Category: Beauty


I wish I could understand the hype behind summer, but after what seems like an eternity of dealing with summer in Florida, I could do without those sweaty summer days. Look, I enjoy warmer weather just as much as the next person, but when you add 100% humidity and daily thunderstorms to the mix? HARD PASS. But, after almost 23 years of dealing with summertime, I’ve found 10 summer essentials to keep me from looking like a hot, sweaty train wreck. Sure, you might feel like the inner depths of hell are consuming your entire body, but at least you won’t look like it!


  1. Cocovit Coconut Oil– It may seem counterintuitive to use any sort of oil during the summertime, but I promise it isn’t! If you spend a lot of time in chlorinated pools, you are damaging your hair and drying out your scalp. Coconut oil is your summer hair savior! Trust me. It’s also amazing to use on sunburns. Is there anything coconut oil can’t do? Doubtful!
  2. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation– Call me what you want, but I am NOT giving up makeup in the summer regardless of the temperature outside. Using a lighter coverage foundation isn’t really an option for me either because, well, #adultacne. But I’ve found the perfect summertime solution: the NARS foundation. It truly does not feel like I have anything on my face. In fact, it is more lightweight than any tinted moisturizer I’ve tried out. And the coverage is perfect. It dries to a semi-matte finish, and I don’t even need to powder my face after applying. Talk about a miracle product! For the full review of this foundation, click here!
  3. Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47– I couldn’t talk about summer essentials without mentioning a product with the most important of all summertime essentials: SPF. When it comes to skincare, I do my best to stick to companies that only use non-toxic ingredients. Josie Maran is one of my favorites, and is the most easily accessible.
  4. Beauty Blender– This magical, egg-shaped sponge applies foundation like a dream. I don’t need as much foundation to get amazing coverage, and the cool sponge feels incredibly refreshing. Plus, when I use this sponge, my foundation stays put all day. Magic, I tell ya!
  5. Macadamia Pro Nourishing Oil Spray– I’ve spoken about this oil spray before (click here for the full review!), and I maintain to this very day that this oil spray is a dream come true for thick-haired gals. Aside from the fact that it smells completely amazing, but I haven’t had to deal with annoying tangles and knots thanks to this spray. Beach days are no longer a hassle, mainly because this spray helps keep my hair in shape. Hurray!
  6. Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray– One of the worst things that can happen during the summer is a case of makeup meltdown. Simply put, this spray prevents that from happening. I use this on all of my bridal clients, and it works like a charm every time. This is a must have!
  7. Ofra HD Volumizing Waterproof Mascara– It’s pretty hard to find a waterproof mascara that is actually waterproof, but I’ve finally found the holy grail of waterproof mascaras. And I promise you it is truly waterproof: it did not budge when I went snorkeling in the Florida Keys. Click here for the full review!
  8. Ofra Semi-Permanent Waterproof Eyebrow Gel- When it comes to waterproof products, Ofra really hits the nail right on the head. The second Ofra product in my summer essentials list, this eyebrow gel is completely waterproof and is a staple in my summer beauty routine. And don’t worry about it being semi-permanent… I promise it actually washes off at the end of the day!
  9. Tata Harper Volumizing Lip and Cheek Tint– This has been a new essential in my summer beauty routine, and I don’t really know how I lived without it. I received a sample of this product, and I surprisingly used it up pretty quickly. I love multi-use products for the summer because 1) I’m maaaad lazy and 2) it takes up way less room in my makeup bag. I have the color “Very Popular” and it is such a gorgeous color for the cheeks and the lips. And it’s long lasting, too!
  10. NARS Heat Wave Lipstick– And of course, I could not talk about summer essentials without mentioning one of my all-time favorite summer lipsticks: NARS Heat Wave. This matte coral lipstick is a staple in my summer makeup bag. I pretty much only wear this shade in the summer because it just feels wrong wearing it any other season. Weird, right?

Check out what everyone else’s summer essentials are, too!

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If you have hooded eyes or an eye shape where you don’t see much of your lid with your eyes open, then I have the perfect makeup look for you. The reverse smoky eye focuses on your lower lashline as opposed to the upper lashline, so you don’t really need any visible lid space for this look. But first, an anecdote from my childhood!

When I was in middle school, I was dying to wear makeup. At that point, all of my friends were wearing makeup of some sort, and one of my best friends at the time was wearing the highly coveted eyeliner. I begged and begged my mom to let me wear eyeliner, and she FINALLY caved. But under one condition: lower eyeliner only, and not the whole lower lashline. Only halfway. Considering the fact that I couldn’t wear any other makeup, this was not a good look.

The point of me telling you that lil’ memory from my childhood is that the reverse smoky eye is like the grown up, sophisticated version of the makeup my mom allowed me to wear in middle school. It’s a fun and super simple look, so I didn’t even do a step-by-step tutorial because it is that easy. Read on for the tutorial!

How To Create a Reverse Smoky Eye, smoky eye for hooded eyes

First, take a black pencil eyeliner and line your waterline and smudge onto your lower lashline. Now that the base is set, I used only the Naked Basics 2 Palette for the rest of the makeup look. Taking a small pencil brush, I smudged “Undone” over the pencil eyeliner on the lower lashline, and mixed some “Primal” in there as well to blend it out smoothly. On the lid, I took a combination of “Frisk” and “Cover” and blended it into the crease. Then, taking a mixture of “Primal” and “Undone”, I blended these colors into the outer corners of the eye and into the crease, and using “Stark” to blend well into the crease. Then I used “Skimp” on the inner corners and under the brow.

And that is it! Just finish off with mascara, some light blush, and the lip color of your choice. I used Ofra Liquid Lipstick in Mocha to give me more of a 90s vibe.

So, how do you guys feel about the reverse smoky eye? Can you see yourself rocking it? Sound off in the comments!


Real talk: I’m addicted to Instagram. I’ve always been more of a “visual” person than anything else, and there’s nothing better to me than a well-curated Instagram feed. There are three beauty Instagrammers that are constantly cranking out great content, so if you’re looking for some new people to follow, these are the ones to follow.

the best instagram feeds, best makeup instagram, best beauty instagrammers

Brittany from @lifesetsail truly knows how to compose an image. Plus, her makeup shots are always on point. I’m also a huge fan of her blog, which you can check out here. Her Instagram aesthetic is absolutely dreamy, and she has excellent taste in makeup and fashion. Never a dull image from this girl!

the best instagram feeds, best makeup instagram, best beauty instagrammers

Okay, so while not ~technically~ a beauty Instagram, you gotta give it to one of my dearest friends, Beulah: her Instagram feed is damn good. Beulah is easily the best photographer I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with, and she is also incredibly down-to-earth and darling. Her photos are always so dreamy and beautifully composed, that I couldn’t not include it in my roundup. It’d be a sin! She also has a new blog, which I encourage you all to check out here.

I found Nicolle’s gorgeous Instagram through some of my green beauty blogging friends, and it is one of my favorite feeds. She’s all about that green beauty life, and her photos reflect that kinda clean living. She also does a lot of cool things to support the green beauty industry (like THIS Beauty Lab- I want to go so badly), and is the social media manager for Can she get any cooler?

This post is apart of The Well’s Instagram link-up, so check out who these bloggers nominate for their three favorite Instagrammers! We all had to answer: Who are your three favorite Instagrammers and why?

The B Bar
Annie Reeves
Alyssa J Freitas
Cake & Lilies
Liska Monet
The Not Quite Adult
Equal Parts of a Whole
Carrie Loves
A Loyal Love
Paper and Skyscrapers
Glitter, Inc.
SKC Marketing
Elana Lyn
Sponsored by Coffee
Always Craving
All The Pretty Stars
Business Betties
Perfect Enough For Us
Always Anita
A Little Leopard
A Girl for Granted
Tortoise in the Sun
The Yuppie Files
Healthfully Ever After
Urban Pixxels
Roam + Golightly
Preppy Panache
White Cabana
Idalia Photography
Little Wild Heart
Wearing Pearls
The Everyday Adventurer
Splendor in Spanglish
Life Modifier
Post Grad in Pumps
Alessandra Marie
Random Little Faves
PR Girl Diaries
Caitlin Cawley
Modish & Main
26 and Not Counting
Pretty Much Design Studio
Grace Notes
Girl in Betsey
Something Good
Life with the Champions
Pattern Me Pretty
Simply Nicole
The Fashionable Wife
Cassandra Monroe
I Am Amber Nicole
Southland Avenue
English Mamma
Cake Over Steak
York Avenue
Jenn Inspired
Hitha on the Go
Beauty and the Pitch
Cedar and Rush
Luv in the Bubble
Des Moines Darling
Cheyenne Mojica
Step Brightly
Soak and Simmer
A Touch of Teal
Paris vs The World
Style and Free
Lovely Friend
A Few of My Favorite Things
The Blue Bijou
PR Blonde
Leigh Clair
Moonlight Chai
Meg Biram
Victoria McGinley

So who are YOUR favorite Instagrammers, and why?…


Bronzers and contouring products may seem interchangeable to most, but spoiler alert: they’re not! I think my biggest pet peeve as a makeup artist is seeing people use shimmery or too-orange bronzers to contour their faces, and them not realizing that they are doing the complete opposite of what they’re trying to achieve. The image above is a quick guide on where to contour and where to bronze. The contour is the dark brown and the bronzer is the lighter brown. So, here’s a quick little lesson on the difference between bronzing your face and contouring your face.

The purpose of contouring is the add shadows to the areas of your face you want to slim. You want to sink these figures in to, say, thin your face up. Many contour products tend to be more red/brown-based with NO shimmer in them. So, if you have a round face like me, you would probably contour your cheekbones, and contour your jawline. If you want to make your nose appear slimmer, you would contour the sides of your nose. You can also contour around your hairline, as well. If you add a contour right under your lower lip, you’ll make your lips appear slightly fuller.

The purpose of bronzing is to make yourself appear tanner. When people sometimes mistake you for Casper the Friendly Ghost, bronzers will kiiinda become your best friend. Bronzers tend to be more orange-based, and many have some sort of shimmer in them. You would apply a bronzer wherever the sun would naturally hit you, such as the tops of your cheekbones, temples, bridge of your nose, top of your chin, and the top of your browbone.

Sometimes there are bronzers that are more red/brown-based than orange-based and are completely matte. The Bobbi Brown Bronzer is a great example of that, and is one of my favorite products to contour with. So there are some exceptions to the rule. For bronzers, I’m a big fan of the Milani baked bronzers. And if you’re interested in some related reading, here’s an old post where I break down the difference between contouring and highlighting, along with some of my favorite products to contour and highlight.

Do you have any tips in regards to bronzers and contour products? What are your favorite products to use?


Following the Monochromatic Trend: Radiant Orchid Edition
Following the Monochromatic Trend: Radiant Orchid Edition

I can’t quite pinpoint when my obsession with monochromatic looks started, but I think it may have started in my graphic design classes in high school when we were forced to create work with a monochromatic color scheme since the printer couldn’t print more than one color. Sometimes monochromatic looks can be out-there and zany, and those tend to be the looks that get the most traction online. So when most people think “monochromatic makeup,” they probably think of shades of cobalt or violet splattered on the face in the most avant-garde way. Well, I am here to tell you it is entirely possible to make monochromatic totally wearable. I swear!

And since Pantone declared “Radiant Orchid” as the color of the year (which is really just a glorified name for the color magenta), I figured I would do a monochromatic look using magenta! And it is super easy to achieve this. For the eyes, I used a shimmery purple base (Chanel Illusoire Illusion D’Ombre), and topped it with a shimmery taupey-purple eyeshadow (Stila Encore Color Pigment). Make sure to blend it well into the crease, and add a light shimmery pink in the inner corners. Add eyeliner (I winged mine out) and mascara, and the eyes are done!

Now for a fun fact: my cheek color and lip color are exactly the same. I used an OCC Lip Tar as my lipstick and my blush. That’s a pro tip! I love how versatile lip tars are. I used the OCC Lip Tar in Lydia, which is this amazing mauve/magenta color, and I am totally obsessed with it as a blush color. When applying a lip tar as a blush, you only need the tiniest amount to blend onto your cheeks. For all my pale girls out there: this shade of blush looks AMAZING on. I was seriously surprised.

And that’s it. So easy! The best way to achieve monochromatic looks is using the same product for your lips and cheeks. Sometimes you can even manage to use the same product on the eyes, too. Depends on how spontaneous you’re feeling, though. Have you ever tried wearing a monochromatic makeup look out? Let me hear your stories!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.…

How To Make Your Lipstick Stay On
How To Make Your Lipstick Stay On

There are a lot of ways to make your lipstick stay put without fading away or rubbing off, and everyone has their own favorite way of doing it. But before I get started on my favorite method, I should mention how important it is that you’re using a highly-pigmented lip color. Sheer lipsticks will not last long. The more emollient the lipstick is, the less likely it will stay put. I have the most success with satin/demi-matte/matte lipsticks, because those stay on. And one more tip: make sure you exfoliate your lips before applying lip color. The smoother your lips, the longer your lipstick will stay on. Now onwards to the tutorial! The lipstick I am using is NARS Heat Wave and the lip liner I am using is Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip #17C. I am all about that coral life.

how to make lipstick stay on all day_ makeup

  1. My favorite method of applying lipstick is by layering. In the first step, I am working a small amount of lipstick into the lips to create a sort of stain. You could also use your finger to push the product into your lips. Don’t worry about being messy- we don’t need razor sharp edges yet… That’ll come later!
  2. After staining your lips, it is time to get a tissue out and blot. You’re going to notice that my method is just layering, then blotting, then layering, then blotting some more. You want to blot to make sure you get any excess lip product off your lips so your lipstick doesn’t transfer onto your glass, or worse… your date!
  3. Apply another layer of lipstick. For the first few layering jobs, I like to use a lip brush to work the product into my lips. Again, you don’t need to worry too much about being too tidy.
  4. Blot!
  5. Next, take a lip pencil that is the same color as your lipstick and begin lining your lips, and filling in your lips. This is where you get precise with your edges. If you make any mistakes lining your lips, just use your concealer to help define your lips further.
  6. Blot!
  7. Now I want the full impact of my NARS lipstick, so I am applying straight from the tube. You can still opt to use your lip brush.
  8. Blot one last time.

how to make lipstick stay on all day_ makeup (1)

And that is all there is to it. I had this lipstick on for 8 hours with only the slightest of fading (I ate multiple times (don’t judge me!!) and drank coffee as well… it was bound to happen!). I know some people like adding a translucent powder to “set” their lipstick, but I’m not a fan of how dry that makes my lips feel. What are some of your favorite methods to make your lipstick last through the day?…