October 02, 2012

Black vs. White & Contouring techniques

I went to work super early today to get some work done before people came into the office. I also decided to bring my makeup bag cause I knew I had time to primp my face before anyone else showed up to see how terribly tired and puffy I looked. While looking in my broken little mirror I have sitting at my work desk I sat and looked in the mirror and said "What do I want to do today?! What should I look like?" These simple questions inspired this current beauty blog.

Makeup really transforms a natural looking face into anything you want it too. I think that's why I enjoy it so much. It's a way for me to be creative on my face. My face is my own blank canvas each and everyday to do with it what I please.

Simple little makeup tricks can change the ENTIRE look of your face with the swipe of a brush.
From highlighters to bronzer.You can use dark and lights to completely transform your eyes, cheekbones and lips! It's awesome!

The KEY to white versus black or highlighter versus bronzer is that white accentuates what you already have making it look bigger or more noticeable. Black or bronzer makes things more defined and smaller looking.

Let's take the eyelid for example. Here are some examples of how white versus black changes everything on the lid.


White is a great eyelid opener. If your running late to work take some shimmery white eyeshadow at put it at the inner corner of your eye to brighten things up. I did that this morning and it made my red, puffy sleepy eyes look immediately more awake like the picture above. You can really see how how it really makes things look more open and alive. Pretty simple, right?


Here is an all black smokey eye. This is a really gorgeous look that I used to do almost daily for awhile. She used white or a beige color below her eyebrow to make that area clean and defined. She used black to almost color block her brown eyes so that the brown is the focal point. If you compare this picture to the picture above you immediately notice that your eye is drawn to the WHITE. Here it's her eye, above it the eyeshadow. 


Here, this lovely lady used both black and white to create a radiant look of light to dark. Notice how the black defines the corner of the lid while the white brightens up the corner of the tear duct. VOILA! Isn't makeup awesome??

Another example of light versus dark is on the lip!

Lots of woman want bigger or fuller looking lips. Here is a simple trick to achieve it. After applying your lip gloss or lipstick, use a cream highlighter or white, shimmery eyeshadow in your Cupid's bow (the triangular space on the top of your lip) right above the lips and a the same highlighter on the middle section of your lower lip. You can't tell in the picture at first glace but notice how it makes her lips look fuller? This is the trick a lot of people are using. She probably has some highlighter on her nose come to think of it! :)

This brings me to contouring. We use lights and darks to contour parts of our face. On our cheeks you can use highlighter above your cheek bone and then bronzer below it to create this beautiful illusion seen below.

I even found some pictures of how they contour the face using makeup to create light and dark spaces to define and illuminate the face in the right places.

Notice how the dark colors stay around the outside of the face to keep that area defined and the light colors stay on the inside of the face to make certain parts appear clean and bright? This is such an awesome technique and a great cheat sheet to keep. 

I hope this blog helped you to learn more as to how to play with light and dark colors on your face.

Thanks for reading!

September 20, 2012

Some girls can get DIRTY too...

This blog was inspired by this volunteer opportunity I took advantage of yesterday. I am a founder of a volunteer group within the company I work for and I try to participate as much as possible. I love giving back. Nothing feels better than helping those in need and in your own community. To be able to feel like your contributing to something means so much.

For those of you who follow this blog. It is true this is ALL about beauty! I have news for you. I'm more than OK going sans makeup to work, or getting my nails chipped, or letting my eyebrows grow in from time to time. I'm ok if my hair is in a bun and I haven't brushed it for 2 days. Basically, what I'm saying is sometimes I don't give a crap what the hell I look like. Can you believe it?

Baby Dee doesn't always have good fashion sense! :)

Lets rewind to my childhood. I used to play outside all the time. I'd roll in dirt and rough it with our next door neighbors and almost LOVED getting dirty. I also remember my Dad specifically yelling at me to brush my hair before we left the house. I sleep funny and somehow always managed to have a rats nest in the back of my hair full of knots and tangles.

When we knocked down our garage in our house years and years ago, my sister and I helped my Dad paint the walls, hammer in nails, stucko the ceiling. I had so much fun. I didn't care about getting dirty once again. My dad is my favorite person in the world so helping him was always fun cause he taught me so so much.

Fast forward to present day Dee and yesterday I spent 3 hours with 3 other men painting the opening of this women and children's center in Chicago.Needless to say things got messy. By the end of it I had droplets of paint on my face and in my hair. My blue nails and hands were coated in thick globs of paint and I continuously got made fun of the whole time I was painting.

"Dee, your pants are covered in paint."

"Dee, there is paint in your hair!!!"

"DEE! Why is there so much paint on your hands?!?!"

"Dee! You know your going to have to repaint your nails?!"

And I finally chimed in and said...

"LISTEN GUYS! I chose to volunteer today because I can care less about getting messy! Now let's finish this job!!

Trying to clean off the mess!

Paint stuck to nails.

When it comes down to it, dirt and paint wash off as well as makeup. None of this "stuff" really matters. ESPECIALLY when you're giving back to people who need help!

 Hope you got a laugh out of this! Thanks for reading!

September 13, 2012

Bored with your hair? Here are some trends to try!

For those of you following this blog you know by now I'm a huge fan of experimenting with haircuts and color. After getting my haircut this week (FINALLY!) and talking with my stylist I found out about some pretty cool new trends for the next season that I wanted to share with all of you.

  • Red/Plum/Strawberry blonde color
  • Braids
  • Sock Buns
  • Reverse ombres
  • Bows 

Let's begin with the COLOR! I love color. Here are some ideas for people who want to try new highlight, low light, or base colors.


Plum, Red, Blonde highlights and lowlights

I'm a huge fan of braids now that I have long hair. It's a great way to do something other than a ponytail. Check out some ideas that I liked.

Sock buns are fun and easy to do! Check out these pictures and a quick tutorial on how to achieve this look.


September 10, 2012


I was born in 1985 halfway through the 80's and their ugly sense of fashion. I'm sorry to offend anyone who loved it but out of the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's sense of fashion...the 80's has to be my least favorite decade. The good news is by the time the 80's ended I was 5 and prior to that had no clue that what I was wearing was so not cool. My mom dressed me mostly in leggings, oversize shirts, and sequence. My sister and I rocked side pony-tales and scrunchies like it was no ones business. And who even cares about what they look like before the age of 10? I mean, at least I didn't.

I noticed about a month ago all the websites I shop at online were starting to debut fall looks. These are some of the trends I was seeing:

Leggings and loose tops

Sneaker wedges

Jackets with big shoulders


Now this is the 80's done right!! You may disagree and hate that the 80's are back but I really like how they made old trends better and more fashion forward for the 21st century. I knew I was going to like this seasons trends when I saw these.

The HAMLIT by Steve Madden
 I heard about this sneaker-wedge ideas several months ago through a girlfriend and at first I thought this sneaker wedge was a really bad idea. Well when I saw this pair it changed my mind.

Here is why!

  1. I hate wearing heals unless it's a wedding or an important meeting at work. I have a 2-3 hour max of standing in them and then they immediately come off.
  2. I LOVE wedges because they are easier for me to stand in but still pull off some height on my 5'3 frame.
  3. I love GYM shoes. I'm a runner and growing up as a catholic grade school girl, I loved the right gym shoes.
  4. I love to be comfortable but be fashionable.

 That was enough for me to purchase these. I want to be trendy for the fall and these shoes go with everything. I typically wear black, grey, white and neutrals in the Fall and Winter and knew when I saw these I'd wear them plenty. I have had these for about a week and really enjoy them so far.

Then I saw my mom wearing a gold bangle last week. It was so trendy and matched her outfit so well. I had to compliment my gorgeous mommy.

The conversation went something like this.

"Mom, where did you get that cute bangle?!"-Me

"Oh, I've had this forever. Make sure to save all your jewelry because it always comes back around."-Mom


Shoot! I've thrown away a lot of old jewelry over the years and then this weekend while cleaning my room I came across this box. When I opened it, jewelry I wore in junior high sat in the box staring back at me. My mom's advice dawned on me again. I immediately closed my box of old jewelry that brought back so innocent times and told myself I'd keep it until the 90's fashion sense came back. Here's hoping if they ever bring 90's fashion back someday.

I have to admit it's a little funny to think that I'm old enough for the fashion sense from my childhood to be recycled but it's also pretty cool. Hope you enjoy playing around with this Fall and Winter's fashion/beauty trends because I know I will!

Thanks for reading! :)

September 05, 2012

BEAUTY LESSON LEARNED: Some TRENDS don't work for everyone.

This is a tale of my transition to long hair and the ombre look.

If you're interested...read on...

I chopped all my hair off in January of 2008. I had grown it and kept it long since I was 20 years old and after college really felt a need for a most sophisticated, grown up look. I definitely achieved it with my cropped bob and really enjoyed it. What I enjoyed was it was so much easier to style and it forced me to style my hair everyday.

My 25th Birthday

As of 2010 I decided to grow it back out. I really did start to miss my long hair. I was so sick of not being able to put a pony tail in my hair for long runs or being completely unable to get my hair out of my face easier. One of the other main reasons I decided to grow it was to finally get an ombre' look done to it.

The ombre' was this cool trend that became bigger about 2ish years ago. It basically is meant to look like your hair goes from dark roots to gradually getting lighter at the tips. I thought this was SUCH a great look and couldn't wait to reach my goal of long hair to achieve it.


I imagined my hair would look like the pictures above daily and that I'd take really great care of it and I couldn't wait. Finally in June of this year my hair had become long enough to take the plunge and make my hair look more two-toned. It took several hours in the salon and much anticipation before I was able to see my styled new coif.

I was immediately in love with my hair again. After all the awkward transitions of growing my hair out and cutting it regularly over 2 years, I was finally happy again with the look of my hair. Hooray!

Well, little did I know that summer 2012 was going to be crazy HOT in the Chicago-land area. Come mid July I noticed the light ends of my hair becoming washed out, blonder, weaker and upset with me. What to do!? It really bothered me. I went it to my favorite salon in town and had it re-toned (i.e.-re-coloring of the bleached part of my hair) which I learned then seals the cuticle of your hair. I was warned to stay out of chlorine filled pools and sunlight to avoid more damage to my hair. I also learned that when you put bleach in your hair you really are breaking down and weakening your hair. I was mad at myself. Why did I do this to my long hair?! I knew how thin my hair was and now I just put it through torture just to be cool. I felt like I needed to write my hair an apologize. Ha ha!

All jokes aside as of August I had had enough. I feel like I deep condition my hair every other day. My roots are so healthy and I haven't seen my natural hair color look so healthy in years and then literally the other day a light bulb went off--

I need to stop coloring my hair for awhile. I need to NEVER put bleach on my hair again. How could something so obvious take so long to learn you say? Well, naturally when I got in the habit of coloring my hair a few years ago and trying different hues and styles it became habit and something fun to look forward too. Who doesn't love mini make-overs from time to time to spruce their look up.

To conclude my so called "hair evolution" I have learned something important here. Some trends aren't meant for everyone to try.

For example, my sister also had the ombre' look done this year. The main difference between her hair and mine is simple. She literally has the most beautiful, thick, gorgeous hair in the world and mine just can't complete, nor handle this look and that is ok. So SHOUT-OUT to my sister, Corie, for being able to achieve this look and rocking it daily without the drama I have to deal with! YAY!

Here are some pictures of what an ombre' on AWESOME hair looks like:

Check out that GORGEOUS hair!

Sissy's enjoying summer!
Hope you enjoyed reading my tale/blog! As of next week I will be cutting my hair to help the healthiness of my hair return. Some trends are just not meant for me and that's ok! At least I tried! :)

September 04, 2012

Beauty Rest


The older I get the busier things seem to be. To be able to balance everything such as work, friends, family, hobbies, health and exercise can be a juggling act. To think women actually do all this AND have husbands and children is more than I can even imagine handling. I'm tired just thinking about it all. YAWWWN!!

This all brings me to the point of this blog. Getting enough SLEEP is super huge. It's beneficial to every part of our lives. Not only is it important to sleep but it's important to get enough sleep. Our body is repairing itself while we rest. Every day our skin is damaged due to stress, pollution and UV rays. While we sleep, our body creates more protein to help us to regenerate cells, in turn repairing our skin.

When your not getting the sleep your body needs to repair- it begins to show up on your face. This includes dark circles under your eyes, dull skin, wrinkles, crows feet, saggy skin, and redness in your eyes. Not only is your body harmed externally but the effects of inadequate sleep begin to effect you internally as well. Hypertension, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression are to name a few.

Maybe there really is something to be said for all those times you heard your mother or grandmother say:

 "Time for bed. You need to get your beauty rest."

 Because not only does it help make you more beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well.

Here are a few tips I've concocted for you to get a good nights rest:

  • Drink some warm milk before bed because it relaxes the body. 
  •  Take a warm shower or a bath prior to sleep. 
  • Do not turn your bedroom into a TV room. Do not use any electronic products at least an hour or 2 before sleeping.  
  •  Proper pillows and mattresses are KEY. 
  •  Do not eat dinner or drink lots of water at least 2-3 hours before bed. You want to avoid waking up frequently during the night.
  •  Stick to a schedule. If you usually go to bed every night at 10 p.m. make sure your in bed by then almost every night. Keeping a schedule keeps your body clock on track.
  • Exercising regularly is known to help you sleep better.
  • Avoid caffeine later in the evening.
  • Sleep in a cooler room. 

All these tips should aid in you having a great nights rest. Adults 18+ need to be getting at least 7.5-9 hours of sleep every night! Make sure to make this an important part of your daily health routines to wake up to happier, healthier, more restful YOU!

Sweet dreams ladies! Thanks for reading!!

August 21, 2012

Fall Beauty Buys- Review

So I recently decided to get a few key items for this Fall since I'm excited to try some new looks. I have been using these products for a week and am now reviewing them for you in case your interested in purchasing any of these brands or any of the items I just purchased.

I'm a big fan of NARS and their lipstick as well as their famous blush called "Orgasm." I had read recently that rose colored cheeks is going to be one of the popular colors this Fall so I went into Sephora to check out what NARS had to offer. I ended up buying "Outlaw" which is one of their newest blushes for the Fall.  This is a rose tone blush with some golden shimmer and it's gorgeous on.

I was nervous when I tried it out at first because I didn't know if it would be too bright on the cheeks but a little bit goes a long way for a subtle rosy cheeked face. I love how sheer it looks on but how gorgeous the color looks on my skin. It makes me look like I just got a great workout. This blush costs $26.00.

The next product I bought by NARS was Marie-Gante eyeshadow duo. Blues and purples look great on people with brown eyes so I thought these would be great fall colors. What sold me on them is I played around with the tester in the store and these colors are pretty sheer and iridescent but deliver this pretty shimmer that you can put over any eyeshadow or just use as a sheer look on your lid. I also liked that you can build these up on your lids to be darker looking or leave them as a light shimmer. This duo cost me $34.00.

Sticking with my theme of BLUE for some reason this nail polish caught my eye and I had to get it. I was watching TV recently and saw this woman wearing a similar color on her longer nails and just loved how it looked. Not to mention this is my high school's color, royal blue! This is called "Baker Street-Cobalt Blue" by Nails Inc. This nail polish cost $9.50 and is the exact color on your nails as it is in the bottle.

Once I hit the checkout at Sephora I was eligible for a free large sample and decided to get the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser.  This cleanser is awesome. It's a gel consistency that warms on contact with your face and while it's a little stranger to use a black looking cleanser it has really cleared up my skin and I've only used it 3 times. What else I like is it doesn't leave your skin feeling dry or stinky.

Check out the description Sephora has for this product.

What it is formulated to do:
This black cleanser heats up on contact with skin to effectively open and de-clog pores. Its gel texture transforms into a gentle and effective lather to dissolve oil and makeup, rinsing away pore-clogging surface debris, impurities, and excess oil. It refines skin texture, brightens skin clarity, and minimizes the look of pores over time.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

This is a great cleanser as you can see and costs $28.00 for 5 ounces.

Remember, all these items I purchased at Sephora
 but you can also purchase them online here- http://www.sephora.com/

Hope you enjoyed reading!!

Fall Beauty Trends

Fall is just around the corner ladies and it's time to get ready for all the fun looks in store to play with. I just recently bought a couple new beauty products for my "FALL LOOK" for this upcoming season. I figured I'd create a quick blog so you know what's in store real soon when it comes to beauty looks.


  • Lots of structure in the cheeks and eyes. Think contouring
  • Color blocking with bright colors
  • Red lipstick & burgundy lipstick
  • Rosy cheeks
  • Smoky eye
  • Geometric eyeliner
  • Split color nail design

Below are some pictures so you can get a better idea of this years FALL BEAUTY LOOK!

I know I'm definitely going to play around with the geometric liners, the 2 toned nails, red lipstick and color blocking!

Thanks for reading!

August 16, 2012

CIRCUS by Andreas Choice

Who doesn't love a circus? Well I guess I know some people who are scared of clowns but yet how could anyone resist the colors, the lights, the acrobats and magic? I know I can't. I came across this new nail polish line called CIRCUS and I love the packaging as well as the colors. This seems to be a brand new line of nail polishes because the only collection of colors they have on their website is their NEW Fall Collection colors.

I am subscribed to MYGLAM which is mailed to me monthly and includes a beauty case with 4 or 5 beauty products in it for only $10.00 a month and the past two I have gotten have come with 1 bright yellow nail polish and 1 bright pink nail polish. I personally wouldn't think of these as a FALL colors since they are bright and very neon but following up with the them of CIRCUS this makes more sense to be their first collection of colors.

Here are the FALL 2012 Colors that are currently for sale:

I love the advertising and the little containers these nail polishes come in (they are those tubular cases in the picture). I love when make-up lines come with nice packaging. I remember when I worked for Elisabeth Arden that all their products were in these dainty boxes covered in plastic wrap that was folded ever so neatly and I always loved that.

I have tried both my yellow and pink nail polishes and they have good consistency. On a plus side you just need two coats to get the hue that perfectly matches the bottle. I would definitely recommend these if you aren't a huge fan of dark colors for the fall and want to keep things lively. Unfortunately, you cannot buy these lovely colors until the Fall of this year so I cannot tell you how much they will cost. Check out her website: http://www.circusbyandrea.com/

Andrea leaves a sweet note on her website about this current collection, stating:

“I hope you like my creation as much as I do and invite you to brush on these hand-picked colors and allow yourself to be whisked away to that dreamlike place where all the senses are stimulated and dreams are made! From the colors I curated to the Big Top inspired packaging, I hope that Circus by Andrea’s Choice helps you look and feel amazing.”

- Andrea


How whimsical! Hope you enjoyed my BLOG!

August 15, 2012


During the Closing Ceremony of the Olympics, I felt like I was 13 all over again. The Spice Girls came on and I was pumped. For any of you ladies who loved them as much as I did as a teen you know that excitement of seeing one of your favorite childhood bands reuniting for one of your favorite songs.

Nonetheless, I digress. Did you see how amazing they looked? I always remember the Spice Girls looking awesome in there brightly colored outfits and what I really liked about this girl band even back then was they all dressed to their own individual style. Posh dressed in dark clothes that were sexy. Sporty Spice always work tightly fitted outfits that were sporty and hot. Baby Spice always was covered up, looking lady like and sleek. Ginger Spice would wear brightly colored outfits with the English flag on it. Scary Spice was always in your face with tight and bright colored get ups as well.

I just love them and this is a tribute to them, girl power and the positive poppy music they play.

These woman look even more gorgeous now than they did then! They get better with AGE! :)

August 07, 2012

Stacked Jewelry

The past couple months I've been really into rings. Mostly stacked rings. I started searching for them on Etsy and found some I really loved that were real silver. Since getting into rings I've also noticed that you can do stacks of bracelets and necklaces to get the same effect.

My advice is, if you're going to do stacks of rings, necklace or bracelets, pick one body part to set your stacks up on. When you wear too much jewelry it seems to get a little gaudy looking.

Here are some looks I found on Pinterest that I really enjoyed. 

As far as bracelets go, I think it's important to remember to mix chunky bracelets with skinny ones. Or you can do sparkley ones with simple ones. Mixing it up creates a look that looks like one big bangle almost but cooler. I love how the bracelets move with your arms and keep things feminine looking. i'm not a big watch girl but I would like to pair chunky bracelets together to get this look.

As far as rings go, here are some looks I liked for stacked rings.

When it comes o rings I like mixing one solid ring with little ones or one with a center jewel and tiny ones. Place around with what looks good on your own individual fingers.

Lastly, here are some necklaces to stack. 

Same goes for necklaces. Pair one center necklaces with two or three little chokers so they hang at different lengths. 

I hope you liked the different ideas for stacked rings, necklaces and bracelets that I chose. I'm really loving these looks and hope to use them more this fall.

My favorite place to buy jewelry is Forever 21. Here you can play around with looks for cheap! 
Have fun with it ladies.

Thanks for reading!!!! :)