Beauty Talk #4 – December Favorites

My last beauty post covering my September Favorites was surprisingly popular, so I’m picking back up with my favorites from last month.




Acure Organics Moroccan Argan Stem Cell & Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner ~$10 each

I’ve been a big fan of the Acure skincare line recently so when I needed new Shampoo I decided to give them a chance and I’m incredibly impressed. They have a subtle almond scent which is delicious, and I find that my hair is less oily when using this shampoo. The Conditioner is effective but light which is great for my fine/thin hair. Definitely recommend.

Caudalie Hand & Nail Cream  $15 (full size)

I’m constantly using hand cream and I’m impatient when it comes to allowing lotion to soak in. The Caudalie hand cream has become my go to cream for when I’m working at my computer (which is always). I can apply, and immediately get back to work because it soaks in within seconds. The smell is classic Caudalie and a bit earthy but it fades rather quickly in case that bothers you.

Clairol Beautiful Brown – Amethyst (purchased from Sally Beauty Supply)  ~$6.00

When I was in college I used to box dye my hair Burgundy, I loved it and miss it…but growing it out was awful. The brassiness, the orange, I don’t want to go through that again. But I still like to dye my hair on occasion, to boost my already dark brown hair with a pop of color. My favorite hair dye, hands down, is Clairol Beautiful Browns. You can buy a bottle at most beauty supply stores for about $6 and it’s Semi-Permanent which means it fades gently over the course of about 28 washings. No grow out, no odd roots…it just naturally fades over time. Plus, I can usually get quite a few uses out of that little bottle.I switch between Wine Brown (burgundy tones) and Amethyst (more purple tones). Indoors my hair looks dark brown, but outside it has a beautiful glint of red/purple. Great for anyone that wants to avoid Permanent hair dye.



Bare Minerals 5 in 1 Cream Shadow – Soft Linen $18

I actually use this cream shadow as an eye shadow base. It prevents my eye shadow from creasing and evens my skin tone to make eye shadow colors pop. It also dries to matte finish so it’s great for more mature lids that want to avoid shimmer (i.e. my mom uses this too!)

Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eye Shadow – Playa del Pink $18

Josie Maran has the Argan skincare market on target, I’m a fan. I really like her cleansing oil, but last month I was reaching for her Watercolor Eye shadows all the time. They pack a punch in terms of color, dry quickly, and blend fairly easily with just your fingers. They work well all alone for a simple wash of color but really shine when paired with darker shadows. I’ve only own this one color, but I swatched the others at Sephora and they are all beautiful.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner – Midnight Cowboy $19

December was the perfect month to break out the glitter eyeliner. I’m in my 30’s so glitter liners can be a little tricky, as sometimes it can come across as too young. That is actually why I like the Urban Decay liner, it’s buildable (as in the picture), but light in application. I wing out my eyeliner using black liquid liner, then gently add a thin line of glitter above the black. it adds the most beautiful sparkle when the light hits it, and in my opinion comes across very classy/elegant. I get lots compliments when I wear this one out. I also own the silver and copper colors which are also gorgeous, but the beige of Midnight Cowboy tends to blend into my lid color better to give the subtle sparkle.

NUDE Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum $78 (full size)

I haven’t yet splurged on the full size of this produce but it’s on my wishlist. This small size was part of a gift set that I purchased in early in December and I’m impressed.  It’s light, soaks in immediately, and doesn’t compete with other skincare products. I use this at night and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and moisturized. I haven’t been using it long enough to confirm any claims that it prevents the signs of aging or firms the skin, but I will say that I seem to have a good skin day after using this product. Whatever it’s doing, I like it. 


Thanks it! What Beauty products are you loving this month?



*Some of the above links are affiliate links. Clicking through the links do not change the price of the product of you, but awards me with a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Beauty Talk #3 – September Favorites

As cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe this year is flying by so quickly. Wasn’t it just January? I’ve been counting down the days until Fall, the heat this summer has been unbearable. Combine that with the drought we’re experiencing and it’s been pretty miserable. It’s going to be in the 100’s this weekend (in October?!?), and I am dreaming of a cool, damp fall/winter. With the heat, makeup hasn’t made the ‘To Do List’ very often. I’ve been keeping it very simple with a foundation for even skin, and then I used blush and nail polish for pops of beauty color. Here are a few of my beauty favorites from this past month.


Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint – Juice [~$24]

I love the Bite brand overall due to it’s focus on using Food Grade Ingredients. I feel safer using the Bite Brand products since we eat so much of the lip products we wear. I’m not very comfortable using bright lipsticks, so I have a special love for the Lush Lip Tints. They are moisturizing and give wash of color that feels comfortably colorful. 


Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation – No. 1.0 [~$39]

Earlier this year I splurged on the Urban Decay Foundation when ULTA had a 20% off coupon available. First off, it’s a great color match for my light skin, which is often a challenge to find. The formula is great, light and comfortable even in the hot summer months. It also leaves a very natural finish, not cakey or heavy at all. 


Butter London Nail Polish – SNOG [~$15]

I love bright coral-pink-red nail polishes. SNOG is a bright, but dark pink that is an absolute stunner! Easily a one coat polish as well, the formula is fantastic. If you want to try a similar color for less $$, check out an Essie polish in the color Watermelon.That polish is also a favorite of mine. 


Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush – Coral [~$10]

This blush has been a favorite since the day I bought it. It’s better than many of the high end blushes that I have in my collection (yes, I said collection…it’s a problem). It’s the perfect Coral/Peach blush with just enough glow to also double as a highlighter. Excellent color, coverage and price (around $10 and often on sale).



Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil [~$5]

I still love my regular Coconut oil for so many reasons, but the Vatika Enriched Hair Oil has replaced regular coconut oil for my hair. The first ingredient of The Vatika brand is Coconut Oil, but it also has Neem, Henna, and other herbs/extracts. It has a lemon scent and it does an AMAZING job at moisturizing my hair. My hair is typically very dry and frizzy, but with this stuff, my hair has never been healthier. I use it about once a week, overnight. I haven’t had any problems with it staining my pillows either.


Acure Seriously Hydrating Facial Toner for Normal to Dry Skin [~$15]

Since my skin tends to run on the dry side, I use a facial mist morning and night. I’m a fan of the Acure brand and the Seriously Hydrating Facial Toner is excellent as well. It’s a great formula that is incredibly moisturizing, without being sticky. It soaks in quickly, and feels nourishing over or under other beauty products.


Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream [~$30 per 4oz]

Egyptian Magic is not cheap, but it’s so worth it! I picked up the 2oz bottle (shown) and a 4oz tub at Costco for about $40. The texture is more oil/balm than cream and you don’t need much at all. A few times a week, I will wash my face and apply the Acure Toner, then a facial oil, and lastly a very thin layer of Egyptian Magic. It soaks in and leaves the most incredible glow/softness to my skin overnight. 


What Beauty products are you loving this month?


*Some of the above links are affiliate links.

Etsy Finds Friday – Rugged

I’m running so late today that my Etsy Find Friday is going to show up on Saturday, sorry about that. I’m actually on my way up to San Francisco this weekend to do the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with my mom so Friday was a lot of packing, running errands, cleaning, and a last minute foodie photo shoot for the eBook. I’m ridiculously excited about our girls weekend, and half marathon, that I can’t stand it. Lots of fun! I’ll have some posts up during the weekend about our trip, and my Mom’s first half marathon. She’s already a total ROCKSTAR in my book, but I can’t wait to cross that finish line on Sunday with her.

This weeks favorite things were feeling a little rustic and rugged. I was going to create a favorite finds list for men, but aside from the first shop, these aren’t actually targeted toward men. However, they all have that rugged/rustic style that I like in my men (weird transition…let’s move on, shall we?). As usual, these shop owners do not know me and have not paid for this feature. I just have a love for small business and want to share some of the awesome shops I find while shopping for myself.


Sam’s Naturals

I was initially drawn to this shop by their graphic labeling and candle packaging. Then I saw a listing for Pumpkin Castille soap. I know this company is targeted toward men, but I want Pumpkin castile soap too! Or the Autumn scented candle…or the Aloe Deodorant. I mean, not all ladies want their armpits to smell like a ‘spring shower’, am I right? I’m impressed by their selection and am considering one of their gift sets for me someone special on my Christmas list this year.

Pumpkin Castile Liquid Soap Castille Liquid Hand Soap Vegan and Gentle

Aloe Natural Deodorant for Men Gifts for Men Made in America Mens Vegan Deodorant Natural Ingredient Deodorant Stick for a Man Autumn Ironwood Soy Candle in Jelly Jar - AUTUMN Scent - Housewarming Gift, Soy, Candle


Urban Wood Goods

LOVE this style in this shop, seriously smitten. They create industrial modern furniture using reclaimed wood and it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m seriously enamored with the wine bar and the fact that they use ‘old wood’ which is 100-200 years old. Each piece looks like it has a story which is exactly the the style I adore. Industrial Reclaimed Wine Bar and Rack (150 year plus "old growth" wood) free shipping 48"  l x 11.5" w x 35" tall

Industrial Reclaimed wood media/tv stand (150 year plus "old growth" wood)  48"  l x 14" deep  w x 20" tall Reclaimed Wood and steel industrial shop Stool. made in chicago 25" counter height


Copper River Bag Co

I found something unique when I stumbled across Copper River Bags, and it wasn’t just that they sell attractive handcrafted leather camera bags. They have a 100 year warranty. Yes, you read that write. They promote the high quality of their bags by offering a 100 year warranty. I’m fairly certain I won’t live another 100 years, so I picture these rugged leather bags being lovingly passed down in a family. Stock isn’t limited to camera bags, they also have impressive messenger bags and other handcrafted goods.

Safari Camera Bag - Black - Thick Full Grain Leather - Padded Camera Insert Divider - Padded Bottom - Made in the U.S.A. - Water Resistant

 Camera Safari Bag - Serengeti - Full Grain Leather - Medium Padded Camera Insert - Hand Crafted - Made in the U.S.A. - Water Resistant 14" Manhattan Camera Bag - Desert Sand -Full Grain Leather - Large Padded Camera Insert Divider with Padded Bottom - Made in the U.S.A.

Etsy Find Friday – Random

I love ‘Favorite Find’ posts, and I don’t do them nearly enough. Since I love ETSY and shopping through small businesses, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite Etsy finds each week. The owners of these shops do not know me and I’m not in any way being compensated for posting about them. I simply find these as I shop for myself, and love their designs enough to share them with you.


Vintage and Handmae by The Cupcake Kid

The Cupcake Kid has quite a few items in their shop that are really lovely, but they made this weeks favorite list for the letterpress type wood block. I love that instead of selling them piece by piece, they are listed as full word sets. I’m coveting all of these at the moment, especially the DREAM set. Wouldn’t that look great set out on a bookcase or desk!?

Boo Halloween decoration wood blocks vintage letterpress letter block set HOORAY word letterpress type metal blocks - romantic happy vintage typography weddin party home decor

DREAM romantic inspirational letterpress type wood metal blocks


Amelia Bath and Body by Janet Amelia

I was immediately drawn to Janet’s creations when I saw Coconut Vanilla Bean Vegan Soap. Then I saw the variety of other things offered, like Strawberry Champagne Sugar Scrub and Organic Chocolate Clay Face Mask. They all sound so naturally decadent.

Strawberry and Champagne Sugar Scrub Sophisticated Fragrance  - Phthalate Free Paraben Free Face Mask Organic Chocolate Face Masque Natural Facial Certified Organic Chocolate Kaolin Clay - Organic Dark Chocolate Face Mask

Coconut Vanilla Bean Soap - Vegan Phthalate Free Soap


Amaya Handmade by Jen

This is a shop that I’ve actually purchased from. I can vouch for the high quality of her work and the designs are stunning. She uses vintage and repurposed fabrics to make the most amazing items. Below are the two items I purchased recently. One was suppose to be a gift, but I’m…ummm…keeping it for myself. I just can’t give it up.

Fold over clutch, linen and vintage brown leather, vintage doily

Fold over clutch, clutch purse, silk, vintage leather and lace


Any other Etsy shoppers out there? I always love new shop recommendations.

DIY: Daily Letterpress Calendar Journal

Wow…The last part of the week really got away from me, hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!

I am ridiculously excited about this project and I meant to have it up on Thursday but I ended up working late on Thursday/Friday. I also had a little trouble writing up this post because every time I starting writing about this project, I just sounded like a giddy little kid over a calendar. In the end, Logic me says “don’t be so excited about a calendar, people will think you’re weird!” and Authentic me says “THIS IS AWESOME!”.

I like Authentic me better.

Every year I go on the hunt for a fun new calendar for the office. I purchased this one a few years back at Anthropologie, and loved it. It sparked an admiration for letterpress calendars and I spend a lot of time looking for my favorite each year.

I had this calendar. Loved it.

About 6 months ago I saw this picture on Pinterest and was immediately smitten. I poured over the original DIY post at Design Sponge and immediately started planning my own calendar idea for the new year. With this in mind, I thought I could marry this daily calendar idea with my love for the smaller letterpress calendars.

It was all over for me when I found the amazing letterpress calendar over at Letterpress Calendar. I first saw their 2011 calendar after it had been released so I waited earnestly for the 2012 version.

This is the 2011 version I first fell head over heels for. I still wish I could get a copy, it would look lovely framed.

The colors…the design… ::swoon::

So while I didn’t get my hands on the 2011 version, I am the proud owner of this beauty.

 Daily Calendar

Only 500 are made so it feels extra special to me. My little piece of calendar art.

Daily Calendar

Now that I had the calendar I needed a box. Using some 1 x 4 scrap wood, I built a simple wood box that fit the calendar. My dad gave me his old band saw a few weeks back and it made quick work of the scrap wood. I cut, built and sanded the box in about 20 minutes. It’s held together with nails, no glue. Nothing too fancy.

Daily Calendar

I love the piece on the bottom, gives it a worn feel.

Daily Calendar

Daily Calendar

I also beat it up a little bit since my hope was to create a box that looked rustic, worn…and, well loved.

Daily Calendar

After the sanding was done, I stained it using Rust-Oleum Kona and then sprayed it with a few thin coats of Satin finish poly.

Daily Calendar

Due to the weather it took about 24 hours to fully dry so in the meantime I went to work on the individual day cards. Using a standard date stamp from Staples, I stamped each 4 x 6 index card with the day in the upper right hand corner. The year was stamped on the first line of the left side.

Daily Calendar

Then came the fun part of putting it all together. I used the letterpress calendar as my monthly dividers, specifically laying them on their side so that the month is showing in the upper left hand corner.  I’ll apologize now for the multitude of pictures. I may have taken more of this calendar than I have of my kid dog.

Daily Calendar

Daily Calendar

Daily Calendar

*told you…I’m obsessed!

Daily Calendar

Since the fit is a little tight to sort through the days, after I fill in the item for that day, I move the card to the back. It will rotate all year long.

Daily Calendar

Daily Calendar

I’ve also started stamping the next year on each card after my note so that it’s ready for next year.


Daily Calendar

Daily Calendar

Daily Calendar

Ok, I’ll stop the calendar porn now. I can’t wait to look back at this year after year to see a daily diary of life.

What I Want Now – Winter Skincare

Living in Southern California, winter is mild. Having lived near the beach most of my life, I had never really experienced a dry skin winter, but things have changed. Moving inland has hampered more than my love for an ocean breeze. I also have some serious dry skin during the winter and it took me the entire cold season last year to figure out the perfect winter skincare routine for me.

In reality, the winters anywhere in So Cal are mild in comparison to other parts of the country. I don’t deal with snow or below freezing temperatures. I never use to be the type of person who changed their skincare routine with the season, I’ve been very lucky to only deal with an occasional breakout. Maybe it’s because I’m almost 30 or maybe it really has something to do with the move inland, I’m not sure. What I do know is that this works for me.


I’ve been washing my face with Cetaphil for years and it’s never let me down.If I don’t have Cetaphil then I’ll use Dove, they are my favorites. I also use a Clairsonic face brush year round, usually only at night. After washing my face, while my skin is still damp I use the Bio Oil, it’s the only thing that stops my face from getting too dry. I also use this year around, but I use it twice a day during the winter months. During the summer I use a lighter sunscreen, but when I need something thicker I always go for Clinique Superdefense, it’s thick but soaks in without feeling greasy.  The only other thing, not listed, is Clinique All About Eyes. I don’t always use it everyday, but I always keep it in my medicine cabinets for the puffy eye days.

1. Clinique Superdefense SPF 25 Age Defense Moisturizer Dry Combination $44.50

2. Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser $9

3. Bio Oil Scar Treatment $11


Once a week I use a face scrub in the shower, Khiel’s Pineapple Papaya Scrub is my absolute favorite. It’s very gentle and works miracles. You don’t need a lot to do the job, so usually lasts a long time. I tend to jump from body lotion to body lotion, always looking for a new favorite, but always come back to two. For super dry days I use Vaseline Intensive Rescue; but my usual ‘go to’ winter lotion is Lubriderm Daily Nourishing. I could say it’s for the great formula, but really it’s because the smell reminds me of summer and it isn’t greasy. For the days when I need a little extra moisture for hands or face, I use Josie Maran Argan Oil Stick. It’s easy to carry around, smells great, and works like a charm. I also keep lip balm with me 24/7, but I don’t have a favorite brand. I have them all over the house, and in every purse, so I’ll use whatever is within reach. 

4. Khiel’s Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub $28

5. Lubriderm Daily Nourishing Radiance Lotion (with Shea  and Cocoa Butter) $9

6. Josie Maran Argan Oil Moisturizing Stick $22


What are your winter skincare favorites?