
  • – 101 Triangle Foundation
    The triangle foundation brush is just fun. I’ve always used sponges, so I love that there’s a fancy, soft brush to do the same thing. It contours perfectly on the large and small areas.
  • – 200 Oval Shadow
    The fullness of this brush makes lid application blend well.
  • – 201 Pointed Crease
    Hello, smoky eye! The pointed crease is perfect for creases.
  • – 202 Angled Liner
    Though I’m not a fan of liner brushes, I do like this one.
  • – 300 Tapered Blush
    I LOVE blushing my cheeks and the tapered brush was a treat for my rosebuds.
  • – 301 Flat Contour
    The thick stubbiness of this brush makes it great for contouring.

Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

One aspect I loved about all the brushes is the weighted handles. You had something to hold onto and could feel the quality. Makes me think twice about the Wal-mart make-up aisle for sure!  I also like how all the brushes are white which is a good visual reminder for me to clean my brushes regularly!

Bold Metal Brushes

Can I let you all in on my number one tip for better looking make up (besides a good skin care regimen)?

Good make up brushes!  Trust me, high quality make up brushes can make all the difference in the world ladies!

High quality brushes have:

  • – Softer or precise bristles
  • – Shed less
  • – Wash cleaner
  • – Last longer
  • – Better application!
So now that you know that the fabulous Bold Metal brushes are available at Walmart you can scoop them up the next time you’re shopping there.  Visit for additional information and tutorial videos on each Bold Metals brush.

I have even more good news tonight!  I’ve teamed up with Real Techniques and Walmart for a $100 Gift Card Giveaway, so you can buy the whole collection!   Woo!  Good luck!

$100 Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Review Update

This conversation is brought to you by Smile Brilliant and contains affiliate links.  Opinions expressed are completely my own.

Quite a while ago I promised to do a teeth whitening review for you and time quickly got away from me.  Here I am, today, prepared to give you the ins and outs of the teeth whitening system called Smile Brilliant.

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Review

While Smile Brilliant gave me this system to review and I found making the Smile Brilliant molds to be fun I was hesitant to start the whitening process.  Why?  Because I’m frugal. 😉  Don’t get me wrong the Smile Brilliant gel isn’t that expensive…it’s quite affordable actually, but the directions say that you can use the trays for 20 minutes to 3 hours.  Being the frugal, money-stretching mama that I am I wanted the best bang for my buck which is of course 3 hours.  However, finding a 3 hour gap in my day without kids there and without me eating was tough.  Impossible even.  Days came and went as my trays just sat there begging to be used that is until, one Sunday when nap times aligned and the angels sang.

My husband and I were eager to give these a try.  We read the directions {yes, we are both rule followers} and we were off.

Smile Brilliant Desensitizing Gel

After a quick brushing and flossing we applied a small line of desensitizing gel around the front of each tray.  Put in place and wait 20 minutes.  Easy peasy!

Wearing Smile Brilliant Trays

I couldn’t believe how well they fit.  I know they were made for my mouth and all but they were actually comfortable!  My husband isn’t in pain, he just hates having his picture taken. {Sorry, Honey!}

Can you tell we are wearing them in our pictures?  I could hardly notice them on my husband.  Which brings me to my favorite part of the review!!

My daughter woke up a little early from her nap while I was still wearing my trays.  I thought she would notice them right away because she is hyper-observant but she didn’t.  It was over a half an hour before she noticed them and even then she wasn’t bothered by them.  With whitening trays and strips I’ve tried in the past I’ve always had to use them without kids around because kids ALWAYS talk and ask questions {Other kids do this too, right?  It’s not just mine?}.  With these in I was able to carry on conversations without a problem.

This is huge, folks!  

You could wear these to run errands, to the office, to a play date, anywhere!  Do it for 20 minutes or 3 hours and your life will go on and you’ll be on your way to a brighter and whiter smile!

Teeth Whitening Gel

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s go back to our process.  Next, came the whitening gel.

I was a little caught off guard from the sensitivity I felt when I put the teeth whitening gel on {I mean, I just used the desensitizing gel, right?} but it only felt sensitive for maybe a minute and then it subsided never to return.  My husband said he felt the same sensitivity but wouldn’t complain about it because he has never been able to use a teeth whitener without his teeth hurting for days.  All he experienced was that brief sensitivity and then nothing.  I’m very impressed by that.

Smile Brilliant Smile

Do my teeth look whiter?  I think they are noticeably whiter after just one use!  I only used the trays for about two and a half hours before I gave in and had to eat a snack.  I can’t stress enough how simple this process was.  I regret not trying it sooner and I hope that if you’re looking for something to whiten your teeth that you’ll give it a try.  In my opinion, as far as at home teeth whitening goes, Smile Brilliant is the best of the best!  Now if only they could make an at home teeth straightening kit.  A girl can dream!

My #BeautyStory and Beauty Inspiration

This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of Dove and The Motherhood.


Mom knows best, right?  I think that’s true most of the time and when it comes to beauty I definitely think that’s true – in my case it is!  My mother was, and still is, a beauty.  Here are a few of the beauty tips that I learned from her, that she probably learned from her mom.

Beauty Advice

  • – Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.  A good moisturizer is a woman’s best friend.
  • – My mom taught me that my neck and clavicle have the same skin as my face so I should moisturize it just as often and with the same product.
  • – My mom taught me to wash my face with Dove every night before bed.  I was eager to try fancy scrubs and masks but she said a simple gentle cleanser is all I needed.
  • – Use baby oil as an eye-makeup remover.  It’s cheap, gentle, and works great.
  • – “Never leave the house without lipstick” is something my grandmother ingrained in me from a young age.  At times I might opt for lipgloss instead but there’s always something colorful on my lips.  Like mother, like daughter.  From a young age, I remember admiring my mother’s skill for applying lipstick without a mirror.
  • – Drink water all day long.  It’s good for your body and your complexion.
  • – “Don’t touch your face.” My mom used to give me a hard time about how much I touched my face and how it would give me breakouts.  I’m still working on this one!
  • – Use conditioner on the ends of your hair every time you wash it.
  • – “If you’ve got a good complexion make up will just be icing on the cake.” My mom had me using good skin care products since before I was 18.
  • – Age gracefully. My mom still doesn’t have grey hair but when she does I know she’ll embrace it with gusto.
  • – She always encouraged me to learn what colors and styles looked good on me and ignore the fads.
  • – Last but not least, my mom taught me to smile.  She told me that a smile always makes you appear prettier.  I try to remember this every day but especially on days when I’m not as put together as I’d like to be you can bet that I’ll be smiling.

A Dove survey finds that most women (84% in fact) trust the women in their lives more than celebrities for beauty tips and advice.  From all the advice I learned and still incorporate from my mom and grandmother, I’d believe that to be true!

What tried-and-true beauty advice was passed onto you from the women in your life? Share your own #BeautyStory to celebrate the real women who have shaped it and take a look at this video from Dove for even more inspiration.

Clarins’ 5, 10, & 15 Minute Makeup Routines + Giveaway!

This is a sponsored post by Clarins – but the opinions are all my own.


Being a busy mama of two, I hardly have time to gather my thoughts, eat, get out of sweatpants, take a shower, and a dozen other things I attempt to accomplish for myself on a daily basis.  In all the hustle and bustle of life, applying make up has unfortunately shifted the the bottom of the list.  I manage to smear a little on when I’m on the way to church each week but that’s about it.  I run to the grocery store with kids in tow hoping not to run into anyone I know.  If you’re a mom please comment and tell me that you’ve done that before and I’m not alone.  I feel alone in this most days as the moms I know (who I love and admire!) look polished and put together every time I see them.  Well, now I can join those put together moms…at least, a few days a week!

Clarins has put together a fabulous set of products to give moms a simple 5, 10, and 15 minute make up routine.  (The 15 minute routine is for those rare occasions when the babysitter is running late and the husband is wrangling the kids.)

For those with older kids, these quick looks are great for transitioning from a professional day time look to a date night look in mere minutes.

Not only do I love all of the products in the collection, but I’ve also began using many of them on a daily basis which is proof that these quick routines really do work!  While I think they are all great, I do have my favorites! The two stars of the collection for me are the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer and the 3-Dot Liner.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Gloss Review

The color is perfectly subtle and adds just the right amount of shimmer.

Clarins 3 dot eye liner

This 3 dot liner is genius!  When applied gently it will make your lashes look thicker by dotting a line just above the base of your eyelid.  It can also be used like a regular eye liner and is precise enough to make a killer cat eye too.

Because I absolutely adore the Instant Light Lip Perfector, I want to give one of you the chance to try it out for yourself.  This giveaway is for US and Canadian residents 18 years and older.  Simple visit this link and tell me which product you would most like to try and which of the three looks best fits your lifestyle.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Victoria Jackson Makeup Survival Kit Review

Victoria JacksonThis conversation is brought to you on behalf of Victoria Jackson® and One2One Network. All opinions are my own.

Get a new fresh look for spring with the new Victoria Jackson Survival Kit.  It features soft pastel eye colors and peach tone blush which is perfect for spring!

The Survival Kit Includes:

  • – 10 Eye Shadows in Ice White, Rose Pink, Neutral Brown, Warm Dark Brown, Iridescent Olive, Gold Flecked Warm Brown, Silver Gray, Gray Blue, Gold Flecked Cool Brown and Steel Gray.
  • – 5 Lipsticks in Clear Gloss, Rose Pink, Berry Mauve, Fiery Red, and Deep Pink.
  • – 2 Blushes in Mauvey Pink and Copper Berry.
  • – 2 Liners: 1 lip liner in Dark Nude, 1 eye liner in Deep Black.
  • – Mascara in Midnight Black.
  • – 3 Applicators: a blush brush, a liner brush, and a shadow brush.

One of my favorite parts about this entire collection is that it all fits neatly in my hand! I love being able to touch up everything if need be while I’m out so that sold me on this collection.  Quick touch up of lipstick?  Done!  Forgot that I had eye makeup on and rubbed my eye endlessly?  No problem!  Sad movie left streaks down my cheeks?  It can be fixed!

The eye shadows in this set are gorgeous.  They are totally perfect for spring and they blend so well.  I’m picky when it comes to eye shadows and these have my approval.  The colors are lovely and have plenty of pigment.  Plus, I love how the included brushes were so soft.  I was really impressed by them!

In make up sets you don’t usually find a lip liner, eye liner, or a mascara so I was pleasantly surprised to find all three neatly tucked away in this collection.




I love this quote from Victoria Jackson,

Victoria Jackson Quote

Victoria Jackson Makeup

Here I am (unedited!) enjoying my new make up.  I hope you find makeup that makes you feel as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside!

If you want to give Victoria Jackson’s makeup a try, now is the time to do it.  I have an exclusive offer to share with you!  Save 25% discount off the entire Victoria Jackson site using promo code LOVEVJC. It’s valid until 4/4/15.  Happy shopping!

Get Jennifer Aniston’s Look – Oscar’s 2015

Jennifer Aniston Oscars 2015

Jennifer Aniston is the epitome of classy and chic.  I love, along with many other women, love, love, love her style.  Her look last night at the Oscar’s was no exception!  Stunning!

Palladio’s Silk FX Palette in Debutante ($12, has the perfect eye shadow shades to replicate her makeup at home.  Use the top, champagne shade over the lid of the eye, into the inner corner, and on the inner third of the lower lash line.  Apply the second, ivory matte shade onto the brow bone to define and lift.  Use the third, matte taupe shade as a liner on the lower lash line as well as in the crease of the eyelid. Smudge the darkest shade into the upper lash line to accentuate your liner. Finish off the look with a swipe of Dermelect ‘ME’ Nail Lacquer in Moon Kissed ($14, Celebrity manicurist Elle recommends using the Dermelect Memento Manicure Extender Top Coat ($16, to achieve the perfect, long-lasting gel shine on your polish.

Now if I could only afford those shoes!

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Review

This conversation is brought to you by Smile Brilliant.

Tips for Improving Your Smile

A smile can light up a room.

Mother Theresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

A smile is one of the things many people say is the first thing they noticed about their spouse.

Janet Lane was quoted to have said, “Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.”

Chris Hart said, “All the statistics in the world can’t measure the warmth of a smile.”

Bottom line, your smile is important!

Do you love your smile?  I can’t honestly tell you that I love mine.  My teeth are crooked, not enough to need metal braces but enough to bother me.  Not to mention they’re not the loveliest shade of white.

I’ve tried at home whiteners before and I liked them but the subtle change was, well, subtle.  I’ve always coveted a dentist whitening with a big enough boost that I could see the difference.  My dreams of having straight teeth will still live on but I’m excited to have found an affordable at home solution to my teeth whitening dilemma.  Smile Brilliant came to my rescue with a promise to whiten my teeth.  I have my fingers crossed and I’m going to share my experience with you as I go!  Oh, and I talked my husband into trying this too.

Smile Brilliant

Here’s the kit that includes instructions, desensitizing get, whitening get, and pastes to combine to make a mold.  I’m going to have a mold that fits my teeth perfectly!  No slipping or sliding with these!

Smile Brilliant Paste

Here is an up close look at the pastes.  They sent me enough so that I would have an extra in case I made a mistake.  How did they know I usually mess up the first time I try anything new?

Smile Brilliant Process

The instructions they include are very detailed which I love and they also include pictures.  It’s rare that a company has good directions on anything so I have to point out that theirs left nothing to be desired.

Smile Brilliant Mold


Forming the molds was a piece of cake.

Smile Brilliant Whitening Molds

Look at those crooked teeth!  Sigh.  So now all I have to do is drop these in the prepaid envelopes and wait for my whitening trays to come back to me.  They should arrive in around a week I believe.  I’ll keep you updated!

Is an affordable, at-home, dentist grade whitener something that you would enjoy?  If so, we might be able to arrange a giveaway. 😉  Let me know!

Ulta Beauty Color Me Giveaway – Ends 10/9

Now that the bi-annual Ulta Beauty 21 Days of Beauty Steals is over I have to say, wasn’t that fun?  I’ll admit, I probably bought too much.  Did I really need 5 more bottles of butter London nail polish?  No, absolutely not…but the colors are gorgeous!  I’ll have to show them to you soon.  It’s always a bit exhilarating getting a steal but especially when it comes to beauty products because those deals seem few and far between.

Color Me

One thing that I didn’t buy but wish I did and am still contemplating is an Ulta Beauty exclusive.  Their Color Me Automatic Foundation Applicator Universal Starter Kit has me smitten.  It just sounds great!

With its pulsating sponge, Color Me applies foundation quickly and virtually effortlessly for a smooth, almost retouched look.

The results are extraordinary: In a clinical study, most women reported cutting application time in half – and 70% of women reported an immediate improvement in makeup evenness.

Apply powder over liquid or cream for best coverage results. See quick start guide for detailed instructions.

The Color Me Kit Includes:

  • – 1 Applicator Device
  • – 1 Disposable Sponge for Liquid Foundation
  • – 1 Disposable Sponge for Powder Foundation
  • – 1 CR2032 Battery

It retails for $54 but if it does what it promises, it’s worth it, right?  It works with either liquid or powder foundations and it’s current customer rating is a 4.6 out of 5.

Even though I’ll have to pay for mine, you might not have to because Ulta Beauty is allowing me to give away 5 Color Me Automatic Foundation Kits!

US residents 18+ can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway