Holiday Gift Guide: The Beauty Junkie

I truly enjoy giving friends and family beauty products for holiday gifts; they're gifts that can be used up and are a safer bet than guessing someone's shoe size or giving them home decor they'll never use.  You can find even the most luxe beauty products at a fraction of what clothing and accessories cost.  I'm just saying… Beauty products as gifts make sense.

And we all know a beauty product junkie or two.  She's the one that reminds you every time Target or Ulta has a sale… You cringe as you swipe your card, but after stocking up a year's worth of shampoo for half the price you secretly thank her.  Her boyfriend has learned to gauge her damage at Sephora by the amount of color swatches on the back of her hand.  And she's the first person you call when you need help getting ready for a big date or event.

Sure, her dresser drawers are stuffed with makeup instead of sweaters… But you have to admit, you loved her even more when she told you about her beauty product drive for the local women's shelter or how she brings cartfuls of new Lip Smackers for the girls at the children's hospital.  Her heart is just as full as her bathroom cabinets.

So… For the girl who lives for the new Nars nail polish and haunts every beauty blog in cyberspace, here are my best gift picks.  Click on the products in the photo or see the photo slide at the bottom for all  my beauty picks.  

Psst… If you're into beauty products, stay tuned this Wednesday when I'll be doing a Sephora holiday haul video!!

A true beauty junkie loves her tried-and-true favorites and venturing out and exploring new items.  This advent calendar is bound to have a little of both.

Give it to her early so she can count down to the holidays or she can start 2015 off right with this set of mini versions of Benefit's best selling products, sized perfectly for travel. 

This little set is perfect for travel or simply organizing her makeup.  Every brush she needs for her eye shadow looks is included in this handy, compact kit.  

I had to include this in the gift guide even though as I'm writing this it's sold out on Sephora's website.  Since they still have it up I'm assuming they'll restock.  

Why is it such a must-have??  Well, GLAMGLOW took the beauty world by storm when it released these miracle masks and they've been favorites of beauty junkies the world over ever since.  This set is particularly wonderful because you are basically getting the two mini masks free.

These. Colors. Are. Stunning.  And I would use that adorable glittery pouch to contain hair ties or makeup in my handbag.  A gift with dual purposes!

Living in dry Colorado, my lips are usually in various stages of peeling and/or bleeding during the winter.  These products are total lifesavers!!  The Lip Scrub gently buffs away dry skin with a delicious taste and fragrance - no stinging!!  And the Lip Slip is a gorgeous need-nothing-else lip balm that hydrates as much as it makes lips look kissable.

Philosophy's famous moisturizing shower gels multi-task as bubble bath or shampoo as well.  These Philosophy shower gels are one of my absolute favorite gifts to receive because their products are scented so beautifully and lather so well.

MAC gets me every time with their stunning holiday gift sets.  This year is no exception.  This extremely wearable set of nudes is packaged in a shimmering cosmetics case with pearl-like detail.  

Too Faced makes some of the best eye shadow palettes around… Their silky, pigmented colors are some of my favorites.  The additional shadow primer, mascara, and lash lining tool make this a perfect gift. 

Don't forget to sign up for the 3rd giveaway in my #TTWeddingSeries… THREE people will win a bottle of Christian Louboutin "Rouge Louboutin" nail polish!!  I'll draw the winners and announce this Friday.

Other 2014 Holiday Gift Guides: 



Falling snow.  A warm dress that shows just enough.  Powder-soft vests.  A peek of skin above knee-high boots.  Tones of black and gray that mirror the snowy streets.

Let the flurries fly… Because you'll be bundled up!!  This week I had the pleasure of attending a Fashion Group International event here in Denver to analyze the Spring/Summer 2015 runway trends and how they will translate to street style (and further, our closets!!)  I wanted something sleek but easy to throw on and this outfit was perfect.

This wool dress drapes beautifully around the body and goes easily from office to date night to holiday party with a simple change of accessories.  This cozy little vest is currently sold out online, but I've included a similar version in the easy-to-shop slide down below.  My boots were purchased at a particularly dangerous Nordstrom sale last year, but I've included some similar options down below, including a wide calf version which I've gotten a couple requests for.

I kept my accessories in the same gray-black color family, including a Vince Camuto bag I snapped up during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  It's sold out, but I included a similar version as well as a clutch for evening festivities down below in the photo slide.  

I always like to add silver bands around my gold engagement ring when I'm mixing metals.  This time I   used these twisted Pandora rings, which add the perfect amount of texture and silver color.  My Daisy Ring, a gift from J, remains one of my favorite pieces as it seems to go with everything and always reminds me of The Great Gatsby.  The style of my Chanel watch is the Mademoiselle Privé.  If you're looking for a dressy watch with a little sparkle, I'd check out this one.

Stay warm!!  And stay tuned… The third giveaway in my #TTWeddingSeries will be up tomorrow!! 


Bridal Luncheon

On Friday before the wedding, we're treating the bridesmaids to morning mani-pedis prior to rehearsal and rehearsal dinner that evening.  Since we'll be done around noon, my mom and I decided to plan a little luncheon just for the bridesmaids, my mom and aunt, and J's mom and sisters.  

We wanted an intimate moment with the ladies who have been involved with the craziness of planning this wedding; a calm before the storm if you will.  Our photographer will be there to capture the moments during this little mini-celebration between the women who have been there for me my whole life and those who will be there for me as my new family members.

My mom and I designed the invitations with Papyrus here in Denver.  They can put together any custom design you can imagine easily and quickly.  The paper is a pearlescent blush pink with dark taupe designs and font.

We found the adorable monogrammed cosmetic bags from Etsy… The seller was so helpful and made a custom listing for the exact number of cases I was buying.  They're a washable waffle material with two compartments; perfect for my bridesmaids to bring their essentials to our suite to primp on Saturday!!

The Beach Club at the Breakers

One of my bridesmaids had the idea of getting "BLPD" police-style tees; a play on my new initials.  I'll take J's last name, but I'm making my maiden name my second middle name.  I had these tees made by CustomInk, who has the best customer service I've ever experienced… I've designed many tees with them and they are always quick, easy, and hassle-free.  Each bridesmaid tee has the police-style logo on the front and "Happily Ever After" on the back.  I'm going to ask the ladies to wear these when they arrive on Saturday for primping so we can get a group "BLPD" photo.  

Bridesmaid Tees
A photo my bridesmaid snapped of her goodies

Lastly, I gave each bridesmaid handwritten itineraries of where they need to be and when so they could make travel arrangements accordingly.  I also included the menu Mom and I designed with The Breakers for our bridal luncheon just in case anyone had allergies or diet preferences.  

The handwritten notes were cute, but I have to admit… It took me almost ten hours of hand cramping writing to get them all done!!  One mistake and I had to start completely over with each one.  So… If you're tight on time, I would skip this step although it's a nice touch in the day and age of digital everything.  

As far as everything else goes, I am swamped in details and to-do's right now.  Lots of pay that bill, sign this contract, here's the seventeenth draft to approve.  And we have seemingly endless steps to accomplish in order to be approved for marriage in the church.  

I hate to say it, but at times this doesn't really feel fun… It feels like a lot of work and details.  Everyone always asks me, "Isn't it fun?!"  Well besides the fact I feel like I should have a Xanax prescription on a daily basis, sure it's fun!!  Wedding planning definitely goes in stages or waves and I feel like I'm entering a really sensitive, emotional one right now… Does it get better before the wedding??


Holiday Gift Guide: The Fashionista

You know her… She's the one on the Stairmaster drooling over the glossy pages of the latest InStyle or Vogue.  Him vs. Heidi??  She'll skip out on any date to catch the season premiere of Project Runway.  And she once started a Birkin Fund… Only to spend it all the next season when Chanel's new quilted booties came out.  She's addicted to fashion.

Her eyes go dreamy when she recalls Carrie's photo shoot scene in Sex & the City and her life goal is to sit front row at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York… It's easy for some to assume she's shallow, but not you.  

Not you because you remember the time you were late for a first date, standing in a pile of clothes in your room… Nothing looked good and you were not the verge of tears.  She whisked in, put something incredible together, and as you stared in the mirror with tears in your eyes you understood.  The confidence, beauty, and strength you suddenly felt didn't just come from clothes.  No, no no.  She had been right all this time… Fashion, style… Is an art form.

She Wants… A Gucci Soho Bag

The 'It Bag' of the moment it seems, yet those classic G's are so timeless she'll be carrying this bag for years to come.  Why is this Soho Bag so popular right now??  I think it has something to do with its more affordable (in terms of designer bags) price tag and the fact it's easy to throw on with any outfit.  

The cross-body chain strap and small size makes it perfect for travel, running errands, or navigating a crowded bar.  It transitions easily from day to night and in this chic metallic color it can fall perfectly into any season.  I can promise you when she finds it under the tree she'll ask, "How did you know?!"

**Just a hint… From now through Tuesday online, Neiman Marcus is offering a GIFT CARD with select purchases and code BET2GET.  If your regular-priced purchase contains both Women's or Men's Apparel AND a Shoe or Bag purchase, your gift card will DOUBLE in value.  Such a great deal… Check it out!! 

She Wants… A Fur Vest

These beauties go with everything and if you take care of them they will last a lifetime, maybe even more.  It's not just about looking and feeling luxe as the flurries fly, natural fur is seriously warm.  That perfect-warm that heats your core yet allows for a little breathing room too. 

I absolutely love this fur vest because it's like buying two products in one since the knit sleeves are detachable.  Rabbit fur is nice and light, so this vest won't add too much bulk and flatters any body type.

She Wants… Fashion Books

These beautifully-bound fashion books are just as much about decor and aesthetic appeal as they are about reading material and inspiration.  The perfect gift for the Girl Who Has Everything, fashion books will not only make her style-loving heart swoon… You can rest assured knowing these will soon be decorating her coffee table, her nightstand, and her perfectly-styled bookshelves.  

Why not start with The Bible of fashion inspiration, a book full of Vogue magazine covers.  And since this year we lost a true artist and creator of some of fashion's biggest moments, this Oscar De La Renta book only seems appropriate.  

She Wants… Bond No. 9 Bryant Park

Inspired by the beautiful piece of green space that for so long housed the tents of Fashion Week, the sexy-spicy-floral of "Bryant Park" contains notes of lily of the valley, rhubarb, pink pepper, rose, patchouli, raspberry, and amber.   

She'll love the long-lasting fragrance and she'll love the gorgeous bottle even more.

She Wants… Sparkling Stud Earrings

Lately I've been noticing so many natural elements in jewelry.  These earrings combine the best of both worlds; the natural, almost rustic element of Quartz and unbelievable shine and sparkle.

Jewelry can be hard to buy as a gift, especially someone who keeps up on every trend and product.    You can breathe easy knowing these are the perfect gift… Something she can wear with a tee and jeans or out on the town with her favorite LBD.

She Wants… A Cashmere Sweater

Show me a fashionista that doesn't like cashmere and I will quickly point you to one of my other gift guides; you've got the wrong one!! 

Cashmere is the ultimate luxe sweater fabric.  It drapes and moves like a dream; creating the most beautiful silhouettes.  She'll pair it with her leather leggings, her fur vest or a motorcycle jacket, and sweep out looking like some chic creature straight from Vogue.  Oh, and a woman never forgets the person who gifted her cashmere.

She Wants… Booties

I find booties to be the single most wearable type of shoe.  They make bare legs and dresses look sexier.  They make tees with jeans look a bit edgier.  And they make a big cozy sweater and leggings look much chicer. 

These booties are the perfect combination… Sleek, sexy heel and edgy studs.  No matter whether she's naughty or nice, she will be thanking her lucky stars to find these beauties under the tree!! 

Thanks for reading!!  To shop these items:  Click on any of the items in the photo above… Find links in each item description above… Or click any of the photos in the slide below.  Know someone who would move to Paris tomorrow if she could??  Check out my other 2014 holiday guide for the francophile here.  


Guest Bedroom Tour

First of all, I have to say CONGRATULATIONS to Megan C. and Sara W. for winning my second giveaway in the #TTWeddingSeries.  They each won a cozy cream infinity scarf and tortoise shell Kate Spade earrings.  I'll be announcing the third giveaway next Friday, so stay tuned!! 

Second of all, I want to apologize for all the technology issues I've been having.  My laptop is on it's last life and I've spent almost 4 hours on the phone with Apple Tech Support in the last 2 days.  I filmed a drugstore brand makeup tutorial that was supposed to go up today, but unfortunately most of the footage was lost during one of my computer crashes.  It makes me so sad… It was a great video with some light contouring techniques as well.  I will re-film in the next couple weeks.

Luckily, I had filmed a guest bedroom tour and none of this footage was lost so at least I'm able to upload a little video to kick off your weekend.  This one is a bit long, so enjoy during cardio or while you're folding laundry  :)

If you've read the blog for a while now, you know that I've been working on furnishing and decorating our new home and it seems like it's taking ages!!  I finished our little back entry which doubles as a mudroom (necessary in Colorado) and dog room… You can view that room tour here.

This is the next room I really feel I've "finished" to some extent; it's our guest bedroom and it's located in our basement so there isn't lots of light and it's perfect for guests who want to sleep in!!  I'm almost done with the guest bathroom next to it and I will do a room tour in the next few weeks.

Hope you all have wonderful weekends!!  I'm hoping for a little time to relax and cozy in… Maybe watch a holiday movie or two.  



Remember when November was known for golden-red fall leaves, pumpkins, and plump turkeys?  It seems fall in Colorado has hit the fast forward button and sped straight to winter.  All I want to do is curl up in sweats, drink coffee, and watch Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies… Hibernation mode at its best sounds wonderful right now.

But… If I went into hibernation I would have no excuse to wear my new red coat.  And that would be a pity because I love everything about this outfit!!

I've been wearing this leopard sweater dress so much lately; usually with opaque black tights, flat riding boots, a chunky scarf, and a fitted leather jacket for a more casual look.  But with all the holiday events and parties coming up, I wanted to elevate it a bit for a day-to-night look.

This is something I'd wear on a date night, out for a drink with friends, or to a holiday musical or play.  Red and leopard are such classics; when you find the right combo it's beautiful.

Links to all items are listed below the photos above… Or click through the slide down below.  The makeup look I'm wearing above will be shown in a tutorial video I'm posting tomorrow so come back and check it out if you're interested.

  Also… Be sure to sign up for the second giveaway in my #TTWeddingSeries.  I draw two lucky winners tomorrow!!