Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

Ok, so maybe you read this blog post title and are thinking- “Whoa, whoa, pump the brakes on Christmas its not even Halloween yet.”

It may not be time to throw the tree up and start decorating but visit your local Sephora and you will understand exactly what I mean when I say, (sing and scream) ITS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! Its Holiday Beauty Gift Set Season! Can I get “WhooHoo!?!”

I visited my local Sephora today and can I just say its my happy place.  My ideal day of doing just me, would be strolling down the isles of Sephora with a glass of champagne and a thick wallet. I’d touch, feel and smell every product and I wouldn’t leave until both arms were covered in eyeshadow, lipgloss and eyeliner swatches.  I don’t need a massage, I need makeup. I don’t need therapy, I need aromatherapy. Hi my name is Lisa, and I have an addiction to cosmetics.

Today, I justified my trip as “research.” Collecting data and details on the new Holiday Sets in stores. My trip was cut short because like any mom of 2, I was trying to cram 5 hours worth of errands into the 2 hours of available time. But during my trip I left giddy over 3 sets I swatched. I chose these sets based on the following criteria:

- Value and Best Bang for your Buck

-Shade range and wearability. Lets face it, there will always be those few shades you may never wear, but are there more of the shades you will and is it still a great value?

-Product Integrity. Are the colors rich in pigment or do they offer the the desired results?



Too Faced Everything Nice SetToo Faced Everything Nice Set

This set contains 20 EyeShadows in a range of shades but mostly very neutral and wearable colors. Highly pigmented and impressive payoff. 2 Bronzers and 2 Blushes (pretty pink and perfect peach shade), a mini mascara, 3 mini gold glitzy brushes (I honestly rarely use the brushes that come in these sets but my 2 and half year old little girl will LOVE these tiny, glittery brushes!), and a fuchsia glittery zip bag (something my daughter will love!).

Its priced at only $56 and valued at $450

This palette is gorgeous and a great, great buy. I am going to order a couple more for Christmas gifts and a giveaway to my YouTube Subscribers. So if you aren’t subscribed, make sure to! Its quick and its free and you get to catch all my tutorials and share in my passion for makeup artistry. Subscribe here




Too Faced La Belle Carousel

Give it up to Too Faced. They knocked it out of the park this year with their gift sets. This ADORABLE set comes in a precious carousel packaging and when opened you find 5 mini palettes including 3 shadow palettes with 4 shadows in each (neutrals, s1640408-main-hero-300pinks/plums/taupes, green, silver, blacks) and 2 bronzer/blush palettes. Keep them all for yourself, or gift individually  since each palette has a “To:/From:” cutely printed on the back making it the perfect stocking stuffer.

Its priced at $49 and valued at $282

Again, this is something I will buy multiples of and have on hand as last minute Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers. You can’t go wrong with gifting this to any of your girlfriends.






Buxom Lipgloss Roulettes1617125-main-hero-300

I love this gift set from Buxom. It comes with 15 mini sheer and shimmery lipgloss that leave a plumping tingle on your lips. Most of us probably stick to the same shades on our lips. I possibly own every shade of pale pinky peach by every brand out there, but when I find a new one- I have to have it because its of course different than the rest, right?  But the beauty of these little glosses are they are very sheer, so every shade is wearable for a high shine, glossy sheen with a tint of color. Or pair on top of a lipstick shade to slightly alter the color. These are very wearable, they smell delicious and they feel lightweight and perfect on the lips. Added bonus? They also give a plumping tingle to your lips and give the illusion of a fuller pout.

Priced at $59 and valued at $135


Review: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nails

Miracle Gel Nails

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nails

Slightly ashamed to admit this but before a couple of months ago, I hadn’t given myself a manicure or pedicure in years. My bi-weekly nail appointment was scheduled on my calendar as urgent, mandatory and non-negotiable. As a working makeup artist, my hands are my tools and when you are working with people’s faces, you’d better believe the expectation is to have clean, pretty hands.

Like many of you, I hopped on the gel (shellac) manicure bandwagon a few years ago, when the trend for a more natural looking nail started creeping in on the acrylic manicure’s turf. For years, I loved my pink and white tipped acrylics, but eventually I too decided to ditch the tips and try this new more natural look to nails. The beauty of shellac/gel polish is that you can go 2 weeks between appointments just like your acrylics, as they offer a much longer chip-free wear than traditional nail polish. In the salon, you’ll spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour as the process requires removal of the previous gel polish by allowing acetone to eat away at  the gel and make it removable., followed up trimming, filing, manicuring the nails, then application of base coat, color and lastly top coat. Finally the process finishes with curing the polish by allowing a special light to set the manicure. After this, there is no dry time and you have a beautiful, shiny manicure that is sure to last you up to 2 weeks. This service ranges in cost depending on the salon you go to, but I was paying $40 per appointment which I believe is pretty average.

So after my 2nd baby, needless to say finding the time to keep up with my manicures was not only a challenge but it became unimportant. After seeing a commercial for the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish for the 12th time, I decided to give it a shot .Why not? I picked up the combo kit at Target which came with color and the top coat, and gave it a whirl. Here’s what I found:

The biggest benefits to me of this product are:

1: There is no light required for this product. Simply paint the nails with the color, then set it with top coat.

2. Advertised as lasting “Up to 2 weeks.”

Honestly, my expectations were not that high. I was simply looking for a polish to make my nails pretty that wouldn’t chip within the first couple of days. Remember, I’m a mom to an infant which means LOTS of hand washing and bottle washing. My hands are in hot water about a dozen times a day. After wearing this polish for the last 6 weeks, I am a HUGE fan. I’m changing the polish about every 8 days, not because its chipping, but more because my nails are growing and the new growth is obvious, also by the end of that 8-9 days, the polish has begun to dull down a bit and lose that initial shine.

The application is as easy as it claims and it does dry pretty quickly. The only complaint I have is its pretty thick and you have to be careful not to paint too much as it may not look as smooth and even on the nails. I wouldn’t say my nails look as good as they do from a professional manicure, but if you are in between appointments, trying to cut back on cost, or simply can’t find the time, this is a great alternative to a professional shellac manicure.


Long wearing (I go 8-9 days before polish changes and still have little to no chipping)

Easy Removal with Acetone Nail Polish Remover. Don’t need to soak off.

Cost is only $7.99 for color, $7.99 for top coat


Consistency is a little thick, so you have to be careful not to apply too much and get a streaky application

Shade range not as extensive as a professional nail salon’s selection. Hoping they add more shades.

I wouldn’t say this is better than the shellac manicures you get in a salon, but this is a great substitute when you can’t find the time, or need to cut back on costs. Way better than traditional nail polish. The colors I’ve purchased are:

270 Street Flair (Greyish Lilac)

170 Pink Cadillaquer (Bubblegum Pink)

220 Pink Tank (Reddish Pink)

160 Pinky Promise (Pale, muted Pink)


My TOP 5 Hair and Skin Products



This video is about My FAVORITE Hair and Skin “WOW” Products. These products wowed me after the first use. Meaning I saw or felt an immediate improvement in the texture or appearance of my hair and skin. I only have a few on the list, because I wanted to feature products that really gave that “wow” factor. There are many other products I use and like for my hair and skin, these are just the ones that I feel give an immediate improvement.

My hair is very thick, dry and coarse. If you fine oily hair you might find these to be too heavy for your hair. I have been very impressed with anything I have tried from Oribe, so I would check out the products catered for your hair type. I do have their texture spray and love it as a dry shampoo. They are on the expensive end, but I feel like they are worth it. The packaging and smell are a bonus, a very luxury grade product!

My skin is pretty normal, not too dry and not oily. Not prone to acne or breakouts, although I think the 2 products I mention here are good for all skin types except maybe super sensitive skin. In addition to the 2 products I mention here, I use all R+F products on my skin rotating between between their ReDefine Regimen (anti aging) and their Reverse (Sun Damage and Brown Spot Removal). I also use and love the eye cream and MacroExfoliator. (Disclaimer: I am a R+F Independent Consultant) If you have a consultant you already work with, they can help you select the right products as well!

Oribe Signature Moisture Masque

Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray

Loma Organics Fortifying Repairative Tonic

Rodan+Fields Microdermabrasion Paste

Rodan+Fields Night Renewing Serum

Thanks and please Subscribe by clicking here!

Product Review: Bobbi Brown’s NEW** Full Coverage Face Brush



Described on her website as:

What is it: Suitable for all our powder formulas, the short, tightly packed bristles of this ultra-soft brush effortlessly cut shine and deliver just the right amount of formula for an ultra-polished “HD” finish.

Who is it for: For women who want a flawless, full-coverage look.

Why is it different: This brush can be used both dry and damp with our liquid foundations too.

How do I use it: Begin by brushing on formula around the nose, then gently blend onto the rest of the skin. Be sure to add extra coverage where there’s any redness.

Here’s what I found:

Totally obsessed with this new brush from Bobbi Brown! The dense soft bristles, buff product into the skin giving a full coverage that looks smooth and blends seamlessly. I have used with liquid foundation only, but this brush can be used with cream or powder products too. I just picked this up over the weekend, so have only had the chance to use with MAC Studio Fix Fluid (Medium to Full Coverage Liquid) mixed with Garnier’s BB Cream (Sheer coverage liquid). I like to mix the two together when I am looking for medium coverage for day wear that doesn’t look like I have a lot of makeup on the skin.

The brush won’t absorb as much product as a sponge would, so you end up using less of your product which is always a bonus. While I am still a lover of the Beauty Blender, I will be switching up my applications between the BB and this new brush. Both offer a full coverage application. I’d have to say the biggest difference between the 2 would be this brush has a little more versatility in the sense that you don’t have to get a full coverage finish, it can be used to get a sheer application a little more easily than the BB. Also, the BB requires a little more maintenance in terms of cleaning than the brush.


Overall Rating of this Product:


Pros: Super Soft, great size for foundation- large enough to make cover surface well but small enough to work around the nose, temples any other areas you need more detail.  Packed dense fibers give the perfect coverage yet are soft and can be used to sheer out and blend products easily. Shorter handle so it fits into travel or cosmetic bag easily.

Cons: Not super pricey (and worth the $42 in my opinion) but not the most affordable face brush.

Retail: $42


Product Review: Makeup Geek Eye Shadows

Makeup Geek Eye Shadow

Makeup Geek Eye Shadow

If you aren’t familiar with MakeupGeek stop right now and check her out. Ok…actually finish reading this post, then check her out. Marlena from Makeup Geek is the first makeup blogger I started following years ago. She started with makeup tutorial videos and reviews and now she uploads videos in categories including makeup, hair, fashion, and her weight loss journey. She launched her own line of makeup somewhere along the way, I finally got my hands on some of her shadows after watching her video comparing them to MAC’s eye shadows.

Described on her website as:

Highly pigmented, half price of high end shadows without sacrificing quality, all shadows are cruelty free, talc and paraben free.

Here’s what I found:

I was very impressed when I received this in the mail. I immediately dug into them and started swatching. I started with only 3 shades: Taupe Notch (frost), Homecoming (frost) and Creme Brule (matte). All 3 gave great color payoff and wore well throughout the day. I would say they are as good as MAC’s eye shadows, hands down. And at only $5.99 for the pan, its definitely a better buy. One of my shadows was broken upon arrival, but a simple email to customer service (with photo attached) and they immediately sent out a replacement without requiring me to send the broken back. Great service!

You will need a Z Palette if you order the pan sizes as they do not stick in a MAC palette. You can purchase the Z Palette on her website or on Amazon. Z Palettes are by far my favorite as they come in a variety of sizes and you can see through them.


Overall Rating of this Product:


Pros: Impressive Color Payoff, Long Wearability, Affordable

Cons: None

Retail: $5.99 for Pan Size (must have Z Palette)/$7.99 for Compact Size 


Product Review: Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation

I had been hearing about this foundation all over YouTube by different beauty gurus and my curiosity got the best of me. I had to give it a whirl. To be honest, I had walked by this foundation for years, never tempted to give it a try. Not sure why, but if I had to give a reason, it might be the packaging. Nothing to get too excited about, and to me it resembles the packaging of many tinted moisturizers (which I am not a huge fan of). I am more of a full coverage, matte finish, long wearing type of gal and for those reasons I haven’t ventured too far from my Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation or my MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. Those 2 bad boys have always done the trick and anytime I’ve strayed, I find myself coming back to them. Buuutttt…. I did decide to give Miss Laura Mercier a try and I am sure glad I did!

Its described on her website as:

Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation is a rich and luminous foundation offering full coverage while hydrating and protecting the skin. The long-wearing foundation evens out skin tones and increases skin luminosity and clarity for a radiant glow. Its rich, creamy texture glides over the skin effortlessly giving you ample playtime for perfect application and blendability. Perfect for rosacea and hard to cover pigmentation. Oil-free and ideal for all skin types.

Here’s what I found:

After a few days of wearing this foundation, I can’t dispute any of the above claims. I find it to be medium to full coverage, with impressive wearability. I would describe the finish as semi matte. I did feel the need to set it with a powder because I like more of a matte finish on my skin but I didn’t find it to be “too glowy” or “too shiny.” I’d probably skip the powder in the colder months when my skin is a little more on the dry side. Its very rich in consistency, and my favorite way to apply with to use a wet Beauty Blender and blot the product on freshly moisturized skin. The only thing I experienced with this foundation that I would warn you of, is the first squeeze from the tube, there was a bit of separation in the product. It could very well be that I got an older product maybe?!? Not sure, but a quick shake of the tube resolved the issue.

Overall Rating of this Product:


Pros: Excellent Coverage, Long Wearability, Pretty Finish on the Skin, Nice Consistency in Product

Cons: Wish it came in different packaging maybe with a pump?, had to shake my tube to prevent separation (could have gotten an older product)

1.18 fl. oz. / 35 ml

Retail: $45