Archive of ‘Favorite Things’ category

My Favorite Beauty YouTubers

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I have been in a love affair with several women (and one man) for about a year now. I am not ashamed to admit it. I am kind of obsessed with them. When they post, I watch. When they say they love something, I buy it. They have turned me into a cosmetics addict and I ain’t mad about it.  They are my favorite Beauty YouTubers.

For most women, makeup is a necessary evil. You look for a product to solve a problem, it works and then you move on. For some, makeup is an art, it s a craft but it is a live art that is forever changing. Most importantly, makeup is fun! I am in no means an expert. I still have days where I look in the mirror and think “what did I do?”, but I am far more educated about products and the process than I was a year ago.

Now that I have gotten the hang of a few makeup tricks I can’t tell you how many people tell me they want me to teach them. I always recommend they go right to wear I started, YouTube.  You can learn anything you want on YouTube. There are so many people creating content and sharing their knowledge, opinions, and entertaining videos. I found tons of YouTubers creating videos about makeup and beauty and I find myself looking forward to their video postings, just as much as I look forward to my favorite TV shows.

Whether you want to learn from a tried and true expert or a someone who is self-taught, there is a YouTuber out there for you. They share a wealth of knowledge, experience and opinions that can help any novice or pro.

Here are some disclaimers that you should know about YouTubers:

  • They are compensated by YouTube. The number of Subscribers, Views, Likes and Comments on their videos increases their value for ads that are served on their videos.
  • They can be compensated by brands to promote their products. Most YouTubers will disclaim that they are being compensated from a brand for a product and will claim that this is still their honest opinion, take this with a grain of salt and judge for yourself.
  • They can be compensated by brands for sales that are made through affiliate links in their profiles. If there is a link or discount code in their profile for a company, assume they are getting paid per click or paid per sale.

Jaclyn Hill 

Jacyln Hill is where it all started for me. I watcher her “Flawless Face” video and realized that I had no idea what I was doing with my makeup and immediately wanted to learn more. Jaclyn is so likeable and her techniques are easy to follow. She is a former MAC make up artist, but she also has experience with a variety of products.

I trust that when she recommends a product, it is not from endorsement or compensation. I must not be the only one because her recommendations are powerful, when she says that she loves an eye shadow, it sells out immediately.

I can’t tell you how much I have learned from her videos, she is definitely my all time favorite.


Zoe is a British YouTuber and I just think she is as cute as a button. She is extremely popular in England and she loves beauty products (rumor is she has a beauty line launching soon). She makes it clear that she is no expert, but she shares her tips and tricks and has an effortless style.  Her makeup style is natural, but flawless and effortless. She does a mix of makeup and hair tutorials, which are usually easy to follow and execute.

Her channel is not exclusively beauty videos. She has a variety of entertaining content and she tackles her battle with anxiety, which I love!  I also find it fascinating to watch this young entrepreneur as she builds her brand and business.

Plus, I love it when she uses British slang like “plaits” (braids), blusher (blush), and “cuddles” (hugs).


Tati aka Glam Life Guru posts content daily and shares a mixture of drugstore and high end make up tutorials. Her tips and tricks are really easy to execute and she loves to find a good bargain product.


This Aussie is a relative genius when it comes to makeup application. Wayne Goss is a well know makeup artist and he has recently come out with his own line of brushes. One of his videos about contouring like Kim Kardashian has over 7 million views! His videos are quick and easy tips. He also tackles the basics in detail, like how to apply concealer, how to contour and how to apply foundation.


I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Ingrid aka Miss Galmorazzi. She is cute, bubbly and really fun to watch. She posts an equal mix of beauty and lifestyle videos, including a few of her favorite healthy recipes. I drooled over her sense of style in home decor when she posted her apartment tour video. My only problem with Ingrid is that she has started to gain big brand sponsorships (like Cover Girl) and she doesn’t clearly disclose when an opinion is her own or influenced by her paycheck. Regardless, she is entertaining to watch and has great tutorials.


Tiffany is about as real as it gets.  She has a bit of a champagne taste when it comes to makeup and skincare, but she knows what she likes and more importantly, what works. Tiffany is very knowledgable about the ingredients in products and typically only recommends products that she feels are safe.  I love the looks that she puts together, they are classic and easy to replicate.


If you have ever been frustrated trying to find a concealer that works or have never been able to master the perfect winged eye liner, I recommend you head over to YouTube and you will be surprised by what you can learn.

Do you have any favorite YouTubers? I would love to add some more favorites to my subscriptions, share in the comments below!




My Current Beauty Wish List – Summer 2014

At any given time I have at least 5-9 products in my shopping cart.  If I go back and still really want the item, it stays, if it was just an impulse, I kick it to the curb. This is how I rationalize my purchases. Judge all you want, it works for me (and I think in some way I can blame my Mother for teaching me this technique). If only Sephora used the common practice of sending coupons after you leave an item in the cart, but alas, they know there is no need, as we will eventually pay full price.

These are the products that have stuck around in my cart this season and I am dying to get my hands on.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Palette 

I have had my eye on the Ambient Lighting Powders for awhile now, but haven’t been able to bring myself to pay the $45 for a single product. This palette provides three shades of this powder for only $58, so it is certainly much more budget friendly. Yes, I realize how ridiculous it is that I just said $60 is budget friendly for a block of powder.

Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara 

With a name like Iconic, I am already won over to try this product. Dior’s mascaras have always been highly rated and my lashes have absolutely no curl so I am dying to try this and see if it lives up to the hype.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige  

Once again, Jaclyn Hill has won me over with her rants and raves for this classic product from Bobbi Brown. I have always wanted to add a Shimmer Brick to my make up collection, but couldn’t decide on the right color. This Brick has a perfect champagne color with a brown base that is sure to compliment my skin tone. I want to use this on my cheekbones, brow bones…basically any bones that are naturally highlighted.

Too Faced Natural Eye Shadow Collection 

I may have ever color shadow possible, but I always come back to the same neutrals that are always flattering. Champagne, soft pink, matte browns, creams, they never fail you. This palette has rave reviews on being the perfect every day palette for that natural, no make up, make up look. You know, cause that makes sense? Anyways, it has caught my eye and I love my Chocolate Bar palette by Too Faced, so this is a must have.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation 

I think that I will forever be on the hunt for the perfect foundation. There will always be a better technology that comes out, so I will always be up for trying something new. In this case, this is a tried and true classic. I have never heard a bad review about Estee Lauder Double Wear. It is supposed to have a natural finish, last 15 hours and stay true to color, what more could you want?

Make Up Geek Blush – Spellbound 

If you haven’t discovered Make Up Geek yet, I recommend that you run, not walk, to their website and check them out. They have fantastic eye shadows that are completely on par with MAC and many are exact dupes of your favorite shades, but oh so much cheaper!

When they came out with their blush line, I knew I was going to want to buy each of them. My girl Jaclyn Hill did reviews and swatches of all the blushes and oh boy was I not disappointed. Of course, these blushes have sold out, but I am anxiously awaiting their re-stock so I can pick up Spellbound, I mean, look at how gorgeous it looks on JHill.

Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer 

I need this in my life. It is so difficult to find the perfect bronzer, I don’t want a bunch of shimmer on my face like I am in middle school, I just want a healthy glow that looks natural. The No Bronzer Bronzer is like no bronzer that you have used before, a liquid bronzer that is not just meant for a night out on the town. This bronzer is supposed to be subtle, but buildable and can be easily used to contour (which my naturally round face is in desperate need of) so sounds like perfection. This little guy has been sold out at Sephora for weeks, but hopefully it finds its way into my shopping cart once it is back in stock.

Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Honey Bath 

This is an item that is completely unnecessary, but I think everyone deserves a little bit of luxury in their lives. Yes. A $45 bubble bath is a total splurge/luxury/pampering item, but oh man do I love a bubble bath.Youtuber Zoella included this in one of her monthly favorites and I have been eye’ing it ever since. I love a pamper night, light some candles, slather on a face mask (maybe a deep conditioning hair mask too), glass of wine, good book and slip into a bubble bath. I think this honey bath sounds like the perfect companion to a pamper night and what could be better than drizzling the product into the warm water with the honeycomb dipstick.

What is currently on your beauty wish list?

Or should I say what is waiting for you to press “purchase” in your online shopping carts? I have a feeling many of your beauty wish list items will find their way into my shopping cart as well!


Spotted: Clean Graffiti Marketing Campaign

IMG_8079 On a Spring walk with Meyer pup I came across my first Clean Graffiti Marketing campaign and it caused me to (literally) stop in my tracks.  This sidewalk is a popular path for runners and walkers in this popular Dilworth neighborhood, so at first, the markings on the sidewalk caught my eye as very well done sidewalk chart art. When I took a further look, I realized that I was standing on a genius marketing campaign.

BKLsshMCEAAXYPqA simple message was pressure washed on the sidewalk with stencils.

STAY STRONG. Pain stops here. OrthoCarolina. An athlete’s best friend.

What better place is there for an orthopedics healthcare company to advertise than exactly where their target audience is?

As a runner is just thinking about giving up, they look ahead and see words of encouragement cheering them on just one more mile.

When a familiar ache or pain rears its ugly head again, you spot the one who will bring you relief.

Someone who may have never considered orthopedic care now has a solution in mind the next time they are in pain.

One of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign is determining who is the target audience, then determining where and how to communicate with that audience. In this case, the target audience is athletes, but not necessarily someone that you find in a professional arena or high school football field. An athlete is anyone who is pushing their bodies in the pursuit of fitness. The 40 year old training for his next marathon. The new Mom who has picked up running with friends to get back into shape. The post-college graduate trying to de-stress after work with a long walk.By targeting the sidewalk, you widen the audience and extend brand awareness.

Can you count the number of impressions made? Not exactly. Can you calculate the ROI? Probably not accurately. But the cost is small, the message is subtle and the impact is huge. After a little research, I discovered that this great campaign was implemented by local Charlotte agency, thesavageway, and they call this technique “clean graffiti” .

The execution of this campaign is simple, but the idea is smart and opportunity for using this technique is endless. I hope to stumble on more of these clean campaigns around town, have you spotted any in your neighborhood?

The 6 things you MUST have in your makeup bag

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In the quest to find the perfect solution to every makeup problem I have ever had, I have found a few staple products that I now can not live without. Beauty bloggers like to call products like these their “holy grail” but I just can’t bring myself to use that phrase. These are products that work for me and make life just a little easier by doing exactly what I want them to do. They work for me and I hope they will work for you too.

1. Stilla Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner 

This eyeliner is liquid and uses a flexible felt like tip to apply the product. It is easy to control, has great pigmentation and does exactly as it’s name says, stays all day. It doesn’t take much practice to get used applying this eyeliner and before you know it, you will be flicking the perfect wing.

2. Naked Basics Palette

In the world of makeup, the rainbow of eyeshadows can be so enticing to play with, but it is the basics that will make any eye look possible. Naked Basics looks boring and simple and almost repetitive, but don’t be fooled. You can create complete looks with this palette or use these shadows as the base or blending shadows for any look you want to create. Either way, you won’t be able to live without these simple shades. 

3. MAC Pro-Longwear Concealer 

I call this concealer spackle because once you set it, there is no smudging, creasing or fading until you remove it. The coverage is amazing for any level of dark circles under your eyes and the range of colors that it comes in ensures you will find your perfect fit. I use NW20, just a smidge lighter than my foundation to help provide even more lightness to this usually dark area. You only need the tiniest amount of product, so if the $19 price tag seems a bit expensive, don’t worry, this bottle will last you months. I set mine with a light powder, but depending on who you ask at MAC, some say you don’t need to set this product, so it is up to you!

4. Benefit They’re Real Mascara 

I will not declare that They’re Real is the best mascara of all time. I certainly believe there are better mascaras out there, but if you want a consistent product that will always give you great results, you must add this to your collection. They’re Real separates and lengthens lashes with a formula that is worth the price tag.

5. Rimmel Stay Matte Power (Translucent) 

I never thought I needed a powder to complete my makeup kit. I don’t have oily skin and I have never been the type to touch up makeup when out on the go, so I was surprised to how many different ways I now use powder. I love Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent for two reasons 1) the price (you can find this under $5 at your drugstore) and 2) the performance. This translucent powder does not look cakey when you pile it on, blends in seamlessly and really is translucent. I use mine to set concealer and fix blush blunders (I can sometimes have a heavy hand), but I also find it useful to set any liquid product or as a base for eyeshadows.

6. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray 

You take your time to make sure your makeup is perfect, but then forget the most important step of your routine, setting spray. A simple mist of All Nighter will help make sure your makeup looks as fresh and perfect at the beginning of the day until the end of the day. I also love how this product provides a cool mist that feels refreshing after layering on products.

My (Current) Skin Care Favorites

My relationship with my skin can be as dramatic as my love life, but recently I have fallen into a routine of products that seem to be calming down the roller coaster ride that my skin usually takes.

It is important to note that my skin is relatively normal, with hormonal acne in my chin area. I don’t typically have much to complain about my skin, I just like to keep it happy so it doesn’t revolt against me and I am always on the hunt for the ever illusive miracle product that is going to make my skin “glow”.  Here are a few items that I have found that have yet to disappointment me, so I trust that you will love them too.

Face Wash – Philosophy Purity

I was first introduced to this cult favorite by Jaclyn Hill, my favorite YouTube beauty guru and it wasn’t long before I completely fell for its greatness. I am lazy when it comes to skin care, so this wash and I are kindred spirits. Purity does everything (except the dishes) it is a make up remover, gentle face cleanser, toner and make up brush cleaner all in one. Purity is my go-to face wash and it has not failed me, it removes every ounce of gunk from my face and leaves my skin feeling clean with no residue. I recommend that you try out any new products with a sample or travel size and you can easily find Purity for only $10 for a generous supply.

You can’t go wrong with Purity, even if you hate it (for some crazy reason) as your face wash, you can use it as a make up brush cleaner. If you fall in love with it, keep an eye out for coupons from and then stock up and save!

Day Moisturizer – CeraVe Moisturizing Facial Lotion

I want to start my day with a clean face and a light moisturizer that will not interfere with my make up or leave my skin feeling weighed down. CeraVe does exactly what you want it to, it provides the perfect amount of moisture before you put your make-up on and calms down any irritation or dryness.

CeraVe was recommended to me by my dermatologist when breakouts decided to take up permanent residence on my chin. I love that this moisturizer is easy to find at any drugstore or Target and while it can typically cost around $15, it lasts for-ev-er! Plus, at that price, you won’t mind when the man in your life inevitably starts using it regularly as well.

TIP: If you can, give your moisturizer 15 minutes to absorb before you start applying your makeup.

Night Moisturizer – Philosophy, Hope in a Jar

Nighttime is the prime time to let your skin repair itself from the damage you have done all day, but that doesn’t mean I want to slather on a thick layer of moisturizer that is just going to end up all over my pillows. Hope in a Jar is a cult favorite and I figure, if that many people like it, I might as well give it a shot.

The product is a light, air whipped texture with a light fragrance with marine notes. It absorbs quickly into the skin and is light enough that you could wear it under make up. They have a night time version, but I prefer the weight of the day version for my skin. I focus on my typically dry areas of my face and make sure to cover my neck (this is the first place that shows signs of aging, eek) with this glorious cream. The next morning, my skin is baby soft and ready to take on another day.

TIP: Did you know the best time to put on your moisturizer is within 10 minutes of getting out of the shower? This is when your skin’s pores are primed and ready to soak up the moisturizer and you will see the most benefit.

Dark Spot Treatment – Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Overnight Peel

I have always been looking for a product to put on at night and when I awoke in the morning I would magically find my dark spots had faded. I was tired of claims from products stating that it would take 6-8 weeks until I could see a difference…until this little gem found its way home with me from an Ulta trip.When looking for an effective dark spot corrector, I always feel like I am trying to weed out the “scam” products from the real deal.  Most often I find that I believe price = effectiveness, but alas, a product to disprove this theory!

Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Peel costs about $15 at drugstores or Ulta (use an Ulta coupon and get it for cheaper). I never would have picked it up because the word “peel” confused me, but think of this just as a serum that you put on at night and then wash your face as usual in the morning. I started seeing results for this within a week to two weeks and more importantly, my Mother made a comment about how clear my skin looked. The peel doesn’t irritate any current breakouts and makes a noticeable difference in a short period of time, what more could you want?

Daily Sunscreen – Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen SPF 70

Speaking of dark spots…as I whined and complained to my dermatologist that there had to be some magic laser he could shoot at my skin to make them disappear, he said unless I wanted to spend a couple hundred dollars my best bet was to use sunscreen, every day. Of course, I protested, I did use an SPF 20 on a daily basis already (it is built into my foundation, duh). He wasn’t amused and informed me that in this case, even just walking to the mailbox everyday could intensify my dark spots and I needed to use 50+ every day to help prevent any further damage.

I am a Florida girl, but for some reason, I can not stand the scent of sunscreen on my face, unless I am on a beach. Thankfully Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen saves the day with their super lightweight formula and zero fragrance! I use on a daily basis, on my chin, after I have moisturized and then place my make up on top with no issues. I would say the $10 investment in this little bottle is worth it over those silly lasers.

 Jury is still out

Clarisonic Mia

I have heard rave reviews on the Clarisonic, reviews so good you almost can’t believe they are true. After hearing these reviews for over a year and asking around to a few friends who use the system, I finally decided to give it a shot this Christmas. The Christmas deals and discounts made the decision to give this $100 tool a chance as well.

Once I received the Mia, I couldn’t wait to start using it and seeing the “life changing” results. After one use, I didn’t have a glorious complexion and zero signs of acne as I had expected, but after a few months of use my tune has started to change. I had a few initial breakouts, but then my skin started to settle down and after two months my skin cleared enough that I stopped taking my prescription acne medication.  I have now been using the Clarisonic for three months and off my perscription for a month and my skin has never been this clear. The best part is when someone stops you and asks, “what are you doing with your skin? It looks fantastic!”

I will give this wonder tool another month or so of use before I deem it a “favorite”, so for right now the jury is still out, but the verdict looks positive!

Still on the Hunt

I am still searching for an under eye cream to help reduce dark circles, if you have found a product that you love, please share!

Back in the Game

Well after a brief hiatus from the blogging world (and a terrible lesson in always backing up your website) I am back in the blogging game. I have dabbled in food blogging before, where I shared some of my favorite recipes and local Charlotte eats, but this time around, I have decided to expand my horizons. I often found myself wanting to share more than just my take on food, so here I will also be sharing my view on beauty/make-up, marketing, and food/entertaining. Each of these topics are dear passions to me and I can not wait to share them with the people that stumble upon this tiny piece of the internet that I own.

What can you expect? 

Food that is delicious and makes you happy. I am a self taught cook and to me cooking is my way of showing how much I love those around me. I like to make food that makes those around me happy. Food is the universal language (I will argue this over music) and it is my way of connecting with the world around me, so expect my recipes to be mouth watering and addicting.

Recommendations on beauty and make up products that I have put through a rigorous and completely unsophisticated testing processes. I have become obsessed with make up and beauty over the past year and my only way to cope with this addiction is to publicly admit it and share my new found knowledge. You can benefit from my unhealthy addiction to buying beauty products as I share my take on current favorites and new products.

Oprah once told me, through her daily television show, that you should find what you love and then find a way to make a living doing it. Well, I love marketing. I totally geek out when I find a brilliant marketing idea and want to shout “THIS IS BRILLIANT” from the roof tops. My blog may be a pretty short roof top, but I guess I will take it. Every aspect of your life is influenced by marketing initiatives and find studying this quickly evolving industry to be fulfilling and fascinating.

Moral of the story, there will be something for everyone, so tell your Mom, neighbor, mailman and pup to check out my blog, I will be sure not to disappoint.

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